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Fly Tying

Shawn Davis

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About Shawn Davis

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  1. Thanks, guys. My wife takes all the serious photos of my flies. I just pick up the camera and point and click, so any virtue in the images is a credit to the camera, not me. It's a Canon digital with a pretty nice macro lens. Don't know the details - not really my area of expertise. -Shawn
  2. Not really meant to be super-realistic, but much more so than my typical fishing fly. Realistic tying is not really my thing - I generally like to keep my fishing flies very simple and reserve my serious bench time for artistic salmon flies. But I felt like making a nice stone for a particularly technical stream near my house, and whipped out these guys in more time than I care to admit. One is on a straight-shank streamer hook, the other is articulated and fishes hookpoint-up. Neither pattern is all that original, the better aspects mainly having been pilfered from Lloyd Gonzales. My favorite and only original part of the patterns is the wire weave on the abdomen. It allows me to have a different color wire on top and bottom, and also adds little gills to the sides of the abdomen where the weave crisscrosses. More details on the evolution of the pattern may be found on my site in the "What's New" section. Overall I'm pretty pleased with the pattern, though primary results on actual fish have been less than wonderful. Hopefully next winter and spring I get better conditions to test them in. Please be gentle. Not trying to break any records, here. -Shawn
  3. Thanks, guys. I hope it fishes well for you. Carl, the key to keeping it from fraying is to use vernille instead of chenille. Chenille frays, vernille does not. Tied correctly, the fly is very durable, but the wraps must be kept tight, the spiral not too loose, and a counter-clockwise twist in the vernille before tying it off at the head helps keep tension in it (otherwise it tends to bunch up at the rear when the fly is whipping around at the end of your line). Somewhat detailed steps may be found here. -Shawn
  4. Thanks, guys. Hope they work for you. Yeoldkiller, nice suggestion. I sometimes go to the trouble of tapering the ends, most times not. I don't know if they fish any differently one way or the other, but one of the great plusses of this style is how fast they are to tie. You can toss them aggressively into nasty lies without worrying about snapping off a lot of time at the bench (I find this is especially important when I fish them as terrestrials in summer). So I try to avoid anything that adds to the tying time. I'm been fishing these for a few years now, and I doubt that the heads on the caddis version or any of the other more complex tweaks I'm working on make meaningful improvements to the fly other than making them look better to fishermen. The beauty is in the simplicity. I fish the simplest versions most, and the fish like them a lot. -Shawn
  5. Here's another shad fly I developed, this one a little more creative. It's somewhat Matuka-ish. It's tied hookpoint up, with both wings coming off the same side of the hook - the idea was to put a kink in the fly which would give it an erratic motion when fished. For that reason, I used the stiff primary wing feathers of a Madagascar Kingfisher rather than a flexible hackle feather. More details on its construction may be found on my site in the "What's New" section. I really like the way this fly looks, but it has not yet been fished. I'll post primary results when I have them. -Shawn
  6. Thanks, Big Daddy. I know these flies aren't particularly innovative, but it was nice to know that they worked. I'm going to post another that I think is cooler looking, but as yet it's unfished. -Shawn
  7. I developed these flies a few years ago but only recently published them. They are a response to the San Juan Worm and Green Weenie, two flies I find aesthetically unpleasing. The idea was to create a fly which would have a three-dimensional appeal and would also writhe naturally as it drifted. These curly flies have become a staple in my flybox, especially the green one as a summer terrestrial. While incredibly simple, the style is one of my flytying innovations I'm most proud of. Their names are the Green Curly Worm, the San Shawn Worm, and the Tan Curly Caddis. Details on their construction as well as tips on how to fish them may be found on my site in the "What's New" section. -Shawn
  8. My brother in Texas recently asked me to develop a shad pattern for him. I came up with a few simple patterns involving zonker strips and marabou. He fished them this past weekend for the first time once the action had died down on on the molded plastic lures he usually spins with. In short order he'd caught 5 bass, including the largest bass he's caught in that water, while the two people he was fishing with couldn't scare up a thing. There are few pleasures in flyfishing better than having the answer when spinners and bait-plunkers fail... Details about these flies' construction may be found on my site in the "What's New" section. -Shawn
  9. A friend of mine had a squirrel in his feeder a few weeks ago. He didn't realize it until he was on the top of a step-ladder, at night, and opened the lid to put in more birdseed. The frights the two of them got from each other were pretty comparable, but my buddy was worse off than the squirrel in the end, what with his torn up face and everything. At least he didn't fall off the ladder. But the next day he looked like he'd been juggling kitchen knives. The sting to his ego was probably worst of all. Funny how much less sympathy you get when you're shredded by a squirrel than if, say, a wild dog had done the same thing to you... -Shawn
  10. Thanks for the advice, guys. Perhaps I'll check out Canfield's book. So am I right in assuming that, when shooting in RAW, any in-camera adjustments you make don't affect the image file sent to the computer but only the image displayed on the camera display itself? -Shawn
  11. Thanks, guys. That's helpful. I should have mentioned more about the set-up before. We use a tent and two pretty nice studio lights on stands. It seems that post-photo color adjustment is the whole point of RAW images - the computer merely gets the camera data and you have to then tell it what to do with it. Might take knowing what the software can do and doing a little tinkering to get the colors right. I'm guessing that once you figure out certain settings you like for the types of images you shoot, they can be applied each time and then tweaked to the specific shot. Might be more time-consuming, but might also be worth it. I'm wondering if changing the settings on your camera sort of defeats the purpose of shooting with RAW - because part of what makes it effective is that the camera is not making the adjustments. Would making those adjustments on the camera cause the image transmitted to the computer to be more like JPEG and less like RAW? It sure seems that way. Again, thanks. -Shawn
  12. While we're pretty comfortable in general with the quality of the images we get of my flies, my wife (the photographer) and I would like to start going to RAW images if we can get them looking good. The problem has always been obtaining vibrant colors - the flies and background always look dull when we shoot in RAW. I tie artistic salmon flies, so capturing the color contrasts and making sure they really pop is essential. Are there particular settings adjustments one should make differently with the camera itself while shooting in RAW vs. JPEG, or should color adjustments be made later in Photoshop? I personally dislike the idea of messing with colors much in Photoshop because I want my flies to be accurately represented, but I don't know enough about the technical differences to know if color-adjustment is a must for RAW images. Regards, Shawn
  13. Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone. -Shawn
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