Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning novelist & outdoors writer. He has also penned a fishing handbook and a hunting handbook. He is currently working on a bowhunting book.

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April 02, 2018

Tying a Winged Ant for Absolute Angling Success ~ Part Three: Deadly Dry-Fly Foam Recipe

by Bob Banfelder

Employing a Mustad-Octopus Beak 1/0 hook (generally used in saltwater fishing), we had used a single 2 mm foam strip for a wet-fly application. Today we'll need to tie in two strips of 3/8" wide foam (one atop the other) in order to create a dry-fly version. You will not need messy goops or gels, pastes or treated powders, desiccants or silicones, waxes or lighter wire hooks that tend to bend—or any other number of floatants. Think float ants in lieu of floatants as foam can float an army of artificial flies. Be creative, and you can produce a fly to do battle with a battalion of predator blues and bass in the brine. Be innovative, and you will design a fly of your own to engage the wariest and worthiest of sweet-water species rising to the occasion—namely, trout.

And, yes, even seemingly large hooks such as a 1/0, #1, or #2 floating a foam ant will entice brook, rainbow, brown, and lake trout, not to mention a plethora of panfish. The magic for buoyancy is mainly in the weight distribution between hook and foam. As mentioned earlier in Part Two, the 7.6 grain Mustad-Octopus Beak 1/0 hook, tied with a single strip of 2 mm, 3/8" wide foam (plus material such as thread, feather, hair and head cement), steadily took the winged ant down into the water column. The finished fly on a 1/0 weighed 10.4 grains. The dry-fly that we are about to tie on another 7.6 grain Mustad-Octopus Beak 1/0 hook, requiring a second 2 mm foam strip to keep it afloat, will weigh in at 13.0 grains. That's 2.6 grains heavier than the wet fly, yet the dry fly floats like a cork. It took that second strip of foam to give buoyancy and balance to the fly. Hold the fly down in a water column, release the fly, and it's going to float back up and stay up—and without any messy chemicals. A precision digital scale is a great aid in determining the perfect balancing point between hook and foam for what you want the fly to do in the water column. I use the scale shown below for both my fishing and hunting needs.


Superior Balance Arrow-2000 scale.

Here are the materials you will need.

Hook: Mustad-Octopus Beak 1/0
Thread: Danville's Flat Waxed Nylon ~ black
Body: Two 2 mm-thick foam strips ~ 3/8" wide ~ one gray, one cinnamon (6" lengths are easier with which to work).
Underbody: Peacock Herl
Legs: Deer Hair dyed black from bucktail or natural deer hair from the belly
Wings: Pair of Lady Amherst Pheasant tippet feathers [left and a right approximately 10 mm wide]
Head Cement: Hard-as-Hull or 2-part 5-minute epoxy

We will pretty much follow the same tying directions as yesterday, except we'll be using two strips of foam instead of one. When we come to creating the ant's head, we'll momentarily invert the gray and cinnamon foam strips. Ready?

Step 1: Wrap a thread base starting behind the eye of the hook to a point halfway around the bend. Come back up with the thread to the top of the bend, thread perpendicular to the hook's barb.

Step 2: Tie in the two strips of 3/8th-inch foam at the top of the bend (gray on top, cinnamon on the bottom), excess material facing toward the rear of the hook. Wrap the strips down securely to this mid-point section in the bend.

Step 3: Tie in a strand of peacock herl and wrap thread forward to the top of the bend. Wrap peacock herl to this point, being very careful not to apply to much tension or the delicate strand will break. Lock in the strand with secure thread wraps and trim.

Step 4: Bring the foam strips forward, just over the section of peacock herl. Wrap foam down securely. Cut off excess foam and secure with several tight, contiguous wraps until the foam ends are completely covered. Tie off. We have created the ant's abdomen.

Step 5: Now, we need two more pieces of foam to form the head of the ant. Only this time, you are going to momentarily invert the colors; cinnamon on top, gray on the bottom. Tie in the two strips ¼" behind the eye of the hook (excess material facing rearward), wrapping the foam strips down securely to a point where they practically join the first foam section; i.e. the abdomen. Bring the thread behind the two strips and continue wrapping to form a 1/16th" gap between abdomen and head.

Step 6: Within the gap, tie in one wing on one side of the body (two loose wraps then tighten); tie in the second wing on the other side of the body [both wings facing inboard and upright]; trim stems. Bring thread forward of the foam.

Step 7: Next, take a small bunch of deer hair (less than the thickness of a wooden matchstick (tips facing upward; i.e., butt ends down), placing it directly in front of the foam strips. Tie down the hairs securely atop the hook shank. Separate the deer hair evenly with your dubbing needle (bodkin). Gently pull the foam strips forward between the two clumps of hair to a point 1/8th" behind the eye of the hook, wrap securely then trim excess foam. Secure with several tight, contiguous wraps, working the thread to a point directly behind the eye of the hook. You'll note that the gray foam is now on top and cinnamon is on the bottom.


Inverting the order of the foam strips for tying in the head of the deadly winged dry-fly imitation.

Step 8: Gently bend and push down the two separated sections of deer hair along each side of the body to form the legs. Cut the hair evenly at a length equal to the distance between hook shank and point.

Step 9: Apply a dot of Hard-as-Hull head cement or a 2-part 5-minute epoxy to the thread head.


Winged dry-fly foam ant.

Utilizing foam as a body material, you are on your way to creating many deadly wet- and dry-fly patterns referencing ants, hoppers, stoneflies, et cetera—which, together, we'll be tying in the near future.

Bob Banfelder
www.robertbanfelder.com

Award-Winning Crime Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer
Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association

Recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Who's Who in America


Several of My Award-Winning Crime Fiction Novels Incorporate The Great Outdoors

Top to Bottom:
Fiction:


The Richard Geist Trilogy

Dicky, Richard, and I
The Signing
The Triumvirate


The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series

The Author
The Teacher
Knots
The Good Samaritans

Trace Evidence

Battered


Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water. Endorsed by Lefty Kreh

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published




April 01, 2018

Tying a Winged Ant for Absolute Angling Success ~ Part Two: Deadly Wet-Fly Foam Recipe

by Bob Banfelder

Picking up from where we left off last month, here are the materials you will need to tie a deadly winged wet-fly foam ant:

Hook: Mustad-Octopus Beak 1/0
Thread: Danville's Flat Waxed Nylon ~ black
Body: 2 mm-thick foam strip ~ 3/8" wide ~ cinnamon or dark brown (6" length is easier with which to work). I'll show the finished fly in both colors.
Underbody: Peacock Herl
Legs: Deer Hair ~ dyed black from bucktail or natural deer hair from the belly. I'll show the finished fly in both leg materials.
Wings: Pair of Lady Amherst Pheasant tippet feathers [left and a right, approximately 10 mm wide]
Head Cement: Hard-as-Hull or 2-part 5-minute epoxy

Note: Sheets of 2 mm foam to form the body of the fly are readily found in four popular colors that produce well in both salt and fresh water: cinnamon, dark brown, gray, and black. I picked up 12" x 18" sheets at Michaels craft store in Riverhead, New York. You can find many materials used for fly tying in craft stores at a fraction of the price found in specialty fly shops.

The Mustad-Octopus Beak 1/0 hook lends itself well to angling in the suds. Although the body of the fly is primarily constructed of foam, the weight of the hook (7.6 grains), in addition to the fly-tying materials, will steadily take the artificial down into the water column. If I want to create a dry-fly version, I simply add a second strip atop the first; more on that pattern later (tomorrow Part Three). In a step-by-step recipe, we'll be tying a wet-fly winged-ant pattern. Ready?

Step 1: Wrap a thread base starting behind the eye of the hook to a point almost halfway around the bend. Come back up with the thread to the top of the bend, thread perpendicular to the hook's barb.

Step 2: Tie in the foam strip at the top of the bend, foam strip facing toward the rear of the hook. Wrap foam down securely to this mid-point section in the bend.


One strip of 3/8th" wide 2 mm foam.


Foam wrapped to halfway point along bend of hook.

Step 3: Tie in a strand of peacock herl then wrap thread forward to the top of the bend. Wrap peacock herl to this point, being very careful not to apply to much tension or the delicate strand will break. Lock in the strand with secure thread wraps and trim.

Step 4: Bring the foam forward, just over the section of peacock herl. Wrap foam down securely. Cut off excess foam and secure with several tight wraps. Tie off. We have created the ant's abdomen. [The ant's external body is separated into three main parts: head, thorax, and abdomen.]


Peacock herl forming underbelly.

Step 5: Now, we need a separate piece of foam to form the head of the ant. Tie in the second strip ¼" behind the eye of the hook (material facing rearward), wrapping while covering the foam securely as before to a point where it practically joins the first foam strip. Bring the thread behind the strip and continue wrapping to form a 1/16th" gap.

Step 6: Within the gap, tie in one wing on one side of the body (two loose wraps then tighten); tie in the second wing on the other side of the body [both wings facing inboard and upright]; trim stems. Bring thread forward of the foam.


Segmented bodies of foam.

Step 7: Next, take a small bunch of deer hair (little less than the thickness of a wooden matchstick), placing it directly in front of the foam strip (tips facing upward; i.e., butt ends down). Tie in and wrap the hairs securely atop the hook shank. Separate the deer hair evenly with your dubbing needle (bodkin). Gently pull the foam strip forward between the hair to a point 1/8th" behind the eye of the hook, wrap securely then trim excess foam. Secure with several tight, contiguous wraps, working the thread to a point directly behind the eye of the hook.


Attaching legs and forming the head of the ant.

Step 8: Gently bend and push down the two sections of deer hair along each side of the body to form the legs. Cut the hair evenly at a length equal to the distance between hook shank and point.


Deadly Foam-Bodied Wet-Fly Winged Ant Pattern (natural deer hair from belly to form legs).

Step 9: Apply a dot of Hard-as-Hull head cement or a two-part 5-minute epoxy to the thread head.


Front view of the winged cinnamon wet-fly foam ant (dyed deer hair from bucktail to form legs). Last month's Part I showed profile and underbody.

Note: Selecting the softer deer hair from its belly, rather than from the tail (bucktail), will allow you to pinch and crush the hollow hairs to form claw-like legs of the insect. If you wish to present a more authentic representation referencing the anatomy of an ant, underscoring six legs and two antennas, have at it. I don't believe it makes a difference as the predator fish is simply looking at a satisfying snack/meal and is not that selective me thinks. I exaggerate the number of legs so as to lend attention to the artificial. Occasionally, I do the same regarding antennae.

Tomorrow I'll cover a dry-fly recipe for the deadly winged ant.

Stay tuned.


Bob Banfelder
www.robertbanfelder.com

Award-Winning Crime Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer
Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association

Recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Who's Who in America


Several of My Crime Fiction Novels Incorporate The Great Outdoors

Top to Bottom:
Fiction:

The Richard Geist Trilogy


Dicky, Richard, and I
The Signing
The Triumvirate

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series

The Author
The Teacher
Knots
The Good Samaritans

Trace Evidence

Battered


Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published

March 09, 2018

Tying a Winged Ant for Absolute Angling Success ~ Part One

by Bob Banfelder

It is a fact that most fish are caught on or near the bottom of the water column, be it in the suds, a deep freshwater pool, a still pond, or a fast-moving stream. It's also a fact that Donna and I are all about catching fish for fun, virtually all to be carefully released to be fooled and foiled another day . . . and yes, a couple reserved for the dinner plate. So then why do we employ a rather seemingly less productive surface method of angling; namely, dry fly fishing? To be consistently productive, an angler must pretty much match-the-hatch at a particular time of year and place. For example, an early springtime Blue-winged Parachute in Utah, a summertime Elk Hair caddis in Wyoming, a fall Hopper in Montana. Colors, shades thereof, and size of the dry fly often enter into the picture. The initial issue is whether or not you are out on the water when a hatch occurs. If a hatch likely happens in the evening and you're out there angling during the late morning, well, you'll miss the opportunity. What's the remedy for success in either sweet water or the suds?

Ants!

Ant patterns are lethal. Winged ant patterns that float are positively deadly, sometimes overlooked by anglers—but not by trout. Brook, rainbow, and brown trout in our northeast neck of the woods and waters favor ants. Colorado cutthroats, hybrid cut-bows, as well as their cousins such as Artic grayling and Alaska salmon, fall for the winged ant fly patterns. You do not have to be as particular about the time of year, locale, color and shades thereof, or time of day—often times even size. Having a good assortment of ant and winged ants in your arsenal is the key to success. Pattern preference is therefore solved with a generic winged ant. Ah, but what dry fly tying material lends itself well, if not universally, to the winged ant?

Foam!

Some of you savvy anglers may be thinking, He's probably talking about the Chernobyl Ant. Close, but no cigar A bit of background concerning that pattern:

The Chernobyl Ant was so named by a group fly fishermen from the Emmet Heath Camp of Green River [Utah], following the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear disaster that occurred in the Ukraine in April of 1986. Humans and animals suffered the deadly effects of radiation, many resulting in mutations. Hence, the permutation of the foam dry fly Chernobyl Ant pattern was born, leading to adaptations thereof, such as the airborne Chernobyl Ant pattern. The Chernobyl Ant is not so much ant-like looking as is Mick Hall's later design and added appendages.

Wings!

Wings working in conjunction with legs, constructed on a foam body, bring an imitation to life upon a still, watery surface or drifting in a swift current. The winged ant is at home in Tasmania to Tennessee. Whether depicting a winged ant, a hopper, or a stonefly, Chernobyl Ant imitations are certainly deadly dry fly patterns. As a matter of fact, ‘Tasmania to Tennessee' is not so much an attempt at alliteration as it is to drive home the infinite range of this insect imitation. Tasmania is where Mick Hall first saw giant stoneflies and brainstormed its conversion from the original Chernobyl Ant into Hall's Tassie [Tasmanian] Tarantula. In 1996, the fly won the coveted One Fly event at Jackson Hole. Mick's Mutant Club Sandwich better resembles the original Chernobyl Ant. Hall later went on to design his Winged Chernobyl Ant creation.

Neither is the Chernobyl Ant or Chernobyl Winged Ant a stranger to western waters. Fly fisherman in Montana kick-started the cutting tools that shaped the foam body, upon which a parade of both hybrid winged land and aquatic inhabitants imitated the mainstay diets of trout, small and large mouth bass, crappie, et cetera. Ants, winged ants, hoppers, and stoneflies make up a significant portion of that diet.

Personally, I like to tie and fly-fish with an ant pattern that looks like an ant, not a mutation thereof. My Winged Ant fly variation is relatively easy to tie and will prove deadly in either a turbulent brine or a still backwater. It will give you a great advantage on most any body of water throughout the world. Tied on a 1/0 hook for saltwater, down to manageable sizes for freshwater, it is an angler's dry fly dream. Next month, in Part Two, I'll present a step-by-step recipe. Meanwhile, round up these easy-to-obtain materials to target anything from big blues and striped bass to selective brook, rainbow, and brown trout.

Hook: Mustad-Octopus Beak 1/0
Thread: Danville's Flat Waxed Nylon ~ black
Body: 2mm thick foam strip ~ 3/8" wide ~ cinnamon
Underbody: Peacock Herl
Legs: Deer Hair ~ dyed black
Wings: Pair of Lady Amherst Pheasant tippet feathers [left and right] ~ white/black-rimmed from the neck; (approximately 10mm wide)
Head Cement: Hard-as-Hull




Materials



Profile


Underbody



Bob Banfelder
www.robertbanfelder.com

Award-Winning Crime Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer
Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Who's Who in America

Several of My Crime Fiction Novels Incorporate The Great Outdoors

Top to Bottom:
Fiction:

The Richard Geist Trilogy


Dicky, Richard, and I
The Signing
The Triumvirate


The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series

The Author
The Teacher
Knots
The Good Samaritans

Trace Evidence

Battered


Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published

March 08, 2018

Aerial Acrobatics for Anglers

by Bob Banfelder

It was many moons ago when Donna and I started fishing the Peconic River, somewhere between the formally named Indian Island Clubhouse Restaurant and the Route 105 Bridge in Riverhead, Long Island, New York. Donna and I were working a medium action spinning outfit and a fly rod: she, with ten-pound test monofilament line, tossing a 3/4 oz. Kastmaster; me with a fast-sinking shooting head carrying a Clouser Minnow; a deadly fly on many species. We were hooking up like there was no tomorrow. But with what, we weren't quite sure initially, as both of us were pretty new to fishing the suds. Silvery-greenish airborne specters vaulted high into the misty atmosphere then vanished instantly, spitting hooks as we threw a series of sissy fits. At first, we both believed we were into a school of bunker. But bunker don't blast lures with a vengeance or at all. That much we knew for sure. Something was surely fishy. I figured those acrobats belonged to something in the herring family species.

Well, the catch of our day was certainly confusing at first, but we had a good excuse. We had only made the transition from freshwater fly-fishing (for brookies, browns and rainbow trout) to the brine the season before. During a fall outing, in the same spot, the two of us had inadvertently snagged scores of menhaden (a.k.a. bunker or mossbunker) with Kastmasters. We hooked them in the back, the tail, the belly. However, the following season, they—or so we thought—were the same fish as the season before, striking our lures with a vengeance: the Kastmaster and the Clouser Minnow, too. We soon learned that what we were hooking into were, indeed, hickory shad, not menhaden: wild, flying-out-of-the-water acrobatic show-offs. Fun! Fun! Fun! Like miniature tarpon, those torpedoes ascended and broke the surface straightaway. Donna duped several with the Kastmaster. I caught better than a dozen with the Clouser imitation. Still, we had lost many more than we actually landed. But why? Subsequent research revealed the answer. Like weakfish, hickory shad have thin, tissue paper-like mouths. They are to be played very gently—most carefully. And forget about trying to lift them out of the water by the leader.

I had broached the dubious shad/bunker subject with Mark Sedotti, a veteran fly caster who can send big fly patterns out to remarkable distances. At one of our Eastern Flyrodders monthly meetings (now defunct), Mark had been the evening's guest speaker. Later that evening, he told me all about shad and an old friend of his, Joe Brooks [former editor for Outdoor Life from 1968 to 1972, the year in which he passed away]. Mark and I discussed American shad, hickory shad, bunker, and other such species. Based on my story and details, the consensus referencing Mark and other club members was that the species in question was more than likely hickory shad.

A week or so later, back in our spot along the Peconic River, a surgical crescent cut created by a thirteen-and-a-quarter pound bluefish, which had attacked the quarry in question, having inhaled a chartreuse Clouser Minnow fly without conscience or fanfare, confirmed the species. Sure enough, the bodiless creature was the head of a hickory shad.

Off to Borders Bookstore (now defunct, too) for books covering chapter and verse concerning those aerial acrobats. Joe Brooks and Lefty Kreh cleared away the cobwebs often surrounding the enigma regarding those members of the herring family. Between Joe and Lefty, I had a pretty good idea how Donna and I can consistently land these celestial leapers, pledged to return all but a few to the waters for purposes of live-lining, for hickory shad do not make fine table fare as reported by those I spoke to and through the tomes of which I pored. Cookbooks included.

Succinctly, this is what I gleaned: American shad (Alosa sapidissima), which is prized for its roe and praised by a number of folks for its flesh, can be found along both sides of Long Island Sound, especially near the Connecticut River. Hickory shad (Pomolobus mediocris), however, sustain less desirable accolades, unless you are into pet food, fertilizer, chum, or live-lining as mentioned. According to James Peterson, award-winning cookbook writer, re Fish & Shellfish, the author feels that most people generally shy away from eating American shad because of all the tiny bones, yet he remains dauntless, emphatically stating that it is a delicious fish. Nowhere did I find anyone who condescends in accepting its cousin, ol' hickory, as acceptable cuisine.

Opinions and arguments set aside (especially from those who delight in creamed herring jammed into a jar), Donna and I can tell you firsthand that we had fantastic outings enjoying the aerial antics of those eighteen-inch anadromous acrobats.

For purposes of identification, note that hickory are smaller than their counterpart. Three and a half pounds tops, versus six to eight pounds; eighteen inches versus thirty inches, respectively. Also, the lower mandible of the hickory shad protrudes past the upper jaw while the mandibles of the American shad close evenly. This is the best way to distinguish the pair. Between menhaden and hickory shad, the picture may seem somewhat murky to the neophyte. So rather than get into confusing colors and questionable body markings, bunker simply will not take your lure nor give you an acrobatic show. Anglers will merely snag them—inadvertently or otherwise. In any event, you don't want hickory shad on the menu as the Catch of the Day or any day. And certainly not mossbunker, God forbid. But either of them acting as a magnet for the thirteen-plus pound bluefish or two thirty-two inch stripers we landed a week later, well, that's a lot like double-dipping and has certainly drawn us to the Peconic River, time and time again. You'll more than likely see Donna with her spinning outfit; me with my fly rod and a hickory shad pattern.


Donna's bunker snagged on a Kastmaster. Bob epoxies eyes on all Kastmasters.

Bob Banfelder
www.robertbanfelder.com

Award-Winning Crime Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer
Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Who's Who in America


Several of My Crime Fiction Novels Incorporate The Great Outdoors

Top to Bottom:
Fiction:

The Richard Geist Trilogy


Dicky, Richard, and I
The Signing
The Triumvirate


The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series

The Author
The Teacher
Knots
The Good Samaritans

Trace Evidence

Battered


Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published




February 04, 2018

FOOD FOR THOUGHT ~ PART TWO: LOBSTER NEWBURG FOR TWO

by Bob Banfelder

Unlike yesterday's Lobster Thermidor dish, where we saved and stuffed the crustacean's cavity and claws, this time around, we are simply going to remove the lobster meat and serve it with a sauce on a bed of Spanish yellow rice. But first we have to prepare two necessary ingredients for this fantastic recipe: clarified (drawn) butter and béchamel sauce. The procedures are a walk in the park and a must for many fine seafood dishes. You will immediately be labeled a gourmet chef by family and friends. Guests will shamelessly be asking when you will be preparing these dishes anew.
The following are all the ingredients covering clarified (drawn) butter, béchamel sauce, and our classic Lobster Newburg dish.

Ingredients:

2 1¼ pound [live & kicking] Maine [cold water] lobsters
1¼ cup unsalted butter to make 1 cup clarified (drawn) butter
4 tablespoons arrowroot or flour
3 tablespoons clarified butter
2 cups milk
½ cup sliced mushrooms
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ cup Marsala wine
¼ cup Savory & James cream sherry
1 pint béchamel sauce
2 bay leaves
pinch of salt to taste
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley

Clarified butter

Clarified butter is simply melted butter with the milk solids (sediment) removed.

Step 1: Melt 1¼ cups unsalted butter in a saucepan over a low heat source.

Step 2: Skim off the top layer of foam (milk solids) with a spoon; allow melted butter to cool for 5 minutes.

Step 3: As a layer of more milk solids—and water—will have settled to the bottom of the pan, slowly pour off the clear golden clarified (drawn) butter into a container, being careful to leave behind the sediment.

Optional Step: Through a small strainer lined with two layers of cheese cloth sitting atop a bowl, pour the clarified butter. This step will ensure that you have captured any sediment.
You now have more than enough clarified butter for this and other recipes. Store what you do not use in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce is a seasoned classic white sauce used in many fine dishes.

2 tablespoons clarified (drawn) butter
4 tablespoons flour or arrowroot
2 cups hot milk
¼ teaspoon nutmeg [preferably grated from whole nutmeg]
salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat source.
Slowly run very hot water from the faucet. In a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of flour or arrowroot with equal amounts of hot water, stirring the contents well. Continue this procedure until the 4 tablespoons of flour or arrowroot are completely dissolved into a smooth mixture—no lumps. Add a splash of hot water if necessary.

Pour in ½ cup of milk and stir the contents with a whisk.

Raise heat to a medium setting. As the mixture comes to a boil, slowly pour in the remaining 1½ cups of milk.

Add the nutmeg along with salt and pepper to taste.


Béchamel sauce

And now we are ready to put together the ingredients for a classic Lobster Newburg dish. As we did in yesterday's Part One, we'll be humanely killing our lobsters. This time around, we are going to thoroughly cook our two 1¼-pound crustaceans for a full nine minutes, then removing the meat and discarding the shells. Cut lobster meat in to bite-size ½-inch pieces then set aside.


2 1¼ pound cooked lobsters

In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of clarified butter over a low heat source.

Add the mushrooms and paprika and whisk thoroughly.

Raise heat to high; add wine and sherry then flambé; that is, liquor ignited briefly.



Add the béchamel sauce and whisk thoroughly.

Note: Following the cooking instructions referencing the rice, time it to coincide with finishing off the béchamel sauce/sautéed lobster simmering step: See next to last entry listed below. You'll have approximately 30 minutes.

Add the bay leaves; simmer and stir for 15 minutes, making sure that the mixture does not come to a boil.

Add the chicken broth—salt and pepper to taste—then continue simmering and stirring for an additional 10 minutes. Set saucepan aside. Discard bay leaves.

In a sauté pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of clarified butter on a low heat; add and sauté lobster meat for 1 minute on medium-high.

Remove lobster and add to béchamel sauce; simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve over Spanish yellow rice.


Classic Lobster Newburg dish.

Bon Appétit!

You'll recall from yesterday's Part One, that the Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania groundhog had declared six more weeks of winter. Until this cold weather spell breaks and we ready ourselves for springtime angling action once again, take this period of time to prepare some fabulous seafood dishes this February and into March. The Vernal Equinox (March 20th), officially springtime in our northern area, is really not that far away.

If you are in the Riverhead, Long island area, I invite you to a free two-hour talk on fishing, which I will be giving at the Riverhead Free Library on March 20th at 6 p.m. The presentation is especially geared to the beginner and intermediate angler and will cover spin, bait, fly-fishing/casting. Additionally, I'll highlight go-to lures guaranteed to catch striped bass, fluke, porgies, sea bass, et cetera. There will also be a free raffle.

In March, we'll continue with our monthly meeting at our waterfront home in Riverhead (where the North and South Forks converge). Gourmet food and beverage served. See my website under the EVENTS link at the top of the home page for details.


Bob Banfelder
www.robertbanfelder.com

Award-Winning Crime Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer
Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Who's Who in America


Several of My Crime Fiction Novels Incorporate The Great Outdoors

Top to Bottom:
Fiction:


The Richard Geist Trilogy

Dicky, Richard, and I
The Signing
The Triumvirate

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series

The Author
The Teacher
Knots
The Good Samaritans

Trace Evidence

Battered

Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published




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