Pfuelger President Reel Review

Thursday, September 19, 2013 , , , 4 Comments

The Pfluelger President Spinning reel is high quality reel for a great price. Current MSRP is ranges from $45-$70 depending on the size. Features include 9 stainless steel bearings, graphite frame, instant anti-reverse on/off settings, and stainless steel/felt disc drag system. 

I am tough on gear and fish several times per week during my high season and you cannot beat this reel, in this price range. Drag is smooth and consistent. Easily handles runs from that surprise big fish. Line management for monofilament and braid is superb and spool is equipped to be braid ready. One caveat to this is the reel lip is somewhat shallow for fluorocarbon and its handling is marginal with this line type dependent upon the stiffness of the line. The bail flips back with minimal effort if you start to reel prior to manually resetting it. 

As with all felt drag systems, the felt can be permanently compressed over time so be sure to disengage your drag while storing your reel. Secondly, felt drag systems do break down over time at a faster rate compared to carbon, rulon, or cork. That being said, I cannot overemphasize the smoothness of the drag for the price, excellent value. Decompress your drag and maintence your reel at least yearly and it will last you a long time with little decline in performance. My oldest President is 5 years old, is my most fished spinning outfit, and the drag remains solid and smooth.

Aesthetically I find it to be a pretty sharp looking reel and really like the light metallic blue color. Finish holds up well, despite me banging them around continually. My only critique on the looks is the President used to come with a wooden knob on the handle. Really gave the reel a nice touch. Unfortunately the newer models have a rubber knob, while this certainly improves the grip, I cannot help but remain somewhat sentimental for the older look. 

I own three of these. It is the only reel I own three of. I trust them day in and day out and have for years. For the price you cannot find a better real and really need to jump up at least $100-$150 to get a higher performing reel for which you are mostly upgrading the drag to a carbon or ralon system. 


Bull Shoals and Norfork Dam Generation Phone Number

Sunday, September 15, 2013 , 0 Comments

With the annual fall Southern Council Federation of Fly Fishers meeting right around the corner I thought some may find it useful to have the phone number for water generation for the dams at Bull Shoals and the Norfork in Arkansas at their disposal. The phone number provides number of units currently generating and lake levels. The number is (870) 431-5311. Stay safe out there and good luck fishing. 


The Golden Oriole: Pike Fly

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 , 8 Comments

This fly is my own creation and one of my favorite pike flies. It can be fished quickly, but excels when fished in a stop and go jerking motion over a bed of grass. Colors of course can be modified but orange and black seem stellar in almost all water conditions. Secondly, the braid which connects the two hooks may be modified for wire, however at a cost to the action of the fly. In most scenarios I am comfortable with the abrasion resistance braid affords, especially given the limited exposure between the two hooks. 

  • Gamakatsu B10S Stinger Size 1/0
  • Gamakatsu B10S Stinger Size 4
  • Black 6/0 Thread
  • Black Crystal Flash
  • Orange Crystal Flash
  • Holographic Flashabou
  • Orange Medium Halo Tinsel
  • Black Marabou
  • Orange Marabou
  • Large Brass Conehead
  • Large Black Chenille 
  • 100 lb Braid
  • Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails

Step 1: 
Tie thread into the size 4 hook. 

Step 2: 
Tie several strands of black crystal flash. 

Step 3:
Tie in first black marabou feather.

Step 4: 
Tie in Holographic Flashabou.

Step 5:
Tie in second black marabou feather.

Step 6: 
Tie black crystal flash over second marabou feather.

Step 7: 
Attach one end of the orange holographic tinsel.

Step 8:
Wrap tinsel around the entire front half of the hook shank. Ensure complete coverage. Tie off and cut tinsel. Coat with Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails and let dry. 

Step 9:
Tie braid to eye of hook. 

Step 10: 
Remove size 4 hook from vice. Place size 1/0 hook in vice, slide brass conehead to front. 

Step 11: 
Secure tread to hook. Take the braid attached to the size 4 hook and lay it along the entire shaft of the size 1/0 hook. Wrap braid until it is secure. Coat with Hard as Nails and allow to dry. *Note the segment of braid should be long enough so the eye of the second hook is just past the end of the first hook when the two are straight. 

Step 12: 
Tie in Orange Crystal Flash. 

Step 13:
Tie in 3 Orange Marabou Feathers.

Step 14:
Tie in several strands of orange crystal flash to cover the upper marabou. 

Step 15:
Secure end of black chenille to hook. 

Step 16: 
Wrap two layers of the chenille around shaft of hook. Secure, whip finish and you have now completed the Golden Oriole Pike fly. It should look as pictured. 


Frying Pan

Thursday, September 05, 2013 , , 10 Comments

The Frying Pan is intangible. Surrounded by beautiful scenery and clear cool water, one could be forgiven for forgetting that trout even reside here. The river captivates your spirit and refreshes your mind. Wading in the stream, dwarfed on either side by mountains, you are reminded of how small we each are and how insignificant our daily grievances are compared to the majesty of nature. People may use trout fishing as an excuse to fish the Frying Pan, but the real draw to this place has to be its meditative quality. Albert Einstein once remarked, "Look into nature, and then you will understand everything better." Any length of stay on the Pan will reward one with a greater perspective on the what really matters and what is to be treasured in life. 

A quintessential trout river, the Pan boasts not only stunning scenery but the chance for trophy rainbow and brown trout. You will see giants, I promise. Catching them on the other hand is up to you as these guys are very particular as I found out.  Only at French Creek in the driftless have I ever encountered  pickier trout. The first four hours I spent here were full of apprehension as I watch trout after trout rise to my fly, only to reject them in the final moments. They aren't spookish necessarily, too many people fish the river for that, but they are selective and if you do not have what they want, at the right depth, good luck. 

With a hatch beginning to come off the water I started with some usual suspects: parachute adams and renegades--no luck. Finally, a kind gentleman across the water asked what I was using, after a brief discussion where he disclosed that he was a guide for Taylor Creek Fly shop, he recommended a yellow PMD. Game on! Almost every other cast resulted in either a fish taking the fly or at minimum popping it out of the water. I didn't catch any giants but all the fish were breathtaking in color and vigor. I hardly even stopped to take pictures. It was only when my girlfriend arrived, that she began to take pictures for me of my quarry. What a blast it was, and it marks the first time I have ever fished a river for trout and been able to exclusively use dry flies. 

After a brief lunch, we headed into town to buy some more PMD's as I only had one with me. Then to my absolute delight, Jane decided she wanted to learn how to fly fish. After a paltry shotgun lesson on fly casting on the water she was on her own. I will admit I am far from being an accomplished casting instructor but honestly she did great. Credit solely to her on this. She was able to generally put the fly where it needed to be, make minor modifications, and even had two fish hit the fly. She didn't land one but to say I was proud would be an understatement. Unfortunately, around this time the hatch began to die down and we went in pursuit of new and less congested water further downstream. 

We didn't bag any more fish at our last location but the sunsetting on the mountains offered a breathtaking backdrop to an already incredible canvas. One day on the Frying Pan was too short a time to experience this wonderful river, it takes time to learn any new body of water and that is especially true for one like this with such finicky fish. That being said I left not with regret that I couldn't stay another day but with a grateful heart that I was able to be and partake in truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever fished.