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   I made a casual comment earlier this year about the future direction of A few years ago, I found myself with a backlog of fly orders that was overwhelming. It took all my time. All of my time to try to get ahead. I couldn’t do it. I decided to shut that part of my life down for a while and do other things like fish, write and breathe a little more. The road of life isn’t always linear between any two points, and a left turn here and there is really not a bad detour to take in life. I’m taking a bit of a left turn in 2024 and will be launching something a little different. Something unique, something that is another dimension of my life, and something some of you might enjoy. Look forward to seeing more than just a tease about this endeavor at the Maryland Fly Fishing Show later this month. I’m looking forward to taking a different ride for a change. In the words of Neil Young “Got fuel to burn, got roads to drive”. Till next time … Keep on rocking in the free world...

“Heard of a van that’s loaded with weapons, packed up and ready to go. Heard of some grave sites, out by the highway. A place where nobody knows.” If you struggle to get into a groove tying flies you might want to spin some Talking Heads songs. It works. So does this little early stonefly pattern I call the “Early Black”. While my first love in my fly fishing life is cracking the code and casting imitative dry flies, there’s a really great vibe to fishing these North Country Spider type patterns, and as the years go by I find myself fishing them more and more and they are pretty good medicine for this pre-spring hatch. On those days when you can’t get in the water you might want to listen to some Heads and tie a few up. My fly box is loaded with weapons and ready again for the next day of fishing. I will no doubt be tying one of these on when I get there. “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco... This ain’t no fooling around…..”    

  It’s often said that an angler’s optimism is an eternal thing that manifests itself in many ways, and I know that to be quite true in my own world. There’s a nice blanket of snow outside and the thermometer read 10 degrees Fahrenheit when I walked out the front door this morning. A group of birds sat intently waiting for me to fill the feeder and leave; their feathers fluffed to keep warm on a bitter morning. While the world in my part of the world is in the grip of winter; my thoughts are optimistic, and this little box of flies tied to match those early season stonefly and caddis hatches is starting to fill. My instincts say that spring will come early this year. I’m not one to trust the wisdom of a rodent, so I won’t put much weight on Phil’s announcement when it comes, and will stick with my own thoughts. Maybe mine are based on a hunch. Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking. Maybe it’s just an angler’s optimism. Either way I’ll go with that hunch and keep refueling my fly boxes and my thoughts of spring. Right or wrong, I’ll be ready to tie one of those flies on when the ice melts, the flies are starting to hatch and the trout rise to meet them. It won’t be long. Till next time … #tieoneon

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