Posts Tagged ‘Fly Tying: Emergers

27
Jan
12

Fly Tying: Mayfly Emerger

PG SUPER DUPER EMERGER FROM ARCTIC FLY FISH

This is a nice Mayfly Emerger pattern. Notice a couple things that are not offered up during the video, that lend to the success of the fly: The Krystal flash tail (notice the one thread wrap behind the tail segments that helps lift the tail upward and away from the bend; the biot abdomen, which provides a nice segmented abdomen (how the biot is tied in determines how the body will wrap…segmented or smooth); the CDC wing/legs were at first maintained in a paper clamp before being inserted into the dubbing loop and spun (that is not evident in the video to the untrained eye). I think those few clarifications will make the clip more understandable for the beginning fly tier.

Image from Moscofilia

19
Jan
12

Fly Tying: Simple Thread Bodies

The vast majority of the flies you tie with have material wound onto the shank of the hook to form the abdomen/thorax of the fly. On smaller flies, I have experimenting with a more minimalist style of tying. On some patterns, I have simply used the tying thread for the abdomen with maybe a ribbing of thread as well. The results have been favorable for emergers & dries.

In the above pattern, the Olive Zelon tail/shuck was tied in at the thorax and the olive 14/0 thread was wrapped down the shank toward the bend and then back up to the thorax are. That is the extent of the body (abdomen). There is one turn of dyed olive peacock herl to form a thorax, a tuft of CDC for the swept back wing and a few turns of brown hackle. The thread head is finished off with the same olive tying thread.

Here, I wrapped the olive thread body and went with another color thread to provide a ribbed/segmented appearance. It really doesn't work. The threads appear to have been twisted and when wrapped does not lie flat. The strands of CDC hanging down to the sides would provide life like motion, but again, this was unintentional and created by the hackle wraps, which forced a few strands downward...a good thing possibly. This is why I need to only tie with my new goggles, to better see the mistakes and correct as I go. Does the fly's outcome matter? Probably not, but at some point, does one seek uniformity or tie willy-nilly? For you to decide.

06
Dec
11

Fly Fishing: Meniscus or Surface Tension/Film (Floating Nymphs)

I am sure some high school science teacher will take exception to the fly fishing culture incorrectly using the word ‘meniscus’ to describe the surface film and the tension that creates a barrier that separates the upper world from the lower (sub surface) world. Regardless, there is a tension that emerging insects must penetrate. 

This emerging process, factors into your fly tying, on the water fly selection, presentation and observations of insects and fish feeding. 

'Hi Jinx' MIdge Emerger

As a beginning fly tier or fly fisher, you will primarily focus on dry flies, nymphs and expand your awareness to ’emergers’ that typically sit half in and out of the water, on a curved shank hook. This, of course, is the acceptable norm. Perhaps, do a little research on floating nymphs or unweighted nymphs, tied on light wire, straight shank hooks. These patterns can be presented just below the surface for feeding fish in the upper strata. Not every nymph needs to dive to the bottom nor does every emerger pattern have to be on a curved shank hook, sitting half in/half out of the water.

26
Sep
11

Fly Tying: Suggestive Dubbing

Is this a perfect pattern for a beginning fly tier? A dubbed green abdomen and the teased out darker thorax on this little gem makes for a productive emerger/pupa pattern. FlyMagazinecComBr   Dubbing for the Beginner

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.  

23
Jun
11

Fly Fishing: The Water Is Alive

For the beginning fly fisher recognizing your insects can be confusing. On a lake, the insect population is seemingly distinct and more recognizable: hexagenia, callibaetis, dragons, damsels, and of course, the other creatures of scuds (rivers too), leeches, water boatman, chironomids (rivers too) etc. Maybe, at first you might confuse a damsel and dragon. On a river or stream, the puzzle can be a bit more confusing. 

The other night, an associate was fishing the McKenzie River. There were what appeared to be bright yellow, large mayflies out over the water, “as big as a dragon fly”. There were additional yellow mayflies near shore bobbing up and down and almost like a swarm. The fly fisher saw no surface activity from fish.

This is confusing for a beginner and also for the non-beginner. But, this is truly part of the fun of fly fishing! This part of the thinking, observing, planning, deciphering, responding that makes the endeavor so satisfying….at least if you successfully sort out the puzzle. If you don’t observe to start with or if you observe but can’t sort it out then it is daunting. But, don’t let it be.

Keep it exciting and do the research, which has never been easier for the beginner given today’s on line resources: identify the river (or lake) you were fishing. You can do this before or after your fishing. What hatch charts can you find for that water? What insects are present during what months or when you were fishing? Research those insects. Find pictures of the nymphs, duns, spinners for that mayfly lets say (or caddis?).

In my friends case: what were those ‘large’ yellow mayflies? PMD, PED, Yellow Sallys (stonefly), Epeorus, Golden Stones. Color, size, hatch location, stage of life (dun, spinner), hatch method, time of day…can be important in narrowing down the insects you are seeing. Asking the local shop; writing knowledgeable fly fishers who really know that water shed and insects. The resources are there. Then be armed with patterns for several insects from the bottom (nymphs) up to the top. Remember there can frequently be more than one mayfly hatching at the same time and the duns and spinners can be simultaneously present. Recognize the busy egg laying spinners (no fish activity); the hatching duns, different mayflies from spinners (in this case there could have been the hatching Epeorus, hatching Pale Morning Duns, and egg laying PMD spinners.

In this instance, I did a little research and learned something interesting. The larger, yellow mayfly called Yellow Quills or Epeorus is a mayfly that ‘hatches’/’emerges’ beneath the surface and then moves to the surface to view. Now I know that I should have, for that particular mayfly on that river a larger yellow wet fly to be fished beneath the surface. I learned from my friends bewilderment and hopefully you will too.

So, stay patient. Study. Ask questions. Observe and keep notes. Take a picture if possible. And enjoy the puzzle! Then again, I did some more research and in Arlen Thomason’s excellent Bug Water, he and Rick Hafele arrived at Heptagenia solitaria…a PED. All part of the puzzle.

15
Jun
11

Fly Tying Tutorials: Mayfly Emerger

IMPROVED SPARKLE DUN EMERGER

This link provides a nice step by step (s-b-s) tutorial for the sparkle dun emerger with an additional touch or two. The pupa hook is used to drop the tail end of the pattern into or through the ‘film’ thereby placing the Zelon/Partridge beneath the surface like an emerging mayfly’s trailing nymphal shuck. The deer hair comparadun wing and dubbing help support the thorax & wing above the surface like an emerging mayfly dun, almost out of the nymphal shuck/casing. I cannot attribute the nice tutorial beyond ‘Mike T (786)’   

03
Jun
11

Fly Fishing: The Pale Morning Dun (Summer’s Hatch)

For the beginning fly tier and fisher, the Pale Morning Dun is a ‘predictable’ hatch on Western rivers from June into September. It is a late morning to early evening window of opportunity  for a hatch that has a pronounced pre-hatch nymph ‘drift’ before the emergence on the surface. It is enjoyable to figure out and to fish to. It is one of several Summer hatches that are satisfying to discover and react to.

PMD Adult Wing (McKenzie River Page)

The ‘crawler’ nymphs will move from the rocks and bottom debris where they have hidden. As they move up out of the protection, toward the surface, they are now at the mercy of the currents and trout. This drift, in moderate to slower waters, can take place over an extended period of time as the nymphs drift, wiggle upward, split their wingcases atop the thorax area, wiggle further toward the surface, shed that nymphal case at the surface (emerge) and poke through the surface film (meniscus) to ‘hatch’. The adults will drift a bit further as those now upright wings (opaque) dry a bit and then they lift off into the air, fluttering and drifting with the breezes of the day, toward shore. (Is that a mega paragraph or what?)

The Clear PMD Spinner Wing

This whole process provides stages of presentation that are satisfying  & predictable: nymphs drifting along the bottom in the moderate to slower waters (careful wading, longer distance-stealth presentations?); then emerger/wet fly/flymphs/floating nymphs in the top foot or so of water to the surface; dry fly action and later spinner fall action as the females bob about in quieter side waters to lay eggs and then fall with their clear, spent wings stretched out to the sides like a partially submerged little airplane in film…drifting down in the slower currents.

So many opportunities here for presentations from bottom to top. Once you find a hatch of PMD’s on your favorite stream note its location.  Your patterns will tend toward the tan to dark tan (mottled earth tones) in sizes 16-18 over the course of the summer. You can research Google Images for PMD nymphs, emerger, dry and see a large variety of pattern options. 

 

02
Jun
11

Fly Fishing: Hi-Jinx’ed (Midges Flush)

Hi-Jinx Midge Emerger (SwittersB)

Stillwater, conventional, fly fishing wisdom is to present your chironomid/midge pattern in a vertical posture from the muck to the surface. I agree with this. There are always exceptions. I can recall  moving from one part of a lake to another and trolling along a midge pupa, that had to be bobbing between vertical to horizontal as I rowed, and getting nailed. But, a stationary, vertical presentation toward the surface is predominantly called for.

That said, I have had excellent results with a horizontal presentation for midge emergers in the film. Retrieved back, twitched or wind drifting, a pattern tied and presented in a horizontal path does provide positive results on top.

Now I am talking stillwaters, re that maneuver. On the slower tailouts of rivers, a drag free, dry fly presentation is appropriate. A light wire hook is better on a river to maintain a mostly horizontal position for the fly. The rear end of the fly will cant downward because of the lack of a tail to prop the fly up in the surface, or pattern design.

With the Hi-Jinx pattern above, the fly is tied smaller on a size 16 hook. This is not a bad idea for some patterns: still go somewhat small for the hook size and then reduce further the pattern size on the shank of the hook. The positives of the pattern will overcome the perceived negatives of the exposed hook. Pattern + Presentation will usually overcome most negatives.   

08
May
11

Fly Fishing: Hemostat Triple Twist~Grab Tag & Pull

h/t to John Newbury from FB re this knot tying technique: The Hemostat Knot.  This might be particularly helpful when the finger tips are frozen, or for general use.


For the beginning fly tier, you would be well served to practice your tying techniques while tying a limited scope of patterns. The temptation is to tie every pattern in that book and more that come to mind. Tie this and tie that. If you were limited to just tying as a past time with no opportunity to fish your creations, then tie hither and yon, but otherwise I would stay toward basic nymphs, dries, emergers, streamers and flymphs/wets (or, the basic patterns for the species you chase….it could be a variety of streamers only for a predatory species). This way there is a practical benefit to your targeted tying.


Flymphs: this style of ‘wet’ fly is worth a study on your part and worth a lot of tying. Selection of hackle and style of body are the two key considerations. Sparse patterns for almost dry fly presentations have/had their place. But, buggier dubbing and softer hackling offer a great deal of animation and life. A flymph can fish from the bottom up to the top with the correct presentations: Leisenring Lift.


A couple presentation considerations: study spey (two hander) casts and research their applicability to a single hander. Jean Paul from Roughfisher mentioned this the other day and it true. Line handling with bigger flies or more staged presentations can be easier by moving line, dumping it and then rolling it out into a zone. Research this. Also, for the stream fishing angler chasing primarily trout there is a tendency toward only using a floating line and rarely a sink tip. I use five lines for stillwater but severely limit myself on rivers when chasing trout. (I carry multiple spey line heads). But, a readers comment about using sinking lines and manipulating the fly up through pools and rapids reminded me of watching an old timer fish streamers with a clear, intermediate line to fish streamers on a river (something I would normally only use on a lake). 




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