Thank You For Reading My Blog

This blog is about my life as a fly fisherman, guide, and fly fishing instructor in and around Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pro Guide Direct Holiday Sales | Free Shipping | Podcast

Here is a heads up on a great deal via Pro Guide Direct (As I'm not affiliated with a fly shop, I choose items through this site for my clients to purchase. I don't put up anything I do not endorse.) This helps support my business and makes sure the right gear gets in my client's hands.

Want to listen to the podcast? Click here: 

Go to my Holiday Gear Guide and start shopping
If you have any questions on fitting, sizing, or picking out the right rod and reel just give me a shout rob@robsnowhite.com


Brands from Sitka Gear, Orvis, Reddington, Allen, Hodgman, and more.

A gift to all my friends and clients from my sponsor Pro Guide Direct. 15% off any purchase at Pro Guide Direct, check out my top holiday pics here use coupon code RSNOWHITE-JKQ-15

Free shipping on all purchases over $100

*some manufacturer restrictions may apply. Coupon expires 12/15/13
http://www.proguidedirect.com/rob-snowhite/gearlist/snowhite-s-holiday-gearlist.html?_tk=29a6424ce9



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble Gobble Y'all | Morning At Gravelly Point


I usually fish this time on turkey day. Get up early and head to either Gravelly Point or Four Mile Run to enjoy the river to myself (last year I caught a morbidly obese largie at 4MR and five years ago jumped a huge catfish at Gravelly in fog so thick I couldn't see the planes taking off over my head.) However this year I was on a recon mission and didn't plan to fish.

I have clients scheduled for tomorrow morning at 0700 and wanted to check the water conditions and levels after this weeks rain event. I got up and out of the house around 0800 today and headed to the river.Temps were in the mid 20's and the wind was howling.

I love driving around on this day, early in the morning. No one is around.

Driving was super easy. I only managed to avoid three crazy pedestrians running across the road in their ever present attempt to play human Frogger on Little River Turnpike.

Traffic got bad as I neared the airport. The gulls were standing in the middle of Roaches Run so I knew the water had been blown out by the wind. It was mostly dry.

I drove through the airport, pulled into Gravelly Point, and suited up in my waders, Elmer Fudd hat, and windstopper gloves.




Yea, so there wasn't any water at Gravelly Point either. The wind had blown it all out. It was a bit off color from the recent rains and I was glad I brought a big Ziploc bag with me to collect some hardware off the bottom. And with no water, no fishing.

One of the benefits of a drained river system is that you get to see the substrate. What it is made of, where the water flows, and what you always snag your flies on.
 Here you can see the water coming out of the tunnel beneath the GW Parkway. There is a large bowl shaped formation right in front of the tunnel. This bowl is full of major big sized rocks on the bottom.
 And on those rocks are major knots of monofilament. Most of my and my clients seem to loose our flies on these masses rather than snagging rocks. I was able to pull out several lures and flies in relatively good condition from these masses. If I had a knife I would have cut them all free. I managed to rip out a few and toss them up on shore. If you need any heavy lead sinkers, look for them in these tangles.
 This is just off the boat ramp. The herons were hiding out there and thus baitfish must have been around.


 The substrate is just about all made up of dead clams and mussel shells. Throw in a bottle and can and a shovel and  you get the rest.
 This is the view from the GW Parkway looking down at the tunnel effluent. You can see where the rocks are in this spot and where the fish will be hiding when the water comes back in. See, this is also a recon mission to learn where the fish will be hiding, holding, and avoiding. The bottom isn't just rocks up here but rebar, old metal posts sticking out, tree trunks, part of a chimney and other odd bits.
 You can see the green wooden fence at the bottom of this pic for reference.

Here is my grab bag:

I found 1 TieFast knot tool, one bunny Clouser, one EP crab thing, a few minnow flies, and a black Clouser.

There were a bunch of sassy shads, twisty tail things, crank baits, Rappalas, rubber worms, and other things that I don't know about. 

Bundles of monofilament were ripped out and tossed aside.

And since  you were inquiring, yes, my hands were friggin numb. The wind was howling and there was ice around. It was not pleasant.

I'll bring the bag of goodies to the next Beer Tie and let everyone grab their flies. 

There were scuds under the rocks. Other than that no life forms except birds. No fish in the shallows.


So there you have it. I determined that at the same time tomorrow (tides an hour later) that fishing most likely will not be feasible. The temps will be a bit warmer but the wind will stick around. Four Mile Run would be the other option but that has the same wind going through and thus will also be dry (great chance to go through there and see whats on the bottom- ladders, lawn mower, CPU etc).

We will re-schedule for next weekend. Maybe I'll put stuffing in the waffle maker tomorrow morning since I'll be home. And instead of maple syrup I'll use gravy.

Have a great turkey day everyone.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Podcast Interview: The Top Ten Guide to Fly Fishing with Jay Zimmerman:

The wife picked up this book at the library. I wasn't sure I would read it. Within a page or two I was settled down on the sofa with the TV on mute. I finished it in two sittings.

I was out at a happy hour having a Margarita and was pondering the book. I thought it would be great to reach out to Jay for a podcast interview.

If you would like to buy the book, find it on Amazon





Here is the podcast streaming: Click To Stream
Click For Itunes (please rate the podcast with some stars)

For reference:


Backstabber fly:


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Top Steelhead Flies | 2013 Salmon River Trip

I tied up several dozens of flies for this trip. A lot. As in about a few dozen a week for a few months. My most recent order of hooks was a quantity of 800. Then I tied a few dozen each night after we fished all day on the Salmon River. Most of what I had tied leading up to the trip didn't catch fish.  In fact,  my normal top steelhead fly is an orange or yellow crystal meth fly. It didn't get me a single bite all week.

Here are the top fish producing flies from last week in no particular order:

San Juan Worm. Fish took these with gusto. I had major issues with them falling apart after a few casts or one bite. I used bright pink. Some had a shrimp pink flat diamond braid body underneath. Violent strikes. Others had luck on red. Producer Jason had his biggest steelie take a red san juan. 

 Flash back soft hackle pheasant tail. That is a mouthfull to say. I caught three species of fish on this pattern: brown trout, sucker, steelhead. I'm not sure what size they were tied on. I will do a tutorial on Youtube once I get all my tying material settled in. Its amazing how such a big fish will eat such a small fly. This was Tom's go to fly when he fished the Salmon River. Producer Jason had some good luck with the fly on Saturday. Davenport got her steelhead on one and maybe her brown.
 Intruder style fly. I was hesitant to purchase the material to get into these flies. I went with Hareline Dubbin and more specifically Greg Senyo materials. I wasn't sure how to tie these so I went to Youtube. I'll post those videos in a second. These flies take a time investment to create. I normally would never spend this much time on a fly but the results were worth it. I've never had a more violent strike than the fish that ate one of these flies. I tied them in blues, pinks, purples, and chartruese. I spent most if not all of my food money for the trip stocking up on all the great materials at All Sesons and Malinda's to enhance these flies. Tying them on Senyo shenks worked much better than cut up bass stinger hooks.

 


Next up was the Blood's Dot. I had never heard of this fly until the podcast with Autumn Siren Flies. I had one fish bend a hook on this. It looks crazy good when wet and is super easy to tie and fun. Just be sure to tie sparse. Play around with colors.
 I purchased some Jumbo John's last year at Orvis in Cleveland. I wasn't sure what the name was until I looked up 'stonefly rubber legged nymph' on the interwebs. I found the fly and then a tutorial. I tied up about 5 dozen of these in different sizes and color variations. The only one that got a hit was the pink version. It was a crazy hard strike just below me. I called the pink version Jumbo Jane.
 Next up is the generic glo-bug or egg. This is literally matching the 'hatch' as there are millions of dead eggs rolling down the stream. Blue was most effective in the early morning low light and then white/cream later in the day. Smaller was better.

 Last is the fly called 'ham and eggs.' I didn't catch any fish on it but saw others.
Like I said, I tried loads of other patterns from Popsicles, caddis nymphs, egg sucking leeches, sucker spawn, buggers, and more. These were the meal tickets. And I'm glad I tied them on barbless hooks as I took one hook to the face.

The fish seemed to change their minds for no apparent reason as to the color, shape, and size of what they would take. And that is the fun of fly fishing. If it wasn't a challenge I probably would knit blindfolded.

Monday, November 18, 2013

2013 Salmon River New York Steelhead Pictures

Loads more detail will be on the upcoming podcast.

I dropped a lot of money on intruder style flies and it was a gamble.
 Here is 90% of the tying material I packed to bring with me
 A duffle of clothing layers
 It took me 2 hours to cross the Potomac. One hour exit my county. I pulled over north of Scranton to sleep in the car a few hours and then got up at 4 for another hour and then pulled over again to sleep
Breakfast at Timbers. Something funny happened in there but as I will no longer speak to the individual after this trip and have removed any links and social media connections to this individual, that story will never be told (may be on the podcast). For any confusion out there, there is no animosity toward our lodging. We had a great time At The Trestle Pool Lodge.Warm lodging, fireplace, plenty of space to tie flies, 2 square meals a day, and comfy beds. Call Mark for lodging (Cash Only- which caught me by  surprise)

Address: 2575 New York 13, Altmar, NY 13302
Phone:(908) 938-5791 or (315)298-1115


Now these are out of order thanks to Picassa and Blogger upload:

I got my steelhead on a Bloods Dot
 It bent the hook
 Snow day
 Davenport with a fish

 Khalil with a steelie
 Davenport's first lake run brown
 Stankus' shoulder bag with flash back pheasant tail
 Later run salmon
 Back at the room for a tying session to replace what was lost, destroyed, or determined to be the hot fly
 Early morning casting
 Davenport's steelie. She started to hook into fish after following 'the legend's' advice
 Daily fly box update of what was working
 Chartruse intruder. The fish that ate this was showed the most aggressive strike from a fish I have ever experienced. I lost the massive chrome as it swam under a log
 Mixed color intruder
Major bundled up
 Return from fishing to a crockpot of hot dogs
 Blue and yellow Blood's dot
 Stankus in the cold
 Stankus on net duty
 Giant water bug http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belostomatidae
 Frozen intruder
 Stankus with a steelie
 Another view of the water bug
 HUGE crayfish

 Khalil taking a break
 My turn to take a break. Often fell asleep sitting there

 Davenport in the snow


The other creek north of town from Sunday
 I only spent 45 min there on Sunday before heading to the LFZ

 Tying
 Stefano's pizza. Any NY pizza is better than local pie

 No plates = use cardboard from the box to eat off
 Morning breakfast. I slept in on Sunday
 Someone parked a Willie boat outside my room to make me jealous
 Rain on the way to the other river. Told you these were out of order
 Sleet
 Not a fan of people buying up land and then posting the shoreline for private use. The old school in Altmar
 Lady Amherst at Malinda's

 Pat Cohen flies
 Forgot my stove lid so this rock was used. Note the rock wall to guard the stove from the fierce wind.
 Off to the Altmar Hotel. New owners = DC Prices = thumbs down
 Cheese curlz and PBR
 Good burger
 Small order of shoestring fries
 I liberated some of this fake snow at Tops Grocery for fly tying
 A nice steelie
 Father and son with steelie. They used ShuFly rods
 Middle brother had to hold everyones rods
 Respect the chrome
 "jumbo jane' pink Jumbo John. It got a solid take on the first swing and then nothing
 Family portrait

 This kid landed a monster
 Underwater release
 I started to throw flash back pheasant tails and the fish started to take them with gusto. Time to replace. I'll do a tutorial
 Loading up pheasant tails

 More tying
These barely missed my little piggies
 Morning snow on the car
 Miles with headlamp
 0500 Trader Joes Chai Latte time




Release




 Group shot
 'The Legend' with his huge hen


 Another trip to Malinda's. Spent most of my food money there. She put up a TPFR.org sticker

 Cheese sandwich
 I took the crockpot chicken noodle soup and froze it outside overnight so I could heat it up for breakfast
 Blue intruders
 Frosty morning
 Heating up that soup
 Another pig steelie
 Sucker

 More and more and more pheasant tails

 This HUGE steelie CRUSHEd a pink and blue intruder

 Then a glo bug to the face

 And a chode of a lake run brown. Jason and I thought it was a carp it was so wide
 Is that Godwin from Duck Dynasty?
 A precariusly placed brat with Producer Jason
 Intruders for Jason
 Drying flies by the fire
 Last morning
 Leftover salmon
 One of the treats I brought back for the wife and the Irish
 Stankus's pics:



Podcast soon

 
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