Archive for May, 2008

31
May
08

Scuds (Streams & Stillwaters)

I have opted for the straighter shanked hook (or very slight bend) for lake scuds. I have not yet attempted to perfect how to rib the shellback with the bead in the middle. With the straighter shank the shellback appears to be more durable and likely to stay in place, rather than skewing to the side as it seems to do on a curved pupa/scud hook. Still an experiment for me….no sweat. I will get back to it some day. I tied a dozen of these and never got around to smaller sizes. I will see how they work. The dubbing mix was a leech pattern mixture I bought from some Kamloops’ tyers at a flytying expo. It was sold as a good leech dubbing…the photo shows the mixture of colored filaments quite well.  

 

31
May
08

flyfishing additions that really mattered

 

exceprt from about swittersb:

“I have 3 wts. to 12 wts., single handed to a Spey rod. My reels are Ross and Loomis in the mid price range. My waders are Simms Guides. I am fortunate to afford quality gear but other than two purchases (Sage XP and Simms waders) I have not always bought high end…so I have not felt compelled to buy the Sage Z-Axis. If I have made any noticeably important purchases in all my years of flyfishing/flytying they are: rotary vises (Renzetti/Dyna-King), Simms Waders (to forever get out of neoprene’s), flourocarbon tippets and an  Intermediate~Clear line.”

Through all the flies, gear and process these are defining additions that, for me, improved the quality of my flyfishing experience. Not to short change graphite, pile, gore~tex or Ice Dub but if I really reduce the ‘improvements’ down, these few additions rise to the top.  I mean just the ability to get in and out of waders in ice cold weather without being exhausted by the process is amazing!!!

31
May
08

Czech Nymph Technique by Steen Ellemose (Denmark)

From Steen Ellemose (Denmark)

Hello!

I accidently found your website with one of my flies on it.
I would like to add a comment. The particular fly is very heavy leaded. It is designed to sink deep into the holes of my local river (Grindsted in Denmark) where we can see the graylings shoal in small groups. Often the riverbottom falls some 3 feet in the same distance, and the overall depth in the holes are easy 5-6 feet. Thus you need a heavy fly when your drift is only 6-10 feet.
Thus the fly is not a typical Czech fly. I do also have the slim type in my box.
I would categorize this fly as a “bug”.

Tight lines
Steen Ellemose

 

30
May
08

Intermediate v. Floating (Stillwater)

 

For a good part of my early flyfishing,  I only used a DT floating flyline. As a teenager, that is what I was told was the flyline to use. As the years passed, that is what I kept using, buying and using again. I did not know of other options. Ignorance of the  possibilities limited my tactics. Also, there was a predilection for dry flies and the surface take. At some point, I recall reading the adage ‘trout feed 90% of the time on nymphs’. So, I did adjust my arsenal to include Zug Bugs, Montana Stones, Bitch Creeks, etc but I still kept using the floating line to present these flies in streams. That, of course, makes sense. But, as I increased my stillwater/lake fishing the use of nymphs and a floating line, unless in the shoals, resulted in the floating line itself angling down into the lake and presenting the fly at an angle. I caught fish and was none the wiser. At some point about fifteen years ago, I was introduced to a ‘clear’ line and the rest was history. My catch rate dramatically increased. I would say that my Intermediate clear line is used for 80% of my stillwater fishing. The line is rated at a sink rate of 1″ per second, so doing the math in eight feet of water means you are waiting several minutes to get your line in the zone. Now, I said the line. Your weighted fly (bead head or lead/tungsten wrapped) will puncture the meniscus and dive to the zone much quicker. As it dives, the fly will help pull the tippet and intermediate line beneath the surface. If you are using a non weighted fly that needs to be subsurface, then the line should be tugged upon to break the surface tension for the line and encourage it to sink…then it will start its descent at 1″ per second. Patience is necessary here to not rush your presentation.

Cold weather was the nemesis of early clear, Camo Intermediate lines. Sitting out in cold weather on a lake and retrieving your clear line onto your apron or lap can result in a tangled pile of line. If you are low to the water, sometimes gently dangling the pile of spaghetti in the water and sorting out the tangles is easier. Sometimes. Floating lines and heavier Type III, etc. do not as easily tangle. Beyond that annoying occurrence, the clear line is a blessing. Leader/tippet length is said to be shorter because of the camo aspect of the clear line. I would still stay with the traditional 9’+ leader and still use fluorocarbon for the tippet. Casting requires retrieving enough line up to the surface to commence the cast. The line is not conducive to roll casts and moving into a false cast. But once you get the hang of it, it is a piece of cake and worth any fumbling sometimes encountered.

I still see many stillwater flyfishers only using a floating line regardless of the fly used. They catch fish. But if you move into water over ten feet, I would only using a sinking line. If a floating line is used, move away from the traditional DT (double taper) line and move to a WF (weight forward). It works much better for cutting through the wind.   

So, either swap out reel spools to switch lines (do that carefully as the extra reel spool is expensive plus the line costs) or carry two rods, one rigged with an intermediate and the other with a floating line. Take the (slow) plunge and your catch rate will rise dramatically once you learn how to manipulate the line to present the fly. Good luck!!           

 

28
May
08

Stillwater Nuances, Snippets & Images

 

Winter’s grasp is waning in the Northwest, giving way to a teasing mix of warming temps and Spring rains. The tying is almost done…if it is really ever done…and the images that dance through the mind and quicken the pulse are causing that twitchy yearning to get away from urban environs and connect in all ways possible with the fish and the surroundings.

Some random thoughts about being on a lake whether in a float tube, pontoon boat, pram, drift boat or an old Lund etc: Calm mornings~ drifting fog on the lake’s surface~ mumbled voices carried across the lake~ periodic dimples to the surface~ casting in toward the reeds as a cruiser feeds, rustling the reeds~ lazily wind drifting along and picking up more hits than moving into the wind~ disgruntled voices from Power Bait plunkers sitting in their folding chairs as you catch one after another~ looking down to change a fly or fine tune a rig and having been blown out of position~ sharing info, flies and encouragement with a stranger (Pass It On)~ the increased pace of a hatch~ the fish that rises right beside you as you kick or row along~ the missed hit, the perfect cast and take~ settling in and reminding yourself to calm down and enjoy~ looking upward at the Osprey, Eagle or Red winged Blackbird~ afternoon winds and waves and seeing the rises in the troughs~ admiring a big fish, feeling the adrenaline after releasing a bigger fish~ looking around to see if anyone noticed your success~ shore side siestas~ the last two hours of the day~ the setting sun and seeing fish rise in the pale, last light.  

Picture ‘borrowed’ and sorry to say I can’t credit the source…but it depicts the morning calm for sure.

 

28
May
08

‘Chickabou’ Material for Flytying (Henry Hoffman)

Consider this flytying material, developed by Henry Hoffman, for your tails and wings and bodies on stillwater patterns. Marabou is a great material, but if you have an opportunity to use this material you will relegate marabou to a lesser roll. Hoffman spent years developing quality hackle for the perfect dry fly. Later, he turned his efforts toward a fluffier feather, Chickabou. That often discarded lower portion of the feather peeled off and discarded is a wonderful material. It works great for bushy tails, pulsing wings and when wound around the shank a buggy look equal to marabou or ostrich. I am not advocating abandoning ostrich or marabou…just find and include Chickabou into your patterns like the Kaufmann Dragon or Timberline Emerger or Mini-Buggers or any stillwater damsel, dragon or nymph. 

 

26
May
08

East Lake (Oregon) Ice Off & Cabin’s Rented

Roads are plowed to the lake; ice off this past week is pretty much complete. Cabin rented. Callibaetis will be perking up (literally). So mid June should bode well for Rainbows and Browns & Kokanee before they go deeper. Time to check off the tying list; twiddle with the boxes and turn toward the gear. Going with a 3 and 5 wt. Intermediate and WF floater. I will have a Type III if needed. Tippett material, pliers, sunscreen, pipe and tabacco (AND LIGHTER’S!~see previous post re briar/pipe woe). Course, I will over plan and take too much based upon ‘what if’s’. Just my way….’always prepared’ is family motto.     

26
May
08

Flytying for me; presentation for the fish

   

Flytying: 75% for the tyer and 25% for the fish

Presentation: I become ever more convinced, given the vast array of patterns out there, that the pattern primarily gives us more pleasure than the fish and that in the end it is how we present that pattern that determines our success more than the pattern itself. I think that speaks less to our understanding re the importance of presentation (we do know that as a flyfisher) as to how much we worry over patterns and match the  hatch minutiae. The tying seduces us as much or sometimes more than the fish. That’s ok..particulary when the pattern or experiment works!  

26
May
08

Buzzer Emerger

Marc Williamson asked, “How in the heck do you tie this pattern, anyway?”

Good point:

Tying thread to match color of backstrap and hackle color (in this case grey or tan)

Hook size: 10-16 (regular to 2xl)

Tail: any barred feather barbs.

Body: sparse dubbing or pheasant tail fibers wound.

Ribbing: thin copper wire with one strand of krystal flash wound around wire.

Backstrap: pheasant tail fibers pulled over top.

Hackle at thorax: Ostrich herl wound.

The colors and materials may vary, of course.

23
May
08

Czech Nymph Images

http://www.czechnymphs.com/fly_index.html   Here are hundreds of images of Czech Nymphs at this great site. Note the slender/sparse abdomen on almost all of the patterns. I believe that characteristic separates it, as a pattern, from the similar scud pattern.    

 




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