Monday, November 28, 2011

Fly Tying News #4 Sixth Finger Scissors in Stock

This unique version of the spring scissor fits comfortably in your hand, and the finger loop holds the scissor on your middle finger so that you can hold it while arranging and winding material onto the hook. It's an great timesaver for fly tyers who constantly trim and cut materials. The tungsten models are fully capable of handling tough materials and feature black finished bodies and adjustable screws to tighten the blade or dissemble for sharpening or cleaning. The larger tungsten model measures 5 1/2" ($29) and is recommended for larger patterns and cutting heavier materials.  The 4 1/2" ($28) model is perfect for all the general purpose tying that you might do.

Giving Thanks for the Second Amendement

Over the break I was lucky enough to make my way back to Virginia for Thanksgiving. Besides the plethora of turkey, stuffing and potatoes, I was able to accent the meal with two beautiful ducks: a drake Woddie and a drake Mallard shot the day earlier on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Virginia is not renowned for its fly-way but with the cooler weather the migrations has started. Add that with the freezing of local ponds, it drives the birds to the rivers. An exciting method to hunt and the one employed to get these requires a partner and a canoe. The stern hunter paddles while the bow man shoots, providing an exhilarating way to duck hunt. Silently paddling towards a pod of wood ducks and preparing to shoot all while remaining camouflage is a difficult but rewarding way to hunt. It is also a more active way of duck hunting that will keep you warm on the frigid mornings.

With winter comes the possibility of not only fishing when the weather clears, but also at its worst, the opportunity to duck hunt. The worse the weather, the better the hunting or at least that seems to be the case. So if the snow and wind keep you off the river for fishing, do some research and try out the local fly-way for some duck shooting.

~Ed Hill

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Upcoming Fly Tying Clinics

New Directions for Big Water Streamers ....... 12/3/2011

Must Have Basic Scuds Patterns ....... 12/10/2011

Glass Beads Make A Difference ....... 12/17/2011
Flex Fleyes for Trout  ....... TBD

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Thingamabody

Last Saturday I did a clinic on how to tie the new series of indicator flies from WestWater Products.  After experimenting with these bodies I've come to the conclusion that they can't be beat  - they will support an incredible amount of weight, never sink, are very durable, telegraph a strike better than anything else I've tried, and can be tied in a wide range of patterns.  Here are a few tricks that I use.
1.  Monofilament thread to tie down the bodies and UTC 140 to secure the legs.
2.  Loon UV Clear Fly Finish (Knot Sense works fine) to cement the body to the hook.
3.  Bodies can be colored with a permanent marker - give them a coat of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails to hold and brighten the color.
4. Try wrapping the hook shank with bright shades of midge diamond braid to enhance the look of the underbody.
5.  The small (ants & beetles) and medium (hoppers, cicadas, etc) sizes are probably suitable for the majority applications.
6.  I like 1XL/2X heavy hooks like the TMC 3761....size 12 for the small and 8 for the medium bodies.

We don't sell these in the standard 6 packs of one size and color you find in most Fly Shops.  We buy in bulk and sell them by the dozen in any assortment of sizes and colors for $8.00.  Two dozen should carry most people through a season.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Wingman....a fly for any occasion

Hogan Brown resides in Chico, California where he teaches High School and guides on the Yuba, Sacramento, Trinity, and Feather Rivers.  He developed the Wingman as a multifunctional fly.  Hogan is a contract tier for Idylwilde Flies with some 24 patterns to his credit.

I've been using this fly in along Colorado's Front Range for the last has produced great results.

"Most of the waters I guide in Northern California are hatch specific tailwaters. The most effective technique is nymph fishing.  My boat bag is full of fly boxes filled with nymph in every possible variation, size and color. This leaves limited room to carry an arsenal of dry flies to match the hatches that one may encounter. This fishing situation requires dry flies that crossover to a variety of hatches and fishing situations.

The Wing Man is one of those patterns.  My home water, the Lower Yuba River, has both caddis and mayfly hatches that come off throughout the day.  Fishing a hatch specific pattern towards evening reduces hooks up because there are multiple hatches all mixed together with different fish in the same pod all looking for something different.  I needed a pattern that could be perceived by the fish as either a mayfly or a caddis.

Depending on the technique employed and some quick customizing the Wing Man can be fished for mayfly – caddis, adults, emergers and pupae.

Mayfly – Out of the box, the Wingman has a silhouette that can fool fish taking PMDs, PEDs, March Browns or Drakes.  Customize the fly for fish that are selective by removing some of the tail fibers until only 3 remain to imitate the natural more precisely.

Adjusted tail to mimic adult mayfly

Caddis – To fish as a caddis trim the tail completely off.  Use your nippers (point used for clearing the hook eye) to pick out the dubbing around the red bead.  For added reality use your thumb to flatten the hair wing by pushing down.


Clipped off tail for imitating Caddis

Fish the fly on a dead drift and when it starts to drag let it swing.  For the best results I add weight in front of the fly (either a heavier fly or split shot).  This allows the fly to sink when it is dead drifted.
When it comes tight and starts to swing the fly starts to rise imitating the natural migration of caddis to shore that trout key on.