The Orange Nymph?

I wanted to fish the Sipsey yesterday before the rains that afternoon. Generation was scheduled at 3PM so that gave me about 3 hours to wet a fly. Never think especially on the Sipsey that you’re going to land trout on the same pattern day in and day out there; yesterday proved that statement correct. I went through numerous nymph patterns with no success. After exhausting my options I tied on an orange nymph Alan of Small Stream Reflections had mailed me sometime back. I kept trying to figure out what this pattern duplicated in the insect world while I was casting it. After I got home I googled orange nymphs and found the Milkweed Assassin Bug. Strange I didn’t see any such bug while I was fishing but this little orange nymph proved a winner today.

The Milkweed Bug and the Red Ant

  The third cast in a slow run produced this healthy rainbow using Alan’s orange bug.

There must be a clan of these damaged gill plate trout in the Sipsey, or I am landing the same trout every time I fish this place.

Super clear fast water pouring into small pockets held the trout below; the orange bug continued to work its magic.
Never overlook any fly in the box; high sticking the little orange bug worked in the small pockets. Who knows what pattern will be hot on my next outing here.  

 

  

 

 

I wanted to fish the Sipsey yesterday before the rains that afternoon. Generation was scheduled at 3PM so that gave me about 3 hours to wet a fly. Never think especially on the Sipsey that you’re going to land trout on the same pattern day in and day out there; yesterday proved that statement correct. I went through numerous nymph patterns with no success. After exhausting my options I tied on an orange nymph Alan of Small Stream Reflections had mailed me sometime back. I kept trying to figure out what this pattern duplicated in the insect world while I was casting it. After I got home I googled orange nymphs and found the Milkweed Assassin Bug. Strange I didn’t see any such bug while I was fishing but this little orange nymph proved a winner today.
The Milkweed Bug and the Red Ant
  The third cast in a slow run produced this healthy rainbow using Alan’s orange bug.
There must be a clan of these damaged gill plate trout in the Sipsey, or I am landing the same trout every time I fish this place.
Super clear fast water pouring into small pockets held the trout below; the orange bug continued to work its magic.
Never overlook any fly in the box; high sticking the little orange bug worked in the small pockets. Who knows what pattern will be hot on my next outing here.  
 
  
 

 

Fly Casting Lessons in New England: Embrace the New

Throughout my life, many people have told me that I should be a teacher or a coach.  Much of the time, I have dismissed their suggestions.  However, I have finally come to the realization, whether on or off the river, I was put on this planet…


Throughout my life, many people have told me that I should be a teacher or a coach.  Much of the time, I have dismissed their suggestions.  However, I have finally come to the realization, whether on or off the river, I was put on this planet to do one thing; to teach (solving problems and helping people -- it's what I do best).
Lucky for me and my fly fishing students, my only intention is to educate.  In other words, I have no desire to sell you anything and I have no desire to be:
  • a famous fly fishing angler, author, photographer, or videographer 
  • known as the best guide in New England or the world
  • an industry model, pimp, or conveyor of fishy BS

My only desire is to be the best teacher for my students -- even if it means doing things entirely different from the industry.  In my opinion, to be the best teacher, first and foremost, you must understand how people learn. Unfortunately, in the fly fishing industry, there is very little emphasis placed on this -- the majority of instructors simply do what has been done for generations (in my opinion, the educational/instructional model is backwards).  Again, though a firm understanding of fly fishing knowledge and fly casting technique are important, the emphasis should be placed on a proven educational model focused on student outcomes -- not solely on how Joe instructor taught 50 years ago.
At FCFF, our instructional model has been built upon a proven modern science.  The science is called Emotional Intelligence (EQ, not IQ).  Don't dismiss this, EQ was developed at Yale, Harvard and the University of New Hampshire.  It's real and it works.  For example, read what a recent client has to say about his experience with our teaching model:         
I'm an expert fisherman but novice fly caster and have been "stuck" for 5 years both trying to self-teach and to pick up some basic instruction from fishing guides, videos, etcetera. I finally realized that I needed more focused help and found Mark when searching for instruction in my part of seacoast New Hampshire. 
Mark's approach was absolutely perfect for my needs. He focused on fundamentals, has a very organized approach and was patient, encouraging and incredibly helpful. He was also insightful enough to discern that even with the number of years that I had been trying to learn, a basic "level 1" class was the smart place for me to start. Most important, he gives results! At the end of 3 (VERY reasonably priced) hours of instruction I was hitting my casting target consistently and accurately, and the grin on my face was a huge testimonial to Mark's skills as a teacher.
Don't spend another day frustrated with your casting, just call Mark and get results.
E. Nash. Exeter, NH. USA
Final Words
The best teachers have no self interest.  They focus their attention entirely on their craft and are only concerned with independent measurable outcomes.  In other words, instructors can proudly display their credentials (an official badge) and personally believe they are the best instructors, but does that prove they are the best educators?  Absolutely not.  In the end, what matters the most are outcomes -- what your students feel and say about your program.
Teaching is an evolving and effortful art form, which I truly enjoy and love.  Thank you to all my students for your willingness to embrace and experience the new -- EQ of fly casting instruction. 
Thanks.
Mark
    


Putting a Dent in my Bluegill Quest

I started by bluegill quest this past Tuesday with early morning temps in the mid forties, quite chilly. Overcast skies kept the temperature cool most of the morning, but it didn’t affect the bluegill bite. I had the lake to myself for a couple of hours, which is always a plus when fishing Walker County Lake. As I have told you guys numerous times this is one of the most pressured small lakes in the state. My plan was to fish the east side of the lake where there is no access for bank fisherman. I know where most of the spawning beds are located year in and out on this lake; today held no surprises for me. What did surprise me was most all the spawning beds were void of fish. At my first stop I counted close to 40 beds, after I landed 3 nice bluegills.

The sweet spot on this bank was located near the fallen log lying in the water. The bluegills had clean out close to 40 spawning beds to the right and left of the log.

The first gill of the morning, which nailed an Orvis size 12 legless tiny popper; the 3 weight got a workout.

This fish loved this little popper, the very next cast produce another strong fish which hung my little popper and the fish in a tangle mess of underwater brush; so much for that popper. Wouldn’t you know it that was the only one in the fly box, another trip to Orvis?

Another group of gills were located at the end of this moss pad in deeper water; again lots of spawning beds but only a few bluegills left to fish for. The live bait guys did a great job plucking each and every bluegill out of their beds.

The Bar Nunn popper got the attention of this bull after my little Orvis popper bite the dust. I was able to land a number of bluegill from the moss pad area that someone actually left for me. As I moved from spawning beds to spawning beds I felt like I was cleaning up what was left of this spawn.

This guy was having a time landing catfish using chicken livers as bait. In fact he was hauling one in when I snapped this picture. He had 7 or 8 rigs all hanging over the edge of the boat.

I left all my water at the house so I had to make a trip to the bait shop and purchase a couple of bottles. As I was leaving the shop I noticed this lady painting a beautiful scene of the point area in the distance. She told me she had finished a number of paintings of the lake this past year.

The Pelican now has a padded seat as opposed to that hard plastic seat I use for a couple of years. This is the 10 ft. version and will handle two fly fishermen really well——-as long as my line is down on the water and their line is up in the air or vice versa—I think you guys know what I am talking about!!

These are the best of the best for a very successful morning; these 10 will put a dent in my quest. I added 8 more that kept me filleting bluegill for a couple of hours after I got home. I will go after the big bulls on Smith Lake next week. I am now 40 away from my 50 quest; could this be my year to make it???

 

I started by bluegill quest this past Tuesday with early morning temps in the mid forties, quite chilly. Overcast skies kept the temperature cool most of the morning, but it didn’t affect the bluegill bite. I had the lake to myself for a couple of hours, which is always a plus when fishing Walker County Lake. As I have told you guys numerous times this is one of the most pressured small lakes in the state. My plan was to fish the east side of the lake where there is no access for bank fisherman. I know where most of the spawning beds are located year in and out on this lake; today held no surprises for me. What did surprise me was most all the spawning beds were void of fish. At my first stop I counted close to 40 beds, after I landed 3 nice bluegills.
The sweet spot on this bank was located near the fallen log lying in the water. The bluegills had clean out close to 40 spawning beds to the right and left of the log.
The first gill of the morning, which nailed an Orvis size 12 legless tiny popper; the 3 weight got a workout.
This fish loved this little popper, the very next cast produce another strong fish which hung my little popper and the fish in a tangle mess of underwater brush; so much for that popper. Wouldn’t you know it that was the only one in the fly box, another trip to Orvis?
Another group of gills were located at the end of this moss pad in deeper water; again lots of spawning beds but only a few bluegills left to fish for. The live bait guys did a great job plucking each and every bluegill out of their beds.
The Bar Nunn popper got the attention of this bull after my little Orvis popper bite the dust. I was able to land a number of bluegill from the moss pad area that someone actually left for me. As I moved from spawning beds to spawning beds I felt like I was cleaning up what was left of this spawn.
This guy was having a time landing catfish using chicken livers as bait. In fact he was hauling one in when I snapped this picture. He had 7 or 8 rigs all hanging over the edge of the boat.
I left all my water at the house so I had to make a trip to the bait shop and purchase a couple of bottles. As I was leaving the shop I noticed this lady painting a beautiful scene of the point area in the distance. She told me she had finished a number of paintings of the lake this past year.
The Pelican now has a padded seat as opposed to that hard plastic seat I use for a couple of years. This is the 10 ft. version and will handle two fly fishermen really well-------as long as my line is down on the water and their line is up in the air or vice versa---I think you guys know what I am talking about!!
These are the best of the best for a very successful morning; these 10 will put a dent in my quest. I added 8 more that kept me filleting bluegill for a couple of hours after I got home. I will go after the big bulls on Smith Lake next week. I am now 40 away from my 50 quest; could this be my year to make it???