Today it was raining earlier than predicted (no surprise there), so I made my way to Lewes for the fly tie meeting. I Had to hit up surf bagel first for my fix of coffee and sustenance. I knew there would be a plethora of donuts, but getting all fired up on caffeine and sugar the first day could be dangerous. I want to pace myself for a long winter of stories and a great education on fishing. You don’t come away from a meeting with the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware without learning something. The boys were all set up and tying away for the most part when I arrived. The first weekly Saturday meeting is always like a homecoming or a reunion. Most of the guys sit around and trade fishing war stories from the past season, most of them are even true. This is my first year as an actual club member and I haven’t seen some of these guys since last years sessions. That also means apparently I have to bring donuts now, that could get ugly. It is always fun to catch up and the fact they all read this site keeps them in touch with me and what we have been doing. I said hello to everyone and proceeded to make my rounds. Lewes Harbor Marina hosts these meetings and there are tables set up and counter space available to set up and tie flies. Even though we are in a small room the boys are always in groups all over the store. Bob was tying up shad darts he made recently with the heads painted in all different colors. Most of these guys will tie something to prepare for the coming season or an upcoming fishing adventure. Ron Smith was tying bone fish flies for a soon to be trip to Florida, or he knows something we all don’t, and that will be a interesting story. “The bonefish of the Cape Henlopen flats“.
I watched Bernie and Roy tie up some flies. Roy was working on a pickerel fly. He had one with him that he has caught several fish on, and though a little worn out it stayed together well despite the fact a pickerel can shred a fly. Nothing like a bluefish will, but definitely a good comparison. He had some cool color combinations in chartreuse. Bernie had a couple of flies he was working on, one was a popper he made with some foam discs. he used different sized discs stacked together to create the cone like shape for a popper. he then put super glue between the discs, mashed them together a bit and pushed the front in to get that concave feature of a popper. It worked out really well and should be a great fly for bass and the like. Bernie had another fly he tied for carp fishing. It is called a trouser worm, I kid you not, you can’t make this stuff up. Basically it is tied so the hook is up in the air and the shaft rests on the bottom, from the attached eye weights, then there is a series of small red foam discs stacked up about 2 inches long. These are attached to the bend of the back of the hook, and there is a weight at the end of this chain of discs. When the fly is on the bottom the “worm” feature floats up and the end weight helps make it bob and weave in the water with a worm like action. It was a really cool looking fly and a great concept. I think other species would tear into this fly’s presentation, not just carp. When I got home I looked up the fly, just to make sure he wasn’t pulling my leg on the name, nope, it is really called a trouser fly.
The coffee was flowing, the donuts and danish disappearing, while we all talked about the past season, and speculated on the future. That is always a repeat conversation, every year’s end we hope the next season is going to be better than the last. Will the striped bass spring run be better than the fall, will they come close to shore. These guys will fly fish from boats but for the most part fly fishing is a bank activity. They will wade the flats, even fish from kayaks. The question always remains what will next year be like. We heard stories about recent trips to other states, and the best local places to pick up cheaper equipment and supplies for tying. You would be amazed at some of the ideas these guys will come up with to make a fly out of, today’s was using fake finger nails to make a spoon fly. I am going to have to look into that one next weekend. One of my favorite things with these meetings is seeing everyone’s fly tying kits. These folks have home made set ups or, complete tying stations they have bought from shops or catalogs. Some are simple and have all the gear they need for the fly they are working on that day. Others are cases full of everything you would need to tie just about any fly. I will have to work on what kind of set up I want eventually over the winter. Until next weekend.