Largemouth Bass Lineup

Largemouth Bass Lineup

Thursday, May 31, 2012

T.F.M. Rockin the Fish Foolin' Frog

Cameron over at T.F.M. was out over the long weekend and managed to catch some fish.  Check it out at Nice Fish Foolin' Frog you have there sir!  Can't wait to see what else you can catch.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

HNFI Evening Flight, Beat 6....Second Session

Poppers are stippled and various coats of varnish have been added.  As such, we can return to the competition.

The first session was in the books and team J&M Flies was on the board with a rainbow and a smallie.  We thought we were doing really well until we started hearing reports of teams catching their limit of seven fish within 30-40 minutes.  Oh well.  At least we didn't get skunked.

We went off to lunch and then we did some scouting.  The evening session was to start at 1630 and end at 1830.  Greg and I were going to be fishing beat 6.  This beat ran from behind cabin 13 at the big pool up to just past cabin 15.  The pool behind cabin 13 is where I spend a lot of my time fishing when I am at Harman's.  I like it cause it is close to cabin 12 where the wife and I tend to stay in and has some great water that hold some big fish.  It is easy to get to and usually doesn't require any wading on my part.  That being said, the water by cabin 15 is also great.  For us though, the prime water in this pool was actually in beat 7 and not 6.  Beat 6 was the back end of the pool before the riffles that led down to behind cabin 13.  Greg and I scouted around and figured that we would fish the water at cabin 15 first and then beat feet down to cabin 13.  We had seen some hatch action the evening before and wanted to spend the rest of our time working this section of the beat.  We were hoping that we would be able to work the top water once the hatch started to come off.  BTW the hatch for those wondering was a mixture of stuff with Sulphurs being the biggest or most prevalent.  Here is the pool behind cabin 13.  I took this photo when we were there back in November of 2011.

Here is the pool behind cabin 15.  We were actually fishing the tail end of this pool all the way in the back of the photo.  Again, this was taken in November of 2011.

So at 1630 Greg and I, along with our judge, started working the top end of beat 6.  I think we spent maybe 30 minutes there before moving down to the bottom of the beat.  We just weren't seeing any action so we figured why stay?  I would like to take a moment here and explain something.  Greg, right before the session started, decided to check his work email.  He is a little like a crack addict in this regard.  I suppose the same could be said of me.  Well upon checking it, he relayed some rather disturbing news to me.  I, naturally, had to check my email to verify the information.  Upon reading it, I was pissed to say the least.  It wasn't great news.  I do believe that team New Jersey can vouch for just how angry I was.  It really put me in a bad mood and I allowed it to affect my fishing.  Not good.  So Greg and I tagged and I raced down to fish the lower end of the beat.

I started throwing a nymph to work the water column without so much as a nibble.  I tagged out and Greg tagged in.  He was also throwing a nymph.  I believe it was either a Prince or a Zug Bug.  Anyways, Greg managed to hook up with a rainbow shortly after arriving at the pool.  While he was landing the fish, I decided to switch to a dry fly.  We started seeing fish rising all over the pool.  It was time.  I tied on a size 18 black Trico.  I used this fly in November of 2011 with much success while at Harman's.  It had to work again right?  We really needed to put some fish up on the board.  Here is a photo of the fly I took last year

Almost immediately I hooked up with a fish.  In fact over the course of the next hour, I hooked up with four fish in all.  And I lost all four fish.  I couldn't believe it.  I was fished.  One fish, a huge brown, hit the fly like a freight train at the top end of the pool and ran all the way down into beat 5 before he popped the hook out.  Even the judge said it was a big fish.  After I lost it, he asked what was the matter with me.  I had to explain that I lost my mojo thanks to some bad news I received courtesy of work.  Greg, thank god, managed to land another rainbow while I was busy losing everything I hooked.  In the end, we only posted two fish for the session.  I was so pissed at myself.  I couldn't believe I (1) even discussed work (2) allowed Greg to tell me the info (3) checked the damn email myself and (4) allowed it to effect me as much as it did.  Later, speaking with Melissa, I learned that she had thought about emailing Greg and tell him not to pass the work info along but decided against it.  

So session 2 beat 6 was now in the books.  I didn't land a single damn fish and Greg landed 2.  I was stinking up the joint pretty badly.  I had teased Greg about him being my handicap during the competition and now it appeared as though I was the handicap!  Well, we still had one more session to fish.  We had to post our limit in that one or there wouldn't be a championship round in our future.  Could we do it?

Here are some photos

We're on the board!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Free Flies On Facebook

For those that are on Facebook, make sure you pop over and like the J & M Flies page.  We will be giving away a dozen free flies to one lucky winner.  All you have to do is like the page and post on the photo of the smallie with the Road Kill nymph in its mouth that you are "in."  The contest will close at 0800 Tuesday morning  May 29th.  One lucky winner will be chosen at random after that.  Look for this photo and good luck:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Customer Success

While I await for my elixir of life to brew, AKA coffee, I figured I would take some time from the vise to share some recent photos of some customer success with our flies.  These photos were taken from by a customer out in North Dakota.  He wrote "they loved the thing, they hit it on top, and they hit it on a slow retrieve; had a blast."  Glad to hear and see that the flies are working.  If you have photos or a success story regarding our flies, please share with us.  We would love to hear about it.  Well the coffee is ready and Bees and Persuaders need to be tied so I am off to the vise.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

HNFI-Flight Two, Beat One...The First Session

We last left team J&M Flies having a grand time in the evening sitting around smoking cigars, drinking, and having some male bonding with team New Jersey at cabin 3.  As both teams didn't fish until 1130 Friday morning, there was really no need to get up early.  That being said, age has a way of creeping up on you, and we all turned in around midnight.  It had been a long day.

I got up around 0730 Friday morning.  The rest of my roommates arose around 0800.  Coffee was brewed (courtesy of team J&M Flies), cups poured, donuts eaten, and scouting of beats and competitors began.  Since we had beat 1 and team New Jersey had beat 2, both teams meandered over to the scenic overlook to watch the competition.  Regarding beat 1, we watched Team Orvis reel in a few fish.  As stated before, beat 1 runs from the beginning of the Harman's property by the road all the way up until about half way to the bridge.  Beat 1 looked like this:

Beat 1 contained a lot of varied water.  The first photo shows the back end of beat 1.  This pool is very deep.  Really deceptively so.  The second photo shows how beat 1 also contained some faster water that flowed down into that big, deep pool.  Beat 1 seemed to have a wickedly fast current running through it straight down the damn middle (making mending and a decent drift extremely hard as we would soon find out).  So watching Team Orvis fish it, Greg and I decided after much debate to fish the faster water.  The reason behind this was that we were thinking this was where the majority of the trout would be holding.  Not bad thinking and a good strategy (however the fish turned out to be on the other side of the stream as we would soon find out).

As the time neared, we geared up to head out.  Now I have fly fished for the past twenty or so years.  Greg has fly fished for the past two and a half years.  It is fun.  I love it.  For me it is a way of life more or less.  A passion (called an obsession by the wife) that I can't seem to get enough of.  That being the case, then why the hell was I so nervous?  I felt like I was a cat in a room full of rocking chairs or a groom about to be married and suddenly wondering if it's all worth it while looking for an exit.  This is fly fishing.  I know how to do this!  I have done it a bunch of times.  Hell, I have even done it here.  I have caught fish at Harman's and plenty of them.  What gives?  Dear reader, I have no clue!  I can honestly say that both Greg and I were worried that we wouldn't catch anything and that we would be in last place.  We just needed to fish.  So geared up, we headed to beat 1 to meet the judge and start the competition.
Geared up and ready to head out

Being team captain and an all important self-appointed super star, I decided I would fish first.  The water was still moving pretty fast at the top of beat 1.  We had to add a lot of split shot in order to get the flies down.  I finally ended up switching to a size 4 sculpin pattern.  I was hoping for the saying "big flies equals big fish" to work out in my favor.  
 Here I am working beat 1at around the mid point of it
Here is Greg working beat 1 closer to the top of it

I am happy to say that I was the first one to get a strike, hook a fish, land said fish and then measure said fish.  YES!!!  We were on the board.  My beautiful rainbow measured a whopping 40 cm which converts to a stunning 15 inches.  Not bad.  I have caught bigger here and know they roam these waters like a great white shark looking for a meal.  Well, at least we were on the board.  Time to go back to work and catch some big ones.  Thinking about it, two hours seems like a lot of fishing.  Rest assured, it wasn't!  That magical number is the total amount of time both Greg and I had to fish beat 1.  Only one of us could fish at any one time.  We had to tag in and out.  So with my fish scored, Greg tagged in and went to work.

Not too long after I landed the rainbow, Greg connected with a smallmouth.  We had asked before hand if other fish count towards the fish total.  I mean, hey we are warm water fly fishermen right?  We do love to chase the green trout or in this case the bronze trout.  We were told yes smallmouth count but not any other fish.  So, Greg lipped his smallie and brought it over for scoring.  Sadly it was only 17cm but we decided to log it anyways as our time was nearing the end.  So our 6 inch smallie, yes 6 inches, was added to our total. Wow, only 6 inches??  .....sounded bigger and better in centimeters.  

And so ended flight two, beat 1 for Team J&M Flies.  We were on the board with two fish and not skunked!  All was good with the world....well until we started hearing how other teams reached their limit in a matter of 30 minutes or less.  One team landed a 64 cm rainbow.   That is a 25 inch fish.  A monster.  We had our work cut out for us in the afternoon.

The aftermath....

Me trying to hitch a ride to lunch!

Next up...session two!

We Got Mentioned Over At Windknots & Tangled Lines

Howard over at Windknots and Tangled Lines did a nice post about tying flies in general and warm water flies in particular.  First thing Melissa said when she read it was "This is you to a T."  I do tend to my a lot of materials!  I am also in the same boat as Howard.  I tried to fish as much as I could during our trip to Harman's because I knew when I got back, I wouldn't be doing a whole lot of it.  I have 4 dozen Panfish Persuaders and 43 dozen poppers to tie.  I am going to be quite busy for the next few weeks.  Anyways, visit Howard's blog and take a look at the post.  It can be found here.  Lunch time is over....back to the factory!  Enjoy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Harman's North Fork Invitational 2012-Check In

This past Thursday, May 17th 2012, Greg and I headed out to Harman's North Fork Cottages to compete in the 3rd Annual Harman's North Fork Invitational.  For those that maybe unaware, Harman's is located in Cabins, WV.  I first discovered Harman's courtesy of Curtis Fleming and Fly Rod Chronicles.  Melissa and I made our first trip there back in 2010.  Since then we have been back as a couple 3 times and I have made the journey 4 times now, counting this competition.  We really love it there.  The cabins are great!  The people are friendly, warm and outgoing.  The scenery is simply stunning and the fishing is out of this world.  The people there will do anything for you as was shown by Fred coming to our rescue back in September of 2011 when our car died in Petersburg.  I just can't say enough great things about this place.  Curtis was right when he stated that it was "a little slice of Heaven."  Maybe they can adopt me????

After having seen the competition on Fly Rod Chronicles for the past two years, I really wanted to participate in it.  Back in November, I sent in the form explaining who we were and why we wanted to participate in the competition.  Of course by we, I mean Greg and I.  Our team name was/is J&M Flies.  Well, we got selected to do it and we were stoked.  However, our schedules never meshed and we never got to practice.  So without any practice, planning or preparation we headed out.  After we got the email regarding our room assignments, we realized that we would be sharing a room with team New Jersey.  A quick look at the cabin on the Harman's website, located here, revealed that the cabin had a loft, a room with two single beds, and a room with a double bed.  Check in time wasn't until 1500.  Greg and I decided that in order to get separate rooms, we would have to leave around 0930 or so in the morning. Lucky for us Harman's is only three hours away.  Also lucky for us there is some great smallmouth water just down from Harman's.  So we decided to get there a little early, pound the smallies, and then check in early in a grand effort to beat team New Jersey, Paul and Andy, so Greg and I wouldn't have to share a room.

Well 0930 came and went on Thursday.  I think we finally ended up leaving around 1030 or so.  No fault on Greg's part.  He showed up on time.  I just couldn't get my act together and get out the door.  In hindsight maybe that should have been a sign for things to come.  So we were on the road by 1030 and heading to WV.  We attempted to make a plan and discuss the potential activities during the competition but we really didn't come up with anything solid.  For us, simply competing was rewarding enough.  We weren't in it to win.  That isn't to say that I didn't and don't think I am a great fly fishermen.  Hell, I think everyone does to some degree.  For me however, being chosen was rewarding enough.  Plus I had Greg as my handicap so I figured I didn't have a snowball's chance in hell at winning.  Greg has only been fly fishing for 2 and 1/2 years now.  With that being said, it was shocking what happened during the competition on a number of levels which I will talk about over the next few days.  I don't think either one of us knew just how much competition there would be, nor how good some of the competitors were.  I think, if I am not mistaken, that some of these teams travel all over the country competing in tournaments.  For two guys fly fishing on a part time basis, we really didn't even stand a chance but we didn't know that....yet.

We pulled into Harman's around 1330 hours on Thursday.  Greg and I talked about going to chase the green trout (read smallmouth) but settled on checking in.  My, how we were hoping for those single rooms!!  I walked through the door to check in, with Greg in tow.  After giving our team name to the lady behind the counter, I noticed she crossed us off on a list.  More importantly, I noticed that team New Jersey was already here, as they were also crossed off the list.  We had seen their car earlier parked along the side of the road while they fished but we weren't sure if they had already checked in or not.  So I asked the lady if they had and she said yes.  The gentleman behind us was kind enough to let us know that they arrived the night before.  DAMN!  We grabbed the key and rushed over to cabin 3 hoping beyond all hope that they hadn't laid claim to the good rooms yet.  Walking in the door to cabin 3 and seeing their stuff already there, I knew they had.  Hell, I couldn't be mad at them, we had tried (and failed) to do the same thing!  Oh well.

With our gear and clothes dropped, sorted and stowed, we went over to cabin 15 for registration.  At 1700 everyone gathered around to hear Ryan Harman and Curtis Fleming explain the rules of the tournament and to pick beats.  We learned that each team would fish three beats.  Each beat was to be fished for two hours.  Since there were 16 teams and only 8 beats, there was to be two different flights of competitors on the water at different times.  By this I mean that on Friday flight one fished 0900-1100 and flight two fished 1130-1330.  Then flight one would fish 1400-1600 and flight two would fish 1630-1830.   For Saturday's session, flight one was 0830 to 1030 and flight two was 1100-1300.  The championship round was to be from 1430-1730 on Saturday.  We also learned that there would be a two fly session.  This meant that during one of our three sessions, we would have to fish it as a two fly.  Yes, that is two flies between the both of us.  If you lost them, you were done regardless of the time.

Team J&M Flies was called and Greg and I walked up to chose our three beats... think pulling names out of a hat.  Being the (self designated) team captain, I chose the beats.  I picked beat 1 for the first session, beat 6 for the second session and beat 2 for the third session.   The beats were laid out like this: beat one went from the Harman's property line at the entrance to about half way up to the bridge, beat two stopped at the bridge, beat three began at the bridge and went up a ways, beats four and five were the stretch of water in front of and behind cabin 12, beat six started behind cabin 13 and went to just beyond cabin 15, beat seven was the big stretch of water above cabin 15 and finally beat eight was on the other side of the mountain apparently (I never saw beat eight so I can't really describe it).  I love beat six and always have.  Every time I have been to Harman's I have mainly fished beats four through seven.  Greg and I have done well fishing this area and usually pick off a dozen or so trout between us if not more.  I rarely fish beat one and two and had never fished three or eight.  Glad we didn't get those.  Sadly it wouldn't have made a difference but that will come later.

So rules explained, beats laid out and picked, we had dinner and then headed back to the cabin for some cigars and conversation.  We quickly learned that our new roommates were very nice and a pleasure to be around.  Really that translates into us busting on each other and we had some great laughs at every one's expense.  Truly a man bonding session.  Next up....session one beat one.  For now, enjoy the photos of the cabin and the scenery.

 (the above picture is the room Greg and I got to share... see how close we were?)

Sorry Paul and Andy.  I wasn't stalking you.  I just wanted to get photos of the cabin for the blog as well as for the wife.  I knew she would ask and was happy to see that I did what she wanted me to (for once).  

Mentioned Over at T.F.M.

We submitted a photo of Melissa working on Cameron's popper order for the T.F.M. Spotting Photo Contest.  Cameron posted while I was gone so I am doing a little catch up.  When the voting starts for May, I hope everyone will vote for us.  Here is the link to the photo and write up over at T.F.M. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Back In Town

Howdy folks!  Greg and I made it back in town today.  I will be doing some posts regarding the tournament over the next few days.  I couldn't get a decent WiFi signal there as usual so I will catch everyone up each day. We met some great people, made new friends and had a blast.  We have reached over 100 followers on Facebook so stay tuned for a chance to win a dozen flies from us on our Facebook page.  We will only be doing the giveaway on Facebook so make sure you like us and sign up for the giveaway when it is posted.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gone Fishing!

So I have gone fishing...well I will be in a few hours.  I had wanted to do a series of posts leading up to this day but it just didn't work out.  For those that remember and for our new followers, Greg and I are heading out today to Harman's North Fork Cottages in West Virginia.  This will be my fourth time there.  Yes, this is the place where we went last year that was a disaster of a trip.  I am really hoping we don't have another trip like that.  Starting tomorrow, Greg and I will be fishing in the Harman's North Fork Invitational.  This is a two person fly fishing only tournament that you have to be invited to.  Curtis Fleming from Fly Rod Chronicles will be there and will be hosting the event.  For those that get it, we will be on the Outdoor Channel at some point.  Well at least I hope we will (I am sure it depends on how well we do in the competition).  I am going to try and keep a daily posting about the tournament but that is subject to what is going on as well as whether or not I have a decent WiFi signal.  I have been excited about this trip for some time and bought some new gear for it.  Again, I had planned to do a post about that stuff but it just didn't work out.  I guess it will have to wait until I get back.  So we are going fishing.....wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Orders Are Going Out!

For those that ordered from us recently, I am pleased to let you know that the orders are shipping either tomorrow or Friday.  Everything is tied up and ready for shipment.  Thank you all for your support!  We do appreciate it.  Please send photos of what you catch with the flies.


Well we must be doing something right as the local Orvis store just ordered 42 dozen poppers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That's 504 poppers I need to tie up...............HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Home Stretch!

We're almost done with the HUGE batch of orders we received recently!  This is what almost done looks like:

There are a ton of flies on the other side of the table, too.  We're excited to get these orders out and to see what everyone is able to catch with our creations :)

As always, Jeff's trusted companion is by his side...

I'm just waiting for the inevitable yelp as Jeff rolls his chair over the dog's paw...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Like Us on Facebook

Don't forget to like us on Facebook.  Our page is J&M Flies.  Currently we are at 91 likes.  We would love to generate some more likes and followers.  So, stealing from Pile Cast's idea, we are going to reward some lucky person with a dozen assorted flies.  I do not know of the exact combo of flies yet but I will keep you posted.  Once I get back from the fishing competition next week, we will put up info on the page regarding the chance to win a dozen flies.  So....what are you still doing reading this?  Race over to J & M Flies on Facebook and like us!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Factory Is In Full Swing

We, at J&M Flies, have been quite busy as of late and as such I haven't had much time to post.  With 300 flies ordered, let's face it...we have been slammed.  I wanted to let everyone know that we are working hard on every one's order though.  We have all the Road Kills, Monocacy Bumble Bees and Panfish Persuaders done.  I will be starting on the gurglers this morning and hope to have them done by tomorrow.  I stippled the crap out of two wheels worth of poppers yesterday.  They received their first coat of varnish last night.  Usually our turn around time is a week at most.  When all these orders came in, I was out of the state on a business trip.  We also had to hospitalize our daughter for a week which set us back a little as well.  Of course the icing on the cake with the hole in my retina I apparently have thanks to my job and the stress of our daughter being sick.  With all that being said though, we are plugging away on everything and finally on the downward slide.

I started this blog back in late 2010 as a way to record my fishing trips and share my flies with everyone.  I had actually started my blog on another forum but when they lost their server I lost my blog and decided to move elsewhere.  After reading Pat Cohen's blog, I decided to switch to Blogger.  I wanted to keep the blog just about fly fishing (with an occasional sinning thrown in) and fly tying.  Please don't get me wrong as I am not knocking others for their blogs.  Writing about politics, dogs, hunting etc just isn't my thing.  Along the way I have met some great people, read some truly awesome blogs and shared some hilarious memories with others.  I am not a prolific writer.  I am not a funny writer any more than I am a great story teller.  Most times I have to have Melissa spell check my post for me before I publish it.  I tend to think faster than I type which causes me to leave out a few words here and there or use the wrong word at times.  You may be asking yourself at this point, where is he going with this?  Is he shutting down the blog like others have done recently?  No I am not.  I do understand though the need to post and how this has lead others to shut down their blogs.  It does take a lot of work keeping up with this animal.  I know now that I haven't done the best job but I have had fun.  I saw yesterday that we lost a follower along the way but also gained some new faces.  To our new faces...welcome. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in fishing and tying.  To our lost follower....sorry to see you go.  Maybe we need an exit interview?  I just wanted to sit down and share my thoughts about the blog with you all.  I am sad to see a few blogs recently close down but like I said, I understand it.  At times I feel forced or compelled to post which I never want to have happen.  This should be something fun, entertaining and little hearty.  Enough with the sermon/rant.  I am off the soap box now.....
White Road Kill being made

Red Road Kill being made 

Tan/Root Beer Panfish Persuader in progress 

Almost finished Tan/Root Beer Panfish Persuader 

In progress Monocacy Bumble Bee 

What is left over from making 17 bees 

Road Kills done 

Melissa has a ton of wings to cut! 

Chili Frogs, Retros and Fire Tigers 

A few Fruit Cocktails 

Some Safety Cone Slayers 

Sunrise Slammers 

And the famous Fish Foolin' Frog