Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"Strange Brew" On The Saluda River

One of the reasons that Phil Croft of Croft Craft Custom Driftboats & Guide Service wanted to jump down to South Carolina for a week was to get on the water and Jake Howard of Saluda Valley Guides was able to work us in for a day long float on the Saluda River tailwater.

Jake rows a raft and wanted to see what "Strange Brew" was all about.  It was a beautiful day to be out on the water and we each took turns on the sticks, Jake showed Phil a little of what he does with Euro nymphing, and we all picked off a few trout.  Phil broke off a large holdover trout early in the day and Jake lost a twenty inch rainbow at the net in some fast water.

Oh yeah, and Hardy had a great time checking out all the new smells, nosing around the gear bags, and picking off and tossing a hundred steamers from my wallet all over the beach while the three of us were wading nearby.  Silly pup. 

Jake Howard continues to grow the number of days he's on the water with Saluda Valley Guides.  Want to get on the Saluda River for trout or striper?  Get your dates now as prime spring dates are already filling up.


I've been following Lyn Smith of Art of the Trout Fly through Instagram for some time now and she passed along her latest video which chronicled her creating 'The Dunkeld".  Such good clean work.

Visit the Art of the Trout Fly website to see more of Lyn's work and considering following along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too.

Monday, January 16, 2017

How To Clean A Fly Reel

Though you and I might not have a 1950's Hardy Perfect fly reel, this video by Kevin Hospodar is a good primer on how to properly clean a vintage fly reel.  I published a T.F.M. post early last year with many of the same steps through photographs on cleaning a J.W. Young made Milward Flymaster Junior but it's great to see the process in this sixteen minute film.

As someone that has way too many vintage fly reels in my own collection, this cleaning method works and it's really amazing how you can bring fly reel back to life in function and aesthetics through this process.  

Kevin Hospodar has some other great videos on his YouTube channel which includes fly tying and gear reviews.  Click subscribe to follow along.

NATE KARNES ART - The Fish Flag Collection

I follow a lot of artists through social media and I had a good time watching Nate Karnes hashing through The Fish Flags Collection art pieces over the past week or so.  There are nine initial fish flags which have been posted on the website as decals to purchase and I'd bet a few more will be added in time. 

I like each of these a lot as they have a sort of Minecraft meets fish art melting together and what a great idea for a catchy looking vinyl decal.  What's your favorite fish?  It might be in the mix.

From the Nate Karnes Art website... 

"The Fish Flag Collection highlights unique attributes of specific fish and captures them in a simple and artistic rendering of that species. My goal was to use a limited color palette, and to use only lines and geometric shapes to create an image that would be symbolic of a particular fish. My hope is that each flag will be recognizable by other fishermen, and perhaps help non-anglers to see and appreciate the beauty of animals that live under the surface."

Want to represent your favorite fish with a decal?  Order one on the Nate Karnes Art website and follow along on Facebook page for the latest studio offerings.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

LOON OUTDOORS - Fly Tying 101: Episode 2

The Loon Outdoors Fly Tying 101 sessions continue tonight with Episode 2 which will cover the Woolly Worm, Yellow & Partridge Soft Hackle, Bead Head Bunny Leach, Griffith's Gnat, and the Hare's Ear Nymph.  Oh yeah, and don't forget there will be some giveaways during the session as well.

Missed Fly Tying 101 Episode 1?  Watch it HERE.

Or jump in at 6:00 p.m. PST for this menu of flies...

Visit the Loon Outdoors website for more information.

RIO PRODUCTS - How To Double Haul

The RIO Products "How To" video series continues and this is one that I need to watch and re-watch to hone up on this casting skill.

Check out the RIO Products website and follow along on the Vimeo page for other excellent videos.

Monday, January 9, 2017

"Strange Brew" On The Family Pond

Early last summer Phil Croff of Croff Craft Custom Driftboats & Guide Service gave me a call saying that he was working on something cool with a new design centered over dropping a cedar built frame over a raft.  I watched this design coming together through text messages and Facebook and this raft, dubbed "Strange Brew", has been his guide boat over the past several months.

When Phil arrived at our house on Saturday afternoon, the raft was full of snow from traveling through Tennessee to South Carolina it was it was tough to see all of his handiwork in the built of this raft frame.  Sunday morning we ran into town to pressure wash was much snow, ice, and grit off the boat and trailer and then finished things off with a few buckets of hot water.

Once cleaned up, we figured that it would be fun to drop "Strange Brew" into the family pond for a couple of hours even though it was only in the mid 30's.  I figured at least the pickerel might come and play and a few did with hard follows and then one hook up right before coming off the water. 

"Strange Brew" is certainly a cool idea.  The hard floor is genius and makes the raft experience so much better than your feet getting wet on a soft squishy floor.  The fifteen foot raft has a lot of interior room, moves good on the water, and Phil's craftsmanship is always top notch.

We'll be getting "Strange Brew" wet some more on Philly's trip through South Carolina with a float tomorrow on the Saluda River with Saluda Valley Guides.

P.S.  Don't forget that Phil will be giving talks at Trout Unlimited in Columbia and then in Charleston at Lowcountry Fly Shop this week.  Details HERE.