New Web Site

30 12 2009

It is official. I am making the switch to my own website. The address is www.365flyfish.com
Thank you so much for your support during this change.





Day 108 – What to Expect in the Future

23 12 2009

I apologize everyone. The blog is moving one more time. I ended up getting my own domain and started the switch to http://www.365flyfish.com. This will be the new site and after the first of the year, this site will no longer be updated. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience, but in the end I think it will prove to be the better decision. Thank you.

Yesterday, as you probably know, I registered the domain name of www.365flyfish.com.  With this step up in commitment, comes a step up in pursuing my passion (along with sharing it).  I’m starting to take this technology thing to the next level in my passion. 

For example, you all remember last week I tied up the Wonder Woman pattern.  The picture I took was what I thought was sub par.  As a refresher, here is what that picture looked like: 

The Wonder Woman

 

As you can tell, there is a lot going on in the background and you really can’t distinguish the black feather from something black in the background.  After doing a little research on the Internet, I found out that you can make a simple box studio for around $10 with a box, some tracing paper, and some flashlights.  I also used a tripod to help stablize the camera.  The end result is below: 

Wonder Woman II

 

I think we can all agree that this is a much better photo.  In the future, I plan on capturing all my photos this way and hope that it passes muster with all of you. 

Also, I found myself with a little extra time before my wife came home this evening.  I got an early Christmas present, and decided to have some fun.  My wife gave me a Kodak Zi8 camcorder that is capable of recording in 1080 high definition.  With a little experimentation on camera placement, I was able to start a first in a series of recording revolving fly tying.  So all those out there who have been a little hesitant about how to fly tie, here’s your first lesson on how to start the thread on the hook.

So, as a recap you can expect some improved things in the future.  I hope you enjoy, and if anybody has some suggestions on what they would like to see, feel free to leave a comment.





Day 107 – Big Things Happening

22 12 2009

I apologize everyone.  The blog is moving one more time.  I ended up getting my own domain and started the switch to www.365flyfish.com.  This will be the new site and after the first of the year, this site will no longer be updated.  Again, I apologize for the inconvenience, but in the end I think it will prove to be the better decision.  Thank you.

A good portion of my day was spent right here in this office.  I spent a great amount of time on my cell phone today to call AT&T that my service was out.  A few hours later, I was back on the phone to complain that my Internet service was down.  The end result was that somebody had cut a cable and hundreds of people were experiencing outages.  It just seemed odd that one was down while the other worked.  The other part of my day was spent shoveling the last bit of snow off my driveway and walkway, installing a vent hose to my dryer, vacuuming, and otherwise getting ready for Christmas.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  I now own my domain.  That’s right, www.365flyfish.com is completely mine.  That means you can expect some big things to happen in the next few weeks.  Part of that means that the website will be a little shaky for the next couple of days while I work out some of the bugs, but it is up and running.  I’m sorry to do this one more time, but the move is official.

Now that the news has been updated, let’s talk about fishing.

A couple of days ago I told you that I was starting to read the book on how to catch big trophy trout.  It’s not that I want to catch the uber trout, but I’d like to add some heft to my catches.  Something that might bend the pole a little more if you know what I mean.  Anyway, the first chapter essentially talks about how go where the fish are.

Now that seems obvious and the author even states that.  However, since I’m not catching big trout on a regular basis, it must mean that I’m doing something wrong.  Therefore, I read the chapter with more student and less skepticism.  The chapter goes on to talk about the different types of body of water: oligotrophic, mesotrophic, and eutrophic.  It also proceeds to talk in great length the need to control fish introduction into water, as certain fish are genetically coded to eat different biomass.

The one thing that truly “clicked” with me is that trout switch to different food types after a certain size.  I did not know this.  According to the author, the Lake Michigan Brown Trout Diet changes around 11.8 inches.  Brown trout over 11.8 inches basically stop eating invertebrates and move primarily towards Alewife (a sort of minnow type fish).  Now this may not hold true over all regions and bodies of water, however it does give me something to think about.  Especially when the average trout that I catch is around 11 inches or so.





Day 106 – Man’s Bestfriend (and Woman’s too)

21 12 2009

The other day I was reading a friend’s tweet about how his dog is getting old and how its health is declining.  He wanted to take his lab out one last time with him fishing before he couldn’t anymore.  His post the next day said that his dog was too tired and lacked the energy to do so.  I’m saddened by this as the Wonderpup named Nash is my constant companion.

When I was searching out undergrad programs, I ended up talking to the professor for the Outdoor Leadership program at Colorado Christian University.  After he laid out the coursework to me, he asked some questions about my own personal experiences in the outdoors.  I told him that my family was big into hunting and fishing, and that I had made Eagle Scout in 1993.  I asked him what the hunting was like in Colorado and he said that it was good if you knew where to go, however just recently he suffered a great loss as his hunting dog had to be put down.  He admitted that he wasn’t ashamed to say that he cried.

While reading a blog entry from Up’North Maine Fly Casting a few days ago, I noticed that he defended his decision to call his black lab his best friend.  He made a pretty good point saying that if you want the title you have to sit at the end of his driveway every afternoon and wait for him to come home, follow him around all day just because, sleep on his feet to keep them warm, and never complain when he takes you fly fishing.

My first dog was an English Springer Spaniel named Max.  There are stories that my family shares about how loyal and protective this dog was.  Later, after Max had died, my family acquired a Chocolate Lab/German Shorthair puppy.  He was named Bear, and was the most gentle animal that I ever had the pleasure of knowing and it was a sad day in the Campbell household when the decision to euthanize Bear had to be made.  This past March, my wife and I got the Wonderpup.  He’s been at my side ever since then, and I can’t imagine not having him in my life.  His excitement over car rides, chasing cats, and chasing balls surprises me on a daily basis.

As a sportsman (or woman) a dog is so much more than just the family pet.  They transcend into soul companions, sharing our excitement, our exploration, and our love.  They humbly show their loyalty to us a thousand times over, and all they ask in return is our love.  To be honest, I’m not skilled in enough in verse to fully convey what I am trying to impart on you.  My words fall short of meaning, and I just end up tripping all over the place.  That said, I will leave you a quote from the movie “Marley & Me”.

A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water log stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if your rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?





Day 105 – A Visit from Superman

20 12 2009

The Last Son of Krypton: Superman

It is yet another day of Super Hero inspired flies.  Today, I was visited by the Son of Krypton himself: Superman.  The allure to have a fly box themed to DC comics is starting to become a reality.  I now have a couple of Wonder Woman patterns tied up, and am starting my collection of Superman patterns.  I did manage to coax the wallet open for $7.50 to purchase some blue wire, fuschia holographic tinsel, black micro tubing (couldn’t find blue), and some red floss. 

I was amazed at how well this pattern came together.  Normally I can’t find the right hook or the right bead or whatever.  I usually end up having to tie an interpretation built around what I have versus what the pattern calls for.  I actually ended up having the majority of the material, and only had to purchase a few items. 

While tying the pattern, it ended up coming together pretty well.  I was afraid that I might have to pitch the first few patterns into the Crap Jar, but the photograph above is actually the first fly.  The shellback is a little off center, but I can work on that for the next patterns.  Everything else was pretty easy.  I was afraid that I was going to have some uneven legs, but I realized that if I tie them long in the back I can just trim them.  Problem solved.

Up next on the docket for the Super Hero list is the Green Arrow pattern.  I’ll finish tying up a few more Superman patterns and Wonder Woman patterns, but the Green Arrow is next.  While I do have the exact materials for the Green Arrow, I’ve already decided that I am going to make a variation.  Through my sample acquiring, I managed to gather some olive quick sink dubbing.  It’s basically steel wool that has been colored.  I plan on using the olive color for the body.  I figure it will help weigh down the fly and I really like the color of it.  When I get it tied up I’ll let you all vote on whether or not you like the color as well.





Day 104 – Feeling Blue

19 12 2009

Blue seems to be on my mind lately.  Not the feeling, but the color.  It’s probably one of my favorite colors (I have no qualms about breaking fashion faux pas by wearing a blue shirt with blue jeans).  The color is everywhere from October skies to college team colors.  So it really can’t come to anybody’s surprise that the color has been making a debut into the fly fishing world.  Make that the fly tying world.

I first heard about fishing blue patterns last month when tying up egg patterns.  I was told that a popular egg color is blue, and that it entices some pretty good strikes from fish.  Yesterday, I’m re-reading the Fly Tyer article about the Superman fly and was surpised to read that blue has been making appearances into the fly fishing world for quite some time.

Now I’m not talking about Blue Winged Olives or Blue Duns.  The color blue in those patterns are more muted and gray looking.  I’m talking about serious blue.  Blue as in Pepsi can blue.  Metallic, bold, and definitive.  There’s no mistaking this color for an off colored gray.

Now this gets my creative juices flowing and tempts my pocketbook to open.  I want to experiment and try out variations of patterns.  I’d like to see a whole fly box filled with blue.  I’d like to see mounds of materials dyed, stained, colored blue.  Beads, wires, feathers, dubbing… blue, blue, blue.  I’d like to take some scissors and cut a Pepsi can and transform that into a fly.

OK… I’m better now and I have replaced the wild look in eyes (which are blue) with a little more control.  Like Picasso, I may be in a blue period.  After tying the Wonder Woman with that beautiful Kingfisher Blue feather, I’m looking forward to seeing what else may be in store.  The biggest test will be whether or not they catch fish.  Afterall if they can’t do that, then it really doesn’t have value.





Day 103 – The Unveiling!!

18 12 2009

The Wonder Woman

So there it is, the idea manifested into reality.  After writing yesterday’s post, I started to think more about how I would like this pattern to be.  I ultimately changed a few things, and I may still tinker with the idea some more.  Here’s a run down of what I changed.

I ended up changing the overall pattern to more of a streamer pattern.  As such, I tied it on a Daiichi 2220, size 8.  It’s the same hook that I tied the Pink Slumpbuster on.  It has a 4x-long shank and a 1x-strong wire.  To keep this pattern more in character, I figured Wonder Woman is an Amazonian woman and as such they are big and strong.  Figured this wasn’t a bad way to go.  I may have to tie a variation of this pattern if I want to tie in tandem with a Superman nymph.

Instead of using flat tinsel for the ribbing I decided to use wire.  That’s mainly a personal touch as I like the wire look better than the tinsel.  You could say that I wanted to incorporate real metal into the design, but whatever… I think the outcome made it look pretty good. 

I debated on how I wanted to do the black wings on the pattern.  The two feather hackles over the back seemed to be a better approach for a streamer pattern versus tying in some paired feathers, such as black duck feathers.  I imagine that the feathers will give the pattern a little “life” to the pattern when in the water.

Overall, I’m really proud of how this fly pattern came out.  I may just have to tie up a box of them, that’s how proud I am.  I’d like to hear some feedback from some people, and would love to test this pattern out on different water.  Any takers?