Saturday, November 27, 2010

Karma caught up with Me and Bit Me on the Butt

Well, the weather is good but I'm staying in and tying steelhead flies. Trying to stay away from the weeks of back-logged grading I have to do and it is never pleasant on the water when hours of grading has to be done. It has been a nice Thanksgiving but one with an upset stomach and I guess it is karma catching up with me.

First off, I built a dubbing brush machine using the plans from and it works great. However, rather than making a "beat up old one" I bought maple and purple heart for the wooden parts of the machine. It works great, but after adding up the costs I would have been better off spending the money to purchase the commercial spinning dub machine because I spent 50% of that cost and made something that is less than 10% as good (can't get the right size channel). Since I finished the machine on Thanksgiving day I understand part of my stomach ache is more than just the normal Thanksgiving feast.

So, it is Saturday night, I'm just farting around tying up some flies and enjoying the heater and the television, when I opened up an email account that I don't normally use (and the one attached to this blog) and was shocked to get a note from Don Ordes. He was cordial and polite. I was shocked that my mindless ranting in an earlier post was read by anyone other than my one subscriber (Thanks Gini). I reread my post and realized that although I was trying to make a case for the "old ways", or what I hoped they were, I actually was criticizing another human being, and not some mindless corporation (although people are now considered corporations, it isn't the same).

Don was nice enough to post a reply on this blog and I recommend that you read it. As this is a two-posts-a-month blog I hadn't read his post until tonight. Yes, I didn't do my research. Yes, I was railing "against the man" and the fact that the world was not working for me the way I thought it should. However, picking on an individual trying to make a living in the world, without ever corresponding with or researching in detail was wrong. I thought I was picking on a corporation, forgetting that it was a one person corporation, and a human being that deserves the same respect that I demand from others.

I should have known that something was karmicly about to bite me in the butt when a day or two after the original post I asked the best tyer and fisherman on the north coast (in my opinion) who also (he and Don, not me) makes a living through fly fishing. I asked if he knew of the technique and he said yes, and told me nice things about it. When I told him that I couldn't find any information about it online except through a video, my local guru stated "more power to him." At that point I realized that I was off base and thought "crap, I can't take back my ranting".

In my younger days I would try to come up with some excuse to explain my actions. Fortunatly, I've grown up. I screwed up. I owe Don Ordes an apology and this is my public apology for posting against his right to distribute his technique in any manner that he sees fit. In fact, he does give it away for free as he freely allows others to teach his technique and has demonstrated it for years. The fact that he gave his first two CD's away for free to all really makes me an blank-head and a dumb-butt. I also apologize for implying that the information on his CD is not worth the price. With a little more research I found several public postings from commercial tyers who are discovering new and better ways to use the technique, as the technique is not static but is evolving. I'm sure I can write several more paragraphs about my stupidity. Okay, I was an ass. I can only hope that my actions fall into the old "act like a donkey once: Okay; do it again and you are a donkey" (please insert "ass" for "donkey").

Don Ordes, I screwed up and was wrong to print my post. Opinions are fine and expressing them are fine, but unresearched accusations are not (I thought they were opinions, but in re-reading I see my former words as accusatory). I did not mean to make it personal, just a rant -- and it came out as a personal attack on you. Please accept my apology for not doing the minimum of research for I would have come up with a much different conclusion -- a positive one. You have contributed good karma to the flyfishing community for almost a decade and nobody ever has yelled at authors for writing fly tying books after showing their techniques at shows , so why should the modern equivalent of CD be a different situation. It isn't.

BTW: I am not receiving any endorsements or products for this post and have not received anything from Don Ordes except a cordial personal email and his blog comment to the post.

As I like to say, I may be wrong. Well, in this case, I was wrong. It has led to embarassment and a stomach ache. Embarassment and stomache aches do go away. I just have to keep my stupidity away because that seems to hang on for a long time.

I can see a lot of wind blown flies heading for my face until I earn back my karma. I'll make sure that I wear eye protection at all times when on the water, and take some pepto for the stomach. I hope that I'll someday meet Don in person and wish him well.

Good luck all,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Attack of the brass beads

There are times when some people think way outside the box. The latest in fly tying is Dean Myers from Pennsylvania who came up the his "Chain Gang Stonefly". I found out about this great fly from Singlebarbed (, a blogger / ex-commercial tier / exalted brownliner who is a member of the Fly Fishing Underground Writer's Network. Someday this writer may become a member but a lot more thought and insight will have to be developed before my prose can be linked to theirs. However, I have been hearing things about a "great article" written about my girls tennis team. I finally looked it up online and thought, "wow", all the great jewels I sent to the journalist were used in the article and none were quoted .. just as if she came up with them herself. Oh well, I guess there is good karma in helping someone else make a buck.

Back to the Chain Gang Stonefly. I'm looking for a steelhead fly that I can tie quickly, will get to the bottom FAST, and still look something like what a steelhead would eat. I also want a fly, quick to tie, that I can use in the deep flowing water of Lewistion Lake during the hot afternoons. My fish finder has shown a LOT of fish, on the bottom, in the deeper channels (15 - 25 feet) during the heat of the day. I want a fly that will get down fast and look like a good meal to a 2-pound or larger trout. And the final point: I am lazy -- I don't want to tie in a tail and a bunch of biots and make the fly look like a "real" insect -- I want a fly that I can tie in less than two minutes and looks like something, or many possible things, htat a fish might eat.

Thus, the Depth Charge (or better yet, the DC Chain Gang to credit Dean Myers for coming up with the idea of a bead chain for a body). Nothing but 6 beads of 1/8 inch black bead chain on a size 8 Dai-Riki 075 (TMC 3796) hook, with black marabou and Black Arizona Simi Seal for a head. On the advice of Mike at the Eureka Fly Shop (our local fly shop -- support your local fly shops!!!) I'm keeping the long marabou for the lake version and a much shorter, clipped marabou "wing case" for steelhead. I'm hoping to get over the mountain this weekend and give the fly a try, both on the Trinity River for steelhead and on Lewiston Lake. I can only hope.

Take care all,