Monday, December 21, 2009

Hatchery Pipe Tour

No I didn't decide to hit the Swift for one last time this year. I took a break from tying flies (more on that later) and strung together some video shots of the hatchery pipe area on the Swift. Those that are regulars there will probably not be too impressed, but you other folks who haven't made the pilgrimage yet might find it a little interesting. <YouTube Video>
Oh yeah, fly tying. I have been alternating between three themes: Major hatches for next spring (Alder fly and Hendrickson patterns, mostly); Florida; and Labrador streamers - yes a trip to Three Rivers Lodge is in the planning stages, so Clouser black ghosts and Mickey Finns have started to accumulate. In between I confess to tying some softhackles to use as droppers and also for an April foray to the Swift upon return from Florida. As soon as I finish the Florida flies, I hope to dig into my tackle bag and clean out the ratty looking flies from my fly boxes and started to get organized for next season. I have been mulling over some new ways to organize my fly boxes. Anybody have any special thoughts on that?


  1. Enjoyed the video. Have a great holiday season!

    Bob W

  2. Gerry,
    First off- Merry Xmas... May Santa bring you tight lines and unbreakable leaders... LOL

    Definitely hitting the Swift next year. You have twisted my arm. Well that, and my buddy Mark drooling trying to get me to go out in the snow so he can play with his new Sage Launch he picked up on black friday.

    I have a question for you. I am contemplating starting to tie my own flies this spring. Any recommendations on good books, videos, etc... that would help? I am thinking about picking up a good starter tying kit and going from there. I may try to make one of your seminars too if I get a chance, but was curious as to what you may use for reference materials.



  3. Oh- and on the organization- I do 2 fly boxes.
    I have the Scientific Angler System X- one side is all woolly buggers- brown, black, green, white and other assorted colors- Each row is a different color- weighted on the left- non-weighted on the right- other side of the box is streamers- tandems at the tops- single hooks for the last 3 rows. That works good for me.
    Then I have a flambeau box- the big one- I organize it by fly type (it has all my dry's, nymph's, egg sacks, etc... all my smaller flies)- each row is a different type - I have rows of prince's, elk hairs, pheasant tails, hare's ears... organized by size and then by weighted. For the rest of my flies- I try to group by like types for each row. The center insert in the box, I use to hold my pre-tied dropper rigs on one side- the other side of the insert- I use to store my already tried flies for the day. Seems to work for me so far.

    The 2 box system seems to work for me. I also have another small flambeau box that I will preload with flies if I am going somewhere where I know I will use only a limited number of flies.


  4. Eric,
    Scroll down the list of blog entries to November 4 and look at the event calendar for the free fly tying class at the Nashua Library. My guiding buddy Jim teaches the class. I personally don't recommend trying to learn to tie flies out of a book. I recommend that once you learn the basics, invest in a good fly pattern book. I just looked in my bookcase and found 4 books dedicated to fly patterns and another 5 or 6 that include fly patterns. My favorite pattern book is The Orvis Fly Pattern Index, which has 455 flies and some basic fly tying instructions in the front of the book. The other must-have book is Thomas Ames' Hatch Guide to New England Stream. This book tells you all about the insects that NE trout feed on and includes flies to imitate them and how to fish that fly.
    Good input on the fly box organizing. I have 3 or 4 different schemes, and am always looking for how others do it. I have some boxes that are seasonal and specific to certain rivers - a winter Swift River box, a fall Pemigewasset River broodstock box, etc. Then I have some hatch-specific boxes - Hendrickson, Alder fly, hexagenia. Then I have a terrestrial box, a woolly-bugger box, a landlocked salmon box, a small/medium caddis box, a small/medium mayfly box, a saltwater box and a stonefly box. I carry all of these (except the Florida box) in a tackle bag in the car with my spare reels, extra sunglasses and caps (including loaners for clients)extra tippet, etc. Then every night I take the boxes I used that day, take out the ratty flies, put the misplaced flies where they belong and load the boxes that I plan to use the next day. (At least that is the plan, which is rarely followed :) See, I store all the flies in boxes as indicated above, but usually I carry four boxes onto the water, depending on what hatches, which river, etc. And I always have at least one "lalapalooza" box that has a row of buggers, a row of mayfly nymphs, softhackles and dries, same for caddis, a few various size Stimulators, and some generic nymphs, like copper Johns, prince, etc. As I use those I replenish from the other boxes. By the end of season, many of my insect-specific boxes are pretty empty and my "lalapalooza" boxes are stuffed full of ratty looking rejects. It sounds like pandemonium, but usually it works.