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Capt Bob LeMay

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Everything posted by Capt Bob LeMay

  1. Good luck at the show, the last time I did the Somerset has to be back in the eighties...
  2. Glad to help. Ditz the "Wiggle Jig" was made by Phillips for many years - they were first rate and probably the best commercial jig for bonefish that I know of.
  3. These kind of jigheads are very common in places with lots of bonefish and permit - in short anywhere you're operating in really shallow waters in the tropics. Local south Florida anglers use them as well for reds and snook and other critters in the shallows since by design they're pretty weedless. The smallest size that I use comes from an outfit called Angler's Ammo, http://www.anglers-ammo.com/ and they're available in both finished jigs and jigheads (plain or painted) for the DIY type. Larger sizes are produced locally (I'll be picking up 100 1/4oz heads later today.... Just about every style I produce is also available as either painted heads or finished lures. A request to [email protected] gets you an info sheet and price list. At present it's just one more thing I do. By the way, I long ago quit doing my own molding work. I much prefer to have them done for me to reduce my overall exposure to lead...
  4. The skills you learn fly tying readily translate to lure making. Here's a pic or two of some of the jigs I make when I'm not knee deep in hair and feathers. You might note the double wire weedguard on one of them since you can tie a fly with one and make if almost completely weedless (until it gets bit). The skimmers are nothing but bonefish jigs although they also work very well on reds and snook when you find them in really skinny waters. The little brown jigs (some locally call them LBJ's...)are a staple in the backcountry during winter. The un-painted heads with them in 1/8, 1/4, and 3/8oz are for perspective... Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  5. Lots and lots of reel makers these days at every price point. If something you like isn't affordable new, you might want to look for that model used at roughly half what it sold for new.... I'm not familiar with reels made of stainless steel, most are made of lighter weight metals. Those lovely gold reels are actually machined out of solid aluminum with an anodized gold finish (and that's why many of the high end reels come in various colors, anodizing is possible in every color from black to your wildest choice -if you can pay for it). What really sets the high end reels apart from others is their strength and precision (since they're machined out of solid stock, part by part..). If you're fishing freshwater do you really need a reel meant for that fish of a lifetime? Lots of solid choices that are much, much cheaper... Hope this helps Tight lines Bob LeMay
  6. ... for the clerk at the dollar store.... just tell her you like to walk on the wild side occasionally....
  7. Find a local shop that deals with Wapsi Fly (an industry wholesaler). They'll be able to order exactly what you need from page 18 of this year's catalogue. The item you want is called Premo Deer Hair strips and each one will be 15" long and 2.5" wide. With 22 colors for this particular item your shop should have no trouble getting what you want...
  8. That brochure went out this morning..
  9. Full time guide now for almost 16 years. When I'm guiding it's mostly in Everglades National Park during the daytime (I divide my time between Flamingo and Everglades City) or at night it's the urban portion of Biscayne Bay between Miami and Miami Beach. Anyone wanting a brochure please send an email request to [email protected] When I'm not on the water I'm a commercial tyer (one of Umpqua Feather Merchants contract tyers since the late eighties), also do a fair amount of repair work on rods, reels, etc. I keep busy.... Tight lines Bob LeMay
  10. At night I'd recommend any color... as long as it's white. The color isn't for the fish (they're likely to eat anything if the size is right and the presentation works).... the white color is for the angler so that he/she can clearly see the fly and where it is in relation to the fish. During the daytime you have several choices. In clear water I like bugs that have similar colors to the forage that's present - that usually means white with various shades of green, blue or black on top and maybe a trace of red or fl. fire orange at the throat. In stained water you can get creative with darker colors, browns, purple, and black. If the water is downright murky or muddy the only color I use is a bright pink. Red/white, red/yellow, pink/white are all producers when there's no particular reason to use something else... In the coming weeks I'll be doing up my usual winter order of tarpon flies and I'll try to post up each color as I fill the order. Tarpon stuff is in a world of its own (and you'd swear that some of the guys that order flies from me are into santeria or other not so standard religion from the colors they ask for)... Most of those guys would rather allow you to date their daughters than show you what's in their fly arsenal for those big silver things. There is one other thing that you might want to keep in mind if tying stuff for Miami and points south. Unlike up north where there's lots of small slender forage, the forage down here has a much broader profile (not quite as broad as bunker but close - we're talking pilchards - also known as scaled sardines, and threadfin herring - some of those approaching 10" long). Everyone has patterns for mullet but good baitfish patterns for pilchards, herring, and the little bay anchovie (mostly referred to as glass minnows) are prominent as well. Hope this helps.
  11. In small sizes (1/0 on down to as small as #4) those should be very good bugs for night fishing around dock lights down here in paradise. Snook, tarpon, and anything else in the lights (or hanging in the shadows under bridges) should hammer them. Nice flies. Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  12. All of the TFO rods are very good values (and if you break one or need repair/replacement... they're much less money in fees with a very quick turnaround from Texas...). I have two of them on my skiff, a 9 and a 10wt. You might want to get a close look at the TICR-X model if salt and larger bugs are going to be the intended use. I very happy with the ones my anglers use. The TICR-X is a bit odd at first since it has a much stronger butt section than you'd expect. Give it a try with a big, bulky fly and you'll appreciate it. As far as reels go, I'm mostly using Nautilus these days and highly recommend them. If you're considering a used, high end reel, then the only choice is a Billy Pate Salmon for an 8wt or a Bonefish for a 9 or 10wt. You can find them in very good used condition for $300 or a bit less and the reel will never fail you (unless you run over it with a truck...). The Billy Pates are solid enough to pass on to the next generation and still be in very good condition. I like the direct drive models (which aren't being built anymore). For anyone not familiar with them the Pate reels were the first generation of Tibor reels and are built down here in south Florida (like the Nautilus).... Tight lines Bob LeMay
  13. I have no idea how much money I have tied up in materials.... Suffice it to say that I could equip a good small shop easily. Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  14. Many tiers that I know long ago came to the same conclusion that you have - synthetic wings don't have much movement (unless you're moving the fly). That business of mixing synthetic and natural materials is the choice I went to as well (particularly using Dan Bailey's Body Fur, spun and clipped, with a natural maribou tail.... Here's to samples of what I do with the stuff (and there's a brief fishing report I just posted that highlights one of them. That report is located here http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?showtopic=63893 Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  15. With several cancellations this past week I was only on the water one day - and that was just after the coldest night of this winter season. Even a day later, water temps were nearing 51 degrees as we ran across Whitewater Bay (and that was after a late start, we deliberately started at 8Am to allow the sun to do its magic..). I was fishing Keith Millman and his son Matt that day, Dad using the fly, son with spinning gear. Our first stop was a trout spot in Whiitewater, and that first cast was a fish (usually it's find trout.. the bites are almost immediate. Keith managed this nice trout on an 8wt rod, using my favorite cold water fly, the Blacklight Special.... We caught and released nice slot sized fish for a few minutes then left them biting... In cold water conditions we slow down and fish black flies or small jigs with Gulp tails. Here's a pic of that Blacklight fly, it's a mix of natural and synthetic materials on a #1 or #2 hook... If you look closely you'll notice that every fly has wire weedguard - a pretty good idea in the backcountry.... As we moved to the west, Matt caught this nice small snook in a lot colder water than you'd expect them to bite in.... We went on to find a few redfish in really shallow water that we missed our shots at, then worked our way back into Whitewater and began poling some really shallow areas that were sheltered from the wind. Here's the good news... we found more than a few spots with big laid up snook sunning themselves to warm up. The bad news is that we spooked them - usually before you could see them at all (big snook will actually bury themselves in soft mud bottoms in shallow protected coves during cold spells). If you can spot one and work a fly or small lure very close by you'll occasionally get a bite and a great shot at landing a real trophy. By the end of the day water temps were up to almost 59 degrees in some areas. That day they left us wanting... We'll be back. We're finally in a true winter pattern now after a much warmer than usual six weeks. I'm looking forward to it. When everyone up north is only dreaming about a day on the water - we'll be in fish all winter. Tight Lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666
  16. I use both Sally Hansen and FlexCoat as finish on the flies I tie. But all of that's after the super glue treatment and I can testify that every time I "re-cycle" any fly or jig built this way, I need a sharp edge razor and a bit of work.... Whether it's just replacing a wire weedguard, or replacing an entire body or collar anything super glued in place is there permanently until you use a cutter. A mackeral or shark may shred the materials but the remainder is still attached to the hook (if I can get my hook back).
  17. Don't get many calls for Deceivers these days, with one exception... Whatever size and color you choose, start with fairly wide, webby, saddles and match them three on a side with the curve inward. Before working with the tail... lay a single base of thread from 1/8" back of the hook eye to just before the bend of the hook (want your tail straight and in line with the hook shank...). Mate each portion of the tail feathers with tips even, curve inwards so that they look like a single unit. From here on handle them as a single unit, make a single cut across the stems so that you have the length of tail you want (try your first one with the tailfeathers 1 3/4, the length of the hook you're using (on a 1/0 Mustad 34007 that's about a 2" tail or slightly longer... Hold the six feathers right where they'll be tied in, then clip off the stems leaving just enough to cover your thread base, strip fibers away from stems and tie in on top of the hook shank (taking care not to allow any portion of the stems to rotate out of position.... Next add flash to both sides just short of the tail length on each side (pearl flashabou is almost a standard for me. I want 8 to 10 strands of flash with the ends staggered. With tail and flash in place start a half dozen strands of whatever color of body you desire at your original tie in point (this will be in lieu of the original tinsel body). You'll tie all six strands of something like Flashabou in silver or any metallic or pearlescent color on top of the hook shank right where the feather butts end, then wind your thread to the rear, then back forward so the flash as a unit is tied in place, it's then wound as a unit around the hook shank forward, being careful not to leave any gaps (with fine flash and at least six strands this will all blend together like a single wide strand of tinsel... At this point you've completed tail with flash, and a flashy, tinsel type body - but you still have that last 1/8" of hook shank bare... Move the tying thread forward take a few turns then you're going to add a bucktail color (on small deceivers, I'll use kiptail or calftail instead). The only requirement is that the collar extend at least 1/4" past the hook, 1/2" is okay... Take a medium amount of bucktail (you only want hair from the front half of the bucktail, the lower half will flare too much. The clump of hair should be roughly 2/3 the size of the end of an ordinary pencil in diameter. Start the hair on top of the hook (it should be pre-cut so that it fits precisely between the end of the body and the rear edge of the hook eye (this is all a commercial tye, everything pre-cut to fit without any trimming to save time...). You're going to make two or three light turns of thread around the base of your bucktail then with your thumb and forefinger roll it into position all around the hook shank, evenly distributed. Once that's done, tighten up your thread without allowing the bucktail to shift, wind it in place and go on to make a generous head of thread. At this point you can either whip finish and use some kind of finish or lightly apply super glue, then paint eyes on the head once the super glue is dried.. Here's a pic of the only Deceiver I still get requests for... It's called the Southern Deceiver and is a full dress big fly on a stout 4/0 hook. The fly is roughly six to seven inches long and was designed for the Souther Angler fly shop in Stuart, Florida at least 20 years ago. They used it primarily for monster snook that were feeding on large threadfin herring at night under local bridges. I was told the biggest anyone landed on this pattern was 37lb fish - but I never saw the photo. The fish were large enough though that a standard leader was straight 60lb line - and it often wasn't enough.... Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  18. Wings made of synthetic materials look great, but will perform better if kept a bit sparse.... I would try to keep them thin enough that you can almost see through them. You'll see what I'm talking about when you get them wet...
  19. Head cement.... isn't. Instead I use super glue (Krazy Glue in particular since I like the hard plastic applicator)but very sparingly. I separate gluing from finishing since they're two different operations and I use more than one finish on the thread after using the Krazy Glue.... Since I'm a salt water tyer (and a small fly for me is a #4, the smallest only a #6) this might not work as well for freshwater tyers. After starting a fly, I touch just a trace of super glue on an initial "anchor point" (that anchor point might be after one or as many as three materials for the tail of a fly, but before any materials for the body have been added). The technique I use to keep the glue to a minimum is to squeeze out the beginnings of a drop of glue before putting the tip of the applicator anywhere near the materials, then just barely touch them with the tip. That seems to keep the glue to the absolute minimum (super glue will cause you problems in nearby materials by capillary action (the stuff is drawn up into nearby materials if there's the slightest excess). The second and last time I use super glue is on the head of any fly, or the wraps on any bucktail jig.... In this case I use the applicator as a tiny paint brush and just wet the thread (once again, keeping the glue to as little as possible. There's an additional advantage to doing this if you plan on paintiing eyes on a fly.... the super glue seals up the thread perfectly so any paint you use later isn't absorbed into the thread.... By the way, for flies my anglers will use, I many times just skip using any finish at all -preferring to just use the minimum amount of super glue..... The fish don't seem to complain at all, but I must admit they're not nearly as eye catching as what I deliver to the shop (in that case I'm trying to catch a fisherman....). Here's a few pics, the first is a Sand Devil tarpon fly (one of my signature patterns over the years). The head was super glued, allowed to dry, then the eyes were painted on, and when dry the entire head got a thin finish of FlexCoat (a rodbuilder's finish). The next bug is a guide's fly the Whitewater Clouser - it only gets a bit of super glue on the head - nothing else. Last is an assortment of the bucktails I make - every one has the tying thread (flat waxed nylon from Danville) super glued for extreme durability. Fish can chew off the tail - but the tail never comes apart the way many jigs fail, in use. Hope this helps. Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  20. Tarpon won't break bendback hooks since you just won't hook any tarpon with them.... something about the direction of the hook point just doesn't work on tarps (lots of places in a tarpon's mouth that a regular "J" hook won't stick in as well - but at least you have a chance with regular hooks).... By the way, can't remember how many small tarpon we've caught over the years on ordinary hooks. As they get bigger then you'll need the stronger hooks but tailor the hook (and fly) for smaller fish and the hooks will hold up just fine (as long as they're not bendbacks...).
  21. Nice work, they should catch fish wherever you fish them. Remember one thing about Bendbacks, though.... Like Chico Fernandez pointed out all those years ago when he first came out with a bendback pattern... don't try them on tarpon of any size since the hook configuration just won't work on tarpon. Other than tarps I'd toss them at anything that swims in the shallows. Here's a pic of the Prince of Tides, this is my version of Flip Pallot's famous backcountry bug.... Hook: Mustad 34007 1/0 Body: mixed gold and black flashabou wound forward after attaching medium v-rib, then the v-rib is wound over the flash, stopping where the wing will be tied in place. Wing: Sparse white bucktail twice the hook length, then small amount of pearl flashobou accent (the Fat Pack), then a similar amount of dyed brown bucktail with a small amount of gold flashabou accent, then dyed green bucktail over all. Thread: Danville's flat waxed in brown (or any similar thread in 210 denier size) Head: built up thread, then super glued, then eyes painted and head finished (finish coat is FlexCoat a rodbuilder's finish). Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  22. Those pre-fab soft bodies look like something Carl Richards advocated in one of his books. First that I've heard of them. Do you know who makes/sells them? For anyone doing crab patterns for a trip down south, you might want to remember that the most important thing about those kind of bugs is mostly how they move (do they settle or dive for the bottom..), how they set up on the bottom (perfectly flat and right side up..) as well as the usual size (make different sizes) and colors (in colors, I'd want light and dark in each pattern). Hope this helps
  23. I've been tying commercially for many years, well past the thirty year mark - but who's counting? I try to set my wholesale pricing (the rate shops will pay) to generate a specific hourly rate (that rarely takes into account cost of materials, since at wholesale that cost is minimal, per fly...). In the last twenty years, with the rise of quite expensive imported premium hooks.... their use may generate a surcharge (even at the wholesale level, and when buying each size hook by the thousand some hooks are significantly expensive...). As a general rule, guides and a few selected individuals will get flies for a bit more money (but still well under what retail pricing would entail). Saltwater tying is a different world from the freshwater side of things. We might get paid a bit more - but some of those patterns actually take quite a bit longer to do properly... That's where a saltwater shop learns the hard way about quality and that unstated (do the flies actually work properly?) issue comes to the fore. It's not hard to duplicate something but to get it right you really need to be using it on the waters and in the situations it was intended for. That's the kind of thing that keeps a saltwater shop paying a premium for stuff that their anglers will be successful with... By the way, there are still many, many commercial tyers that aren't paying excise tax on what they make. That's not a mistake I want any part of. Every invoice that I generate clearly shows the excise tax being charged (and if exported, I believe that a shop can reclaim that excise tax if it's worth doing). Tight Lines Bob LeMay
  24. This is very much a "guide's fly" since it's very quick to tie and meant to get torn up very quickly.. Here's the recipe Hook: Mustad 34007, 2/0, barb flattened, hook sharpened Eyes: Largest bead chain - in hardware store ask for "plumber's chain" - it's also the size usually used for opening and closing large vertical blinds Thread: Two different threads are used in this bug, the first is Danville's flat waxed, fl. fire orange, started where the eye will go then wound smoothly to the rear for at least 1/2" then back forward to the starting point, then tie the eyes in place (a full eye width back from the hook eye... When done lay a slight bead of super glue along the thread and let it dry. The next thread will be used to tie in wing and form head, it's also Danville's flat waxed, fl. green. Weedguard: Number five trolling wire bent into a hairpin end, tied in on the hook shank before tying in the wing.... (see attached pic of weedguards readied for use. After the weedguard is tied in place you'll complete the fly with the weedguard sticking straight out toward your bobbin hand (and you'll probably need a bandaid or two until you learn to deal with it) Wing: Bleached white bucktail under fl. green or fl. chartreuse, roughly twice the hook length Flash: three strands of pearl Flashabou, doubled, then re-doubled with ends staggered then folded over the barrel of the bobbin and slid into place after the white bucktail, but before the Fl green.... Head: Built up thread, super glued... when dry the wire weedguard is bent into position, trimmed just short of the barb on the hook then has a final small bend to finish it. note: as this bug gets chewed up the fish eat it even quicker until there's hardly any wing left at all... Here's a pic of weedguards ready to tie in as just one more component during the tying process...
  25. Tide is right on the money.... I forget at times that what I take for granted may not be very apparent in a photo... so here's a quick recipe... The first step is to wind on a single layer of thread, slightly smaller than the area of the slot on the popper head, you then work the slot onto the hook and with a Krazy Glue tube, lay a small bead of super glue on the slot so that it enters the slot and is soaked into the thread, then position the hook, and squeeze the slot closed and hold for 15 to 20 seconds until it sets up. This is how this pattern got the name "Speed Bug"... With the head glued on you're ready to tie the tail... Hook, #1 Mustad 34007 Head, Wapsi Perfect Popper in soft foam, pre-shaped, cupped and slotted Tail, Six neck hackles with the curve outward, three on a side, between 1.25 and 1.5 inches long, feathers married then paired three on a side with tips even, then cut as a single unit and tied in place without stripping any fibers away from the feather shafts (this will keep them in place when tying....). Flash, A single long strand of pearl Flashabou, doubled and re-doubled with ends staggered then folded around the tying bobbin and slid into place on top of the hook then pulled between the tail feathers. Collar, A single wide, webby saddle hackle is palmered into place using as much of the "fluff" as possible to give a "maribou" effect. Thread, Danville's flat waxed in color of choice, cemented in place with just a trace of super glue (no other finish at all)... Tight Lines Bob LeMay
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