Monday, April 30, 2012

04.26-04.29.12 Back from the "One Bug"...with the "Squirrel Award" in hand

       Well, had another great FUDR's One Bug weekend. Started it out Thursday with a float with Bunky and Rich. We floated the mid-Main and they started out throwing streamers and Deceivers and they picked up a couple of fish. After lunch we got into some better fish and the boys had a blast as the Olives covered the water and the trout took fishy looking dries on a good drift. We landed a bunch and missed a bunch also. The video and Rich's reaction tell the story of a few that got away. We saw some March Browns and tiny Hendricksons along with the Olives. Great day!


      On Friday I had Martin and Glenn in the boat. Glenn started off with his new 6 weight bamboo rod in howling winds and 36 degree ( 18 with the wind chill) weather. Soon he was throwing my 7 weight Orvis Hydros and a streamer. We floated the lower East and one of the highlights was the smoked rainbow trout I picked up at Ray Turner's "Delaware Delicacies". Martin got a sweet rainbow in a side channel on an olive streamer and by the time we got off we were cold and ready for the One Bug first night festivities.

 We started the weekend at the old Capital Theatre and we all ate and drank well where we met up with our clients for Saturday's floats and watched the auctions and raffles go off. On day one I had Dennis and Pete in the boat and my beat for the two days was the upper Main. The boys fished hard and we worked over raising fish, but the "One Bug" was a killer. The fish were on caddis and hendricksons which neither guy had on. Dennis had on a Parachute Iso and caught three and measured one, a fat 17 inch brown. He dropped a monster in a large pool that literally almost ripped his rod out of his hand. We got off the water just in time for more drinks and dinner at the Bluestone. We were all hoping that Sunday would be just like Saturday, especially the guys on the East and lower Main who did real well on day one.....forget it.

Guide Ryan Furtak with Lee Hartman in the bow

     On Sunday, day 2, I had John and Glenn in the boat. It started off nice, and went a little sideways from there. We floated down to some riffs and John worked a Hendrickson emerger as we waited for something to pop. As the time went on, the winds picked up. On one of John's backcasts I saw his line and leader brush the brush tops. I gave a quick yell but it was too late, his "One Bug" was gone. After the first day he and his brother were sitting in second place, and the 100 points for turning in your fly became very important. I was sick when I saw his tippet empty. I quickly got down on all fours and went through every piece of brush and grass there was. John helped too and we talked about what happened. I told off him right off the bat, "If you lose your fly, blame it on the tie.", and I had tied on his fly. We looked for an hour and came up blank. By them the winds were 20 plus, with gusts to 35 starting. We stopped for lunch and gave a few rising fish slashing at the caddis a shot without a bump. I decided to sail downriver near the takeout and look for a big fish on the banks. When we got down the boats whose beats crossed the lower end of my beat where camped out looking for the same kind of fish. We floated below them and found two nice browns set up on the munch taking March Brown duns. Glenn got into position, had a few good shots....and then Mother Nature turned on the turbines. Within and hour we were taking the boat out of the water heading back for the final dinner and awards.

After dropping off the guys, going over my boat, walking to the theatre, getting a bite and a beer, here's what I remember of the awards,

Top Guide - Jeff Church ( West Branch Anglers)

Top Angler - Ryan Bunn  ( Ramsey Outdoor- Paramus)

Squirrel Award- Yep, I got it again for my relentless and unproductive all-fours search for John's fly.

Luckily, John and his brother held onto second place and took that trophy home. Team Patagonia ( Bunn and partner) had crushed them on Saturday and where so far ahead in the points no one would catch them.

Please join the Friends of the Upper Delaware River, they are doing a lot of work to protect out great resource and fishery. Check out their website, HERE

Thursday, April 26, 2012

04.26.12 Off for four days on the Upper Delaware

     It should be a great weekend for the One Bug. Last year the water was stupid high and this year was looking stupid low but it just might wind up okay. I will have to give up the "Squirrel Award" to this years recipient. Last year One Bug guide John Endreson found the squirrel statue on one of his floats and they made it into an award for the guide who goes above and beyond to save a clients "One Bug". Well, that's me in the tree in Cadosia helping out my client.

The trophy will have a new look this year, and I can't unveil it yet. Hope to see you up there!

The "Squirrel Award" squirrel enjoying this year down the Jersey Shore, where will it spend the next year?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

04.25.12 Into New York so I happened by the Orvis store

     I happened to be in New York today and of course had to make sure I gave Rob a visit over at Orvis NYC. I hopped on the 6 train and headed downtown where I picked up a few things before this weekends FUDR "One Bug". Of course I couldn't passing up checking out (and buying) some flies from the great selection they have there. The fly section was busy with anglers filling up small plastic boxes before getting out to fish. I know I've said this before, but if you ever want a quick outing, or are in Manhattan, you should stop by and check it out and say hello to Rob and his staff.

Tomorrow, Thursday April 26th, there's a special night - "Join us for music, hors d'oevers and a FREE Scotch tasting with Speyburn Scotch."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

04.24.12 Just a few days till the FUDR "One Bug"

    This is what Shehawken looked like for last years Friends of the Upper Delaware River  "One Bug"....this year should be a great time, with a little less water. Come out Friday night for the kick off dinner and raffle at the old Capital Theatre in Hancock! Hope to see you there.

Monday, April 23, 2012

04.23.12 I'm not a surfer or clam soaker...but it's a good day for either

     I took a quick ride down to see how the ocean looked since I've been up in the Upper
Delaware the last few days. Didn't look too "fly-fishy" even though I love snotty weather. Found the surfers out in force and a few guys soaking clams. We got a mixed bag of weather coming through the end of the week so we'll see how that plays out.

It was good to get some rain falling from the sky....we really needed it.

04.22.12 Casting lesson number 3...and we're on fish!

     Had a good time with Craig in the light rain during casting lesson number 3. And we even got into some fish! It's great to see new fly anglers pick up casting quickly...and more importantly realize when they need to tweak a part of the cast to make it better.

I can do casting lessons individually ($ 50/hr ) or in small groups. It's a great way for the beginner or cross-over angler to get a jump start on the season. Call 732.261.7291

Sunday, April 22, 2012

04.21.12 Great day out on the West Branch of the Delaware

     Had a great day out on the West Branch of Delaware with Mike and Rob which was their first Upper D trip. Had plenty of targets and we hooked a few nice fish, and I almost got a nice pic of Mike with a beautiful brown. We ducked the wind which howled at times, the rain-which is more then welcome, and then the lightning came and we packed up but did hit the Mainstem for a few casts before dark. We finished up the day over beers and burgers at the Hancock House Hotel. Great day with some great guys.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

04.19.12 Off to the Upper Delaware for a few days

Have a drift trip set up for Saturday but due to the low water levels in the system we'll be wading instead. I hope the nice slow, steady rain falls soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

04.17.12 Great time at the Orvis Rendezvous



     Had another great time at the annual Orvis Guide Rendezvous. Got up to the corporate offices at Sunderland on day one and we started off with Dave Perkins giving a presentation about the family business and where the company had been, is now, and where they hope to take it. That was followed up by more good presentations over the next two days between there and in Manchester. It amazes me how much analytics and research goes into the business end of fly fishing. It was great to hear about the advances about the Orvis website and social media pages as well as information about current and products that are in development. Yes, we were clued into a few exciting developments- but we were sworn to secrecy, or death! My favorite was the tour of the rod shop, it's incredible the research and development and then all the work and different steps it takes to make each rod.





    This year the Orvis store fishing managers attended and we were able to meet and greet and exchange cards with the hopes of starting working relationships and friendships with each other.  I know this has worked for me and Rob from the Orvis New York store and I hope I can do the same with the Marlton, Yonkers, and Doylestown stores also.

We had a great pig roast and local brew barbeque with a local bluegrass band playing while we ate and drank on the first night day and at the end of the second day they let us cast to some monster rainbows and browns in the pond next to the store.


The only other thing worth mentioning was that while on my way up there a 200 pound turkey flew into my car cracking the windshield and ripping off the side mirror, besides scaring the living s$%t out of me when it hit.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

04.17.12 off to the Orvis Eastern Guide Rendezvous

Today I'm heading up to Vermont to attend the two day guide rendezvous at the Orvis mothership. Last years event was great and I look forward to see The Orvis "backlot" operations.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

04.14.12 Orvis Fly Fishing 101 and other great things up on the Delaware River

     I had a great few days up on the Upper Delaware. First things, I wish we had more water in the system, it's that bad. Here's the following flows,

West Branch Hale Eddy    268cfs
East Branch Fishs Eddy    413 cfs
Mainstem at Lordville       959cfs

I bought my drift boat back up and dropped it off in Roscoe before heading out to fish Bard Parker Friday night. Clouds of caddis overhead and a hendrickson spinner fall created plenty of targets to cast to. 

     I stayed at the Capra Motel and got up and out pretty early to got to the West Branch Anglers "HOHW". It was a beautiful day, maybe to nice, as I am sure a lot of potential attendees split early to go fishing. I caught the end of John Miller's bug talk and stayed for Lauren Williams lecture which were both very good. It's always fun to have a talk with fellow photographer Jim Levinson and look at his fantastic Montauk striper images. Regal tyer Steve Silverio was talking about bombers to a group of anglers as Sheri from the Friends of the Upper Delaware sold raffles for a GLoomis rod. I caught up with Rachel Finn, but I didn't stick around for her casting demo which I hear is something to see. 
     One of my favorite things to see was the Orvis setup and the Fly Fishing 101 class. I stopped in as the class was learning the triple surgeons knot. There were families, and kids, and just a mixed bag of folks looking to learn. It's a great program that Orvis has and hats off to the staffs and fishing managers given the task to pull it off. In addition to the 101 there is also a Fly Fishing 201 which is the next step. If you are interested in a beginners class in fly fishing, contact your local Orvis shop. In New Jersey it's Orvis Marlton, HERE, and in NYC it's Orvis New York, HERE

     I was one of those folks that left early to fish. I started in the lower West and went one for two nymphing the riffs below Balls Eddy. Then at 3 I jumped over to the lower East Branch and had a blast there till night, and I was alone the last three hours. It was a day of bugs, (apple caddis, hendricksons, blue quills, quill gordons, and stoneflies), and fish ( a brown and the rest rainbows), and wind ( for a while steady 15-20 with 25 gusts). For a while I wished I had my 10 weight as the wind was howling up the East Branch. And then it stopped, and started drizzling, and it turned on. I had a pod of healthy rainbows sipping spinners in an eddy right below where I was set up. I just fed my fly down into their wheelhouse and it was quick runs, nice jumps, and a spit hoot or two. I'll be up this week floating the lower Mainstem and hoping I get drenched with rain. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

04.14.12 Great day on the Upper Delaware

Had a great time at the West Branch Anglers "Hell or High Water" then hit the West and East Branches for some fishing.

Friday, April 13, 2012

04.13.12 Beautiful early morning on the rocks

     I never get bored driving down to the ocean to see how it looks and who's fishing. It's a great time to fish when the first rays of the early morning sun hit the back of your neck while casting for stripers.

If you fish the Upper Delaware then you should take a ride up to the West Branch Anglers "Hell or High Water" tomorrow. It's a day of fly fishing events, good music, and finishes up with the fly fishing film tour at night. You can see more HERE

Thursday, April 12, 2012

04.12.12 Went south to scout...came home in a tow truck

     Traveled south down to Wildwood Crest to scout out a summer rental for the fan damily. On my way down the Parkway I decided to pull over to see the Mansquan River. The other day work crews and a tree service were working off the southbound side. While down in Wildwood we traveled into Cape May to shoot a bunch of punch list shots for an upcoming magazine spread. I noticed the car was acting funky and after pulling over and shutting it off it wouldn't start. I had cables and got a jump and we were on our way, until we hit Exit 20 on the GSP. We died in the fastlane and had to be towed off the Parkway and then another tow to the mechanics shop in Neptune.

Here's some more of the Manasquan River clean up-