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Fly Tying

zOnk

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Everything posted by zOnk

  1. Some quick ties for steelhead this past week.
  2. For trout, feeding is a formula of energy expended vs energy gained. In order to survive they must intake more energy than they expend to get it. To try and over simplify a very complex subject, trout (basically) target the food source that is easiest to capture as it floats by in their feeding lanes. It is a combination of learned behavior and instinct that is defined by availability and behavior of the current food source -- in that from bug to bug, how they feed will change. Why would they eat your midge vs a real one? Midges are small and hatches are prolific. Sipping a single-bug and taking time to scrutinize an offering would violate the rule of "eat more move less." Studies show that size, shape/silhoutte, presentation (position in water column compared to natural) are more important than color in triggering a strike (but varies on water where fishing pressure is higher and learned behavior plays a greater role in scrutiny). For a fish that is sitting in a feeding lane with an open mouth and letting midges flow into it by the dozens before it swallows, your fly is just another well presented clump, or black dot of energy. Just because your first few casts didn't immediately hook a fish or put it down -- present, present present -- eventually your fly will be in the right place at the right time and provide a strike.
  3. Banging out some big morsels for Michigan Browns -- everything from circus peanuts to wrapped rabbit strips. Looking forward to my trip next week.
  4. BCT - I thought he meant Au Sable in MI. Small world, I fished with Jamie Clous just before the holiday weekend. Always a good time even when the river is high and no fish rising.
  5. Best place to find Kelly Galloup's patterns and instructions are on Youtube -- just search "Kelly Galloup flies" or do that on google and go to video tab.
  6. I added that pattern to the original post for you. If you are wading and not floating, here is a wet fly pattern I use for hendricksons. The F'ing Gray Thing Thread: Olive/Tan Hook: Mustad 3906B 12 & 14 Tail: Wood duck Body: Hare's ear dubbing Hackle: Dun -- stripped and palmered Wing: Wood Duck Basically made these as an all purpose fly (for silhouette) and was having a great night on them during a hendrickson hatch. My buddy kept yelling down the river, "what fly are they on?" I had no name for the fly so I yelled, "Some F'ing gray thing" The name stuck. If you haven't fished wet flies before -- just tie on, cast a few feet above and to the side of rising fish, then swing across their nose and hold on. No need for hook set, they do it all by themselves.
  7. I'll be there on the 23-25. Wading or floating? Hendricksons for sure. I'd tie both light and dark this far in advance. Also, a killer fly to churn up big fish midday is the extended, yarn body stone fly parachute. "Yarnie" Stonefly Hook: 2xl Dry Fly Tail: dark hackle fibers or moose mane Post: white craft foam or grizzly and ginger hackle tips. (i like post for my old eyes) Hackle: Tied as parachute - wraps of grizzly and brown or ginger Body: Yarn with extended body twist. Making yarn body: Tie in post and hackle for parachute. Work thread down, tie in tail and wrap thread back to post. tie in yarn, on top of hook, just behind post. Run thread over yarn to barb. twist the yarn tight (until it curls up when there is no tension on it) Let yarn curl to from extended body and secure that twist to hook. Work thread to base of post. Wrap yarn forward, figure 8 over post to form head, then work yarn from head to front of post. While hiding yarn upward after last head wrap -- use thread to secure yarn to post -- making a nice sturdy post to wind hackle around. Hackle -- and whip finish around post. -- very effective fly I've seen churn up quality fish on the Ausable. This is not my pattern and the credit should be given to guide "Jamie Clous" -- out of the Old Ausable Fly Shop.
  8. Bryon -- Saw a blog post the other day about a "launch mishap" at the green cottage on the Pere Marquette River. I think this is in the top 10 of "101 ways to not launch a drift boat." Look at the last picture in this blog: http://memoirsofaflygirl.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/fishing-floods/ Doh!
  9. I guess the best way to describe the advantage is to explain the problems I had just using traditional, high rate sink tips or spit shot on the leader. The rivers I fish for steelhead have more large rocks than smooth gravel runs. Split shot didn't "tick" near the bottom but rolled from snag to snag. Each lift of the rod to release the snag pulled the fly out of the "hot zone" and the sink had to start over -- a dysfunctional method and frustrating at best. The problem I encountered with traditional sink tips is that needed a high-rate sink tip to get the fly down. The sink tip had to get nearly to the bottom of the river to swing the fly in that "3-6" zone where it would be in the nose of the fish. This required a cast well upstream of the desired swing and lots of mending to sink the line before the swing could start. The "belly" in the low swinging sink tip would often wrap around large rocks before it could swing in front of the fish. The extra weight on the sink tip allows: 1) The tip of the extension to sink before the rest of the sinking line -- providing a quick drop of the fly, a bow in the line that swung over rocks and enough sink to help the fly run flat on the swing with very little lift (until the end of the swing). 2) The quick sink rate allowed for a more direct down and across cast that sunk -- as opposed to an upstream cast and a lot of mending for "sink rate" set up. 3) The weight is distributed better than split shot and the cast is smoother than sling shoting round balls. 4) I've never had the weighted tip smack the rod tip. If you've ever had a split shot bounce of your rod tip on a forward cast, you know the heart-stopping sound it makes and the damage it can do. This is a specialize tip -- no doubt about it. If you have to swing over large rocks and field stone, it's the shiz. If you have pristine gravel, there are other methods that would work better.
  10. Filled a quick box of steelhead goodies last week. Steelhead seemed to like them this weekend.
  11. Snuck up to the Root River in Racine, Wi the past two weekends. Run is nearly over but the good news is everyone has given up on the river now. Still fishable numbers in the river with chrome hens still on the redds.
  12. I've been swinging flies on my own, custom sink tips for over a decade with great success on steelhead and salmon that may be of use to other anglers who are looking to: 1) Sink a fly in a short distance very fast. 2) Have a considerable amount of floating fly line still on the water to manipulate and control swing speed 3) Cast easier than hunks of lead. 4) Be easily constructed out of common, inexpensive materials where weight can be modified to conditions. Constructing these specialized sink tips is quite easy. Using a 3-5 foot section of ultra-fast sinking line, affix loop connectors at both ends. On the tail end of the extension (using varying gauges and lengths of lead wire or solder) spiral a length of lead wire around the line (as you would cover a hook shank) then cover the lead with a small section of shrink tubing (from any electronics store). Illustrations and photo below:
  13. OP -- Here's a tactic you might find helpful. Fish the pool at the head of riffles. After the fish come through the riffles they will often rest in the pool just before the riffles start. Go big on the fly -- spey style (attached), and site cast at fish or work the current seams (where water looks to funnel into a chevron-style shape before it enters the riffles). Fish that worked hard to get through riffles don't like to be backed into them. Swing the fly and let it move the fish. An agitated fish, that doesn't want to be forced into the riffles again, will smack the fly. The Swing-- Cast across stream and mend line above the fly while you allow it to sink. When the fly reaches were you want it to swing across stream in front of the nose of the fish, lift your rod tip and follow the line across the current. Allow the fly to travel directly below you and hang until the fly rises to the surface. Rinse and repeat. Add weight (twist on or split shot) to the leader to sink fly to depth where fish are holding. Hope this helps. As for spawning fish, I fish for steelhead in an urban tributary that reaches 70+ degrees by the first of June and the oxygen is choked out of the water by agricultural run off (silt and chemicals). There is no natural reproduction and the fish I see spawning have already been stripped of eggs and milt for the hatchery program. If you choose to fish a redd my recommendation is target the fish (jacks who are not in the river to spawn and competing males) below the redd -- as they are more aggressive fish. Do not target the hen on the redd because if you catch and disturb her, all the other fish will leave. You can successfully fish behind her and her dominant mate (in Lake Michigan tributaries) without disrupting the spawning fish or have an negative impact on nonexistent reproduction. Cast carefully so your swing is well behind the fish and avoid any accidental snagging -- there will be multiple fair game fish behind the redd, including browns or coasters gorging on eggs. If you happen to be fishing on a Lake Superior Tributary or river where natural reproduction does occur, then it is in the best interest of the fishery to avoid fishing near the redd.
  14. I attended an afternoon seminar with Bob Clouser just about a year ago and HIS answer to this question was; "If I tied them [Clouser Minnows] as sparse as they should be, nobody would ever buy a fly from me because they would think they were being ripped off. I don't think you could tie this fly too sparse if you tried." - Bob Clouser, February 2013
  15. Has anyone ever used these worm rattles from Barlow Tackle? I just wanted to order one pack of 100 for all purpose uses on size #8 and up streamers. Normally in cases like this i'd pick the size in the middle but if the run small the large would work I think. http://www.barlowstackle.com/Glass-Worm-Rattles-P918.aspx
  16. For bass bugs a 7/8 wt will really help. I can toss them with my 6wt but it's work and in any kind of wind your really taking a whiz uphill. For the money this TFO is quality and a bargain: http://www.templeforkflyrods.com/products/rods/bug-launchers.html Or the Series II Lefty Rod http://www.templeforkflyrods.com/products/rods/signature.html
  17. Silver -- I'm confident you're more skilled at this than I. I'm tried not to flush a ton of water in and only only suck a half a bulb into the tube but I ended up with a mix either way. I'm sure the abundance of squirming smolt did an good job at churning the contents as well. Should I do this agian I'll take your suggestions into account. Thanks.
  18. Tied up some foam head-dahlbergs today and the bass seemed to love them tonight. The foam is tons faster than spinning and trimming the entire head. Dives on the strip and returns quickly to the surface. I should also mention the shank is also foam (down and back), which really helps keep the fly buoyant.
  19. Some hi-vis foam beetles. Just laminate craft foam in 3 layers with adhesive spray and the trim in strips for body. You can use a herl under body or ice dubbing and palmer a hackle through it. Rubber legs are tied on sides at head wrap. Nice all purpose terrestrial.
  20. Silver -- I took this under consideration while on the river two weeks ago. I'd had a stomach pump floating around the bottom of the fishing tub. I used it and released the fish seemingly unharmed. As for the stomach contents: lots of fry; tan caddis; sulfur duns (two were still borns); gray fox; gray drake spinners. Given the smorgasbord of contents i'm not sure It revealed anything that we'd not guessed based on surface activity and observations. Clearly the "how" was more important than the "what" to trigger a strike.
  21. Well - tried the pheasant tail dropper last night below Klink's style emerger with no luck. Tonight the water was much clearer and the Klink's brought 16 fish in the 12 -16" range to net (and scads if dinky fish). Stellar night on the river. It was crazy in the drift boat netting double hookups:) Not sure I solved the original problem other than the fish were less picky.
  22. Had that early evening porpoise rise to sulphur emergers. They ignored dries, soft hackles and emerger patterns - still born and regular. There was also an abundance of gray drakes on the water that they were ignoring. Any tactics out there for these picky risers??
  23. zOnk

    Ruined my son.

    The weather finally broke and the gray drakes blanketed the river. He will fish for a few years to outdo himself after this one.
  24. I was tying some sulfur still borns and gray drake parachutes this week. Water has been high, fast and stained like coffee. I've been wrapping the hackle on the thick side -- 10ish wraps. I rarely fish dries so wondering what others think about the number of wraps. Any disadvantage to having it thick and bushy? I gauge by store flies but I know they wrap as sparse as possible to save on material.
  25. My son picked up his first trout on a dry fly during a gray drake spinner fall. Good thing I tied a bunch before we floated. The river has been extremely high with a flow over 5200 cfs. Very few risers except the largest of fish in a big eddy below a train trestle. Got 6 great fish in no short order and missed a few hook sets as well. Fun night all things considered. Fished the Ausable earlier in the week before my son got out of school. Attached a few pics from there as well.
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