In The Blood I Leave Behind

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As a father,  a man, a human being it becomes important at some point in our lives to think about the legacy we leave behind.  We need to know we are leaving this world a better place because of the blood and contributions we are leaving. 

This past father’s day weekend, I got to realize my legacy.  

Through the super secret shenanigans of my daughters and wife, they worked so hard to get my youngest daughter here for father’s day.  It amazes me how important it was for them to work together to make this happen.

As I sit and think,  it was the process that brought them all closer together all the while giving me a gift that will last beyond the limits of my memory.

We enjoyed our coastal home so much more with the day visit to Charleston,  South Carolina with the art galleries and ice cream in the market.

My daughters first taste of sushi and the warmth of our favorite people at our favorite restaurant.   Fire pits and cigars, Golden Retrievers and fishing.

Flounder and sunburn, swimming and did I mention laughter?

The long talks, the longer listening,  the advice given and taken.  Sweet memories are made of these. 

I feel confident in the live and legacy I will leave behind.

Simple Beauty

Fly Tying

Not a long winded narative but a simple post of appreciation for the classic flies of our fly tying and fly fishing fore fathers.

The Royal Coachman tied wet, dry, streamer or whatever, is a fly fishing icon with its deep emerald wraps of peacock overwrapped with bright, pure red silk and thin silver wire.

Add clean, bright white matches wings and you have the classic that catch fish on any trout creek, stream, river or lake.

Tie some for yourself or let me me tie them for you, but definitely get them in your box this season!

Old Ghosts

Fly Fishing Adventures

I bought my fishing license yesterday.  It is a little late for me as I usually buy them when the previous license expires.  In my home state  of South Carolina, we run on a yearly license schedule, i.e. July 1st to June 30th.

Living in the South Carolina lowcountry, I try to take advantage of the salt and freshwater fishing opportunities whenever work and chores allow.  However, since the passing of my beloved Samwise, I lacked the gumption to get out and enjoy the water like I should.  So yesterday, I talked myself into buying my salt and freshwater license.

Since the passing of Sam, I since rescued a breeder English Cream Golden Retriever named Clancy.  Mr. Clancy was used strictly for his ability to breed beautiful puppies but had no other skills outside of eating.  So my wife and I bought him and all the issues that made Clancy, well, Clancy.  

Now Clancy has proven to be an exceptional dog.  Extremely loyal and loving not to mention hungry 24/7.  Clancy is 130 pounds of pure love and excitement.  So I thought today would be a great day to break out the fly rod and hit the local water Samwise and I used to visit close to home.  I wanted to see if fishing was going to be Clancy’s bag like it was for Sam.

Unfortunately, the wind kept us from any productive casting and catching but I did get to spend some time with Mr. Clancy on the water.  More importantly, I got to visit with my boy Sam in the spiritual sense, a visit with old ghosts as it where.  

A lot of folks who arn’t dog people don’t get the grief we dog lovers feel when we loose a four legged family member especially when we have had them for a significant period of time.  I was blessed to have had Samwise for 15 beautiful years before he decided he couldn’t make it another day.

So I made him and myself a promise.  I will pick up the fly rod and my life again right where I left off that aweful day September 22nd, 2016.  Fly fishing is every bit a part of who I am as much as the love of goldens I have.  So Clancy will be hopefully what Sam always was, a fishing companion.  Clancy has the loyal, fun loving four legged human thing down pat so let us see where the angling part of this relationship goes.

Sometimes, Charity Begins At The Vise

Fly Fishing Adventures

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Art of the Angle is proud to introduce our line of flies (other items to follow) that will be used exclusively for charity. (click here for our charity items)

With the purchase of these items, at least 80% of the proceeds will be given to charities selected by the purchaser.  We supply a list of the charities we will support and the proceeds will be given in the purchasers name (if desired).

We are blessed beyond words for the support from our followers everywhere in the world as well as at home in the good ole US of A.

We proudly support our heroes who protect and preserve our freedoms and way of life,

Thank You.

Tight Budget Fly Tying

Fly Tying

So often times it happens with economic times being what they are for most, fly tying comes to a sudden halt because we run out of material.  It doesn’t have to be that way if you can think outside the box.

Fly tying wholesalers and manufacturers bank on the fact that fly tying is an addictive aspect of flyfishing.  And because of this addiction, they can charge higher prices that either A: force you into buying someone else’s flies or B: start selling off other possessions to pay for the tying material you need.  “B” is far fetched perhaps (okay, truth be told, I have done this…more than once) but it has caused me to begin thinking outside the proverbial fly tying box.

A few examples are; visiting your local quilting or sewing shop for the threads and silks (genuine silks too!) or to your local big box retailing craft stores.  I began tying flies using glass beads instead of the traditional brass for my beadhead flies.

Glass beads add an acceptable amount of weight but also add a better shine while in the water.  If you tie to sell, they add a certain flare that traditional beads just don’t have.

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all material for this fly is from the craft store, except the collar 

 

As far as hooks, I found that Lazer Sharp by Eagle Claw offer an octopus hook in sizes that match perfectly for all of my nymphs and wet flies down to size #18.  Couple that with a micro glass bead and now you have an entirely new twist on flies!

 

Samwise: The Golden, The Myth, The Legend!

Fly Fishing Adventures

I remember as if it were yesterday, Cayce was the 9 week old female golden retriever pup.  Slept a lot, played and chewed a lot…typical puppy stuff.  Cayce, it was clear, would be the wife’s dog or princess as I recall.  As such, I had little to do with her except clean up the poo.

At the top of that heap laid the enevitible, ever esteemable Samwise Gamgee.

So after several weeks of this, I  decidedthat Ms. Cayce looked “lonely“.  Of course the only cure would be another golden puppy because hey, life is just too normal.  But lets not forget Cayces loneliness.  This is where Mr. Samwise enters the picture.  We visited a golden retriever breeder in Hope Mills, NC in hopes of finding Ms. Cayce a proper suiter.  

I wasn’t falling for that cute crap…I wanted a lazy S.O.B who just didn’t give a flying…

When we arrived, the breeder had all the puppies in a slumbering heap after their bath.  At the top of that heap laid the enevitible, ever esteemable Samwise Gamgee.  As the other puppies began to awake and come to see the new visitors Sam slowly sank to the floor with the dinishing support structure.  all the puppies imediately became comfortable and began the pawing and biting routine that makes the choosing part difficult in all their aggressive cuteness.  But not for me!  Nope, I wasn’t falling for that cute crap…I wanted a lazy S.O.B who just didn’t give a flying…well, you know what I mean.  That was him, the chubbiest, laziest, cutest king of the heap.

One look at that chubby lump of pure unadulterated laziness and I was sure this was my dude.  I could picture lazy Saturday mornings with coffee and doughnuts, watching the hunting and fishing shows with my lazy buddy laying next to me dutifylly cleaning up the doughnut crumbs that “accidently” fell on the couch.  Yup, life was gonna be cool!  Not so fast…

I finished all the paperwork and said goodbye and away we went, back to the soon to be mancave.  Ms. Cayce of course was gonna be so excited that she has a new man in her life, and wow, what a specimen I was bringing to her.

So what exactly did Ms. Cayce, the lonely princess of the Scagline house hold think of her arranged couplehood?  Welp, tune in to the next post to find out!

Fly Tying: Variations On A Theme (part one of …)

Articles, Fly Tying

There is an old saying about boats; “…a boat is a hole in the water inwhich you throw your money”.  I equate fly tying to this.

One of the biggest lies that flyfishers tell themselves (and their significant other) is “I will save money by tying my own”.  That is a super sized pile of B.S..  

So lets be intelectually honest with ourselves, we want to tie flies because it is cool.  We can recreate fish food organisms and catch fish on something we created, that works for me!

Fly tying has been around that we know of, since the Macidonians.  They were fooling fish with hooks adorned with wool and feathers about 25oo years ago.  Which leads me to another point, fly pattern originality.  

Today, flytiers want to believe that they created the masterpiece that has never been tied before.  That window of oportunity has been all but shut.  

With a few exceptions, we are taking old patterns, adding new materials and calling them ours.  What we really have done was created a “variation on a theme”.  And that is okay.  I have been tying flies for over 40 years and with each session, I like to go back and revisit some of the classics and  change them up a little bit.

So with that in mind, I am going to pick a few patterns from time to time and highlight the changes.  Keep in mind, fish arn’t judging us on style, they are judging us on presentation.  So here is the first one:

The SPRUCE fly.  This pattern was tied in light and dark variations as well as with or without silver wire on the abdomen.  

It was origionally tied as a streamer pattern on a 3 or 4 extra long hook.

I always liked this pattern and had wonderful success with native brook trout and wild browns. I decided to try this theme on a standard wetfly hook size 10.  I also changed the color scheme.

As a fan of the pattern, I like the spectrum of opportunities for this one.  Tie a few and let me post them for you, giving you full credit obviously…but above all, have fun!

Tight Lines!

Jim