Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Free stuff, new fly fishing accessories and left-handed thinking.

 The reason I enjoy fishing in general and fly-fishing particularly is that one can never learn everything. There, is always more to read, invent or absorb. Experience is a great teacher and with thought, lessons learned in any given situation are applicable to completely different ones.

 My friends call that “left-handed thinking”. I think it comes from having to mentally mirror image almost every aspect of daily life in order to adapt a left-handed user to right-handed designs.

That tiny discipline, a moment’s consideration before taking action, pervades almost every aspect of my life.

A left-handed person becomes a pretty good consequential thinker based upon the experience of constantly having to adapt to a backwards world.

 As a problem solver and troubleshooter I’d be biased towards a left-handed person every time. Myself, I enjoy the challenge of a really good problem.

I guess that’s why I design and build a lot of little gizmos to make my life and recreation easier or more enjoyable.

If you go to the Dobson Clip site you’ll see the story of the clip and what inspired it. It was as much an intellectual puzzle as anything else.

 We’ve all had times, waist deep in rushing water or ankle deep in mud when we didn’t want to set our rods down leaving us to awkwardly fumble with our tackle, the rod tucked under our arm; or posing for the hero shot picture with a great fish but less than satisfying results.

 That’s the kind of experience that lurks in the back of my mind as a puzzle to be solved, until I’ll see something disparate, with no obvious connection to the situation at all, but sometimes a light goes on and in a great example of left-handed thinking an often deceptively simple solution presents itself.

 I keep the clip on my vest and might not use it for days at a time but when I need it, it does exactly what it was meant to do.

Not all the unusual accessories I use are things I’ve made. Often I’ll see something designed for one use and repurpose it to an unexpected end.

An example is the light I carry in my vest. A while ago I was trying for some late season trout. It was fun and challenging but the flies I was using were tiny 12’s and 14’s and as dusk came on it got to the point where I still had almost an hour to fish but it was too dim to change flies easily.

 I ended up fishing with what I happened to have on. I didn’t dare clip the fly off for a change because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to tie on another.

 A few days later I saw one of those flashing LED buttons people wear at holidays. I was struck by two things first, how small it was and second, how bright. It got me to thinking.

Why can’t you have an LED light just slightly bigger than a calculator battery? I started searching for the suppliers of the parts to the people who make those flashing novelties and found the neatest thing. It’s a little non-flashing, diode light about the size of a pencil eraser.

It is magnetic with a disc on one end and a bright, glowing light on the other. I ordered a handful and they came in individual, sealed plastic pouches. Now I have a couple stashed in my vest and car.

I am not sure how long they last. The manufacturer says 20 or so hours. What I do know is that they are so tiny that you don’t notice them until you need one.

 In fishing, you take the magnetic disc off the end and put it on top of a vest pocket flap. The light goes on the underside of the pocket flap. The magnet holds it in place. It gives a nice glowing light that will let you tie on even a number 14 fly but won’t destroy your night vision.

They are tiny, effective and cheap enough to be disposable. I’m thinking of adding them to the Dobson Clip site as a convenience to other fishermen.

Here is another thing I’ve been using. I call it the Spring Thing. I use a nail knot to attach my leader to my fly-line. The only problem is when you are out in the back woods; a nail or needle can be hard to come by.

 I used to stick a big needle in one of my vest pockets but that can be a pain. I made this thing from many of the same components I use in the clip to safely hold a couple of needles. I then secure it on the inside of my vest, out of the way and forgotten until I need to attach a new leader in the field.

It came to the rescue on my last salmon fishing trip to Newfoundland and I’ll never be without it. I am thinking of adding it to the Dobson Clip site as well.
There are a couple of other things I’m using and working on. One of them is a quick release gadget for C&R fishing that I really like but can’t seem to get anyone else to try.

That’s a problem when you make things. Your understanding of the device makes it seem like a great and useful idea but often other people just don’t get it or feel the payback is not worth the learning curve. Which brings me to:

Free Stuff!

If you would like to be a field tester for fly-fishing accessories send me an email using the submit photo link at the site or leave a comment on this blog with your contact info.

I’m looking for ten people who fish different geographic areas for different species. I’ll send you samples and proto-types from time to time. Try them out and send me your thoughts, experiences and suggestions. Photos would be good too.

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Saturday, 15 September 2007

A great day for football

What a great time of year this is.

I travelled up to St.FX for the first football game of the new season Saturday.

A perfect day, sunny and clear, the hardwoods are just starting to colour up. I had my fishing gear in the truck with me but didn't stop along the way, just enjoyed the drive with Amos Lee blasting on the CD player and the cruise control set a bit too high.

I have not heard any chat about fall run fish being in my favourite spots yet but have my ear to the ground.

The Margaree has a few fresh fish according to a post at , a great resource for local fishermen. The members on the discussion forums are generous with information and very cordial with their opinions and responses to questions.

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Monday, 3 September 2007

Fall salmon season has started!

I found some neat pictures while scanning my computer for the picture of Brad a couple of posts back. Its amazing how many pictures I've collected over the years.

Here is Joy Melanson with two nice Newfoundland salmon.

Joy has salmon fished with the boys in Newfoundland a few times over the years. The first time was at Banting Lake Lodge.

We all had a lot of fish that year and Joy had a spectacular first trip. The next time we were there conditions were not quite as good. Three fish for the party and hard work for those.

I was skunked on that particular trip, didn't even see a salmon although the trout fishing was amazing. Joy was of course very gracious about it. She rarely reminds me of it anymore than two or three times every chance she gets.

 Sometimes you can do everything you can think of and not raise a fish, other times you can't keep them off.

I guess that's the appeal of Atlantic Salmon fishing. Just when you think you have it figured out you'll be given an object lesson in how much more there is to learn.

The fall salmon season opens here today. I can't wait to get out there.

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