Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The yard a few weeks ago

This was the yard a few weeks ago , when I told my sister-in-law that it would soon be spectacular.

Now This Is What I Mean By Spectacular!

The Crow and the Merganser are virtually finished

The Crow sits on the work bench, and the Merganser is sitting in my favorite chair. The Merganser has been covered in copper foil. The copper comes in packets of 4"x4" sheets and is handled like the gold that is used in gilding. The great thing about the copper is that it is very inexpensive and it's able to take a patina. One omission, was that I did not paint the bird first, so that if the copper did not stick, the undercoating would show. So now I have some bare wood showing.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Recipe For Crepes

I was telling someone about how my wife and daughter love to have Crepes for breakfast. The recipe I use is in a Betty Crocker Cook Book from the 60's. 2 tbsp butter is melted into 1 cup of milk then cooled, next 2 eggs are beaten. When the milk has cooled the beaten eggs and 1/2 cup of Gold metal Flour, 1 tsp of baking powder and and 1/2 tsp salt are beaten in to make a smooth batter. I use a 5" in diameter iron skillet at moderate heat. Coat the bottom evenly by tilting the pan. Cook for a minute, flip and do other side, brushing some butter on the pan evry now and then. I stack them in sets of four and separate them with wax paper until I use up the batter. They can be frozen, so each set of four can be thawed as a serving. I usually do a double batches.

The sauce we like is an Orange Sauce; In a fry pan melt 1/3 cup butter, 2 tbsp sugar, 1/3 cup orange juice and some orange rind. I section the orange and add them to the hot sauce and crush them. Turn the crepes into the sauce, fold into quarters and put on plates, spoon some sauce over them. My gang would have me making these all the time, so I restrict this treat to Mother's Day, extra special occasions or when I'm in serious trouble.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One of the better Crows I've done .

This is one of the more realistic Crows I've be able to do so far. There's a lot of work still left here, the tail has to be trimmed to the right length and legs added so it can be mounted. I'm going to use an aniline dye for the black color.

A Merganser

After band-sawing the profile and roughing out the body, the Merganser duck is clamped firmly so it'll be easier to work on. I left the tail part still squared so the clamp would hold tight. The first live Merganser I ever saw was on the East Branch of the Delaware River in the Catskills. There were a two on the far side of the river where I was casting for rising trout. I couldn't reach the other bank with my cast. I got as close as I could without filling my waders. These Mergansers were catching fish. I've been intrigued by decoys carved by others. The Merganser has a narrow bill which has serrations on the edges which really help for catching fish. I understand their Mom doesn't feed them, they catch their own. Within 12 days they're catching fish. My kind of duck. One decoy I recall had coarse hair inserted at the rear of the head to represent the crest, I going the carve the feathers in rather than implant hair. I'm also working on refining the way I do Crows, another bird I find fascinating. I'll show them both finished in a later posting.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sitting Out a Storm called Hanna

The tropical storm Hanna has moved up the coast. For me it was a day of fly-tying and sorting stuff in the materials collection. I tied a bunch of Muddler Minnows today, some White and Grey Wulff hair flies, a few Adams', and a couple of Pheasant Tail Nymphs . These flies are staples for me when I fish. They get a workout. I really like catching Trout on the surface but ai do like hanging a Pheasant Tail Nymph from the bend of a top water Muddler Minnow. I'm going to try to tie a few on size 16 hooks or even smaller. I really need to be in the mood for small. It can be very frustrating while my hands tremble and my eyes struggle to focus. My head magnifier keeps slipping off my head. I start fumbling, the scissors manage to cut the tying thread before I'm finished, the windings slip their knot and magically unwind like some animated joke. At this point things aren't fun. Anyhow, there's college football today, and I'm looking forward to watching some of it on TV.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shaping the Spun Deer Hair

I'm using scissors to shape the spun deer hair head of a Muddler Minnow. I love fishing the Muddler Minnow with a small dropper of about 15" with a Pheasant Tail Nymph. The dropper is tied at the hook bend of the Muddler. The Muddler acts like a strike indicator and sometimes attracts a huge trout who passes up the relatively tiny Pheasant Tail Nymph. I found I could tie the dropper to the bend using a Duncan loop, which can be loosened easily.
Posted by Picasa

A Muddler Minnow Nears Completion

This Muddler Minnow is nearly completed. I'll whip finish the head and apply a drop of glue to secure the ties. The final step is to trim it to the desired shape. These last few days have gotten my blood up for going fishing. When I looked over my stuff I found my collection of Muddler Minnows were battered and in sorry shape. I'm also anxious to replenish some of the Wulff Hair Flies I've come to love, as well as, some Adams'. I haven't worked on Muddler Minnows since I did with Wendell Niemann. He was the one who taught me how to tie it. I miss fishing with him.

The Fly Tying Box