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Everything posted by JSzymczyk

  1. +1 on the other posts- those are very nice nymphs. Some of you folks are true artists. growing up, I lived on the banks of probably one of the premier carp rivers in the world, Conewango Creek in NW Pennnsylvania- and we of course just considered them trash. We'd fish for them with strawberry dough and do pretty good. When the water was down in the summer you could see them rooting around and tailing like bonefish. I remember squirting some crawdad Fish Formula on a brown wooly worm one day, and hooked one which was the first fish to take me into my backing... Looks like the lowly carp are beginning to get some respect.
  2. right Deeky- ringnecks almost always are listed in the game species, even though they are introduced exotics. They taste yummy, that's probably why...
  3. roger Ace hardware! I went by there this afternoon to fill a propane bottle. I got a quart of toluene, and a tube of Goop, for less than $10. I mixed up some homebrew flex-cement in a 4oz glass jar with a teflon lined lid, and smack-bang! There's enough for about a thousand flies, maybe more. It even smells the same as the fly-shop stuff. Bonus that you can make it in any consistency you want, from watery to soak into windings to runny for dipping, to just plain goop for sticking on eyes or whatever. Better living through chemistry! Thanks to SawCat for the kick. (a few more of those little one ounce glass jars would be just the ticket, I have to look around and see if maybe a pharmacy has some. If not I know they can be purchased from Lab Safety Supply, but that would cut into the whole saving money idea...)
  4. Folks- you MUST check with your state's (or province or whatever) fish and game dept, DEC, game commission, or whatever agency oversees wildlife management. RAPTORS- birds of prey, hawks, owls, eagles, stinky vultures, falcons, are FEDERALLY (in the US) regulated. Don't even mess with them unless you are a so-called native american and can prove feathers will be used for art or ceremony. Normally the info will be found in the hunting regs, all the game species will be listed, all the rest will be 'nongame' species. Usually the capturing or killing of nongame species is prohibited. Exotics, like house sparrows, european starlings, and peackocks(!) might be open season, kill 'em all, depends on the state. Picking up feathers or body parts of nongame species may or may not be specifically addressed, depends on the state. I doubt very very much anyone would have heartache with using a naturally shed bluejay feather, but you just never know. I hit a robin with my motorcycle this morning on the way to work... I'll be picking feathers out of my jacket for a month. Bottom line is do the research for your own state. That still leaves open the questions about interstate transfer of such materials, which falls under a wonderful piece of legislation known as The Lacey Act. Good luck figuring out all the BS associated with it. It applies more to live animals, but might include animal parts(feathers).
  5. Is there anything in West Virginia which is NOT named after Robert Byrd?
  6. thanks for the info- I'll check at Home Depot this week for Toluene. My local Lowe's doesn't stock it. Buying 1oz bottles of flexament thinner from a fly shop works out to something like $400 per gallon....
  7. thanks for the compliments, I hope someone will be inspired to start bustin' thread and exploding deer hair all over the room again, or to start. BTW I have no trouble casting this style in #2 and #1 on my 7wt with a WF line. They cast well and don't twist too bad, unlike some feather-tail bugs.
  8. flyline- there isn't any realistic solution. We can have chicken, turkey, goose, duck, and whatever feathers dyed to match anything we want. No need to use the raptor feathers. Chicken feathers have no deeper meaning to the average tyer than just chicken feathers though. I've tied with feathers from ducks and grouse I've hunted and shot, and of course those flies have an extra "value" to me, but not to anyone else. This ties in (pun) to why I think it should be across the board prohibited, regardless of one's ancestry. No need to go into all the spiritual / ritual things associated with it all. The Artists making the traditional and display salmon flies must be having a nightmare trying to get the correct materials for historically accurate flies. I've seen some of the pictures on here, and those flies are totally mind-blowing- but I wouldn't know if the 3 strands of sub-topping barbules come from a chicken or the correct blue-crested, purple footed, left-handed, curley-cued sand rail. Your points about unknown origin, and passing the material on are totally valid too... one of my other hobbies is insect collecting- there are a few species of butterflies which are CITES listed, and possession or trade of those dead bugs is like taking your life in your hands. Luckily I only collect what I go out in the field after, I don't buy dead bugs from dealers. The parallels between the feathers and the dead bugs is there though, even with documentation it can be confusing.
  9. here's a late version of the Copperhead bug I mentioned in another post. I didn't get the ziggy-zaggy pattern I used to get, and my density is still down- I think maybe due to very old dried out hair. Eyes are not at all needed, but make for a pleasing bug. The fish couldn't care less. This pattern wasn't any more effective than an eyeless, solid colored bug, but it's fun to make and fun to fish. After trimming, I used the old Whitlock trick of painting the body with diluted flexseal. When it dries (couple hours) the body has a stiffer consistency and absorbs very little water. I don't think the fish will grab it and hold on to it as long as they might with an untreated hair body though. Counterpoint is this makes it MUCH more durable. this is on a #2 mustad 3366. Tail: bucktail, orange with some brown topping, plus a few strands of flash. whipped off and superglued. Skirt: orange deer hair Body: orange and red deer hair, spun and stacked to try to get offset red blotches with orange separating them. It helps if the different colored hair has the same consistency. Mine doesn't. If the different color hair has the same consistency, it would make for a nicer bug. Next few I make I think I'll add a bit of black and see how they look. enjoy, and don't let deer hair be intimidating! oh yeah, and the inspiration for the name of course is the snake, one of the prettiest species I've ever seen.
  10. yeah, it's another idiotic example of bureaucracy. You're not allowed to have the feathers. Not like the bird is gonna need them anymore... I believe the law was put in place as a measure to try to cut down on people shooting raptors. Up until the early part of the last century, many folks considered raptors pests, in the mistaken belief they ate a lot of chickens and squirrels and more "important" critters. Regardless, it's a stupid law that the feathers cannot be utilized unless of course you have that special card in your wallet. Stupid or not, it's not worth the risk of keeping them. On Kodiak, I've seen eagle feathers littering the beach, and and AK "game wardens" staking out the joint waiting for folks to pick one up and get in their car. In New Mexico, we had a mature Golden Eagle cross two phases of our incoming power lines and trip some of our gear off line. I found the crispy critter and looked over the feathers, and some of them sure would have been nice for different things. What a waste, reminded daily while driving by the rotting carcasse. Just leave the feathers alone. It's not worth it.
  11. Bill- it's not too bad, I made up a few more today that got better as I went. As I said I'm still using stretchy 3/0 monocord, and some of my deerhair is two decades old and somewhat brittle... when I get two bunches on and packed, I whip them off so if I pop the thread on the next one it's not a total do-over. I'm having trouble with the hair bunch twisting off-axis, and pulling harder either busts the thread or cuts the hair. I still can't seem to get the density, or controlled stacking color spots that I used to when I was a young punk though... and all I ever used back then was the same thread. I have a couple old froggy bugs from those days with bodies like cork, and nicely placed black-ringed yellow spots stacked in. Must have been good hair and luck. I wish I was 18 again, when I knew everything! :headbang: I used to tie a "Copperhead" bug, orange background with zig-zaggy red spots, it was a really nice bug and accounted for it's share of smallmouths... If I can't pick up some gel-spun or 4lb fireline, and some decent hair at Bass-Pro in Destin this coming weekend, I'll be calling Chris Helm for the right stuff. I'll probably be calling him anyhow for the right stuff. I totally forgot how satisfying turning out a good hair bug is. Joel
  12. right, that's why I wonder after centuries of hook manufacturing, why barbs are nearly universal? Seems hooks would also be less expensive to manufacture without the barb.
  13. roger that... at $800, it's no longer a hobby, a lifestyle, or even an addiction... it's an illness! I don't even know what all that stuff hanging off it is!
  14. forgot to add- I saw in a Dave Whitlock video many moons ago to paint the completed bug bodies with some diluted Flexament for durability and water resistance. I used to do that and it worked great. A little goes a long way. The bugs in the picture are not treated yet.
  15. does anyone know the correct thinner/solvent to use for diluting Goop and Flexament? Seems to me Flexament is just diluted goop. I've had several bottles solidify over the years and the cured product seems the same. Xylene and Toluene seem to be the likely candidates. My local mega-lo-depot has "Xylol" but only in a gallon can ! I was thinking a tube of Goop and a quart of the right solvent would be enough to make enough flexament for a heck of a long time, maybe longer. The little itty-bitty bottles of flexament thinner evaporate before I can use them... I guess I need to tie more. $16 a gallon for Xylol and $5 or so for a tube of goop is just a bit out of my experimental budget right now. If anyone knows the recipe, please pass it on. :help:
  16. How many routinely mash the barbs of your hooks, and wish the hook folks would just leave them off in the first place? I've noticed quite a few pictures show excellent flies on hooks with the barbs still intact. I found out many years ago that on light tackle (spinning as well as fly) getting a solid hookup was easier with a pointy wire instead of a wedge. Barbless definately makes unhooking simpler, and a lot less traumatic if you're unhooking a human. Back when I used to know how to catch a lot of fish (...) I made several comparisons using barbed and mashed hooks. I'd fight a fish for a while, then let it just go slack line, try to let it come "unhooked" by itself. I found no difference at all in hooks dropping out, using flies as well as spinning lures (jigs, spinners, my favorite of all time- rapala #7 silver floating minnow). I now pretty much mush the barbs of my hooks on everything, except perhaps when I'm drowning a chunk of cut bait for catfish. Really has nothing to do with ease of catch-and-release, I just find I get more solid hookups.
  17. recently started tying again after several years. I used to really enjoy making deerhair bugs and thought I was pretty good at it... After a couple of nights of busted thread, cut hair, and words my son shouldn't hear, I started to get the hang of it again, sort of. My spinning, stacking, and packing ain't what they used to be. Most of the hair I'm using is around twenty years old, maybe a little less, and I wonder if that's part of my major malfunctions. I don't have any of the newfangled GSP thread or 4lb fireline (no local sporting goods shops carry fly tying gear, and no one seems to know anything about light tackle either... everyone wants to rip the faces off 1lb bass with 30lb line.) but I intend to get some soon. I'll pick up some less-than-antique hair too. Been reading posts about people having lots of trouble learning to spin hair, just keep at it, and try to use good hair. I used 3/0 monocord always, but I imagine the GSP will be nicer to work with (?) The bugs I used to love to fish for river smallmouth were simple, fairly easy, and fairly quick to make- as quick as any hair bug I guess. The pattern is sort of a skirt wearing Tap's bug. Instead of trimming totally back to the tail, I like to leave a hair-tip skirt. The tail is bucktail with maybe some flash added. I've found the addition of eyes or rubber hackles make no difference to the fish. This pattern casts easy too, on my 7 wt, #4s and #6s on my 5wt too. The ones in the pic are all on #2 3366s. I plan to see how they work for the local largemouths. It's a good, classic style, and used to work just fine in simple solid colors. The solids just aren't as satisfying to make, but they sure are less painful to lose to a snag or a fish! :baby: happy tying, keep after it, Joel
  18. yeah Joe C.... stacked blondes are high on my list too... I'd obviously be interested in reading your article! I know I used to tie a tri-wing version; keeping the middle and forward bunch of hair shorter, thereby reducing fouling. I know I caught fish on them but they weren't as appealing to me as the standard version. I'm thinking it made absolutely no difference to the fish, they swam well, and didn't foul as often. The flash in the bucktail version is "Flashabou Accent" in Rainbow. I don't know if it's still made or not, my package is quite old and has a Cabela's label on it. I have some pearl, yellow, and rainbow. I think it's the same as "krystal flash". Yes indeed the body is just wrapped with that material, coated with Hard-As-Nails. The yellow mara-blonde has regular old Flashabou with a pearl mylar piping body. It's all ratty because I caught several smallies with it way back when, and a few largemouths just recently. May be time to retire it because I'll surely lose it on a tree if I try to keep catching things with it.
  19. when I was a kid, my local public library had a copy of Joseph D. Bates' "Streamers and Bucktails". I loved that book. Somewhere in it, there was a description of a type of bucktail originated by Joe Brooks, which he called a "Blonde", and I think it was an answer to a saltwater problem. It stuck in my head and I remember thinking it would make a heck of a smallmouth fly, scaled accordingly. More or less a bi-wing bucktail, one clump of bucktail for the tail, one for the wing, and a tinsel body. I figured marabou would be good too. This design predated the Clouser minnow by about a thousand years. Years passed and I found opportunity to cast this type of fly in quite a few waters. It's accounted for smallmouth, largemouth, brown and rainbow trout, crappie, bluegill/sunfish, pike, and one channel cat. A couple pictures: the yellow marabou I tied probably in 1990 while stationed in Maine and fishing the tar out of smallmouths in the Aroostook River on the New Brunswick side. The white bucktail I tied probably last month. Both of these flies have taken a couple small largemouths in a local pond in the past couple weeks. One drawback to this design is the tendency for the wing to foul around the hook, making it into a spinner. Past that, it is a great design which can be tailored to nearly any circumstance. While I don't remember it being addressed, I believe Lefty's Deceiver must have been based on Joe Brooks' Blonde series.
  20. I realize this may be blasphemous- back in the day I used to fish my "home river" a lot for smallmouth. When I wasn't able to figure them out, there were usually carp to be found. I'd use a number 8 brown/griz or brown/brown woolly worm, unweighted, and dead drift it to the fish. The secret (oh Lord!) was a shot of "Crawfish" flavored Fish Formula. Adapt and overcome.
  21. Thanks for the welcome guys. Amazing how so much has changed in the world of fly tying since I last paid any real attention to it...
  22. Hi all- just found this forum, looks like a great wealth of info. I've been a fly-tyer since I was a kid in the mid-80's. There have been a couple periods of time when my gear stayed packed up and unused because of locations where I lived and other interests taking precedence, but I've never lost the "bug" for tying. Grew up fishing for trout and smallmouths in NW Pennsylvania, along with all the other great stuff up there, panfish, walleyes, perch, carp, pike, whatever swims. Last year we got moved to the deep south and I slowly got access to some local ponds with largemouths, bream, and crappie, and started up tying for the warmwater fish again. Re-learning to tie bucktails, hair bugs, woolly buggers, and everything in between. Hope to be able to contribute as well as learn some new stuff here!
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