Monday, August 24, 2009

Blood Worm Revisit

Notes on the Fly

The fly on the left is my old blood worm pattern, and the fly on the right is the new one with modifications.  

At first glance they seem the same!   Look closer and you will find the changes I talked about in the previous post.  No head, more slender, and larger segmentation.  A much closer representation to the natural.  

Using this new fly I landed my largest trout to date in my home stream this past weekend!  It may not have been completely due to the fly, after all I am a firm believer in presentation is 9/10 of the law, but making the fly look closer to the real thing couldn't have hurt! 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baetis Nymph

Hook:        Curved #18 - 26
Thread:     Brown/Olive
Tail:           Tag of Thread
Body:         Micro Tubing
Thorax:      Peacock Herl

Notes on the Fly

I have been developing a more accurate and easier to tie baetis nymph pattern since last winter, finally this summer I collected a few good samples to match from.  Normally I use a small Pheasant Tail to match a BWO nymph but as you can see below that is not a close representation, and PT take to long to tie.   The new fly is super easy to tie, very durable, and matches the natural nicely.  Give it a try and let me know if you have any questions I would be happy to help.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Scud Revisited

Hook:          Any curved #20 to #12
Thread:       To match outer dubbing
Rib:              Silver (sm) Ultra Wire
Body:           Superfine 
Overbody:   Light Sparse Superfine

Notes on the Fly

The other day I realized that I never posted the actual 'dry' version of this fly in my original post.  If the new photo doesn't help and you are having trouble tying this imitation give me a quick contact and I'd be happy to help.  

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bloody Worms

Hook:      Any Hook #14 - 18
Thread:   Red 8/0
Body:       Micro-tubing

Notes on the Fly

The blood worm is a great tie, especially for beginners who want to catch fish on their own flies.  I use micro-tubing for an over-body to better segment the body, but I've also had success with plain thread versions too.  

I've used blood worms for a few seasons now, but this is the first year I've actually picked some real ones up in a kick sample.  My pattern shown in the picture, although it has caught fish, is a little off from the natural, and since this picture, I have changed my standard blood worm pattern a bit, keeping it more slender, and tying the fly with no head.  Fish the blood worm pattern when the trout are feeding low in the water column, and when they are not taking anything else. 

These flies are easy to tie and effective, so tie a few, and go catch some trout! 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

An Early Start

Notes on the Fly Tyer

This is my daughter a day after her two year old birthday. For this past year she has been sitting on my lap and practicing her thread wraps. For the last few months I have been allowing her to choose materials out of my scrap bin, and I would hold them on the hook and she would tie them on.

For her birthday I finally let go and let her tie by herself. The fly in the picture was her first creation done by her alone. Well I started the thread, but that's it! So now we tie together and it is one of her favorite activities. If she grows up and enjoys tying and fishing even a little, I will be one blessed dad.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Organize Cheaply

Notes on My Bench

Here are three ways to organize your fly tying station cheaply. 

1) This tip was taken directly from AK Best, because when a master of a craft writes something you pay attention...  Take a 2x4 cut it, and drill holes in it.  This will serve as your tool caddy.  Even if you by an 8 foot 2x4 it will be a MUCH cheaper investment than
those fancy fly tying organizers.  If your wife complains, paint it.  

2) Search the 'spinning/casting' 
section of your local fishing store.  All of my plastic organizers are the small cheap Plano boxes... around $3 each.  Compare that to an official hook organizer, fly box, or dubbing box, and you can by a lot of those little boxes!  I also use those boxes for all of my dubbing.  NEVER buy an assorted dubbing box it is overpriced and you will run out of your favorite color fast.  Instead, buy the cheapest plastic box you can and purchase small packs of all the colors in the assorted box.  This may actually work out to be the same price in the end, except, you have TONS more dubbing 'backup' you can add when that favorite colors run out. 

3)  Build/customize an old, small, cheap, computer desk.  Most of you will have an old one, unless you have trashed it already, or sold it in a yard sale... if that's the case go to a yard sale and get one for $5, it may be your old one!  My wife gave me her old one willingly and it took me all of 30 minutes to customize it into my ideal tying station.  

Staying organized keeps the other people in the house happy, and it makes you tie faster and better.  Being cheap allows you to spend your money on money worthy materials, such as good hackle and quality hooks.  Have fun and be creative.

*(If you are rich then disregard this post, and buy a custom built Oak fly tying station... someone needs to support a cool business like that!)
**(A photo of my complete bench can be found on the right.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Only Way...

Hook:     Curved #20-24 fine
Thread:   Black 10/0
Tail:         Partridge
Body:       Thread
Wing:       Medallion Sheeting Clear
Thorax:    Black Superfine

Notes On the Fly
I have fished the Trico Spinner Fall for three years now and have done so relatively successfully.  It is tough fishing but it caries the potential for some larger fish on a dry so I have always loved the 'hatch'.  This season temps have been cool and the last two outings I have had a crack at the actual trico hatch.  The first attempt was a failure.  My adult imitations were not up to snuff, and I got plenty of looks but no takers, and here is where the title fits in.  After being refused I did some quick research as to why, and there were a lot of reasons (see previous post photo)!  The hackle didn't quite match, the flies were too big, and the wing color was completely wrong.  Using the photos I tied up some new flies, went back to the stream a few days later, and caught fish.  Picky fish need picky fly tiers.  Do some research and tie your flies from what you observe on the stream, not what a book or blog tells you, and you will catch more fish.  Not exactly self promoting information here, but I feel like it is the only way...  

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A New Way...

Notes On the Fly

When you begin to really 'match the hatch' try to catch a few of the bugs and really compare them to your imitations.  My tying and fly selection really began to change when I started this process.  

Your perception of a bug can be a little different than you think when they are in the air, on the water, or even in your hand.  I know after a few years of matching the hatch successfully I still struggle with this same thing! 

I picked this fly (seen in the image above) a #20 Medallion Trico Dun because it appeared to be the correct match when I first examined the air and water.  Not until I caught a bug and tossed it in my trico box did I see I was 2 sizes off... as usual I needed a smaller pattern.  Right around the time I started putting real bugs in my fly boxes was when I started tying all my flies smaller... and catching more fish.  Give it try and see if it helps you.  

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Hook:       Any Dry #16 - 30
Thread:    Color to match 
Hackle:    Color to match

(keep it simple they are just ants...)

Notes on the Fly

Make sure you bring a variety of sizes and colors this time of year.  If there is nothing rising, find a few on the stream bank and match them up the best you can.  Throw to some fishy looking places, and don't be afraid to give them a twitch or two as most terrestrials squirm while floating to their demise.