Merry Fish-mas - Wilderness North

Celebrating 30 Years of Wilderness North  –          

Merry Fish-mas

Trophy Pike, Wilderness NorthBook Review: Instinctive Fly Fishing by Taylor Streit
Are you an “instinctive” angler? By that, I mean, when you see trout rising in the pool in front of you, are you locked into “predator” mode? Are your actions dictated by force of will? Or is your mind flooded with thoughts like making your rod tip stop as you cast at “10” and “2” on some imaginary clock face? Are you preoccupied with worries about drifting and mending? And when the fish eats your fly, does the fight come naturally? One of the great dilemmas for those of us who write “how-to” stories on fly fishing is that, while we want to offer good tips that help our readers get better and realize more success, we also know that information overload can be counter productive, especially on a trout river. The real truth is, there is no substitute for personal experience. Time on water equals fish. I’ve always felt that the best lessons come from guides. They have hours (or minutes) to get you dialed, and the best ones have means for imparting advice in a way that sinks in with immediate effect. Taylor Streit, a legendary guide from the Taos, New Mexico, area has produced a book called “Instinctive Fly Fishing” ($16.95, Lyons Press, now in its second edition) that does more to move the mindset of the angler from theory to practice and habit than the average book ever will. Whether you’re a newbie who wants to develop good habits, or a serious angler who wants to hone instinct, it’s worth the investment.…»

Crowdsourcing: Predicting a Fly Fishing Theme for 2013
Last year, I said that 2012 would be “The Year of the Carp.” That was meant to be more of a personal New Year’s resolution than a fishy twist on the Chinese New Year tradition. Indeed, this was a carp-filled year for me. I visited a number of destination hotspots with the unique bent of chasing trash fish. I think in a broader context, the fly-fishing world did indeed place more collective attention on carp fishing last year than in the recent past. I expect that to continue next year too.But I wonder if we were to predict a “theme” for fly fishing in 2013, what would it be? I think next year is more in line to be The Year of the Brown Trout for me. Then again, smart fly anglers have already been all over this species for decades. It may, in fact, be the most worthy all-around target for fly anglers. How about the Year of Bamboo, or the Year of Tenkara? The Year of the Streamer? The Year of the Redfish? The Year of the Spey Rod? I can’t make the call myself. You chime in, and we’ll decide by committee. Click here to tell us what you think.…»

Getting Ready for Winter: What’s on Your Fishing To-Do List?
Every year about this time, I have the same problem. First, fishing has pretty much shut down for the winter. I never got much into ice-fishing, so that’s it until next spring. Instead, my fishing thoughts turn inward to all the things I might accomplish over the winter. Fly-tying is foremost. I’ve been tying since I was a little kid. I have an ideal spot-a desk next to a window and also near the wood stove. So I can gaze out at the snow while also being warm and comfortable. Maybe too comfortable. Because despite my early winter resolutions, by early spring most of them remain undone. All my thoughts about rod-building, tackle-sorting, fly-tying, lure-making and more haven’t produced much. I might have made a dozen or so hare’s-ear nymphs, and that’s about it. And the same thing happens year after year. I do tend to various household repairs and chores that seem imperative. I go for walks in the winter woods, shovel snow away from the barn, and haul firewood inside from the woodshed. But beyond that I am frequently seduced by a comfy easy chair and a good book in which I might lose myself until dinnertime. This is indeed a very nice life. But it’s not very conducive to fishing projects or other things that are easily put off. So what do other people do? Is there a winter to-do list in your life that involves fishing-related projects? Do you get them done according to some sort of self-determined schedule? Or are you more like me, with lots of good intentions but a bit short on follow-through?…»

How Anglers Decorate for Christmas…Or Should We Say, Fishmas
If you’re an obsessed fly fisherman (and your family knows it), you’re bound to get some fly-fishing-themed gifts this season. Granted, whether or not you get that sweet five-weight you’ve been asking for depends on whether you’ve landed on the naughty or nice list. As my family was putting out some decorations the other day, I noticed that there’s definitely a holiday angling theme going on in our house. That starts with the Christmas tree. My favorite ornament might be this pair of miniature rubber waders. I always hang that in a spot where we can see it. Then there’s the mini creel, dozens of little trout ornaments, and at least three or four Santa ornaments where St. Nick is holding a fly rod. There’s even one with Santa riding on the back of a rainbow trout as he casts. Just for kicks, I hung a few tarpon flies in the branches, and they look pretty nice when the lights sparkle on them just so. I think we’re teetering on the Fishmas brink anyway. I’ve gotten into the habit though of taking the big fish photos out of their regular year-round frames, and putting them in the holiday frames. You know, the ones with the holly accents and jingle bells, and stuff like that. If you want to be merry, what better way than keeping the picture of the 22-inch brown you caught on a grasshopper this past summer on the bookshelf? After all, ’tis the season to be jolly, and if you get your jollies by catching fish with flies, why not amp up the celebration? I think the holiday season is for remembering the good times and great people in our lives. If Fishmas decorations add to that, so much the better.…»

Christmas wreath, Wilderness NorthMerry fishmas, Wilderness NorthChristmas wreath, Wilderness North

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