Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What a weekend...

What a weekend.  It was rough but someone had to do it...

After a long show season this last few days were the final days for shows I did in the states.  I was excited to start it off with the long sold out F3T coming through town on Thursday night.  I got out of work, picked up my wife, and then headed down to the Gateway theater to hang out and watch some fish films.   

It was highly anticipated in the Columbus fishing community and the crowd was impressive!  The doors for the event opened at 6pm and the people made their way in to have a beverage and talk to a few vendors that were there with their goods.  The films started an hour later with a bang and the highly anticipated 'Brothers Brown' film featuring Michigans own Grajewski brothers.  After a few films Liz and I made our way out to the lobby and hung out with a few of the other guys and talked some fish.  As the show ended we packed up all our gear to head home so I could turn right around and get everything packed for the Michigan Fly Fishing Clubs' Midwest Fly Fishing Expo in Warren Michigan.  I was packed up about 2am...

After stopping in for some fantastic home-cooked stew with my mom I made my way over to the hotel and proceeded to have a few beverages with some buddies before hitting the sack.  I knew morning would come fast...and it sure did! 

As always it was a great show with super crowds on Saturday and solid traffic on Sunday.  The headliners this year were AK Best, Ed Engle, Bob Clouser and my friend Jeff Currier.  It was great to have those guys there and see the interest that they generated. 

Gratuitous Clouser story...  The first morning I strung up a rod I recently purchased to take over to the casting pond as the pond at this show is enormous.  As I cast the rod and reached the far end I was very impressed with the rod and happy that I felt like I could still cast a bit.  Over my shoulder I heard "He Mike...whatcha got there?".  I turned to see Bob standing there so I told him it was the one piece Hardy Proaxis 8wt and held it out for him to try.  At this point I had only stripped in a few feet of line so it was still out about 110'.  After holding the rod for a second and giving it a glance, Bob proceeded to pick up and throw all of the 110' of line with a tight loop and shoot the rest out past the end of the pond...as easily as if it had half that distance.  "That's pretty nice...throws a tight loop" was spoken as he handed it back and hustled off for his presentation.  I stood there with my jaw briefly dropped and then just reeled it up and walked away.  No way I was following that! 

My youngest brother brought out his son Hunter on Sunday for a bit.   The next generation of Schmidt fisherman could not get enough of the 'Fishies!' in the swim tank.  I think the proverbial hook has been set.

On Sunday morning I decided that I was going to tie some fun stuff for myself and put some serious fluff to hook before it was all said and done.  This particular fly was done in this color as well as olives.  Here is a video of it going for a swim.

After the show Jeff Currier piled in to my car and we made a foggy drive north to Baldwin Michigan.  After a few cocktails at Barskis we headed to the motel for a few hours of shut eye.  The morning came fast and we headed over to the launch on the Pere Marquette to meet up with Mike Schultz, of Schultz Outfitters, and Tommy Lynch, the Fish Whisperer, for a fun day on the water.

We did a little swinging, a little streamer fishing, a little egging, a little beverage time, and a lot of laughing.

Rigging up there was plenty of ribbing and stories going on.  We found the bite to be pretty tough but had fun un the cold rain all day.

Schultzy got the fish of the day and there were smiles all around.  Once we got to the take out we got everything packed and went our separate ways.  About eight hours later Jeff and I pulled in to my driveway.

Jeff came back to my place for two purposes...to fish in Ohio for a few hours, and to give a presentation to Central Ohio Fly Fishers this evening.  As you can see from the picture we only will be able to accomplish one of those things today.  I guess he will have to come back...

-mike schmidt

Monday, March 4, 2013

Lancaster Show wrap up

After work on Friday I hit the road again, this time headed to the Fly Fishing Show in Lancaster PA.  I have not been to this one before so I was interested to see what it would be like.  Lancaster is a neat old town to drive in to with it's narrow one way streets lined with all brick buildings.  Row homes and shops interspersed, and an impressive number of people out walking around.  Found out after the fact that they had an event going on so there were literally thousands of people around as I drove in at about nine Friday night.  After checking in it was down to the hotel bar to meet up with everyone and catch up on the latest.  After a bit Rich Strolis (Catching Shadows), Pat Cohen (Super Fly), and I decided that the microbrew Rich brought needed some attention so off we went.  It was nearly two in the morning when we realized it was likely a good idea to rack out since the alarms would be only a few hours later.

This show is one that my normal table mate gets a full table to himself so Rich and I set up together and had a hell of a time cranking out big streamers.  Rich was working on an order much of the weekend and I took the opportunity to tie up a few things that I have been thinking about and had sketched but not put to iron yet.  I had been scheduled to teach a class on Saturday morning so my tag this time did not read just Tier, but rather Celebrity/Tier...very high class!   We were set up across from Scott Hunter of Vedavoo.  Scott is a good dude and started off as 'the new guy' with the standard crew we roll with at the shows.  Scott makes some fantastic low-pro gear that is all hand cut and stiched right here in the US.  My show tag was getting pretty beat up after the last few years so I snagged a much more snazzy one from him.  If you have not seen his packs and pouches you should drop by his site and check them out.

The show on Saturday saw pretty heavy traffic throughout the day.  As you can see some may not have stopped partying all through the night until coming in to the show.  Not naming any names here Jim...

For months we have had reservations for an Irish Public House just up from the hotel that is reputed to be very good.  After the show we put down some more of the Back East microwbews, which were phenomenal, and then headed over to grab some dinner.

This picture came out a good deal darker than I thought, but you can kind of see the traditional stone and high ceiling interior.  It was a pretty busy spot that only got more so while we were there.  We had plenty of Guiness as we waited for tables to clear for us and then proceeded to laugh our way through one heck of a meal.  Just what we needed after a long day on the show floor.

Sunday I tied up a few more things that were in my head and I had materials for.  This little bit of steelhead candy consists mostly of fox tail and EP Foxee Brush.  I have to say that the Foxee Brush in both the large and small sizes is extremely nice and will make for some quick ties.

The Holohead from Misfit also made it's way on to some iron with this variation on a flatwing pattern.  Sparsely tied in the front and a yak and flatwing tail made for some pretty nice movement in the tank.

After picking up a shirt from Jon Ray, of Mangled Fly Media, I owed him some mucky stuff so I repurposed this turbo popper head I hade put together and made a big muskie slider for him.  Very interested to see how he does with this up in Michigan.

Rich had brought his tank along so we alternated flies throughout the weekend.  At this point I had the Junk Yard Dog in the bottom tube for the day and realized I could put the Flypala up top.  Needless to say plenty stopped to check it out as they were doing their thing in the current!

Here is another shot of the Flypalas that I did there.  They were tied up just because I could and think they will be a blast to fish on some sinking line.  Looking forward to watching the get pounded this spring up here and may also take them down to Florida to see about blind casting up some redfish and specks...

The aftermath at our table.  Rich and I put some serious thread to hook and the clippings show some of the story.   One more show to go stateside, next weekend in Warren Michigan, and then this seaeon is over and more time on the water...

-mike schmidt