Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Bug's Life

I would have loved this movie as a kid!

I've always been fascinated with insects. Like most young boys, capturing insects was an activity that was stimulated by our curiosity of our world. Fly fishing and fly tying still stimulates the same type of curiosity I felt when I was " knee high to a grasshopper "! When fishing for trout, I am always curious to see what trout eat. Before my switch to nearly total catch and release fishing, as a youngster I would nearly always look at a trout's stomach contents. I am still very curious to see what trout eat. These day's I resort to the use of a stomach pump ( I use it very sparingly as I do not know how harmful it is to the trout ).

Recently, I used the stomach pump to determine what these rather picky trout were eating. 
These fish that were rising, seemed to be feeding on a lot of insects ( midges, aka chironomids ) that were hatching, that is it seemed as if they were taking  a lot of the adult midges. Upon looking at the above stomach pump sampling which only included one adult stage midge, nearly all of the midges they ate were the pupa ( emerging ) stage.
The one adult in the stomach sampling.
The pupa were between as size 18 and a size 20 ( 6 mm long )short shank pupa hook.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Day in the Life of Two Fly Shop Owners

I went to the Spring 2011 Simms product lineup  showing today. Some really nice products available beginning in January 2011. The big addition is some really good looking hiking/outdoor footwear ( guess what I'll be wearing next year? ).  They are also revamping their wading sandals/wet wading footwear with the popular Vibram Streamtread soles.

Pursuit Shoe-Low 

Riprap Streamtread Wading Shoe 

After the showing, the Simms Fishing Products' rep, John Sherman arranged for me and long time acquaintance and owner of the Reno Fly Shop, Dave Stanley, to fish for bass with Capt. Kevin Doran of Delta Adventures. We had a number of blow-ups and a few hook-ups despite the 103 degree weather and fishing in the middle of the day! As the saying goes, the worst day fishing is better then the best day at work!

 My fishing partner for the day, Dave Stanley.

Capt. Kev and Dave

Monday, August 23, 2010

Early Years

  The other morning, as I was scanning the local newspaper, I saw in the obituaries that Russell Lacque had passed away. Reading the obituary triggered a flood of memories of my youth. For those of you that have lived in Modesto as long as I have, may remember " Lacque's Sporting Goods " store. Lacque's was one of three sporting goods stores ( Week's Sporting Goods, Valley Sporting Goods ) within a few blocks of each other. It was at these stores that I hung out at, as they were all within walking distance of my dad's office.

View Larger Map
The green arrow indicates the  former
location of Lacque's Sporting Goods
( now a parking lot ).

   Lacque's was my favorite place to hang out as it was strictly fishing and hunting, no baseballs, no skis, and the owners, Russ and Loren were fishermen and hunters. Thinking back, I must have driven Loren ( the fishing guy ) nuts asking him questions! 
   One Christmas, my parents gave me a Thompson fly tying vise, a fly tying book, and some materials purchased at Lacque's. That marked the beginning of my fly tying career. 
I will forever fondly remember my youth and the enjoyment I have received from all my years of fishing. Thanks go to my mom and dad who introduced me to fishing ( see this blog entry ). Thanks also to Russ Lacque ( and Loren, although I don't know his status). for providing a place to learn about the outdoor experience. May they all rest in peace.