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Week of February 4th: Busy Start!

I lived near Utica, New York for a number of years and before I moved there no one warned me about the Lake Effect snow.  The snow part may excite some people, and I like snow, but I wasn’t prepared for the cloudy weather that accompanies the region for months on end.  We just got a tiny taste of weeks of cloudy days and rain and snow.  It gets old, quick!

The sunshine is back and the rivers are in fine shape.  I can attest to the crowded parking lots and higher number of anglers out with the break in the weather. The fishing is still tough. If you follow this report or others, you will see the likely patterns are fairly steady for a little while longer: zebra midges, RS2, WD40 midges; Little Black Stones, #18 or smaller prince and pheasant tail nymphs, Pat’s rubber legs; mops, squirms, San Juan Worms.  Streamers and Euro rigs will get it done, too.  The shop is equipped with Kayla’s Georgia Peach (while supplies last) and a really effective prince nymph tied on a jig hook with a tungsten bead (found in our tungsten section).  

John Collin’s deadly sculpins are in, too, in several colors and available with or without an extended stinger hook to reduce short strikes.  These are built with a heavy helmet and eyes that give the impression of personality.  Sculpins are ever present in the ecosystem and a huge protein snack for winter fish who become more opportunistic when the water temperature goes up. John’s most recent batch of Electric Little Black stoneflies for midwinter are coming to the bins…check them out in person. They are similar to the Electric caddis pupa, but with a buggy, soft hackle twist that gets attention from sluggish trout. 

The shop is busy with fly tying classes and fly tying “nights.”  Our series of 101 classes are underway each Saturday morning and the participants’ patience with the host, yours truly, have helped the  hour together remain fun and full of practice threading a bobbin, adding material to a hook, and completing a whip finish! I really have to thank Gerry D, Lindsey, and other seasoned tyers who lend their tips and tactics to help new tyers’ skills develop.  Those who know the way around a vice have enjoyed the Saturday afternoon classes, with seating for 10, on Hackle and Dubbing materials.  This Saturday, February 10th, Gerry untangles the ins-and-outs of thread.  Do you know what “denier” means and why is it important when selecting a spool of UTC? Why is it measured 70, 140, 210, and so on? On the Uni side, which is thicker - 6/0 or 8/0? Which should you use for which applications and flies? Why wouldn't you just tie with the smallest or largest thread all the time? Sign up to find out.

Temperatures may reach near 60 by later this week.  Even if you’re busy too, swing by and visit us before hitting the streams.  Oh, by the way, SBO now sells Patagonia gear!  Field testing of some of our new inventory is ongoing.  Check it out for yourself…

See you out there,

Roy B.

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