Archive for June, 2009

28
Jun
09

Fly Tying with Circle Hooks?

I do see circle hooks used for salt water streamer patterns, but I have not seen much use for freshwater patterns. Are there any advantages or negatives re use for freshwater fish? Do the same benefits attach from salt water use?

Midge Emerger with Circle Hook by Albannach Cuileag

Midge Emerger with Circle Hook by Albannach Cuileag

Electro Static Buzzer

27
Jun
09

Jean Paul Assaigne’s Perfection of Images

Les Nymphes~La Perline by Jean Paul Assaigne

Les Nymphes~La Perline by Jean Paul Assaigne

Sans doute Jean Paul Assaigne du site est l’un des plus agréables pour étudier la mouche liant. Les images sont magnifiques et les tutoriels sont la perfection. Merci, Jean-Paul
Without a doubt Jean Paul Assaigne’s site is one of the most enjoyable to study about fly tying. The visuals are magnificent and the tutorials are perfection. Thank you, Jean Paul
27
Jun
09

Platte River Ghost Midge (darn near a gnat, I’d guess)

Platte River Ghost Midge by Chad Trout

Platte River Ghost Midge by Chad Trout

Itty bitty midge emerger pattern. Judging it to be a size 18 hook, mylar or pearl krystal flash like body counter wrapped with super fine black wire, with perhaps a Peacock Ice Dub (or similar synthetic) thorax, two pearlescent wings of a flashabou like material, a tuft of pearl Ice Dub (or similar sythetic) and a small glass bead. Sorry for the lack of specificity…saw it posted at Life on The Fly and wanted to share.

27
Jun
09

The ‘Traitor Parachute’ by Anthony Naples (Pittsburgh, PA.)

For those with superior vision or those funny magnifying gizmo’s, Anthony Naples has a nice tutorial for a small parachute pattern for BWO’s or Midge. Check out his entire site. Anthony has been diagnosed as ‘fly fishing obsessive’ so we know he is in need of support for this incurable malady. 

Traitor Midge Parachute by Anthony Naples

Traitor Midge Parachute by Anthony Naples

27
Jun
09

“Traditional Fly Fishing” (Could We Be Refining Ourselves Into a Corner?)

frog 

Do the purists force (via legislation) other fly fishers into a corner with ‘traditional’ techniques only? I for one do not want to be forced into a dry fly only waters situation. The full gamet of top to bottom fly fishing should be maintained and C&R maintained. This country seems hellbent on following all manner of Euro methodology. Don’t give an inch on techniques or  access. Carefully monitor preservation decisions to be nothing more than a back door ‘sea kittens’ ploy. If you want to use dry flies have at it. As long as no snagging or flossing is taking place then mind your business not mine. I know several rivers already have these ‘no added weight’ restrictions and that is fine…so far, it is ok to still fish subsurface. Perhaps we could institute ‘blindfold’s only waters’ for those that need an ever increasing challenge while preserving the fishery.       

I stand corrected:

 Perhaps you missed that the article is aimed only at those waters “currently designated as “Fly Fishing Only” (FFO).”

I don’t care how anyone else fishes – I use many different methods including a worm and bobber on a warm water pond – until the state starts setting aside public fisheries for a particular group, excluding others. At that point we should, as responsible anglers and citizens closely examine the purpose behind such restrictions. When weight was allowed on FFO waters here (in 1992 after 40+ years without weight), the primary conservation benefit (sanctuary) of FFO was lost. The water should have been set to ALO (Artificial Lure Only) as some fine sections of our trout streams have been for years. By going ALO the water would be open to all anglers and would still provide some conservation benefit over general law including bait. Retaining FFO when many of the implements allowed were clearly jigs and other lures is hypocritical at best, don’t you agree?

BTW, the article does not even remotely suggest dry flies only. Unweighted streamers, wet flies, and nymphs have been used effectively on the waters I mentioned since I can recall. I was catching fish on one such water using streamers in 1963 – it just takes patience to bring the fish up to the fly, rather than the fly down to the fish. You don’t catch as many fish, but you appreciate each you catch as a fish not a number.

JMO

22
Jun
09

Wet Flies & A Beginner’s Retreat (Stop Thinking So Much)

Wet Fly~SwittersB (Lose the bead to go lighter)

Wet Fly~SwittersB (Lose the bead to go lighter)

You are a begining fly fisher and overwhelmed with Dry flies, stillborns, emergers, nymphs, pupa and larva. You glaze over at Rhyacophila, Dicosmoecus, Rhithogena and those are some of the more frequent ones. So my recommendation borne from some experience and some damn good fly fishers I know is go wet. Saves you many hassels of figuring out hatches and dredging the bottom. Tie or buy a simple assortment of wet flies….or ‘flymphs’/soft hackles and cast them precisely, swing them, retrieve them, jerk them back in fits and starts and you will catch fish. While you do that and have reasonable outtings you can still study and observe. But you will relieve yourself of all that thinking. Do you want the thinking? The puzzle? Then keep it simple for awhile: caddis, mayflies, golden stones, dragonflies, damselflies, baitfish or midges. Recognize the difference between a caddis and a mayfly. Recognize when to put on the Elk Hair Caddis or the Adams or small Midge. If you’re fishing subsurface with a nymph then stick to Hare’s Ears and Pheasant Tails. Keep it simple. The Latin can come later if it must. In the meantime, when you walk the shoreline before dinner or after poke that wet fly here and there. Read the water’s different verses and savor each perfect and not so perfect casts. KISS.   

http://wcflies.com/blog/2008/10/soft-hackle-materials/

http://wcflies.com/blog/2008/10/pheasant-for-soft-hackles/

http://wcflies.com/blog/2008/10/soft-hackle-demonstration-starling-and-herl/

20
Jun
09

next time you reach into that vending machine…eek!

raccoons

I like the guy’s t-shirt logo “I handle wildlife for a living. If I’m running, keep up”.  A related version: My son was providing safety & security in the vicinity of a small town’s ginormous fireworks display on a floating barge. The operator of the barge came by for a flare. The young firefighters remarked they don’t carry road flares on their boat. The fireworks guy had forgotten the means to activate the fireworks display. He was wearing one of those shirts..”I handle explosives for a living. If I am running, keep up”. The young firefighters backed off their boat a bit from the barge.

This video clip is interesting of how critters adapt  to where you would least expect it. Thank goodness it wasn’t a rattler. Did she call this guy the “Skunk Whisperer”?  (SMAPP)   

19
Jun
09

Set, Strike, Hook (missed opportunties for the sensory impaired…what to do? )

beautytrout upper sac bow trtundergrd.

Now you see it, now you don’t. Whether you are utilizing a dry fly, emerger, nymph, two fly tandem, swinging a streamer or following the bouncing corkie or strike indicator, you are missing fish. On a stream or river you may not even know this. On a lake you usually will, unless your dry fly is riding the peaks and valleys of rolling waves and is briefly out of sight. I have no solid solution to this beyond once you put the fly on the water, pay attention, don’t ogle the sunbathing beauties passing by on the rafts (ok, go ahead), or watch the cruising eagle above or daydream about all manner of unrelated thoughts distracting your attention. Because most of us are not fortunate enough to have a guide at our shoulder fine tuning our set or strike, we must do this ourselves based upon visuals and feel. 

Pick the right strike indicator for the lighting conditions and that is aerodynamic enough to cast, lob or roll cast into the target drift and fish zone. Fine tune the distance between the strike indicator and fly.    This reaction to currents, imparted movements and the interruption of the fish is not perfect. We usually cast too far, allow drag on the line, distract ourselves, and second guess our senses…after 20 fruitless strikes the intensity dwindles unless your timing is intuitively perfect and fish after fish comes to hand. There are days like that.

I find that on a multiple day outting, I often adjust the first day and often discard it as a feeling things out. What if you only have the one day or three hours on an afternoon…you know the one where you left work early be you so fortunate. Then optimize the rig, shorten the cast and focus.

Czech nymphing has been so popular because the heavy fly, short cast and dredging technique lends itself to a hookup by sheer current force alone. Proper placement, short casts, line control and a large, weighted pupa pattern reduce time to day dream or second guess the take. Czech Nymphing is labor intensive for you bird watchers. 

Traditionally, you see the rise near the surface with a dry or emerger and ‘jerk’ up and back. A problem with this technique is there is a delay caused by the distance traveled to the rear. This rearward set is even more pronounced if you are fishing subsurface with a nymph or streamer. I have noticed, especially with slow-medium action rods, that as you jerk set upward the line often does not move because the rod is caused to arch downward because of the upward force, loading in essence. Once the rod rebounds toward straight or even beyond straight, toward the rear, the line begins to move. This is not as slow motion as I describe it but those split seconds delay the movement of the fy and the hook set

Yes, many fish hook themselves and it is all moot. But, many fish, I suspect, tweaked your offering and your were barely aware or oblivious. I have come to use a slip strike method. I use it for many offerings and it works standing or sitting on a pontoon boat and to a lesser degree wedged into a float tube. The right hander let say holds the retrieving hand (left) with line in hand somewhat close to the right hand holding the rod. As the fish is sensed or seen, the left hand, while holding the fly line, pulls or strips or retrieves line to the rear while gently raising the right rod hand to create additional tension. The left hand pulling should set the hook and the right hand is raised to increase the tension and add a pop to the set. If the fish runs toward you, the rod is raised higher and line is stripped and stripped to reconnect to the fish and as it runs away the rod is lowered and if need be line is allowed to slip out through the left hand. The size of the fish determines whether you continue to strip line in with the left hand or allow the line to go to the reel and play the fish off the reel.

Now all this is of no consequence if you are like me and the trout keep rising up and smacking my corkie or thingamabobber strike indicators. Hmm?

17
Jun
09

Damn Crane Flies (The Disappearing Lawn…So Get Some Symbolic Retribution!!!)

crane_fly2

Evil Crane Fly Larva

Each year my front lawn and portions of my back suffer from a disappearing  act because of  pesky Craneflies. I treat for them, I lay waste with toxic and non-toxic concoctions to thwart this inevitable ruination of my green lawn. And, already this year, there is the creeping brown intrusion into my landscaping efforts. So, although I cannot seem to ensure their destruction in my personal habitat, perhaps you can represent an offering of a similar looking creation to the fish gods.

Crane Fly Adult

Crane Fly Adult

 This is a nice, simple tutorial on tying this scraggily bastard of a lawn destroyer. Utter an expletive deleted with each savage strike for me!!!

14
Jun
09

Micro Nymphs (Why They’re Fished)

 

Red Butt Micro by Loren Williams

Red Butt Micro by Loren Williams

I found this piece by Loren Williams interesting with re to why Czech nymphing was the norm for grayling. With the destruction of mayfly populations, the fly fisher adapted to the remaining caddis populations and the resultant heavy dredging of the beautiful Cz/Pol nymphs. However, the competitive fly fishing venues necessitates fishing to the circumstances or conditions and Williams noted that Czech Nymphing is not always successful where mayflies still exist….hence the micro nymphs that many of us in the West take for granted on certain waters. Size 14 and 16 (smaller if you have the patience to tie and fish) seem the norm for our mayfly matching. Still interesting on the adaptability of competitive anglers. The techniques of East/SE Euro’s, Italians, French and Spaniards is definitely worth additional research in order to see if tricks are to be learned to expand the arsenal. Sometimes, I think we do these techniques in a half assed manner and they work…we just intuitively play around til something works… Others think through these processes and figure out the why’s. Perhaps the difference between recreational and competitive fly fishers.




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