Monday, September 26, 2011

Streamer pile

I have not had much time to post here lately because I have been so busy at the vise knocking out streamers in advance of the coming season. Here is a big order headed north in the morning; a bunch of Double Deceivers, Red Rockets, Stinky Mayos, Voodoo Squatch, and Meal Tickets. More to come in the nex few days...

-mike schmidt

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Process

The Sketch. Sitting at the desk and drew out a few flies, this being one of them. Shortly thereafter I got a picture from my buddy Rich Strolis, of Catching Shadows, and proceeded to text back and forth for the next hour about fly design.

The Draft. That night I tied an order all evening and then made an unsuccesssful attempt to go to bed. After laying there awake for a half hour I got up and tied up the first draft. It utilizes a Gama B10S hook in front and back separated by two small Articulated Shanks from Flymen Fishing Company.

The Refinement. The following day a few extra rubber legs were added along with some manual striping on the head, and it was ready to hit the water.

The Proving Grounds. Headed out to the home river on Saturday morning with a buddy. We knew the water would be very low and clear, but figured it was a good chance to scout a few stretches and get some flies wet. It goes without saying that a few fine cigars were finished off as well.

The Swim Test. The fly is light for it's size so it casts pretty easy. The configuration used with the Shanks made the fly stable in the air and very hard to foul, and once in the water it was a sweet sight.

The Feesh.

-mike schmidt

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Others having success with ACF

Had a few pictures come in over the last few days from ACF customers out on the water.

From Kevin I received a shot of both a Dorado and a Pacu from his trip to Tsimane in Bolivia. He took along a batch of Decievers and Andino Decievers that did the trick. I have to say that I am envious of him for this trip, and definitely have it on my to do list!

Michael sent over this shot of a very solid Taney fish that fell prey to a Meal Ticket.

Thanks for the shots guys! Hope to have some more of my own to get up this week.

-mike schmidt

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chromer Paul Revere...huh...?

Filling orders for Senyo’s Egg Raiders is my chromer Paul Revere. The steelhead are coming, the steelhead are coming!

-mike schmidt

Monday, September 5, 2011

Busy since Alaska

I came back from Alaska and hit the ground runnning. Not a lot to talk about now, but here are some flies that are in the mail or about to be.

Some Yaktails that should be devastating on the incoming salmon population.

If you are going to fish San Juans, why not go with a Medusa?

Yeah...I tie small stuff too. Here are some Brassies, 6X Emerger, and Crystal Dips headed out to target Yellowstone fish.

I am really excited that the new Sculpin Helmets are on the market now and usable. I had the opportunity to play with them over the last month or so, and they fish as good as they look. This particular one uses rabbit and Shaggy Dub to give it body and movement. It will be fun to see what people come up with using this new product.

-mike schmidt

Thursday, September 1, 2011

2011 Alaska Trip: Days Five and Six

By day five I was exhausted from the long hours of fishing and preparations for the following day, but the time difference still had me up at weird times. It was nice to see the camp at different times when there was nothing else going an and it was quiet.

Our day was planned out to head across Naknek Lake to fish Margot creek. I was told that there would be bears and it did not take long to see them as there were a few hanging out along the beach as we came in.

It also did not take long to swing in to some char!

The bear population on Margot was certainly not over-hyped. I think we spent over a third of the time that day dodging bears as they were hunting for the same thing we were.

Of course there was plenty of time betweeen the bear watching for us to get in to fish. The fishing on Margot was absolutely phenomenal; numbers wise it may well have been tops for the trip.

At one point the bears really seemed to be everywhere all at once...kind of made it hard to get out of the way. There were three of us fishing a stretch as a few griz came from each direction. The Pats and I backed off and watched as one of the males cruised on by between us.

We then backed up a side channel a bit to allow a female and her cub to cross. It was a bit sketchy as one of the males had ducked back off the river and out of sight, and we had our backs to some prety thick cover, but it all ended well as they kept on looking for fish.

Of course we then had to back off a little more to allow the other female and her two cubs to bypass us and head downstream. Needless to say that ten minutes there were a lot of grizzlies around, and it was really cool to be able to see them so close...with only minimal heart palpitations...

On the way out I swung in to this Mack truck of a biggest off the trip. He was not happy about being landed and did his best musky impression as I tried to get the fly back; almost got a piece off me but not quite.

Realizing that the trip was winding down Patrick Robinson and I took a boat out before stopping for dinner. We shot about a mile downstream on the Naknek to look for some silvers, but ended up with just a nice hour of casting in the calm. You can't win them all!

My last fishing destination of the trip was back across NaknekLake to fish the famous Brooks River. There were more bears on the Margot, but on Brooks they seemed a bit bigger and liked to cruise back and forth in the same stretches. We got to see each bear a few times as they went back and forth picking off the odd fish here and there.

This Char was able to narrowly escape a bear, but not able to throw my fly.

There were always bears hanging out throughout the day. The bear up on the bluff had an injured front right paw so we paid extra attention to him just to be sure we kept a safe distance.

This big dude cruised up and down in front of us chasing Sockeye around. His preferred method was snorkelling, with his ears above water so he could hear and eyes below water watching the fish. Check out the video as he moves on past us the last time.

Dave picked off quite a few nice rainbows with our buddy looking on.

The fish on Brooks were everywhere; Rainbows, Sockeye, Char and Silvers all mixed together in a paradise of a fishing situation. It was an excellent way to finish of a trip that exceeded any picture I had of it in my head.

The last morning I was up early. I had intended to fish a few hours but ended up walking around talking to people, and soaking it all in. Greg and Patrick, of Steelhead Alley Outfitters, put on a fantastic trip full of laughs and fish. I can not recommend highly enough Jim Johnson and the operation he has put together at the Naknek River Camp. It was a comfortable family atmosphere with the focus on the fish, and there were a ton of them. I will definitely be back.

-mike schmidt