Sunday, January 17, 2010

Slow start to the New Year

I have been in Florida almost three weeks and still haven't bothered to get my SW fishing license. I won't bore you with tales of woe about how cold it has been here in SW Florida, but suffice to say there has been significant fish kills of bait fish and gamefish, such as snook. The weather has turned for the better and I hope to have something to report in a few days.
In the meantime, some of you have been attending the FF show in Marlborough and my guiding partner Jim Norton tells me some of you have attended his presentations at the show. On a comment on the previous post, Eric mentioned he enjoyed the presentation. Jim and I hope the rest of you who attended also enjoyed it. The show is wrapping up today and from what Jim, Ken and others have said, it is considerably smaller than it was a few years ago. I suppose the economy and all the new onshore and offshore rod companies have been putting pressure on the larger rod makers, which has caused them to cut costs and not attend as many shows. Sometimes you wonder if it is a self-fulfilling prophecy when companies cut deeply into their marketing budget, then complain that the public isn't supporting their efforts. Selling fly rods for $600 to over $800 that are not sufficiently different from $250-$300 rods from their competitors in this poor economy only compounds their problems. Just wait a couple years when the Chinese knock-offs will replicate the current high-end Orvis and Sage products for half the price or less. Sage and Orvis have commanded higher prices based on quality and customer service, but not showing up at shows like Marlborough and supporting their dealers doesn't seem like a formula for success. If they get out of touch with their customers, they will be forced to compete on price alone. But then, what the hell do I know? I am just a poor old fishing guide hiding out in Florida until the first hatches of the new season! I can hardly wait to try out my Christmas gift - a River Stix 4wt bamboo rod in a Paul Young Perfectionist taper. Thanks Joanne!


  1. Gerry,
    You are right- you did find a good one... A bamboo 4 wt... You are making us all jealous.

    Wasn't able to make it to Marlboro this weekend. I had to head north- but did get to hit the Newfound and the Pemi yesterday... Man was the water cold. And breaking the ice on shore to step down into the water, I have to say is a first. I got a good laugh last night. I was laughing at how stupid the penguin plunge people were in MA. Then my wife looked at me and said "Hon, what were you doing this morning? Weren't you knee deep in a freezing river???" I deserved that. FYI- we got nothing in either spot. I had one little tap in the Newfound up by the dam, but no hook up. I was just happy- we weren't the only idiots fly fishing in Northern NH. There was another couple of guys there. None of us caught a thing.

    And I have been getting daily reports through my wife- my mother in-law is in southern FL and freezing her buns off. She joked she was going to fly up here to warm up.

    I hope you get some fishing in. April is just around the corner...

  2. Thanks for the report! You really "broke the ice" on the 2010 season!
    I am not really tempted to head north to get warm - it finally has warmed up a bit.

  3. Wise guy... cracking a joke that seems a little thin around the edges...

    Of course- the entire time I was breaking the ice around the rocks to get in the river, I was thinking to myself- why would a sane person do this? People die going through the ice and into the water... and I am intentionally doing it... Wait- I forgot- I am not sane, I am a fisherman :)

    BTW- Gerry- what would be your recommendation for the Newfound this time of year? We tried nymphs, streamers, etc... all different color patterns. The only thing I didn't try was something with red in the pattern. Just curious in case I feel the need to get out of the house and chuck a fly around again.

  4. Eric,
    I don't think the pattern is as important as location - low and slow is the key for winter fishing success. Try a sinking or sinking tip line and let the fly settle down to the bottom and give it a little twitch now and then. (If that doesn't work, try something red :-)

  5. Oh- I deserve that.
    I had to cut my message short- got called into a meeting... Pesky thing called work.

    I have noticed that your reports on the Swift were all pointing towards red softhackles as your weapon of choice. Figured may have to give the red a try. I'll hook up the sinking line next time- I did throw on some bead and cone headed flies, but to no avail...

    We shall see. The way I look at it- it got me out of the house for the day and it was a nice day out.