Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Need Your Help!

Here is a photo of my grandfather Ralph Sever circa 1937.

This blog: FLY PAPER is reached at:
The S between Scott and Heywood stands for Sever.

Grandfather Sever was a die-hard fisherman… I thank him for that! He taught me a lot about fishing! Please notice he is wearing a tie. When we went fishing in northern Michigan, this is how my grandfather dressed... think about that next time you don your fishing apparel!

I want to figure out where my grandfather was and what species of fish this is. I think this might be a yellowtail, but I can't quite tell. Does anyone know where this is or what fish this might be. His daughter, Carol Baumhardt, thinks this might be in California and he was fishing with a cousin who lived in Whittier, CA.
PLEASE, can anyone help identify the location or the fish?!

Monday, April 28, 2014

What Have You Been Up To?

Facebook asks, "What have you been up to?" 

Obviously in my case, one answer would have to be FISHING! My cousin Bruce sent me this photo tonight. I'm probably around 8 years old. I'm in northern Michigan at either Burt Lake with my Grandfather or at Elk Lake with my Father.
I think I first picked up a fly rod a year or two earlier. It was a light brown fiberglass Eagle Claw rod that was as stiff as a broom handle. No catch and release for me. It was always catch and eat!

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Spring is Reflected in My Chestpack

If you disregard the hoppers pinned enticingly from last fall, my chest pack is a microcosm of this spring's fishing.  Buried in the foam is Will Blair's mouse used for a few mega-browns, many varieties of bead head nymphs, numerous yellow and brown streamers, all sizes of parachute Adams and a few miniscule baetis dries. When your chest pack's looks like this, it means two things: 

1.) It's been a very good spring!
2.) This mess needs to be cleaned up!

I'm off Off to theBahamas on Friday, maybe my spring cleaning will have to wait!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Anybody know this guy?

I couldn't resist posting this… 
If you know this guy, please leave a comment!!
Love the glasses, love the 'stache!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Video of our 2014 Amazon Trip

Great video by Charlie Conn of our February, 2014 Amazon trip.
 Thanks Charlie!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Two Days on the Bighorn River, Thermopolis, Wyoming

What a difference a day makes! This weekend we experienced the ying, and thank God, the yang of fly fishing over the course of our two days.

Red rock canyons and gin clear water!

Friday, April 18, 2014… 
By the time we were rigged, a steady 25 mph wind (with much stronger gusts) ripped at us. It was virtually impossible to cast effectively. A proper nymph rig was frustratingly difficult to cast into the wind and if you somehow got a good cast, it was impossible to get a good drift. On almost every drift, the flyline was blown downwind pulling the nymphs off the bottom.
A streamer was almost as useless. Even if you tried throwing a heavy conehead, it would be surfing by the time it hit the swing. I watched one big brown try and catch up with my fly. The fished chomped and chomped, but could't swim fast enough to reach it.
Of course, the dry fly fishing was non-existent until late in the day when we found a small eddie on the upwind side of a big bend that somehow held a few rising fish. Between five of us we caught two fish here in three hours.
As a result of the high winds, I tagged four fish all day and landed only two below average 17 inchers. After abandoning the river late in the afternoon, we dined at the weird and very retro Safari Club at the Days Inn. The beer was cold, the friends good and the day finally over.

Fred, Brett and Nick being watched at the Safari Club

Saturday, April 19, 2014...

It dawned clear and CALM! A very sheer curtain of clouds muted, only slightly, the sun. In essence, it was the perfect dry fly day. We were in the river by 10:30 AM and saw our first bugs at 10:31. A consistent, but never overpowering, baetis hatch lasted until 3:45 PM. I didn't fish with a nymph or a streamer once during the day. We were into sporadically rising fish all day. I caught approximately 8-10 fish over 20 inches and another dozen in the 16-18 inch range. Incredible!

A big hen...

and another...

and a 22" buck!

The fishing was so good, we were able to probe the banks and the bubble lines with # 18 blue winged olive patterns that were impossible to see, so we just struck the rise. Lots of fun! Some big boys were so active they were taking dries one after another on the bubble lines... perhaps at a cadence of one bug per second. You could hear the subtle pops as the little bugs disappeared to be replaced by a small bubble. From the boat we could clearly see these large fish voraciously chomping on mayfly after mayfly. Very cool! These bigger fish were very leader/drag sensitive, but when a good drift was achieved they ate. 

Nic with a big bow!
When a fish is too big for the net, it is a good thing!

Saturday was as good a day as the one before was bad. We all decided it is best not to judge a river based on the ying days for one shall miss the yang days to follow!!

Good job Nic!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

East End Lodge/Bahamas… A report on Which Flies Worked

I recently received this report from Dr. Richard Cambria who just returned from East End Lodge on Grand Bahama Island. Good to know which flies worked for him! 

This fish was caught on the Cecil’s Revenge from the blog [entry] you sent me:

The Mantis Shrimp was also a killer from your Top 5 Bonefish Flies (my tie was at least 3 inches long… luv the silli-legs on top), yet a big Gotcha also caught well.

Guide Ceci Leathen

We had Cecil as a guide which was a treat and had a good trip despite really awful conditions (lots of cloud cover, cool and big wind most days)…
I like East End Lodge very much, 
Thx, rpc

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kamchatka Availability

If you have ever wanted to fish Kamchatka, but have found the best rivers to be booked up, here are a couple of THE best rivers and their availability for this summer.
Nine spots on the OZ and twelve spots on the Two Yurts are available… you snooze you lose!


Ozernaya River The "OZ" 

The Ozernaya has been called one of the greatest trout streams of all time. The Oz is a large spring creek with an unbelievable numbers of large Rainbows averaging over 20 inches. Easy to wade and gin clear, much of the fishing is visual. The Ozernaya has every single ingredient for large rainbows: bugs, salmon, and a large sculpin population. The Oz is also blessed with fabulous runs of Silver Salmon. These chrome bright battlers, available from early August until the end of the season, are sure to test your will.

July 12-19:  3 spaces
July 19-26: 4 spaces

August 30-September 6th: 2 spaces
8 maximum
Ozernaya River price $7,895 from Petro

The Two Yurt River 

The Two Yurt River is set in perhaps the most beautiful valley on the Peninsula. Flowing east, the Two Yurt River drains the lake by the same name. Similar in size to Brooks Lake in Alaska, one clear distinction exists - no other people can be seen. With a huge run of Sockeye and King Salmon, Rainbows gorge on eggs and flesh growing to large proportions. Two Yurt combines many streams and offers every imaginable type of water, from freestone pocket water to long spring creek glides. By late June the mighty King Salmon enter the river pulling rainbow upstream from both the Yelovka and Kamchatka river drainages. From early July to early October, the 50 miles of river below the lake become thick with rainbows.

July 26-August 2:  4 spaces
August 9-16:   4 spaces
August 30-September 6:   2 spaces

6 maximum
Two Yurt River $6,895 From Petro

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Great Day Today …and a few thoughts on Roll Casts, a New Strike Indicator and the Leisenring Lift

Wyoming: 4/5/14. A Damn Good Sunday!

Today was a day I brushed up on a few techniques.
I didn't set out to do this, but I got into a self-tutorial mode as the events of the day unfolded. The water in the small stream I was fishing today was very clear and low. I caught a few small fish on dries, but I could see fish nymphing so I decided to try a "new" strike indicator sent to me by the inventor, Barry Dombro. Barry calls it the New Zealand Strike Indicator. It uses very fine New Zealand wool and an ingenious tool to attach the wool to your leader with a plastic sleeve.

I immediately liked this innovative indicator. I found that the position of the indicator is easily adjusted to the depth of the water you are fishing and it casts extremely well. But what I really like is this indcator is extremely sneaky and stealthy. The wool hits softly and floats like a cork. Today, I used the white wool included in the package (it also comes packaged with orange wool). I thought it would look like a raft of bubbles. 

This indicator spooked few, if any, fish. I know this because I was often able to sight nymph and saw no fish spook when the indicator hit the water. If you worry about your strike indicator spooking fish and/or you like to fish skinny clear water with a nymph, you owe it to yourself to look into this product. I would call it a "technical" strike indicator and about as far from a clumsy "bobber" as you can get while still using an indicator. I use indicators more to get a great drift than as an indicator… kinda like the way a hopper/dropper works. With the ease of depth modification this product provides, it is perfect for me.

Since this indicator is so easy to cast and I was often fishing with tall willows behind me, I really got into roll casting today. I think most anglers roll cast incorrectly. Most anglers drop their hand as they make the roll creating a high arcing loop that doesn't go far, is very inaccurate and doesn't produce a tight enough loop to slide under overhanging trees etc. I don't know where this approach started, but it is simply no good. I've looked long and hard for a good video describing the proper roll cast. I think this is a good one:

And finally, today I worked on my Leisenring Lift. This is a technique that is deadly for trout eating emergers, but it works with streamers and weighted nymphs as well. I caught many good trout using this technique today. Leisenring's technique essentially dead-drifts a fly into a prime lie, then just as the fly reaches the targeted spot, the angler lifts the fly so it rises away like a natural insect. This often incites a fish to strike.

I got many opportunities to practice the lift today. It takes patience not to give up on a drift and initiate a new cast. You must wait and slowly lift the fly off the bottom from where you think the fish should be. After having executed the "lift", I had many fish follow my nymph all the way to within a leader's length of me before finally taking it. Pretty cool!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Great Story from an Old Friend's Honeymoon in Belize

I really enjoyed reading my old friend Jeff Rodenberg's trip report from his somewhat delayed honeymoon. Looks like they had a great time! If you are ever interested in a trip to Belize, give us a call at 800-211-8530 or go to

As you know, the main purpose of the trip was honeymoon, not bonefish and permit. However, one cannot spend all of their time just eating, drinking rum punch, sailing, sunbathing, snorkeling, tubing down a jungle river, shopping, more rum punch, poking sticks under trees to find a fer-de-lance, and other romantic diversions…so there was a touch of angling as well. A bit about the latter.

As part of the agenda, we spent 3 nights/4 days out on Ranguana Caye – about 20 miles off the coast SE of Placencia. If you’ve seen the Robert’s Grove info, it’s a whopping 2 acres in size, has 3 somewhat rustic cabanas and a couple of resort employees to feed and maintain the island and guests, a dining/bar palapa, a beach and some good snorkeling reefs a couple hundred yards out. When we first arrived, we walked up the stairs of our oceanside cabana and when I turned around and looked down in the water, there were half a dozen bonefish cruising not 10 feet from shore– not a one was under 5 pounds and a couple were pushing 8 or 9. They just kept cruising back and forth. I thought to myself, holy shit, I’ve hit the jackpot! Surely someone of my experience and skill could manage to land one with 3-4 days to get the job done….

For several short periods throughout roughly 4 days, and much to Sara’s amusement from our cabana observation deck, I was Wile E Coyote (super…genius…) after the Roadrunner. I would sit on our deck and watch them cruising back and forth, scheming on ways to attempt their capture. At my most desperate point, I had been watching pelicans splash-dive into the water to slurp up jacks and other tasty morsels, and observed this often attracted 5 or 6 big bones to immediately race to the pelican’s feet. A couple hours later, I could see the bones coming in for a lap to thumb their noses at me, and I put a cast about 20 feet ahead of them, picked up the coconut strategically laying at my feet, and lobbed it out by my fly to make a big pelican-like attraction-splash. They weren’t fooled, but Sara was now laughing out loud from the observation deck…I could tell you it was the wrong tide, I had the wrong flies, or some other piece of drivel. But the truth of the matter is that those fish get pounded, frequently, by guides and caye visitors like me with a fly rod in spirited away in their luggage, and they had Ph.D.’s in making guys like me look like fumbling buffoons (or could it be that I just am a fumbling buffoon….?).  I clearly lost the battle and the war, and that’s okay. Failure at the big guys notwithstanding, there were fortunately some smaller schooling bones that frequented a couple spots around the caye if it wasn’t too busy with day-snorkelers, and I did manage a few of those to hand to salvage at least a modicum of self-respect.

I also had one day with Daniel Cabral to chase permit. Quite a learning experience and Daniel was great, even if not impressed by my thumb position during the cast. Of course, as luck would have it, the tides were about as wrong as I could get with high at ~3:30 AM and again ~3:30 PM, and moving in and out quicker than I’ve experienced before on the flats. This left about a 1 1/2 hour window on either side of the high in the afternoon to make the play. So we spent some time early in the day catching small bones from schools waiting for things to get right. Later in the afternoon, they did get right and we had about an hour and a half on one flat where I saw and cast to more tailing permit than I would have dreamed possible. I blew lots of shots due to permit fever, but also got quite a few right where they needed to be, but permit be permit, mon…no singing from the Lamson and after such refusals Daniel and I got to practice our creativity with leveling profanities in the direction of their wakes.

I was going to fish a second day, but the ride between Placencia and the permit flats is as long and rough as advertised, the high tide was now at ~4:30 (about the time the sun was getting low enough we needed to start heading back in), and I wasn’t too interested in spending the majority of the day on little bones. While Daniel could be considered by some as a handsome man and was an eminently capable guide, there was nothing he could do about the tides, and a golf cart ride into the village to shop and have a few rum beverages with Sara seemed a far more attractive option. We actually enjoyed a few of same with Daniel so I could give him several of the crab flies I came up with and he had been lusting after, and for which we discussed some design variations (a topic I intend to send a different note about). It also just so happened that this had a positive effect on the romantic aspects of the trip, and if that weren’t enough I scored the coolest damn bonefish painting I’ve ever seen. A bit abstract in bright tropical colors, hand-painted original by a local artisan on canvas, and serendipitously enough, entitled “Ranguana” – a way-cool momento of a magnificent honeymoon.

There are trips where the fishing takes front and center, and trips where it doesn’t …I wouldn’t have it any other way! And as I mentioned at the beginning, the other stuff was really what this trip was all about, the fishing just a gift and secondary to spending time with my beautiful wife whom I am so very fortunate understands and supports my passion for “international angling”.  What an awesome 10 days!
Preview of coming attractions - lets stay in touch about some November plans for a trip that does involve fishing front and center, and be prepared to assist for putting something together for me and Marley (daughter #3 of 4 in order of age) for next spring!



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bahamian Boa or Pygmy Boa… Does Anybody Know?

Doug Jeffries found this snake one morning on his recent bonefishing trip to Long Island in the Bahamas with Angling Destinations' host Bjorn Stromsness. If anyone can make a positive identification of this little boa, please let us know.

Doug said, "It was a cool little snake, all curled up next to one of the coolers. Samantha [the manager of the lodge] squealed when she saw it. I hadn't heard of the Bahamian pygmy python (I had mentioned this as a possible identification option). Now I have to research that. I thought the Bahamas didn't have any endemic snakes and they were all immigrants that came on boats and stuff."
[I think there are two endemic boas in the Bahamas: the pygmy boa and the Bahamian Boa]. Can anybody help us identify this snake?