Thursday, April 14, 2011

Friday Angler Interview- Tim Sienkiewycz

Tim with a gorgeous Lake Ontario trib brown
Tim Sienkiewycz is a very good friend of mine and we have put a lot of time on the water together in the past few years. I probably should take responsibility for the fly fishing bug taking hold with him and Marty in recent years (sorry Priscilla and Tina...). Tim and I have had more than a few adventures in Vermont, Northern New York and Western New York.  Tim is a great guy to have in the boat with you and spins deer hair like nobody's business (which is great because I really don't enjoy doing it much- let me rephrase that- I suck at it).  

Since Tim, Marty and myself are embarking on our greatest adventure yet I thought it would be an appropriate time to interview him.

How did you get your start in fly fishing?
Sienkiewycz family friends Phil and Gordie with dinner

I grew up in a family of sportsman. I remember my uncles were big into muskie fishing they would often stop by to show off their catch. Of course back then there was no such thing as catch and release- it was all about putting food on the table.
Well, way back in the mid 70’s my good friend Jerry got a fly rod and I was not sure what it was all about. But after reading lots of Fur, Fish and Game, and Stream and Field magazine articles about fly fishing I got my first fly rod from Herter’s with money I made from running a couple of small trap lines. I got a 5-weight fiberglass set up. Jerry and I chased smallies and rock bass in the local northern New York rivers on our summers off. We even tried our hand at fly tying.
But other interests took over and I got into it again about 10 yrs ago.

It seems to me that it has become a pretty serious pursuit for you lately. What are some of the species you most enjoy chasing on the fly?

For me its all about warm water species, mostly bass, pike, and musky.

I met your brother Marty because of a mutual love of muskies. It seems to me that you share that love as much as us. Can you remind me of the story of your first musky?
Tim's first musky- he was a happy man!

Well, I have been muskie fishing for many years. My Dad would take my brother and I muskie fishing every chance he got and some fish were caught. But the fish of 10,000 casts eluded me for many years. I lost plenty and caught a few but my first muskie as far as I’m concerned I caught with you on a fly rod. Remember?
I can’t remember the name of the river but we were fishing the red horse pool and just as my Dahlberg hit the water underneath an over hanging tree there was the classic explosion of water and the game was on. After a nice fight with your help the muskie was in hand and high fives were in order.
What is it about muskies that get the angler in you so excited?
Tim with another gorgeous musky.

Musky fishing is usually a day or weekend long adventure floating down a river which makes for a good time with friends.
I like to fish surface flies and when a muskie hits your fly (and you usually get see it coming) it’s something you will never forget! It’s all about the explosion of water and the visual of a big toothy critter slamming your fly.
I also enjoy the art of casting big flies with pinpoint accuracy.

I have been very impressed with your musky flies. How long have you been tying and what do you enjoy tying most?

I started tying back in the 70’s and I still have my Herter’s tying vise and tools.  I hadn’t used them in many years until I met up with you and I got started tying again.
I like to tie all kinds of flies but my favorite is big 2/0- 5/0 Dahlberg Diver deer hair surface flies. There is something about spinning deer hair that I enjoy.

You and I have had some great adventures and awesome fishing on trips to Western New York. What do you like about fishing out there?

Well one reason I like going there so much is that my family has a hunting camp in Western NY. I do not hunt any more but when the guys are deer hunting I go fishing for big browns and whatever else I can find. At the end of a day of great fishing I can go back to camp and have my own stories to tell. It’s really the best of both worlds.

Do you have any memorable fish in WNY you want to share with us?

I have many great memories of lots of big fish- some caught and many lost. But nothing can beat the memories of days fishing with friends and my brother Marty. Really for me the fish are only a small part of the experience. It’s all about good times.

So, do you have any big trips coming up? I think I might have mentioned one on this bog already…

Won't catch any of those in the Everglades Tim!

Well I Have a GREAT trip coming up with my fishing buddies.
We are going to Florida to Biscayne Bay and the Everglades. We are leaving today to hit warm salt waters. This is truly going to be a trip to remember - good friends, good times and hopefully lots of fish.

What are you doing to get ready for the trip?

Well I have been tying lots of flies, including the secret Electric Dread (Cordell Baum’s awesome killer fly for almost anything that swims!). Also many shrimp and streamer patterns.
Let’s see I have new fly lines, shirts, hats, sunscreen, gloves and I’ve been watching YouTube videos and just getting fired up!
I can’t wait to meet our guide Cordell Baum and see how he operates and learn from a master.

Do you have a species that you really want to catch down south and why do you want to get into that fish so badly?

I do not know why but a big tarpon has always been my dream fish.
Oh and maybe a bone, snook, shark, permit, redfish, jack……..etc.
Other than that any fish that gets me into my backing would be ok with me!

Getting back to Vermont- what fish have you not caught yet that you would like to get into and why?
Tim with "bycatch" while musky fishing... His Dahlbergs really work!

I have never been much of trout fisherman and I would love to learn more about that.
But on the top of my list is a carp, I have hooked a few but never landed one. But my hookups were memorable.  Just being out on the lake on a hot summer day and seeing those big fish gets me going. And I understand they but up a great fight. Any ideas of someone who could help me hook up?

Do you have any goals as an angler in the next few years?

Catching and releasing a muskie over 20lbs, and to become a better trout fisherman are on the top of my list. Oh, and to work less and fish more.

Thanks a million Tim! Really looking forward with 9 days in the company of two of my best friends! And yes, there will be stories... lots and lots of stories....

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