After a very memorable fishing season, and a new burst of fly tying (about seven dozen flies tied for next season, to date), we set sights on renewing the Fly Foundry web site. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE!
Visitation to the site has remained exceptional, with 18,160 pages viewed on the site in November 2014.
To give you an ideal of the scale of interest, here are the number of times the most popular PDF-format tutorials were downloaded by visitors in November.
320 Juicebug Damsel
171 Larry’s Lizard
136 Working Weedguards
125 Ninja Chironomid
A total of 1,096 downloads were made, for those tutorials alone. It boggles my mind, really. I would be horizontal and fertilizing daisies if I tried to reach that many people via in-person workshops in a month, month after month.
Immediate plans for the Fly Foundry site are to publish two new PDF tutorials – one on my oldest, revered original pattern, the Kick-Ass Ant. This fly is responsible for hundreds of fish caught, including one lunker trout that went eight pounds. The Kick-Ass is the definition of a go-to pattern, and I am sure you will enjoy great success with it. I tie the smaller one, which mimics a flying carpenter ant, in quantities of at least two dozen a season, and I go through all of them!
But “I don’t really fish ants,” you say? The success of this pattern is that it resembles everything from an ant to black caddis, terrestrials, alder flies, and has even been effectively fished as a booby-style caddis pupa.
The second tutorial will be one on Design Thinking as it applies to the age-old problem of strike indicators. The new design is Wes’s NZ-cator, and a slew of anglers locally and in California have been taking advantage of these for the last 2-3 years. Hand’s down, they are my favorite indicator system, and I know many very accomplished fishemen who are saying the same. To help introduce these, I may sell a very limited number of starter kits. But the tutorial will tell you where to get the necessary materials to D-I-Y.
One (major) problem I am having is that the main software I have been using to convert Photoshop documents into working HTML web pages has gone belly up. I may have to switch systems, as the company behind that sottware was deep-sixed by the recession. I have some admittedly limited alternatives, but need to exhaust my search on whether the current software can be reactivated.
I will be making a couple of posts summarizing the past season’s experiences in fly creation and fly fishing. Lots was learned, and techniques such as using Google Earth to scout fisheries once again proved valuable. Hopefully, putting my season into context will provide tips that will increase your enjoyment of this hallowed pasttime.
2014 was one of my best seasons ever, and I can’t wait to get out the door for 2015. With a little luck, and lots of water, who knows what will happen? Hope and anticipation are so much part of the fun.