Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Origin Of A Blog Post - Maylee Barnhart

Sometimes, blog posts have the strangest of origins, and at other times, they just reach up and smack you along side the head.  Such is the case with this post.  It moved me!  To begin with Kaitlyn Glines - Barnhart has been a BlogBuddy for some time now.  She has a wonderful blog written from the Ladies angle over at Mamma Flybox. 

Kaitlyn does a wonderful job of bringing out the joy in fly fishing and the joy of being a mother and parenting the young ones, and, including them in her blog posts.  Please take a look over at Katilyn's blog and tell her that Mel at Fly Tyin' Times is thinking about her.  For you see, Kaitlyn has other things on her mind at the moment, and understandably, so.

Enter her daughter, Maylee Barnhart.
  Maylee is a (9) year old up and comer, who has been diagnosed with Dyslexia.  Maylee has struggled in the school systems, and, is is need of some specialized testing to determine how best to help her.  You can read more about it here.

In addition to speak to that specific need, Brandon Moon and Moonlit Fly Fishing, is holding an auction to support Maylee's needs.  Here is more information on that.

 Support Maylee's Testing Fund and bid on the Moonlit Fly Fishing Package! Package includes a stellar Moonlit Fly Fishing fiberglass 5wt 8ft 4 piece rod (Lifetime Warranty), high quality reel, weight forward fly line and backing, 3 Moonlit furled leaders and a roll of tippet!

Opening Bid starts at $99.99 (full value of package around $300). Auction closes February 5th @ 9 pm Pacific Time.

Get yourself or your loved one a beautiful rod, while helping this little fly fishing gal receive the neuropsychological testing she needs to overcome some major obstacles in her life. Thank you to Moonlit Fly Fishing for your generosity!


Kaitlyn, if there is anything else I could do please don't hesitate to get in touch with me or through my blog.

Together, we will make this happen!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Splash..........

JUMP RIGHT IN......


So, I have.  Now, for years I have blogged my experiences fly fishing and fly tying, and, used several picture headers to display my blog effects.  For some reason, I never committed to having a Blog Logo.  Something identifiable that other BlogBuddies and readers of my blog could use as a way of recognizing in connection with fly tying and fly fishing that my blog truly does have an I.D.  I know I have really dragged my feet on this and procrastinated for way too long.

In my previous post I wrote about how I had been very fortunate to win a Sketch of a toothy Northern Pike and a book  from Ralph at Ralph's Fly Box.  I was so impressed with Ralph's sketch that I gave some thought to contacting Ralph to see if he would be interested in doing a sketch that I could use for my Blog Logo and Blog Header on my blog.  I had no idea if Ralph had the time or the interest in helping me, but, I thought what the heck did I have too lose.  So I followed through by contacting Ralph and tossed out my idea and checked on the feasibility of him helping me out.  Well, Ralph and I spent a day communicating back and forth via email and discussed what I wanted, how I wanted it too look, and other layout details.  Ralph did all the rest.

I cannot begin to tell you, Ralph, how you have breathed new life into my blog with your work. Ralph was very quick and before two days had gone by I had a new logo for the blog that you see above.  I made some layout changes based on discussion with Ralph and today you see the end product.

Ralph and I would really love to have your opinions of what you see and how it appears from your end of the blogging and internet world.

We need your feedback and as Ralph said "Be Honest With Us."

Note also some blogging direction I have taken here.  An Ol' Geezer needs to stay focused! 
 
"Packing Fun Into Your Fly Tyin' & Fly Fishin' - Focusing On Panfish - Where The Fun All Began....."

Thinking back, The Bluegill was my first love fly fishing and fly tying.  The Fun they provided got me started on this life trek.  So, this is my way of paying the little Panfish back for all it has done for me.

 
 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hello, Ralph?



Dagumit, Naw Ralph, I ain't forgot ya'.  I said I would get back with you and here I are.......

No, No, not Ralph Emery, Country Music's legendary D.J.
This here is a Fly Fishin' (er, Fly Tyin' blog).  I am talking about my legendary BlogBuddy,
 Ralph Long, from over at Ralph's Fly Box.  

Now, during the Christmas Holidays, Ralph had a contest over on his blog.  Well, I sure love a contest and ever 13th year or so, I win a contest.  2016 must have been lucky (13th year) for me, I won!!

Seriously, Ralph not only writes a great blog, but is a very talented fly tyer who has many videos available on his fly patterns he uses.  In addition, Ralph is an Author of some great looking fly fishing and fly tying books, and if that is not enough, does a swell job as a fly fishing related Artist.

Ok, what did I win......... Ralph promptly put it out to me in the mail and I awaited anxiously.  It came and I just wanted to thank Ralph for his amazing talent and generosity.  Ralph had captured a Northern Pike with a big bug in his mouth and put pencil to paper.  The picture here came matted and I took a few days to get out and get it framed.  Thus, I wanted to show my readers Ralph's work in framed format setting a top my new fly tying desk.

The second picture I tried to get a bit more of the desk and picture in also.


I hope these pictures do Ralph and his talent justice............................................

A long with the Northern Pike Artwork, Ralph, surprised me with a copy of his most recent book.

Tomorrow's Fish by R.E. Long
I haven't had much time to spend thumbing through the book of Ralph's fly fishing experience, and, great selection of fly patterns.  However, I have been impressed with my first scan.  I will be more than happy to do a book review of Tomorrow's Fish a little later on.
I thought I would share one of Ralph's Fly Tying Video's to wrap up this post as my way of saying thanks for everything, Ralph!!!!!!



Monday, January 16, 2017

The Fly Shop "TOUR"

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

Martin Luther King 

.......................................................................................................................................

Martin Luther King Day is a wonderful day for me.  Personally, I choose to recognize the memory of Martin Luther King for all he brought to our country through history.  His role was and still is significant.  The statement in quotes above is very meaningful and is so valid.  Take a moment and reflect on it.

Another reason this day is so significant in my life and how it relays to fly fishing and a fly tying blog is the basis of the rest of this post.

When I lived in Eastern Idaho, prior to my move to Colorado a few years ago, a small and avid group of fly fishers and fly tyers used this day as a day for the Fly Shop Tour.  Where we lived was around (90) miles or so from West Yellowstone, Montana.  Also known as the Fly Shop Mecca of the world!  Since we all had the day off from work, we annually planned a trip to West Yellowstone to tour the great fly shops and visit with friends that hung out here this time of the year.  We would get up early, have Coffee and Cinnamon Rolls at the local truck stop and then be on our way.

Our first stop was along the famous Henry's Fork of the Snake River.  Here we would stop in at

 Mike Lawson  is known as the local guru on the Henry's Fork and the owner of Henry's Fork Anglers.  Excellent fly shop and very friendly to all who wandered in during this time of the year.  Mike has a sense of humor that is kind of a dry one, but, I always had a laugh or two after listening to his stories of being on the river.  (Spent money here....)

Just down the road in Island Park, along the river, we also would stop and say hi to our friend Lynn Sessions at 

Lynn was always very friendly also and came across as just one of the guys.  Our group enjoyed sharing stories and picking his brain for information on the Henry's Fork and also some Henry's Lake information. (Drank coffee here till the pot was empty and then off we would go to the next stop on our Fly Shop Tour).

Once we arrived in West Yellowstone our first stop on the route was at

Bob Jacklins's Fly Shop.  Bob had such a warm and welcoming attitude he brought to his customers, along with the ability to talk about great fishing adventures in the area.  We also use this time to schedule Bob to come down to Idaho Falls to speak to our Fly Fishing Club to bring everyone up to date on current fishing conditions in Yellowstone area.  Bob, never once turned us down, and for that became a very familiar face to our group.  (More money spent here!!)
We would grab a Hamburger and a cold drink for lunch after that and then head to 
Blue Ribbon Flies.  Here we would be hosted by Craig & Jackie Matthews and other very knowledgeable staff.  I must admit that if I were asked to rate my most preferred fly shop that I had ever been in, Blue Ribbon Flies, would take the honor.  Craig, Jackie, and crew published a catalog that I eagerly anticipated getting each winter season.  It was full of great information on fly fishing the Madison River and other great Yellowstone waters.  Articles written by the Matthews' and their staff.  Hot fly patterns for the area and the shop was loaded with some of the highest quality fly tying material you could find anywhere.  Our group would drool over some of the pieces of Deer Hair, Elk Hair, etc.  Necks and Saddle Hackles were of prime quality also.  Basically, a Fly Tyer's Heaven!  (Lots of money spent here.  My wife used to say that my life was mortgaged here!)

Our ride home was spent talking fly fishing and fly tying.  The Tour was over for another year, but as each winter blew in, our group would come together and begin anxiously awaiting our trip to all the fly shops on the route again.    Fly Tying season is here.........

Keep the focus on the vise!

Grandpa Mel & My Friend Ol' Walter

Sunday, January 15, 2017

This Land Is Our Land..............

Something a little out of the ordinary for what I usually post on my blog, but something that is so critical that I had to share it with my readers.  First of all due credits:

Hatch Magazine 

Riffles and Slicks 

Now The Message:

The video that has me stirred up right now.

Hope it means something to all my readers also.  Take a minute and share your thoughts.

GrandpaMel

Thursday, January 12, 2017

My New Vest And A Memory From Dave Whitlock

OK, go ahead, I know it is coming.  Call me a "Name Dropper", or, call me whatever you want.... I deserve it, I suppose!

You know sometimes blog posts are not thought out around here and time taken to make sure everything is laid out primo.  Sometimes the idea for a blog post comes when someone jogs your memory a little, and all of a sudden there it is! It kind of works like this........................

Over the last few days both Cameron and my buddy, Howard, both had posts with picture reviews of the recent Fly Fishing Show held in Denver in early January.  Both of them did a splendid job in making those of us who didn't attend feel like we missed something special.  We did!!

Each of them highlighted many products and celebrities.  One of the highlighted celebrities was the great Dave Whitlock, Master Fly Tyer, Author, Artist, Speaker etc.  He has done it all and has been a wonderful attraction at these shows for many, many years.

 Well, so what does that have to do with the title of this post.  To go there we have to take a trip back in time.  It was the late 1970's.  I had just gotten into fly fishing and fly tying in the last couple of years.  I had joined the local fly fishing club, The Boise Valley Fly Fisherman.  I was so wrapped up in the enthusiasm of fly fishing and fly tying that I must have been, I thought, overbearing on others in the club.  Well, as it turns out, I was wrong about that "overbearing" part.  Here is why..........

The Boise Valley Fly Fisherman held their Annual Banquet during the Winter season.  Banquet? What is that all about? So, curiosity as much as anything else, talked me into purchasing a ticket to the banquet.  Good food, I was promised, and time to interact with other fly fishers.

The Guest Speaker at the banquet was none other than Dave Whitlock.  Remember, I am new to the fly fishing scene and still wet behind the ears, so to speak.  To be honest, I had never heard of Dave Whitlock!  So, again, he was not why I bought the ticket...................

After Dave had given his banquet presentation, (I do remember being impressed with what he had to say) the President of the Boise Valley Fly Fisherman took to the microphone.  A few club members were recognized for various contributions.  Then came my big surprise!

The President wanted to recognize the "Most Inspirational New Club Member".  They had a gift for them.  Lo and behold, I was stunned to hear my name called as the most inspirational new club member!  

The prize awarded was a new Columbia Fly Fishing Vest that had been outfitted with most all the things that a fly fisherman would need at that day and time to look the part of an inspirational fly fisher.  As I accepted the gift and nervously thanked the membership for their support, I was shocked to have Dave Whitlock walk up to me, congratulate me and shake my hand.  Then he opened the palm of his other hand and took two of his famous fly patterns and stuck them too the fleece fly  patch on my new vest!  I told him I would honor them and put them in a frame.  He said, "No, I want you too fish them.  Catch a big trout or bass would be thanks enough for me."  Wow,  As I recall these were the two flies he pinned on my vest.

Whitlock Hair Frog
 
 Whitlock Matuka Sculpin
 
Well, Dave and my readers of this blog, I can attest to the fact that they each got wet on the end of my fly line.  Seems I do remember catching fish on both.
 
Thanks, everyone, for letting me share this memory with you all....................
 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I caught The First One Of 2017...

I really hate messing with the few readers I have here at Fly Tyin' Times, but, just wanted to share with you all that I have caught my first one of 2017! 

A "Cold" that is.... Should have known as much as we spent quite a bit of time with my Grandson's over the Christmas Holiday, and, guess what they were packing. (A head cold)
You know that sneezing, runny nose, congestion, just feel underwhelmed all over feeling.......

Well, anyway, fighting through it and glad that I got it out of the way so early in the New Year 2017!

Thought I would take some time to share my version of the Hot Head P.T. Nymph.......


Since it is a featured fly pattern up on the Fly Tyin' Times blog header, thought I better provide some history with it.  
The Pheasant Tail Nymph (P.T.), as most folks know who have ventured into fly fishing circles, is one of the true "All Time Standards" for use when nymph fishing.    That is, traditionally, without the BeadHead,  Then in the 1990's along came the "BeadHead" craze in fly tying and many, many nymph patterns were rolled over to Beadhead patterns by adding a weighted bead at the head of the fly.  Wouldn't you know it.......... The Beadhead version of a Pheasant Tail Nymph became ridiculously effective on trout waters and on warm water ponds.  As years past, fly tyers got another blessing.  The BeadHead patterns could then be tied with Tungsten Beads! Extra weight over the Brass Beads and designed to be fished deep and slow through the holding spots on trout streams where Ol' Walter hangs out.  On ponds, your Pheasant Tail nymphs tied with a Tungsten bead allowed you to get your nymph down quicker to fish holding deeper waiting for, you guessed it, Ol' Walter to come swimming along.  Nowadays, fly shops feature Brass Beads and Tungsten beads that come in bright colors to allow for the appearance of a Hot Spot near the head of the nymph.  Success Rate - Deadly - You just need to convince yourself to think outside the box and give these patterns a try.

Hot Head P.T. Nymph

Hook: Tiemco 2457 2x heavy Scud hook
Hot Head: In this case, Hot Pink, but could be, Hot Orange, Chartreuse etc.
Thread: Black 6/0
Tail: At least (4) fibers from a Pheasant Tail, tips rearward
Rib: I prefer using small gold wire
Body: Pheasant Tail fibers, twisted together to make a small rope
Thorax: Dubbing, in this case, a Hot Purple Ice Dub.  Choice is yours!

An easy pattern to tie, and, extremely effective if you fish nymphs on trout streams and stillwaters.  So you Nymph Tyers don't forget the Hot Head P.T. Nymph at the vise this year!

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