So I have been doing some experiments, since our return from the Bahamas. A couple of lessons learnt was:
- The common and promoted synthetic “Craft Fur” is lifeless in water.
- I need, as DYI fisherman walking the flats, a greater selection of light flies.
So I wanted to know how light can I got, so some experiments were under-taken. My conclusions:
- Stay with the traditional size saltwater hook – size 8, such as a Daiichi 2546.
- I tried tubeless and found it is possible to tie a fly too light (it floated). Eventually, I got to a sinking fly, but I saw no advantage gain with a tube fly, so I reverted back to a traditional saltwater hook with the small bead chain eye. (no picture)
- If using anything more than a few hairs, use a bead chain weights. The final target dry weight for a spare fly should be 0.28grams.
- If you want to use no weight, stay with feathers!
- In experimenting with eyes, I will continue with my homemade eyes – lower cost and better looking. (See picture, and you judge for yourself).
- Rabbit will have more life sitting in the water, but it will float on a lightly weighted fly, until it is soaked. So, if you are holding a fly in your hand, as you scan and hunt for bonefish, you maybe casting a fly that will not get to the sea floor.
So what will I tie for small and light spawning shrimp, other than using Rudy’s:
- Daiichi 2546
- Small bead-chain weight
- Black Pupil Eyes – splayed
- fine crystal flash – 4 strands
- tailing feathers – 3 pairs stagger in length
- hair casing, such as deer tail
A fly in construction in my vise, showing the splayed tailing feathers. Two changes in the final build is smaller bead-chain and use my own black pupil eyes.
More pictures and some weights.
Dry – from top left:
- Shrimp – Craft Hair casing – 0.47g
- Deer Hair casing with medium bead-chain eyes – 0.30g
- Rabbit Fur casing with small bead-chain eyes – 0.25g
Same flies, but in water and looking into the fly, as would a chasing bonefish would look.
Some other flies – dry and reference dry weights – from left to right
- Pop’s Bitters with medium bead-chain and epoxy head – 0.45g
- Gorel’s (?) Feather Hackle with large bead-chain – 0.47g
- Rudy’s Spawning Shrimp with small bead-chain – 0.37g
- Small Antron Crab with small barbell weight – 0.76g
and a Daiichi 2546 Size 8 hook weighs 0.10g.
Oh yes, use fluorocarbon tippet and wonder if a intermediate airflow leader would assist.
I am not getting any use out of the following items, so I might as well put them up for sale. Prices are on the SpeyClave Board, as per board rules.
First up, is a G.Loomis GLX Roaring River 15′ 9-10 Rod. A very fine rod and the very first spey rod that I really like. But, as progress in my skills and learning, I decided to keep to a Scandi style (versus this long line), but more significantly a lighter line.
I would contend this rod is great for large rivers and when pursuing King or Atlantic Salmon. A new Loomis Long-Belly 15′ rod currently retails for over 1000 USD, while a TFO 2H is over 460 USD. Posted sales in 2016 had prices from 400 to 600 USD.
In support of this rod are 2 Delta Spey Lines – Long Belly with Tip and Standard. These lines had light usage and in good condition. In fact, I never did use the tips on the long, other than the floating line. Delta Spey lines currently sell for 130 USD without tips, and I do not believe they offer a version with tips (except the UltraSpey at 270 USD).
Sales in 2016 provided 40 to 80 USD, top price for the multi-tip.
Up next, thought less loved is a “seconds” reel. In my learning phase, I kept my forward arm choked down, so a heavy reel was desired. As many people, expressed their admiration for pawl-click reels, I had “a go” with this, but have decided to keep with my closed drag Nautilus reels enabling palming.
I found the start-up inertia high, so I reduce the springs (which are included), but also note there was an imperfection on the surface of the interior plate that I reduce.
This reel weighs 15.9oz empty, and believe it to be a Symmetry, which currently retails for 500 USD new.
Last are almost new Ambush lines. Water casted with my customer build fiberglass James Green. After some testing, I decided to go with the OPST, so my experiments are your gain. New lines retails for 80 USD, and appears 2016 sales on the board was 40-50 USD/
- Paypal or Money Order. I will take the Paypal fees.
- Buyer pays for shipping, and shall define terms – signature, insurance, et cetera.
- I will ship by Friday of the week sold
- Buyer may return for refund, minus fees taken by me.
Judy got the new oven and last weekend, we installed it. So my first test was small, roasted garlic, but 2 nights ago, I made a Short-Rib Ragu.
Sorry, I had no fettuccine in the pantry, so I resorted to penne.
Yes, this is Ragu in the northern Italian tradition, versus what we get in the North American stores – vegetable base with little to no meat.
- 3-4 lb Short Ribs (English Cut)
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 oz Pancetta, thick slice
- 1 Onion, Chopped
- 1 Carrot, Chopped
- 2c Mushrooms Sliced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Large
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp Green Tabsco
- 1/2c Vermouth
- 1 28oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatos
- Add olive oil to dutch oven-pot
- Heat pot on stove to medium
- Cut off exterior fat off ribs
- Brown ribs as individual ribs (and remove)
- After browning is complete and ribs removed, reduce heat
- Add pancetta and onion, stir and ensure onions are well oiled
- Add onions soften, add celery, mushroom and garlic
- Cook for 15-30 minutes, occasionally mixing
- Add tomato paste and tabsco.
- Turn to medium-high
- Add wine
- Remove any bits off bottom
- Add tomatoes
- Bring to simmer
- Remove off stove
- Add in meat and juices
- If necessary, add stock to cover ribs
- Add a parchment, such that it is just above the ragu
- Bake in Oven at 275F
- Turn every 45 minutes
- Add stock to cover ribs, if necessary
- Skim fat, if necessary
- Cook until meat falls off bones (typically 3+ hrs)
- Remove from oven, set aside for 15+ minutes
- Remove meat and set aside
- If necessary, use wood spoon to break up tomoatoes
- If serving that day, keep sauce warm on stove
- When meat is cool enough to handle,
- Remove meat from bones
- Dispose of any fat
- Break into bite size chunks
- Return meat to pot
Good for 3 days and may be frozen for future pasta dishes. You can make it a sandwich out of it or as Judy prefers, eat it with Mash Potatoes.
I recently tried another variant, but the following soup has subtle complex and complimentary tastes with orange, ginger, curry and cream that it remains my favourite.
- 5 cups Chicken Stock
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 Onion, Coarsely Chopped
- 2 Tbsp Ginger, Minced
- 1/2 Tsp Curry (free to adjust to taste and the curry you have)
- 1c Orange Juice
- 1.5 lbs Carrots, Chopped.
- 1/2c Cream, Heavy.
- At medium to low heat, add butter into 1/4 c stock into your soup pot
- Melt the butter.
- Add onion, ginger and curry.
- Cook until tender, 10+ minutes.
- Add reminder of stock.
- Add orange juice.
- Add carrots.
- Bring to boil.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add cream.
- Good for 3 days.
- Add Croutons when serving.
There are so many different curries, but pick your favourite or experiment. With the Ginger and Orange, the flavours hint of South-East Asia, but some of the curries from the Madras (or Garam Masalas) can be a good pick to. Just remember, the idea is blending a complex set of flavours and not create a “hot” soup.
Despite the title, the key ingredient of any New-England style Seafood Chowder is Bacon. So do not skip on the bacon, and use your favourite Bacon or Pancetta, as it compliments the clams; otherwise the chowder lacks it hearty meat taste that makes it a winter favourite. What is my favourite bacon, Danish Style Bacon from Dundas Ontario’s Country Meat Packaging.
As this does not go through a blender or food processor, remember to chop your meat and vegetables to portions that you want on the soup spoon.
Best done in a dutch oven on a stove.
- 12-24 small red-skin potatoes – chopped
- 12 slices of bacon – sliced in thin sections
- 1 large onion- chopped
- 4-8 tablespoons of flour
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1-2 kg of cod or haddock
- 2 10 oz cans of Cloverleaf Baby Clams
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 cup of table cream (18% fat)
- 36 mussels – steam them before. I usually remove the shells.
- 12 Small Stone Clams. Clean and with cooks with shells.
- In Pot 1 > Boil Potatoes in lightly salted water – cook, but still firm (10 minutes?). Drain and set aside when complete.
- In Dutch Oven > Fry bacon until soft and lightly cook.
- Add onion, and cook until translucent.
- Add flour to create a fine covering and absorb all fat juices.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Add Baby Clams and Juices. Can add in the optional mussels and Stone Clams.
- Add milk, cream and butter.
- Add potatoes
- Add fish.
- Add salt to taste.
- Do not let it boil.
- Ready in fish is cooked minutes,
- You can add in Shrimp, but shrimp becomes rubbery if kept in a soup over night.
- Soup is good for 2 days.
- With quality seafood, this is not a cheap soup (seafood here in central Ontario is not cheap).
- A traditional hard crust bread goes great with the soup.