Thursday, February 27, 2014

Midwestern 'Misfits' Sell and Use Their Own Light-Cured Resin

   I attended the Badger Fly Fishers Spring Opener on Feb. 8, 2014.  I spent some time with tiers, including Brian J. Smolinski, in the tying room.  Brian, owner of Lund’s Fly Shop in River Falls, WI, answered questions about the techniques & materials he used to tie his big predator flies.
   I noticed that Brian was using a light-cured resin that was unfamiliar to me.  Having recently purchased ‘Bug Bond’, the 3rd LCR that I now own, I was very interested in the LCR that Brian was using.  Misfit UV Bond Tack-Free Cement and Misfit UV Bond LED light are available for purchase either individually or as a kit.  The purchase prices are very reasonable and would also make an exceptionally good way to step into the light-cured resin market.

   There is one Misfit viscosity offered and if you are familiar with either the Loon or Bug Bond thick and thin LCR products, Misfit’s viscosity appears to sit between the thick and thin products.  The resin comes in a 15ml bottle with a brush applicator.  The light has 21 LEDs and uses 3-AA batteries.  My Loon light currently uses 1 bulb and this will allegedly focus the light and allow for a faster cure rate.  However, I wouldn’t mind a multi-LED light – if one LED bulb burned out I wouldn't be out of commission.

   The Misfit LCR products are available at Lund’s Fly Shop or by contacting them on-line or by phone at 715-425-2415.  Links for the page for the light-cured resin products & for Lund’s Fly Shop & Misfit Fly Co. websites are listed below.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Big Browns at Night on the Brule

   All sizes of trout, including the reclusive “Big Browns”, break the clear water surface when Hexagenia limbata are compelled to complete their midnight dance of life.  Bathed in beams of celestial moonlight, the bugs’ wings reflect a rhythm often accompanied by rippling, watery rings.  Feelings of awe and gratitude hold one entranced in this vision of reality –the beauty and the consequences of simply being alive. 

   In time, the need to partake in and feel part of this side of life pulls one’s attention back to the fly rod.

   A size 10 Hex comparadun is knotted to tippet in 70 lumens of headlamp light, followed by a return to moonlit darkness.  Standing silently & stripping out line, I listen to water, gauge wind direction & speed, and sense distances to fly-attractors-- brush and feeding fish.  During careful but relaxed casts, fly meets water to tempt trickery on a wise old Brown.  Excitement and hope carry forward with each cast.  Then setting to sound… hoping for the weight of magic, finned glory!  Just another imaginary trip to a place on my bucket list yet visited.

40th Anniversary HFFA Fly Fishing Show Held Feb 21-23 in Cedar Rapids, IA!!!!!

   The Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association 40th Annual Fly Fishing Show starts this evening!  This year's show is hosted by club members in the Cedar Rapids area and will be held at the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center, 525 33rd Ave. SW.  Hours are 5-9 pm Friday, Feb 21, 2014 and then Saturday is 8-5 pm and Sunday is 8-1230 pm.  Only $5 entry on Friday and/or Sunday and $10 on Saturday.  Kids are admitted free.  

   The internationally known and much respected Bob Clouser is slated for 2 presentations on Saturday.  Other speakers include Terri and Roxanne Wilson, Midwestern warmwater authors and flytiers (Friday and Sunday), Scott Sanchez, a western guide and flytier (Saturday), Mat Wagner, owner and guide for the Driftless Angler Fly Shop, Viroqua, WI (Sunday), Luke Kavajecz, a Wisconsin-born guide, writer photographer (Friday) and Jeffery Skeate, a Decorah, IA resident and an author who will speak during the club member's Saturday banquet.

   Of course fly fishing-related vendors & guest flytiers will be present.  There will be many bucket raffles and auction items available for which to take your chances. The grand prize raffle includes a 6wt Sage XP, Abel Super 5 reel, and Orvis Clearwater fly line.  The drawing for the grand prize occurs on Sunday.  Typically bucket raffle drawings occur both Saturday and Sunday and this year's live auction will happen on Saturday.  Proceeds from the show benefit conservation and education efforts.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Gift of a Day to Fly Fish in Winter, 2014

   Finally, finally only a couple inches of snowfall NOT accompanied by bitter cold or heavy winds!  No fishing in January was frustrating.  No February fishing was simply unacceptable!  Luckily, I found one off-road spot (not plowed in by snow) to park and car camp. I saw lots of turkeys and deer & a few eagles and hawks during my wintry NE Iowa driving in the Decorah region.

   It snowed fairly heavily on Saturday but Sunday was beautiful.  I fished a favorite stream - one I knew would offer the best open-water conditions.  Other than being careful around ice shelves, the conditions were great!  No mosquitoes, no brush to snag & no competition from other anglers -LOL!  Four trout landed on a ~sz 20 dry fly.  The trout started rising to bugs in the surface film after I'd given up fishing with a sz 18 dry, a wet fly, and then my go-to nymph pattern.  If I was an angler with quicker reflexes (not yet but better!), I would have had 8-9 trout for the day.  It was great to be wading again.  Landed fish included browns, a bow and a brookie... my first trifecta on this stream!  The fish looked like they had been eating well.  The stream bed displayed green plant growth - showcasing a promising recovery from last year's flooding.  ~Twitch (2/16/14)