Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Cave Declared Disaster Area!

Over the past several weeks I've been tying what came out to be 66 different atlantic salmon hairwing wet flies, spring streamers and shrimp for a friend's next book, to be published by Stackpole in 2016 (if memory serves, which it often does not).   Materials junkie that I am, I think I only had to buy one or two tinsels and a couple of flosses I didn't already have on hand to complete the collection.  It was great fun pouring over the books I have, and scouring the internet for appropriate patterns.  I even got the chance to email back and forth a couple times with Charlie Krom (always a treat) about questions I had on a couple of his flies.

Never known as much of a neat freak, the cave really took a beating...materials and books everywhere...not to mention flies!

Thought you might get a giggle out of the carnage:

Finally got around to organizing the flies in alpha order.  Caught several mistakes in numbering and found that I either lost or didn't tie #28 - a Grizzly King.  Back to the vise.  Sigh.

A few pics of the finished collection (click on the pic to see larger version):

A few close-ups:

John Olin

Logie converted to hairwing:

Dick's Demon:

Night Hawk converted to hairwing:

Golden Eagle:

Royal Smelt:

For the purposes of the book, I had to compile a list of the dressings for all 66 flies.  That was a task.    I started with flies I knew and had proven themselves to me.  Then I went on to flies my friends like, finally filling out the collection with flies that had heavy history or just plain ol' were pretty.  Here's a key to the flies, just by name, in case you see one that piques your interest:

1. Arthur Taylor Special    2. Atherton Squirrel Tail    3. Big Intervale Blue   4. Black Bear Green Butt   5. Black Bomber   6. Black Coltrin   7. Black Dose conversion   8. Black Ghost.
9. Blue Charm   10. Bondatti's Killer   11. Bonnie Belle   12. Cains Copper   13. Celtic Beauty
14. Claret Killer   15. Colburn Special   16. Copper Killer   17 Cosseboom (Miramichi)
18. Cosseboom Special   19. Crosfield   20. Deere Fly   21. Deer Lake Special   22. Dick's Demon
23. Emerald Queen   24. Fulkro   25. Garry Dog   26. Glitter Bear   27. Green Picasse
28. Grizzly King   29. Icy Blue   30. John Olin   31. Jones' Special   32. Laxa Blue
33. Little Red Wing   34. Logie conversion   35. Miramichi Special   36. Munroe Killer
37. Night Hawk conversion   38. Picture Province   39. Pompier   40. Rat (Blue)
41. Rat (Green)   42. Rat (Rusty)   43. Rat (Silver)   44. Red Abbey   45. Roger's Fancy
46.  Rutledge   47. Same Thing Murray   48. Silver Down East   49. Undertaker   50. Warden Watcher

51.  Ally's Shrimp   52. Cascade   53. CB Shrimp   54. Flamethrower   55. Life on Mars
56.  Sneaky

57.  Blue Smelt   58.  Deep Green Beauty hairwing   59. Golden Eagle   60.  Ice Runner
61. Magog Smelt  62. Miramichi Special   63. Renous Special   64. Rose of New England
65.  Royal Smelt   66. Tanner's Blue Smelt

Well, it was a lot of work but, in the end, very rewarding.  I suppose the next thing on the agenda is to clean the Cave...sometime soon.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rich's Jerked Chicken

Every so often, a bunch of friends and I get together at Mike Valla's camp, Vallahalla, handy to the Battenkill, over in New York.  I've made Low Country Boil for us a couple of times (http://theriverscourse.blogspot.com/2015/02/low-country-boil.html); for our last get together, it was Rich Norman's turn to cook.  And he cooked up a real treat, which I'll call Rich's Jerked Chicken.  I'm happy to share the recipe here, using Rich's exact words from an email he sent me regarding same:

For ten of us:
5 chicken breasts marinated overnight in Lawry's Caribbean Jerk 30 Minute Marinade (much more flavorful after 10 hours than just 30 minutes)
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
One each large red, yellow and orange pepper sliced
2 yellow onions, halved and sliced
8oz package sliced mushrooms
Small can black olives
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (only the best for you guys, I use first press EVOO imported from California, but I digress)

The ingredients (lacking the green pepper...she who must be obeyed doesn't like it):

Marinating chicken:

Ready to start:

To continue with Rich's instructions:

A cup and a half of brown rice (you could use cous cous or orzo, too), and about 3 cups of chicken broth to cook it in.  Make the rice however you like, if you are doing it simultaneously with the chicken, start the rice first; it will take 40 or 45 minutes.  I pre-cooked it and left a little liquid in it so I could warm it on the stove at our get-together.

Six pack of beer or box of Pinot Grigio.

First, open a bottle of beer or pour a glass of wine...or both, and throughout the process, make sure you always remain hydrated.

Warm up the grill.  They are all different; I usually get them real hot and clean them.  Here at home I would then turn it down to medium and let it cool a bit before I put the chicken on.  Mike's grill is hotter than mine, so I set it between medium and low.  Next time I might just turn on two of the four burners.  At any rate, put the chicken on, and plan to turn it only once.  Should be about 10 minutes per side.

Have a sip or gulp of your beer or wine or both.

At the same time in a large pan, heat the EVOO and add the chopped garlic.  Don't get the pan too hot or burn the garlic.  Saute' the garlic for a minute, then add the onions and peppers and keep mixing the veggies around.

Beer, wine or both, and go check the chicken just in case.

B, W or B, and back to saute' the veggies.

Keep going back and forth (constantly hydrating) until the peppers and onions begin to soften (this is usually about the time the chicken needs turning).  Add the mushrooms to the mix.  Stir.


When the mushrooms soften, add the olives and some salt and pepper.  Stir.  Hydrate.

Go check the chicken; it's probably done, so you will need to move it to an upper shelf to keep warm for a minute or two.  You could probably turn the grill off or at least turn it down.

Hydrate.  Check veggies.  Done!  Hydrate.

Get the chicken and bring it to the cutting board and let it sit a bit.

Dump the rice on a serving platter.  Hydrate.

Slice the chicken, and if you feel you may have over-hydrated (not possible in my experience) you should count your fingers at this point (or have someone else do it) just to make sure none of your guests get a disgusting surprise.

Place the sliced chicken and any flowing juices on top of the veggies, find some serving spoons and serve.

While consuming, remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

This is a great meal, and an easy one, for home or camp.  Thanks for sharing it with me, Rich, and Bon Apetit!