Friday, December 20, 2013

See Me On Facebook!

Due to time limitations I have been posting all of my information, updates on Facebook.  Please feel free to check these out at  This will give up to date info on anything of importnace that has been happening lately.

Here are a couple pics of a recent trip on the Niagara River with my good friend, Paul Castellano, of Cast Adventures.  He is the only Niagara River boat guide I am aware of who will use flies on the big river- with great success as you can see!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Book Signing Promotions & Programs

Sorry- I have been neglecting this site a lot lately.  Most of my online info has switched over to Facebook and you can send me a friend request to get info and updates there.
I have a number of book signings and programs coming up.  Here is my schedule, as of today, for the remainder of the year.

Saturday, November 9 at Lake Erie Ultimate Angler, Erie, PA
  • Book signing, "Great Lakes Connecting Waters" program and tying demo

Saturday, November 16 at Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters, Chicago, IL
  • Book signing, "Great Lakes Connecting Waters" program

Thursday, December 5 at Little Forks Outfitters, Midland, MI
  • Book signing and tying demo

Saturday, December 14 at Mad River Outfitters, Columbus, OH
  • Book signing, "Great Lakes Connecting Waters Program", and tying demo

Hope to see everyone somewhere along the way!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Castapalooza North and Streamer Freak Sunday

Big event this coming weekend at Schultz Outfitters in Ypsilanti, MI!  On Saturday, Sept. 7, Castapalooza North will take place.  Check out a bunch of gear including the new Scott Radian Rods!  There will be plenty of rods to cast and both single and two-hand casting isntruction avaialble form casting pros including Mark Sedotti, Will turek, and Jeff Liskay.

On Sunday, September 8, tying pros including Greg Senyo, Alex Lafkas, Tommy Lynch, Eli Berant, Mike Schmidt and others will be on hand to share their streamer secrets.

For complete info on the weekends events go to:

The Book is Out!

After three years of on-water "research" and hundreds of hours banging away on the computer, my first book, Fly Fishing the Inland Oceans is finally on the retail market.  This is the first-ever, comprehensive look at fly fishing IN the Great Lakes.  All five Great Lakes are reviewed along with Lake St. Clair and various connecting waters.  Both warmwater and cloldwater fish species are covered with the techniques and equipment needed to catch them.   There are also over 160 fly patterns presented with recipes for Great Lakes use.  Ask for it at your local fly shop!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ross Reels Turns 40!

Established in 1973, Ross Reels turns 40 this year.   Yikes, that was the same year I graduated from high school!

Based in Montrose, CO, Ross is still one of the leading manufacturers of fly reels in the U.S.  A number of classic reel designs have come from the Ross facility such as the Gunnison, Cimmaron,a dn San Miguel.  These have been followed up by a number of top-sellers including the CLA, Evolution LT, and F1.  In fact, Ross has won more design awards than any other company in the fly fishing industry!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Casting Cane for Fun

I have to say a special "Thanks" to my friend, Jimmy Chang, for sharing some of his cane rods with me recently.  A professional photographer, Jimmy is also a cane rod builder.  His favorite fly fishing activities are throwing small dries to trout and swinging flies on a two-hander for steelies.  He builds rods for these activities and everyhting in-between
I recently invited Jimmy down to the Rockwell Club to photograph some bug sampling in the steam and then fish some of his light-line rods.  I opted for a 7'9" 5-wt.  while he fished a 7'6" 3-wt.  His rods have hollow-butt construction which reduces weight noticably.  The actions are crisp and workmanship is flawless.
As you can see, the trout were cooperative, taking an assortment of terrestrial and midge patterns.  Hey Jimmy- thanks again for a great rod and the great photos, too!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sandwich Terrestrials

Nothing earth-shattering here, but I tied up this assortment of terrestrial patterns recently and they have proven effective fish catchers.  In addition, they are very durable and easy to make.

Glue together with a good spray adhesive a sheet of black 2mm closed-cell foam and a sheet of yellow or tan 2mm closed cell foam.  Cut into 1/4"-wide strips.  These can then be cut into various lengths as desired and tied on a hook with a thread base on the shank and secured with a touch of Super Glue.
Add rubber legs and you are good to go.  With the black side down you have a Sandwich Cricket.  Put the yellow side down and it is a Sandwich Hopper- a bit of orange yarn on top makes it easier to see on the water.
Cut the strips in half to a 1/8" width and you can then do the Sandwich Beetle.

These are all quick and simple and make a nice fish-attracting "plop" when they hit the water.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sea Lamprey Still a Great Lakes Problem

The sea lamprey entered and spread through the Great Lakes with the completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Welland Canal in the late-1940's/early 1950's.  These prehistoric creatures attach to a host fish, then literally chew through skin and scales to slowly drain the host body of blood and other body fluids.  They caused the near extinction of native lake trout populations once they entered the lakes and the effects are still felt today.  Spawning tributaries are treated periodically with lamprecides by U.S. Fish and Wildlife in an ongoing effort to keep lamprey populations in check.

My buddy, Bob Fout, landed this steelhead in Conneaut Creekd last month with sea lamprey firmly attached.  Despite an active fight with 4 jumps, the lamprey did not budge and was only removed by hand prior to the fish being released.

A recent episode of TV's "River Monsters" showed that sea lamprey have also entered Lake Champlain and are attaching themselves to long distance swimmers.  Now that is just plain creepy!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Final Schedule for Castapalooza!

Castaplooza 2013 Schedule

Saturday, April 13, 2013   9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

On the River

·       10:00 AM- Will Turek, “Single-Hand Spey Techniques”

·       11:30 AM- Neil Houlding, “Intro to Two-Hand Casting”

·       1:00 PM- Jeff Liskay, “ Rigging and Fishing the Swung Fly”

·       2:30 PM- Neil Houlding, “Skagit, Scandi, and Long Belly Casting”

 On the Lawn

·       11:00 AM- Jim Lampros, “Fly Casting 101”

·       12:30 PM- Will Turek, “Advanced Single-Hand Casting”

In the Pavilion
·       9:00 AM to 1:00 PM- Greg Senyo, “Steelhead Flies”

·       9:00 AM to 1:00 PM- Charlie Chlysta, “Warmwater Flies”

Plus, other unannounced guests!

There will be a number of “Castapalooza Pro Staff” helpers available to assist with casting on the water and the lawn throughout the day. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Coaster Research Needs Help!

I was fortunate to attend a presentation at the the recent Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo in Minneapolis, MN, by guide Scott Thorpe entitled, "Coaster Brook Trout- Past , Present, and Future".  The coaster brook trout is the rarest of all Great Lakes sport fish and a true native species.

Coasters are a migratory form of the eastern brook trout, once extremely abundant in Lake Superior but were nearly fished to exticntion.   They are genetically the same as brook trout, but are behaviorally very different.  Their numbers are slowly recovering, but they are still rare-especially in the U.S. waters of Lake Superior.

The Coaster Brook Trout Research Unit is a research initiative of  The Greater Lake Superior Foundation (GLSF).  Each year, the GLSF offers a grant to a graduate student in research on coasters in Lake Superior and its tributaries.  Funding is provided through the sale of the decal shown and available online from the GLSF,  All it takes is $6.00 to show your support!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Castapalooza 2013!

The Northeast Ohio Castapalooza details are coming together quickly.  This years celebration of fly casting and tying looks to be another great one!

When:  Saturday, April 13, 2013, 9:00 AM to 4:00 pm
Where:  Lake County Metroparks Hidden Valley Park on the Grand River
              Off Rt. 528 south of I-90, Madison, OH

This years presenters (so far): 
Greg Senyo- Steelhead Alley Outfitters
Will Turek- Midwest Spey Schools
Neil Houlding- Certified Two-Hand Casting Instructor
Jeff Liskay- Scott Rod/Scientific Anglers/Ross Reel/Patagonia Pro
Jerry Darkes- Great Lakes fly fishing writer
Plus other guests still to be announced!

There will be ongoing demonstrations and hands-on instruction along with displays of gear from local shops.This is free of charge and open to the public.  Come and join us and spread the word!

Special thanks to Matt Zudweg for the great Castaplooza logo!

New Tubes

I have had a lot of fun working with all the new ProTube components.  This is a great system where all the componets- tubes, sleeves, weights, cones, and discs all fit together.  I am still learning about all the different parts and the versatility they give.
At a recent tying demo at Tightlines Fly Shop in DePere, WI, I tied the following patterns and can't wait to fish them!   Here is what we named them, from top to bottom:  Wisconsin Sunrise, Scandi Crayfish, and The Pink Lady.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

First One for Serial #1

I finally had a chance to get on the water with the new Kingpin Great Lake Spey Reel!  Despite 34 degree water I manged to swing up a nice steelie on the Chagrin River with a purple & pink rabbit mini-conehead tube.  Great sound when the fish ran- just like a vintage Hardy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pro Tube Products Are Here!

Pro Tube products from Denmark are recently arrived in the U.S.  I am very please to be able to represent this product line in the Midwest and Great Lakes are.  This is simple-to-use system where all of the various tube components are pre-sized to fit together.  In addition, there are several products that cross over well to conventional tying- such as the HD Jungled Cock, FlexiSkin, Soft Heads, and Soft Discs. 
You can look at all their great products and new online magazine at

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's Show Time!

The winter consumer shows started this past weekend.  I was in Indianapolis for the Indiana on the Fly Show.  The first show of the year is always a good time to catch up with friends and see how everyone is doing.  Attendance at the show was good, people were buying from vendors, and there were good presentations and demos.

Here Michigan guide and fly tier extraordinaire, Kevin Feenstra, gives a tying demo of some of his signature patterns.  His pet bird, Emulator, was on hand to give kevin some advice and tying tips.  Now we know where all the ideas for those great fly patterns comes from!