Make plans to attend next year's Maryland Fly Fishing Show. It promises to be a really great event loaded with a lot of vendors from every aspect of fly fishing, rod makers, collectibles dealers, fly shops, & more. Guest speakers at the show will include nationally recognized fly fishing writers speaking on a variety of fly fishing & fly tying topics, & even fellow rod maker Per Brandin. It will no doubt be a very fun & educational time!
Be sure to save these dates & get ready to have a blast at the show!!
Originally published in 1955, "How to Fish from Top to Bottom" by Sid Gordon is an older book that is filled with good information that is still very useful for any angler today. The title, however, might be slightly misleading, as it's more than just a 'how-to-fish' type of book. No, it has much more important info for the angler.......
Sid Gordon was a fishing writer & a skilled angler. In addition to that, he was employed throughout his career as a fish technician for the states of Wisconsin & Michigan at different times. This job also called on him to research fishing environments in other locations as well. As a result he examined the fishing waters of many places across the United States & Canada, learning how the fish live in different types of water along the way & seeing the best methods of preserving rivers, streams, & lakes.
For those of you who are wondering more about the world of fresh water fishes & how to catch them, this is a must-read book. In it you will learn easy steps on how to judge water quality simply by knowing what to look for when you gaze at a stream or lake. You will learn how to read the water. Gordon will show you how to make stream & lake improvements - great info for any club or organization looking to make better fishing conditions. You will also learn how to take accurate water samples & how to test them to know exactly what is going on in your favorite fishing spot.
In addition to all these lessons, Gordon also gets into detail about specific types of game fish & what conditions the need for survival. Bass, pike, muskie, trout, etc are all covered in this book & you can learn what to look for when pursuing any of these species of fish.
Of course a book with a title such as this one would not be complete without some actual fishing techniques. Gordon also gives you detailed & time tested methods for catching all of the different popular game fish, covering fly fishing, spin, & bait casting as well.
The fist chapter of this book is titled "Water Can Be Read Like a Book" - & that sums up the general theme of the entire work. Fishing from a boat, on shore, wading in a stream, & for all types of fish it's all covered here in an easy to understand book. To me the really valuable information here is the water quality explanations. After reading this, I recalled different places I had fished before & some things clicked in my mind. It all made more sense to me about the conditions at certain fishing spots.
In my opinion, this is a book every angler should read, no matter where you fish, how you fish, or what you fish for. It is one of the most overlooked "important" books on fishing written in the 20th century. I believe this book is currently out of print, but good used copies can be found & purchased for very little cost, so pick up a copy for yourself. You will learn something very useful before you put the book down.
I saw this very short video & wanted to share it with you. It from the folks at National Geographic. In the video they show a generalized description of the lifespan of a mayfly. The footage is gorgeous & offers us anglers some new views of what goes on with these flies, in general. It's a gorgeous, short video that proves once again that those beautiful mayflies truly are the bottom of the food chain.
I've said it many times & I'll say it again: if you've never gone fly fishing for bass, you just don't know what you're missing. Catching bass on a fly rod is some of the most fun you can have on the water. They fight like monsters! While they're an easily accessible fish, they can sometimes be very difficult to fool. You must approach them with the same caution & carefulness that you sneak up to trout with. In fact, in the heat of summer you'll often find that bass have moved up into many of the places where the trout were earlier in the year.
During those hot, sticky evenings of summer, catching bass on a fly rod is a blast. You don't have to slow down in your fishing just because the trout have slowed down their feeding - if that's the case where you are. No, a summer spent fly fishing for bass is fantastic!
Below is a longer video from the Orvis company. It's their primer on fly fishing for bass hosted by Tom Rosenbauer. It gives very sound advice & is aimed at the fly fisher who's never tried for bass before. Check it out & give those bass a try - you'll be glad you did!!
I love to see photos of rivers, streams, fish, & folks out fly fishing. I also enjoy a good fish story, too. That's why it always makes me happy when folks share their fishing adventures with me. In a way it allows me to see places through you folks I might never get to fish myself. I learn a lot from you all, too. Plus, it makes me happy to know you're all out there catching fish & enjoying yourselves in beautiful places.
If you have any fishing stories to tell & feel like sharing them with me, I'd love to read them. In fact, you can see some of the adventure a few rod clients & friends have had all over the world on the 'Beyond The Rod Shop' page.
As this fishing season progresses, & if you feel like sharing any stories & photos of your fly fishing journeys with me, just know that I welcome them. I'd love to hear from you & see all the beautiful places you folks wet your lines. I hope you're all having a great fishing season out there!!
Every April 22nd, Earth day is celebrated in order to bring attention to the need to maintain & protect the environment. It began back in 1970 & is now observed in 193 countries around the world.
Obviously the environment is an important subject to any angler, especially to preserve those cold, clean waters that trout need to survive.
Whatever you do to help keep the planet healthy - from the smallest things to large endeavors - thank you. If we all do a little a lot will happen.
Since today is a day for shenanigans & tomfoolery, I'm re-posting this oldie but goody from years ago. Enjoy........
Once upon a time, a faithful fly angler named Norman was fishing in his favorite stream. He was an especially faithful angler because he hadn't caught a fish in five years. Others had, he knew.
For five long seasons he watched as the rods of his fellow anglers bent with life to the power of fighting trout. Always pleasant to others, Norman congratulated the other anglers on their catches & was happy for their success - in spite of his own lack of luck. They were in there, teasing him - mocking him it would seem. Through the five years Norman tried everything he could think of. He read all the fly fishing books & magazine articles he could, following their advice & directions to the letter. He even went so far as to hire a guide on his home waters, but was declared a hopeless case.
Finally one day, Norman couldn't take it anymore. He sat down along the stream bank & wept at his terrible streak of fishless days. This was the end of the line for him. He made up his mind to sell his rod & all his gear when he got back home.
He wasn't sure how long he had been sitting there when he heard approaching footsteps of someone coming thorough the woods. Wiping his eyes & trying to hide his shame, Norman saw him emerge from the bushes. He was a tall man, decked out in a flannel shirt with an old fishing vest stained from years of use. His old rubber hip waders had been patched so many times you couldn't tell where the patches began & the original wader ended. He smoked an old broken pipe & wore a torn & rumpled felt hat on his head that his long grey hair stuck out from underneath. His long grey beard was twisted & gnarly. Even though this was his home stream, Norman was sure he had never seen this mystical angler before.
The strange angler approached Norman & stood above him. "I understand what you're going through", he said. "For five long years I've been watching you go without a fish. Many times I thought of offering you some advice, but I could see nothing you were doing wrong. However, your faith & persistence in attempting to catch a trout have earned you this prize." The mystical angler then pulled an old tin from his vest pocket & produced a fly for Norman. "Take this & cast it down & across in front of that log on the other side of the stream over there. It will only take one cast. Your hard times are over if you'll fish this fly." Reaching up & taking it from his hand, Norman saw that it was the strangest fly he had ever seen. It had a deer hair tail of translucent green, a body of what looked like fur from a tabby cat, & polka-dotted hackle of red & white. "Thanks," said Norman. Looking up he saw the angler was gone without a sound - as if he had vanished.
"My goodness, I must be cracking up" thought Norman, but there was that bizarre fly in his hand. Figuring he had nothing left to loose, he tied on the weird fly to the end of his tippet & waded out into position to cast.
The fly landed on the water. It took a good drift as Norman mended his line to get a good swing in front of the log. Suddenly his line stopped dead in the water & he felt the pull. Setting the hook, the fight was on. The fish dove down & Norman played him well. Swimming in figure eights Norman pulled the line to straighten him out. The fish went for some underwater branches, but Norman moved it away. Suddenly the trout surfaced for only a second & as he gave slack line he thought the trout looked different somehow, but didn't have time to ponder it at the moment. For every trick the trout tried, Norman knew a counter-move. Back & forth they went like this for hours.
Finally, tired & worn out from the fight, Norman brought this prize trout to hand. It was then that he noticed it was blue!! It was a blue trout!! How could this be?
While staring in stunned silence at this rare sight, suddenly the fish spoke to Norman. "You put up a good fight" the trout said. Startled by this Norman dropped the fish & his fly snapped off his line, but the fish didn't swim away. It floated in the stream with it's head above the water & said, "I have not been played with such care, grace, & skill by an angler as you. I have been bested by you, sir. It has been an honor to be brought to your hand. For your skill & sportsmanship I will grant you three wishes before I swim away. However, choose your wishes quickly, as a hatch will soon be on & I must leave you."
He couldn't believe this was happening. Certainly he must be loosing his mind, but there was the trout, blue as could be in front of him. Norman's thoughts began to race as a grin formed on his face.......
No one knows what happened after that, but Norman never had another fishless day in all his years. So despair not fellow anglers who may be struggling to catch a fish. If you are faithful, persistent, & celebrate the successes of other anglers, regardless of your bad luck like Norman, you may just be lucky enough to find the blue trout.
Seriously though, folks, blue trout do exist - in hatchery trout. This is a naturally occurring, but rare, abnormality found mostly in rainbow trout & in a few brown trout as well. It's believed that this mutation occurs because of an abnormality in the fish's thyroid that produce hormones that cause the odd coloration. At PA Fish Commission hatcheries, they separate these trout out from the others that will be stocked. That's why you never hear of anyone catching one. These blue trout can be found swimming in the pools at the hatcheries. If you want to see a blue trout, contact a PA Fish Commission hatchery to see them.
To read more about blue trout, please click HERE.
There's nothing magical about a blue trout....or is there??..........
Over the many years of making leather fly wallets, I've often considered different ways of improving them. Now I have. These improvements take these wallets to a whole new level of quality & elegance. These new fly wallets have the same basic design & size of the ones I used to make. However the quality of the materials they're made from is now much better than in the past.
The leather of these wallets is a natural vegetable tanned leather in a rich mahogany color. It has a very rich grain marks throughout. It's been waxed & buffed so it's smooth to the touch - a pleasure to hold in hand. As it's tanned with all natural vegetable materials, it has that rich leather smell, too. It's a pleasure for all the senses.
But the higher grade leather isn't the only improvement I made. Now, the inside of every wallet is lined entirely with a soft black suede leather. This gives the inside of the wallet a distinct look & helps to protect items you keep inside. These new wallets are a pleasure to the touch both inside & out.
Still not satisfied with just these better features, perhaps the biggest improvement I've made to these wallets are the pages. They are now made from 100% wool felt in a natural oatmeal white color. Thick & durable, each page features a scalloped, or pinking, cut edge to facilitate easier turning of the pages & to keep the edges from fraying over time. Hooks with, or without, a barb will store well in the wool felt.
Every detail has been attended to in these new fly wallets. The stitching is done in a heavy duty black thread that ensures these wallets are made to last for a lifetime of use. Every edge of these wallets are dyed black & polished for beautiful finished edges.
These new leather fly wallets are among the best you'll find. It would be a treasured possession of any angler to add to their tackle collection & they make fantastic gifts for any special occasion.
For more information & to see more detailed photos, please visit the Accessories page of this site. You should also feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.
REMAINING STOCK OF OLD STYLE FLY WALLETS ON SALE:
I used to make these wallets from a variety of different lesser grade leathers & with a fleece-like material for the pages that would not hold barbed hooks. They also had no inside lining of suede as the above wallets do, so raw leather showed on the inside. They are the same size & basic design as those described above, just without these marked improvements of the new wallets. In order to eliminate my old stock, I'm reducing the price of these older style fly wallets.
To see the current list of available old style wallets, please visit the Leather Fly Wallets page of this site.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission recently published their adult trout stocking schedule for 2019. To me this means that spring is just around the corner & it won't be long until we can cast a line in the streams again!!!
As they say on their website: "Pennsylvania is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world! Wild and stocked Brook (native, state fish), Brown and Rainbow (including steelhead and golden rainbow) Trout are found in PA waters......With nearly 16,000 miles (and counting) of wild trout streams, nearly 5,000 miles of stocked trout streams and over 125 stocked trout lakes, PA has something to offer every trout angler."
So, if you're an angler who plans on trout fishing this year in PA, then take note of these stocking schedules. You can search the list by county. Detailed maps & other information is available on the Commission's website as well. You can even buy your fishing license & appropriate stamps/permits there, too.
You can search the trout stocking list HERE.
It might be very cold, snowy, & icy outside here in PA right now, but soon the trout will be in the stream, waiting for your fly!! Good luck on the water this year, folks!!!!
Here's a short little nugget of knowledge for you in honor of Valentine's Day. The very first color film ever produced was a movie called "Cupid Angling" from 1918. That's right, it's considered the first film to use color images.
It was a silent movie that was filmed around the San Francisco area. It used a color process developed by a fellow named Leon F Douglass, who also had a hand in the first Victor Talking Machines that played the old wax cylinders.
I assume the film is about Cupid taking a fishing trip, or perhaps about a love affair during a fishing trip, but I couldn't say for sure. It's considered a 'lost film', meaning no copy of it is know to exist anywhere & it's a safe bet that nobody around now has ever seen it.
So there you go: that's another little bit of useless trivia to impress the folks at your next fly tying gathering or fishing club meeting with!!
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.
These rods are available right now. please Go to the "Available rods" page for more details: