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Monday, January 26 2015 @ 05:22 AM EST
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Losing Time on the Androscoggin

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Losing Time On the Androscoggin
by Bill Thompson

 

   


The fishing in our own “Valley” has been pretty good the past few weeks and most anglers would be content to fish right in there own back yard. However, if Big Brother Bob Emery taught us anything the grass is always greener in the other fellows back yard. Disregarding Bob's sage advice I took off my dark glasses and headed north last Sunday to spend the day on the Androscoggin. 

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Winter Blahas

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
The Winter Blahs
By Bill Thompson

    A lot of people have asked me if I made my annual New Year’s Day fishing excursion. The answer is no. Well, we did make a halfhearted attempt, but in the end we chickened out. The reason should be obvious, it was just too darned cold. A few years ago the cold might not have been much of an issue, however I have to admit we are getting older and maybe a litter wiser. What we did do is drive into the parking area where we usually fish and sat in the truck for moments staring at the river. This gave us the needed time to come up with the needed excuses: to cold, too much ice in the river and the river is running too fast. Once we had established a suitable story we drove home; truth is we didn’t even have any tackle in the truck.

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New Year's Resolutions

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
An Anglers New Year’s Resolutions
By Bill Thompson

    It’s that time of year again when we make New Year’s resolutions. Personally I try to ignore the run of the mill resolutions, like work out more or lose weight and concentrate on those that involve more fishing. This year, once again, I have vowed to spend more time on the water.

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Some Thoughts on the Gray Ghost

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Some Thoughts on the Gray Ghost
By Bill Thompson

   


Perhaps the most iconic fly of all time is the Gray Ghost. It has everything required to hold the honor: a great story, an element of mystery, it is a beautiful fly, it has a great name and it catches fish.  Recently an old friend, who has given up tying flies, gave me several boxes of tying material. In the boxes were all the ingredients to tie the Ghost. The thing that caught my eye was a package of gray saddle hackle with an olive tint; the perfect color for the wing of the Gray Ghost. Also included in the box was a lovely Silver Pheasant skin, a Jungle cock cape and a couple of spools of golden yellow Pearsall’s silk floss. After examining my new acquisitions I was inspired to set down and tie up a few Ghosts.

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Winter Fishing

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
The Joys of Winter Fishing
By Bill Thompson

 

    Invariably someone “from away” will ask me, “what do you do up here in the winter”? I even had a lady ask me once if the town of North Conway closed down in the winter.  Apparently she had never heard of skiing.  I always answer with, “We go fishing of course”, and they usually say, “Oh, of course you go ice fishing”. Then I have to explain that real hard core anglers go fly fishing. 

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Exotic Locations

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Exotic Locations
By Bill Thompson

    I have been writing this column for over twelve years. Back when I first started I figured that it might be good for a couple of years and then I would run out of ideas. Let’s face it the column is about fishing and fishing is a fairly simple pastime. In reality nothing could be further from the truth and if you are a fisherman you know why. There are those times, however, that when I set down to write I haven’t a clue what I am going to say. I never know where the inspiration for a column will come from. Most of my ideas come from an actual fishing experience; sometimes a day or two before I write the article. A lot of ideas come from reading articles in fishing magazines or on the many fishing message boards and blogs on the Internet and there are times I just want to promote some event or cause. This morning was one of those days where I was staring at a blank computer page and then the UPS driver showed up at the door with the new Gray’s Sporting Journal and I had an aha moment.

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Christmas Gifts for Good Girls & Boys

Valley Angler

 

 

 

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Change is Good

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Change is Good
By Bill Thompson

    By and large us “Old Yankees” are slow to embrace change. When it comes to fly fishing we are especially slow to embrace new ideas and it is a wonder that any of us are using graphite fly rods. Not long ago I was talking to one of our sales reps about this phenomenon. He had asked me why I did not stock any European nymph rods? I told him that I had tried and that my customers had showed very little enthusiasm for the idea. The few I had sold were sold on my web site and they were purchased by customers from Pennsylvania. He admitted to the fact that he had little luck in selling these rods anywhere in Northern New England. Spey casting and Tenkara, two other forms of fly fishing have also been met with only limited success in New England.

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Thoughts on Guiding

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
Thoughts on Guiding

By Bill Thompson

 

    Being a fly fishing guide requires one to wear a lot of different hats. Aside from having to know where the fish are and what fly to use a guide must be a patient teacher, a good story teller, a good listener, a psychiatrist and some times a “father confessor”. Above all the guide must adhere to the adage that, “what happens on the river must stay on the river”. If the sport tells his friend that he caught a twenty inch fish the guide is required by all the “covenants of angling” to swear that it is true.

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New and Old Books

Valley Angler

Valley Angler
New and Old Fly Fishing Books
By Bill Thompson

   


There was a time when fly fishing books were a big seller in our shop. Unfortunately the Internet put an end that. Today the floor space we give to books is less than three feet in the back of the shop. You may have noticed that book shops in general are disappearing from the landscape. This is not to say that there no market for fishing books, in fact there are dozens of new titles that come out every year. A quick sample of three current fly fishing magazines I came up with 12 new books that were reviewed. 

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