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, December 8, 2017

S01E108 | Behind The Scenes Of A Fly Fishing Guide

Part 1. Rob interviews Wian van Blommestein of Ayoba-Yo about his locally made Biltong.

Part 2. Rob explains what goes on behind the scenes as a fly fishing guide - prepping gear, monitoring weather, and lots more. Client's only see the tip of the iceberg. This is a must-listen episode for those burgeoning fly fishing guides.

Produced by Freestone Media

Brought to you by Ayoba-Yo

New Podcats Episode!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Steelhead Mojo | Images From Salmon River, New York

Here are the pics from the recent road trip north. The biggest issue was the water levels. For more details about what went on up there please listen to the podcast on Itunes. 

I tied up a bunch of sucker spawns and eggs using a variety of materials. Estaz, Samsung Yarn (from Lotte Grocery), angora rabbit, egg yarn, McFly foam, diamond braid, and yarn. 

This is the best fly box I have owned. Get one for yourself from RisenFly. It is a double sided, waterproof box that has silicon hook holders.

 I had a loaf of bread to take up for making grilled cheese. The bag was wrapped up not tied. It was in my storage bin of gear to bring up. Two nights before I drove north I was sitting in bed watching the news. dr jones walks into the bedroom with an entire slice of bread in his mouth. He looked at me and turned around. I was very confused. I followed him to the basement and noticed that the old man ate almost an ENTIRE BAG OF BREAD. The dog is a lap dog.
 If you listen to TMOS you get the joke/bit.
 Jason and I suited up with out much thought. We wanted to fish. He hooked this buck within minutes of wading out. Maybe his 12th cast. On a pink intruder.
 The other side of my fly box. this is my nymph section. HNIC, flash back soft hackle pheasant tails, jumbo Johns, etc. You can buy any flies with the link above.
 I was using a 9' 8wt. The leader was set up for striper fishing down here in Virginia. I wasn't getting any love until I broke off my leader. Once I had my standard SRNY leader set up I hooked my first fish of the trip. I was so cold in this image. The water was around 50F and I only had on a single layer of next to skin.
 Dirty Bill hosted Jason and I for dinner. This was the image of the moonset in Altmar.
 Pink was the color of choice when we go there. I tied up a bunch of pink sucker spawns that night.
 Pink stick buggers got no love. The benefit of all the flies I tied up there is that I don't have to tie any buggers for guiding here for several months.
 Found this creepy hat on the hike out with Thomas and Scott. That is moss growing on the hair.
 More sucker spawns. Tying up flies and re stocking boxes At The Trestle Pool Lodge.
 Thomas working on some blue buggers.
 Tying up some Popsicles. After a long, cold day I was not in the mood to tie them pretty. The heads were a bit messy but they are well tied and won't fall apart.
Watching Doppler. 

 Fishing tribs the next day. Loads more rain. The river levels jumped another 1k CFS.
 Dead salmon in a field. There was A LOT MORE WATER just before we got there.

 Match the hatch? Found this dead minnow. Looked similar to the white streamer I was fishing. The water in the tribs was so tannin stained I could not see any other pattern. I could barely see the fish until I stepped on them crossing the stream.

 Match the hatch. Salmon eggs.

 Sight casting. We worked several fish with no luck.
The Sitka jacket I purchased worked great in the rain this day. I am still waiting for my Kast Gear jacket to be returned. I sent it in for repairs in February of 2017. It is now December. I have called and e-mailed the company several times. I most recently asked for a refund. I have received neither. Knowing that steelhead and winter guiding season was approaching I went ahead and purchased this jacket in early September. If Kast can continuously post images to their social media like Instagram they sure can send me back my jacket repaired or not or refund my purchase.

 Big pink intruder. I've found the smaller intruders work better up there.
 Scott with a big roll cast.

 The next morning had terrible weather. Low pressure, rain on and off, big wind gusts, and cold temps. I like this face mask to keep me warm.
I hooked into a steelhead on my pheasant tail nymph. Good fishing spots were hard to find due to water levels. Luckily the water dropped several inches and exposed a gravel bar. 
 Boom, silvery chrome steelhead.
Thomas wanted to be funny and put a rod on my shoulder. I loathe the rod on the shoulder posed. #NoRodsOnShoulders 

Hot food on shore is key to staying warm. Be it hot soup or grilled cheese. Scott made sourdough bread and toasted it with cheese.
 I asked crayfish buddy wheat he thought of the intruder. He grabbed it. All these critters were exposed when the tide dropped.
 Match the hatch. Hellgrammites
 Thomas got a nice steelhead.
 Moldy mudshark hanging out at our feet. Didn't foul hook a single salmon this year. Didn't get one to eat a fly either. Thought there would be some late run salmon.
 That crusty sandwich.
 We stopped at the Colossal Cheese Shop on way to dinner. I'd never seen the place open before.
 After a cold and wet day we needed some home cooked food. Steph's Diner in Pulaski was a home run. Thomas got a cheese steak. And then got a meatloaf to go!!!!!!!
 Scott got a bacon cheese burger.
 This was home made meatloaf and gravy. Home made mashed taters and mac salad. This is what I needed after this day. Yes, this is what Thomas ate AFTER DINNER. If you head up there be sure to eat here.

Back at the lodge we tied some more flies. I made some beefier pheasant tails. 

 Yup, a steelhead bent this hook out.


 I put on an intruder to cover more water and this fish grabbed the fly a few times on the cast before it took. 

The ride home sucked. Most of the Pennsylvania portion had heavy, wet snow. I couldn't read road signs. The snow turned into cold rain for the remainder of the drive. The weather was so bad I didn't realize I had crossed the bridges into Virginia. 

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