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Archive for the ‘Flies’ Category

One of my recent and long term projects for Tailwaters is to capture an image of every single fly that we have in stock.  We will be using these images for various use, the internet and destination outfitting guides are among many.  Yesterday, it came to my attention that my images may be of use to some of you that tie a lot.  Looking back, I remember always trying to find good, quality images to use as a guide for tying various patterns.  Whether it was a step by step photo collage, or just a single image, I could never find anything.  This may not be the case anymore as I really haven’t tied for a few years now.  To the point…

I have an online photo gallery of hi-res images of many fly patterns we carry here at Tailwaters.  I will continue to add images as the project progresses.  Feel free to browse them for your use.  Also, our part time employee, Ron Foster, heads fly tying lessons each Saturday morning at the shop.  I have scheduled to photograph tying sessions for step by step instructional use.  If there are any patterns that you would like to see tied, please email us or leave a comment!

Mini Carona Toad.  Photo by: Matt Jones

Mini Corona Toad. Photo by: Matt Jones

My online photo gallery is HERE at Matt Jones Stock Photography.

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Here’s  a little photo essay from this past Sunday when Joel Hays took yours truly and our new ‘shop guy’ Evan carp fishing up on Ray Roberts (in the 100+ degree heat!). I made a point to get some macro shots of fish scale – with some results I hope y’all will like! Evan landed his first carp on a fly, and together we landed well over 30 fish. It was a great day on a section of the lake that only fishes when the weather is juuuuuuust right. If Joel hadn’t blindfolded us, I might be able to get there again……..

Evan Russell with his first carp on the fly! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Evan Russell with his first carp on the fly! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

A view through the 'mangroves' on Ray Roberts. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Evan and Joel through the 'mangroves' on Ray Roberts. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Oh No! EVAN! Look out!!!! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Oh No! EVAN! Look out!!!! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Evan hooked up. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Evan hooked up. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Dark Scales. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Dark Scales. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Several of the fish had a handful of coppery-pink scales mixed in. Very cool. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Several of the fish had a handful of coppery-pink scales mixed in. Very cool. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

A 'gimpy' fish I caught that had most likely tangled with an Osprey in his youth. His tail formed an 'S' when he swam. Strange but true! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

A 'gimpy' fish I caught that had most likely tangled with an Osprey in his youth. His tail formed an 'S' when he swam. Strange but true! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

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Rods….check.  More rods…..check.   Reels…..check.   Ridiculous amount of flies…..check.    Boots….check.   Passport….check.   Camera stuff….check.  All the fishing crap the guides on the island requested from the shop….check.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc. 

I am packing for my fourth trip to Alphonse Island in the Seychelles.   Pretty Sic, huh? 

Fishin' Stuff.  Photo by: David Leake

Fishin' Stuff. Photo by: David Leake

 

Every time I visit a fishing lodge I always offer up the following to the head guide or manager:  “Make sure to let me know if there is anything you need from the States.  I’d be happy to bring some tackle, smokes, whatever”.   Half the time the response usually involves a request for a couple dozen flies or something simple like some sun gloves or some Copenhagen.  The other half of the time the requested items require a slow boat shipping container.    Aside from the cumbersome rods, reels, waders, fly lines, rain jackets etc…..  Some of the weirder stuff includes:  Boat parts and electronics to the Seychelles, a Starbucks thermos to Argentina, a salad spinner to Venezuela, smuggled camera to Kamchatka, as well as Christmas decorations and children’s school books to Belize.  I am of course happy to do it, but I often feel like Tenzing Norgay, the famous Sherpa who carried Edmund Hillary (and subsequently a bunch of other rich white British guys) up Everest along with all their gear not using compressed oxygen.    Being in the travel business requires my brain to always be sorting through the details.  As 95% of the travel I organize for our clients does not include planning details for myself, I always seem to forget that I too need to prepare for a trip.  I am super concerned about everyone else’s details…not my own.  As is usually the case in the past, I am running around the office tying up the loose ends on the day of departure without even knowing where my fishing stuff is or what time my flight departs…  Somewhere between failing on my promise to my wife to be home on time and forgetting to return two phone calls, I make it to the house and throw together my gear (at least everything I don’t forget).  

 

Now that I have a 1 year old daughter on the ground, my disorganized pre-trip mayhem must change.  (My daughter, Lynsie, actually turns one year old the day before departure – more on that later.)  When you have a kid you must plan four days in advance just to use the bathroom.  You can imagine the anxiety preceding a 10 day trip to the Indian Ocean.  For that, I must raise my glass to my bride, Melissa, for taking care of Lynsie and my old geriatric Labrador while I am away. 

So, I am a week and a half out and the process has begun.  I have all my fishin’ stuff laid out in the guest bedroom and have a very official to-do list organized.   Stay tuned for more pre-trip mumbo jumbo.

 

Standard Pre-Trip List.  Photo by:  David Leake

Standard Pre-Trip List. Photo by: David Leake

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Co worker Corey and I visited a local pond earlier this week to check out some bass fishing.  This pond has a reputation for holding bass up to 8 lbs and the common catch is around 3lbs.  We strapped the trolling motor to the small boat, grabbed some cold beer, and started to cruise around.  For gear, I was using my Scott SAS 5wt/Hatch 5 Plus/Triangle Taper, and Corey had a Scott HP 8wt/Hatch 7 Plus/Rio Outbound.

Hatch 7 Plus

Hatch 7 Plus

The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming amount of grass this tank had.  With the average depth at about 6ft, the grass was only leaving 2ft of space from the surface.  Our only option was to throw at the shoreline, or at the few areas with no grass.  We threw a variety of flies, anything from baitfish patterns to big bunny flies and just couldn’t get a hit.  As the sun sank we decided it was time for some topwater action, not having any indication that a bass would even come to the surface.  My choice of fish food was swimming frog and Corey went with a black diving bug.

Swimming Frog :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Swimming Frog :: Photo by: Matt Jones

We simply cast in every direction covering as much water as possible.  My first fish attacked the surface about two feet off of the bank…just a dinker.  From that point on, Corey and I continued to catch fish after fish on the surface, most of which were just under 2lbs.   Corey’s last fish of the night was the biggest of the night, just shy of 3 lbs.  It was great getting out and getting some topwater action from these spawning fish!

Bass on Swimming Frog :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Bass on Swimming Frog :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Getting a pull :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Getting a pull :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Mouth full of grass :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Mouth full of grass :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Sun goes down :: Photo by: Matt Jones

Sun goes down :: Photo by: Matt Jones

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Sunday I managed to sneak away from Dallas to fish in the quiet glory of South Fort Worth, to hunt for the Golden Bonefish. With me in this adventure were Matt Jones of Tailwaters and photography fame, and Carp guide extraordinaire Joel Hays.

The conditions could not be more perfect – light breezes (if any), the sun high in the sky with cobalt blue all around. Just as a little bit of icing on the cake, the water was about 6″ lower than the last time Joel and I headed that way, exposing the flats even more – all that we needed was to start shooting at all the huge tails we were sure to see. Did I say “sure?” Perhaps a poor choice of words.

Upon arrival, we noticed that we were not alone – about a dozen bait slingers were already  on scene, attempting to nab the elusive native (read: stocked) Rainbow Trout found in the Trinity River. We were able to see one of these that had become Heron food, but that was all. After some serious stalking, we quickly realized that we were excellent at creeping up on ducks(as evidenced by the dozen or so mallards that scared the living crap out of us as they flew out from under the bank), and that ducks do an excellent job creating muds similar to those that Carp make.

We managed to “see” two fish, but only flashes of their bodies, so getting a bead on them was not the easy task we anticipated. Needless to say, it was a low percentage game, and we definitely finished with nothing to show except a bit of a sun tan.

All that doom and gloom being said, we discovered exactly WHY we had a lack of luck – we carried not only a very, very nice camera, but a landing net as well. Instead of the two jinxes negating each other, there was a multiplication factor. Live and learn, live and learn.

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