Wednesday, May 11, 2011

welcome to the highlands

So I have come over to the dark side as my buddy JT said. I started this blog because my 13 year old daughter taunted me into it. I am a fly fishermen and that is what this blog will be about. I named it fishing Connecticut highlands because that is what I do and that is what my guide service is named. No the blog will not be me trying to drum up busniess as i have all of that I want. I want to pass on timely info to others who can use it to better their fishing.
                 So just a little about me.  grew up in Eastern Connecticut and have spent most all of my life here. I began fly fishing at about the age of 12 or 13 and have been fly fishing ever since. I have done other types of fishing (bass fishing with all the fancy gear) but always seemed to pick up the fly rod when I needed to clear my mind. I became a fisherman early in life, I have a picture my mom took when I was in about 1st grade of me with a brown bullhead on a stick with a string at the end. From what my dad says I caught it in the store drain up the road from the house and took several more (mom love to eat them) over that spring. I remember my first trout I was about 9 or 10 and was fishing behind my aunts house with my cousin Mickey and I got a nice rainbow on a fly and bubble ( they were all confirmed fly fishermen) the rest as they say is history. In the last 13 years I have guided other fly fishermen, it started out as a favor for a friend who owned a shop and had a customer who wanted to go out to learn to fly fish. I found I like to get others into fish and teach about fly fishing and casting. So I did a few more "trips" that spring and have been doing them ever since. Four years ago a good friend opened a fly shop in our town and I have been "helping" with guiding though his shop as well. It is just a part time deal as I need to work 40 hours to feed the family.
        I have also been tying flies for a long time. It started not long after I began fly fishing, seems flies were a bit expensive so I got a basic book and some hooks, thread and the lot, began tying. At first I used a pair of vice grips taped to a table as a vice but eventually I got a thompson AA and started tying using what I could shoot with my 22 rifle and I mowed lawns and baled hay for extra cash for hooks and other supplies. when I was about 16 I had gotten ok at it and would get guys I meet who wanted some of my creations. One summer in high school I actually sold some at the campgound we were seasonal at. In the mid 90's The same friend with the sport shop needed some streamers tied up so I did it for them, then a few weeks later it was some thing else and then another until it was to the point people wanted my flies. I have been tying for a few shops and guides who I know in New Hampshire, Maine and New Brunswick Canada. I tie about about 5 or 6 hundred dozen a year now. Many of those are for friends who want a specific pattern for a trip or hatch.
                 Over the last 35 years a lot has changed in my fly fishing and in fly fishing in general. I was talking to my dad and aksed what it was like to fish in the golden age he said " what, your in the golden age" the equipment is better, less expensive stuff is better than the most expensive stuff was 25 years ago" the states are managing the resources better and the internet makes it easy to learn new places and make new buddies. the more I thought about it the mnore he is right. I have one philosphy about fly fishing I never try to force fish to take what I want to use, I let them tell me what to use. That is to say if I go out and the fish are holding on the bottom feeding on the behavioral drift of nymphs, I am not going to put on an adams dry and try to force a fish to come up and take it. I will put on a nymph and fish it. conversely I will not put on a streamer or nymph when every fish in the river is looking up and rising to a hatch. I will put on the closest fly I have and cast to the risers. To be a good fly fishermen you need to be flexible. That is not to say you can't fish dry flies to rising trout with your left hand only on Wednesdays but don't preach to others that is the "only" real fly fishing. If it is done using a fly rod and reel and a fly on the end of the line it is fly fishing. Look for more blod posts in the future and I pormise to pass along as much good info as I can and not try to sell you anything.


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