July 14, 2019
Fishing at what was hopefully the end of the unsafe water advisory (thanks to the Congaree Riverkeeper for all he does). Water was off color, so I thought I would try something white. Tried a white articulated circus peanut and had good success. As I said there are now larger fish in the Saluda and 0x Rio Fluoroflex Plus gives you a little margin for error and is still about the same visibility of lighter monofilament. Even the schoolies are a lot of fun especially on my TFO Deer Creek 13'0" 7/8 spey rod, as the longer lever actually favors the fish and makes for a good fight especially in the current.
July 6, 2019
Striper fishing only with TFO BVK 10'0" 8 weight rod which is a perfect rod for wading for stripers. The extra foot helps keep the line off the water on those long backcasts, and it has enough backbone to throw larger flies and fight something other than schoolies. Started off about 6:15 p.m. but nothing at that location. Switched places and got first fish at about 7:20 on size 4 navy and white Gervais Gray. No more activity until 7:45 and then it was slow. Tried an old fly (the white ironsides - at least that is my name for it) I had tied a few years back on a regular ss hook; had a large fish on for about 40 seconds until he went downstream and the hook pulled out. That is why I am now tying my striper flies in smaller sizes on Kona super strong stinger hooks for extra hooking power and strength. Sz 2 and above, I am using Gamakatsu B10S stinger hooks or Kona super strong stinger hooks. Not sure how it would have turned out if the fly had been tied on the Kona hook, but it could not have hurt. I then did what I always do when I miss a fish, I sharpened the hook Caught a few more on the white ironsides. Then I dropped a gray and white size 6 Gervais Gray in gray and white behind the lead fly and had some nice fishing for about 45 minutes. Caught a total of 10 on white ironsides, navy and white Gervais Gray, gray and white Gervais Gray and sz 2 black beastmaster. Only one being 24 inches and the rest being schoolies. Remember if you fish at RE, you must have a current pass properly displayed, park in the designated 4 parking spots, and abide by the hours of one before dawn and one hour after dark. The rules are being much more strictly enforced now, and violators are not eligible for future passes and are subject to trespassing charges. Don't forget to make sure your fishing license is current!
July 2, 2019
Tried fishing for trout with a dry first. Used a size 18 gray caddis and had a few looks and one short strike. Insect activity is sporadic with a few fish rising. Switched rods and tried some striper fishing but got skunked. My friend caught a catfish. GO Figure.
June 19, 2019
Well after weeks of low water on the Saluda, the river level jumped up to 10,000 cfs due to all the rain. It is finally back down to wadeable levels and cleared out. Stripers are in the Saluda, and it is a good thing since it is illegal to fish for them in the Congaree. A size 4 or 6 navy and white Gervais Gray, preferably tied on a Kona super strong stinger hook for extra hooking power and strength, has been my best fly . There are some larger fish in the Saluda now so don't just try to strip them in by hand until you know how big it is, when in doubt put it on the reel.
December 6, 2018
How to Get Started in Fly Tying
A lot of people ask me about how to get started in fly tying so here you go.
First realize what fly tying will not do for you.
It will not save you money or room in your house
It will probably will not allow you to tie flies as pretty as the ones you see in the store
It will not raise your blood pressure (most of the time)
It will not make you spend more time with your family
It will not keep your kitchen table uncluttered
What will fly tying do for you?
It will make you a better problem solver
It will make you better with your hands
It will improve your patience
It will make you a better fisherman fisherperson(?)
It will help you tie flies you cannot buy
It will help you tie flies in the size, color shape, etc. you cannot otherwise find
It will help you look forward to the trips you take
It will let you forget about things while you are tying.
What do I do to get started?
Buy a fly tying kit, throw the vise away, and buy a decent vise
Get a fly tying friend to help you; you really cannot learn from a book; you can sort of learn from videos especially more advanced techniques, but the best way is in person with the instructor helping you every step of the way
Watch videos and practice the techniques
Set aside a dedicated area for tying. If you don’t, it is unlikely you will tie flies on a regular basis
If you stick with it, buy more and nicer tools and buy materials for specific flies you want to tie
Start off simple and work your way up to more difficult patterns
Tie several of the same fly at one time, repetition is your friend
Buy a recipe book (we call it a pattern book in fly tying). Put the materials on the hook in the order listed in the pattern.
Keep notes of what works on certain patterns
Realize there are a lot of ways to do something, so don’t be afraid to experiment. That is part of the fun.
First learn to use a half hitch tool and then learn to whip finish as soon as possible.
Buy several bobbins, so you can keep several types and colors of thread ready
Realize even ugly flies can catch fish, so can simple flies, so can complex flies
Learn to improvise, otherwise the bit above about your blood pressure not going up will not be true
Try to keep your fly tying area tidy. Come up with an organization system that works for you.
Tie regularly, at least at first. After you have been tying a while you can pick it back up easier if you take a break.
Try the Hareline app at Apple App Store or Google Play, Fill up your cart and forward it to me for easy ordering. You cannot buy it direct you must go through a Hareline Dealer
Tuesday June 12, 2018. Well, I have finally recovered enough from rotator cuff surgery to start fishing again, but not with a spey rod. The stripers are all up and down the Saluda. The best fly for me so far has been a black size 2 beastmaster tied on a Gamakatsu B10S stinger hook. Prime time has been between 8:15 and 9:15 p.m. Watch out for the thunderstorms and make sure to carry your headlamp(s) and wading staff. Remember after June 15, 2018, you cannot attempt to catch stripers in the Congaree and catch and release only in the Saluda. Send your striper pics, your trout pics, your bass pics and any other fish pics for the photo gallery.
Saturday June 16, 2018. Got a late start. Water was still a little high for comfortable wading. Tried several flies and got skunked.
Sunday June 17, 2018. Water dropped a little, tried several different flies but had best success with small black articulated beastmaster which was good enough for a few schoolies. Once again 8:15-9:15 seems to be prime time.
Tuesday June 19, 2018. Water level was at about 940, so still a little hard wading. Did not start until about 8:15. Tried several flies and missed one on small clouser. About 8:45 switched to small black articulated beastmaster. On 2d cast landed 24 inch striper pictured above , then 12 inch schoolie. Action slowed down, so I switched to small tan and brown beastmaster and landed 20 inch striper and missed another. Lightning ran me out at about 9:40. BTW I was using a 10'0" 8 weight Temple Fork BVK rod. I think the extra foot helps me keep the fly line up higher on the backcast when I am waist deep in the river and has enough backbone to cast larger flies and pull the stripers upstream to land them . https://tforods.com/bvk-fly-rods/ I paired the rod with an old teton tioga 8 i bought from the estate reels I am selling https://flysouthsc.com/shop?olsPage=t%2Fpreviously-owned-reels
Thursday June 21, 2018. A longtime friend from Greenville who happens to be an expert fly tier, rod builder, multi species fisherman and student of fly fishing history and entomology was in town. I took him fishing. The water was low (740 cfs) and clear and the rocks were slick. Started about 8, I persuaded him to try a small articulated black beastmaser tied on a Gamakatsu sz 2 B10S hook. He immediately had several strikes and proceeded to land 6 stripers ranging from 10 inches to 22 inches over the next 2 hours all on the same fly and had several other strikes. I was using my new TFO BVK 12'8" spey rod https://tforods.com/bvk-spey-fly-rods/ and Ross CLA 4 reel I bought from the estate reels (still 1 left for sale - smooth as real butter) https://flysouthsc.com/shop?keywords=cla&olsPage=products%2Fross-cla-4-reel-still-in-box-from-estate What a sweet outfit , the BVK Spey is lighter than the Deer Creek rods I have but can still throw lots of line and big flies. I was standing 14 feet in front of a tree so my friend could have the spot with backcast room for his traditional fly rod. I tried several flies and ended up catching a 20 incher and a 22 incher on a medium sized black beastmaster. Quit about 10:35. I asked my friend why he thought big predatory fish liked to hang in deep water below fast water shelfs. His answer can be summarized as follows: LGS. Lazy, greedy and scared.
Lazy: do not want to swim against the current or waste energy getting food unless absolutely necessary. Greedy: They want the best spot where the fast current funnels the most food to them. Scared: Left over instincts from when they were small and deeper water provided cover from aerial predators. Tips: Even if you are not wading far, carry a wading staff; the rocks are slippery in the dark and even with a good headlamp it is hard to see the rocks and depth of the water. Have a good headlamp (actually 2 in case 1 goes out), test them before you go and make sure it is at least 150 lumens, a cheap headlamp is not much better than no headlamp at all. Send me your fish pics
Wed. June 27, 2018. Started about 8:15 in between thunderstorms. I started with small non-articulated black beastmaster tied on a Gamakatsu sz 2 B10S hook with sz 6 Gervais gray dropper. I was using my new TFO BVK 12'8" spey rod and Ross CLA 4 reel I bought from the estate. Caught 4 stripers 10-18 inches all on black beastmaster, finally cut off dropper fly. Missed about 5 others. I caught a 12 inch rainbow on same beastmaster.
Thurs. June 28, 2018. Started at 8:10. Used TFO BVK12'8" spey rod with Ross CLA reel. Started with medium arcticulated gray and white beastmaster on sz 1/0 Gamakatsu B10s hook pictured below no dropper. While I was letting line out line to start casting, I caught a 21 inch striper. Caught another on next cast. Caught 2 others on that fly from 10-18 inches . At 8:40 switched to small black articul. beastmaster tied on Sz 2 Gamakatsu B10 S hook, no dropper. Caught 24 incher and also caught 14 incher and 10 incher. Missed about 4 other fish. Action cut off at 9:20, no other hits after that.
Monday October 1, 2018. Some dry fly action in the evening with size 10 gray wulff, size 16 extended body gray mayfly and size 16 tan elk hair caddis.
Tuesday October 2, 2018.
Hareline has a new app. Just download it from the Apple Store or Google Play, then browse all the categories and products, save what you want to your cart and them e mail it to me. Hareline will not let you buy directly, you must go through a dealer. Give it a try.