Sunday, March 26, 2006

2006 NW Fly Tyers Expo

A few photos from the 18th annual fly tying expo, sponsored by the Oregon Council of the FFF:

Here is John Shewey tying up a beautiful Brad's Brat with polar bear wing. John is a great tyer and a fine writer and researcher (UO Journalism grad).

Dave McNeese tying a crayfish fly.

The flies in this display spin around for viewing, just like rotisserie chickens. Looked like something from the 1940s.

A near-life size blackbird catching a damselfly at the Henry Hoffman booth.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Casting clinic with Henrik Mortensen, 11 March 2006

As a benefit for the Native Fish Society, the Caddis Fly Shop (Eugene, Oregon) sponsored a spey-casting workshop with Henrik Mortensen of Scierra.

We met at the shop and then proceeded to a gravel bar at Armitage Park, on the lower McKenzie River. There were two instructors (both named Henrik BTW), and the focus wasn't on spey casting per se, but on a Scandinavian approach to the two-handed rod that powers the cast by pulling with the lower hand rather than pushing with the upper.

In this photo, for example, you can see that Henrik keeps his right arm close to the body; the power is coming from the underhand pull and by shifting his body weight, rather than by pushing the upper hand forward (as in
British Spey casting). We also worked a lot on foot position and general body mechanics. The two-handed rod already has ergonomic advantages and I think this approach really capitalizes on them; done right, these casts produce little or no strain on the shoulders. Henrik M's casting demonstrations were something to see. At one point he was laying out beautiful casts without using his arms at all except to hold the rod in place; it was all done with the body.

Here's a brief video of Henrik M demonstrating a counterclockwise loop that moves the line upstream to set up a cross-stream cast.

Many thanks to Chris Daughters & the Caddis Fly staff, Native Fish Society, and the Scierra instructors for a beautiful and instructive day on the river.

photos by Andrew Bonamici, 2006.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

McKenzie River, March 4, 2006

After a very wet winter, we're having some beautiful weather in the Willamette Valley and the rivers are dropping into shape. Today, the forecast was sun in the morning, with possible showers in the p.m., high temp 55F; nice conditions for the March Brown hatch on the Lower McKenzie at Armitage Park. The water was cold and the sun stayed bright, so there wasn't much of a hatch -- I only saw one dun on the surface. Even so, it was a lovely afternoon and I managed to land five cutthroat & cutt/rainbow crosses ranging from 8 - 12 inches, all on the same #12 Brown Hackle Bee. It will only get better from here, so watch this space. Best,