Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Up for a Challenge?

Last year, I built a box full of flies for my local Trout Unlimited Chapter's annual auction.  This year I was approached to donate flies and again I agreed.  I am only going to do a couple dozen beadheads, but I wanted to ask the readers of this blog to pitch in to help me be able to make another fly box for the auction.  What I am asking is for a few willing souls to send me some of their favorite patterns to include in the box.  I am needing these by 04/18/11.  If you are interested, please send me an e-mail at  I will include the tier's name and pattern name with the box. I'd like to make this something that will outsell last year's box.  I think it sold for $60.00 and had about  5 1/2 dozen flies in it.  

I'll send out a prize to the top 3 contributors.  I appreciate your help.   

Click below for more info on the auction. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

The "Country Club"

The official clock of the "Country Club".
“Do we have to go home?”  This was the question of the day on Sunday.  “Is it mandatory to go to school?  What if we just stay here?”  That was another question asked to me when I said we have to go home today.  And what kid would want to go home after having the time of their young spring?  We were at my parent’s house in Northern New Mexico, my childhood home.  With so many things to do like keep the wood fire burning, working on the tractor, branding the calves, riding the horse, looking for the wild turkeys, and driving the mule (4x4), what kid would want to come home.  Oh, I forgot to mention eating Gamama’s cooking and hanging out at Papa’s new Country Club which happened to be one of the more popular things to do.  The “Country Club” is a converted sheep pen/chicken coop/storage shed to a cozy man cave.  With thick adobe walls made by my grandfather way back when, it has withstood the wind and weather of Northeastern New Mexico.  So far, it has withstood the growing Chinese Elms threatening to push up its walls.  Inside is a couple of tables with various tools and projects, some art work, chairs and in the center is a cool old cast iron stove found at a garage sale.  In the early morning it was nice to retreat into the warmth of the “Country Club”.   This was the base used by the kids after eating breakfast each morning.  They would rush out and gather inside, making plans for the day.   The plans usually involved a horse, a mule a dog and a tractor all led by big brother Ben.  When the playing was done, it was time to work.  And when the work was done, it was time to eat.  When they finished eating, it was time to play again, and so on until darkness came and it was time to relax and watch some cartoons.
On the ride home, it was pretty quite as they were tired from all the playing, working and all the planning they did for the next trip down.  There are plans of Big Ben staying a few weeks during the summer to help out around the house and to maybe learn how to drive the truck and the tractor.  Maybe a few days can be spent fishing.  Or maybe just some time spent at the "Country Club" escaping the summer heat behind those thick adobe walls. 

 This was from an old wagon tongue.
 This is the type of clock that my dad makes. 
 I spent many a time staring at this painting/drawing as a kid and it is one of my favorites.
 The walls at the Country Club are a bit "rough", but can withstand the years.  
 The official heater.  This was a great garage sale find.  It's pretty awesome.
 Canadian River, NM
Jack and Jamie bustin through the brush.
 We spooked out this Jack Rabbit.  Jamie said they should be called "Fast Rabbits".
Jamie riding "Poncho"
 She loves that horse!
 And she even has the "cowboots" to prove she is a cowgirl!
 It is pretty harsh out here.  The wind always blows and tears things away.
 This is one of my favorite things to see every time I go back.  I don't think this post is going anywhere.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

MFC ties the Hopper Juan

I received a recent batch of Hopper Juans from Montana Fly Company.  Take a look and see what you think.  There have been a few changes and a few tweaks here and there that they took care of.  Now all I need you to do is to ask for them in your local fly shop.  They are available in sizes 8, 10 & 12.  I fish the size 8s most often but the 10s & 12s will work great for the smaller streams.

 #8, 10, & 12s

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Some Early flies-some good, some not so good.

I had wanted to originally post some early photos of some of the first flies I tied.  Well, I can't find or don't have any of those first flies I tied.  The earliest photos I can find are from the 2003 time frame and up.  I first started tying with foam around 2004 and I have a few of those photos.  I assume the lack of photos is due to the fact that I didn't own a digital camera until 2001 and that was only 1 mega pixel.  Even if a fly was tied well, it still would look like crap.  The others are from 2005 and later when I got a better camera with macro.  

I like to look at the first foam flies I tied and how crude they were.  I am sure they will catch some fish today, but just the looks of them make me laugh.  There were also some bigger streamer patterns when I used to fish the Animas River in Durango, CO and the Rio Grande and Chama River in NM.

Well take a look and see my progression from some of those flies to today's flies.  Maybe in 5-10 years, I can reflect on how I thought the Hopper Juan was such a cool pattern and how I don't even fish it anymore because of all my new patterns!  

One of my first Bullethead Foam Hoppers

Trying to get the legs right.  There was a lot that I needed to get right!

Some early hi-Viz EHC

This is probably a really good pattern.  And it looks good too.  

Foam bodied EHC

Some more of my first foam flies.  

A lake pattern

I tied a mess of streamers back then.   

Getting crazy with the rubber legs

Some caddis pattern I tied.  

Another view

This looks like it has potential 

Oh, those legs!!!! 

Um, a little skanky looking.  

I am not sure what this was supposed be, but I don't think I got it.  

I fished a lot more lakes back them too.  This one looks pretty good.