Some Thoughts from the Old Man

                Consider the following:DSCN0152

                I enjoy writing.  I like to write about events in a creative storylike style.  It’s fun, and it keeps the mind sharp.  I also like to share information and ideas with others.  If I come across something new or exciting, I want to share it.  If there is an issue or a concept that I feel strongly about, I want to present it to others, to make them aware of it, and hopefully get them involved in it.

                Second point – I’m retired.  After more than thirty years of teaching elementary school students, I put away my lesson plan book and stayed home.

                So, with my enjoyment of writing and all of that “free” time to do it, you would think that I would be posting new material on this blog on a regular basis.  It’s interesting how some things actually turn out.

                When I retired five years ago, my colleagues asked me “What are you going to do with all of your free time?  Don’t you think you are going to be bored?”

                My answer, in a word, has been “NO!!!”  In fact, some days I wonder how I got everything done while I was still working.  There are days that aren’t long enough to get everything on the to-do list done.  I have finished a lot of the around-the-house projects that were put off until I had the time to get to them, but the list never really seems to get shorter.

                My wife and I have also done some traveling in the past few years that we could only dream about while we were still teaching.  An Alaskan land-and-sea cruise and a tour of Ireland were unbelievable events, one in a lifetime events even.  We also got to see the Autumn colors of New England last year – you can’t do that when you are running a classroom that time of year.

                When you retire, if you are a member of any organizations, you oftentimes find yourself with more responsibilities in those organizations.  After all, you now have all that time to handle those increased responsibilities.  And of course, you will probably find more organizations or groups or causes to get involved in that you just didn’t have time for before.

                Then there is the fly fishing and fly tying.  I’ve had some great days on the water, and keep looking for ways to spend more time there.  My fly tying-in-retirement gig seems to keep growing and growing.  There have been more than a few late night sessions at the vice trying to finish up some orders.

                Anyway, I’m working at organizing my time and my ideas so that I can increase the amount of work that I want to don on my websites, including this blog.  So keep your eye on this space.  It should be updated, along with the rest of the website, on a more regular basis.  If you are interested in seeing more of my flies, please also look at my Etsy shop.  You can find it at etsy.com/shop/CJsFlyBox.  That site provides me with a few different options that I can use to market my flies, as well as some different options for you if you want to do some shopping.

                If you ever have any questions for me, or ideas that I can use, just drop me a note at cjsflybox@gmail.com.  Meanwhile, get out and visit your favorite fishing spots, and keep your fly lines tight.

CJ

A New Season Begins

                2017 has gotten off to a roller-coaster start.  January was average, February was unseasonably warm, March has come in like a lion.  Snowfall in this area has been scarce all winter, while rain has been almost common.  We have gotten in some great hiking (sometimes muddy), but the snowshoes have only gathered dust all winter long.  Who says climate change is only a myth?

                It’s been a good winter for fly tying.  My fly boxes are full of all of my regular patterns.  I have even put together a box of new patterns that I want to try out this year.

                I actually made it to 3 fly shows this year – doesn’t always happen – two in Wisconsin and the Hawkeye Show here in Iowa.  I keep talking about making it to some of the big shows sometime, but it just hasn’t fit into the schedule yet.  The Wisconsin shows had really good featured speakers, and I  came away with some new knowledge and some new tricks to improve my catch rate this year.  I got to be one of the guest tiers at the Hawkeye Show, and over the course of the weekend got to visit with a lot of really neat people, including Jay “Fishy” Fullum.  He was a really nice guy, and one of the most creative fly tiers I have ever met.

                In February, I managed to get out fishing a couple of times close to home.  The water was usually high and murky, and didn’t lend itself to successful outings.  Last week, though, on one of the few nicer days we’ve had in March, I managed to sneak over to Wisconsin to fish one of my favorite streams.  I decided to try one of the new patterns in my box, a bright little midge called the “Neon Nightmare.”  I wasn’t getting any results fishing a dry/dropper rig, so I switched to a tungsten fly as a DSCN0456lead fly, followed by the midge.  That was the trick.  I landed a pretty little 10-inch Brown that took the midge on the first cast.  About three casts later, I thought that I had hooked a snag, but then it started moving.  My next thought, based on how it felt, was that I had foul-hooked the fish.  That changed, though, when the fish broke the surface.  It was one hog of a Rainbow.  When I finally got him landed, he measured out at just shy of 17 inches!  In his lip was my size 18 midge!  That fly is a keeper.

                The day finished out in a small hole where some Browns were surface feeding.  I managed to land three of them on midge dry flies before they shut down.

                So, the year has started off on some positive notes.  The fishing has been pretty good.  The fly orders have been steady.  Life has been good all around.  It will be interesting to see how the rest of the year goes.

                Tight lines.

                CJ