Strike indicators

Although I don’t use strike indicators all of the time, in certain situations like very deep nymphing or where delicate takes need to be addressed they can be ideal. Here’s a tip for storing those indicators whether they be the yarn type (which I like for shallower small streams or the plastic bobber type which are nice for very deep work on big rivers. A large bobby pin will keep the items together in your vest pocket or if you like pin them to your vest pack or jacket for easy access.

If there is interest I will do a tutorial on how to do the yarn ones.





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Here is what she looks like finished.






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Champaign Corks for rod grips

Being cheap I like to find what I can for projects. One of my boys had a bunch of champaign corks that he had collected. I imagine you can do your own collecting in various ways…. the cork is really nice, it seems to vary with the brand. Some of it was fine and others more Burl like so it pays to look at different brands. I found that there was also sections  that where lamented with a finer cork at the top, perhaps harder so a corkscrew would not slip. Hmm… I wonder if drinking the wine for the corks would make you a purest. Kind of like dry fly fishermen.

I’m building a fibreglass rod so wanted a bit of a retro look and this cork was along those lines. to get rid of the “neck” I boiled it for about 20 minutes.

I noticed some cork swelled back to place faster than others so I fished them out as soon as they looked good.

Cork came out nice  looking. trimmed the ends off to get them flat and produce a fresh glue area.

Next step mark the “Spine” on all 3 sections

Boring out the reel seat to fit the blank.

I like to use 5 minute Epoxy to glue the blank to the reel seat, here’s the blank cover with Epoxy

Lining up the blank with the end of the seat. Although it dries quickly I like to leave it overnight.

Boring out the cork, These are fairly large in diameter so I wasn’t really carful centring them. A drill press is nice but a hand drill works well. I remember my dad doing this with a brace and bit.

Scoring out the back cork to perfectly fit the front of the reel foot receiver. I like an X-Acto Knife for this.

I lined up the drilled out corks on the blank so they fit nice and then drew a line across the corks to easily find their position again. I also like to number them to get them back in the right sequence.

Here’s a simple cork handle compresser I built 20 years ago. Just a couple of long threaded pieces with washers and wing nuts. I do a quick fit before gluing.

Use a waterproof glue like Gorilla Glue or Tibond II. The squashed out glue is easily cleaned up with a scrap cloth and water. Leave it compressed overnight and you’re good to go.

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Mountain Brook Fibreglass rods

I had order a couple of Fibreglass blanks from Mike at Mountain Brook rods in the US. the Blanks came rolling in the door during the week. Really nice, I have a 4/5 w 3pc and a 6 foot little rod that will certainly by the feel of it will become my small stream Brookie rod. Popped over to Fish Tails fly shop today to pick up a few guides that I was short of. Wanted to do something different with the grip though, kind of bored with the standard white cork and was mulling doing a grip in Birch, but decided to go with Champaign Corks instead. Nice high quality stuff. I’ll post the build as I do it. Just thinking about thread colours for the warps.

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Brookie Heaven

I met a lot of Brookies this year being part of the Stewardship Program.  Say Hi to a few of my friends.

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Stewardship Program

I have taken an interest in the Stewardship program over the last few years and decided to take part this year. I had already done the written test and last Saturday and yes people do fail the ID test.  We did our first outing of the season to properly identify species and qualify for Stewardship licensing. There have been some vocal negative remarks online about the program but I have to say, given the visual proof I saw this is a more than worthwhile program.

I’ve been in Alberta since 80’ and just in that time span I have seen a swing in species domination on some of the stream I love. The native and naturally producing Cuttthroat and Bull Trout population on some small streams has been affected by Brook Trout, in this case a non native and evasive species that out eat and out breed our natural species.

The first part of Saturday’s program was an electrofishing survey that we where all involved in. Leslie from Trout Unlimited who was running the program was great going over what was expected of us all and stressing safety. We ran a section of the creek collecting Trout and categorizing by sorting into different buckets. Great care and respect was given to all species, which impressed me.

The focus was for everyone to ID the different Trout based on criteria so we could quickly spot the species. Care was taken with each person so we could take advantage of all information offered. There where great on-stream discussion ongoing on everything from bug life to habitat and habits. I have to say it was a fun afternoon and even this old Dude was able to learn a thing or two.

It was easy to see the problem by the huge number of Brook Trout compared to the very few Cutthroats. The stats are below, and are really telling.

  • 33 Brook Trout
  • 10 Rainbow Trout
  • 4 Mountain Whitefish
  • 0 Cutthroat Trout

After the fish survey was over we received our last instruction on how to record our catch streamside and follow the details needed every time we did an outing (Paperwork needs to be done during each fishing trip with species, location, etc. recorded) keeping within legal boundaries. This is not an ad hock system and you certainly can fail testing at the various stages. The result is knowledgeable fishermen who are helping balance a system naturally. There where a few Cutties taken but it was low. Only 5 out of the 100 Trout taken by angling where Cutthroats., you can immediately see the offset balance in evasive species.

I came away with a deep respect for the program people involved and what it needs to accomplish. Here are a few pictures of the day.

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Thought I would post some tips occasionally about fly tying, This is one that is really handy. If you have access to pill containers, they make really great dubbing holders. they come in a variety of sizes. Just drill a hole in the bottom with an electric drill and you have a great storage unit. Fills easily through the cap. This one holds 3 packages of dubbing and I just peeled the label off the package and put it on the tube.


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