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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. Actually polar hair turns translucent when it’s wet... and really takes dye quite well. Noticeably stiffer than bucktail, it also has a very dense under fur. One other quality that endeared it to saltwater tyers is that unlike most natural hairs polar bear hair can take a hit or two from toothy critters like ‘cudas, mackerel, and even bluefish and not get cut... I’ve had a pound or so from an old rug for many years but always very carefully never used it in any if the orders I filled for shops. Now that it’s been a few years since I’ve tied commercially, it’s time to use it (or lose it...). As a result I’ve been doing a bit of experimenting with what I have... I’ve done up a variety of clousers, a few Crazy Charlie’s, some Gotchas, and a few odd ball items that need some use before I take them seriously... Will try to find time to take some photos and post them up.
  2. A quick conditions report for folks out of the area... We pretty much got missed down here as of 8:10 Am Sunday, 2 August... not only along the Atlantic coast from the Keys up to Fort Lauderdale - but all of the backcountry areas including the Ten Thousand Islands.... Now if we can just make it through the end of October the fishing won't be affected at all by this year's hurricane season (I'm as good at wishful thinking as anyone else...). Still, summer is our slowest season for visitors to the areas I fish - combine that with the virus and we're talking no guiding clients anywhere that have any interest at all in the 'glades, etc. but we'll get over it... The fishing forecast is pretty simple. The fish in the Everglades coastal areas will just stay hungry but the conditions will be tough for anyone going after them. September and October will be outstanding months -if we can stay hurricane free... "Be a hero... take a kid fishing.
  3. For my own usage as well as all of the flies I hand my anglers Krazy Glue is all I ever use these days... Be sparing with any thin super glue since it will wick up into nearby materials if it can reach them. One of the side benefits of using a thin super glue is that it absorbs down into your thread and literally seals the surface so well that you can paint eyes on top of a built up thread head... but that's another story entirely... Back when I was tying for shops that Krazy glue was just a first step and then I'd add painted eyes if appropriate and finally a rodcrafter's finish (FlexCoat). The results were simply outstanding - but all of that was to catch the fisherman - not necessarily the fish....
  4. You can always decant some of that large bottle into a smaller one that comes equipped with a cap with brush but I learned long ago to only use smaller size CA glues since no matter what you do, when it finally kicks off on you - you lose whatever remains. Even though I used lots of super glue as a commercial tyer I just couldn’t use it fast enough so the larger bottles were just wasted...
  5. I like wool quite a bit when doing small mullet patterns instead of using the standard spun and razored deer hair - but only when I'm wanting the pattern to sink then stay at whatever level it stated at down here in the mangrove jungles of the Everglades.... Here's a pic or two... The only part of this bug that's wool is the brown nose... the remainder of the body portion of this fly is Dan Bailey's Body Fur... variations on a theme.. all on 1/0 hooks Unlike deer hair, wool doesn't spin well at all. What I do is cut the amount desired, clean the wool with a fine tooth comb then slide the bundle over the hook eye so that it's evenly distributed all the way around the hook shank then flare it with a turn or two of flat-waxed nylon thread (Danville's), and finally push it into place firmly before moving the thread forward for a second bundle (if needed). I use scissors rather than a razor blade for almost all of the shaping process then a new double edged razor for the fnal finishing of the wool.... No head cement at all - just a tiny drop of thin super glue to end the pattern after the shaping... One other minor point... the wool I'm using is from Wapsi and very color fast - I've not seen a bit of bleeding out from even the dyed red wool onto a white body ... very nice!
  6. Capt Bob LeMay

    Help

    Where I am, south Florida, we're exposed to tagged fish and many volunteer to work with tagging programs... I've participated in tagging bonefish as well as juvenile blacktip sharks (got paid for that one with Mote Marine Labs over several years taking scientists on board to specifically tag the sharks all day long each trip..). At any rate, we were told that it took a great number of tags on fish to generate a very few returns so each tag is worth pursuing. The ones I'm familiar with are plastic spaghetti types with the phone number and issuing agency and a tracking number embedded into it. What we're asked to do is report each individual recovery by calling the number given as well as providing length, girth, and weight if possible as well as where the tag was recovered... In exchange the angler is provided info on where and when the tag was implanted etc. It all goes into the data sets that our fisheries biologists are trying to come up with. I was never involved to date in any of the more sophisticated tagging efforts where archival tags with GPS trackers are implanted - then automatically detach after a given time period (30 days is one I'm familiar with), float to the surface and generate a radio beacon so that they can be recovered... Those fancier, much much more expensive tags record where the fish goes, the depths it frequents as well as water temperature, etc. It was from those tags that scientists have determined that migrating tarpon for instance follow 79 degree water temperatures without exception (who knew?)...
  7. I’m not a freshwater tyer at all but I’m lucky enough to be one of Umpqua Feather Merchants’ contract tyers. When I told them that one of my tarpon patterns was being used by pike and musky anglers - things got interesting and now the same pattern (the Tarpon Snake) is also being sold in shops worldwide as the Pike Snake... Who knew? Here's a photo or two of the original Tarpon Snake... In all black (body and tail are both wide, webby dyed black saddles) the original - a deadly deepwater big tarpon fly... Here are a few of the many color variations... Now for one of Pike Snake variations... Done up on a 3/0 hook they're available in red/white, chartreuse, as well as orange/yellow... All of the ones I tie up come with a wire weedguard - pretty handy for the places pike hang out in...
  8. That whole "staying in the boat" deal is a pretty good idea in my neighborhood as well.... This crocodile is laying about fifty feet from where I launch my skiff each day when I'm down in Everglades National Park at Flamingo.... Before anyone freaks out the American saltwater crocodile is actually a fish eater (so the biologists keep telling us - but I don't think they've ever been able to study a big one - and I"ve personally seen at least one nearly as big as my 17' skiff...). The really dangerous animal in my world is either a shark or a big 'gator. Stay away from either one is my advice.
  9. Very quickly rays can get into the "unstoppable category" on rod and reel.... You might have one hooked but you just won't be able to do much with it... On at least two occasions anglers on my skiff have broken rods on rays - usually at the boat, trying to lift one.... Most that we encounter are foul hooked but there are places and situations where they actually do get aggressive and come after a lure or fly. A guide I know did have a different kind of ray encounter a few years back. He was running offshore along the Gulf coast of the Everglades at an easy 30 miles an hour heading back towards Chokoloskee with customers aboard when a big ray (about the size of a table top) jumped into the air - and landed on their boat (a standard sized Egret almost 19' long), breaking two rods, knocking the platform off of his poling tower and slightly injuring one of his anglers... Never heard of anything like it and it could have ended up much worse... Rays are quite heavy for their size and some of them do get to be over six feet in wing span (and this is not counting the monstrous manta ray which commonly gets much,, much bigger..). Me, I like to pay attention to rays of any kind since hungry fish, cobia offshore, and everything else inshore... will follow a ray to take advantage of feeding opportunities they present. The trick is to toss your fly or lure where the followers can see it without snagging the ray...
  10. Great looking bug and just the ticket for anything eating finger mullet...
  11. Cool... glad to hear that I'm not the only one wondering about those "feather backs"...
  12. If you're getting the clown knife fish to bite flies... tell me more.. We were surrounded by them near where we found a peacock or two but I was told that they're a baitfish eater, mostly.... Sure would be nice to be able to have an angler tangle with one or two of them....
  13. Like almost everyone I know, bookings and days or nights on the water have been few and far between right now... Won't comment on our country's current situation except to say that the virus has been getting in the way of just about everything .. Hope everyone comes through it with family intact and can get back to jobs, school, fishing, - all the important stuff... Was able to spend a morning on the water not far from home this week with a friend or two, checking out the local peacock situation. Here's one of them - in fighting trim... Peacock bass do fight hard wherever you find them - this one grabbed a small lure and put a pretty good bend in a light rod. I've been considering adding a freshwater side to my guiding efforts - but still need a bit more "research" first... Hoping they'll be available in the fall for some fly rod action as well.... My only booking this week was a night trip in Biscayne Bay looking for small tarpon on fly. I won't go into what's required to actually be allowed to launch a boat there right now but I did need to do a bit of scouting - then asking exactly when the ramp I wanted to use would still be open - then found myself at the ramp more than two hours before sundown... I was assured that whenever I came back (no matter how late in the evening), I'd still be able to retrieve my skiff and get back down the road.... and at 2Am I had the entire ramp and a very large parking area -all to myself... I had Nino and Amber Lenoro aboard from Oklahoma down here on brief fishing vacation where up to that point their fishing efforts hadn't produced much. We then went about changing that situation as the sun set on one of the big bridges that connect Miami and Miami Beach. Nino had his own fly rods so I rigged one with a Night fly and we set up under the bridge waiting for the sun to finally disappear and create that all important shadow line... Here's a pic of my favorite night-time tarpon fly (everything else at night seems to eat it as well...) I do them up in 1/0 and 2/0 sizes and usually want a dozen with me for a night tide... Nino was making a cast or two, working blind, as we watched the sun fade - and hooked up on his third cast with a nice 30lb fish that just tore it up after the strike... until... the hook broke and that was that... Doesn't happen often but tarpon of any size are really hard on whatever you can get them to eat... We went on to hook five more that night on both fly and spinning gear... Here's a photo or two of the one Nino got to the boat for a release... We're hooking them up under the bridge then doing our best to work them downcurrent... and away from all those concrete pilings... at the skiff and still full of fight... We ended the evening with Amber hooked up on a spinning rod to a fish that was between 30 and 40lbs until it jumped off... Not only bridge shadows but also docklights hold fish every night down here... it's a very, very good fishery - but we mostly only work it on a falling tide... The next five day period when the tides will be just right will start on 30 July... As the summer progresses we'll still be alternating between day and night trips. Days down in the Everglades and nights in the Bay... Here's hoping things get back to normal as soon as possible... "Be a hero... take a kid fishing" Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666
  14. Never seen any (and I’m lucky enough to have anglers from the UK every year)...
  15. They come bigger - our best has been an 18lb triple - but not on fly... The best we've done on fly is 10lbs - and just about every one is sight-fished up next to or on top of structure inshore - not offshore the way most fish them around crab pots. It's a summer and hot weather thing after all the crabpots have been pulled every May 15th...
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