The Seven Foot Excalibur

The seven foot rod is an important asset in any quiver for fly fishers especially in the North East. The seven foot cane rod is by far the most used rod if you fish smallish, brushy, tight stream environments. It is the size I most gravitate to if I'm hiking in to a stream, up in the Tennessee Valley, bouncing around PA, or bush wacking in West Virginia. The seven footer is also one of the most talked about tapers. After many years of rod making I have come to the conclusion that there is not an “Excalibur” taper that exists out there in the rod making world for the beloved seven footer. We can assume that there are just too many variables when it comes to windage, caster, line types, and the list goes on down to the length of the casters arm and other physical attributes. What I have found is a handful of tapers that seem to hit the size sweet spot. I developed a seven footer that I use in calm conditions relative to windage. I have a taper that I use to punch larger flies out in the spring. Then there is my mainstay that I use throughout the summer months that seems to bear the adversity that suits me best with a wide variety of smaller dry flies.

The quest for a better taper never ends in a rod makers life. We get as close as we can to a rod we can call “Excalibur” I suppose these are the rods that bear the moniker “Special” or “Favorite” and for me that's close enough!


North Bend On The Mecoche

 North Mecoche, Clint Bova, 5"x7” pencil sketch on stained note paper
Sometimes when the fishing is slow in the fall I take out whatever I can out of my vest and just sketch in the moment. I suppose the “river rat” in me prefers to just sit and let my brain meander a bit before I clamor up through the painful brambles.


The Quiet Winter Streams

“Seldom Seen” a small winter study 
8" x 10" oil on wood panel by Clint Bova

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after”
                                               ~Henry David Thoreau


Mac-o-Chee Creek

“Mac-o-Chee Creek” Pencil Sketch 5"x7"
Streamside ~Fall 2015 Clint Bova

How I have walked...day after day, and all alone, to see if there 
was not something among the old things which was new! 
                                                                ~Thomas Cole

Let the winter of 2016 bring all of us the blessing of good health, 
creativity, and kindness.
~Clint Bova


Winter Surface Flies “The Harlequin Midge”


During the winter months surface activity is sparse at best. Typically if the weather takes a turn for the best and warms up to 50 degrees or higher trout will start surface feeding on midges. Usually by midday the feeding starts and may last only a few hours. During these glimmers of activity I'm usually running outside and looking towards the sky like an angst-ridden teenager. The fly I usually leave the house with is a little black midge that I call the “Harlequin Midge”. This is a pattern I developed that seem to move fish that are in stasis mode and that have zeroed in on those little black midges we see so often throughout the winter months. Why the name “Harlequin Midge”? Well it takes a bit more animation and drama to get fish to move during the winter months. The extended body and and dyed pheasant tail legs seem to be a deadly combination. I tye this fly fairly sparse and use 14/0 Veevus thread to lighten the load. Sparse is always better for dry flies during the winter, this is because midges are pretty much the only thing on the surface menu.

Hook: TMC 2488 sizes 18-24
Thread: Veevus black 14/0
Body: Micro Chenille tip burned with cigarette lighter
Legs: Knotted black Pheasant tail
Wing: TMC Aero Dry Wing in gray or white
Hackle: 3-4 turns of light dun

For sporadic surface activity trout seem to really like this combination during the late fall and into the winter months for me.
                                ~Clint Joseph Bova


Veevus Threads

Veevus thread has the texture, suppleness, strength, and various diameters to really make me a convert.

I have been tying with Veevus for many years now and its now my choice over all other threads. Admittedly when I first used it I was not use to the sheen, uniformity, and slightly slippery surface but I quickly adjusted my techniques and I was extremely happy with this line of threads. If you tie smallish trout flies like I do a 14/0 thread is very very beneficial especially with low bulk sparse flies for weary fish. I have not used anything else since its introduction to the US market because of its superior strength and varying diameters. Now they have extended their color ways to make the line far more extensive.
                                ~Clint Joseph Bova


The Spring Storms on The Mad River

 “Kings Creek Storm” painting by Clint Bova Urbana Ohio
spring 2014 Oil (plein air) on hardwood panel "6x8"
Flooding and blown out conditions are a common obstacle this spring in the Mad River Valley. I spent a lot of time searching for fishable water and putting on my creative thinking cap. Wishing all a productive, meaningful, and memorable 2015 trout season here in Ohio. The fickle weather is part of the hunt, and Mother Nature is always testing your perseverance.

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.                      
                   ~Henry David Thoreau