Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Keeled Jerk – Farrar Blend Variant

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In continuation of my last post, here are my variants using Farrar Blend dressed long for Pike, that are about 8″ long.
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Jerk Group_DSC1586
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Chartreuse to the Greens
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chartreuse_DSC1603
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green-black_DSC1626
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greem black_DSC1645
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green_DSC1647
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The classic Pike Red and White
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red_DSC1644
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amd a fly to suggest Perch ..
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perh_DSC1649
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prech_DSC1657
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and the original experiment in Blue, with the white deer hair center that seperates the base from the top. I have since migrate to using the SF Fibers for the centre.
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blue_DSC1635
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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/02/05 at 02:31

Keeled Jerk

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closeup keeled jerk DSC1566First lets credit those who have developed this pattern.

  1. I have always wanted to try Dave Whitlock’s Sheep Minnow Streamer pattern, which has a long body and hook point up for “weedy” water.
  2. As noted in an earlier post, I really like Gunnar’s Youtube videos, including his keel jerk, see video below, which has the long body and hook up look that Dave’s fly has.

Now, I offer my observations after tying a few flies:

  1. (I) Prefer Steve Farrar’s Blend over Craft Fur.  The former has volume without bulk, and allows for a light clean taper baitfish. The latter has a lot of junk at the base that needs to be clean (lots of prep) and difficult to build a long base. I may revise this after a summer of fishing, but I want to step away from Craft Fur.
    1. As you may recall, I already stated I have moved alway from Craft Fur for bonefish flies.
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  2. The excellent materials that this pattern has introduced me include:
    1. Ahrex PR380 Texas Predator Hook – sharp and well built: A+
    2. Ice Dub Shimmer Fringe – creates a nice veil: B
    3. Tear Mender as a rubber cement: B+
    4. Pro Flex UV Resin, I will do some testing latter and report, but it is a good resin, that is “hard and flexible”, as it works into the material (thin): A.
      1. Oh yes, I do use my cactus to hold the flies in the Sun to help set the UV Resign.
  3. As far as eyes are considered, get a set of 8mm and 10mm. I also suggest you will get better value if you purchase these in bulk from ebay or another supplier.

And now for some images, but first Gunnar’s video.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch

From the web, another individual trying this pattern for the first time. He/She has done a marvelous job (better than me) in layering the craft fur or the central tail. If there is a lesson for me, thicker tail and less craft fur.

keeled jerk nme

Now, I do recommend you buy flies from Gunnar. All of the Shad (Grey-White) Flies are from Gunnar, and are very well done as illustrated below.

gunnars DSC1560

So here is my attempt with Craft Fur, and develop my handling skill with UV Resin.

The head in front is with a thicker Solarex Flex UV Resin, and eventually standardize to the thin Pro Thin Flex. In review, I would look to less craft fur and more internal tail (in this case, bucktail).

As you can see, I also use ties (and moisture) to hold the hair in, as I work on the fly.

green keeled jerk in cactus_DSC1535

green _DSC1561

And then moving to Steve Farrar’s blend.

blue DSC1557

which has a hollow, translucent look to it.

blue backlight _DSC1563

So what is next?  I am liking the path with using Steve Farrar’s blend and the Pro UV Thin Flex, but will consider some of the following tweaks in future:

  1. Stagger the fibers more (the blue stack is to uniform).
  2. Given it translucent qualities, add a touch of red on the inside. Consider more inner tail.
  3. Play with lengths – should the blue top be shorter? Never-the-less,tIt does pull to a nice taper as is.

last blue_DSC1567

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/01/03 at 04:09

Rigging an 8wt Silk Line

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As I preparing for my next bonefish trip, I have added a Phoenix Silk WF 8wt Line. This is very atypical, but there are many properties of silk that appeals to me in these fishing conditions ….

  • Line is thin, so it will cut through wind
  • Intermediate, slow sink – not planning to treat it to float.
  • Colour is straw and a natural colour, like a flat (though more yellow)

Unlike our modern plastic lines, there is no loop – so you either have to nail knot your leader on or add a loop. Trying and testing different combinations (nail knots slipped off), I settled on

  • Using Miracle Braid, Albright Knot onto the Silk Line
  • Leader Loop, Perfection Loop

MBraid Phoenix DSC1526.jpg

For the rear of the line, repeat with Albright.  You can put in a Perfection Loop or created a knotless loop – YouTube Miracle Braid Loop. I keep to the perfection loop.

Last, a couple of shout-outs:

  • Making silk lines is a craft, done by a few artisans. Thanks to Mike and Jean at Phoenix for continuing this tradition.
  • Tim Rajeff the lead at Airflo USA is a class act. Provides good products and good support. I have been a returned customer for 2 decades now.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/12/24 at 21:11

Hollow Fly Update

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As earlier posted, I started building large flies for saltwater and pike and my early results was a pleasant surprise.

I used one of the most under-used tools to correct the lateral line, the surgical scalpel and with respect to using tab eyes from China (eBay: lifefly-outdoor) and the UK (Funky Eye Tying) – just do it!. The UK supplier has greater diversity, but the eyes from China seem fantastic as well at a great price.

I used for the first time, the video feature in my camera and hopefully this video will provide a sense of the form of the fly.

And yes, if you are tying hollow flies, please go with tab eyes. No they are not common or easy to find, but they do not crush the body you just created.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/11/29 at 06:23

Firefox – the web browser to connect when traveling

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firefox

Airport, hotels, restaurants et cetera often present additional login screens to connect. I have found the automated forwarding is hampered by Google’s Chrome and IE’s Explorer, often making login the act of connecting difficult, time consuming or sometimes impossible.

Fortunately, Firefox is more accommodating and will present the dialogue box you need to connect into another network.

Keep Firefox on your phone, iPad and PC.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/11/14 at 03:15

Posted in Work Travel

Travel – GPS and power

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tomtom IMG_0006

GPS Model – TomTom

Simple but subtle: TomTom World Edition (Global) bought in Europe.

TomTom may have corrected this, and I have raised this compliant with them, when they sell their “global” product in North America, their world edition includes maps for Mexico, US and Canada (forgetting Europe, Asia and Africa!).  This is a very “American” centric view of the world, but it is wrong.  So make sure, if you get the world version, it includes Europe, Africa, et cetera.

At the time of  my purchase, the world edition – when purchased in Germany – included Europe plus the Americas, Africa, Europe,  et cetera.  I guess, the product managers in Europe have a globe on their desk and the Americans have a map from the New Yorker.

You may have to buy a memory card and download all of the maps, but you want the data in the GPS and not have require a PC to change maps.

I have used many GPSs with rentals and et cetera, but I have like the instruction and layout of TomTom over Garmin. Most of the other players are gone.

Google Maps is excellent, but it guzzles power and data, and if you have to pay for data, consider another choice.  If you do plan to use your cell in this way, make sure you can plug your cell into the car – include a 12V car adapter.

Accuracy

I have found TomTom to be fairly accurate, but it does not replace the need to be thoughtful and errors that can be within a city block do happen.

If there is any issue, it is – is the address given to you is accurate or reflective the map data (this goes across all GPSs). With long streets crossing city boundaries (especially in the US) and the use of short forms of N, NW, Express, et cetera, resolution of the designation may be difficult. Using Google Earth and Google Maps as a secondary step can assist, as well as locate to locate to a “place of interest” near the destination versus a specific street address.

Japan

My experiences with car rentals in Japan are good, but I would urge two considerations for any trip to Japan.

  1. Have the Car Rental supply a “English” GPS, but you may not be able to resolve Japanese addresses. This is simply handled by the fact Japanese Maps also include phone numbers to a specific street address, and you can use a business phone number of the location OR a business nearby to get to your destination.

    This is were Google Maps is an excellent mate with the GPS, as a search tool, but not necessarily as a navigation system.
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  2. Car or no car – rent a portable-pocket wifi device, such as those available from JR (Japan Rail).
    1. You order online.
    2. It is delivered to your hotel or you may be able to pick it up at the airport (warning lines at Haneda can be long, and need to be considered if you are making a connection) (and office is not open 24 hours either, and may be closed when your delayed flight arrives – hint deliver to your hotel)
    3. You can mail it back at the airport, when you depart.
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      The coverage and speed of the wifi device is great, and it puts Canadian Telecom providers to shame.

Other

Get a large battery backup, such as a Morphie to power your iPhone, iPad and-or GPS.

Always pack one set of cables for all devices. You can see I colour code them:

  1. White 2m long for my iPhone with lightning connector
  2. Red short for iPad, old style apple connector
  3. Black with Blue Tip (Heatshrink) for whatever.
  4. Black with Purple Tip for whatever.

Last – Driving on the wrong side!

Simple, there is no wrong side. Adjust your thinking.

Remember the driver is on the inside of the lanes (away from the road edge), and always oriented yourself such that you – as the driver – is in the middle.

When exiting parking lots, add 5 seconds to observe, then move.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/11/12 at 21:58

Posted in Work Travel

Butternut Squash Soups

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butternut soupButternut Squash with Ginger

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Large Butternut Squash
  2. 2-3 Large Leeks
  3. 4 tsps of shredded fresh ginger
  4. 4-6c of Chicken Stock

Steps the Night Before:

  1. Night before bake the squash – cut in half, oil the cut side and place on baking sheet.
  2. Bake for an hour (tender) at 400F, then cool.
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  3. If you want to keep the soup “bright”, bake it light and lower temperature, so as to not to brown the cut side.  Myself, I like the associated flavor add that is associated with the slight browning of the edges.

Next day:

  1. Melt at medium-low, 1/4c butter.
  2. Chop white part of leek and put in pot..
  3. Add in ginger.
  4. Cook until tender.
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  5. Scoop pulp out of squash.
  6. Add into pot, mixing with leeks.
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  7. Add in 4c Chicken Stock to suit.
  8. Reduce heat, simmer for 25 minutes with pot covered.
  9. Puree.
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  10. Adjust taste and texture to suite with stock, stock and pepper.
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Does not make a large pot of soup, but it is nice to have on a fall day.

Squash with Apple Soup

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Large Butternut Squash (or any winter squash)
  2. 2-3 Large Leeks
  3. 2 Cooking Apples, such as  Cortland
  4. 4-6c of Chicken Stock
  5. 1 tsp of garam masala.
  6. 1/2c Table Cream

Next day

  1. Peel, seed and cube squash into 15mm “bits”
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  2. Melt at medium-low, 1/4c butter.
  3. Chop white part of leek and put in pot.
  4. Add in Apple.
  5. Add in spice.
    1. I have also used cumin and cloves or fresh rosemary, but with the apple and cream, I prefer a combination that more reflects a curry. Thus consider, your preferences for curry, garam masala, cumin and cloves.
  6. Cook until tender.
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  7. Put Squash in.
  8. Add into pot, mixing with leeks.
  9. Let flavours mix (10 minutes),
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  10. Add in Chicken Stock, minimum 4c.
  11. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes with lid on.
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  12. Puree.
  13. Add in cream.

the Pot and other notes

  1. Unsalted butter is a table of the larder, and it is always available, and for this reason, I often do not listed in the ingredients.
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  2. Salt – Maldon Salt Flakes. I have migrated from Northern France Sea Salt to Maldon Flake Salt, as I find is structure does absurd better into the food.
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  3. I am a firm believer that patience with a good cast iron french-dutch oven creates the best soups. If you are looking for a GOOD pot, I recommend to look for a pot where the lid is dimple on the underside to allow water to drip back into the pot. There are other considerations, size and items hard to assess in the store (heat distribution), but look to the old brands that have taken the century to perfect their product.  I am very fond of my Staub (much easier to find now, as Henckel now sells and promotes these pots).
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    I have two smaller French Made Pots with an amazing enamel interior.  I bought these pots many many moons ago for Nabeyaki Udon, but there is no manufacturers name or mark. My searches would indicate the manufacturer-design is no longer with us, otherwise I would buy more and rave about them.
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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/11/12 at 18:39

Posted in Weekend Cooking