"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Indiana On The Fly
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Scifres

If you are remotely interested in fly-fishing make plans to be at the Farm Bureau Building on January 5, 2008. It’s all set now. “It” is the first “Indiana On The Fly,” all-fly-fishing show scheduled that day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Of course, you need not be a fly-fisherman to attend, but if you are not now a fly-caster, you may leave the show being one. 
Sponsored by the relatively-new “Reel Women . . . Reel Men” organization, this inaugural effort will be a one-day affair and it will collect under one roof more fly-fishing apparel and knowledge--much of it in the noggins’ of patrons--than Hoosiers have ever before been subjected to.
Patti Beasley, president of the sponsoring organization, and a fly-fishing instructor, says this first effort is being confined to one day to see if it will “fly” in Hoosier angling skies. Admission will be $5.00 for all, and children less than 10 years old will be admitted free.
“If all goes well,”Patti says, “the show may be extended in future years” . . . maybe even the second year.
Patti says the show is a sellout of booth space now (48 exhibitors), and that they will run the gamut of shops, guides, fly tiers, conservation groups, artists and others. The Division of Fish and Wildlife will be there. 
This first effort at helping fly-casters and anglers rub elbows for a day is reminiscent of the old-time feature on the Indianapolis Sports Show when the late and great Bill Hughes, then a Heddon sales representative, loaded the various types of fly lines on individual reels and brought them    in for Hoosier show-goers to test their rods for the correct line. It was then greatest demonstration of fly-fishing I have seen anywhere.
Smallmouth bass expert Tim Holschlag, of Minnesota, will be there to speak on effectively fishing smallmouth in Indiana. He has spent a lifetime exploring the Midwest's multitude of smallmouth streams and lakes. He is a full time outdoor writer and smallmouth guide since 1989. He has published two books, the first, “Stream Smallmouth Fishing” was the classic on small water angling for the species and his latest book, “Smallmouth Fly Fishing,” is widely regarded as the authoritative work on catching bronzebacks from all types of water.

Seminars will be conducted throughout the day. A schedule can be found on the club’s web-site: www.reelwomen-reelmen.com.
Fabulous angling trips will be featured from local Indiana guided float trips all the way to Chile. Casting clinics will be available, and reps will be available to discuss and demonstrate their products.

The show, of course, is open to the public, as is membership in the organization. 

Novice, or old pro, you’ll find them there.

This first show is dedicated to Jack Scifres who lived a life of fly-fishing, and an organizer of the club as an originating part owner of the FlyMasters Store at Allisonville.

Leaves of trees--and those of the understory--are hanging on a little longer this fall than usual, so Mother Nature is giving us a little extra time for autumn fishing . . . more time to put your fish-frying skills on display--not to mention the eating.
This may not be completely apropos to the subject matter (as announced above), but I use a method of determining when the big fall leaf shed starts. The end is more obvious--bare branches.
At any rate, to conduct my leaf-falling tests, I position myself at a point where I can readily see the colorful leaves floating to the earth from a tree--or trees. If I can count the falling leaves, nature has not yet exacted her toll on the leaves. You can’t count ‘em when the big shed starts. Wind is always a factor.
And now, those “other fish to fry.” There are, of course many methods for cooking fish. Conventionally, however, frying is the most popular (and probably easiest, except for poaching).
To fry fish, I start by filleting them--especially panfish like crappies and bluegill if they are large enough. If too small to filet, I cut off tails remove scale (skin on) and fry them whole. If they are infested with black spot, small larvae, I remove skin.  Then, with skin left on, I shave off the side filets and (with sharp knife) and the rib cage bones, leaving as much flesh as possible.
I use an iron skillet, but a non-stick skillet will work--any skillet, for that matter. I start by frying half a dozen strips of bacon and augment the fryings with olive oil.
The filets (scales off, skin still on) are dipped in a 50-50 mix of milk and eggs (beaten together), and rolled in a 50-50 mix of Keebler Club Crackers (rolled very fine) and flour. Sometimes I add some yellow cornmeal (optional).
If you place skin sides of the filets down, they will curl less. When first sides are a golden brown, turn them (adding more olive oil if necessary). But turn them only once if possible. It is important to keep enough fryings in the skillet to keep them moist.
You will encounter few bones in the eating, but in giving youngsters fried fish--any fish--the watchword is caution even for adults.
To check for brownness, lift a part of the filet off the skillet with a table knife. Turn filets with a spatula.  

All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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