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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Newcastle On Tyne

Posts: 14
Priestmaker on Mar 4, 2008March 4th, 2008, 9:00 am EST
Apart from Fishing?
Me, Im a carpenter. Nothing bores me more than doing nothing.
When i Get home, i do whatever need sto be done. Then occupy myself. Im TRYING to learn Accoustic guitar, I make priests, Sticks, (Thumbsticks, market sticks) tie flies,. do anything rather than sit and do nothing. It drives me up the f****ng wall.
Im a Season ticket holder at Newcastle United Football club (soccer to you lot), and a member of a gentlemens association shall we say. I have to have my mind occupied.
And i hoard things. I think I got that from my Granda, I have a garage full of sh*t. Wheel ramps, ( I know sod all about cars) a brand new window frame, (had it for 13 years) A mitre radial saw that doesnt cut!! an old school paper guillotine (blade only, no base!) and 80 eternit slates, (why??)I hate throwing things away. My Granda had all sorts in his "Washouse" (Cellar) even so far as a sawfishes snout, teeth ncluded. where in the name of god he got that I will never know, but he had it,he never ever threw anything away, he had a mandolin, in a case that he couldnt play, a .303 live bullet in a drawer, (he never had a rifle) !, a piece of wood that was allegedly from HMS VICTORY. A silver tipped swagger stick from a Regimental Seargeant major that had lodged at his house during the war, and masinic working tools that a different soldier took from a geman prisoner at the hospital, spent cases from a Spitfire, that had rattled off his roof in a dogfight during the war, as German planes tried to find Consett Iron works. I was 17 before Iknew you could buy new nails, I thought you just straightened old ones out with a hammer on a piece of wood, which Is what my granda had me doing for years.
We walked miles togethr when I was a wean, "up the road" as he called it, along the line (a disused railway line) up from Elm Park Terrace, at the entrance to Shotley Hospital, to the wood. He once killed a rabbit, with a catapult, ( something I still have a passion for to the astonishment of my workmates) and we had it for dinner. Rabbit Pie, bloody lovely. After that as I got older, he did too, and Id go off for rabbits, with his catty, but, only after promising him, I would only shoot rabbits with a humpy back. Now, everyone surely knows why you only shoot humpy backed rabbits, to keep the bloody pie crust up!!
Memory tells me I only ever saw one rabbit, and by the time i looked to see if it had a humpy back, it was gone.
He was missing little fingers from both hands, due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome, Then, they amputated, now, its reparable.Hed lost his thumb end in a works accident, he used the stump
to tamp down his pipe. He smoked a pipe, and had the perfect shape worn in his teeth, where the pipe stem fitted.
His gardening shoes always had holes it the toecaps, that his big toenails had worn through!
He was brought up with his six brothers in Ponteland Orphanage ( Now Northumbria Police HQ) He had a scar from his wrist to his elbow, that he always said was from a knife he was using the wrong way. Years after he died I found out that he got it when he was sent to carry a jug of milk, and fell, gashing his arm on the jug. The Matron made him clean up the milk before she allowed him to have the gash dressed. ( me mam says he spat on her grave in later years, and for the only time in her life, she heard him swear). God only knows what he and his brothers went throughin that place.
He always told me that a man should always carry a knife and a piece of string in his pocket, "In case he needed it"
He grew veg in his garden, Beet, broadbeans, peas, cabbages, turnips, sprouts,and tomatoes like footballs grew in his greenhouse, and always had a fire going,in the garden,and my mam has a photo of him, with a marrow that won a show in yorkshire, bloody massive, and I never heard him swear once.
I remember once as a boy being scared of thunder. My mam told me that I shouldnt be, as thunder saved his life. He had been walking home from work, in a snowstorm, and had collapsed with exhaustion in a drift, he heard thunder, and thought it was German bombs, so forced himself to get home, so he could be with his family.
Septimus Harry Warburton. That was his name, Septimus, as he was the seventh son.
Always known as Sep.
I loved him.
High Quality Antler priests, for Salmon ~ Trout ~ Gamebirds. Made from Stag Antler, capped with Indian Water Buffalo Horn. see my Gallery here
driftless area

Posts: 58
LenH on Mar 4, 2008March 4th, 2008, 9:36 am EST
we did some traveling before we had a child....she is almost old enough to take her along.
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Mar 4, 2008March 4th, 2008, 10:36 am EST
I hunt, occasionally. I Tie flies, of course. I write articles, on fly fishing for my local paper. I'm a trained artist, so I draw and paint a lot. I spend lots of time with my family--5 children all grown, and nine wonderful grandchildren. I like to read, too, books on fly fishing of course, but others as well. I'm an avid plant lover. I like to garden and enjoy taking care of my houseplants. In addition to all this I like to cook and bake. I'm 100% Italian descent, and I make a mean plate of Spaghetti and Meatballs.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Milton, DE

Posts: 82
Flybyknight on Mar 4, 2008March 4th, 2008, 11:09 am EST
Spring: Fly Fishing
Summer: Sailing
Autumn: Grouse hunting
Winter: RVing in warmer climes.

In fly fishing, I'm a purist, you know, bamboo, stalker beanie etc.
My sloop is a 25' Cape Dory and we cruise the East Coast and Chesapeake.
Grouse hunting is a religious ritual.
We haul our Airstream to some remarkable get-aways, and that facilitates 1 & 3 above.

Lightly on the dimpling eddy fling;
the hypocritic fly's unruffled wing.
Thomas Scott
Al514's profile picture
Central New York

Posts: 142
Al514 on Mar 4, 2008March 4th, 2008, 12:40 pm EST
Fly tying kinda comes with Fly Fishing which is one of the most relaxing things I do. I usually don't tie for speed, but more for accuracy and the enjoymet.
Playing the guitar - I have a Stagg SW206CE-CS. Its nothing special, but a good guitar that sounds great with an amp. Priestmaker - I can send you some good webites that will help you get started at guitar.
Sports. I'll play anything and everything - i'm very cometitive. I was actually recruited to play baseball here at Cortland, but had to stop due to a shoulder surgery and an elbow surgery on my throwing (and casting) arm.
Taking pictures and putting together movies. I think I have some links on here to some of my videos on YouTube.
Kayaking in the Adirondacks. I have tried fly fishing from a kayak over the summer, and could cast a lot better than I originally thought.
Hiking in the ADK's - Blue Mt, Bald Mt, Panther Mt, Rock Mt, and many others.
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Mar 4, 2008March 4th, 2008, 1:59 pm EST
What an interesting and refreshing topic. Thanks, Priestmaker, for starting it. It has been quite interesting to learn some new things about people I've known on here for quite some time.

I am marginally talented at many things and don't have time to pursue all of them as much as I'd like. Besides tying practical and artistic flies...

I play guitar and sing, primarily acoustic blues. I've learned I'm a better singer than player, so instead of doing all the improv stuff I used to do, I now play things a bit straighter and try to make my singing the focus. I actually played a benefit concert a few months ago and performed pretty well for someone who only plays a few dozen times per year. Even though I'm kind of reclusive when it comes to any of my creative pursuits, it was fun to play for people who were kind enough to appreciate my music. I'll do it again if they ask me back.

I used to be a pretty good hockey player (goalie), but when I moved to PA I basically gave it up because it's so tough to find a good game around here. I played pond hockey with my son a few weeks ago, the first time I'd skated in 7 years. It was so exhilarating I could hardly stand it. We've been back to the pond a few times since then, and every time it has been mind-blowingly fun. It's completely different from skating at an indoor rink. The feeling is impossible to explain - even more thrilling than a perfect day on the stream, if you can believe it.

I do a little amateur carpentry as well, about one project per year. I have very few nice tools, so things take a lot of time to build, but I'm always very proud of my creations. I've made bookshelves, a wine rack, planters, a playground... pretty simple stuff. But I always invent my designs from scratch, and I derive a lot of pleasure from making unique things.

Finally, I'm trying to grow my own grapes to make my own wine. That's by far the most disastrous hobby I've ever taken up. My pansy French vines are susceptible to every malady in the known world, shiftlessly producing much less than they cost to sustain, surviving at all only because they are propped up by hearty American rootstocks. Yes, the irony is thick. If I don't get a grape this year (my 4th), I'm going to destroy them with the same patience with which I've nurtured them and plant a hearty Cornell hybrid in their place.

Oh, and I do actually spend a bit of time with my family, though less than I probably should. I have a great family, both immediate and extended. My life is very, very good.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
LittleJ on Mar 4, 2008March 4th, 2008, 3:03 pm EST
cool topic, although a bit depressing when I stopped and realized how little variety I have in my life these days.

Lets see, my wife and I used to spend the better part of our summers rock climbing and hiking up and down the east coast. Then we decided to swap that pass time with raising children. We do still hike as much as possible though. We x country skied in the winter. I tried to rig a sled up and take my 2 yr old with me this year. I made it about 100 yds and ended up walking back with her in my arms, pulling my skiis in the sled. I used to hunt grouse and pheasants in my single years, then I met my wife, she hated my dog, and I figured I'd have to choose between the two. Against the advice of my married friends I chose her and that was the end of the hunting.(which was the right choice by the way). I spent some time in the white water sports, then I had a bad experience with a boulder, hydraulic and a class IV rapid. I decided then drowning was not the way I wanted to leave this world.

I got married and we decided to buy an old "fixer upper" and I spend a good deal of time working that project. I'm a finish carpenter by trade so I spend as little time working on the house as my wife will allow. So i guess I'm left with fishing which is really the only hobby I've had that really matters to me. my free time at home is spent tying flies and my free time abroad is spent fishing them. The rest of the time I try to be a good father and husband. life is good.

Posts: 26
Mtskibum on Mar 4, 2008March 4th, 2008, 3:07 pm EST
My main hobbies away from fishing are fantasy football, i know its pretty nerdy, but my whole family does it, we have a 14 man league that is made up entirely of family members. On top i also enjoy doing a handful of pay leagues over the internet and locally.

I have had a season pass to a golf course for the last 14 years. I love golfing, and will this year i actually am going to try and get out 50 times, which will slow down my fishing, however I can fish for wild trout on the golf course I play at, although its pretty mediocre fishing.

I used to be heavy into both skiing and snowboarding, but got burnt out. The last couple years i only have been out on the slopes 5 times a year or so, but 3-4 years ago i was out 30, and 5-6 years ago i was out 60-70 days a season. I still enjoy it, but its hard to do now that i work 8-5. Its not like being in college.

I hunt deer, usually only 1-2 days a year, and i get a deer most the time, but i am quick to shoot doe. And then not go back out and not get my buck, I get bored deer hunting :) I do light bird hunting, maybe 5 times a year as well us, usually for chukkar, a small-mediumish bird that will run miles staying 300 yards ahead of you. And a dog will only hurt you. They are also fairly tough to find.

However its pretty much the only bird to hunt when i visit my parents over christmas/thanksgiving(we hunt at an elevation of a mile high in a northern climate desert).

Although the bird hunting is below average, it the best rabbit hunting in the world when we go out for bird and small game. Limiting on rabbits gets boring, I usually only shoot a couple cause i hate gutting them, although occasionally we will take 40 home between my brothers and my dad.

They have snowshoe hairs where we hunt as well. And i will of course shoot one of those, i only have gotten 1 in my life, though, as they are quite a bit rarer, and are huge.

Posts: 12
Irishangler on Mar 4, 2008March 4th, 2008, 3:16 pm EST
Where to start? Like many of you I enjoy tying flies when it's too cold, too hot, too rainy to fish. So, that leaves me about four or five days to actually fish :) Seriously, I'm lucky to live in beautiful SW VA where, when not fishing for trout, I can chase smallmouth bass during much of the spring, summmer and fall. I can just about throw a rock from my house to the New River. I do a lot of conoeing on the New, too. I enjoy deer and turkey hunting because there are several mountain streams nearby where I can always wet a fly. The outdoors simply appeal to me on a bunch of levels. I was an art major in college and quickly became a starving artist after graduation. That forced me get a real job, but I still draw, paint and dabble in pottery. I've got four or five chords down pat on the guitar and believe this adequately fills the resume for a heavy metal gig...world tour coming soon to a town near you. I maintain a perpetual search for the perfect cheeseburger and micro-brew. I jog (in an attempt to break even from the effects of said cheeseburgers and brews). I try to maintain an arms-length from my feminine side but cave in every now and then...I enjoy cooking and have been known to actually cook some of the fish I've caught...gasp!
I have too low a tolerance for idiots, as is referenced in a previous post about streamside manners. However, I'm trying to do better. I used to box a little and have a heavy bag at home that is a poor but appropriate substitute for those that irritate me. I've got two black labs, one blue heeler and a beagle. Lastly, I've got a wonderful wife (too kind and understanding), a 17-year old son (way too much like me)and a 14-year old daughter (too beautiful).
Coastal NJ

Posts: 34
Kroil on Mar 4, 2008March 4th, 2008, 10:46 pm EST
Catching (and sometimes eating) blue water oceanic species and hunting the wild grouse species of North America with fine vintage side-by-side shotguns. Is fine whiskey a hobby?

When I found the skull in the woods, the first thing I did was call the police. But then I got curious about it. I picked it up, and started wondering who this person was, and why he had deer horns. - Jack Handey


Posts: 37
BGrnFlyfish on Mar 5, 2008March 5th, 2008, 4:17 am EST
Hunt,fly fish,eat,sleep,school(almost to college where I'll be wrestling), wrestle
Seth-Big Green River, WI
CaseyP's profile picture
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Mar 5, 2008March 5th, 2008, 6:09 am EST
i don't have hobbies, i have obsessions: skiing, fishing, baseball.

45 years after i first learned (and hated) to ski, i can finally ski well enough to have a whole lot of fun. modern equipment and teaching methods get all the credit. too bad the recent winters in PA haven't been so great, but every night i give thanks for man-made snow.
fishing--well, you all witness that right here. thanks for an amazing, friendly place, where you can learn something new every day, Jason!

baseball...d'ja ever go somewhere and realize that you'd been there in spirit many times before? it's rather like discovering why you are who you are. my sister took me to Yankee Stadium in 1989 and suddenly i knew what i'd been missing in my life. the sights, the sounds, the smells--my world made sense for the first time. we were stationed in Mexico City at the time, where American baseball was shown on ESPN, so i could watch a lot of teams play once in a while. in 1992 we got back to the USA, and found Camden Yards and the Orioles. the years of Cal Ripken were some kind of fun. now we have our very own team here in Washington, D. C., and i'm in heaven. full season ticket (Priestmaker, that's 81 games!) shared with a few like-minded folks, great new owners who build shopping malls so they know what makes crowds happy, a really good manager (Manny Acta) who knows what he's doing with a young team, a new stadium opening up at the end of March--gee, i could bore you absolutely witless! but you get the picture.
it's really kind of amazing that there was room at all for fly fishing!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Lewisville, NC

Posts: 4
Up_a_creek on Mar 5, 2008March 5th, 2008, 10:48 am EST
WOW! Nice Yellowfin, Kroil! OK....as others have said...not sure I have other hobbies. Scary...so much fishing gear, so little time to fish! I guess if you can call them hobbies, backpacking and hiking, just being outdoors. If I have to be indoors I'm at the vise!
"I spend most of my life fishing, the rest I just waste."
Coastal NJ

Posts: 34
Kroil on Mar 5, 2008March 5th, 2008, 11:38 am EST
That is a Bigeye tuna, not a yellowfin.
Here's a coupla other critters that fall into the other hobby category:

Soooooo, is fine sippin' whisky a hobby?
When I found the skull in the woods, the first thing I did was call the police. But then I got curious about it. I picked it up, and started wondering who this person was, and why he had deer horns. - Jack Handey

Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 6, 2008March 6th, 2008, 3:05 am EST
Raising kids has taken up just about all the time my job and fishing don't claim lately, but I was interested to learn that Jeff has done some whitewater. I worked as a canoe guide and instructor years ago, and used to paddle C-1 and open canoe. My two most memorable experiences were floating the New River gorge in an open canoe, reaching up into waves to brace the boat, and surfing upside down in one of Corkscrew's hydraulics on the Chatooga (can you say Deliverance?) then reaching straight down with my paddle (up from my position) to catch the flush current, the way my buddy Matt had done the week before, to pull myself out and roll before Crack-in-Rock got me. My first and last set of class V rapids. A guide who knew the river far better than I did was killed there a few weeks later. Those days are long gone now, and thank God I lived to tell the tale; these days I'm happy to find a little wild brown eating olives in a tough lie and get it to take my fly.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
driftless area

Posts: 58
LenH on Mar 6, 2008March 6th, 2008, 3:23 am EST

dang....you look quite traveled.

You have a display area for your trophies?

Would like to see it?

Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
LittleJ on Mar 6, 2008March 6th, 2008, 5:19 am EST
I'm impressed you could roll out of it, that's a step further than I made it. I learned that day that it doesn't matter how many times you "roll" a boat in the swimming pool when your upside down in class IV+ it's a whole different ballgame. I have a ton of respect for the pro, they make it look so easy.
JAD's profile picture
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Mar 6, 2008March 6th, 2008, 7:06 am EST
Hi all
I too don't know where to start. Their is a good group of all around hobbies.
I have a raised family with a great Wife son & daughter .and four grand children .I worked in the trades and I am a double journeymen ,had 19 years of night school at Community college My best friend ran a martial arts school so I took that for years. IN my later years I took up comp archery and I was the 2003 state champ for 600 round spots . I've been a fly fisherman for over 50 years and I think I'll end my retirement growing old and enjoying being with the people that I care about.

The wild deer, wand'ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus'd breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Mar 7, 2008March 7th, 2008, 12:15 am EST
Well as Casey said hobbies no obsessions yes.
The flyfishing and tying are the biggies followed closely by Haunting (no typo there) I help build and operate a seasonal haunted attraction. We start around August first erecting roughly 20,000sq.ft of false walls and rooms to scare paying customers three nights a week for the month of October. Out of this I have aquired a wide array of skills ranging from basic carpentry, electrical, and pneumatics to stage lighting and makeup application.

I also play paintball. Which i have found has as many arcane subgroups as fly fishing.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Mar 7, 2008March 7th, 2008, 5:23 am EST
Dang Kroil... that's one heck of a portfolio you've got!

Hobbies other than fishing and fly tying for me:

  • Hunting. I hunted a lot before college (whitetail deer, turkeys, and small game) and hunted for the first time in years this fall, for small game (ptarmigan, ducks, hares, and grouse on the same trip) off the Denali Highway. I'm preparing to do a caribou bowhunt next summer up on the North Slope.

  • Landscape and macro photography. Who woulda guessed?

  • Skiing. Gonzo just got me into it last spring and I've been going a lot this winter. I expect to either make a lifelong hobby of it or break my legs off.

  • Saltwater aquarium-keeping. I just started with a 35-gallon aquarium this summer. It's challenging, fun, and way more expensive than expected. Saltwater is very different from freshwater but I've still learned a lot that should help me rear bugs more effectively in the future.

  • Occasionally attempting the violin. I took some lessons a few years ago, but not for long, and I made an attempt last year to get back into it, but got busy. I really want to keep at it but always procrastinate, so maybe putting it on this list will help. One problem is that the violin is probably second only to the bagpipe on the list of worst instruments to be bad at. I just need to push over that steep part of the learning curve and get to the part where I sound good.

Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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