It's been a while since my last post, and while things are still busy, I want to fill in all my readers as to where I've been lately.
I've only been doing a little bit of tying lately, mostly fishing on the reserves I tied up over the winter. I'm tying a few patterns now as a product tester for Tie the Fly, and once I've finished them and fished them, I'll post a full report here, identical to the information I'll be sending back to Tie the Fly.
The product I'm testing isn't some new brand of knockoff hook or gimmicky tool (or those hideous pre-made bodies), but rather a less common type of dubbing: Icelandic Sheep. I'm sure some of you, especially those to fish warmwater, will be familiar with the Icelandic sheep for its long, water-shedding hair, of use in streamers. This is the dubbing made form the underfur.
Keep an eye on the blog here in a few weeks for a full review.
With the weather breaking in late March, freezing up again with snow in April, hail storming (and tornado-ing), then dumping tons of rain, I've still managed to get out and do a little fishing. Mostly, I've been bluelining, hitting the little spring-fed headwaters up in the mountains, least affected by all the precipitation. I'm still under a dozen fish on the year, but I've gotten the first few wild brookies of the year, all on dries. The luck of the Irish was with me, as I went fishless for eight or nine trips in March, finally taking my first one on St. Patrick's Day.
A few days later, on my birthday, I caught a nice sized fish, just upstream from this one:
The bass and gills are starting to wake up, but are still pretty sluggish. Only one bass and zero gills so far in 2011.
Last Saturday, I went on an outing with the Boy Scout troop I used to be part of and gave a lesson on fly fishing and fly tying. Oddly enough, more guys showed interest in the tying than the fishing, but everyone that tried it out seemed to enjoy it.
Unfortunately, no pictures, as I was busy actually teaching. No fish caught, but I think I caught a few fishermen. There were some really nice flies tied up as well!
Hopefully, I'll have a chance to see some of these guys again later in the summer for some warmwater fishing, which tends to be more enjoyable for the beginner.
Lately, my photography has veered away from my fly fishing somewhat. I started taking a photography class in January, and most of my photography efforts have been devoted to progressing through the class. The course seems to concentrate more on post-processing using Photoshop, but it's been enjoyable, and I'm learning a lot. Just yesterday, I spent a few hours in the studio, learning to use the lighting systems. Once I'm done, I'll be sure to share some of my favorite work here.
The teacher seemed to like that I was a fly tyer, and even included one of my shots for display:
Tomorrow marks the season opener for trout in PA (or, at least, non-southeast-PA), and to celebrate, I won't be getting within sight of the mad house that the main streams become for a day. I'll either be trying for pike or fishing for wild trout. Good luck to any fellow Yinzers going out to do battle with the hatchery fish and the first day zombies. Wear a helmet.