Feb 7, 2015

Where are we going? When will we get there?

So the song starts out like this, "Where are we going? When will we get there?" It's just what it feels like when I'm sitting at my vise and spending the time behind the light and magnifying glass.  It's my time to look at my flies in my fly boxes and look at what I need or what I think I will need.  It's also my time for tying flies that fit those needs.  Tying starts the preparation and is a  great investment of time.  However, I particularly have a love-hate relationship with  it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy putting together fly patterns that I believe  bring success and sometimes fly tying is just what I need to zone out for a while.... but it's a commitment and a necessary process, because not all fly distributors sell what flies I believe bring success.  So I grab some music, get some quiet time and settle in.

So hear me out on this one. I'm not of the school that you need to tie in order to be a good fly fisherman, because we know all flies are not created equal and neither are fisherman.  What really matters is that you believe in your skills and your fly box, weather it was store boughten or handcrafted.  Fly tying is just a participation in the process and I recommend if you have some time to learn the art of tying, it will bring you closer to an age of completion as a fly fisherman....  So as I sit  in front of my vise tonight, the song on the stereo goes like this...  "Where are we going? When will we get there? Is there an age we will call complete?.......  (Manzanitas -Trevor Borden)

Call Names:



Aug 9, 2014

I Got Your Back Sisters....

There is something about sibling relationships. It's that undeniable connection that takes place when we are growing up with our brothers and sisters.  They are the people we can trust, no matter the situation.  Certainly we fight with them harder then anyone else, but we also enjoy them more than anyone else- AND we always have their back.  Well if I had the choice to spend a day with either of my brothers, it would be chucking line for some sipping heads, like Meta & Ruth!

Meta is a former state track champion in the 100 & 200.  However, she is more than just a speedster- at one time she was even a former body builder.  She had a presence about her that made the whole day with her a pure joy.  She shared stories about her sister and you could see how much she admired and loved her sister and her family.  We then took to the water and once I handed her the rod, she had focus and drive to become a great trout slayer.  No doubt she is!

Ruth is an unbelievable wood crafter who has built a great reputation for herself through her work and writing.  She is an amazing and courageous women who is raising two boys alone after losing her husband to terminal cancer.  After meeting her, you can tell those two boys are lucky to have a mom with her heart.  They will grow into great men because of her.  Check out this tremendous ladies blog at www.thewoodgal.com. She shared some of her knowledge with us and we were also able to talk a little Mac together (aka computer guru talk).  She picked up fish throughout the day and was just as focused on conquering the streams herself.  Mission accomplished Ruth!

 Looking forward to seeing you soon, Ladies!

May 1, 2014

Wise Coach.....

I love baseball and I love baseball stories.  I guess it's the smell of the grass, the sound of the bat hitting the ball and the fresh taste of sunflower seeds in my mouth.  So when we have new toys getting unwrapped from their packages, it reminds me of a story of a wise baseball coach.  The wise coach witnesses his rookie infielder make an unexpected error.  The player then stops looks at his glove and shakes his head as if the glove had something wrong with it.  The Coach yells from the dugout out "Son it's not the glove. It's the man holding the glove"!  How true.  Now I admit, a great rod is hard to beat on the stream and it sure makes our job a lot easier, but I have to agree with the Coach on this one - the expensive glove the kid was wearing wasn't the problem, it was how the player performed with the expensive piece of equipment that mattered.  Ain't it so.

No matter what equipment you start out with, the best equipment is the one in your hands, not ours.  So bring grandpa's old fly rod or the newly fresh out of the box rod. We'll help you use it.

-Clear Eye's, Full Hearts & Tight Lines

Apr 27, 2014

You Don't Have to Swing a Big Stick...

It's been a steady flow of fisherman for us from far off to near by this past week, The streams are fishing as good as you could ask.  It's been cold and wet on most of the days for everyone, but it hasn't effected much on the streams to this point. One of our trips brought back a favorite.  Luckily Jim, brought his great fishing stories from around the world along with his bamboo and 2wt for the day on the driftless.  Thanks Jim we will see you again in the fall!

-Clear Eye's, Full Hearts & Tight Lines

Apr 15, 2014

April Showers

Rain or shine we all gotta fish! When it comes to April you never now what your going to get. We have seen sunshine, rain and even snow from late last week till early Monday morning.  Clients from Omaha, NE to Steamboat, CO have hit the streams and the elements with us.  We had full fledged veterans, explorers and rookies over the long extended weekend.  Each group found it's success primarily on BWO, emergers during dry times. While PT, chironomids and midges took home some prizes when things got wet.  If your coming this way, bring your layers, because it's "April fools"if you're not prepared in the Driftless.

Clear Eye's, Full Hearts and Tight Lines!

Mar 14, 2014

March Madness

With March, comes Madness!  We crave basketball, spring time and nice brown trout!  Weather is unpredictable as your NCAA bracket, but you still fill it out and take your chances.  Snow melt is happening, but this ticket holder didn't get delayed.  It turned out to be a great day and Glen, got his first taste of Northeast Iowa streams.  He discovered that you don't always have to swing a big stick and most of the time a 3wt will suffice.  With a bent rod for most of the day, Glen picked up the March Madness Fever and now has a shipment of a 3wt rod on it's way to the big dance!  See you all soon.

"Clear Eye's, Full Hearts & Tight Lines"

Feb 14, 2014

Building 2 Types of Memories.....

So people ask what is so technical about fly fishing?  Usually an expert fly fisherman will go into a long list of skills and techniques used to make the perfect cast, presentation and hook set.  So we are going to get a little technical in our blog this time about what we try to teach on the streams of Northeast Iowa.  Well about as technical as we want to. Ok, all kidding aside, we teach a ton of technical approaches to fly fishing that will prepare or enlighten your next fishing experience here in home waters or far off rivers, but, more so then anything, we believe that the "driftless experience" has 2 core memories that we want to engage you with.  So to be technical, the first is procedural and the second is episodic. Since brain matter is not exactly conversations we have on the river, we will take a stab at getting technical for fun!  So here we go...

Procedural Memory ("knowing how") is he unconscious memory of skills and how to do things particularly the use of objects or movements of the body.  This is true in such things as casting a fly rod, double haul casting, single haul casting, roll casting or tying a surgeons knot while double rigging your fly rod.  These memories are acquired through repetition and practice, and are composed of automatic sensorimotor behaviors that are embedded in us, that we no longer have to think about when performing them.  Once these skills are learned, the "muscle memories" allows us to carry out ordinary motor actions more or less automatically.  Procedural memory is what we as fly fishing enthusiast want to teach, learn and perfect.  We can not simply do this once and have it as a fine skill, it must be practiced over and over, but once it is embedded in our memory we will automatically perform the skill. We will defiantly give you the skills to practice over and over again.

Episodic Memory ("knowing how it was") represents our memory of experience and specific events in time, held in our minds from which we can reconstruct the actual events that took place in our lives and fishing trips.  It is the memory of autobiographical events.  It's the sights smells and emotions you felt during that experience or event at each and every fly fishing outing.  You can remember the sound of the cast, the feel of the slight strike of a particular catch or the day your Dad took you fishing for the first time.  Individuals tend to see themselves as actors in this part of their memory, not just the facts of the event itself.  You are engaged in the full memory of the experience and you want to relive it, once again.

We want to encourage, teach and engage with you  in building both these memories. Procedural, so that you can fish for a lifetime.  Episodic Memory so that you can remember it for a lifetime.  Ain't that what it's all about?!!

"Clear Eyes, Full Hearts and Tight Lines"

Feb 7, 2014

Cold Look...

The streams are cold this time of year, but they sure are a sight to see.  We hope everyone is enjoying their winter fly fishing this season.  If you're not engaging yourself in the sport this winter. We are sure your fly collection is growing, for the onslaught  of casting and tight lines coming this spring!

Nov 2, 2013

Sweet November

We love this time of year! Not just because football is cranked up either...  Fishing is what's on our minds.  Cool temperatures and clear waters are in the forecast.  We dropped some lines for ourselves as November hit and just wanted to give you a glimpse at why we like it so much.  Indeed it's a Sweet November!

"Clear Eyes, Full Hearts and Tight Lines"

Oct 14, 2013

Casting For Recovery....

When you get the chance to be apart of something bigger then yourself it has an impact on yourself.  Sunday, we got that chance.  We got contacted by the National Casting for Recovery group to help guide some amazing women.  This was the first time ever that CFR had come to Iowa.  It's organization puts on these events at fly fishing destinations in 42 states.  Decorah, Iowa was chosen to kick of this event in Iowa and we were glad to take part.  We were matched up with participants on the day to teach how to fly fish, spend sometime and give them some relief from the obstacle that life has presented. Lou and Cheryl who fished with us for the morning were amazing individuals.  Their personalities shined and so did some early signs of fly fishing talent.  Both had hook ups and the thrill of watching a dry fly get snatched by a trailing trout.  We were able to listen to their stories of faith, life, struggles, overcoming and battling cancer.  It was cool brisk morning with over 20 participants from all across Iowa.  Orvis and Simms provided all the ladies with gear, rods and much more.  Hotel Winneshiek hosted the event and provided lunch for the guides and fisher women after the day on the stream. It was a great event and we are looking forward to working with the group every year. These women are strong, brave, courages, who have hearts of gold and to be honest we left this opportunity invigorated, re-energized and blessed by getting to know them.  Thanks Lou and Cheryl we look forward to seeing you again!

Sep 8, 2013

Young Stud.....

We have all had those moments, when you just go, WOW?  Well on this trip I had that!  I had a cool opportunity to take a grandfather (Mark) and grandson (Lane) out on fly fishing teaching opportunity.  Both wanted to learn how to fly fish and had no experience, besides casting for pan fish on lakes.  Mark also wanted to spend this day with Lane his 10 year old grandson.  Truly, there is no better way to spend with your grandson then fly fishing! My opinion, I guess...

Now 10 years old was the time when I was taught how to fly fish by my father, so I get real excited to see young kids eager to learn this sport.  Lane did not let me down!  He got after it, from the first time I handed him that fly rod.  He took every bit of instruction I gave him and he attacked the water with it.  I was blown away and I was energized by his enthusiasm for the sport.  He listened, concentrated and attempted everything he was asked to do and found some success catching some fish top water feeding on the day. Lane was every bit a "Young Stud" that day. I think Mark and I got the same joy in watching Lane that day I can only imagine it was 10x the thrill for grandfather to share with his grandson the joys of fly fishing!

(continued album stock found at www.driftlessimages.com/albums/Fly-Fishing)

NEI Fly Fishing Blog

In short this blog is about the "Driftless Experiences" through images of learning new water, catching fish, meeting new people and hang'n with friends.