Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
This week I'm tally ho all the way back to the Nutmeg from a ripping culinary hat trick in Pulaski, New York, with my old dorm mucker and all-round good egg (get it?) Steve Zakur. But bloody hell chaps, I can't say it started off too well, no mother! No Oxford Blue in Pulaski; not a dean's tea in sight - just the thought of it has the wing-tips a tremble!
At supper the first evening old Zakurs and Jonny dined on "highway food". Good heavens, not a quail's egg in sight. They didn't even stock Pimms!
|These very thin potatoes are "fries".|
|This is a "highway meat sandwich".|
I was bally well flumoxed by it all, I should say. But ding dong if breakers wasn't the top drawer!
|Lashings of soldiers. Hazaar!|
The boys in the bunk house say a picture's worth a thousands words! Spiffing egg and crumpet - enjoy chaps, Pulaski's the place!
|The yellow egg was just the ticket.|
Things are on the up. A turn up for the old books I'd say. And England into the semis against those scoundrels from Sri Lanka - up the Oxford Blues! But blast the thing if we couldn't watch on the old set. Something about fishing, meeting a guide, learning to "Spey", whatever the bally-do that is! After breakers Zakurs had me down the river with the rods. Jolly good fun for a while with the boys in the DSR. Not Oxford Blue (perhaps Cambridge?), but jolly good men when the chips are down!
|Zakurs trades the day's puff before the off. And over the top we go!|
Ah yes, the fishing wasn't a patch on the food. Always an anti-climax, what? Steelhead just don't scrap like the old rugger ball carp back home and the river was ghastly fast. Here's one of Zakurs getting to grips with his "Spey" (sounds like some sort of bally Scotch! On the rocks there Zakurs! (I'm not sure who the other chap is. Don't think he was a Blue).
|Bally strange to cast without a fishing rod, what!|
I say, I bally couldn't wait to get back to camp for some of granny's best. Hazaar for my hat-trick! Those scoundrels in Pulaski, leaving the jolly best 'til last - the finest Oxford supps (your beverage of choice, as long as it's Pimms!)
Dig in chaps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|Wild Angus Beef.|
|Swedish meatballs from IKEA. These shouldn't be here. (I'll write to the DEC or the BBC or someone).|
|Zakurs after a day at the Spey. Hazaar!|
Years ago, around the time they sent him away, I inherited one of English Jonny's fly boxes - the one with carp flies. The photo accompanies this post. I studied this collection for hours, trying to understand what went into his selection of materials, the placement of the bead-chain eyes, the proportions...all of it. I wanted to know.
The grizzly hackle, I hypothesized, was selected to represent the gill flaps of the Physocallimus nymphs so prevalent on EJ's favorite carp water in early May. The white hackle, however, clearly resembles the side bristles of a third-instar Calliomorph larva. Yellow marabou tail? The cerci of a male Scaphillymnys gregii or S. clarkii. (But which one!!??).
Recently, during one of our regular visits, presented him with my hypotheses (with some trepidation, I'll admit - when you're wrong, English Jonny lets you know it, in classic English/Irish style).
"They're a bunch of bloody wooly buggers with bead chain, you imbecile. Why do you have to over-analyze everything?!", he said to me.
Clearly, the man is not ready to leave the institution.
Friday, March 18, 2011
She's Too Good For Everyone - Watch more Funny Videos
Thursday, March 17, 2011
T.J. responds to readers' letters:
Every now and then* I like to respond to readers' letters. Since my recent post on steelheading expertise, I’ve received many** letters from interested readers wanting to know more about steelhead. Because these letters represent only a fraction*** of our readership, I felt it appropriate to post the letters, and my replies, here – for the benefit of all.
Don’t you think their are already enough “fly fishing experts”, especially on the internet?
- A curious reader
Dear Curious Reader,
“Their”, “there”, and “they’re” are not synonyms.
But, no, there are not too many internet experts. Fly fishing experts are very much like gas, in that they can expand to fill the available space. And, because the internet is a very large space, there is plenty of room for many, many more experts. Without experts, how will you know if you can use both yellow and green fly lines on your number 8 fly rod? Also, experts are like gas in other ways.
I recently caught my first steelhead. But, I caught it twice, once at the head of the pool on an egg pattern, and then again later at the tail of the pool on an egg-sucking leech. Can I claim expertise, since it was only one fish?
Signed – Hopeful
This is a very interesting case. Normally, I would say “No”, since you only caught one steelhead. However, I think you’re in luck! Because you caught it twice, on different flies, and in different locations, you can indeed become an expert. For example, you could say “I’ve found that a steelhead will sometimes take an egg fly, but at other times, an egg-sucking leech is the ticket.”
Or how about this: “When fishing one favorite pool, I’ve taken a steelhead from the head of the pool, and from the tail of the pool.” Nothing disingenuous there, right?
Best of luck. I look forward to your first article!
I know you’ve caught most**** of your steelhead in the Great Lakes region. Will your techniques work for me in the Pacific Northwest as well?
Signed – Steelheadless in Seattle
To the best of my knowledge, steelhead have not yet been stocked in the Pacific Northwest. However, you’re welcome to come here and catch a native. I know some***** spots.
[Editor's Notes: *this is the first time; **four; *** three-fourths; **** all; ***** he knows two]