Preparing for Invasion

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

They’re coming. Like an autumn combine, like the grisly wave of death, they come. They line up at the mouth of the bay as early as July in great numbers, ravenous and unstoppable, then en masse launch their Viking-esque offensive of carnivorous dominance up this little river. They take their time, regrouping in every deep hole along the way…but only a wishful fool would wonder if they have stopped. By early October they’ve answered the call of pulsed water releases that signify storms upstream and flows to their liking…and the powerful first waves of them are making it nearly to the headwaters, leaving nowhere for local creatures to hide. The stampede will only increase through all of November and early December, and remain a threat into the new year.

They’re coming.

Continue reading → Preparing for Invasion

Ruined For Life – Part II

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

Part 1 of this article described the popularity, uniqueness and color choices of the famous “Intruder” streamer pattern for migratory salmon and steelhead. This installment goes into hook type, tying materials, and some aspects of the tie itself.

Pettijean Clips

We’ve discussed basic construction and color choices. So then…what materials? Original Intruders were tied leaning heavily on marabou, although it’s fragile stuff and thus not necessarily well suited to the rigors of multiple Chinook attacks, nor to icy winter steelhead conditions. Finn Raccoon and supple synthetic hair are preferable for durability, but using typical tying techniques they can lack the interesting look of discrete marabou strands each waving in the current. My solution is to use the Marc Pettijean super-clips to combine fine hair of various colors and types in a common dubbing loop. I can make just about any sparseness or clumpiness or mix I want…and with the added benefit that a single composite dubbing loop can apply such different materials and colors in one shot…so tying is efficient. I get good color, good movement, and really good fly durability. A little head cement at the base before winding the loop can’t hurt the ruggedness either. These clips take a little getting used to but you can do a lot with them.

Continue reading → Ruined For Life – Part II

Ruined For Life – Part I

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

A Chinook Head

I’m ruined. Not from the stock market or some grand jury indictment, but because I’ve tasted the raw power of the Chinook Salmon. Ended up tasting that salmon too, but still it defeated me, because I’ll never be the same. Like the motorcyclist who hops on a volcano-powered Suzuki for the first time or a hardballer who gets ahold of a fastball by sheer luck and thereafter can’t stop himself from swinging for the fences, all I can think of these days is the brutish muscle of the wild Chinook.

So goodbye, beautiful little micro-stream trout dimpling yourselves up to germ-sized mosquitoes just after dawn! You may one day occupy my thoughts again, but today is not that day. When I imagine myself on the stream now, the fantasy is suddenly a serious river, with a rapids below me that roars rather than gurgles, and I’m gripping a surf-casting-length rod in two white-knuckled hands. I’m doing the semaphore-esque gyrations of a spey man, and I’m shooting a T-17 sink tip…whatever the heck that is…farther than a normal man can see.

Continue reading → Ruined For Life – Part I