Thursday, July 28, 2011

Meecy Micey that's a spicey...ummm...pile of mice was a busy night at the desk. These mice are headed north in the morning, now on to some Prom Dresses to chase Atlantics.

-mike schmidt

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Flies heading to NY

Tied up a bit of an assortment to send out to Ben Alex in NY. Looking forward to seeing the carnage he will inflict on unsuspecting trout with them.

***NOTE*** At this point I am completely booked for tying through to the third week of August when I head to Alaska for a week. I will continue to tie heavy each night, but anything not already ordered may not be tied until September 1.

-mike schmidt

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tricos, hammocks, and a bad ass new net

Made it up to Michigan for my annual Trico pilgrammage over the weekend. This year I had two buddies come along with me and both of my brothers up for atleast a day to hang out. As always there was plenty of laughter, beverages, weather, and of course fish. This trip the second year ina row that I had a person come along for the fun who decided that their fly fishing education should jump straight from streamer fishing to the most demanding and technical daytime fishing there is...Tricos. Each morning I woke up at Shupac Lake Campground and rolled over to quite a sunrise.

Since we arrived at nearly 2am this was the first view the guys had of the North Branch of the Au Sable, as we headed south to our chosen spot. Needless to say this view brought smiles to all our faces.

Mariano dumped down in to the river and gave a few rising fish everything they could handle.

Nate started fishing with me around the beginning of the year and until this weekend hadn't fished anything under a few inches more than a handful of times. Once the Trico spinnerfall started we got him in to position and, after a few missed shots and a pulled hook, he was able to master a tricky drift to get his fly to this fish...his first on a dry fly! Definitely a well earned smile.

Of sourse I got in on the action as well...

I decided this year to try out the TrekLight hammock system, and I can say that it is without a doubt awesome. This was not tough to set up, exceedingly comfortable to sleep in, and stayed perfectly dry through the deluge we endured Saturday. By sleeping at a slight angle you flatten out almost entirely, and the bug netting surrounds the hammock so you do not have to worry about getting eaten up. I can not wait to get it back in action again soon.

The weapons of choice for the weekend were a pair of Mystic 2WT rods and a 3 weight Redington. I have to say, again, that the Mystic 2WT is very impressive and has become one of my favorite rods to chase fish with. It may be on the light end of the scale but in spite of it's sensitivity it has the backbone to handle fish with bad intentions. Check them out at the Mystic Outdoors website along with the rest of their series.

Here is the reason I head up there each year to camp during the hottest month of the year. These little flies bring up every fish in the river. They can be alternately fantastic and maddening. If you like technical fishing and have not tried fishing a size 26 fly across multiple seams on a 12-15' 8X leader then you are really missing out on a great hatch.

On a final note today, I stopped off on the way home and picked up my new custom net by Dr Sam Lacina. Last year at the shows Sam commented that he would love a mess of my streamers, and I told him I had been eyeing a net from him for a few years. I told him exactly what I was looking for and this it; the net measures 17"x22" in the hoop and totals 39" in overall length. It uses zip ties to attach the ghost bag, which both retains the full integrity of the hoop and allows me to easily change out the bag if anything happens to it. This net can handle a 30" fish and some serious weight...this is a MAN NET! I will be stalking the rivers now with a net that can handle pretty much anything.

Dr Sam really knows his craft, this net is a functinal work of art. Check out more of his stuff on his site: Nets That Honor the Fish.

-mike schmidt

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A couple flies then the road

Got a few flies knocked out in the last few days and in the mail this morning. One was a set of Conrad Sculpins in custom colors that needed replacing after the first set disappeared in the Canadian Postal Service strike.

and the other was a bunch of mice headed up to Michigan to coax some monster browns up from the depths in the dark ogf the night.

Tonight, before packing, I tied up a Senyo's Sensai Mouse in an articulated version. This is one I will be getting out myself either this weekend or next.

This weekend I am headed north to chase some Tricos and Olives around the North Branch of the Au Sable. By this time tomorrow I will be pulling off 75 and heading east to the river to set up the hammock and sleep for a few short hours before the spinnerfall...or maybe throw the mouse... Should have some shots ready to post up on Monday.

-mike schmidt

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tying in the Pines weekend

I made it back in to town from a great weekend of tying in northeastern Pennsylvania at the Tying in the Pines event. I got up there late after work on Friday, then got up before light on Saturday morning to stalk some brookies for a few hours. The creek was beautiful and extremely low. I did get my eyes on a few good fish but the second they sensed anything was wrong they slid back up under rocks like an eel and stayed there.

The class itself was held on the first floor of the cabin. Dave, Greg, Damon, Nate, Ron and myself got ourselves around the table after breakfast and got to work. We took a break for lunch in the early afternoon and then got back after it until the evening. Before dinner I headed over to the river just down the road with Dave to show him a few castin and rigging items and we walked in to the river to find a huge Golden Eagle sitting on a piece of wood. It took off when we got about 20 yards away, then not more than five minutes later we watched a Bald Eagle cruise up the river and sqwak at us as it flew over us and kept going. It was awesome!

After nearly nine hours of tying we put down some delicious steaks off the grill and then sat around the bonfire until it was time to turn in for the night. Lots of stories, laughs, and beers to say the least.

We ended up tying fifteen different streamer patterns over the course of the class. Here is a shot of a few of the flies we still had out as we were packing up. The guys that took the class did a fantastic job and seemed very happy with what they were able to learn. I really look forward to the next class we put together.

-mike schmdit

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Big fish prefer Moist Kittens

Every now and then I get a brain cramp from production tying, it's a hazard of the business. For me those times mean I simply need to stop what I am working on and do a little vise freestyle to tie up some flies for personal use. In one such session I decided that I loved the front hook configuration of the Voodoo Squatch but wanted it to be a bit meatier and to have a little more backbone to the back half. Those changes would make a fly push around a whole lot of water, and would change up the action in faster water. The result was a 7.5" fly that is one Mack Truck of a streamer...the Moist Kitten.

Other than tying most of the weekend, I did get out on Saturday with a buddy to chase a few smallies and white bass around. Nothing really large came to hand, but there were some fiesty players and we got a chance to scout out a few access points on our local water. This week I will be spending some serious time at the vise since I will be out of town for Tying in the Pines next weekend!

-mike schmidt

Thursday, July 7, 2011

100 bodies

100 HLS bodies tonight just about does to bed it is for me. Bit of a slow week on the fly front but I will have shots of the BWO and Trico boxes filled up soon...and hopefully some fish over the next few days.

-mike schmidt

Monday, July 4, 2011

All-American fish on the All-American Day

Finally got a chance to get out and hit some water to chase some fish with my buddy, Mike Berkshire, today. Between work and family it seems that for the last few years the only time we are able to get together is for our annual salmon trip, but the opportunity presented itself today so off to the water we went to see about some smallmouth. The fishing was pretty solid today and we brought a number of good smallies to hand, but of course the BS was flying thick and the same old jokes never get old.

It took a little while to pattern the fish and where they were hanging out but black Red Rocket was what it took for me to be in to the fish.

The fish were wicked strong and not happy about being hooked. A few jumped like maniacs and some others did their best freight train impression...none came to hand easily.

This fattie was my most solid slab of the day.

Mike got in to a solid fish as well that had really prevalent barring to it. Really love to see the smallmouth with the pattern so well defined.

I hope you all had as great a fourth of July weekend as I did!
More flies to come this week...

-mike schmidt