Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter Spey Flies and Methods

This winter I decided to pursue traditional spey flies and their methods.  I made this decision because our local Great Lake tributaries are finally void of crowds, and I've never stuck to the swing in the winter before.  Below are 5 ways to keep you tying and fishing all winter.

1)  Try it.   Don't be afraid of a slow day.  So far my friends and I have not been skunked this winter fishing in every possible weather condition and temperature.  Stick with the swing and you will be rewarded!  You may not hook as many as you could on an egg/nymph, however, you will cover more water and increase your chances of finding a fish that is really hungry!

2) When the temps have been in the 20's and 30's fish will take medium sized flies in the 1 to 2" range.  Best methods are a low and slow swing in medium current... and don't forget to strip slowly through the side slack waters!

3) When the temps are in the Zero to Teen range (which usually coincides with low water flows) use small and sparse patterns.  Old school traditional spey flies work, just stay confident and keep the flies low in the water column and with the slowest possible swing.

4) When temps are warmer high 30's and 40's, tie on the big stuff!  Still try to keep the swing slow but don't be afraid to give them a real meal.  The slightest warm up can really turn the bite on.  Don't forget you can tie spey flies on any hooks, I use 'cheap' bronze finished straight eye streamer hooks, and they still catch fish!

5)  Introduce a new person into the world of tying and fishing (especially kids)!

Want to see some more... Check out some of my photos from the last few weeks of winter fly fishing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Korkers Chrome Review

I rarely post gear reviews here, but you need to hear about these boots if you haven't already.  The new Korkers Chrome wading boots recently became available, and I've had enough wades in mine to give appropriate praise.  Check em out...

I have fished the Korkers Guide boots for a year now, and until the Chrome came along I thought these were the best boots hands down.  The Guides are still a great a boot don't get me wrong, I would even say they're the 2nd best boot on the market.  If you're on a budget and need boots you can find the Guide's on clearance.  If you want the best, get the Chrome.   Here's why...

The new Interchangeable Sole System (OmniTrax® 3.0) is what you've always wanted Korkers to do.  The soles are actually easy to change, and they cover the whole bottom of the boot... perfect! The new BOA lacing system is much faster then the old style on the Guides and it's much smoother.  The ankle support has also been beefed up, fabric feels durable, better drainage, and they still managed to put out a light weight boot!

You will love the Chrome boots for many reasons.  I love mine for how fast they get me out of my frozen waders and into my warmed up car...

Check out Korkers website, or visit a local dealer and try them yourself.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SC Salt Trip

Beadchain Mudminnow. 
First off thanks for all the replies and comments on Redfish patterns, it was very interesting to research and tie for a new species.  For the few weeks leading up to the trip I got to the vise and created a few patterns...  
Dark and Sparse Mudminnow.

Dark beadchain sand crab.

I met up with Mike Benson shortly after sunrise outside of Charleston, SC, and we fished hard almost all day.  The trip was a blast filled with countless new scenes to take in and attempt to photograph.   Below are a few shots from the day.  Special thanks to William Joseph for the gear, and Mike for the trip!

Mike on the platform looking for Reds. 
Quick casting demo... humbling to say the least.
Frozen deck to start!
Local wildlife, fellow fisherman. 
Sad to end such a great day, and I can't thank Mike enough!