Monday, June 28, 2010

We have a winner...

52 days ago we announced that we were going to have a contest for free Catch & Release artwork and today the winning name was drawn. My thanks to everyone that entered...each of you surely had a catch worthy of framing and perhaps you’ll consider getting that done at some future date.

In the meantime though, Chris Harris, who has obviously spent some quality time on the Missouri River casting to big browns, is well on his way to having a special memento of a recent trip. Yep, Chris won the drawing and now I have to get to work. While Chris clears some space on his office wall to show off his catch, I’ll be doing my best to do it justice.

Home Again...
Shirley and I were really glad to return home form a nice weekend at the South Holston Fly Fishing Fest last night. Really glad to get back to air-conditioning, that is. You would think that being situated a stones throw from one of the colder tail water streams in the east would cool things down a bit, but no, it was HOT!

In spite of the heat, we survived...thanks in part to the ever present volunteers that Knox Campbell had recuited to hand out those ice cold bottles of water throughout the weekend. As we expected, Knox put together another great show for vendors, presenters and the fly fishing public. Seeing a hundred eager “students” standing in the sun alongside the casting pool to soak up the wisdom of Joe Humphries and Lefty Kreh with no fear of sunstroke proved that Knox’s efforts were not wasted.

We met some old friends from last years show and of course some new ones as well. We managed to sell a piece or two and got to spend some quality time with fellow artists, Bruce Bunch and Paul Thompson when the action slowed. Come to think of it, swapping stories, critiques, advice and techniques with them makes any show a success. ‘Course it always helps to make enough in sales to pay for the gas home!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

The truth will out...

That intrepid investigative journalist, Curtis Fleming of Fly Rod Chronicles, has examined one of the great mysteries of our time: Does Alan Folger draw fish so others will think he’s a competent angler, or does he fish so that folks will think he can draw them?

You be the judge. Tune into Fly Rod Chronicles on The Sportsman Channel next week for the answer.
(“Neither” is not an acceptable answer!)

Show times: Tuesday 6/29 at 10:30am...Friday 7/2 at 11:30am...Saturday 7/3 at 1:30pm

(I may regret alerting you to this, as I have not seen the episode. I may look like the biggest duffus on the planet, but it sure was fun filming it!)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Evening thunder

Hurried home from work yesterday after a stop by the printer to print up a sampling of my latest efforts for this weekend’s show at the South Holston Fly Fishing Fest, and another quick stop to get sheared at the local barbershop. Hurried out to do a bit of my assigned yard work, got that done then grabbed a beer and headed to the neighborhood pond for a few minutes of pure pleasure.

I figured that a few days without rain would put the pond in good condition. On my first cast with a yellow Wooly Worm I had a hit. Got a brief look at his side as he rolled laterally on the take and said to myself, “nice bass.” But the nice bass was lazy...that or weak. No fight in him at all. Sure enough, wasn’t a bass. A crappie. Nice one, but I didn’t hurry home to catch a crappie.

The pond was dead calm and the next dozen or so casts brought nothing. Noticed a thunderhead approaching over the trees and decided that would be my excuse if the evening proved unproductive.

The pond has a fountain about 80 feet out and as I had my TFO 5 weight I figured I’d test its range and see if any fish were congregating there. No luck there either. But then I saw something unusual. A swirl on the other side of the pond. Then another one...and another. Looked like bass chasing minnows on the surface, but even with the 5 wt. there was no way I’d reach them. I stood there a long while trying to figure out what the repeated, but irregular surface commotion was all about. It continued in the same general area so it must have been dinner time across the pond. That, or there was a leak in the pipe leading to the fountain. Maybe it was just belching air. Or maybe a carp?

Returning to reality, I looked skyward and saw that the thunderhead had moved in on me and had gotten a bit turbulent. The atmosphere had turned that weird green color and some scary looking cumulonimbus mammatus clouds had formed an ominous canopy right on top of me. Had I been back in Oklahoma I’d of considered headin’ for the “Hide-y- Hole” but since this was North Carolina....

Then I remembered that I had promised to grill some brats for dinner, and as grilling in the rain aint no fun, I headed for the house ahead of the storm. I fired up the grill and came back inside to fry up some onions. As I returned to check on the fire I heard the whine of the tornado siren winding down at the local fire house. (Sure glad I couldn’t hear it inside...I hate interruptions when I’m cookin’.) No more more scare, so I returned to the onions.

The brats were great...the sky didn’t fall, and the fish didn’t bite. All in all, a very nice ending to the day. Maybe I’ll try again later in the week. The brats, that is. Or maybe I’ll chase down that disturbance on the other side of the pond.

Monday, June 21, 2010

More HELP Needed

Thanks to everyone that responded to my plea to "vote" for Tim Moffitt. He just needs about a hundred more votes to win the thing so if you haven't "voted" please do it this week. As mentioned before, the NC House Caucus is running an on-line contest. The link below will direct you to their website where you can "vote" for Tim. If he wins the thing he gets 4 grand to help with his campaign. He HAS to win and the cash will help. So help me - a friend - get him elected and out of the office. If I can get him out of here I can get some serious fishing done!

Lesson Learned

I put the finishing touches on this after returning form the show at B.B. Barns. I had done the pen & ink part before attending the show and did the colorization as a demonstration during the event. It was interesting and educational for me – hopefully it was for the attendees as well.

Normally I complete the colorization in just a few home in my studio with no interruptions. The constant interruptions on Saturday forced me to take many more fresh looks at the work than normal. That and the fact that in order to be “busy” working on it for the benefit of the shoppers, I added many more layers than normal. I have always known that I work too fast, but working fast is my nature. Not any more. I like the way this turned out so I’ll be trying to slow the process down in the future.

I lifted a bit of Daniel P. Adams poetry for an added touch to the piece. I think his words of thanks say it all.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Just ten more days in the contest!

Thanks to everyone for the GREAT participation in this catch & release artwork give-away!  Ten days from now we'll draw the winners name from the hat.  There's still room in the hat for YOUR name, so get your entry in soon!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Help Needed!

I need your help! My boss is running for the North Carolina State Legislature and if he wins it will mean more fishing time for me! That’s right, he’ll be out of the office a lot and while the cats away...well, you know the rest.

So here’s what I need. To win a seat in the state legislature it takes money. (NO...I DO NOT WANT MONEY.)

The NC House Caucus is running an online contest. The link I’ve provided will direct you to their website where you can ‘vote” for your favorite candidate. If you cast your vote for Tim Moffitt he just might win the $4,000 that they are giving away and I just might be able to take advantage of the situation.

They’ll ask for your name, email address (I guess to determine if you are real) and zip code – and that’s all.

So please take a moment to vote and help me get some much needed stream time!

Ps. It doesn’t matter where you live. Anyone, anywhere can vote.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In the future...

In the future all trout will be large. There will be no need for huge fly assortments or landing nets because the trout of the future will be a genetically engineered conglomeration of traits that the majority of anglers desire. Their growth rate will closely resemble that of your average 6 year old fed a strict diet of Mountain Dew and Twinkies. Tippets will be out of style as the trout will be bred to ignore line sizes, and virtually any fly that comes close to resembling anything natural will be readily taken.

Upon hook-up, these trout will be programmed to fight extremely hard, but only for a few minutes (determined by their weight), at which time they will willingly come to hand without complaint. They will still secrete a mucoprotein protective coating of slime, but the essential electrolytes necessary for osmoregulation will not escape the reengineered slime layer, meaning that prolonged handling for those grip and grin moments will not be a problem.

The days of catching small trout will be gone...especially native trout, as they will be totally unsuited to compete with their triploid cousins. Stream reading will be greatly simplified as all trout will be programmed to inhabit areas free of snags and there will be a pecking order established as the trout line up in their specified feeding lanes.

Where am I coming up with this falderal, you say? How about a 48 pound brown trout and a 43 pound rainbow that were caught in the past year. Neither of these disgustingly fat creatures had to endure the rigors of growing up in a stream. Nope, they grew up in Dr. Frankenstein’s Hatchery.

These two genetically engineered Frankentrout shattered the old world records, and at the same time shattered my opinion of the International Game Fish Association. Just like in other sports, the world of angling has been invaded by genetic engineering and doping. Anything to achieve bigger. Anything to break a record. Anything goes as gene science and chemistry rule the day. The end product of this tinkering produces huge trout...funny looking things with huge bodies and tiny mouths. The girth on the new record Rainbow matched my own...34 inches. They’re created with three sets of chromosomes making them sterile and putting all the energy they normally expend in reproduction into body mass growth.

One can only hope that some fool doesn’t apply the same technology to the trout’s toothier cousins. Imagine the teeth of a two hundred pound Northern or Musky. Or worse yet...ten ton great whites.

Jurassic we come.