IMAGE OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
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Influences ................ February 10, 2014
The first chapter of Matching Major Eastern Hatches is titled "Modernizing Marinaro". I was influenced as a fly tyer by Vince Marinaro more than any other writer. Vince was a true student angler that didn't accept the status quo of angling traditions, and developed an interesting concept in the development of the "Thorax Dun". In my book I took Vince's thoughts a little further with materials that weren't available in his day in an attempt to modernize and improve on his work. The resulting fly is a very effective design that captures the illusion of a mayfly dun sitting low on the surface of the water quite nicely. Pictured here is my variation to imitate the Eastern Green Drake.
Fishing Hats ................ January 06, 2014
Nearly all of us wear some sort of a hat when we fish right? They satisfy a variety of purposes, mainly to protect us from the elements. From protection from the dangers of sun, rain, glare, snow, cold, bugs and on and on......... Most of us have a favorite fishing hat which often becomes part of our identity. My personal fishing hat is an orange ball cap, and most of the time that's what I'm wearing with few exceptions. One of my best fishing friends usually wears a PBR trucker hat, it's just the way he rolls. Some peoples fishing hats go to another level, often becoming an expression of their individuality and an extension of their personality. A picture here of another friends hat that is just too cool and too individual not to be preserved in picture form. By far one of the coolest fishing hats I've seen in a long time, and yes a very cool dude that wears it on the stream. Enjoy!
Clinging Nymphs ................ January 13, 2014
There was a period during my teen years where I really wanted to learn about aquatic insects and I would often capture nymphs and put them in an aquarium to watch. Mayfly nymphs fall into four distinct categories and the one that always amazed me were the clinging type; the Quill Gordons, March Browns and Cahills. These seem to be almost pressed to the stones on the stream bed and live in the strongest currents, but are very poor swimmers which seem to be almost helpless when they drift in the current. Their profiles are very flat and they keep their tails spread wide almost as a means to balance themselves in the current. The study of these nymphs led to the eventual design shown here, a very effective fly fished on the bottom, but also as a dropper suspended below a dry pattern during a hatch when the nymphs are readily available and drifting in the current as they move toward the surface to hatch. ,
The CDC Adult Caddis ................ January 20, 2014
My home stream is the Tulpehocken Creek in southeastern Pennsylvania. While the stream has a number of mayflies present, the trout focus primarily on caddis flies. The low gradient character of the stream gives fish a chance to look closely before they eat and a good fly is critical to success there. Pictured here is my "CDC Adult Caddis" which has been effective everywhere I've fished it. A simple, unique and effective fly design that gets the fly low in the film like a real caddis fly. The pattern below matches the first caddis we see each spring, the "Grannom" or "Shad Fly" of the Brachycentrus genus in both the male and female versions. Chapter 13 of "Matching Major Eastern Hatches" is devoted to this pattern; the thought process behind the design, the instruction for tying it and presenting it to the fish. A super pattern you should try this spring.
The DNA Spinner ................ January 27, 2014
One of the fly designs I talked about in my presentations at the Somerset show this past weekend was the "DNA Spinner". One of my favorite fly patterns and one that has been tremendously successful for me, especially on larger fish. The wing material used to tie this pattern is a synthetic fiber called "DNA Frosty Fish Fiber" which has a remarkable blend of qualities that make it the perfect choice for imitating mayfly spinner wings. Pictured here is my pattern to match the little Baetis Olives in a size #20.
Something New ................ February 03, 2014
A project that I worked on in 2012 is finally finished and ready to be released in March this year. I was asked to shoot new insect images for a previously published book written by Tom Rosenbauer of Orvis. The work involved shooting 42 images of insects and other organisms that trout feed on for a revised edition of Tom's book "The Orvis Streamside Guide to Trout Foods and Their Imitations". It was a true honor to get to work with Tom and Jay Cassell of Skyhorse Publishing on this type of a project, and a huge honor to have one of my images for the cover shot. Thank you Tom for reaching out and inviting me to work on this one!
The Half & Half Emerger ................ February 17, 2014
This week I will be giving a presentation at the monthly Angler's Club of Philadelphia's dinner event which will talk about the thought process behind the design of some of my favorite original fly patterns. One of those is my "Ace in the Hole" Half and Half Emerger shown here in the Pale Olive version for matching some of the larger Blue Wing Olives of the Attenella and Drunella genus. A highly effective pattern that captures that transitional moment in the mayfly lifecycle when the insect transforms from nymph to dun. The resulting pattern sits suspended in the surface film, imitating components of both stages and presenting a very vulnerable and easy to capture meal.
Soft Hackled Flies ........................ February 24, 2014
More than anything else in fly tying, I truly enjoy making intricate flies that are imitative. There is a tremendous satisfaction in developing something that works on those super tough conditions where trout are selective; something that solves a problem on the stream. On the other hand; simple flies such as the old Yorkshire Soft Hackles, are both fun to tie and highly effective under a lot of conditions. Probably one of the most famous of these old patterns in the "Partridge and Orange" which has been tied and fished for well over 120 years. I find myself fishing them more often than I ever did in years past and yes, they work quite nicely...................
Mystery Mayfly ........................ March 03, 2014
Last year I posted a few "Mystery Bugs" on here which a lot of people seemed to enjoy, so in that spirit the first installment in this year's "Mystery Bug" game. I'm going to limit the clues here, but can tell you that these can happen at different times of the year..... sorry, only a single clue. To qualify your guess, I need the correct scientific name of the specie, the sex of the bug and the stage as presented here. Nail all three and you might be the "Bug Geek of the Week". I wish I could offer up some great prizes, but until we can get some sponsorship contributions the honor alone will have to be enough. Now that you know the rules give it your worst.......
Mystery Mayfly Part II........................ March 10, 2014
Back by popular demand. Last week's "Mystery Mayfly" post got some good action, so we will have another round. Ace fly tyer John "Sculpin Man" Collins was last weeks official "Bug Geek of the Week", so who out there is ready to bring home the gold this week? Again, to be in the running we need the correct latin name, sex and stage. No hokey nick names will count! Go for it .................................
Friends........................ March 17, 2014
I've been a very fortunate man and have had a chance to meet some really interesting people in the fly fishing world and to fish in some truly remarkable places. One of my favorites has been the chance to fish the famous Henryville Fly Fishers Club in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. The Henryville water is beautiful and remarkable and a special place where you feel like you are fishing in the footsteps of legends in the sport because you really are. It's also a place where I've made some friends and enjoy fishing there with them. One of those is pictured here; Peter Leibundgut, a good fisherman and a very good friend. I enjoy every time we get a chance to fish and look forward to things warming up and getting a chance to fish soon................
Iso's ........................ June 24, 2014
If you have a chance check out the August / September issue of Fly Fisherman Magazine. I have an article in that issue about my killer "Swimming Isonychia Nymph". the Iso is a really remarkable mayfly and the nymph stage is unique in appearance and behavior. The nymph pattern presented here is one of my original designs presented in my book "Matching Major Eastern Hatches" and is one of my designs available through Umpqua Feather Merchants. A huge thank you to Ross Purnell for giving me another opportunity to be published in Fly Fisherman. I hope you enjoy it!
Baetis Olives ....... January 16, 2017
In my new presentation "Eastern Pennsylvania Hatches & Streams" the first hatch I cover is the Baetis tricaudatus olives, which are the first mayflies we see on many of our steams. Picture here is my Baetis Olive CDC Thorax Dun which is a really effective pattern whenever these little flies are on the water. I tie these on Daiichi #1180 hooks in sizes #18 to 22 using the following materials: olive Microfibett tails, Wapsi goose biots in Blue Wing Olive, Superfine dubbing in Blue Wing Olive, TroutHunter CDC in Natural Dun and Grizzly Whiting hackle dyed Golden Olive. The thread is Uni 8/0 in Olive Dun or Sheer 14/0 in Olive. Be sure to add a few of these to your fly boxes before springtime arrives ......
Trick of the Tail ....... January 23, 2017
Whenever I'm tying mayfly dun or spinner patterns I always use forked tails on them. Why? From an aesthetic perspective they look sexy as hell and from a functionality angle they improve floatation on a fly. By forking your tails you add surface tension at the heaviest end of the hook. I start off creating a base layer of tying thread wrapping from the front back to the point over the barb and add a small ball of dubbing. From here wrap forward 2/3 of the hook shank in close turns and tie in Microfibett fibers with the tips projecting past the dubbing ball a distance equivalent to the length of the hook shank. Wrap back to the dubbing ball in close turns while keeping the tail fibers on top of the hook shank. As you do the fibers will naturally begin to spread as you approach the dubbing ball. Spread the fibers by hand and wrap snug against the dubbing ball, keeping an equal number of fibers on each side. By keeping a smooth base layer of thread you can tie in a biot and create a nice smoothly tapered body as you wrap the biot forward. Check out "Matching Major Eastern Hatches" for more detailed info on this technique and give it a try. #regalvise #unithread #daiichihooks #naturesspirit
Somerset 2017 ....... January 30, 2017
The Somerset stop of the Fly Fishing Show tour was a great show and a truly great experience for a man that's still just a kid that can't stay out of the water. I had a really good time catching up with so many old friends and making a lot of new ones. A huge thank you to everyone that stopped by to say hello, picked up a copy of "Keystone Fly Fishing", attended one of my presentations or had me sign a book for them. I'm truly blessed to have been able to share my love of fly fishing with so many people, participate in a truly remarkable book project with Jay Nichols and the "Keystone Team" and be a part of shows like this one. Thank you!
DNA Spinners....... February 06, 2017
The next stop for me will be the Sky Blue Outfitters "Get Ready Event" in Bally, Pennsylvania on Saturday, February 11. This years event will feature a fly tying contest for all skills levels which promises to be fun to watch. I'll have copies of "Keystone Fly Fishing" available for purchase and be tying one of my "go to" patterns; the DNA Spinner throughout the day. Stop by and learn how to tie this super effective pattern for those selective spinner eaters, pick up a book or say hello. Check out www.skyblueoutfitters.com for more details! #keystoneflyfishing #unithread #daiichi #naturesspirit #ramsayflies.com
Hendricksons....... February 20, 2017
My favorite springtime mayfly hatch is Ephemerella subvaria, more commonly known as the "Hendrickson". Pictured here is a male dun from the Manatawny creek in southeastern Pennsylvania. I'll be talking about this mayflies life cycle, the Manatawny and my favorite Hendrickson imitations as well as a number of other marquis hatches and Pennsylvania streams this Wednesday evening during my presentation at the Delaware Valley Fly Fishers in Yardley, Pennsylvania. Looking forward to speaking to this great group again! #keystoneflyfishing
Early Blue Quills....... February 27, 2017
This coming weekend brings the Lancaster, Pennsylvania edition of The Fly Fishing Show to town. I will be giving presentations both days and signing copies of "Keystone Fly Fishing" and "Matching Major Eastern Hatches". One of the insects I will be discussing in my presentations is the Early Blue Quill or "Paraleptophlebia adoptiva", another marquis springtime hatch here in the east. This weeks image is a female Blue Quill Dun, which can provide some excellent mid-day dry fly fishing in the springtime. Each day of the show I will be presenting at 10:00 AM, Saturday in the Catch Room and Sunday in Room A. Book signings will be from 1:00 to 2:30 PM both days. I hope to see you there! #keystoneflyfishing www.ramsayflies.com www.flyfishingshow.com
Lancaster 2017....... March 06, 2017
The Lancaster, Pennsylvania edition of the 2017 "Fly Fishing Show" tour was an incredible success this year and I am truly blessed to have been a part of it. The crowd this year was the largest I've ever seen at this show and I'm still amazed and grateful for the number of people that came to my "Eastern Pennsylvania Hatches & Streams" seminar on Saturday. It is a truly humbling experience to be able to share my love of fly fishing with people and I'm overwhelmed by the interest in the new book "Keystone Fly Fishing" and the success we have had with it. A very satisfying experience to work with such a great cast of characters, a number of who were also at the show. This coming Saturday I will be at Tight Lines Fly Fishing in Parsippany, New Jersey demonstrating how to tie some of my favorite patterns, doing a presentation and signing books throughout the day.
Cheesesteak Trout....... March 13, 2017
The April - May issue of Fly Fisherman magazine is out and I'm truly honored to have an article about some of the fly fishing opportunities in and around the "City of Brotherly Love"; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in this one. I'm even more honored by the review of "Keystone Fly Fishing" written by editor Ross Purnell. A big thank you to Ross for inviting me to write for this great magazine! With a major snowstorm approaching for the east coast, you might want to pour yourself a glass of something smooth and enjoy some reading and fly tying tomorrow. This week I'll be presenting at South Jersey Fly Fishers on Wednesday, the 15th and teaching a fly tying class with members of the Anglers Club of Philadelphia on Sunday the 19th. #keystoneflyfishing www.flyfisherman.com www.ramsayflies.com
Grannom Caddis....... March 20, 2017
One of the patterns we covered in my Anglers Club of Philadelphia fly tying class yesterday was my favorite pattern to imitate the Grannom caddis adult. This a super effective pattern that is very simple to tie and quite durable. We should be starting to see them hatching soon and they usually bring a lot of fish to the surface and provide some great early season dry fly fishing. The pattern and tying technique is presented in my first book "Matching Major Eastern Hatches". Be sure to spin a few of these and be ready to tie one on this spring. If you are looking for the best natural brown CDC on the market to tie these be sure to reach out to the folks at TroutHunter ( www.trouthunt.com) and order some. www.ramsayflies.com
Quill Gordons....... March 27, 2017
This coming Saturday, April 1 I will be at A&G Outfitters in Dickson City, Pennsylvania for their "Spring Kick Off" event which goes from 9:00 to 4:00. I will be doing a presentation at 10:00 and tying flies and signing books the rest of the day. Pictured this week is one of our really cool early season hatches; Epeorus pleuralis aka "Quill Gordon" which I will be talking about in my presentation among other premier hatches. The Epeorus genus has a unique emergence behavior and I'll be tying my "go to" soft hackle emerger pattern among others. Doug Bear from Orvis will be there along with Tom Januckawicz from Hemingway Products, some great promotions, raffles and food. Adam Nidoh runs a really great fly shop and Saturday looks to be a great event! #keystoneflyfishing www.ramsayflies.com www. agoutfitters.com
Good Bugs, Great People....... April 03, 2017
During a hatch I usually tend to stick with my own patterns, but once in a while I mix it up and try something new. This week's pic is of a really nice brown that just didn't have any interest in what I was showing him, but took one of Eric Richards "Hat Rabbit" emergers like it was waiting for it all week. The "Hat Rabbit" is a great pattern Eric ties to imitate a March Brown hatching in the film. The fly is shown in "Keystone Fly Fishing". While the fly itself is a sweet pattern, Eric is a really great angler and an absolute blast to fish with. It's always great fun to fish with someone that has a higher level of passion and excitement and Eric quickly became one of my favorite fishing friends when we started fishing together a few years ago. Check out his website www.covetedwaters.net and book a day with him. #keystoneflyfishing www.ramsayflies.com
Packing Up ....... April 17, 2017
Today was best described as a frenzy, trying to tighten up some loose ends and getting packed up for a trip I started planning the beginning of the year. I'll be off of the grid for a while; heading out to Utah to fish a few rivers that are on my bucket list and hoping to have some good Baetis Olive hatches and fish that want to play while I'm out there. I'll be meeting up with a few great people; Dan Barr, Paul Barr and Adam Findlay and fishing the Green and Provo rivers. Pictured this week is a shot of a male Baetis tricaudatus dun and hopefully there will be some nice shots from my trip to post when I get back. Till then ....... www.ramsayflies.com
Sulphurs ....... May 03, 2017
After being off of the grid for most of the past two weeks, a fresh post finally. I just got back from a great trip to Utah's Green and Provo rivers and will post images from there next week. A very brief pause in the action before heading to Corning, New York to do a tying demo and presentation co-sponsored by the Twin Tier Five Rivers Chapter of Fly Fishers International and the Leon Chandler Chapter of Trout Unlimited. My presentation was titled "Meeting and Matching the Sulphur Hatch". A huge thank you to Kirk Klingensmith and Bob Carlson for inviting me to speak to the group and to all of the members that came out last Monday evening. Great too to see Mike Hogue of Badger Creek Fly Tying in the audience! Pictured this week is one of my "Go To" emerger patterns that I demonstrated, the Sulphur DOA Cripple Emerger. www.ramsayflies.com
Provo River Gold ....... May 08, 2017
This week's pic is a truly beautifully colored brown from my trip to Utah a few weeks ago. This particular fish was from the Middle Provo river near Heber, Utah. Dan Barr and I enjoyed three days of fishing on the Provo, with perfect overcast days and heavy hatches of Baetis Olives. While we took fish on a number of patterns, the most effective flies were my Baetis DOA Cripple Emerger and olive Last Chance Cripples. The Provo is a beautiful place with some of the most incredibly colored fish. Stay tuned for more images from this trip in the next couple weeks. www.ramsayflies.com
Green River, Utah ....... May 15, 2017
This week's pic is of two really great guys, and one really cool English Setter I fished with during my recent trip to Utah. Dan Barr had invited me several times to come out and fish the Green with him. His son Paul Barr drove down from Driggs, Idaho to fish with us along with his setter "Maggie" who is a bona fide "Trout Dog". The river was running at a record high flow of 8,800 CFS which made fishing very difficult and pushed the fish into the side eddies to feed on hatching Baetis. Paul did a masterful job on the oars, getting us through some pretty rough water. Pictured this week is Paul hooked up while Maggie watches intently from the bank and Dan works on a riser downstream. The Green is a truly spectacular river to see and fish and I will surely be back for more. Thank you Dan and Paul for a great trip! www.ramsayflies.com