Posts Tagged ‘flytying



04
Nov
12

Comets: Salmon/Steelhead love Comets streaking by.

Somewhere, with regards to tying Steelhead and Salmon patterns, I have followed the herd in tying ever larger and ornate flies. Long, leggy affairs that are lashed to a plastic tube or spendy Waddington shank. But, I came across a couple pieces about the Comet fly pattern and immediately wondered how did I stop tying these in the last few years. 

The Comet was always a simple tie and quite productive on the waters, primarily in the Winter. It is worth a review/revival to at least add to the other 2″-5″ long flies with trailing stinger hooks. 

Here is a video and information re the Comet at Oregon Fly Fishing Blog

Here at Fishing with Jay you see two of the primary colors for Comets.

This a simple to tie, very effective pattern for dredging away in the Fall months for Salmon and then into Winter for Steelhead. I have never fished it on the swing with a two hander so can’t speak to that, but no reason it wouldn’t work. Blue and Silver is a fine addition too.

01
Nov
12

Fish Tails (Tales) Requires Planning………

If are a fly fisher for Trout and other Spring through Fall species, you may have hung your gear up and won’t give it another thought until Spring looms near. Maybe you will pursue Winter Trout on a few year around waters or Salmon and Steelhead. A few hardy souls fish year around. But, a couple things, as my annual reminders, to consider.

~Did you organize your gear before you stuck it away? Did you put any part of it away wet or damaged? Did you clean up your fly lines and do a tune up on your reels? Is there anything you stuck away in a hurry, at the time, saying to yourself ‘I take care of it later…remember to take care of this later’. Did you?

~You considered learning to tie flies. Have you explored classes/lessons from a fly shop, community college, private lessons, fly fishing club etc. Maybe none of those options are available in your area. There are excellent on-line (S-B-S…Step By Step) tutorials on how to tie that are better than not trying it at all. Also, they are excellent to visit after you take person to person instructions. 

~If you do tie, now is the perfect time, while this past season’s fly selections/losses are fresh in your memory to inventory and make lists of what flies need to me replenished via tying (or purchased, if you don’t tie). This is best done while anticipating a timeline of when and where you will fish this coming year. What are the hatch sequences or subsurface life forms available in the waters you plan on fishing this coming year. Keep a plan pinned up and look at it, especially if you are a new tier so you don’t flit around tying this and that and never really tie all you needed.

This will help you in planning and enjoying your fishing outings and of course having plenty of ‘fishtails’ to expand upon for years to come. Now go check on that gear bag you filled with wet, stinky clothing and then zipped up last month.

07
Oct
12

Photographing a Lazy Cat in the Sun

Seriously, you wonder, what is the fascination with Penny the Cat? Well, like most cats she is fiercely independent, aggressive at times (last night she attacked my toes in bed…my dogs don’t do that thank goodness), she likes my fly tying materials as much as I do and when she slows down into her lazy mode I seem to relate to her lounging in the sunlight. Turn away if you hate cats because this is a celebration of a lazy cat…Penny the Cat.

Ok, the last shot gives some indication that her alert button is activated.

25
Sep
12

Large Mouth Bass, Winter Tying & A Revisit

My wife and I made out way over into Central Oregon for a few days, to fish for late Summer trout. We fished several lakes and had good success, but one story emerged that generates that seed that will carry one through the Winter until next year. A vision that will sustain and nurture a plan of action. A plan to return and kick some bucket mouth ass!

A beautiful trout by anyone’s standard, this trout was caught in along the reeds to the right. Something else lurked along those reeds that made for an awe-inspiring event and that kindled a spark for fly tying research.

My wife was working a Minnow Bugger in along the reeds and above the weeds. She felt the tap, tap, tap of a smaller fish. She stripped it in and saw that it was a baby Bass of about 8″. As we sat and speculated about Bass in the lake and how they get there, an apparition swirled into view right below us. Behemoths, giant fish, long fish, wide fish rose toward the surface, toward the hooked bass holding in the surface.

The smaller Bass is seen to the upper right. The large Bass came from the left. SwittersB

A giant large mouth Bass engulfed the smaller Bass and powerfully dove downward and away, stripping line off the apron and up through the guides. The line quickly came tight to the reel. The drag gave and the line stripped out and the 5 wt. was bent double. My wife struggled to fight this big fish.

The Bass was not hooked on the size 10 Minnow Bugger, but rather was clamped down on the engulfed smaller Bass. The battle commenced and the Large Bass was brought to the surface and almost to the net….almost….as the fish was pulled head first toward the opening of the net the big mouth opened and the small Bass was propelled into the air some six feet. Gone.

This similar encounter happened two times more and, of course, brings to mind what fly pattern could I tie to represent a distressed, smaller Bass that would be presented on an 8 wt. rod? To the fly tying drawing board I will go and plan some patterns on stout hooks. I estimate the Bass to be in excess of 24″ and well in excess of 10#. I caught Trout that were 24-26″ and were sleek, little Steelhead in size, maybe 5-7 pounds. The Bass were much larger in the shoulders, as is normal, than any of the Trout I saw.

Yes, a vision that will sustain a tying campaign this Winter.

24
Sep
12

Stars Align for Fly Fishing

I enjoy the whole learning process at SwittersB & Fly Fishing. I am by no means a self professed expert. I study like you do and savor those gems of wisdom that add to our book of knowledge…a very loose leaf book of knowledge. I like to share the fun stuff I find.

Photo by MJM

This past few days, I had an opportunity to escape for a few days with my wife. I was relaxed and at ease while I fished. Less concerned with numbers, size of fish, self competition to succeed. Such traps have been my self imposed silos of thought in the past, that cause unnecessary stress. Factor in time constraints and competing life forces and the last thing one needs is a competitive bent.

That said, I do like to assess…assess what I think I know with what I observe and how it sorts out in some measurable successes. The past few days were a blend of successes: observing the habitat and selecting the perfect flies to present and, of course, the best measurement of success… cooperative fish. 

Photo by MJM

The weather was perfect: the winds for stillwater fly fishing were mild, the temps pleasant. The pace was steady and peaceful. The body didn’t suffer too badly. The mind was at peace. The company was great!

Time for me, like for most of you, is limited to go fishing. Wanderlust can prevail, especially when one gets seduced by the fishbum life style. Not there for me, nor will it ever be. So, I have to enjoy the limited time and not taint it with over achieving mind games, that in the end rob me of the renewing qualities available for me. The stars aligned just fine for me.

16
Sep
12

Season’s End?: Recap the Forgottens

With the best of intentions last Winter, I tied up these Quill bodied, Parachute Emergers (about a dozen) and then put them in a little tin box and set them aside. Today, while sorting through my fly boxes, I found the little tin box beneath some bags of fly tying materials. 

Now fishing has been scarce of late. But, what was my plan for this little gem? Did I just tie to practice using quills or contending with that parachute post and wound hackle? I usually tie more for a purpose and less to perfect techniques. If I was to again teach fly tying, I would be perfecting some techniques that I have let languish. 

So, on closer inspection of this little gem…I really had no plan for it. I just tied up some and promptly tucked them away into lonely fly pattern oblivion.

A strategy, a plan, an awareness of why you tie certain patterns and when they would be of use helps one grow as a fly fisher chasing trout or whatever species. As Summer draws to an end, I will do some lake fishing, chase some Silvers, Late Summer Steelhead, trout feeding on eggs below Chinook redds and I seriously doubt the little gem above will be used for any trout fishing until next year. So now might be a good time to research what I had in mind for this fly back last Winter when I tied them. Then I should put them in fly boxes that make them visible and viable. Better planning and management of fly boxes. What can be so hard managing a gazillion flies?

08
Sep
12

Fly Fishing’s Black & White (The Basics)

These are very basic considerations for the beginner, but well worth doing (several times) to avoid bad habits and wasting your time: take classes on how to cast…take fly tying classes…take a guided trip or two…visit the shop when they are having special events and speakers…join fly fishing clubs…go on those club’s outings…watch other anglers on the river or lake and study their techniques…ask questions (hard for men to do).

Guided trips (I know they can be spendy) or fishing with others that invite you, is one of the best suggestions I can give. Keep an open mind and take advice from your guide/friends and you will learn more in that outing then in months by yourself.

Yes, you can read inspirational how to stuff like here at SwittersB & Fly Fishing, you can watch videos and inspiring movies and such, but that direct contact with experienced fly fishers will accelerate your progress.

Attending to the basics, the black and white, of the sport and not getting overloaded with all the minutiae too soon. Like any past time you will involve yourself to the degree of your given talents and aptitude. Enjoy it and master the basics first.

Then, also study this blog, others on my blogroll and add to the basics. You will soon realize there are different roads to the same destination….by that I mean you will be taught seemingly conflicting techniques. Sort through all this and build upon the new information. In time you will develop your own style.

  




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