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Fly Tying


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About fishwitz

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    whatever is biting
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    Miami, FL
  1. Toad flies are good for both snook and redfish; some color patterns (esp. purples and black/reds) are tarpon-specific. If you're fishing Everglades Natl Park, choose redfish colors to blend with the bottom, usually a light to medium brown or gray, with some Krystal Flash to pick up sunlight. I once tied a toad in chartreuse and white, intended for snook. My fishing buddy caught a redfish on it. That was a few years ago and he still fishes that same fly and it still catches mostly redfish. so you never know, y'know? Snook & redfish both feed down in shallow water, so the hooks should be weighted lightly. If you tie snook-specific flies, I suggest using circle hooks. In Gulf waters you have to release them, so make that effort to avoid inflicting injury.
  2. fish dragon, see if a syllable from your name (first or last) fits the fly. for example my favorite shrimp fly is called shrimpwitz, using the last syllable of my last name.
  3. Does anyone have a good source for these diver heads at a reasonable price? The only retail outlet I've found charges $7.95 for a package of 3.
  4. Anyone else hear of potential fish kills? I'm late here, but just in case y'all haven't already heard: Peacock and other exotics were effectively wiped out in the northern part of their range, which was as far upstate as the Lake Ida- Lake Osborne area in Palm Beach County. The kill extended south thru nearly all of Broward County west of Fort Lauderdale, although there was some survival in Pembroke Pines and Miramar nearer to the Miami-Dade county line. As you go further south in western Miami-Dade the survival rate improves although it's better in some lakes and canals than in others. In places where I used to be confident of finding peacock almost always, they still appear but sporadically. The further south you go, the better the survival rate. We'll probably need a few mild winters before we see a lot of recovery--probably longer in the northern portion of the peacock range. One effect of the chill is that my good friend Alan Zaremba, the leading peacock guide ([email protected]), has had to increase his own range from peacock fishing on the suburban canals to include largemouth bass in the Everglades. He's great at finding both, which tend to inhabit the same kind of waters and cover. As for flies, Alan relies mostly on Clousers. It's true that a Dahlberg Diver can be effective when fish are close to the surface. A better choice (I think) is a yellow Zoo Cougar, a large streamer with a deer hair head that Kelly Galloup created for brown trout. I add a weed guard and fish it on a floating line with clear 10-foot sinktip, so it goes 'ploop' and dives. Peacocks and largemouth both go for a #4 or 6 Glades minnow fly with a shiny stripe; orange not necessary. A 7-weight rig is on the high side. A 6 is ample. I usually fish for them with 4 and 5-weights, and if I owned a 3 I would use that. Someone mentioned that a little orange is a good thing, and it is, no matter what the fly. Also use Krystal Flash and/or Flashabou quite liberally in combinations of copper, gold, dark green and red-- lots of glitter. My favorite for peacock resembles a woolhead sculpin with a few turns of lead wire to enable a very slow sink. If you can include a small glass rattle, that's even better because peacocks are attracted to noise. The population's inconsistency being what it is for the short term future, don't feel guilty about bringing spinning or bait casting tackle as a backup. Small Rapalas, Heddon Torpedoes and Rat-L-Traps (with and without attached spinner) are dependable plugs. Peacocks very seldom go for soft plastics, but it's good to have some if you must revert to bass. In answer to the query about the Miami airport lakes, yes there's been some survival there and in the Tamiami Canal network that flows from it. It's not unusual to find snook in these waters too, and occasionally small tarpon.
  5. Wapsi has goofed on a very good idea with those rattle eyes. I bought three pkgs, then discovered they are asymmetrical-- ends are not the same sizes, indicating poor quality control. The unevenness is naked-eye obvious on the "standard" size, less noticeable on the little ones. The few symmetrical ones I found in the package are now serving as lightweight Clouser eyes on flies I tie for butterfly peacock. I've called the symmetry problem to Wapsi's attention, promising to buy no more rattle eys until they correct the problem. 'witz
  6. Avoid using particle board, which you can't wipe clean without ruinous moisture getting in. It's also bad in a humid environment. Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is a good compromise between real wood and particle. Be sure to varnish it on all sides. My next setup will have an almost full length waste tray routed into the surface with a bevel to the edge at the far left or right end. At the end of a tying session I'll hand-sweep the clippings into the tray and out the end to a wastebasket. Can't bring myself to spend $30 or whatever it is for a bag that clips to the vise stem. A block of wood with masonite facing makes a good cutting board. Use it when shaving the end of a mono loop weedguard to blend in smoothly with a hook shank, or anything else you cut with a razor or X-Acto blade. Also good for coloring tinsel, thread etc. with a marker. I also like those thin plastic sheets that are sold as cutting boards in kitchen supply departments. BTW, does anybody know how to tie a Scotch hitch? It's something like a half hitch, but with 1 or 2 added steps, supposedly better for locking down bulky materials to the hook shank. I'm looking for a diagram or good photos of how to do it.
  7. Does anyone know the Scotch hitch? Know of a clear diagram for it? You may know it by another name. It's a variation on the half-hitch, apparently with some sort of loop added. It's inadequately illustrated with small black & white photos in Rex Gerlach's 1974 book, Creative Fly Tying and Fly Fishing, which describes it as follows: "This is a positive locking knot, slightly bulkier than the half-hitch, useful for knotting the windings on bulky body materials like polar bear hair that otherwise might have a tendency to pull loose."
  8. Yo, wickedcarpenter: Please tell us the name and contact info for the fly shop where you got that midget mouse, and who ties it if you know that. I've just begun learning to use deer hair, and am a long way from tying anything so small and intricate. I was in Patagonia last month, and was thrilled by the way big brown trout went for that thing. I had only one, and it was bitten off. I'm certain that in larger sizes, with a weedguard, it will do as well on Florida largemouth.
  9. You ID yourself as a beginner, so go for the Danvise. It's an outstanding value and will do everything you need it to do. You'll enjoy it. I love using mine. Suppose you lose interest in tying flies and your money's wasted? The $80 or so you spend on the Danvise won't feel as bad as hundreds blown on a Renzetti. If you become deeply involved and very advanced and you've just gotta have a Renzetti and can afford it, then go for it. I found my left hand bumping the arm of the Danvise, so I ordered the extension for another $20. Maybe smaller hands wouldn't need it. fishwitz
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