If you wanted a copy of this for yourself, you can buy it HERE.
The title, "Trout Dinner", says it all. Norman Rockwell was the master of showing traditional American life & I think this one is no exception. I just enjoy looking at it & it really takes me back to my childhood. It's still a common scene in my opinion, as older fly anglers are always generous & willing to share their knowledge, especially with kids.
If you wanted a copy of this for yourself, you can buy it HERE.
It's that time of year again when a fly fishing show will be coming to a town near you. Once again, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) fly fishing shows in the nation will be taking place in Somerset, New Jersey on January 27 - 29.
Many angling celebrities will be on hand again including Lefty Kreh, A.K. Best, Gary Borger, Bob Clouser, Charlie Meck, Ed Engle, etc.
There will seminars on a wide variety of fly fishing topics taking place all day every day of the show. Fly tying will be well represented in the many seminars available to visitors.
The large number of vendors at this show also make it worth attending. You'll get to meet everyone from large tackle manufacturers to small "mom & pop" businesses. Just about everything fly fishing will be represented at this show. If you're going to be in the area at the end of the month, make plans to attend the show.
I want to continue our discussion here about keeping your fly line in good working order & how to get the most out of it. There's a few things in the previous post I didn't mention, so here they are.
When your stringing up your fly rod & getting your gear together before you head down to the stream, take a quick moment to inspect the line guides as you pull your line through them. Guides can get worn, if the rod is old enough & that can cause spots on the guide which are not smooth. This will cause friction that will not only hamper your casting, but will also slowly damage your fly line.
Also be sure to check for bent or damaged guides as well. Rods get leaned against cars, trees, brick walls, boat seats, etc & all that can lead to a guide that's bent out of shape or damaged. Again this will interfere with you casting & add undo friction to your fly line. A line guide can also develop a burr if mistreated. As you can imagine, that would be murder to your line. If you discover that you have any damaged line guides, they're going to have to be replaced.
Be sure to examine your reel as well. You want to make sure that that the area where your line exits the reel is in good shape with no burrs or dirt. This can happen easily & will hurt your line. Think about it: you set your rod down to untangle the line or take a picture of the fish you just landed. Now, what part of your rig is the making contact with the ground - the reel. Fly reels come in contact with dirt, mud, water, rocks, etc as we shift them around & prop them against trees & other things throughout the course of a day's fishing.
One other thing anglers do that damages fly lines, is standing on it. I'm guilty of this myself. It happens innocently enough: your standing in a boat or on shore & stripping line out & back to you. Soon, a pile of fly line begins to form in loose coils at your feet. You take a step to the left or right, maybe just shift your feet, & you end up standing on your fly line. You're so focused on the fishing that you never even notice. Meanwhile, your crushing your line down into the mud & dirt, or worse something hard like a tree root or the hull of your boat. Those muddy boots of yours are doing things to your line it was never designed to handle.
Paying attention to some small things can truly extend the life of your fly line.
Ever buy anything from a catalog? Well if you have, the model for that kind of business all started up in Maine with L.L. Bean back in 1912. Yes, he was an actual person who came up with a better design for boots & sold them through the mail. He was also the first to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Over the years his business grew into the huge company it is today. In fact, estimated sales for L.L. Bean in 2011 are about $1.5 billion!!!
For collectors of antique tackle, there's a lot of Bean merchandise out there just floating around at garage sales & flea markets. The Bean company didn't make their own tackle & so some rods & reels labeled LL Bean are actually made by some of the companies that collectors like to buy.
In the 1920's, a reel marked "Bean's Special" was actually made by the Montague City Rod Company. LL Bean continued to carry Montague City made tackle well into the late 1930's.
Around 1940, Bean introduced their "Double-L" line of rods & reels. The first of these rods were actually made by the famous rod maker Gene Edwards (when he was in Bristol). After WWII, the "Double -L's" were being made by Bill Phillipson, who continued to make these rods for Bean into the 1970's.
So if you see an old LL Bean rod or reel, don't just assume it's not collectible. It just might be a gem of a rod or reel in disguise.
Congratulations to everyone at LL Bean for making it to the century mark!!
Over the Holidays, the topic of fly lines seemed to keep coming up over & over again with people I talked to. So much so, that I thought I'd take some time to discuss fly lines in the next few posts here. While I've mentioned it before, I'd like to again talk about how to clean your fly line.
I think it's obvious to most of us that your line is going to get dirty every time you fish it. Even in water that looks clean, microscopic elements build up on your line. Of course, no matter what, your line is going to need a minimal amount of maintenance if you want to extend its life. So while we may not think of it very often, it's a good idea to make sure your line is always well taken care of. Plus, a clean fly line casts a million times better tha a dirty one.
Always make sure you store your line safely. You can leave modern fly lines on their reel spools without much worry. However, don't store your line / spool next to a heat source or in direct sunlight, like on a window sill. Whatever you do, don't leave your reel & line exposed in a hot car all day, either on the dash board or on a seat. I've seen this done & nothing good for your line can come of it. Also be aware that chemicals like sun screen & bug repellent can have damaging effects on your fly line if allowed to remain in contact with the line over time.
Take time to inspect your fly line often - epsecialy if this isn't its first season. Make sure there are no dry cracks forming, or mud & / or moss etc stuck to it anywhere. This will not only hurt your line, it's not helping your reel at all either. It's not a bad idea to clean your line after every four or five outings. If you've been fishing in dirty, muddy water,or in a pond with a lot of scum than clean it after every use. It's not hard to do & won't take you long at all.
To clean your fly line simply unspool it into a basin or sink filled with warm water, laying your line in loose coils. Add a drop or two of mild dish soap - but not too much. Put your hand in the water & gently agitate the fly line & water until soap bubble begin to form on the water's surface. Then walk away & let your line soak until the water is only luke warm or even room temperature. Next, drain the water in the sink (or dump the water out of the basin) & run luke warm water over the fly line to wash away any excess soap. Now take a soft, clean cloth pinched between your thunb & fingers & pull the fly line through the cloth as you remove it from the sink. You should hear the line sqweeke a little as you're doing this. Also, if you're going to be using your line again the next day, you don't have to clean the entire line - only the length of it that you've been using, say the first 50 feet or so.
After you have the line dry & clean, then give it a good coating with a line dressing. There are many of these available on the market & I think they all work pretty well. Just follow any directions the product has.
Keeping your fly line clean & in good repair is a way to save you money in the long run. Think of all the fly lines you've owned over the years. Now, imagine how much money you might have saved if every line you've ever had would have lasted another season. I know that this is something that is often taked for granted, but keeping your line clean will help you fish better.
Recently, I added a couple of new rod bags on the "Available" page (scroll down just below the available rods listed there). Well, I just discovered that I have another, additional bag available. This one will accommodate rod sections that measure 47 1/2 inches long. So, measure the longest section of your rod to see if this will work for you. These bags were part of a custom run we had a while ago & never used. They are very well made of good quality material & stitched so that they will never come apart. All three bags are made from the same color material & feature the same red embellishment stitching. They're taking up space around here & so I'm offering them to you at the discounted price of $15.
The Pliant Rod
News from the shop of Chris Lantzy, Custom Rod Maker along with industry news, profiles of interesting characters, reviews, history, & whatever else strikes our fancy. Your comments & feedback are welcome. Please email me your thoughts.
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