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Fly Tying

Capt Bob LeMay

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About Capt Bob LeMay

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    Advanced Member

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  • Favorite Species
    Everything that swims in the 'Glades
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  • Location
    south Florida

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  1. One source of info might be CCA Texas (Coastal Conservation Association)... They'll have a listing of local guides from that area that support their activities (usually well established and respected guides, mostly). Another source might be local fly shops in that area - usually they'll know who you want to hook up with... Hope this helps.
  2. I've long used the original Krazy Glue that comes in a small plastic tube for both cementing purposes and as a replacement for head cement. It's universally available (I pick up a few tubes at my local drugstore whenever I'm running low) and use the tube like a paint brush when using it as head cement or thread sealer... I used to tell my fly tying students to squeeze a tiny amount at the tip - then apply it where needed so that you don't use too much (all too easy to do otherwise...). Here's a pic ... You can't paint eyes on a thread head without first sealing the thread....
  3. That will scare the fish (if nothing else did...).
  4. That bunny fly will fish - all day long... What sized hook? Whenever I do a run of tarpon flies I'm usually doing them in two sizes (large and small) depending on the size of the targets... A 4/0 and a 2/0, or a 3/0 and a 1/0, etc. For baby tarpon, less than 10 lbs - all the way down to a #1 and a #4... Here are a few alternate colors to consider as well...
  5. Recently my wife bought me a new fly outfit in 10wt.... Nice setup - but the reel's backing capacity was pretty much barely adequate for a nine weight line.. Of course I didn't realize that until after I'd tried to load it with my usual 30lb Cortland Micron... Back to the bench, stripped off the nice new backing -loading it on a spare line spool for use as a backup for occasions where some big fish not only took a fly line - but a hundred yards of backing with it. Almost all of my spinning and conventional reels are filled with super braid (Sufix if anyone's asking...) so it was a simple matter to fill that reel with enough backing once I made the switch to to 30lb braid... This will be the first fly reel that I've loaded braid for backing onto - we'll see how it performs and I'll come back to this thread and report. I routinely use a 10wt for tarpon up to nearly 60lbs (as long as we're on the coast or up in big interior bays....) so this reel will get a workout sooner or later. Tarpon up in small rivers are a different matter entirely - for them it will still be a 12 wt since you really need to get on top of fish that can cost you a nice new fly line if they get around a corner or downed tree before you can get there (another of those "ask me how I know" deals...). My standard backing load on any reel used in the salt is at least 200 yards (and for 12wts 300 if at all possible...). I long ago retreated from bluewater - but if I did get out offshore where a 10wt is the lightest rod... I'd want 4 or 500 yards of backing - and it wouldn't be 30lb - it would be 65lb braid... all day long on a 12 or bigger sized reel... I've also promised not to hand this setup to any of my anglers - but we'll see about that since circumstances can just get away from you at times... "Be a hero... take a kid fishing"
  6. A very tiny amount of thin superglue (I use Krazy Glue) on the tying thread will dramatically improve the durability of those bugs when they’re new. Poorly tied bucktail jigs and flies were a major factor that lead to me tying my own - more than fifty years ago now…
  7. Real important... wearing glasses when guiding (understatement).
  8. Been to the ER twice over the years to have hooks removed... the first was a small fly I was casting on a #1 hook that I wore in the back of my upper arm for six or seven hours before going to see the docs... If you're going to get stuck it helps to stick yourself in places without a lot of nerve endings. When it got in the way of my casting, a band-aid to secure it against my skin was helpful... My second go 'round was again - my own fault. We were using spinning gear tossing big tube lures at big barracudas that were just outside my wife's range... so... I said "whip it" -and she did - right in the back of my head (after penetrating the ball cap I was wearing..). I got nailed good and proper - with a big 7/0 hook on the end of my own tube lure...It slid in under my scalp all the way to the bend after hitting the skull.. Took a bit of doing but I was able, by touch, to see what the situation was, cut the hook free of the wire on the lure - then carefully thread my cap off of the hook. Once again - not in an area with a lot of nerve endings so very little pain. I was able to put my cap back on to protect that hook and resumed fishing... My wife, of course, thought she'd done me some real harm... . Later that day at the ER I was reminded of the usual circumstances... You're not exactly an emergency so you'll be there a while - and you'll be paying, of course... Bring your own pliers in case their hemostats aren't tough enough (all the docs will do is numb the area then push the hook through to get to the barb then clip it off so that the hook can be removed..). The worst part is that the docs and nurses think you're the funniest thing they've seen - and call each other up and down the hall to come look at the fool.... No, I don't have any photos of either event -but I did learn a bit... As a result, over many years, I've learned to flatten the barbs on any hooks that my anglers will use as well as my own... Been stuck quite a few times as a guide - but never anything I couldn't remove myself on the spot -and that includes treble hooks on lures... I do always wear glasses on the water and once or twice a hook has damaged them (better my glasses than my eyes...). I still also get stuck from time to time while tying flies - either with hooks or pieces of leader wire - an occupational hazard I guess... I have always followed an old commercial fisherman's advice about puncture wounds though - either on the water or at the tying bench to squeeze the wound while it's fresh to make it bleed and your blood cleans the wound- and have never had the slightest infection from any of my mis-adventures...
  9. This is the popper I use the most (in both salt and freshwaters...) and they do get chewed up, needing some serious attention before going back into service... Sometimes it's the tail that needs replacing - other times it's the head.. Very quick to make - I call them SpeedBugs. The heads are pre-shaped foam from Perfect Popper and never painted at all -or have any eyes... I also long ago quit adding legs since our fish don't seem to need them to entice a strike. The hook is a size #1 Mustad 34007 stainless and the head was supposed to only take a #4 hook... Everything from small tarpon (up to around 15lbs) to peacock bass and other exotics eat them just fine. I believe that instead of an insect (terrestrial) they're taken as small bait (minnows) struggling at the surface... Here's a variation meant specifically for our local south Florida freshwater canals... Instead of my standard 34007 hooks these were done up with freshwater kinked shank hooks that are a bit longer, providing a bit different profile...
  10. Pretty certain most will start thinking of a pattern to imitate a small bluegill... Me? I'd go back to that spot the next day (or as soon as possible) and work a bigger fly than usual in that same area... Big enough to be a meal some very hungry and aggressive bass... When they start going after hooked fish - in my book that's a hint... in fresh or saltwaters...
  11. Been a strange year for tarpon in the Everglades... normally our big fish leave our area - heading down to Islamorada for the spawning ritual each year - the first week of May, give or take... This year they left much earlier since the water temps were much higher early in April than the norm. The big tarpon departing usually leave a bunch of smaller local fish behind (tarpon smaller than sixty pounds don't migrate at all...). This year the smaller fish have been really tough to find making every guide work hard - just to find a few here or there. Finally this past weekend the normal pattern began again and the small fish (and not so small - a 50 or 60lb tarpon is all you can handle on fly or other gear... ) have been showing in some of their usual places. On Saturday a long time client jummped two - one on a lure the other on bait with one of them to the boat. Very glad to see them.... and they should be around in good numbers all summer long (and at the end of summer the big fish will come back to the 'glades for our "second season" in September and October... Very carefully released to fight another day... and we were in lots of fish along the coast...
  12. That first fish is a "jaguar guapote" I believe.. and yes we're over-run with exotics down here in paradise. We're fishing them a bit south of the big lake, west of Fort Lauderdale... By the way, those exotics are why more than forty years ago now peacock bass were first introduced in the Miami area, with state approval to be a predator to control the numbers of small exotics in local canals....
  13. "Be a hero.... take a kid fishing" You get an attaboy from this corner... Well done
  14. Yesterday I was out of Chokoloskee with a father and son team... We caught and released a few fish here and there (the night before the full moon allowed every fish to feed all night long...). Here's a pic or two.... a great catch on an 8wt rod, this goliath grouper measured 11 lbs on the Boga Grip before being carefully released. The fish hit a pink and white clouser variation in about 20 inches of water... in an interior bay with heavy mangrove cover. Here's Josh Rubinton with a nice snook caught and released on light spinning gear nearby.. also carefully released to fight another day..
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