Sunday, January 30, 2011

JP Ross Fly Rods

By now I'm sure you've heard of JP Ross Fly Rods & Co. but just in case you are hiding under a rock without internet service (wait, then how are you reading this?) let me fill you in.

JP Ross fly rods was started by JP Ross himself after years of owning his own fly shop (which he opened at a young age of 20.) Driven to fish from a young age (often bicycling to the water with worms in tow) he aims to not only build quailty rods, but provide a way for kids to get into fishing at a young age just as he did. Checking out his staff list just a few minutes ago, showed that he's got kids on the list. This can only be good for us old geezers since kids minds are so imaginitive and they can provide some great insight, wether it's on fishing, conservation, or rod design. Not just on the staff, but at the fly tying symposium they dedicate a few tables just for kids to learn how to tie. In addition to the kids on the list, he's got some well known and busy fisherman too. No doubt these guys are helping develop better and better fly rods! Also, check out the blogs on his site for some great fishing stuff.

About the rods. JP Ross offers a nice selection of rods to choose from, too many to note here, but details are on the site. Here's what I will share. These rods are well designed and look amazing. I got to check them out and cast a few and I was impressed. I love the detail that's put into them and the little things like laser engraving or grips with inlays that make these rods really stand out from other companies.

JP Ross Fly Rods will even work with you to bring your rod from average to something that's uniquely yours. Recently they put a beer cap on a grip for a customer, and the results turned out great.

If you own a business and are looking for a gift to give your your employees, JP Ross Fly Rods will work together with you to build rods for the whole group, and even add your company logo to them. (As a side note, if you do get corporate rods from JP Ross, let me know.....I want to work for you!)

....and how about this....JP Ross Fly Rods has an incentive discount. Basically, once you are a customer, repeat business by you gets you a discount, even more of a discount if a friend buys a rod from JP Ross and says that you sent them. Not a bad deal considering none of us can resist owning more and more fly rods.

So, where from here? JP Ross is planning on being at Guys, Flies & Pies in a few weeks so you'll have a chance to ask him directly about his rods, and maybe even check a few out if he brings them. If you're not at GFP, he's no doubt going to be running around the symposium in March and have his rods and maybe even have some of his Blue Line Boats on display! Yes, that's right...he even makes boats!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hook Sale at JStockard

Every January JStockard Fly Fishing has a hook sale. The sale ends soon, but you do have a few days to get in on the deal. Also check out other deals they have going on now.

At the Guys, Flies & Pies event in a few weeks we'll be giving away a gift certificate from JStockard. If the hook sale isn't enough to get you looking at their selection, then the gift certificate will!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

$50-$100 Nippers: Update

Thanks to Buster Wants To Fish, we now have learned that Abel offers their $50-100 nippers in multiple colors and fish prints.

They look sweet enough to carry every where, not just on the water. (but, they are still $50+)

Check 'em out!

LINK to Abel

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The 44 Mag Fly Reel

Anyone who follows Guys, Flies & Pies on Facebook ("Like" it now if you haven't done so yet) already knows that The Jesse James Fly Reel Company has donated a 44 Mag fly reel to the event!

Check out this reel:

The spider web frame is probably my favorite part:

This is a large arbor 7/8 reel that holds 100 yards of 20lb backing and is very light weight. 

The reel came in the mail yesterday and I gotta say, this is a slick reel. Not only is it sweet looking, but it's well made. I've spun it around a little, checked it over, taken it apart, and I gotta admit, I want to take it out and give it a test run on a steelhead....but I will resist that urge. Why? Because this reel is going to be raffled off and one of the lucky guys who's attending the event in a few weeks is going to take this reel home! Every year my wife sees the cool stuff that comes in and threatens to "quit GFP" just so she can get in on the raffles. And every year I tell her she can't...this reel makes me want to tell her "you're fired!"

So, instead of giving this a run for it's money, on the iced up creeks, I figured I'd do something a little less destructive to protect your prize....I decided to declare today "Bring Your Jesse James Reel To Work Day."  It's hanging out with me all day, reminding me why I put in 8 hours day in day out at this job.

Check out the Jesse James Reel Company website.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Video Break

Fly Fishing Montana from Scott Gibney on Vimeo.

It was -4 degrees out according to the news this morning. I think overnight it got colder. It was the coldest night since 2005. So, you deserve a 5 minute break to watch this video from Montana when it wasn't quite as cold.  Enjoy!

If you are heading out fishing today, stay warm!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Do Clothes Have Mojo?

Earlier today Cameron at The Fiberglass Manifesto posted on Facebook saying that JP Ross Fly Rods is now advertising on the TFM website! This is great news of course, because JP Ross Fly Rods are awesome, and now more people can discover them and start enjoying the fine craftsmanship that he puts into each of his rods!

In the post on Facebook, I replied that  "I have one of those hats! It helps catch fish and makes you look ten years younger!" To which Cameron replied "it's got mojo? I need to go fly fishing soon and find out."

Well, many of us up North might be too snowed in to go out and test out the mojobility of the hats today (Cameron might be out in the balmy southern weather testing it out now, who knows), so to all those not wearing one on the water today I offer this proof. 

Here's a picture of my daughter minutes before she hooked into a fish. Notice the JP Ross kids hat she's wearing.

JP Ross Kids Hat

Now, check out this picture after she pulled in our families biggest bass ever....a nice fat 20 inch largemouth.  Sure, the hat is not on her head, but who (at age 6) can fight a fish like that (mostly by herself) and not lose their hat?
20 Inch Largemouth Bass

So, do clothes have mojo? If my daughter can pull in a fat bass while wearing a JP Ross hat, I'd say who am I to question the hat? Now, think how mojorific you'd be if next month at the event you win BOTH a JP Ross hat and a shirt from The Fiberglass Manifesto!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The F3T

The F3T = The Fly Fishing Film Tour

Got an update in my email about the F3T, and after checking out their website I found there are 2 NY venues. A few years ago there was one much closer to Rochester, but I unfortunately didn't get out to see it. Now that the venues are hours away, I'm kicking myself for not going a few years ago. I hope it comes back to Rochester....which seems like a better place anyway since we can pull from Buffalo and Syracuse...but until someone decides to put on the show, we'll have to drive.

Here are your NY based options:

Mar-25 / NY  Lake Placid
Apr-16 / NY  Hancock

If you live close to either of those places, it's probably worth taking a look into going. I've never been, but I can only imagine that hanging out with fly fishermen and watching a fishing film sure beats watching ANYTHING else!

Check out the F3T website for more details!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jim Teeny: Fly Fishing Great Waters

Jim Teeny sent a copy of Fly Fishing Great Waters for one of the prizes at Guys, Flies & Pies next month. I've had a chance to flip through this book and it's going to make a great book to add to your collection.

First of all, let me admit I'm the kind of guy that prefers a restaraunt that has pictures in the menu more than one with only text. I figure if I'm hungry and paying, the last thing I want to do is be forced to read first. Now, I gotta say that this book, although it's not a menu, it's got plenty of pictures to keep even me interested! I know that a few guys who've tied with us have fished with Jim. Although I've never met Jim, he does come to NY to fish and therefore you'll find some pictures in the book of local waters. It was a nice surprise to not only see places I've fished but a friend I've tied and fished with.

I flipped through the pages quickly and can tell that this book can provide a nice "fishing break" for you during the cold winter months!

Stop by and check it out at the event next month!

Hit the link below and see the other products he offeres...lines, gear, accessories, etc.

Jim Teeny online

Monday, January 17, 2011

Punk Rocker

Over the weekend I found a few minutes to try something I've wanted to try for years....stacking deer hair. I've seen flies with stacked deer hair before and always loved the way they looked, but I've never tried it. I tried spinning deer hair once before, and didn't do too well and never tried it again. Recently I've been following the work of Pat Cohen on and been extremely impressed. He ties a pattern called a Punk Rocker which combines two of my favorite things....deer hair and mohawks. I've tied a fly or two in the past with mohawk, but never did they turn out even half as cool as his flies. So, last night with a little bit of time (trying to avoid the Miss America Pageant that my wife and mother were watching in the other room) I sat down and tried to tie up a punk rocker...or at least my version of one.

I learned a few things from doing this. No matter how many ties I thought I was almost done, I wasn't. Once I used the hair packer and pushed the hair back I found plenty of bare hook ready and waiting to be covered. I need to use a bit more hair each time. Pat has a video about another one of his deer hair flies, and shows that he uses about 3 pencil sized clumps for top and bottom of each section. I'm pretty sure that's why it seemed like I needed more and more. I also learned that shaving this thing down to size/shape is pretty hard to do. I am now even more amazed how well Pat's look. Shaping is something I definitely need to work on.

Here's a picture of what I was trying to do:

If you are interested in trying these type of flies, I suggest checking out his video he posted a few weeks ago, it has a lot of good info on how to stack hair. I just watched a few minutes of it and picked up a few hints I wish I had remembered while tying the fly above.

Here's a link to the video. It's 30+ minutes, so grab something to drink and sit back and enjoy!

Keep up with his work on his blog at

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shawn Davis Original Fly Designs

If you haven't checked out Shawn Davis Original Fly Designs, then take a minute (or 30) now and be amazed.

Shawn makes flies like nothing else. Below is an image of part of one of his hooks. Check out the rest of his site to see the rest of his's truly amazing.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bears and Birds

When pushed to answer, I'll only say that bears and great blue herons fish better than I do. Sure, I know this isn't true, but it's what I say. There is something about watching a great blue stalk his prey and then with lightning speed take it out. I've only seen the take a few times, but always watch them stalking as I drive by some of the local ponds. I think I enjoy watching these birds fish because I'm jealous of their patience. They will slowly move in and wait. I have a hard time "reading the water" for more than 20 seconds before my desire to cast takes over and I'm beating the water with my line.

Growing up in NY I never really saw many bears. Sure, I've seen them on trips to the Adirondacks or to Yellowstone, but they are not as common in the suburbs of NY. However, I've always loved watching bears fish for salmon...even when that "watching" is only on the internet. So, what's the allure of watching bears? Sure, they might move in slow like the heron, and then pounce once the moment is right...but there's got to be something more. Minutes ago I realized what it was when I saw the picture on Neil Creek Chronicles. I don't visit the site as much as I should, so it may not be new to some of you, but it was new for me today.

I think this image catches the real reason why I like watching bears fish, and why I give them credit for fishing better than I do. See, once you've caught a fish, I doubt the heron is going to care...but with a bear, once you catch a fish the bear STILL can catch that fish (and catch you). It's not over once you have the fish in your hands, should the bear still want that fish, the bear will come and take it! I love how this image captures that reality. The fisherman knows he caught a great fish, but with respect to the bears, he turns and watches them even for his "hero shot."

Check out Neil Creek Chronicles here!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lucas Carroll Photography

I met Lucas last year at Guys, Flies & Pies and had the opportunity to flip through his photo album he brought. He takes great photos and often pairs up naturals with fakes for a great comparison. It was these photos that helped me believe him when he said "tie them smaller."

Lucas is an experienced fly tier, fly fisherman, and published photographer.  He's had his photos published in print and online.

Fortunately for you, he'll be at GFP again next month and is planning on bringing his book again. It was a great way to spend a few minutes last year and many people enjoyed seeing his work in print. Until then, check out his work online.

Here is the run down of the sites he has:

Lucas Carroll Photography
Proven Patterns

Lucas took the photo of the brown trout skin that is the background image on this website.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

UNI Products - Axxel

UNI has sponsored GFP for 3 years now, and some of you have won some of their great products. While going through the advertisements they sent along with this years prizes, I noticed a product I didn't realize they had. It's worth mentioning because I think it's a one of a kind type of product.


It's called Axxel and here is the press release description of the product:
UNI-Products, a world leader in the supply of spooled fly-tying materials, announces the addition of five fresh colors—brown, yellow, rainbow black, pink, and light blue—to their very popular Axxel Ty-Rap product. Axxel 8" Ty-Rap is one narrow strand of flash material supported by two nylon micro-filaments for strength. It is packaged in bundles of 8" lengths.
A combo package with packages of all seventeen colors is available.
Fly-tiers are continuously finding new uses for Axxel flash material. For example, to add sparkle, Axxel can be wound with other body materials or added to a standard wing. It makes excellent ribbing material; tough and adds a more subtle flash than regular tinsels. For example, when used as a rib with ordinary chenille it creates an effect similar to crystal chenille. Also, it makes interesting tinsel bodies featuring the variegated or broken-up pattern so often found in the natural world.
It sounds like a reinforced flash material. This could make it great for flies where the flash is used as a rib or some other part of the fly that might typically get broken and ruin the look of the fly.

Click the images below for a larger version of Axxel and some other products they have.

Once again this year, we have quite a few spools of various UNI materials that we will be part of the prizes for the night. See you next month!

Check out UNI online here!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pond Safety - Stay off

While searching the internet for something to read to pass the time I came across this article out of Indiana that says lawmakers are trying to pass a bill to make home owners pay for barriers around ponds.

As a fisherman who frequents these types of ponds, I don't like the idea of fencing them in, and fencing me out. I completely understand the desire to keep children and motorists safe, but like the guy in the video, I agree that kids will often just climb the fence or find some other way (or pond) in. Just in the last year, locally there was a pond that was mostly fenced in, and a kid found the hole in the fence and drowned. It's sad, but it's often preventable.

When I drive by the frozen ponds in my town, I'm often reminded that I need to teach my kids about winter pond safety....simply....STAY OFF!!!  When I was a boyscout I remember playing on an iced over pond and listening to it crack. Fortunately, I got off before any issue. During the summer time I teach my kids to stay back a step or two (they like standing close to the water usually.) Also, I try to ask them every time we are out "What do you do if you fall in?" We fish from the shore, not a boat, and they usually answer something like "swim" "yell for help", then I tell them the first thing they need to do is stand up. I figure that kids might be too worried about being wet and scared to think of the simple solution of standing up. Shore fishing on simple ponds means that most of the time the kids can just stand up and be safe.

We can't sit back and hope for fences to save our kids (not that we all want them), we need to teach them how to avoid these dangers. No matter what law they pass, a pond, a puddle, a lake, a ditch, a danger will always be there. Teach your kids safety!

LINK to the original story.

Monday, January 10, 2011

6th Finger Scissors

Singlebarbed sent a box of 6th finger scissors for the prizes at Guys, Flies & Pies next month. Since many of you are going to be lucky and take a pair of these home, I thought I'd point you to the original write up he did about them.

Check it out here!

The scissors are designed to fit in your hand the whole time while tying. The spring action makes it simple to make a quick snip without fumbling for the scissors or 2 finger loops. Slip these on and don't worry about taking them off until bed time! 

Check out the 3 types of these he has!

I hope to give a pair a workout at the vise before the event to see how they perform!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Working in the Fly Shop

Maybe for you it was late at night pulling an all nighter doing homework, or an all nighter working for the man trying to get some project done for the customer, or during a spell of unemployment....."I should work in the fly shop!"  I've had that idea. I've thought that through. I've pushed the idea away.

Michael Gracie has done a short series called Adventures in Fly-Fishing Retail. He either is trying to bring some of the reality to all of us dreamers, or he's making stuff up in hopes to keep his gig! Either way, it's an interesting insight into what we all have thought about.

Adventures in Fly-Fishing Retail – the new series begins December 4th
Adventures in Fly-Fishing Retail – Episode 1: Back To The Roots
Adventures in Fly-Fishing Retail – Episode 2: Holiday Sparkle
Adventures in Fly-Fishing Retail – The Two Part Season Finale

Drop and give me shine!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Custom Wooden Reels

This Just In: I got confirmation from John this morning that he will once again be displaying his custom made reels at Guys, Flies & Pies next month! Many people were able to check them out last year before he had to leave, don't miss them this year! 

Custom Reels by John

FYI: The event is 6 weeks away! It's a good time to decide what patterns you need to stock up on and start organizing materials to bring. Might also be a good time to start doing your honey-do list so you can build up some free time for yourself.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Results From Spey Nation

I've posted about Spey Nation before, and hopefully you've listened. Spey Nation is a big spey rod demo party out in Pineville New York. When it started, I think it was just an excuse to drink beer, eat cheeseburgers, and hit the river with other peoples rods to demo when the summer heat has set in.

Well, it worked....but not just in the feeding the hoards of beggars in waders...but in providing money for fish recovery efforts. 

Check out Bottom Hands recent post to see more about their success!

Keep in mind: Spey Nation is a sponsor of GFP this year, and that event is Saturday June 25th 2011.

GFP Double Bunny

Every so often I do a Google search for Guys, Flies & Pies or GFP just to see what's out there. The top search results for GFP is for something called Green Fluorescent Protein. It appears as if smart people have come up with a way to make animals glow.

After seeing these results in my search, instead of what I wanted to see, it got me thinking......this type of research could lead to a awesome new version of the double bunny fly!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Catch Magazine #15

Catch Magazine issue #15 is out now. Check out the Teeth section for a photo from local fisherman Brian Bradfield.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

TFM Shirt Spotting Contest Announced

Recently I decided that I'm going to try and only buy fishing related shirts...because let's face it, they are just way cooler than any other shirt out there. A few months ago I purchased a shirt from The Fiberglass Manifesto to add to my wardrobe. The cool thing about getting a shirt from TFM is that you then have an opportunity to photograph yourself in the shirt and submit it to the shirt spotting contest. I submitted for November (and not enough of you voted for me, but I'll let that slide for now). Even though I submitted once, I still have the shirt, new photo ideas, and I'm going to submit some more for 2011.

Check out yesterdays post were TFM announced the prize for 2011's contest. Scott Fly Rod Company has offered up a F2 fiberglass rod for the winner. 

There's a few options for you here. The Fiberglass Manifesto is a sponsor of Guys, Flies & Pies and will be sending some coupons for shirts for our raffle. So, you can either order up a shirt today and get in on the contest a few months early, or win a shirt at GFP. Or better yet, do both since TFM offers different styles, colors, and designs. Either way, where else do you get a great shirt that allows you to get into a contest to win a free fly rod. Rumor over at the post on TFM shows that there are only about 500 shirts out there, so your only up against 500 people....which is a small number of people considering there are only a few submissions each month. Get a shirt and get in on the contest!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Quick Thaw, Quick Fix

December 2010 gave Rochester NY it's snowiest December on record, coming in with over 47 inches of snow for the month. That, combined with other holiday obligations kept me off the water most of the month. Of course, I did get out to the creek on December 4th, but froze. So, when this past Saturday came and had 50 degree weather, I was able to get out for a few minutes. (Few minutes = 35 minutes) I wasn't out long.

Found an opening in the ice

2nd blue gill of the day

That hole is only about 30 feet out from shore

Wish the photo did the orange belly justice

One of the dozen or so I caught
In the end I spent only about 30-40 minutes on the water before dinner, but fortunately I caught a few fish. It was nice to see them all schooled up right where I could catch if they had been waiting there for months for me to come back!

Now, more snow in the forcast and more season specific temperatures mean the hole in the ice will likely start to fade away again.

...and a flock of fly tiers descend.

Birds fall from the sky for an unknown reason. Somehow, I think one of us is to blame and is quickly filling up his supply of red winged black bird feathers!  You should be ashamed of yourselves!