Saturday, May 24, 2014

It’s All Angling, Isn’t It?

Odds & Ends – & a few new things.

Answer to a question that has been asked a couple of times recently:

Q: “Do you fish beadheads? I notice all your flies are tied without bead heads.”

A: “I think the reason beadheads are currently popular is because they fish well under a bobber, a method that is currently trending – though not without a legit place, to be sure – albeit overused, by my own reckoning. On those rare occasions I do fish with a bobber, I’ve found that the nymph will sink equally well weighted with a bit of lead or copper wire wound under the thorax section of the fly, thereby saving me the added cost & confusion of beads that may serve to make my flies look & fish like jigs – which might reflect a lack of confidence & commitment to the pure, spotless ‘D’. But okay I admit I’m aesthetically biased, somewhat. Joking aside, I do like those versions of the Pheasant Tail Nymph tied with a colored bead thorax. Everything has its day. And to each his own, I say. Anybody so inclined is perfectly welcome to affix a bead to any of the patterns featured here. Feel free to bead, or simply envision the flies with beads on them, as you like, without fear of retribution or ridicule from the staff.”

As there are a bazillion angling/fly blogs out there, I’m surprised at how much SHJ readership has grown over the past year, & I’m also surprised who is reading. I am humbled & thankful. It is my idea to produce an online journal that is zen-free of extraneous clutter & entirely useful. I am slow to add content, as I am fairly discerning of what material gets included in SHJ. Though I tie a lot of experimental flies, most of the designs featured here are the tried & true. I mean this to be a journal of workhorse patterns &, for the most part, I keep the fanciful to myself until the time comes it is fairly realized.

For those who haven’t checked it out, but may be interested, I’ve added some new content to the right-hand column (in addition to the old stuff which is still cool & still there) that I think is entertaining & worthwhile. Beginning at the top & working down:

The Spring (or seasonal) pic links to my guide site & a monthly profile of conditions & hatches for the upper Columbia & NE Washington lakes.

The Seasonal Favorites pic links to SHJ articles featuring those patterns most relevant to the season.

Under Genesis is a Subscribe box, for those who’d like to receive email notification of new posts. 

Under the Journal Archive, you will find The Bookshelf, each book pic a link to where the book may be purchased.

Under the books you will find the insignia of the International Brotherhood of the Flymph, which links to the Flymph Forum, a major archive of all things related to the soft-hackle approach. I know of no better inspirational/technical source than FF, & the tyer/anglers who hang out there are, to my mind, among the most knowledgeable & creative fly designers around. If you’d like to see state-of-the-art soft-hackle designs, check out the pattern index at Flymph Forum & be inspired.

Proceeding down, you will come upon Our Heroes, G.E.M. Skues, James Leisenring & Charles Brooks. The pic of Skues links to his complete masterwork, Minor Tactics Of The Chalk Stream, which you may read for free. The pic of Leisenring links to an excellent 1960 article by Vernon ‘Pete’ Hidy, outlining Leisenring’s approach & tying technique. The pic of Brooks’ book The Trout and the Stream links to a 1988 audiotape of soul-man Brooks reading & answering 12 questions posed by Rick Hafele. You don’t want to miss question #6. Charlie was formidable.

Hope everybody enjoys the new material & finds it useful. Some have written me with good ideas, & that is inspiration to make Soft~Hackle Journal better. Your comments are welcome & appreciated.  


~Your Compatriot                

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