Monthly Archives: November, 2011

How to Tie a Simple Scud


Posted by: Phil Monahan

Date: 11/30/11

Scud Pattern

Scuds, crustaceans known as Amphipods, are on a trout’s menu year-round—especially in many tailwaters, spring creeks, and stillwaters. Trout love them because scuds are usually plentiful, easy to catch, and they have high nutritional value. There are almost 100 species of scuds in North America, but they all have the same basic shape, with prominent legs and a curved shell back. Mostly what changes from water to water are color and size, so it’s always a good idea to collect some naturals to match. In the winter months, try fishing larger scuds, sizes 12 and 14, through slower-moving sections of river where fish may be holding. The takes can be quite subtle, so be ready to set the hook lightly at the slightest hesitation in the fly line or indicator. Try both fishing the fly on a dead-drift and giving it bursts of very short strips.

In this video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions offers his version of a simple scud pattern, which uses a dubbing that mixes Antron and Australian possum. As usual, Tim shows a couple of neat tricks to make the fly look cleaner and buggier at the same time.

Simple Scud from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

Simple Scud
Hook: Standard emerger hook (here a Dai-Riki 125), sizes 12-18.
Thread: Light olive, 70 denier or 8/0.
Antennae: Smoky olive Sow Scud dubbing.
Rib: Gold Ultra Wire, small.
Back: Tan and Black Fly Speck Thin Skin.
Body and Legs: Smoky olive Sow Scud dubbing.
Head: Tying thread.
Adhesive: Head cement.
Note: Tie this pattern in different color combinations to match
the scuds in your streams. Tan and gray are good choices.


Tuesday Tip: How to Properly Grip a Fly Rod


Posted by: Peter Kutzer

Date: 11/29/11

Casting 13

Welcome to another installment of “Ask an Orvis Fly-Fishing Instructor,” with me, Peter Kutzer. In this episode, I discuss the best way to grip a fly rod. This may seem ridiculously basic to some folks, but the grip is the foundation on which your whole cast is built. So it’s very important that you establish a comfortable grip that will help you put your fly where you want it to go.

The first thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to try to squeeze the life out of the cork. A grip that’s too tight won’t allow your arm to move properly, and it will cause you to tire quickly. So if you want to be able to fish all day in comfort, start with a light grip. In this video, I offer three options for how you can hold the rod, but the thumb-on-top is my favorite. If you’re just getting started, it’s your best option. Good luck!

Anatomy of a Fly Rod: A Glossary


Posted by: Larry Kenney

Date: 11/28/11

Rod Shop Rods

Do you ever find yourself scratching your head when reading about fly rods, or do you find yourself lost when you hear a couple guys at your club meeting discussing their new rod-building projects? Do you know the difference between the prepreg and the scrim?

Some of the terms that describe fly-rod construction are pretty arcane, so here’s a brief glossary from longtime rod-builder Larry Kenney that will help you better understand what goes into making a fly rod and keep up with the conversation when the rod-builders start talking shop. It will also make it easier to understand what makes a new rod technology so new—as in the Helios’s “thermpolastic resin in the layup and unidirectional scrim”—and how such a new technology translates into better performance on the water.

Blank: The long, skinny thing—generally tubular—to which the handle, reel seat, guides, and often ugly graphics are added.

Butt section: The bottom, thick section of a rod or blank.

Ferrule: The device by which the sections of a rod or blank are connected.

Fighting butt: The short, cork- or foam-covered extension to the rear of the reel seat, designed to keep the reel out of one’s beer belly when fighting a fish.

Fixed hood: A fixed metal shroud over either the top or the bottom of the reel-seat cylinder into which one end of the reel seat is placed.

Layup: The specific way in which patterns of composite prepreg are layered around a mandrel. Specific layups may include different fibers (graphite and boron, graphite and fiberglass), different orientations (unidirectional, woven, or filament-wound) or a combination of fibers and fiber orientations—all designed to produce specific characteristics of flex, stiffness, and durability.

Locking ring: The nut that puts pressure against the sliding hook to keep the reel securely locked in place.

Material: The fibers (graphite, fiberglass, Kevlar, boron, or some combination of them) that do the work—supporting the load of the fly line or pulling on a fish. Most contemporary rods are fabricated principally from fibers that run unidirectionally along the length of the rod, although many rods also make use of fibers running around or at an angle to the unidirectional fibers, in order to provide additional strength.

Prepreg: The fabric created by impregnating the material with resin. The prepreg is cut into “flags,” which are rolled around the mandrel(s).


A worker at the Orvis rod shop in Manchester, Vermont, prepares some prepreg,
which will be cut into “flags” and rolled onto a mandrel.

photo by Tim Bronson

Reel seat: The threaded metal cylinder on which the reel is secured to the rod.

Resin: The matrix that holds the fibers together. Most modern rods are fabricated with thermoplastic epoxy resins.

Scrim: A lightweight fabric of fiberglass or graphite that forms a lining under the principal fibers and which aids in working with the material when it is rolled around a mandrel. Some scrims are woven, and some aren’t. Scrim fibers that go around, rather than up and down, the blank also add “hoop strength” to the finished product.

Sliding hood: A sliding metal shroud that slides over the end of the reel seat that isn’t under the fixed hood.

Taper: A term often used synonymously with “action” to describe the way a rod performs. Tapers in which the difference in diameter between butt and tip were relatively great (“fast” tapers) produced stiff-butted, light-tipped, fast-action rods. Slow-action rods came from blanks in which the difference between butt and tip diameters was smaller. The taper of a tubular rod is determined by the shape of the mandrel(s) around which it is fabricated. A rod’s action is, in large part, by that taper, but also by the material(s), the layup, the number of section a ferrules, and by the weight and placement of guides and wraps—a complicated alchemy to which this brief overview does benign disservice.

Tip section: The section of a rod or blank farthest from the butt section.

Larry Kenney is a well-known fly-rod builder who lives in San Francisco.






If you believe that the Catskills and New York State will be at serious risk if gas drilling using hydrofracking is approved in our state, or if you have serious questions about the conditions under which fracking will commence, this is your opportunity to speak up, hear what other citizens like you think and show Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) your opposition and/or concern.  The DEC is holding just 2 more public hearings (see list below) to hear public and expert testimony about their dSGEIS (draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement) – the permitting conditions under which fracking will take place in New York.

According to yesterday’s New York Times Expose “Millions Spent in Albany Fight to Drill for Gas” the pro frackers have spent MILLIONS OF DOLLARS on lobbyists in New York State in the last year and have given Governor Cuomo over $100,000 in campaign contributions and UNTOLD AMOUNTS ON SLICK ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.   According the Wall Street Journal we have outnumbered the pro gassers at the last two hearings by 4 to 1.  We know that they are going to spend as much money as they need to to get pro gassers at this next hearing.  That is why we need you more then ever before.  Our home grown grass roots can beat the paid gassers but you need to TAKE THE DAY OFF FROM WORK OR SCHOOL and join us.   Be a part of Democracy in Action.

Mountainkeeper and many other partner organizations are mobilizing our constituencies to attend the press conference and rally at the hearing in Sullivan County on November 29th at the Sullivan County Community College, Seelig Theatre, 112 College Rd, Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759

The last hearing is in New York City on November 30.

Click here for the Official DEC dates and times of the dSGEIS hearings

IMPORTANT: If you plan to attend and/or testify click here for a summary of the major flaws in the dSGEIS to help you prepare.

Forward this message to your friends, family and neighbors and ask them to forward it on. Get educated, especially about the health issues and threats.

The Catskill Mountainkeeper website is here as a resource for you, please use it.

OUTDOORS: Fly fishermen hear the call of bamboo

November 19


By Deirdre Fleming
Staff Writer

SOUTH PORTLAND — Bamboo fly rods run upward of $1,500 and $2,000. That’s not the kind of cottage industry that would make it in a poor economy. Unless you’re in Maine.

Recently, four of Maine’s most prolific bamboo fly rod makers gathered to teach, talk and maybe preach bamboo fly rod making at Maine’s first Fly Fishing Show. And convert after convert stopped at their display tables to ask about the naturally grown material that forms the rods, the silk thread that colors the guides, the process that takes up to 40 hours to produce a beautiful and effective fishing tool.

“His waiting list extends beyond his life span,” said Kathy Scott, wife of bamboo fly rod maker David Van Burgel.

It’s a hobby for these craftsmen who are dentists, engineers, teachers and yes, fishermen.

But it’s a calling more than a pastime. Their work is both part of the thread of history and a celebration of their sport.

“It’s like a disease,” said Joel Anderson of Auburn, who made his first bamboo fly rod in 2006.


Upcoming Seasons


The recreational season reminders listed below include season dates that extend over the next two weeks. For all season dates and to view more information about hunting and fishing in New York, visit DEC’s Outdoor Activities( webpage.

Freshwater Fishing(

(IMPORTANT: Some waterbodies have different regulations than the general statewide regulations listed below; therefore, please review the special regulations by county( to determine if there are any differences near you.)

November 30. Final day to fish for the following:

· Largemouth and smallmouth bass (catch and release opens on December 1);

· Muskellunge; and,

· Hudson River striped bass and hickory shad in waters north of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

December 1. Opening day of catch and release fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Please review the special regulations by county as noted in the important information above to ensure this is permissible in your specific waterbody.

TGF Bulletin



WEST TRENTON, N.J. (Nov. 18) – The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) today announced that the special meeting scheduled for Nov. 21 to consider draft natural gas development regulations has been postponed to allow additional time for review by the five commission members.

No additional information is available at this time.

The DRBC is a federal/interstate government agency responsible for managing the water resources within the 13,539 square-mile Delaware River Basin. The five commission members are the governors of the basin states (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ North Atlantic Division, who represents the federal government.

Please visit the commission’s web site at for updates as they become available.



We are on the road to victory! Delaware River Basin Commission Cancels Fracking Vote!


Thanks to all of your great efforts, the state of Delaware announced yesterday that it will vote “no” to DRBC’s proposed gas drilling regulations, which would allow fracking to go forward in the Delaware River Basin. As a result of Delaware’s commitment, DRBC has postponed the vote and set no new vote date!


Fly Tying (With Common Household Materials)

This looks like it might be of some value, I have not read it but I have read his stuff in magazine articles for years.


“Jay Fullum is one of Fly Tyer magazine’s most beloved authors. His regular column, titled “Creative Tying,” is a favorite with our readers.”–David Klausmeyer, Editor Fly Tyer
Seriously…this is a great addition to your fly tying book library. It will stand out amongst the more conventional tying how-tos. Jay Fullum goes into detail about some real cool (and cheap!) everyday materials you probably already have laying around down in the basement…you know, “organized” loosely on that unfinished wooden Home Depot shelving you got right after you moved in. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Jay has chapters on plastic bags, foam packing material, weatherseal, embroidery floss, fake fingernails, paintbrushes and hair brushes. Lots of stuff. I love it. But, the thing I may love the most about this book is what this book can do emotionally to a beginning tyer. It erases this notion that a good fly has to be made with very specific ingredients. These are not tiny magic spells we are creating on a hook shank…they are tools of the sport of fishing. That is all. And you can use whatever works for you at the time. So, yeah…order a copy.
Lyons Press $21.95 Click Here!

Urgent Alert_Army Corps of Engineers taking Tally of Calls Pro/Con DRBC …

TGF Bulletin

Urgent Alert_Army Corps of Engineers taking Tally of Calls Pro/Con DRBC …

The Army Corps is “tallying” the number of calls for and against approving the regulations for drilling in the Delaware River Basin. The deciding vote is on Nov. 21.
Call the Army Corps of Engineers:


You’ll get the secretary for the fed govt’s DRBC representative, Jo Ellen Darcy. Just leave your message urging the Army Corps to vote NO FRACKING in the Delaware River Basin and that we expect leadership on this issue from Pres. Obama!

The DRBC (Delaware River Basin Commission) was funded by Congress under US Supreme Court to “protect and manage” the waters of the Delaware River. Unbelievably, despite this watershed providing drinking water to 15.6 million people — 5% of ALL Americans — including NYC, Philadelphia, Trenton, Camden, most of S. Jersey. almost all of Delaware State, the DRBC plans to vote on finalizing draft fracking regulations on Nov. 21.  Composed of governor-appointed commissioners from NY, NJ, PA and DE, plus the Army Corps of Engineers as the federal representative, this body needs 3 votes to pass a resolution.  NJ and PA will vote for fracking.  NY and DE very likely will vote against it.  That makes the federal government the deciding factor.