Winter Vise time

We finally have river front property, at least for the next 11 months. It's been fun to have the tying bag spilled out over an entire dining room again, creating crap for use in my back yard.

#20 PMD Nymph
#22 Purple Soft Hackle
Of course theres a bunch of eggs being tied and fished around here, but winter is about nymphing with midges and small Mayflys.

#24 Cream/Yellow Soft Hackle

Just some winter junk from my vise to yours. Big to do's around here for turkey day and I'm sure the "downtown" beat of the mighty Eagle will be harassed, so we will at least be able to tell you whats working in the backyard. Winter fishing is not such an unusual thing any more. Every ones favorite winter fishing spots have their own mood and temperament but the one thing they have in common is the food is small. Tying small is fun and it doesn't take long to whip up a nice pile of bugs for about 18 cents a piece. 

Americas Cup

Camp machete

So how about you are getting ready for a trip to your favorite stream and you get yourself an email from some dude by the name of Fips Mouche explaining the rules. Thats right, your passion now has a set of international rules and a governing body for fair competition. Enjoy your day, play by the rules and add up your points when your done. Here's the important stuff.

Leave your bobber at home. You can however follow the recipe for a super cool "curly cue" and if I heard correctly they stay all squiggly if you freeze them after you take them out of the oven.

No split shot, that's right Spreck this is where your fishing  life ends. Oh and to complicate things further, no exposed weight on your bugs larger than 4mm and stop ordering coneheads.

In line leaders only so forget the hook bend connections while your rigging your match the life cycle rig. Leave those tags on your knots thick and stiff so they dont end up married to your leader every 3rd cast. Tapered is now a thing of the past, you can now buy leaders by the spool in the big box fishing dept....I think its called Spider wire :-)

At some point during the day you will feel strangely compelled to fish a "boobie", "blob" or a Vlad condom worm.

Replace your teenie, tiny, tech patterns with split tails for a  small (#14) orange bead Hares ear. Dont worry if you cant find this stuff, the team has a tyer or two, just give them a call and put in your order.

Think in centimeters, carry 7 spools, 2 nets, and maybe swipe your kids old hockey gear for some knee protection.

Every 4th trip you have to go to a lake or a pond and fish down wind from a boat with a drouge.

Ready? Now keep track of your points and maybe you get a shot at representing this great country and making the team......Team USA. Congrats to this years fab 5 (3 from Colorado) which was named this week amidst a bit of controversy. Imagine that, drama in the fly fishing industry. Good lads here though even if they did leave a few high draft picks home.....good luck in what ever euro water park they hold this championship.

Shot gun start on Loch Sylvan

That's the world of competitive fly fishing (cliff notes) and every year I get a taste by helping out for 3 days or so at the America Cup here in Vail.  I have enjoyed meeting the different personalities an event like this gathers up  but also seeing how these guys operate and adapt with in a set of rules completely foreign to my game. Its opened my eyes to a few specific things.

*Presentation is king. These guys are seriously throwing some giant flies (in some cases) with bright bead heads on 3x tippet and catching boat loads of fish. We humorously refer to some of our three fly rigs as "Christmas trees" but seriously I think they plug some of this shit in at night. Concrete evidence that if it looks close enough to a snack, some fish will put it in its mouth.

*Long leaders. These guys are using some really long rigs all in an effort to get deep quick with less drag. Its easy to see more hook ups the further you get from your just have to be quicker on the set. Not sure if its sink rate or a few Milli seconds of drag free drift but I am a believer.

* Drag. With no indicator these "all world athletes" rely heavily on drag, lift, swing and feel. Maybe I shouldn't bitch about mending so much.

There are lots of arguments against competitive fly fishing but at least what these guys are doing is actually fishing, its not a casting competition on the lawn of some foo foo resort.