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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July 16, 2018

Stop Bugging Me!

by Bob Banfelder

Apart from being pestered by a noisy, nosey neighbor, there is nothing more annoying than being plagued by a swarm of malicious, malevolent mosquitos and flies when fishing, crabbing, clamming, et cetera. Before I go any further, lest I be accused of being a cranky old man, I should make it quite clear that neither Donna nor I ever suffered the likes of a noisy, nosey neighbor. Yes, we lead a charmed life, for we've always had fantastic neighbors. What we have endured, however, from Gananoque to Punta Gorda, are teems of pesky winged insects that could ruin your day while fly-fishing a favorite pond, angling for bass on a backwater or bay, or bowfishing a lazy river.

Through the years, Donna and I have carried head, face, and hand protection, either in the form of a netting material and/or malodorous insect repellent sprays for clothing, skin, and gear, especially chemicals containing high percentages of DEET (diethyltoluamide, a.k.a. N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide). Due to concerns of toxicity, over the course of years, many folks have switched to DEET-free insect repellents, which in all honesty are far less effective than repellents containing DEET and another active ingredient, Permethrin. You would have to seek out DEET-free plant-based repellents containing active ingredients such as oil of lemon eucalyptus for the repellent to be time effective (measured in terms of minutes rather than hours), regardless of a manufacturer's claims.

There were those early mornings and evenings while pike fishing in Ontario, Canada that Donna and I would slather on insect repellent containing such active ingredients in addition to donning mesh netting apparel, too. Thank goodness we can finish up our years on the water (hope there are still many of them ahead) by using hands free, state-of-the art, heat activated, mosquito repellent technology. Thermacell is hassle-free and so much more effective than having to deal with all those messy chemicals and outerwear.


Thermacell Mosquito Repellent MR450 Unit.

The beauty of the Thermacell MR450 unit is that it covers a 15-foot radius, creating a protective barrier against mosquitoes and flies. No longer is it necessary for Donna and me to tote duplicate sets of mesh head nets, parkas, pairs of fingerless fishing gloves, nor messy chemicals applied to skin and clothing as shown.


Left to Right: Bug-Out Outdoorwear ~ Mesh Head Nets ~ Mesh Jackets (Parka-style design); L.L. Bean Mesh Hat/Head ~ assortment of insect repellents.

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent's blue heat mats are activated by a butane cartridge, releasing the insect repellent into the air (active ingredient: d-cis/trans allethrin 21.97%). The repellent is a synthetic copy of a natural insect repellent found in chrysanthemum plants.


Thermacell MR450 Mosquito Repellent Product: unit, case, butane cartridge, mosquito repellent mat.

Thermacell MR450 unit's effectiveness:

I don't want to be bugged when I'm fishing or hunting. Therefore, the Thermacell MR450 Mosquito Repellent product is a piece of equipment seriously worth considering. A fair question of concern is the unit's effectiveness. A candid response is that it depends on whether or not there is a significant breeze to negate or limit its efficiency. In a calm setting, the unit works remarkably well, covering a 15 x 15-foot radius as advertised. To counter its limited effectiveness in a moderate wind, I spray my hat (not my skin) with OFF! Deep Woods insect repellent, which contains 25% Deet, or Repel Lemon Eucalyptus (Deet-free) repellent. Among these controls, I'm good to go. To keep my hands from being bitten up on extremely buggy days when angling, I also don a light pair of Dr. Shade 100% nylon fingerless fishing gloves; they offer UV protection as well. Also, I lightly spray the backs of the gloves (not my hands) with one of these repellents. Keep in mind that Thermacell's heat-activated mats are both Deet free and virtually scent free. I have field-tested the item for well over a year; Donna and I have never had an issue with this fine product.

Although the unit has belt clips for convenient carry, I do not wear the item when angling, hunting, bowfishing, or lounging around a deck or patio. For best results, I position the Thermacell unit horizontally upon a convenient surface several feet away from food and beverage. While relaxing on our back deck or neighbor's patio on a calm evening, this single unit has taken the place of a circular parade of citronella bucket candles. The unit provides 4 hours of protection before having to change the blue mat, which is placed behind the unit's protective screen. This is done in a matter of seconds. Simply slide in a new mat while pushing out the old. The butane cartridge is good for activating three mats; hence, you have 12 hours of protection before having to insert a new cartridge.

Get out out there and enjoy your bug-free outdoor activities with a Thermacell product. For their complete line, Google www.thermacell.com.

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 Three-Book Series ~ Trilogy

Dicky, Richard, and I. A story of madness in the making. A curious mix of a mother's care and cruelty concerning her young son, Dicky Geist, and the precocious boy's metamorphosis into that of a multiple murderer.

The Signing. An account of a clandestine murderous cult monikered the Inner Circle of Friends, led by Richard Geist. Geist and cult members are hellbent on creating chaos and bringing about the eventual collapse of our government.

The Triumvirate. A tale of Neo-Nazism. Three most powerful men covertly control governments around the globe. Fifty-year-old secrets begin to surface referencing Hitler's progeny, the Manhattan Project, and Nazi gold in this mystery within a mystery. It is the genesis of the Fourth Reich.

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series ~ Tetralogy

The Author. A prolific serial killer is the author and architect of a covert operation whose job it is to place government operatives within the ranks of worldwide extremist groups. Justin Barnes, a street savvy Afro-American maverick, searches unrelentingly for the madman who viciously murdered Justin's female cousin.

The Teacher. Justin Barnes, working clandestinely with Suffolk County homicide detectives on Long Island, is assigned to help track down Malcolm Columba's associate, serial killer Professor Clarence Emery. The pair had worked in concert, and Justin is out to stop Emery before he strikes again. A terrifying tale of evil and what it takes to stop it in its tracks.

Knots. Kalvin Matheson, an out-of-work insurance salesman obsessed with immortality and hero worship regarding two notorious serial killers, follows in the footsteps of his two diabolical pals, but with a subtle signature twist, utilizing intricate knots.

The Good Samaritans. In this final four-part series, Justin Barnes, once again, assists Suffolk County homicide detectives as part of a covert operation in tracking down Sep Cramer, a politically well-connected, ruthless serial killer.
**********


Trace Evidence. Inspired by the Robert Shulman Serial Killer Trial in Riverhead, N.Y., Robert Banfelder spent every day for 15 months as a spectator to obtain fodder for this novel.
**********


Battered. Based on a true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband, Robert Banfelder communicated with abused women, one of whom spent 15 years in prison for her crime.

Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water. A concise yet comprehensive angling and on-the-water activities handbook covering spin, bait, fly-fishing, fly tying, clamming, crabbing, kayaking, canoeing, seafood recipes and much more. For novice through experienced anglers. Endorsed by Left Kreh and Angelo Peluso. [black & white photos]

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game. A concise yet comprehensive small and big game hunting handbook covering guns and bows. Includes upland bird hunting, land management, whitetail tactics and much more. Special bonus feature includes stories of big game hunting in Africa and Australia by seasoned hunters. [color photos]

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published. A must-have guide for both novice and veteran writers. This handbook includes tips on how to make money and gain rewards from outdoors writings. Color-coded lessons for easy comprehension.

July 15, 2018

Finesse Fishing for Fingerlings

by Bob Banfelder

There are those who seek BIG fish and are only happy when they achieve their objective. Then again, there are those who are more than satisfied with catching and releasing fingerlings (very small trout: brookies, rainbows, browns, along with a plethora of panfish) employing light angling equipment. Working a 3-weight fly rod along with the equivalent of a weight-forward floating line coupled to a 9-foot 7X/1.5 pound or 6X/2 pound tapered leader translates into stealth personified. In our travels, Donna and I often find ourselves somewhere in the middle of a mix between big fish and small fry. When we do encounter miniatures, be they freshwater trout, crappies, or snappers in the suds, we break out our bantam-weight fly outfits and look forward to an hour or so of some solid fun. It's nice to know that should one encounter a fairly decent-sized creature along the way, that the rod has the backbone to battle such a fish.

That's exactly what the Okuma 3-weight SLV Fly (model 4246) wand offers: power when needed in a lightweight, portable 4-piece travel package. It is a medium-fast action graphite rod featuring an aluminum reel seat, full-wells grips, two titanium oxide stripper guides, six stainless steel snake guides, plus tip. It's an easy rod to cast and absolute fun with which to fish, suitable for small streams, ponds, rivers or lakes.


Okuma 3-weight SLV 4-piece travel fly rod spooled with RIO Trout Series In Touch Perception Weight-Forward floating fly line (WF3F) ~ RIO tapered leaders ~ RIO tippet material.

Coupled to a vintage, but reliable Shakespeare Purist reel (model 7595), I filled its spool with 20 yards of backing, 80 feet of RIO Trout Series In Touch Perception Weight-Forward freshwater floating fly line (WF3F) ~ Green/Camo/Tan, and a RIO Fluoroflex 9-foot 6X tapered leader. Good to go.

The union of a precision 3-weight Okuma fly rod casting a RIO weight-forward 3-weight fly line joined to a 100% fluorocarbon tapered leader is the magic that ensures accuracy and delicate presentations. RIO's Fluoroflex Trout tapered leaders boast high abrasion resistance and are virtually invisible in even a crystal-clear water column. The leader's long butt section ensures an effortless and greater turnover arc in presenting flies to wary trout.

Casting flies ranging between sizes #10 and #14 will ensure a smooth cast and quiet presentation when employing a 9-foot 6X or 7X tapered leader. I generally do not tie or employ nymphs or dry flies smaller than that size. As a matter of fact, a 9-foot 5X fluorocarbon tapered leader is about the heaviest I use for brook, rainbow, and brown trout. Leader pound-test strengths referencing 5X, 6X, and 7X are approximately 4lbs., 2lbs., and 1.5 lbs., respectively. Therefore, you're covered quite nicely for trout in many freshwater streams, ponds, rivers and lakes—from fingerlings to fair-size species—even snapper to cocktail blues and schoolie-size striped bass in the suds.


Schoolie bass on Okuma 3-weight SLV rod.

Keeping to a 9-foot tapered leader is a good choice whether for a beginner or intermediate angler. As one elects to move up in length from 9 feet to say a 12-foot leader, casting becomes a bit more challenging to control. Staying with a mid-range 9-foot tapered leader covers most waters that you'll likely encounter. If you wish to use larger flies for larger species such as lake trout, or move from freshwater applications to serious saltwater situations, you will want to select a sturdier fly rod, heavier fly line and, of course, a stronger tapered leader. However, in keeping with the theme of this article, enticing and finessing fingerling for fun and sport, it's hard to beat a 3-weight graphite fly rod. Okuma is your ticket.

RIO In Touch Perception Weight-Forward 3F (floating) fly line, joined to 9-foot 6X and 7X tapered fluorocarbon leaders, plus approximate .005 .004 tippet material diameters, respectively, and you're ready for both wet and dry fly fishing.

RIO's In Touch Perception fly lines are constructed with ultra-low stretch ConnectCore Technology, which translates into greater sensitivity in terms of detecting subtle takes, thereby increasing reaction time when setting the hook. Fly casting is all about timing and technique, which is what world-renowned Lefty Kreh had taught many of us through some of his remarkable demonstrations; for example, getting down on his knees, separating a two-piece fly rod, then using only its forward section to load and cast a fly line some eighty feet. Amazing!

RIO's Perception SureFire series of fly lines provide a tri-color system that offers spot-on visual timing for greater accuracy and distance casting. Especially for nymph and/or dry fly angling, it is essential that you mend the line, creating a drag free drift. You are ‘In Touch,' with RIO's Perception fly lines, making for easy line lift and precise mends. What is also quite neat is that the front loop is permanently marked with the size of the fly line for easy identification: e.g., RIO Perception WF3F. No mixing up lines when changing from one line weight to another.

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 Three-Book Series ~ Trilogy


Dicky, Richard, and I. A story of madness in the making. A curious mix of a mother's care and cruelty concerning her young son, Dicky Geist, and the precocious boy's metamorphosis into that of a multiple murderer.

The Signing. An account of a clandestine murderous cult monikered the Inner Circle of Friends, led by Richard Geist. Geist and cult members are hellbent on creating chaos and bringing about the eventual collapse of our government.

The Triumvirate. A tale of Neo-Nazism. Three most powerful men covertly control governments around the globe. Fifty-year-old secrets begin to surface referencing Hitler's progeny, the Manhattan Project, and Nazi gold in this mystery within a mystery. It is the genesis of the Fourth Reich.

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series ~ Tetralogy

The Author. A prolific serial killer is the author and architect of a covert operation whose job it is to place government operatives within the ranks of worldwide extremist groups. Justin Barnes, a street savvy Afro-American maverick, searches unrelentingly for the madman who viciously murdered Justin's female cousin.

The Teacher. Justin Barnes, working clandestinely with Suffolk County homicide detectives on Long Island, is assigned to help track down Malcolm Columba's associate, serial killer Professor Clarence Emery. The pair had worked in concert, and Justin is out to stop Emery before he strikes again. A terrifying tale of evil and what it takes to stop it in its tracks.

Knots. Kalvin Matheson, an out-of-work insurance salesman obsessed with immortality and hero worship regarding two notorious serial killers, follows in the footsteps of his two diabolical pals, but with a subtle signature twist, utilizing intricate knots.

The Good Samaritans. In this final four-part series, Justin Barnes, once again, assists Suffolk County homicide detectives as part of a covert operation in tracking down Sep Cramer, a politically well-connected, ruthless serial killer.
**********


Trace Evidence. Inspired by the Robert Shulman Serial Killer Trial in Riverhead, N.Y., Robert Banfelder spent every day for 15 months as a spectator to obtain fodder for this novel.
**********



Battered. Based on a true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband, Robert Banfelder communicated with abused women, one of whom spent 15 years in prison for her crime.

Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water. A concise yet comprehensive angling and on-the-water activities handbook covering spin, bait, fly-fishing, fly tying, clamming, crabbing, kayaking, canoeing, seafood recipes and much more. For novice through experienced anglers. Endorsed by Left Kreh and Angelo Peluso. [black & white photos]

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game. A concise yet comprehensive small and big game hunting handbook covering guns and bows. Includes upland bird hunting, land management, whitetail tactics and much more. Special bonus feature includes stories of big game hunting in Africa and Australia by seasoned hunters. [color photos]

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published. A must-have guide for both novice and veteran writers. This handbook includes tips on how to make money and gain rewards from outdoors writings. Color-coded lessons for easy comprehension.

June 18, 2018

Weighing in on Hook Sizes & Fly-tying Material for Success

by Bob Banfelder

Beginning with last month's report on May 1st, in which I presented a guideline for hook sizes and weights referencing both wet- and dry-fly thread-body ant patterns, a couple of folks contacted me and commented that the listing proved very useful. Since we were tying a dry-fly hopper yesterday, I figured I'd offer a general guideline concerning those deadly flies as well as depicting popular size hooks and patterns for two of my favorite terrestrials anent the fly rod for saltwater and freshwater angling: ants and hoppers.

Let's consider four (4) slightly heavier hooks than the Mustad-Octopus Beak hook with which we tied ant patterns earlier in March and April. In sizes 2/0, 1/0, #2, and #4, the Mustad Wide-Gap hook will fill the bill quite nicely for both wet- and dry-fly hopper patterns. In general, the bigger, heavier 2/0 and 1/0 sizes are at home in salt water. The smaller, lighter #2 and #4 sizes are perfect for this large freshwater pattern. I have used all four sizes in both the brine and sweet water, and with absolute success. Here is a general guide for the Mustad Wide-Gap hook and materials for both wet- and dry-fly winged ants plus hopper patterns utilizing a pair of legs; weighted accuracy is within +/- 2.0 grains.

Note: In addition to Mustad-Octopus Beak hooks, corresponding sizes in Gamakatsu Octopus hooks weigh within +/- 0.2 grains of one another. That's certainly not enough of a difference to alter the formula. Weighing hooks beforehand as well as finished flies will save you a great deal of time when tying wet- and dry-fly imitations in foam. Without a guideline, the fly you tie and believe will float like a cork may suddenly sink in the water column after several casts. Layering two strips of foam will not only ensure that your fly will continuously remain afloat, and without the aid of messy chemicals, the fly is easily identifiable in your arsenal. The single strip of foam immediately indicates that it is a wet fly; the two discernable strips show that it is a dry fly. Good to go.

Guidelines for Hoppers ~ Mustad Wide-Gap Hooks:

2/0 hook weighs 9.2 grains ~ 1 strip of 3/8th" wide 2 mm foam for a wet-fly pattern. Total weight of finished hopper is 13.2 grains.

2/0 hook weighs 9.2 grains ~ 2 strips of 3/8th" wide 2 mm foam for a dry-fly pattern. Total weight of finished hopper is 16.6 grains.

1/0 hook weighs 9.2 grains ~ 1 strip of 3/8th" wide 2 mm foam for a wet-fly pattern. Total weight of finished hopper is 11.8 grains.

1/0 hook weighs 9.2 grains ~ 2 strips of 3/8th" wide 2 mm foam for a dry-fly pattern. Total weight of finished hopper is 15.4 grains.

#2 hook weighs 6.4 grains ~ 1 strip of ¼" wide 2 mm foam for a wet-fly pattern. Total weight of finished hopper is 9.8 grains.

#2 hook weighs 6.4 grains ~ 2 strips of ¼" wide 2 mm foam for a dry-fly pattern. Total weight of finished hopper is 11.4 grains.

#4 hook weighs 4.6 grains ~ 1 strip of ¼" wide 2 mm foam for a wet-fly pattern. Total weight of finished hopper is 7.8 grains.

#4 hook weighs 4.6 grains ~ 2 strips of ¼" wide 2 mm foam for a dry-fly pattern. Total weight of finished ant is 10.2 grains.

You will note from the above table that the dry-fly foam patterns are a tad heavier than their wet-fly counterparts because of the added layer of foam. However, it is what gives the dry-fly its buoyancy and balance. Carefully weighing in on hook and material choices, these guidelines will aid the fly tier in constructing imitations that deliver unparalleled performance in the water column. Should you elect to employ other fine hooks such as Eagle Claw, Owner, VMC, et cetera, formulating your own chart is a breeze. A precision digital scale such as the Superior Balance Arrow-2000 covered on April 2nd is the ticket. If you're a bowhunter seeking matchless efficiency referencing broadhead accuracy, well, you've just killed two birds with one stone.


Top row, left to right: Mustad Wide Gap Hooks ~ 2/0, 1/0, #2, #4
Bottom row, left: Mustad Octopus Beak Hooks ~ 1/0, #1, #2
Bottom row, right: Mustad-Viking Hooks ~ #6, # 8, #10, #12, #14 — mainly for freshwater applications.

Suggestions:
For strictly saltwater applications, I would purchase the above hooks in stainless steel in lieu of a nickel finish. A nickel finish is fine for occasional use between saltwater/freshwater applications. A bronzed finish is fine for freshwater applications.
Good to go.

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 Three-Book Series ~ Trilogy


Dicky, Richard, and I. A story of madness in the making. A curious mix of a mother's care and cruelty concerning her young son, Dicky Geist, and the precocious boy's metamorphosis into that of a multiple murderer.

The Signing. An account of a clandestine murderous cult monikered the Inner Circle of Friends, led by Richard Geist. Geist and cult members are hellbent on creating chaos and bringing about the eventual collapse of our government.

The Triumvirate. A tale of Neo-Nazism. Three most powerful men covertly control governments around the globe. Fifty-year-old secrets begin to surface referencing Hitler's progeny, the Manhattan Project, and Nazi gold in this mystery within a mystery. It is the genesis of the Fourth Reich.

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series ~ Tetralogy

The Author. A prolific serial killer is the author and architect of a covert operation whose job it is to place government operatives within the ranks of worldwide extremist groups. Justin Barnes, a street savvy Afro-American maverick, searches unrelentingly for the madman who viciously murdered Justin's female cousin.

The Teacher. Justin Barnes, working clandestinely with Suffolk County homicide detectives on Long Island, is assigned to help track down Malcolm Columba's associate, serial killer Professor Clarence Emery. The pair had worked in concert, and Justin is out to stop Emery before he strikes again. A terrifying tale of evil and what it takes to stop it in its tracks.

Knots. Kalvin Matheson, an out-of-work insurance salesman obsessed with immortality and hero worship regarding two notorious serial killers, follows in the footsteps of his two diabolical pals, but with a subtle signature twist, utilizing intricate knots.

The Good Samaritans. In this final four-part series, Justin Barnes, once again, assists Suffolk County homicide detectives as part of a covert operation in tracking down Sep Cramer, a politically well-connected, ruthless serial killer.

**********


Trace Evidence. Inspired by the Robert Shulman Serial Killer Trial in Riverhead, N.Y., Robert Banfelder spent every day for 15 months as a spectator to obtain fodder for this novel.

**********


Battered. Based on a true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband, Robert Banfelder communicated with abused women, one of whom spent 15 years in prison for her crime.

Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water. A concise yet comprehensive angling and on-the-water activities handbook covering spin, bait, fly-fishing, fly tying, clamming, crabbing, kayaking, canoeing, seafood recipes and much more. For novice through experienced anglers. Endorsed by Left Kreh and Angelo Peluso. [black & white photos]

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game. A concise yet comprehensive small and big game hunting handbook covering guns and bows. Includes upland bird hunting, land management, whitetail tactics and much more. Special bonus feature includes stories of big game hunting in Africa and Australia by seasoned hunters. [color photos]

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published. A must-have guide for both novice and veteran writers. This handbook includes tips on how to make money and gain rewards from outdoors writings. Color-coded lessons for easy comprehension.


June 17, 2018

Tying a Deadly Foam Dry-Fly Hopper for Absolute Angling Success

by Bob Banfelder

As with the ant imitations we tied earlier while employing foam bodies, let's tie a deadly foam hopper that is at home in both fresh water and salt water.

Materials Needed

Hook: Mustad-Octopus Beak 2/0 or 1/0
Thread: Danville's Flat Waxed Nylon ~ black
Body: Two strips of 2 mm-thick foam ~ 3/8 inch wide ~ one yellow, one light brown (6-inch lengths are easier with which to work).
Underbody: Peacock Herl
Legs: TNT Hopper Legs ~ brown
Wings: Deer Hair natural color from belly or tail (bucktail)
Head Cement: Hard-as-Hull or 2-part 5-minute epoxy

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 (yellow on top, light brown 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 the thread forward to the top of the bend. Lock the thread with a half hitch then bring it forward to the eye of the hook, resting the thread on the bobbin cradle. You will now be able to wrap the peacock herl, unencumbered, as the bobbin is out of the way.



Step 4: Wrap peacock herl to the top of the bend, being very careful not to apply to much tension or this delicate strand will break. Remove the bobbin from the cradle then lock in the strand with secure thread wraps.



Step 5: Bring the foam strips forward, just over the section of peacock herl. Wrap foam down securely. We have created the hopper's underbody.



Step 6: Cut off excess foam and set aside. Secure with several tight, contiguous wraps until the ends are completely covered. Tie off.

Step 7: Now, we need two more pieces of foam to form the front of the hopper. Only this time, you are going to momentarily invert the colored strips; light brown on top, yellow on the bottom. Tie in the two foam strips ¼ inch behind the eye of the hook (excess material initially facing rearward), wrapping the strips down securely with contiguous wraps to a point where they practically join the rear section. Bring the thread behind the strips and continue wrapping to form a 1/16th inch gap.

Step 8: Within the gap, tie in a TNT Hopper Leg on one side of the body (two loose wraps then tighten); tie in the second leg on the opposite side. Bring the thread forward of the foam strips.



Step 9: Next, take a small bunch of deer hair (less than the thickness of a wooden match stick, approximately 2 inches in length (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 inch 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 dark brown foam is now on top and yellow is on the bottom.



Step 10: Gently bend and push the two clumps of deer hair down and rearward along each side of the body to form the wings. Cut off the excess foam and wrap to a point directly behind the eye of the hook. Secure with several half hitches.

Step 11: Apply a dot of Hard-as-Hull head cement or a 2-part 5-minute epoxy to the thread head.


Deadly hopper fly.

Note: The hopper legs are made of Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), which is an elastomeric polymer that produces soft, flexible, rubber-like appendages. According to Wikimedia, "the material has good clarity and gloss, low-temperature toughness, stress-crack resistance, hot-melt adhesive waterproof properties, and is resistance to UV radiation." I purchased several small packages of hopper legs in green, tan, and brown from the Dan Bailey fly-fishing shop, Livingston, Montana. The pair of these realistic-looking hopper legs weigh in at 1.0 grains on the money, so don't think that you're adding unnecessary weight to the fly. Legs and deer hair body lend realism and gives the angler an added edge.

Good to go.



Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

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 Three-Book Series ~ Trilogy

Dicky, Richard, and I. A story of madness in the making. A curious mix of a mother's care and cruelty concerning her young son, Dicky Geist, and the precocious boy's metamorphosis into that of a multiple murderer.

The Signing. An account of a clandestine murderous cult monikered the Inner Circle of Friends, led by Richard Geist. Geist and cult members are hellbent on creating chaos and bringing about the eventual collapse of our government.

The Triumvirate. A tale of Neo-Nazism. Three most powerful men covertly control governments around the globe. Fifty-year-old secrets begin to surface referencing Hitler's progeny, the Manhattan Project, and Nazi gold in this mystery within a mystery. It is the genesis of the Fourth Reich.

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series ~ Tetralogy

The Author. A prolific serial killer is the author and architect of a covert operation whose job it is to place government operatives within the ranks of worldwide extremist groups. Justin Barnes, a street savvy Afro-American maverick, searches unrelentingly for the madman who viciously murdered Justin's female cousin.

The Teacher. Justin Barnes, working clandestinely with Suffolk County homicide detectives on Long Island, is assigned to help track down Malcolm Columba's associate, serial killer Professor Clarence Emery. The pair had worked in concert, and Justin is out to stop Emery before he strikes again. A terrifying tale of evil and what it takes to stop it in its tracks.

Knots. Kalvin Matheson, an out-of-work insurance salesman obsessed with immortality and hero worship regarding two notorious serial killers, follows in the footsteps of his two diabolical pals, but with a subtle signature twist, utilizing intricate knots.

The Good Samaritans. In this final four-part series, Justin Barnes, once again, assists Suffolk County homicide detectives as part of a covert operation in tracking down Sep Cramer, a politically well-connected, ruthless serial killer.

**********


Trace Evidence. Inspired by the Robert Shulman Serial Killer Trial in Riverhead, N.Y., Robert Banfelder spent every day for 15 months as a spectator to obtain fodder for this novel.

**********


Battered. Based on a true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband, Robert Banfelder communicated with abused women, one of whom spent 15 years in prison for her crime.

Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water. A concise yet comprehensive angling and on-the-water activities handbook covering spin, bait, fly-fishing, fly tying, clamming, crabbing, kayaking, canoeing, seafood recipes and much more. For novice through experienced anglers. Endorsed by Left Kreh and Angelo Peluso. [black & white photos]

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game. A concise yet comprehensive small and big game hunting handbook covering guns and bows. Includes upland bird hunting, land management, whitetail tactics and much more. Special bonus feature includes stories of big game hunting in Africa and Australia by seasoned hunters. [color photos]

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published. A must-have guide for both novice and veteran writers. This handbook includes tips on how to make money and gain rewards from outdoors writings. Color-coded lessons for easy comprehension.

May 02, 2018

A Seafarer's/Landlubber's Delight: The Preston House ~ Haute Cuisine, Riverhead, L.I.

by Bob Banfelder

A treat is in store for those who savor seafood, steaks, and fowl—served at their finest. The fare is simply fantastic. Riverhead spearheads an outdoors mecca of the north and south forks of Long Island. It is where Donna and I begin our fishing, clamming, crabbing, and boating adventures come spring through fall. The east end of Long Island's new upscale/laid-back/casual restaurant is but steps away (across the street) from the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center in Riverhead. Wait! If you think for a moment that I'm carelessly positing a series of self-contradictory locutions, please reserve judgment. We'll begin with a curious juxtaposition of old and new.


Foreground: 1902-03 renovated Preston House Restaurant
Background: 2018 ultra-modern Hotel

The descriptions of fare presented at the Preston House Restaurant have been identified as "New American" and/or "Rustic-Elegant," the latter of which surely paints a picture in one's mind as, well, rather oxymoronic. Much like the seemingly incongruous phrases of ‘JUMBO shrimp' or ‘LARGER half.' While these expressions may seem clearly confusing, it all makes perfect sense after a dining experience and a tour of the establishment, for the hundred-plus-year-old house has been transformed into a highly refined eatery.

Rather than raze the Preston House as was initially intended, architects and engineers saw great potential for both refurbishing and preserving. For example, remnants of an old stone wall were restored along with traces of other building materials that accent an eight-hundred bottle wine cellar. Presently, the restaurant seats eighty-eight folks, with expansion in mind for the near future.


1905 Wine Lounge

Donna and I started off by relaxing with a glass of Vietti Barbera d'Asti ‘Tre Vigne' from the Piedmont region of northern Italy, a medium-bodied ruby red with a cherry aroma and hints of vanilla ~ $13 by the glass.


Preston House Dining Room

For appetizers we gravitated to and shared, for openers, the East End Clams Casino. A generous portion and presentation of four beautifully plated, mouth-watering melding of clams, diced bacon, shallot, butter and breadcrumbs; not mere morsels but rather a step up between top neck and cherrystone size shells, yet delivering the delicate flavor of fresh, sweet littlenecks. The best we've had in our travels, and a bargain at $7.


East End Clams Casino

Paired with a second appetizer, Donna and I split an order of Seared Point Judith Calamari, prepared with watermelon radishes, fat green olives, and pepper jelly. The dish was pleasingly presented with a light golden-brown dusting of breadcrumbs and a flavorful, truly tender texture upon the palate—the way calamari should arrive at the table ~ $16.


Seared Point Judith Calamari

Before ordering our main courses, I had to indulge myself with what turned out to be a bottomless bowl of Preston's Down East Style Chowder [spelled Chowda on the menu so as to give it that down-home folksy, rustic flare]. The server had the good sense to bring a second spoon for sharing. The chowder is comprised of local clams, North Fork potatoes, and garlic croutons; in a word, scrumptious.


Down East Style Chowda

We relaxed a bit with a second glass of wine before ordering our main course. This time around, we selected a glass of Firesteed Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon. The aromas consisted of raspberry, blueberry and cherry and was lighter in color, body, and on the palate than the Barbera d'Asti grape variety. Donna and I lean toward a heavier, heartier bodied red. And although the fare thus far consisted of seafood, white wine being the so-called usual rule of thumb as an accompaniment, we rarely subscribe to rules save lawful ones. So, there. Firesteed Pinot Noir ~ also $13 by the glass. A suggestion would be to add a couple of affordably priced bottles of red wine to their fairly extensive list as selections start at $36.

Turning our attention to the main course, Donna ordered the Crescent Farm Duck Confit, served with seasonal chutney (sweet and sour relish), farrotto (wheat substitute in lieu of rice and more nutritious), and herbed artichokes. Simply stated, a Crescent Farm duck (Aquebogue, L.I. N.Y.) is always a winner. Donna's duck was delicious. Crispy on the outside; moist, tender, and succulent ~ $35.

For my main course, I ordered the titled "A Nice Piece of Fish (market price)," which happened to be halibut that day. It was especially pleasing to the palate: a golden brown crust surrounding a thick brick-sized shape fillet, unbelievably moist yet flaky—Wow! Prepared to pure perfection ~ $36.

From the Sea Bar or main menu, another winner catches the eye: #1 Big Eye Tuna Tartar, served with seasonal citrus, whipped avocado, taro chips ~ $23. Go for it! At the expense of mixing metaphors, you'll be as happy as a clam that you did. Delectable.


Tuna Tartar

We passed on dessert for two reasons: one, we usually forego dessert; two, we couldn't handle it if we had to as our tummies were replete. However, the list certainly sounds seductive: Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie with candied popcorn, buttermilk ice cream; Warm Beignets in a Brown Bag with dusted powder; Burnt Basque Cheesecake with organic Meyer curd; 4-2-8 Cookie Jar (the restaurant's address—cute): ginger snap, chocolate chip, lemon sugar, almond date; Today's Ice Cream & Sorbets ~ all desserts are $12. Now, if they would only add a ‘Sweet Tart' to their dessert menu, it would help balance out what is ostensibly another contradiction in terms.

Humor aside, in a nutshell, the fare and service at the Preston House Restaurant is purely fantastic! The very best eatery we've been to in Suffolk County, and that's saying something after dining in the area for thirty-one years.

Ah, Donna and I did manage another visit during Restaurant Week. I opted for a sampling of their Shinnecock Sea Scallops, served with smashed celery root, winter mushrooms, and wilted rocket (leafy, peppery) greens ~ $35 on main menu for larger portion.


Shinnecock Sea Scallops

Chef Matty Boudreau is the wizard behind the curtain . . . ah, apron.

Annexed to and owned by the restaurant group is their luxurious twenty-room hotel. Be ye a boater or a landlubber, tie it all together in a splendid visit: aquarium, fine dining in a relaxed setting, touring the areas many nearby vineyards, and/or staying for a spell in their most comfortable hotel [studio, one bedroom suite, or corner suite], taking in, too, the alluring Peconic River.


One Bedroom Suite

**********

Next month, we'll be angling on the Peconic River after a fly-tying lesson referencing a deadly hopper pattern for brackish waters. Stay tuned.


Donna Boating on the Peconic River


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 Three-Book Series ~ Trilogy

Dicky, Richard, and I. A story of madness in the making. A curious mix of a mother's care and cruelty concerning her young son, Dicky Geist, and the precocious boy's metamorphosis into that of a multiple murderer.

The Signing. An account of a clandestine murderous cult monikered the Inner Circle of Friends, led by Richard Geist. Geist and cult members are hellbent on creating chaos and bringing about the eventual collapse of our government.

The Triumvirate. A tale of Neo-Nazism. Three most powerful men covertly control governments around the globe. Fifty-year-old secrets begin to surface referencing Hitler's progeny, the Manhattan Project, and Nazi gold in this mystery within a mystery. It is the genesis of the Fourth Reich.

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series ~ Tetralogy

The Author. A prolific serial killer is the author and architect of a covert operation whose job it is to place government operatives within the ranks of worldwide extremist groups. Justin Barnes, a street savvy Afro-American maverick, searches unrelentingly for the madman who viciously murdered Justin's female cousin.

The Teacher. Justin Barnes, working clandestinely with Suffolk County homicide detectives on Long Island, is assigned to help track down Malcolm Columba's associate, serial killer Professor Clarence Emery. The pair had worked in concert, and Justin is out to stop Emery before he strikes again. A terrifying tale of evil and what it takes to stop it in its tracks.

Knots. Kalvin Matheson, an out-of-work insurance salesman obsessed with immortality and hero worship regarding two notorious serial killers, follows in the footsteps of his two diabolical pals, but with a subtle signature twist, utilizing intricate knots.

The Good Samaritans. In this final four-part series, Justin Barnes, once again, assists Suffolk County homicide detectives as part of a covert operation in tracking down Sep Cramer, a politically well-connected, ruthless serial killer.

**********


Trace Evidence. Inspired by the Robert Shulman Serial Killer Trial in Riverhead, N.Y., Robert Banfelder spent every day for 15 months as a spectator to obtain fodder for this novel.

**********

Battered. Based on a true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband, Robert Banfelder communicated with abused women, one of whom spent 15 years in prison for her crime.

Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water. A concise yet comprehensive angling and on-the-water activities handbook covering spin, bait, fly-fishing, fly tying, clamming, crabbing, kayaking, canoeing, seafood recipes and much more. For novice through experienced anglers. Endorsed by Left Kreh and Angelo Peluso. [black & white photos]

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game. A concise yet comprehensive small and big game hunting handbook covering guns and bows. Includes upland bird hunting, land management, whitetail tactics and much more. Special bonus feature includes stories of big game hunting in Africa and Australia by seasoned hunters. [color photos]

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published. A must-have guide for both novice and veteran writers. This handbook includes tips on how to make money and gain rewards from outdoors writings. Color-coded lessons for easy comprehension.

May 01, 2018

Tying a Thread-Body Wet-Fly Ant Pattern

by Bob Banfelder

Last month [April 1st and 2nd ~ Part Two and Three] we left off tying both wet- and dry-fly winged ant patterns on a Mustad-Octopus Beak 1/0 hook utilizing foam bodies for both saltwater and freshwater applications. In a moment, we are going to tie a wingless wet-fly ant pattern while employing thread in lieu of foam, using smaller size hooks for fresh water. But first, allow me to offer a guideline for the former, which should prove helpful in tying foam ant patterns on Mustad-Octopus Beak 1/0, #1, and #2 hooks.

The Mustad-Octopus Beak 1/0 hook weighs in at 7.6 grains. The hook lends itself well to angling in salt water. Although the body of the winged-ant artificial is primarily constructed of 3/8th-inch-wide 2 mm-thick foam, the weight of the hook in addition to the fly-tying materials will take the artificial slowly down into the water column. If I want the imitation tied as a dry-fly pattern, I simply add a second strip of 3/8th-inch-wide 2 mm-thick foam atop the first strip. The guideline for smaller #1 and #2 hooks is to use ¼" wide, 2 mm-thick foam.

GUIDELINE


1/0 hook weighs 7.6 grains ~ 1 strip of 3/8th" wide 2 mm foam for a wet-fly pattern. Total weight of finished ant is 10.6 grains.

1/0 hook weighs 7.6 grains ~ 2 strips of 3/8th" wide 2 mm foam for a dry-fly pattern. Total weight of finished ant is 12 .8 grains.

#1 hook weighs 3.4 grains ~ 1 strip of ¼" wide 2 mm foam for a wet-fly pattern. Total weight of finished ant is 4.6 grains.

#1 hook weighs 3.4 grains ~ 2 strips of ¼" wide 2 mm foam for a dry-fly pattern. Total weight of finished ant is 5.8 grains.

#2 hook weighs 2.8 grains ~ 1 strip of ¼" wide 2 mm foam for a wet-fly pattern. Total weight of finished ant is 3.6 grains.

#2 hook weighs 2.8 grains ~ 2 strips of ¼" wide 2 mm foam for a dry-fly pattern. Total weight of finished ant is 5.2 grains.

********************************

Let's now tie a thread-body wet-fly ant pattern. A brief mention of the two threads specified below; they are strong and can be wound flat or attenuated. Flatter threads may be spun clockwise with your bobbin for tighter, thinner profiles.
For a clear illustration, we'll begin with a #12 hook. Here are the materials needed:

Hook: Mustad-Viking Hook #12 ~ bronzed
Thread for Body: Danville's Flat Waxed Nylon or Orvis 741Q – (spools in red and black colors)
Legs: Deer Hair ~ dyed black from bucktail
Head Cement: 2-part 5-minute epoxy

Step 1: Start at the back of the hook shank with red thread hanging perpendicular to the barb. Begin by forming the shape of half a tiny football. Tie off with a half hitch and cut thread.





Step 2: Switch over to black thread and complete the football shape, forming the abdomen.



Step 3: Wrap the thread forward, directly behind the eye of the hook then back again, leaving but a fractional gap in front of the abdomen to form the thorax.



Step 4: At this juncture, build up the thread to form a second football shape (all black). Tie off with a couple of half hitches and cut the thread.

Step 5: Lightly epoxy the entire body (abdomen, thorax, head); allow to thoroughly dry.



Step 6: Retie the black thread in front of the second football shape. With two loose wraps, tie in the butt ends of several wisps of deer hair atop the hook shank, tips facing upward. Continue wrapping the thread up to the eye of the hook then back again. With your bodkin, separate the hair along both sides of the body, gently pushing downward to form legs.



Step 7: Wrap the thread forward again, building and shaping the head directly behind the eye of the hook. Whip finish and cut the thread.

Step 8: Trim the legs evenly on both sides within the gap of the hook.

Step 9: Apply epoxy around the head wraps, being careful not to touch the legs.



Tip: Use 1" of .020 lead wire in the middle of the hook shank after laying down a thread base for a faster sink rate. This will send the fly quickly down into the water column. As you move from #10, #12, to #14, reduce the number of lead wire wraps by two turns.

Good to go.

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 Three-Book Series ~ Trilogy

Dicky, Richard, and I. A story of madness in the making. A curious mix of a mother's care and cruelty concerning her young son, Dicky Geist, and the precocious boy's metamorphosis into that of a multiple murderer.

The Signing. An account of a clandestine murderous cult monikered the Inner Circle of Friends, led by Richard Geist. Geist and cult members are hellbent on creating chaos and bringing about the eventual collapse of our government.

The Triumvirate. A tale of Neo-Nazism. Three most powerful men covertly control governments around the globe. Fifty-year-old secrets begin to surface referencing Hitler's progeny, the Manhattan Project, and Nazi gold in this mystery within a mystery. It is the genesis of the Fourth Reich.

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series ~ Tetralogy

The Author. A prolific serial killer is the author and architect of a covert operation whose job it is to place government operatives within the ranks of worldwide extremist groups. Justin Barnes, a street savvy Afro-American maverick, searches unrelentingly for the madman who viciously murdered Justin's female cousin.

The Teacher. Justin Barnes, working clandestinely with Suffolk County homicide detectives on Long Island, is assigned to help track down Malcolm Columba's associate, serial killer Professor Clarence Emery. The pair had worked in concert, and Justin is out to stop Emery before he strikes again. A terrifying tale of evil and what it takes to stop it in its tracks.

Knots. Kalvin Matheson, an out-of-work insurance salesman obsessed with immortality and hero worship regarding two notorious serial killers, follows in the footsteps of his two diabolical pals, but with a subtle signature twist, utilizing intricate knots.

The Good Samaritans. In this final four-part series, Justin Barnes, once again, assists Suffolk County homicide detectives as part of a covert operation in tracking down Sep Cramer, a politically well-connected, ruthless serial killer.

**********


Trace Evidence. Inspired by the Robert Shulman Serial Killer Trial in Riverhead, N.Y., Robert Banfelder spent every day for 15 months as a spectator to obtain fodder for this novel.

**********

Battered. Based on a true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband, Robert Banfelder communicated with abused women, one of whom spent 15 years in prison for her crime.

Nonfiction:

The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water. A concise yet comprehensive angling and on-the-water activities handbook covering spin, bait, fly-fishing, fly tying, clamming, crabbing, kayaking, canoeing, seafood recipes and much more. For novice through experienced anglers. Endorsed by Left Kreh and Angelo Peluso. [black & white photos]

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game. A concise yet comprehensive small and big game hunting handbook covering guns and bows. Includes upland bird hunting, land management, whitetail tactics and much more. Special bonus feature includes stories of big game hunting in Africa and Australia by seasoned hunters. [color photos]

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published. A must-have guide for both novice and veteran writers. This handbook includes tips on how to make money and gain rewards from outdoors writings. Color-coded lessons for easy comprehension.

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