Gearing Up for Fall Fishing Plus Some Bonus Stuff

By Mike Hogue

(Note: I realize that not all this stuff may be useful to all folks every place if you don't fish for salmon or steelhead, although you can use alot of my tips for fall browns reguardless of where you live...... other stuff like lead free info and charts are also useful.)

The recent rains from the tail of the Hurricanes while not exactlly pleasant for those folks that have experienced extreme weather do have some unexpected benefits. Typically, our fall fishing gets kicked to on when it rains. Also we need some cool weather.........guess what we got both. Yeah! Now we need to wait for the streams to clear up a bit. Usually, it takes a few days for the streams to clear. As of today, many streams are high, fast and pretty dirty.

I think this will change in the next few days. I would dust off your fall stuff and get ready to do some fishing. Before heading out, check your knots, leaders and also dig out that set of corkers and your walking cane. Check the tips of your corkers, laces and also inspect the tip of your staff. If you intend to fish any of the barrier falls around Ithaca, I recommend that you get a decent rain jacket and a polar tech. Usually it is some 15 degrees cooler in the gorges around the falls.

New info...... Lead. Lead is offically banned for sale in New York, mail order firms are prohibited from mailing these items into New York. You may use up the lead you have and you may use lead jigs, wire and eyes. Lead itself is a toxic substance and if you use lead wire or eyes, rubbing your nose or eyes will allow this material to enter your bloodstream, once in it stays forever. If you handle lead, wash your hands. It is really bad to oxidize lead as you will deeply inhale the material from the fumes, typically this is done when you melt lead to make sinkers. This is a very, very bad thing to do as some old lead also contains mercury. My recommendiation is switch to lead free ----wire, eyes and sinkers. I will soon offer all the usual stuff in lead free.

I've tried the new tin split shot and it is much lighter than standard shot. In order to get the same amount of weight, you need to increase the sizes. I have found that Gremlin Green is not bad, it is a bit more expensive than standard shot in that you get less per pack. I am in the process of getting this in. For the short term, I am going to suggest that you go to a discounter or box store to buy this. If you go to the box stores, I found that flo carbon on spinning reel packs is much cheaper it is often $10 for a 200 yard spool versus the $9 for a spool for 30 meter spool I charge......gees did I tell you to go elsewhere? Still a bargin. I will keep the marts open by sending you to them to buy stuff I don't sell.

Here is the conversion chart for you:

If you want the weight of lead :

BB use B

B use 7

7 use 5 or 4

Standard Pulaski rig: This a love-hate thing, a fair number of people don't like this. I actually don't mind this. I do wear a cap , jacket and glasses when I fish this. That thump in the head hurts! Give it a go. I use a full 9' leader of 0x then I cut about a foot off. I add a number 10 black barrel shivel to the end and then leave a 3 " tag on the knot. Next I tie 2 overhand knots on the end, add 2-3 split shot to the tag. To the other end I add 18-20" of 12 lb flou carbon. This works! It is not snagging, it is not lifting, fact is in fast current you need weight to pull down the fly and sink tips are mostly worthless. The tag end is a dropper that pulls the fly down, the shivel allows the fly to spin.

Checking water levels: There is a point where the water is beyond just dirty and high it is unsafe. Use some thought and come sense before you go. When I lived near the Mississippipi, each spring somebody got into trouble because they did something stupid like boat put near dams in high water. If it seems stupid, don't do it. When I used to wade the White River in Arkansas at night or high water, I had a fishing vest life jacket. It looks like a nice fishing vest made of tan material. Buy your own jacket that you like and use it! Call me stupid but alive. I am certainly worth the $30 this jacket cost. My Father tells me that 90% of the boating and water accidents can be avoided if people wear a life jacket. I still wear it when in doubt.

I put a USGS chart for most of the streams you might want to fish on web site. Through my site you can go to any stream in the USA monitored by the USGS and see the height and CFS ( Cfs= cubic foot per second). For some rivers a high cfs may be normal. A brief comment: CFS is the measure of flow. It is used to determine how fast the water is flowing. Also check historical averages and the height gauge.

Here is a quick guide:

250 CFS and below, usually low and easy to wade.

250-500 cfs: usually about ideal should be easy to wade but watch pools.

500-750 cfs: on the high side but still fishable

750-1000 cfs: very high approaching very unsafe. Some rivers do well in high water be sure to wear a life vest.

Above 1000 Cfs: Stay home and watch football. Root for any team but the Eagles. I might even have to become a Giant's fan with Warner getting the nod for QB. Let's hope they bench that idot Bachelor Jessie Palmer, best bet is trade him to the Eagles.

I put an entire list of info up for you with hot links to various sites:

Instead of digging around through a mess of bookmarks, this is one page for most of the stuff you will need. Your fishing license in NY state expires 9/30, time to renew, also check the rule book it is given out for a reason. They have fined people in Fall Creek and other folks before.

Places to fish/times: Everyone hates the zoo. Well don't participate if you hate it. Doesn't mean you need to hang up the waders just do different things. If you don't like a crowd: fish early, fish late or even fish during the noon hour. Old time Pulaksi fishers had noon as a favorite time since a fair number of folks stopped fishing and went to the bar. Another bet: fish during the week. There are lots of theories here about the best day, I suggest that you pick any day but Sat-Sun if you can.

Here's a good one: Pick a new place. Try Sandy Creek, Oswego or Black Rivers, if you fish Oak Orchard , try some of the PA streams. You get the idea. Here's a couple of long shots: The Espous has a fall run, the browns head up into the stream from the lake, the rainbows move up for the eggs . Happens end of Sept as far as I know. You can catch some nice fish on this run. Also the Neversink has Atlantics. They planted those long ago in the Lake, they will continue to hold and run for many years. Might be worth checking out. For both these you need a NYC water system permit to fish lake property. Check the rules since they have changed since 9/11 occured.


Lots of Fall stuff:

Micro egg yarn: A hot ticket is the micro spawn egg. It is bascially egg yarn tied in on top of an egg hook. Easy fly. Colors: Cheese, Orange, Chartreuse: $1.75

Estaz: micro or standard. I have all the colors I think. $3.00 a pack

Sparkle eggs: Very easy, just punch a hole, slide on, and put some thread down, zap a gap. Colors; Cheese, Red, Chartreuse, Orange, Violet, Peach. $2.50

Egg Hooks:

Targus 105 are a great hooks. I have 50 packs size 4-6-8 $6.50 for 50 pack

Mustad C67S: Heavy hook with good points. Size 4-10 $3.75 a pack

Polar Bear Subs:

I like to use artic fox or kid goat.

Arctic fox Tails: Black, White, Purple, Red, Clart, Olive, Golden Brown, Purple $10 each

Artic Fox Faces: Blue, Black, Purple, White: $2.50

Kid Goat: Nice texture perfect for hair wings. Black, Red, Chartreuse, Purple, Orange, Hot Pink, Yellow, White. $3.75 a patch.

Everyone's favorite: Black bear. I use this for straight hair for hairwings. Extra select patch. Straight hair. $3.50.

Whiting Spey Necks: I have these awesome necks in. Bronze grade, sub for Blue ear. Nice stuff. Colors: Blue, Purple, Heron Gray, Orange. $20

Jungle Cock/ Fishing Grade: Grade b necks. I have sold a ton of these, all the C necks are sold out. Some splits, fine for fishing flies. $50 each or 2 for $90.

Hot Floss/Depth Ray: I have single strand Danville. Wind on with a bobbin. Hot Green, Hot Yellow, Hot Orange, Hot Pink, Flo White, Flo Light Blue. $1.00 a spool.

Gordon Griffith's Natural Dubbing. VERY similar to seal fur. Nice texture, transluscent. Yellow, Cream, Black, Orange, Green, Purple, Claret, Blue, Olive, Brown. $3.50


New Stuff:

Just In: Mike's Bobbin Bag. Unique and exclusive item! I designed it! This is a cordura bag, American made with a fleece lining. Holds a crapload of tools, spooled bobbins, stackers and lots of other tools. Green. $12 each.

Mike's Hook Bowl: Watch out, this is going to be a hot item! I had these designed and made for me. Machined out of stainless steel. Cone bottom holds hooks, beads or use for epoxy and rod making. Unique and my design! $12 each or 2 for $18.00

Japanese Nymph Legs: These are synthetic legs which are use to make stonefly legs. Paul Whillock uses these in his new stonefly nymph in the Fall 2004 issue of Fly Tyer. Colors: Yellow, Black, Tan. $2.00 each

Daiichi D1730 Stonefly Nymph Hooks: These bent shank hooks used to make Paul's Stonefly. This is model perfect hook, 3 XL, w/down eye. Size 4: $6.00/25 or Size 6: $4.50/25

1/4" Scud Back: This is extra wide scud back used to make wing cases, or wrap as a body. VERY similar to the UK Flexibody. Don't drive yourself nuts looking for that because it is almost impossible to find. Colors: Black, Brown, Yellow, Clear, Tan. $1.50

1/8" Scud Back: Available in a smaller size. Use for body wraps. Black, Brown, Chartreuse, Clear, Olive, Tan, Yellow. $1.50

Porcupine Guard Hair: Used in many new super realistic patterns. These are cream fibers from porcupine. Extra stiff, about 2-3" long. $3.00


Rods: I have sold a boat load of Heritage rods. These are well made with a great price. All have fighting butts, a metal anodized uplock seat. All have a lifetime warranty for the tips and a 5 year warranty for the tips. At the prices I have, get 2 and keep one as a back up or for a fishing freind. Heritage has even done some private labeling for big name and big priced rod labels!

9'-6" 7 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Bass/Trout $160

9'-6" 8 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Salmon $160

9'-6" 9 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Pike/Salt $160


The most popular rod for salmon and steelhead is the 9' 6" 7 weight which many overline to an 8.

Wind Beater Rods: The Heritage Wind Beater is popular with steelheaders and salmon fishermen because the oversize allows lots of mending and long drifts. Gives you the benefit of noodle rods without the spongy feel.


10'-0" 7/8 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Steelhead $165

10'-6" 7/8 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Steelhead $175

12'-0" 7/8 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Steelhead $195

Convertible special 1 or 2 handed, 2 butts, special order ( as above: size/line) $275

Spey Rods: Like to try spey casting? This is a very affordable method to do this.


14'-0" 9/10 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Spey $225

15'-0" 10/11 3 Anodized w/ f.butt Spey $260

14'-0" 8/9 4 Anodized w/ f.butt Spey $280

15'-0" 9/10 4 Anodized w/ f.butt Spey $290

In Ireland, these are going for about $450 US. Not Euros. I can ship overseas and you save with the dollar mark down. In England, these are about 150 GBP more or less.


Reels: I have a great reel specical:

Elite Andros Reel: Disc Drag, Counter balance, 3 point needle bearing drag, machined reel foot, reel bag. Size 7-8-9 ONLY. Ideal for saltwater, steelhead, BIG bass or pike. Holds 200 yards, 20 lb backing plus WF-8-F line. Nowhere can you find a salmon/saltwater/pike reel at this price! WAS $120 NOW $60.00


Last call:

The Marc Petijean MP vise is being discontinued, I got word of this last week. This vise is very unique and is a great travel vise and a complete set up. Comes with ped base, clamp, backing board, tube fly tool, dubbing brush tool, parachute tool, bobbin rest, saltwater jaws, midge jaws. There are exactlly 4 left in the US. If you want one of these, hurry up! Go to the link below for more info. This is an awesome vise. I love mine!

Price: $390. In Pounds you save even more! About 220 GBP, about 312 euros.


Pulaksi Map: Complete Aerial photographic map of the area. Save the price of a guide and buy this. Marks all the holes. Very hard to find. Map out your spots before heading up. ( I put these on the web site at $5, which is the going rate at Pulaski ). Newsletter price: $3.00

The Complete Guide to the Salmon River: Fishing guide book has holes, places and locations marked along with a list of flies and techiques. $23.00

Fran Verdilova's Flies and Fishing New York's Salmon River Region: Long time guide and DEC employees, has a complete guide with loads of info. Contains info on Estaz flies and hot patterns to use. $9.00


Shows and Classes:

Sept 25, 2004, Catskill Fly Fishing Center, Livingston Manor, NY. I will also be a Saturday demo tyer at the CFFCM from 1-4 pm. I plan on doing some flies with a crap load of plastic in it just because Ralph Graves hates those kinds of flies. Stop out to see some of my latest creations. Flies available for sale will benefit the CFFCM. For more info go to

Just added! October 1 & 2, 2004, FFF Southern Council Conclave, Baxter County Fairgrounds, Mountain Home, Arkansas. I will again be at this awesome show. Featured speakers: Dave and Emily Whitlock. With over 60 fly tyers from across the Mid-South, this promises to be one of the best conclaves yet. Great programs, raffles and one of the best live voice auctions for fly fishing in the US. For more information go to

November 12-14, 2004, The Arts of the Angler: Fly Fishing University, Sheraton Inn, Danbury, CT. New show just added. Fly Fishing University in association with the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and the Catskiill Fly Tyer's Guild is presenting this new show dedicated to books/collectables, fly tying and cane rods. Live auction and banquet to benefit the CFFCM Saturday night. Boatloads of tyers, special classes and instruction. Go to for more info.

November 20, 21, 2004. The International Fly Tyer's Sympossium, Doubletree Inn, Somerset, NJ. This is our 5th year for this show. Many top name tyers will be here from the US, Europe and Canada. Past tyers that have appeared have included: Dave Brandt, Bob Mead, Fishy Fullum, Paul Whillock, AK Best. Over 100 of the best tyers from the Northeast and the US and Europe will be there. Be sure to attend the Banquet it is one of the best. For more info go to: For more info go to


Fall Fly Tying Class: I will be offering a Fall Fly Tying Class: Local Fall Creek and Finger Lakes Guru, Joe Cambridge will be our instructor for teaching this class. Will be tying fall patterns for salmon or landlocks/Atlantic salmon, fall run brownies. Learn Joe's great patterns. Classes: (9/15, 9/22, 9/29?......please note: I will be in Arkansas at a show the last date, the class will choose a date to have the final session) . Wednesday nights, 7-9:30pm. Cost $75.00 for all 3 lessons, limited to 10 students.

Beginning Fly Fishing: I will teach a one day class on beginning fly fishing. This is for the person that has never fished or would like to improve basic fly fishing skills. Topics covered: fly casting, knots, outdoor gear ( vests, waders and bags), fly selection, how to buy reels and rods. One day only: Oct. 9 from 10-3pm. Lunch provided. Limited to 10 students. Cost $50.00( Maybe you have a friend/spouse/ child that would like to come).

Learn How to Tie Wet Flies: One day seminar with Don Bastion. Don is one of the Northeast's premier fly tyers. Don's flies have been featured in the Art of Angling Journal and Forgotten Flies. Don has also tied the entire set of 500 Ray Bergman flies from the book Trout. He does beautiful work! Don will show how to make married wings, quill wing wets and many traditional patterns. A great opportunity to learn how to tie some very effective flies. Saturday Oct. 23, 2004, 9-4pm. Cost: $75.00, lunch provided.

To reserve your spot, call or email me.


As usual if you would like to be deleted for any reason contact me. For info on ordering contact:


Mike Hogue

Badger Creek Fly Tying

622 W. Dryden Road

Freeville, NY 13068,, 607-347-4946


For more Info Contact:

Mike Hogue / Badger Creek Fly Tying / 622 West Dryden Road, Freeville, NY 13068

Phone: 607-347-4946