Archive for the 'flies' Category

30
Jun
13

Macro Photography: Deception on a Hook

Z14Z16Z10Z12

Click on each photo to enlarge…a bit blurry or my eyes are tired.

27
Mar
13

Fly Tying: Full Steam Ahead………………

SwittersB fliesI store most of my flies in boxes with little cubicles. Later they may get transferred into the foamed fly box. The flies, especially the dries are often smooshed together over time. The hackles are askew and different than how they looked out of the vise. If one takes the time, steam can be used to resurrect those flies. It can also be used to spruce up fly tying materials. Here Don Bastian provides helpful advice on steaming feathers. Don has a very nice ‘wet fly’ site. There is much to be inspired by on Don’s site.

29
Sep
12

Fly Fishing Plan: Reality & Adapting

I recently ventured over to Central Oregon to fish some favorite lakes. I had fished them before so I had a fair understanding of the insects and ‘planned’ accordingly. Weather was perfect, some of the insects were there and to some degree the fish cooperated according to my plan.

I had planned for Damsels and Chrionomids. I caught fish with these patterns, especially in the mornings. The Damsel dry was the most fun. But, the responses were confined to morning and late evening for the most part. Mid day they produced little. (SwittersB)

I had tied up some Rufus Woolly Bugger patterns and anticipated that pronounced marabou wing enticingly fluttering on the decent. It caught fish, but not as I had figured. I retrieved it much like I do other Buggers and envisioned the draw/drop and how the wing and tail would pulse. Yet, I expected more from it. A black Elk Hair Caddis was a successful evening pattern along the edges, but it seemed to match the amount of Caddis I saw, which were less than I figured. No Hex hatch, no Callibaetis, Scuds didn’t produce once, nothing to small nymphs slowly worked along the weeds. 

No, dare I say it…I resisted, honest I did, but the two silly flies below were magical…absurdly magical..and I could not match their success with any of my other usually powerful standbys (like the Little Fort Leech or the Kaufmann Dragon). So, I gave into what was the catnip…two green marabou laden patterns that were fished until they were shredded.

The Catnip…the over achievers. Simple but silly effective.

One from last time, and this time. A well tied fly gave up the ghost after a dozen or so maulings. Was it the green, the materials, the presentation, the silhouette, the similar food sources? Fun to contemplate this Winter. In the mean time more supplies need to be replenished.

 So, from prior experiences I formed a comfortable, likely plan of action with a nice dose of experimentation/anticipation. Things were not turning out according to my plan, but I adapted back to some dependables and it worked…this time.

18
Jan
12

FlyRecipes.com Revamped & Improved

Joe Mathis has spent considerable time to improve his great tutorial tool, FlyRecipesdotCom. Some very outstanding tyers on board (and, one not so good) plus videos, feel good shots and much more. It   is already becoming an excellent repository for excellent fly patterns to discover and tie. Contact Joe Mathis and provide him with details about your patterns. The site is free, so sign up and log in.

Joe Mathis, the creator or Fly Recipes dot Com has revamped the site!!

Oh, and just a most humble finger point to SwitterB at FRdC

31
Aug
11

Fly Tying: In The Film, Emergers

The Orb Callibaetis Emerger, SwittersB

I haven’t been able to get out much this Spring/Summer to fish due to family health issues. I am looking forward to getting out onto a lake soon and experimenting with assorted patterns. It is a part of fly tying/fishing that I enjoy…the experimenting with patterns that you know just have to be successful….but sometimes fizzle. All fun and often amazing. The Orb was hugely successful the past two seasons on lakes as an emerging Callibaetis Mayfly. Fished in the top foot or so of water, with a ‘greased’ leader or beneath a strike indicator (bobber or supportive dry fly)  it rocked. Others tie a similar pattern with a deer hair wing canted forward, plus the bead. I have not tried that…but this simpler version works also.  

09
Jul
11

Fly Fishing: Attractor Fly (Loosen Up, Experiment)

Standing Out by David Smith

Match, Match, Match: size, color, shape, actions. The majority of your fly tying and presentation will be to match the stage of an insect or fish food source. As a beginning fly fisher you strive for success, for certainty. You will have little patience for far afield experimentation. When you read that article or go into that shop you are looking for answers, specifics that hone into the magic bullet.

But, yes the but, attractor patterns are often touted as something to break up the routine in the fish’s life. Something that stands out, provokes a response. With attractor patterns, be they nymphs, emergers, dries or streamers there are colors, size, wiggle factors that stand out. I don’t have a serious opinion by virtue of not having a lot of attractor patterns. I have had the same Humpy’s, Royal Coachman’s, Spruce Fly’s for years. They have worked on rivers and streams. There are quite a few out there now. I too have to pause and consider a change up to an attractor pattern. It is a psychological exercise to give up on the matching game unless you are just done trying to figure it out and say ‘what the hell do I have to lose. I’m not doing squat anyway.’ 

For the last few years you read more about the dry + dropper (hopper/dropper) combo. That dry sometimes is a large attractor style pattern that acts as a strike indicator and might just take a fish. Other wise I fish attractors in pocket water, seams, skitter them on a lakes surface. I experiment and provoke and have fun. Last resort or maybe just some relaxing experimentation behind that boulder or in under those trees. Think of them as fun.

Red Humpy (Round Rocks)

Spruce Fly ~ Tony Muncy (SwittersB)

10
Jun
11

Fly Fishing: Colorful Attractions

Throwing Something Colorful At Them (SwittersB~PP)

As a beginning fly fisher (fly tier), you might want to explore the use of color to attract fish. This is standard thinking for Steelhead gear guys: egg color, spinner blade/body color, Corky-Birdie Drifter color. Steelhead, Pike, Saltwater fly fishers put a lot of emphasis upon color as well. Trout fisherman of old did more than we do today. So much of today’s fly pattern/presentation is focused upon sub-surface, natural tones of color, as it should be. But, as some of you might recall, Red was a common attractor color incorporated into many older patterns as a body or tail color.

 I came upon an old (1964,  S.I. Vault) article by Peter H. Boyle that is interesting re his experiments with Bass and Color, Movement & Flash. It is always worth a read to add variables to your arsenal of presentation to provoke a strike. Boyle’s research is indeed interesting and there is that old standby color, red,  for shallow water presentations.

 Photo by PP at Salmon Creek, Middle Fk. Willamette River watershed.

Fish Eyes 1 

Fish Eyes 2

Fish Eyes 3

Fish Eyes 4

04
Jun
11

Fly Tying & Fishing: Borger Brassie

It is a reality of fly tying and fishing that we tend to seek refinements ad nauseam for patterns. It cannot stand that a simple, effective pattern can just be, as is, without more color options, dubbing, beads, etc…. refinements from what if’s and what about’s.

Several years ago, I sat front row at a Fly Fishing Expo affair in Portland, Oregon. Gary Borger was a featured speaker in one of the little side theaters. My son and I sat excited to get some inside refinement to our fishing efforts and from a notable fly fisher to boot. Borger was, that day, crusty and authoritative. Boy, this was going to be good.

Authoritative about what? One of his go to patterns, a copper wire bodied fly with a red thread head and no beard as depicted in the pic here. That fly with a split shot a foot above the fly was the offering that day. Initially, I heard a man from behind mumble ‘you’re kidding me?’  But, Borger wasn’t kidding and he remarked at the simplicity of the whole fly, rigging, presentation. It struck me that day how confused I was. That was it?

Was that all there was? Really, if that was true then maybe the problem wasn’t the gear, the waters, the fly….maybe it was me over thinking, over planning, over “everything-ing…(my word, you can borrow it). I have not forgotten that simple approach that Borger offered that day. It still flies in the face of the difficulties I have catching Steelhead on big rivers (not smaller coastal rivers where pods stack up and one hander nymphing rigs connect with fish).

But, none the less, the point here is some patterns are simple and presentation is perhaps more critical than over tweaked fly patterns. The over tweaking is part of the creative bent most tiers enjoy and the fun of putting your personal touches on a pattern. If it works, all the better. The admonition to KISS is often good advice. I think it is a benchmark to keep an eye on when one ranges so far afield, that basics are forgotten and success is elusive. 

“This pattern is attributed to Gary Borger although it is an adaptation of a pattern originally tied for the South Platte in 1971 by Ed Marsh. Gary admits that this particular version came about by him not remembering the correct dressing as related to him earlier. Anyway he was fishing the Armstrong Spring Creek the next summer when he saw the little flies in his box and tied one on in desperation and the rest is well, history. He says it has taken trout feeding on midges in rivers and streams the world over as well as even fooling steelhead!

“It works because the wire body provides a strongly segmented appearance and because the bright copper produces an attention-getting flash. The copper colour also suggests a rusty brown larva and may hint at the red colour of a bloodworm. I’ve dressed this pattern in every imaginable shape and form; with a thorax, with a tail , with legs, with a sparkle yarn husk, with a wing, with a soft hackle, with a stiff hackle, and so on.

They all catch fish, but not anymore effective than the simple body and throat. So I’ve stayed with my original, mistaken design.” (Gary Borger, Designing Trout Flies, 1991, page 93).”           http://www.goulburnvlyflyfishing.com.au

16
May
11

Fly Tying: Egg Sacs (Female Dun or Spinner?)

In the mayfly pattern below, I wound cream colored (bleached) peacock herl for the abdomen/thorax. I then used a black permanent marker to mottle the body save the rear area, which I wanted to represent the egg sac of a female. A female what? Note the wing is dark as well, touched up with the same permanent marker on the antron post.

But, if I am not mistaken, a female preparing to lay eggs has already progressed through the hatch (dun, darker wing phase) to the spinner phase (mated, wing clear/glassine, preparing to lay eggs and go spent on the water). So, my wing color, if attention to detail is important, is the wrong color. 

Now, in this tie, the wing was not touched up but remains clear/white to better represent the spinner wing. A spent spinner wing is not upright, but rather outstretched to the sides, almost airplane wing style. This pattern is more of the egg laying female setting down upon the water to lay/deposit eggs then try to lift off. 

Hooks: Size 14, dry fly hook; thread 14/0 black Sheer; tail is microfibbets; abdomen/thorax is Nature’s Spirit dyed/bleached peacock herls; hackle ginger dry fly quality; wing post is white antron yarn. (Here is a very nice post re slender parachutes and variations..nice S-B-S at The Fishing Gene)   Paracaddis at the Fishing Gene, also has this very good video tutorial on how to tie his Parachute style Mayfly.

PHILIP ROWLEY WITH EXCELLENT MAYFLY + INFO  

24
Apr
11

Fly Tying: Reverse Hackling (Tenkara’s Sakasa-Kebari)

REVERSE HACKLING CONCEPT~TENKARA’S SAKASA-KEBARI

The ever creative Anthony Naples at Casting Around has had an infatuation the Tenkara fishing concept. One of the techniques in tying Tenkara flies is the wrapping the hackle wing so that it slopes forward over the eye (sakasa-kebari). In this piece, Anthony has combined the reverse hackle with that daunting tiny fly (let’s see how many flies we can put on a penny/dime?) style. This is an interesting concept for tiny flies in the film. Study the ideas and note that Anthony highligted another tier that has also combined the reverse hackling and small hooks. Also, explore Anthony’s site for beautiful fly fishing related art work.

Sakasa Kebari (Reverse Hackling) Anthony Naples

 




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