Monthly Archives: August 2019

The White Pelican

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Growing up in Southern California in the 1950s and 1960s, I must admit I was a bit of a birder. Although I’d seen a few Brown Pelicans along SoCal beaches, a White Pelican sighting eluded me for many years. At the time, pelican populations were in decline due for the most part to pesticides, pollution and habitat loss. I remember my first White Pelican sighting during a winter trip to the Salton Sea. Hugh flocks of these large birds were scattered along the shoreline. The White Pelican is indeed a large bird having the second longest wingspan of any North American bird – up to 10 feet and can attain weights up to 30 lbs. The White Pelican is indeed a distinctive bird and difficult to miss when you find them—white body, wings, large yellow bill, legs and feet. In flight the distinctive black wing tips can’t be missed. White Pelicans are widespread throughout the West during northern migration and concentrated along the west and southern coasts in Winter. Unfortunately, though for anglers is the White Pelican’s year round appetite. more…

BEAR-LY Aware

Guest Blogger: Jim Murphy, Neenah WI, long-time J Stockard customer and avid fly tyer

I believe it was in the spring of 1965 and one of my first attempts at fly fishing (kinda). It occurred on a small tributary of the famous Boise Brule River in northwestern Wisconsin. I say kinda because I was fishing a handcrafted Ed Norton fly rod (borrowed of course) and a Pirelli automatic reel that was spooled with 10 pound + Stren mono also borrowed. And, I was snaking a beat up Pass Lake wet fly under overhanging alders which thrusted their tangled branches toward mid-stream. As I look back I could have fished this same water with a cane pole (not to be confused with a split bamboo rod). But, I was using a fly rod, a fly reel and a fly so in my mind I was fly fishing. And, with 2 Brook trout on the stringer I was convinced I was a full-fledged fly fisher.

But I have regressed because the real story would unfold as I continued to fish.  Somewhere between the 3rd and 5th fish, I became aware of the crunching of brush as someone was working their way toward me. The occasional blue word was a dead give away that his adventure was more than a bit challenging. more…

Simple Flies – CDL BB

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Adaptation of new materials to old ideas can sometimes foster simplicity in tying but also produce effective flies. The CDL BB is such a fly. Part Clouser, part bottom bouncer, the CDL BB takes advantage of a new hook, the 523 Firehole Stick heavy jig hook from Firehole Outdoors and the ever increasing variety of Coq de Leon rooster and hen saddles coming out of the Whiting Farms. The pattern is desperately simple: more…