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The early season is probably my favorite time of the year to fish. It's incredible to watch the world wake up after winter and see spring flowers begin to bloom, to hear the chorus of spring peepers in the evenings and of course to fish the hatches of Hendricksons, Grannom, Baetis Olives and the early quills. This week I'll be giving talks at Codorus Trout Unlimited on the early season hatches on April12, followed by "A Walk on the Wild Side" at Delaware Valley Fly Fishers on the 13th. I just enjoyed four days of great fishing in central Pennsylvania with a few great friends. Pictured this week is Steve Spurgeon connecting with a nice wild brown on one of my Hendrickson DOA Cripple Emergers. Fish well, stop to listen and see a world full of beautiful things to see this time of year. Till next time ...

In spite of a schedule that overwhelms me at times, I take the time most days I fish just to be still and listen to the water, to look at what’s going on around me, and I often am rewarded by things that are equally satisfying to catching another fish. Sometimes just watching those fish becomes a lesson in itself… wise words from Gary LaFontaine. One of the best …

“The nice part about fishing all the time is that an angler can spare moments for just sitting and watching the water. These spells don't even have to have a purpose, but it is hard not to discover some secrets during such interludes. The fisherman without a schedule doesn't need to rush about, casting furiously in a hunt for every possible trout. For this reason, he usually catches more of them.”

Gary LaFontaine, Trout Flies: Proven Patterns

I aways think of my ever-growing collection of dubbing materials as my palette of color possibilities with the additional bonus of textures that are often unique and important to the effect I want to achieve. All of them offer something different in terns of the end effect you can accomplish. A few weeks ago I posted the recent acquisition of a hare’s mask dyed with picric acid on social media. Dying with picric acid creates some unique colors in natural dubbing materials. I finally found time to blend the fur from the different parts of the mask and put them in labeled containers. As you can see, the different parts of the mask have widely different coloration and textures to add to your material palette if you choose to separate them. Dubbing those materials on different thread cores or bases provides even more opportunity to “paint” the effect you want on the finished fly, something that early tyers used to great advantage on their patterns. Spring is right around the corner, get those flies tied and get ready to tie one on soon. Till then …..

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