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Archive for the ‘Fly Tying’ Category

I’m beginning to think you can’t catch humpies when it’s sunny outside. For me it has to be pissing down rain before I even think about casting a fly to humpies. I know when the run is peaking in this particular creek when the weather forecast shows 5 straight days of downpour.

Great way to spend the day on light gear and a good opportunity to put those junker flies to good use. You know the flies I’m talking about. Something went awry in the construction or you just don’t like the way it turned out and now it isn’t worthy to take up space in your fly box but you don’t have the heart to throw it out or the motivation to salvage the hook. You know…this fly.

Lucky for me, humpies really don’t give a darn what the thing looks like. They only care that it’s violating its personal bubble.

One of a bazillion that force their way up into every flowing piece of water about this time every year. This one I happened to nab in one of those small windows when it isn’t pouring down rain.

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Putting the Z-Axis switch to work. This little guy was enticed by a homemade sculpin pattern on the 6110. Skagit short 375 and 8 feet of T-8 were the ticket.

That 6110 has some meat down low. I’m thinking it could easily handle a bit more. I got caught up in one spot where the branches of every tree were in the way. In that case 20 feet of skagit head seemed a bit much. A chopped up 17 footer or so in the upper 300’s or low 400’s might just be the ticket. Who knows maybe shorter and heavier.

Time to check the classified section of the forums and see what I can dig up.

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Received this from Simms today. Great to see them recognize Dennis and McAfee’s Fly Shop for the many years supporting Alaska’s fly fishing culture and showing support for Mike and Mossy’s Fly Shop.

Simms Fishing Products invites you to come join Mike Brown, the new owner of Mossy’s Fly Shop, for food, drinks and door prizes from 9-5, Saturday, February, 20th.

This is also your chance to thank Dennis McAfee for his 25 years of service to the Alaska Fly Fishing Community and wish him well. Dennis recently sold his shop to Mike so he could spend more time fishing with his grandkids. Dennis and McAfee’s Fly Shop have been fixtures in Alaska since 1985, it isn’t often you can find someone to dedicate this amount of time to the Fly Fishing Industry.

Mike has given the shop a whole new look by remodeling and painting which has been completed this week. With new inventory arriving daily, more room must be made, take advantage of some great deals before the season is in full swing.

So stop on by this Saturday to introduce yourself to Mike, say good-bye to Dennis and Diver and wish all of them luck in all of their future adventures.

Saturday February 20, 2010, 9am-5pm

Mossy’s Fly Shop

750 West Dimond Blvd.

Anchorage, AK

(907) 770-2666

I hear Dennis McAfee will be showing up between 11AM and Noon.

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I received an email earlier this week from Dennis McAfee, the owner of McAfee’s Fly Shop here in town. After some serious consideration he has decided to close the shop after 25+ years to spend more time with his family and do some more fishing.

I wasn’t a customer all those 25 years but I can say that every major purchase I’ve made over the years has been from his shop. Everything from the waders I wear, the boots I put on my feet, the jacket that keeps me on the water regardless of the weather…along with the rods, reels and everything in between…I picked up from McAfee’s Fly Shop with Dennis behind the counter.

I appreciated getting that email. It wasn’t a mass email. It sort of showed me that he appreciated my business. Says a lot and is why I took my business there and tried to steer more that way.

His shop was cool and I enjoyed talking with Dennis.

Great shop…great service.

Fortunately a new owner is taking over rather than having to liquidate everything. The new owner will likely change the name. That’s okay because it won’t be the same without Dennis. I found out who the new owner is. He is local and is someone most folks will recognize from the fly fishing community. I hope the new owner keeps the spirit of McAfee’s Fly Shop alive. All the fly shops in town sell the same things at the same prices. Service is what raises you up a notch or two.

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dloop

Tuber and I have been at this two-hander thing for little over two years now. Since early 2007 to be more precise. We both started out picking up more rod than we needed for the waters we fished. Back then we didn’t know better but we didn’t care. We had to get out there and see what it was all about.

We both came at it from different angles. I stumbled upon two-handers on the internet and he was lucky enough to have two buddies who were a year ahead. Now it consumes us and we can’t stop talking about it.

We are probably the only two people who have ever thrown a two-hander on the Anchor, Bird, and Ship. I know I am probably the only person who has worked the two-hander at the peak of sockeye season in Southcentral. Not exactly the proper stage but it’s water and it was what we had to work with. If you’ve ever fished those waters you know it doesn’t take much more than a nine footer to cover every inch of water and then some. To say the two-hander was overkill would be an understatement. The Anchor was probably the worst place to apply the art. Most of the time we just flipped the tip. Bird and Ship weren’t much better but at least you could stretch one out there once and a while when the tide was in. We usually ended up fishing water others wouldn’t or couldn’t.

We got some stares and some funny looks for sure. Thirteen feet of rod and fly line thick enough to winch a jeep out of the mud flats is strange if you didn’t know any better. It was fun and we felt like pioneers.

Lucky for us we’ve been able to find some proper water to apply the down and across. Like the stretch of water we go back to every spring and the new piece I discovered this year. And the old water that’s new water because we can now look at things from an entirely different angle.

This two-hander business has changed everything. I find myself fishing the single-hander and throwing spey casts about half the time now. It’s opened up new water and has made those tough spots easier to fish. Now it seems as though there is no piece of water we can’t fish.

At first we knew very few people who ever used a two-hander on the waters we fished. We never saw another person swinging the big stick. Now it seems more and more folks are toting along a two-hander. There aren’t many but it’s growing. I’ve never actually seen someone outside of our crew making the casts and taking the steps. It’s equivalent to a big foot sighting I suppose. I’ve seen a few pictures but have yet to run into someone on the water working the two-hander.

I think that is cool.

A little over two years into it and I’ve managed to collect a few things. A lot of it is gear but a big chunk has been knowledge and experience. I started out barely chucking the head of a Rio Skagit 450, a 10 foot cheater, and a 10 foot T-14 tip on a Sage 7136 Z. I now know why the 450 wasn’t cutting it for me on the 7136 and what it takes to chuck a giant bunny leech (if you don’t know yet I’ll give you a clue – short, fat and more grains per foot). Now I’ve got the 7136 loaded with Airflo Ridge, Compact Skagits heavy enough to launch a dead chicken, and a shit ton of zip lock bags of custom made sinktips. I’ve also managed to pick up two more sticks more appropriate for the waters I fish. The 6126 Z helps bring some smaller water in to play and makes tangling with the everyday fish that much more fun. A new addition, the 6110 Z, makes brushy bank channels and brushy freestones where trout like to hide accessible and a blast for swinging sculpins and leeches.

A few thousand casts later and I can now make the cast more often to get me fishing. I know a little more about how to fish a swinging fly and not just leave it up to chance.  What keeps me truck’n along is  looking for more pieces of water and opportunities close to home to swing up more rainbows, more steelhead and that first king on the two-hander.

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SkagitMaster - New Water Media

About a guy who likes to fish

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Just picked this up on Spey Pages from Riveraddict. If you don’t know who that is you better do some homework. It sounds like he has teamed up with Mishler to develop a new skagit casting video.

I think that most everybody on here knows by now that I am the “Skagit Crusader”. Now that I am at an age where I have more fishing days behind me than I have to look forward to, I am becoming much more aware of my own personal mortality. Add to this my passion for fishing and Skagit casting… I have put in enough time fishing, and in such a variety of circumstances and venues, as to only reinforce my feeling and belief that the Skagit approach is not just a justifiably distinct methodology of its own, but that it is also one of the most versatile ways for utilizing a fly rod. This circumstance has spurred me to start the undertaking of a project that has lingered in the back of my mind for some time now… a Skagit casting video. I have teamed up with Jeff Mishler, who shot Dec’s video, and we are hoping to make this gig a little different than the standard “how to”. Of course, with some of the actual instructional bits, there’s just no getting around the “usual” do-this-then-do-that approach. But, we want to incorporate as much actual-on-river examples as possible. The steelheading aspect we pretty much have established our agenda.

 Read the rest here.

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