Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sometimes Simple is Best...

Walt's Worm
This fly was originally designed by Pennsylvania resident Walt Young.  If I am not mistaken it was orginally tied to imitate cranefly larva.  I have had a lot of success with this fly before caddis hatches so the fish may take it as caddis larva/pupa.  I also think it would be a good scud imitation in smaller sizes.  What ever the fish take it for is immaterial because they take it often enough that it is a go to fly for me.
Hook -  2x long nymph hook (10-16)
Underbody - .015 lead wire
Body - Hare’s Ear dubbing (I use Hareline Plus #1)
Thread - Tan 6/0
The Procedure:

The Results:

This fish was caught on a Walt's Worm that was tied by my son, who was five at the time.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tenkara Flies

This year for Christmas my wife gave me a Tenkara fly rod, leader and this vial of flies.  These flies which I assume are designed to imitate mayflies are very elegant.  I sat down at the vise to duplicate one and I think I did a fair job.

Monday, December 28, 2009

CF Design Marco Polo Travel Kit

I have been thinking about one of these travel kits for years and a few weeks ago I snagged one off Ebay for a fraction of what they normally sell for.  This kit includes a very good light weight vise and a selection of very high quality tools.  In fact these tools are better quality than the tools on a day to day basis.  Also included is a magnetic hook pallet.  It all fits in large fly box, prefect for traveling or streamside tying sessions.  Now I have an another excuse to plan a trip.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Another Bird and Trout

I picked up this Jerry Hossom Bird and Trout back in November at the New York Custom Knife Show. This one has been on my wish list for some time now. This is a beautiful little knife that will disappear when carried in a vest pocket or around the neck.   The next step is to find someone to make a sheath for it.  I may just give the blade a kydex cover for now, until I can find something better.  As much as I like the knife it is not exactly what I was looking for, but since these knives are so few and far between I jumped on it.
Just in case your interested, the version below is what I had in mind.  As you can see its a slightly longer blade with a little different shape.  You can't see it in this photo but there is a line cutter on the ricasso (on the other side of the notch).  The hunt continues...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone had a great day whether you celebrate the day or not. After this year I am convinced that Santa is a fly fisherman. Plenty of fly fishing goodies in the ole stocking this year.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Change in plans...

I was planning on wetting a line tomorrow morning but the forcast is calling for over a foot of snow.  I may chance it and give it a shot for a few hours before it gets too sloppy, but maybe a better option would be to stay home,  start a fire and tie some flies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pancora Streamer

I saw this streamer pattern tied for the first time this summer during TU's national meeting in Michigan.  Unfortunately I lost my notes so I can't give the creater of the pattern the credit that he deserves.  This streamer was one of my top producers this fall.  The pattern was originally designed to target trout swimming in the waters of Patagonia and was tied to imitate the Pancora.  Pancora are a crustacean which sorta looks like a mix between a crab and a crayfish.  

Luckily the colors do a pretty good job matching our local crayfish species.  I fish this fly in a heavily weighted version and try and bounce it along the bottom.  It works well being stripped like a traditional streamer as well.
Hook:  Straight Eye Streamer 2-6
Cone: Gold tungsten
Weight: .35 lead wire
Tail:  Olive or orange marabou (orange version shown)
Body: Olive Estaz
Rib:  Gold wire
Wing:  Olive zonker strip - secured zonker style with the gold wire ribbing
Legs:  White round rubber
Collar:  I tie two versions olive metallic dubbing as pictured or red metallic dubbing

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Another Killer Czech Nymph

This is another pattern that worked very good for me this last season.  I have modified it slightly with the addition of the deer hair thorax dubbing.  I like this new version even better, hopefully the fish will agree with me.
Hook:Partridge CZ
Inner Ribbing:  Gold wire
Outer Ribbing:  Maxima Mono
Abdomen:  Light olive synthetic dubbing
Hot Spot: Pink ice dub
Thorax:  Simon Thorax dubbing -Brown
Shellback:  Tan magic shrimp foil

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hi-Viz Beadhead

This pattern is tied with a orange tungsten bead and adhesive lead tape under the thorax...very heavy fly.  Should be a good searching pattern for Spring's high, off colored waters.  I saw Kevin Compton tie a similar pattern at the Fly Tying Symposium a few weeks back so I can't take any credit for this one.

Hook:  Scud size 14
Bead: Orange tungsten
Tail:  Pheasant tail
Abdomen:  Olive biot
Thorax:  Hares ear spun in dubbing loop
Wingcase:  Black thin skin

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Siman Thorax Dubbing

Siman Thorax Dubbing

I love this dubbing for tying tying thorax areas on nymph patterns.  The chopped deer hair does a great job simulating legs.  It can be a little difficult to spin on thread but it works well with a dubbing loop.  I find that mixed a little rabbit fur with this material makes it a little easier to handle.

The end result...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Czech Pattern

This pattern is a heavily weighted nymph with three layers of lead foil tied in at the bend of the hook.  I use it as an anchor fly as it sinks like a rock.

Hook:  Partridge CZ #12
Shell back:  Pink magic foil
Inner Rib:  Oval gold tinsel
Outer Rob:  Gold wire
Abdomen:  Light olive synthetic dubbing
Heart/bright Spot:  Fushia UV dubbing
Thorax:  Tan UV dubbing

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Czech Nymphs

Here is one of my most effective Czech nymph patterns this last season.  These are quick easy ties, a little sloppy but the fish don't mind.  You can turn out a couple dozen in no time at all.  The key to tying an effective Czech or Polish style nymph is turning out a fly with a good amount of weight and a thin profile.  I will weight these patterns with adhesive backed lead tape or square lead wire.  Both methods will allow you to load a hook with more weight than traditional lead wire.  Some flies have a single layer of lead some a double.  Its pretty easy to figure out which is which by just holding them in your hand.

This pattern is a basic olive Czech Nymph.

Hook:  Partridge CZ #12
Shell back:  Tan Shrimp Foil
Inner Ribbing:  Gold Wire
Outer Ribbing:  Mono
Abdomen:  Synthetic Light Olive Dubbing
Heart/Spot:  Clear UV Dubbing
Thorax:  Brown Hares Mask

Monday, December 7, 2009

You'll be missed Jack...

I was saddened to learn about the passing of Jack Gartside over the weekend.  Jack was an iconic fly fisherman and fly tier.  He had an incredible sense of humor and was always a pleasure to chat with at area fly shows.  Some of the patterns he developed are staples in many of our fly boxes.  I can't count the number of fish from trout to stripers that have fallen for his simple Gurgler pattern.  Jack had been battling cancer for some time now but always remained optimistic.  I hope he's in a better place now.

Jack Gartside  1942-2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Vise...

I have been tying with a LAW pedestal vise for close to ten years now.  The vice is made by Lawrence Waldron of England.  The vise has a pretty good following with British and European flytiers and I see more and more of them showing up stateside.  I just cannot say enough positive things about this piece of equipment, it is an absolute joy to use, and it is holding up extremely well.  Works as good as the day I recieved it.

Expensive yes, especially now with exchange rates being so out of wack.  I lucked out when I purchased mine.  The dollar was stronger, the pound weaker and in the end I paid less than a Renzetti Presentaion would have cost me.  I believe Lawrence is still making them one at a time.

As far as I know he still does not have a website or e-mail address, and does his business the old fashion way by mail and phone.  He was an absolute pleasure to deal with and I strongly recommend his work.

Contact information:
Lawrence A. Waldron
3 Crockington Close
Seisdon, Staffs. WV5 7EL
Tel/Fax: +44 (0)1902 896315

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tenkara fishing

Tenkara fishing is a traditional method of fly fishing in Japan.  Only a rod, tenkara line (which appears to be nothing more than a long furled leader), and fly are used for tenkara fishing.  No reel is used in this style of fishing.  The long leader is tied directly to the tip of the rod.
In recent years I have become quite successful with the Czech or Polish style of nymphing.  With this technique little to no fly line is used and there is no "traditional" casting involved.  Flies are pitched or lobbed upstream and then tracked downstream with the rod basically parallel to the surface of the water.  There is a little more to it than that but thats the basic concept.  It is not much different from our highstick nymphing.  Less line is used and rod positioning is different, but if you highstick nymph fish you will find the Czech/Polish methods pretty easy to adapt to.  I am thinking that this tackle may work well for this style of fishing.  I am not quite sure how successful I am going to be landing big fish in heavy water but I'm going to give it a shot.  From what I have seen trout in Japan run way smaller than our fish.   I put this rod on my Christmas list and hopefully Santa will hook me up.  The rod is twelve feet long and is designed for those who consistantly catch fish over 16"  (I can dream can't I?)

Tenkara USA is a good source for information and equipment for this style of fishing.  I'll keep you posted on how this experiment works out.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Been busy...

Things have been pretty busy so the posts have slowed down a bit.  I've been doing a bit of tying lately but have not taken pictures.  Most of the work has been filling up the Czech nymph box so I'll put up some patterns and photos in a few days.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Caddis Larva

I picked up this recipe for a caddis larva pattern from Johan Klingberg.  Johan is a fly tier from Sweden who was one of the featured tiers at the Fly Tying Symposium over the weekend.  This a great looking pattern that will sink like a rock.  It will be an excellent pattern to fish with the Polish\Czech nymphing method.  What made this pattern unique was the method in which the dubbing was applied to the hook shank to give that deep segmentation.

Hook:  Partridge CZ hook
Weight: Fine square lead wire wrapped in two layers over bottom third of hook (this is what gives the fly the pronounced lower body)
Rib:  Olive tying thread
Dubbing:  Blue wing olive FlyRite dubbing.  FlyRite is a long fibered synthetic dubbing.  Long fibers are separated from the bunch, then overlapped and tied in by the tips.  Twist the fibers into a rope and wrap on hook.  Wraps should not be touching, leave a little gap and fill in with thread ribbing after tying off dubbing.
Legs:  Hen feather

I dug out some FlyRite dubbing and started playing around with it.  I am going to crank out a couple dozen in different sizes/colors.  This should be a good pattern.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Weekend of Fly Tying

It was a busy weekend indeed!  I spent a full two days at the Inernational Fly Tying Symposium!  Checked out some great speakers, enrolled in a Czech Nymph fly tying class and picked up a bunch of materials I have been looking for.  Here are a few pictures.  I'll get more up later in the week.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The show starts tommorrow, I'm looking forward to it.  Hope to have
pictures to put up over the weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Great weather...great fishing

Shirt sleeves in November it doesn't get much better than that.  Not to mention that the streams are full of big beautiful browns.  Its a shame it can't last forever...

Hare's Ear Caddis Emerger

Fish this fly any time caddis are on the water. This fly is a great imitation of a caddis pupae.

I typically tie the fly un-weighted and tie it on my leader with a loop knot to give the fly plenty of action.  Some times I fish it in the film by itself or behind a dry fly.  But more often I fish it as my top fly in a two or three fly nymph rig.  Don’t be afraid to impart a little movement into the fly.  Swinging or lifting at the end of a drift often brings very aggressive strikes.  I have never varied the basic colors of this fly but I will do my best to match the size of the hatching insects.

❖Hook:  Tiemco 200R size 12-18
❖Thread:  Black Uni 6/0  (8/0 for 16’s & 18’s)
❖Ribbing: Flat gold tinsel or gold wire
❖Dubbing:  Hare’s mask or packaged hare’s ear dubbing (I like Hareline Plus #1 Natural Hare’s Ear which is a fur/antron blend)
❖Hackle:  Hungarian partridge body feather
❖Collar:  Black ostrich herl

Tying Instructions:
Tie in thread near eye of hook and wrap to the rear stopping at a point directly over the barb of the hook.
Tie in you tinsel or wire.
Sparsely dub the tying thread with hare’s ear dubbing and wrap forward, leaving space at the front of the hook for the hackle and collar.
Counter wrap the tinsel or wire forward and tie off. At this time I like to throw in a half hitch or whip finish and brush out the dubbing.  You don’t want to do it after finishing the fly because you may damage the hackle and collar.
Tie in a single partridge feather by the tip and make one or two turns at the most (again think sparse, you imitating legs so you don’t need many fibers).  Stroke the fibers back as you wrap so they sweep back over the body.
Tie in the ostrich herl.  You will need two or three feathers for the larger sizes one will do nicely of the smaller ones.  Twist it with your tying thread, wrap forward and tie off.
Build up a neat thread head tie off, apply head cement if you wish and your done

Monday, November 16, 2009

More on the new desk...

I have some drawings of the new desk that is on order.  It is Stoney Creek's Pennsylvania Masters model with a few custom features like an extra material hutch added to the top, extra deep drawers, secret compartments and electrical outlets and built in surge protector on the worktop.  The desk will have 28 drawers total and will be crafted from Cherry stained in a Autumn Wheat color.

Here's a photo of a similar model with a bookcase added over the desk instead of the material hutch.

Should not be long now...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Some images from today...

I was able to get out and wet a line with a friend today.  Things got fast and furious for a while so there were not many pictures taken but here's a few...

Nice Rainbow with a clear shot of what fooled him.  The method was Czech (or Polish) nymphing and this flashback pheasant tail with an oversized faceted tungsten bead was the anchor fly.  I originally tied these primarily to get the flies to the bottom, never expecting that oversized bead to be attractive to the fish, but they seem to love it.
Here's the rest of him...

A chunky brown...

This guy and bunch of others took a caddis pupa pattern tied with UV dubbing.  I loved the way this pattern looks in the water.  Very translucent, very buggy...                                

You can't really make it out to well but part of it is tucked neatly behind the jaw.

This fly took one of the biggest fish if the day, a big fat brown.  I'm waiting on my buddy to send me the photo I'll put it up when I get it.  Flashback Pheasant Tail tied Winona Fly Factory style...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bird and Trout

One of my other passions is fine cutlery.  Several weeks ago I recieved this Bird and Trout model from maker Gene Ingram.

I have at least a half a dozen of his knives.  And I can say without hesitaion that he does beautiful work.  His prices are reasonable to boot.  I love the feel of this blade in the hand.  It almost makes me want to harvest a trout or two next time I go out...almost...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Singlebarbed Sixth Finger Scissor

I have always admired those fly tiers who mastered the art of tying with a pair of scissors in their hands.  I call it an art because it is something I have never been able to do.  I gave up after I embedded the points of the scissors into my eye brow.  I was tying away late one evening and felt a little itch above my right took about ten minutes to stop the bleeding.  I vowed after that to give up on trying to tie with sharp implements in my hands

Yesterday I received a package in the mail that will change all that.  The Sixth Finger Scissor.  They are an ingenious pair of light weight spring loaded scissors with an oversized ring that comfortably fits over your middle finger.  You can find out more about the scissors at Singlebarbed's Blog.

I tied up a dozen flies up last night using the new scissor in hand and I was blown away.  After 30 years of tying flies I can finally hold a pair a scissors in my hand while working.  I was able to turn out a dozen Czech nymphs without wiping blood from my eyes, which is always a plus!  Thanks Singlebarb!