March 31, 2010

The posse's arrived

possie buggers
Just because. The Possie Bugger is so full of awesomeness, that it deserved an encore showing. I crafted a couple variations, including a UV dubbing tipped version and a soft hackle version. These buggers are going to get down and do some dirty work for me this month. I've got a slew of suckers just waiting to get their lips pierced.

UV possie
Bask in their glory.

March 30, 2010

friends in low places

Much can be said about your coworkers. Everyone has a few horror stories to share, and there always seems to be a Milton Waddams, Tom Smykowski, or Bill Lumbergh in the crowd. Love 'em or leave 'em, every once in a while one of them will come through and hook you up.

hackle stash
mallard flank
The beauty of working in a co-located office are the perks with working alongside other sections and divisions. One of my wildlife cohorts surprised me the other day by bringing two boxes of feathers into my office. When I opened them up, I discovered a bounty of pheasant, grouse, turkey, and mallard feathers. Now this was the mother lode. Now I've got more hackle than I could ever use in 20 years. Once I sorted, treated, and packed all of the feathers, I managed to fill up an entire grocery bag, to the top. That's over 7 gallons of feathers.

starling skin
golden yellow pheasant rump
Speaking of sweet ass hackle, I couldn't pass up a chance at picking up a starling skin when I was over at the Fly Angler last week. Thanks to Justin over at WFF for piquing my interest earlier this winter. One major bonus at the shop: they had pheasant rump in golden yellow! Hot damn! Been looking for this stuff for a couple years now, and this is the first shop I've come across that actually had some in stock. I was just about ready to mail order some from a company in the PNW, but luckily I was able to procure some "locally". That is if you consider a 200 mile distance local. Unfortunately for me, that's the closest fly shop around. Now I can finally get started tying up a patch of carp carrots, but that's for another story.

Has anyone seen my red Swingline stapler?

March 29, 2010

stash for the cache

I love finding deals. I lucked into a whole lot of them last week, starting with a few trips to the World's Foremost Outfitter. At two different store locations, I benefited from a little inventory downsizing on their Ultra Wire. $2.29 a spool retail, marked down to $0.88 a spool. I cleaned out every last clearance spool they had on the shelves. Can't figure out why they discounted some of the colors, as they had the exact same stuff sitting on the shelf. The only difference I could find was that on some of the current spools, they were marked chartreuse, whereas the discount spools were marked as fluorescent chartreuse. They were the exact same color; figured that UTC changed the name only just to clear out retail inventory and move more product. Their loss is my gain.

ultra wire
I hit the craft store circuit while I was in the metro the other week for the F3T show in Minneapolis. I scored on more clearance items, including some craft trim. I love it when the only colors that are marked down are colors that I want. Pretty tough to beat a quarter for a 10 yard card of yarn. I also scored some cheap hackle and foam for making bass, pike, and muskie poppers. They were in a clearance store for a buck, and the day I was there, everything was marked down another %20. Total score.

craft trim
cheap hackle
While browsing the shelves, I found a few interesting items at regular retail price. Copper bead chain. I normally only come across the nickel, aluminium, or steel varieties. For glamor, there are even coated and plastic chain, but this is the first time I've come across copper in a store. I have a few sources online that sell copper, black, and other anodized colors, but shipping is always expensive, and it's hard to discern through a monitor whether or not an online store is legit or a fly by night cloud operation just scamming to get your money. You know what I'm talking about; some of those online store fronts are so ghetto and generic looking.

Cu bead chain
I also picked up some elastic for use as scud backing. Much like the material used for those clear bra straps, this stuff is a little thick; I'll have to see how it ties. Heavy duty fo' sho.

I grabbed some glitter glue sticks for making heads on some nymph/streamer patterns. Epoxy is used on heads for many fly patterns, and I've seen hot glue used for egg patterns. I'm gonna experiment by using the glue to encase some bead chain. If it's a bust, at least the kids have some new crafts to play with.

glitter glue stick
These teeny ass pompons should make for some nice egg patterns. Everyone always fishes eggs for salmonids; I'm gonna turn the table on this one. I'm gonna try my hand at fishing eggs to suckers. I've heard of people catching suckers on egg patterns intended for trout. Where this gets fun is that I'll be sticking one to the man. Those little yellow numbers are just about the same size and color as a walleye egg. All those one dimensional meatheads can eat their hearts out as I fish the roe of their beloved State Fish to other lowly bottom feeders.


March 26, 2010

the roughfisher quiz: Are you a REAL dirtbag?

Jolly Roger

Do you have what it takes to be a dirtbag? Take the quiz and find out for yourself.

1) How many days did you spend on the water last year?
a. 1, and that was only to retrieve your ball from a water hazard.
b. 5. It would have been more if momma let you out of the house more.
c. 39, and you wrote about every outing on your blog.
d. I've been in the water so much I'm growing a goddamn set of gills.

2) Your perfect rod:
a. The classic feel of split cane.
b. I loves me some glass!
c. The newest extra-super fast Z[Be+C]/n99 Beryllium composite rod from Sage.
d. Whatever I can afford without the Missus finding out.

3) Reading material found on the coffee table:
a. Gray's Sporting Journal
b. The Onion
c. The Drake
d. Juggs, and it rests next to the throne.

4) You're favorite online fishing site:
a. Moldy Chum
b. the Trout Underground
c. Buster Wants to Fish
d. What the fuck is the interwebs?

5) Your favorite music:
a. Classic Rock; everybody knows rock attained perfection in 1974.
b. Country AND Western
c. Anything with "Jerry" in it, man.
d. Trick question, they're all good.

6) You're idea of the perfect woman is:
a. Mom
b. Lee Press-Ons and a kickin' badonkadonk butt
c. Someone who can pay the bills
d. A's, B's, DDD's, perky ones, saggy ones; it don't matter as long as her husband doesn't find out

7) How many days did you miss from work to go fishing?
a. None, Momma had you working OT so you could take time off when Junior arrives.
b. 5. And they were all approved vacation leave.
c. 9, that they know about.
d. You plead the 5th.

8) Your favorite type of porno:
a. Midgets and dwarfs
c. Lesbians
d. Anything with a little fin. And big tits.

9) Which one of the following is a good beer?
a. Coors Banquet Beer
b. Pabst Blue Ribbon
c. Hurricane High Gravity
d. Trick question, they all are rank, but you celebrate the entire collection anyway.

10) You've been on the water all day and are down to your last couple bucks. You're McStarving but could also go for chasing down a cold one. You can't afford to do both, what do you do?
a. Skip the booze, and opt for the meal; it's just empty calories anyway.
b. Beer dude. Nothing better than a liquid diet. Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug!
c. Sit on the street corner begging for spare change until you have enough for both.
d. Hit the gas station and blow the entire wad on a XXL red hot beef & bean burrito with extra hot sauce. Wait until she's a brewin', real fermented like, and let her rip. Wait for the clerk to pass out and grab a couple of 40 ounces for the road.

If you answered D to all of the above, congratulations! You're true brownliner material and a real fucking dirtbag. Nice going! The rest of you all have some serious work to do.

March 25, 2010

First responder

What do you do when you have to sit through a mandatory CPR refresher? Scan the scene for any thing worth taking home. The CPR face shields they use for the training manakins are the perfect material for DIY scud backing. It's plastic, not latex, but it still has a bit of give like the fly shop variety. It even has the same type of mottled texture. This stuff should shear nicely in the paper cutter for making into strips.

CPR shield
Looking at a few medical suppliers online, these shield run for about a $0.30 a piece, of course you need to buy a lot of 6 rolls worth of sheets. Lucky for me, my fellow coworkers left their shields behind and I snatched them up, none the wiser. A quick jaunt in the microwave should take care of any shacknasties my fellow brethren may be harboring.

March 24, 2010

High water rising

bluff view
st. paul flooding
With all the hype on the flooding in the Red River valley, the Mighty Miss is up and out of it's banks and on the prowl. Access roads along the banks were closed due to the fact that they were 3 feet under water. Obviously fishing was out of the question.

spring creek
spring creek falls
Time for a little billy goating. No much on the way of fossils and the agate pickings were slim, however, I did manage to pick up a half-dollar sized nugget. I discovered a few spring creeks flowing out of the bluffs, including a couple of mini waterfalls, always cool.

lilydale bridge
lilydale flooding
The Mississippi is an awesome display of raw power. At over 95,000 cfs, the river is a force to be reckoned with. That's some serious Q. I watched 6 foot diameter cottonwoods float on by like a bunch of toothpicks.

The bright side: these high waters will bring some much needed life to the numerous backwater lakes. There's bound to be a few big feesh hunkering down in those refuges until the water backs down.

March 23, 2010

Pink Possies

Pink Possies
A Possie Bugger and Pink Squirrel bumped uglies and came up with this bastard, the Pink Possie.

March 22, 2010

the possie bugger

OG possie bugie
A bitch slappin' pattern, these possie buggies break down the hizzie. I stashed away an original from my swap with Stansberry last spring. It was time to bust it out and start cloning, roughfisher style. Sparkle, sparkle.

roughfisher's possie buggers
I didn't have opposum or woodchuck or any of the fancy shit they used in the original. The tail was rabbit, pearl flash accent, along with a pearl flash and wire rib. The body was crafted with custom Slim Shady dub, a partridge thorax, and custom Peacock dub and tungsten head. Tied on a Fly Shop 2305 hook, size 10.

I'm Audi 5, G.

March 20, 2010

Eazy Dub It

More fun with composite dubbing blends and Angelina.

Black UV dub: Black acrylic yarn, red and blue acrylic yarn highlights. Black Angelina and Violette Angelina.

Peacock dub: Black acrylic yarn, black, rug yarn, lime green acrylic yarn and insect green sparkle yarn highlights; black dyed rabbit fur. Black Angelina, Peacock Angelina, Green Angelina, and Aurora Angelina.

Slim Shady dub: Pewter gray acrylic yarn, black, cream, and amber acrylic yarn highlights; natural rabbit fur. Black Angelina, Peacock Angelina, and Aurora Angelina.

March 19, 2010


A sure sign of spring: snow geese.

snow geese
On the way down to the river, the sky was filled with snow geese and canadian geese, both lessers and greaters, on their annual migration north. Coupled with the sound of rooster pheasants crowing to their harems of hens, the sky was busy with noise. The fields were bare and only the shelter belts held remnants of snow, a drastic differnce from two weeks ago, where nearly two feet of snow still blanketed the earth. You can guess where all that snow has ended up...

geared up
Flows were crazy, record for this time of year. I sound like a broken record, but it's been the damn truth; a stream gauge does not lie. Flows have been at or near record levels on the Otter Tail for the majority of the winter, and above the 80th percentile for nearly the entire duration of 2009 and all of 2010. High flows during the winter I can handle; the cold minimizes any melt and the river runs (fairly) clear. During the spring melt, however, the water is stained with suspended clay sediments, the turbidity making it nearly impossible to see into the water column. Besides the dispersal of fish escaping areas of high current, the high turbidity also affects a fish's ability to take a fly. You damn near need to bump them on the nose with a fly in order for them to notice it.

a face only a mother could love
No surprise that the only fish I managed to catch were shorthead redhorse. These guys are the olympians of the river. They love fast water. Take a look at the size of their fins compared to the their body; they are a swimming rudder. I typically find shortheads and greater redhorse holding in the highest current areas of the river. These fish can swim.

Fishing was brutal. I foul hooked a few buffalo and a golden redhorse in addition to catching the shortheads. The only thing that will improve fishing at this point is time. Time to let the flows simmer down, and time to let the water temps rise. Once water temps begin to rise above 40°F fish will start getting active again. They're gonna get ready to get their schwerve on. Until then, I need to get my act together and get busy filling in a few bare spots in my fly boxes.

March 16, 2010

2010 F3T stop: Minneapolis, MN

F3T promo
Last year's Fly Fishing Film Tour stop in Portland, ME was pretty tough to beat. Good times with good friends and good beers. Unfortunately, due to the timing of this year's shows, I wasn't able to make the 2010 stop in Maine again. A bummer for sure, but now I have an opportunity to make the Minneapolis show this year.

The F3T stops here in Minnesota this Saturday evening, March 20, at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis. Even though I can't join up with Ben, Jeremy, Alex, Eric and the rest of the Maine crew again this year, the infamous Wendy Berrell and I will show the Minnesota boys how we do it brownliner style. We'll be thinking of the Winona Fly Factory while he's busy learning stream restoration techniques. Should be a great time.

Check out the F3T website for more information on the tour schedule.

March 15, 2010

PSA #3: Stuffed Meats

on the rack
In a move to collect more capital, I went into hardcore sausage production here at the Roughfisher Command Post. Singlebarbed's offer of a one foot square of Polar Bear and a Jungle Cock cape are great and all, but I want something worthy of a brownliner. Give me a pound of glimmer flash chenille in cinnamon, or 2K 5/32" tungsten beads. Throw in a thousand Knapek scud hooks, size 10; hell, I'll even settle for Skalka's. Throw in everything you've got, 'cause these goods aren't going to go cheap.

raw pepperoni
curry wurst, linguiça
A batch of pepperoni, currywurst, and Hawaiian-style portuguese sausage, aka linguiça. Can't go wrong smoking up a pork loin either, canadian bacon style.

pork loin
Now that I've got you drooling, open up your wallets. The bidding war has begun.

March 11, 2010

Gettin' some trim

craft trim
Grabbed a few more cards of Craft Trim, each at $0.99 for 20 yards. Take a look at their catalog and you can see that they come in every fishy color imaginable, even a few loud ones too. Here's how it looks mixed into dubbing.

lime dub
royal blue dub
blue dubs
Now I've got a full complement of blue dub. That lime green dub just scream caddis. I love this stuff; it dubs onto thread like buttah, it's smooth, and still looks buggy as hell on a hook.

lime caddis
Check back for more tomorrow.