Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Somerset 2012

Made it back from Somerset this year in one piece after one heck of a great few days. Friday this year was as busy as Saturday was the last few years, and it only got busier from there. Must be a whole lot of people looking to shed the shack nasties these days! I only got a few shots over the course of the weekend due to the crowds and busy post show schedule.

Here is a shot to my left on Thursday. Got to have Kevin Compton share the neighoring table and it was a busy one. The shot below was the next aisle over on one of the handful of times that I was able to stretch my legs for a minute.

Of course I did get a chance to work on my streamer box a bit so it is no longer as pathetic as it had become over the last year or so!

The evenings saw just about everybody there wander through TKs for a cocktail or twenty...

It really was a fantastic time filled with meeting up with old friends and starting new friendships. It is always interesting to see what ideas and schemes come from this many driven people getting together and talking shop. There will certainly be a few new things rolling around here at ACF in the next few months as a result.

-mike schmidt

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A 'scientific number of flies' and some river shots

So, I am pretty sure that this batch of flies is what world scholars would refer to with the scientific measurement known as a 'shit load'. Yes...a shit load of flies to be sure, and they are headed north to chase fish and certainly a few will also make their way to the White. Now you can see why I have been relatively quiet for the last week!

I got a lot of questions about a picture I posted last week of the glowing fly so here is a better shot. It is a Double Deciever that I incrporate glow in the dark Flashabou throughout the bucktail so that it has a tasty glowing profile. It is a great low light or no light option.

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to get out and hit the water with photographer Zach Johnson. I got there early and had a few fish in the net before he arrived, including one on the first cast...which is a great way to start off the day. It was fairly chilly despite the forecast and it was one of the most crowded days on the water that I have seen. I guess that everyone had the same idea when they saw the weather maps with mid to upper 40's listed...it only hit 34 while we were there. Below are a few shots from the day and there are more to come once he has a chance to go through what he shot.

This fish was a nice brown that came in just shy of 19" and hit the fly like a ton of bricks. The fly was one that I had posted a shot of the night before and it fished exactly as expected. After a few times out this has quickly developed in to one of my personal go to patterns.

It was a great day to be out and unwind a bit after tying heavily all the previous weekend and week. I really had a great time with Zach on the water and am looking forward to the next time. If you dig his work lik I do then check out some of his other stuff at http://www.zachjohnsonoutdoors.com/

Tomorrow I will finish out the day at work and then start making my way east for the Somerset NJ Fly Fishing Show that runs Friday through Sunday. It is a fantastic show and time that I look forward to as I get to catch up with many buddies I only see a few times a year. I hope to see some of you there.

When I get back there will only be one week until the Intermediate/Advanced fly tying class starts up at Mad River Outfitters. The class will be four consecutive Mondays starting February 4th and will cover a wide range of patterns and techniques. It is a small class set up so each attendee gets personal attention and is always a good time. If you are in, or close, to Columbus and interested then give the shop a call and sign up. They are at 614.451.0363.

Catch you all next week!

-mike schmidt

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tube Fly Tech swim tanks...yeah baby!

For those of you that have seen me at the show the last few weeks you may have noticed the new addition of the swim tank to my setup...kind of hard not to with something this cool! Many have talked with me about it at the shows and taken the site down to check it out but I have not yet mentioned it here for those that have not seen it in person.

The tank is a Swim Tank from Tony DiBenedetto Jr at Tube Fly Tech. More than being a nice part of the display at the shows, this tank has been an invaluable tool for me as I take flies through the design phase. Since I do not have a clear river running through my back yard this tank is a fantastic way for me to confirm that the intended action for a fly successfully translates from thought, to paper, and finally to hook.

If you are interested in one then head over to tubeflytech.com, and let Tony know you saw mine and have to have one!

Got a fish shot from ACF customer Mike today. He headed out to the White in Arkansas to huck some streamers last week. Despite some pretty tough conditions they did manage to get some fish to play and he sent me a shot of one that decided to make a meal of a Cotton Candy Double Deciever. Just enough to wet the whistle for the next trip Mike!

-mike schmidt

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cleveland and some flies

It is that time of year...lots of big flies headed out to chase browns and lots of shows. Tied up quite a few flies last week and then headed up to Cleveland for the fly show put on by the North Coast Fly Fishers. It is a smaller show but there seemed to be steady traffic throughout the day. I took the opportunity to work on refilling my own steelhead box...it was a good day! Got plenty of good use out of my Clear Cure Goo Hydro. Do yourself a favor and check it out if you have not already.

-mike schmidt

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Trout, Indy, Tommy, and flies

Had to start off this post with a great shot of an Ohio brown that took a mouthful of Meal Ticket last weekend. Local guide and ACF customer Ron Lewis was out with photographer Zach Johnson and got a number of reallt solid images, this being one of them. Check out more of Zach's work at http://www.zachjohnsonoutdoors.com/

Last weekend I made my way to Indianapolis for 'Indiana on the Fly', a great show that combines fly fishing, fly tying, and wingshooting. After a night of some fantastic micro-brews I got to the site early and got everything set up.

Hard at work...

I brought the swim tank along so that people could get a really good look at what some of the flies are doing underwater, and get a better idea of the movement even without any action imparted by the angler.

The show had steady traffic throughout the day and right up to the end of the show. I had a lot of good discussions about fly design and how to fish them, as well as bounce some ideas back and forth with attendees. I had a great time!

Last night we brought in Tommy Lynch, of the Fish Whisperer Guide Service, to give a presentation to Central Ohio Fly Fishers on fishing big streamers and streamer techniques. It was a fantastic presentation and I think everyone learned quite a bit. Nothing better than talking big fish and flies all night!

This is why I have not been posting much lately...been a little busy at the vise. This batch is headed out to Utah in the morning and I am on to a ton of flies for the White next. Man am I jealous that I can't be there this year...

-mike schmidt

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hypnot-eyes'd...the Goo is the Poo!

Had a package on my doorstep yesterday and was happy to see it was my replacement Goo from Brian Carson of Clear Cure Goo. I was just about out so it was great to see a bunch of new squeeze bottles full of Thin and Hydro staring me back in the face as I ripped the package open. The added bonus in this package was some of the new Clear Cure Eyes. I have been stoked to see them since Brian told me he was working on them...and they are AWESOME! I will get more up on them in the coming weeks, but could not wait to try them out so I tied up this beastie tonight with them.

Now I need to finish up packing and hit the sack. I take off after work tomorrow to head to Indianapolis for 'Indiana on the Fly', put on by Reel Women Reel Menof Indianapolis. Should be a fantastic show again so I hope to see some of you there.

-mike schmidt

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Anglers Choice Flies is here in large part due to the influence and encouragement from John Schmidt, my Dad. What fly fishing and tying is to me in my life, the hunting and fishing was to him in his. He was the consummate outdoorsman who more specifically had an absolute passion for his family, pursuing venison for the freezer, and dragging crawler harnesses for walleye or perch. While growing up we spent countless days wetting a line, camping, exploring, or even taking drives at dusk to see how many deer we could count out in the fields. Staying inside was rarely, if ever, an option.

Once out on my own I found that the rivers were where I wanted to be and that fly fishing was to be my exclusive weapon of choice to be unleashed on unsuspecting fish. While he was not really a fly guy he was as excited as I was about pushing the boundaries, and seeing what new ‘bugs’ could be concocted. Pretty much every time I did a fly show I would call Dad to let him know how it went and any new landmark on the water warranted the same call. The last trip we took together was to make the drive down to Islamorada to throw bugs at Tarpon for a few days and then hit the backcountry. Tropical storm Andrea had other ideas though… With the sustained wind keeping nearly all the other boats in their slips we resorted to cut bait just outside the harbor for a few sharks and lots of relaxing on land for a few days.

It has now been three years since he succumbed to a long battle with cancer, and with show season starting up I am sure that I will start to reach for my phone as I head for home. I miss my Dad but know he is watching with a grin on his face every time I set the hook, succeed in the industry, or hug my wonderful wife.

Here are a few shots I pulled today.

Dad in '82 with 'Old Joe'...a St Clair County Michigan record for a long time.

A solid Lake St Clair Musky

Hanging at the farm. Lots of laughs were had and deer hung.

Dad at the helm of 'Therapy' cruising across LSC.

Our customary perch at Bud N Marys Marina in Islamorada during that last trip. We may have hooked in to some tarpon each night we were there...

One of the last times the family all made it out together for an evening on the town.

-mike schmidt

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Starting 2012 off right!

Got a call from a friend yesterday looking to start 2012 off right...and who am I to not take that opportunity!?! The alarm went off this morning and I was off to the river to see about a fish.

The river was still far to high to wade, so since Pat has a Claka we had one luxurious ride for our fish chasing mission. One quick car spot and we were on the water and looking to get on the board in the new year.

Part way through the first stretch we had a player and I was in the game on day one of 2012! Not a massive fishbut so great to get this year off to a good start.

In a few spots we beached the boat to stretch our legs a bit and dissect a few bends on foot.

This fish was a mid-teens fish that was all fired up to hammer the fly. This fish came in a small slot that we moved a few fish out of and saw something really cool. My first cast through I set hard on a flash and was hooked up to a little guy...who proceeded to be chased around by an absolute upper twenties hog of a male. That male chased this poor little fish around, slashed at him a few time, and rolled him before sinking out of sight after 30 or 40 seconds. It is awe inspiring to see these predators absolutely homed in on their prey to the exclusino of everything else going on around them!

For being a mid-teens fish this guy was vicious looking. Extremely well developed jaw and sqaured off upper means this guys will be around for a while. I hope I run in to him on down the line again...

One long float, fifteen degree temperature drop, on and off rain, fish to hand...not too shabby. Figured the only way to finish it off right was with a tasty Yueng.

-mike schmidt