Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Who Is "The Pond Stalker"?

Recently, I read and participated in a very excellent discussion over on the Facebook Group, "Fly Fishing Bloggers"

The discussion was prefaced on what is becoming of the fly fishing blogger scene.  Is it drying up? Has it lost it's mojo? Blog posts are less frequent, blog views or hits are becoming more scarce, so, how do we rejuvenate the fly fishing blogging scene.  Better content? What kind of content? 

Anyway, you get the drift of what the conversation was about, and, I encourage all fly fishing bloggers, or, general fishing bloggers to take a minute if you can and check it out.

That led to another discussion that centered on a format of the various blogs still active to do some sort of re-introduction of their blog and their focus.  So, here is mine!

From the ponds in and around Loveland, Colorado.

I am a retired Fly Fisher & Fly Tyer who has spent most of his fly fishing past chasing Trout in Stillwaters across the Western United States with brief excursions on small streams and warmwater ponds.

I won't make any attempt to mislead anyone here,  I have loved fishing lakes and ponds for years.  My passion has always led me to these waters and the fun they offer to the flyfisher and fly tyer.  Although, most trips out were for chasing the big trout that lakes produce, my secret passion has been the fun of fly fishing for Bluegill, Crappie, Sunfish, and other assorted warm water fish.  I am currently taking an interest in getting to know more about fly fishing for Bass.  Perhaps even some Carp in the future.  One step at a time you Ol' Geezer, I remind myself!

Living in Northern Colorado where I do offers plenty of opportunity for me to chase my dreams in warm water fly fishing and fly tying.  What I love most about it is that I can drive less than (15) minutes from my home and be on the water with a chance at a good time.  Economical, time saving, and, that word "FUN" again.  Which in turn means more fishing and tying time for me.   I am also very Grandchildren oriented so I have plenty of other activity to keep me busy so time on the water still needs to be worked around everything else.  

I, also, have to be a very budget oriented Geezer.   Being a Senior Citizen on a fixed budget requires that I spend my money wisely and my time efficiently.
I take great pleasure in keeping my fly fishing time as simple as possible.    From the gear I use to the techniques I use. It works! 

 Please take the time to look around on my blog and enjoy what is here. Your support is greatly appreciated! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Re-visiting The "Nasty Nylon Nymph"

It is a "Happening" time of year! Veteran's Day & Thanksgiving Day have passed and the Christmas season awaits us.  This morning a good snow storm greeted me as I pulled the blinds to peek outside to meet my day"Brr..... cold is here, I said to myself."  Any fly fishing time I get for awhile might be in the way of a few fly fishing or fly tying videos and a warm cup of Hot Chocolate or something.

Speaking of fly tying, this is the time of year that I spend a good share of my time focusing on tying and filling my fly boxes so that I am ready to go next time I am on some water and the weather cooperates with me.  I, usually, will take some time to "organize" my fly tying bench.  Meaning, putting everything back in it's original spot so that I can start to mess it all up again as I do, inevitably, when I set down for a Winter's tying season.  I have the usual list of fly patterns that I want to tie up that I fish regularly.  I, also, have a few new patterns picked out that I want to try.  Maybe they will find a way to become part of my regular stock in my fly boxes.  Besides watching videos about fly tying, there are also many fly shops in Northern Colorado that offer free winter tying demonstrations with some of the areas well know fly tyers.  These sessions are a lot of fun and there is so much to learn if the fly fisher wants to learn about new patterns or what patterns are the most effective in the area.  If you don't tie flies, but would like to learn, the shops also offer fly tying classes for beginners for a reasonable fee.  Check out the shops in your area.  There is a wealth of information to gain if you take advantage of it.

A number of years ago, I offered a beginning fly tying class through my local fly fishing club.  I would like to share a scenario that happened on one of those class nights.  I hope you will enjoy this little story.  Winter tying season always brings back this memory.  I regard it as the "Coming of the Fly Tying Season."  Let me introduce you to "The Nasty Nylon Nymph".

I know I still chuckle every time my memory drifts back to the moment in time.
Before I stray off subject, I had better focus on the story I am trying to tell here.  One of the things that a die-hard fly fisherman often times does is to learn to tie his own fly for casting to his favorite fish.  Over time I became fairly decent at tying my own flies.  Enough so that I ended up teaching fly tying at schools and various public settings.  This post is about a “funny” incident that occurred one night while teaching fly tying at the local high school.  I know your waiting to find out what “Nasty Nylons” has got to do with tying flies and teaching others to tie flies.  Well, I am about to tell you.
Let’s first address the nylons.  You know those things are everywhere when not being worn by your wife or favorite lady friend.  They cling to everything in the laundry if you are not careful.  Their rolled up in your gym socks, their knotted around your pants legs, there everywhere except nicely laid out for the next time my wife wants to wear a pair.  Now comes my calamity!

I was, once again, teaching fly tying to a group of adults, both male and female at the local high school.  These were beginning fly tying students so I had some flexibility with this calamity and I am not sure they ever really caught it at the moment how embarrassed I was. 

We were going to tie a basic nymph pattern that night.  Students gathered around my desk so as to see the demonstration of what they then would try to duplicate back at their desks in the classroom.  In order, the hook was placed in the position in the vise jaws so as to be held sturdy while tying other materials on to the hook.  My thread was attached to the hook and the tail material added.  Now I was ready for the body material that was supposed to be some pheasant tail fibers.  However, as I started to reach into my fly tying box for the pheasant tail fibers, there I saw it! 

One of my wife’s nylons coming out the sleeve of my shirt near my tying hand.  Oh, No!  To this day I still don’t how the brain works and how it works so quickly.  In a heart beat, and, without hesitating for a moment, I pulled the nylon from my shirt sleeve and cut a rectangular piece from it with my scissors.  I think the students were shocked, but, they looked on anxious to see what I was going to do next.  I attached the “nylon strip” to the back of the hook with my thread.  I was going to use it to make the body of my fly with.  Knowing that nylon is super fragile (you know runs, runs, runs), I knew that I would have to use some wire to reinforce the body of the fly or it would fall apart before it ever hit the water.  Thankfully I had intended on using some fine copper wire that evening anyway.  So I tied some on to the back of the hook.  I proceeded very carefully to wind the “nasty nylon” around the hook up towards the eye of the hook and then reverse wrapped the copper wire so as to reinforce the nylon body material. 

In short order, I had a fly body of reinforced nylon from my wife and some basic dubbing wrapped around the front of the hook at the eye.  Simple little pattern and easy to tie.  Besides I had lots of nylon stocking left for my students to cut up and use that evening as they practiced tying their own “Nasty Nylon Nymph”.  Believe it or not, I hear they even fished this fly on our local river and landed some trout with it.  It became a common request as I taught other classes to show other how to tie the nylon nymph.  I used it to break the ice at several tying classes to create a little humor and help new fly tying students relax. 

Fly tying fun is what you make of it!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Leftover Turkey & Castable Opinion

Well, I sure hope that all my readers and fellow blogging friends had a most wonderful Thanksgiving Day with their family members and friends.  I know I sure did.  

As if we did not get enough yesterday, we have proceeded today to overfill our stomach capacity with leftover turkey and dressing and all the additions that make this holiday what it is.  Thankful for lots of food, family, friends, and a heavy dose of football.

I know the weekend is not even here yet, so.................

In any matter, I just wanted to have a shoulder to whine on for a second.  As you have probably gathered from  a few posts ago, Blogger and I have gone the rounds trying to figure out why I can't access and post from my previous "Not Shutdown" blog site, and, why I had to begin anew here.  I have finally given up on the confusion and am trying to incorporate some of the old into the new.

The good news is: Do not change your current blog link.  Blogger says I can do what I want from here, "Forever" as long as they have a online status!.........................................................

However, I do want to note that if you look at my picture header, you will see I have re-established the name of this blog to "The Pond Stalker".  Does that ring a bell?

Anyway, if you feel inclined too you could change the blog name on your BlogRolls to "The Pond Stalker" which will require you to take a minute to edit I know.  

****Just don't change the link, please.

When you have been around the blogging scene as long as I have, you begin to think your invincible.  Blogger has demonstrated to me that I am not!!!!

They have their opinion and I have mine....

Wow, not more Pumpkin Pie, now..............................

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Stayner Ducktail Jig - Tied The Upside Down Way

One of my most successful fly patterns over my years spent fishing in stillwater in the lakes, reservoirs, and, ponds of the Rocky Mountain region is the Stayner Ducktail.

I have written and told of past successes on previous blog posts pertaining to the Stayner Ducktail.  I doubt you will find me at any time without a Stayner Ducktail or two or three in my fly boxes.  Often, I have a box just for this fly pattern.  

The pattern was originally tied to represent the Perch that were popular in a local Idaho reservoir.  The late, Ruel Stayner, had no idea he had created a legend on the lake fishing scene.  This pattern has been a champion on Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, and, Brook Trout.  It even goes to the warmwater circle also.  Panfish love it, and, I would never fish a Smallmouth water without some Stayner Ducktails and a good strong shoulder that can take a pounding from the aggressive takes of this fly.  It has since been fished all over the world.  I could tell stories of fellow anglers in Russia, Argentina, New Zealand etc.  who have been introduced to this pattern and its success.  

Anyhow, recently I was asked to tie up a few in jig form by some guys who fish out here in the Rockies,  These guys have seen the Stayner Ducktail do its job in fly form.  Since they fish with spinning gear and a little heavier line than the fly folks among us, they wanted to know if I thought a Stayner in jig form would work.

I have tied them, sent them off to be fished, and, will be flabbergasted if I get a negative response on it.  I just can't imagine it not being a classic jig either...............................

Here are my tying instructions for this pattern in Jig form.  I will get around to putting it up in fly form once again, perhaps after the holidays.  I am active at the fly tying bench as we speak.  Fish on my friends...........................................

Jig Head - In this case, Round jig head 1/8 oz - 1/32 oz. Orange and Chartreuse.
Tail - Hot Orange Marabou - length equal to shank of hook behind jig head.
Body - Olive size medium chenille - Hint: Many of the New Age chenille colors work well, also
Rib - Either a fine Holographic Gold Tinsel or size small gold wire.
Beard/Wing - Orange Marabou pinched off to show just a tuft of Marabou for highlight purposes.
Wing - Mallard Flank feather.  Tip: Turn the jig over in your vise and tie the Mallard Flank so that it extends rearward past bend of hook, but, not longer than the tail.  Use the Mallard Flank attached to the stem.  Equal barbules on each side.  “Do Not” take fibers off the stem and tie them in.  Wing is more stable when tied by the stem technique and much easier to work with also. 
Finish by using Sally Hansen Hard As Nails, or your favorite head cement, applying to the area just behind the jig head and very base of the Mallard Flank feather for more stability.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fly Tying Immersion - Getting Jiggy With It

Once this time of the year rolls around and fishing opportunities get a little tougher for me due to colder weather, and creaky ol' bones, I begin my seasonal immersion into increased time at my fly tying desk.  Actually, I do try to tie year round.  But there are times when I am more focused on fly tying than on fishing.  Mid-November through February of the following year has always been time for me to really focus on tying flies to load the empty spots in my fly boxes.  I usually do some sorting of flies in my boxes, discard a few that have seen better days, and, lay out some sort of plan to re-stock my favorite patterns in differing colors and sizes.  Yup, it is an immersion into fly tying that I love equal to my time on the water any more.

With all that said, I spent some time at the vise recently tying up some jig patterns for members of my family who don't fly fish.  Kind of like "getting Jiggy with fly tying".  I thought I would share a couple of these patterns over the next couple of posts with my readers.  Tying these patterns jig style or fly style both work.  Tell me what you think.  I am interested in all feedback.  

Let's start with a jig I called "The Hot Pink Icy".

Reel fisher folk fish Pink.  Pink is a color often overlooked on patterns while we tie at the vise.  Here is a tying recipe for the Hot Pink Icy!

  • Jig Head - 1/16 oz. Round Jig Head - I prefer Pink
  • Tail - Hot Pink Marabou approximately the length of the hook shank behind the the jig head.
  • Body - Ice Dubbing Tied in a dubbing loop and wound forward to an area just short of the jig head.
  • Flash - Flashabou Tinsel folded in half and tied down going rearward.  Extend to rear of Marabou tail.
  • Finish - With a couple of more wraps of Ice Dubbing wrapping tightly up to back of jig head.  Whip finish knot, cut thread, and fish on!
 This particular jig is fished by the ice fisherman, winter stream fisherman, and, in lakes at ice off time in the very early Spring.  It is a Rainbow Trout favorite, Steelhead exciter, and, even a Panfish favorite when the warm water on the ponds come back to us.

Obviously, if you want to fish this pattern with a fly rod, tie it on a standard 3xlong streamer type hook and use a beadhead or a conehead to create some dipping and jigging action.

THINK PINK................................................

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It's Only Words....................... From The Archive

Friday, November 6, 2015

So What Happened To Ol' Walter...............

So, most, if not all of you who read my blog posts know that following me around requires a road map sometimes.............

Back in the late Spring and early Summer, I began writing from a new blog address.  It was titled Fishin4Walter.   I had made a few posts and it was up and running.  I had notified a bunch of my BlogBuddies that would be where they could find me.

Well, sometimes things don't go quite as expected.  A number of personal family issues cropped up that required all of my time if they were going to be dealt with.  Blogging would have to take a back seat.  So I stopped blogging! I figured I would just start up again when the time was right and everything would go like clockwork.  I know others who have had similar experiences, so, I figured it won't be any big deal.  

Three months or so past and the family needs were back under control and I was ready to hit the blogging trail again!

Not quite so fast there, Gramps! Somehow, someway, my blog had disappeared.......
Well, at least, my access had disappeared to the above link to my blog...... Hmmm........
Try as I might to re-access my blog, apparently, Blogger had a different idea.  That old blog link is no longer registered in my name.  Therefore, nothing can be added at that website!  

So, that is how most of you ended up back here.  I had to develop a new Blogger account, and, start a new blog.  Obviously, that meant a new blog title and address.  I was thinking, ok, I will just start a new Fishin' 4 Walter blog and move my old posts over to the new address.

Blogger folks said, "NO".  That title is not available and has been archived!
So..... here we are at Gramps Fishing Journal.  I sincerely apologize to all my blogging friends for creating such a runaround scenario.  Blogger has convinced me that I must be at fault somewhere.

Well, as you can see, I don't take to being told "NO" well.  With that said, although I cannot add to my old blog, I certainly don't have any problems going there and copying "MY" posts and bringing some of them over here.  So watch for them.  You may have read them before, but, a refresher read won't hurt you.  I will not bring over all the comments.  So if you have time don't hesitate to leave a comment anew.

I will show them they can't keep an Old Dog down.............................................


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Fish-O-Ween.............................

Even scary old crows shouldn't keep a determined angler off the water today.  Grab a hand full of candy on your way out the door and enjoy your day.  In my case, I will have too exercise double time over the next week to keep up with my candy intake. 

Now, as far as those fish go!..............................

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Where did the time go.........................

A look outside this morning found a good solid frost awaiting all the early risers in my neighborhood.  Didn't bother taking any pictures of my neighbors scraping windshields.  Instead, I settled into the first pot of hot coffee.  My soul reminded me that on mornings like this, it prefers coffee to scraping windows.  I pondered on where did my time go this Summer and Fall. 

The last time I was on the water and enjoy some fishing was early in July.  Reading my previous post will enlighten those that don't know what has happened since then.  Making "Family First" makes for a good feeling in Gramps soul.....................  No fishing, but, did have some time to tie a little at my vise.  Nothing spectacular or new for that matter, but, satisfying for me.  In this manner, I was sort of able to keep fishing in the back of my mind.  However, time has come for me to get a balance on life again!  Even if it is fairly late in the fishing year, it is time for me to focus on what fishing means to me.  I came across a couple of pieces of wisdom that kind of sparked the fire again.  I wanted to share them with my readers and see if they spark your interest, too.

My daughter sent this piece of wisdom to me through Facebook.  It sums up why I have this life long interest in fishing and why, even if I have to take some time off once in awhile, fishing is at the core of my soul.

Izacc Walton certainly could not have expressed better what is at the core of my fishing soul.  I am so happy I have been able to be one of the wise men and not one of the fools.

With that, I feel my casting arm beginning to limber up and a Wooly Bugger about to jump from my box ready to give the local trout a go.  Stocked Rainbow Trout do serve a purpose!


Friday, October 23, 2015

Ok, Here Are The Rules.....................

Ok, now, with that said, lets all move along here.  

I have been away from the blogging scene for a couple of months.  Too busy to detail all that has happened.  It has been a Summer of health issues (My Wife's), transitioning grandchildren into the adult world, helping my daughter and her family move (just across town a ways, but, still), spider bites and irritation from such, and, arthritic pain all in the past (120) days or so.

I didn't really think I would be back on the blogging scene.  Wiped out my past blogs and access too them, turned Facebook into just a family affair, and, otherwise took the steps I felt necessary to have the time to deal with all of the above.

After spending quite a bit of time talking to Jesus, we have come to the agreement, that all will be fine and I can return to fishing and talking about fishing with my online friends.  Hope to see a few of few stop by once in awhile...........

I will write about my fishing experiences, my time in the outdoors, and, other fish blabber.  If nothing else, it will be a  place for my kids and Grandkids to enjoy and keep as memories of Gramps!

That is my mission statement with this blog, unless, it isn't.........................