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Fly Tying


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About Stevester

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  1. Any common trout patterns are fine. Check around and see what the schedule of hatches are in the area you are going to be fishing. By this time of year most of the bigger hatches are done so trico's (really small mayflies), midges (also small) are likely in many trout streams. Terrestrials like ants, crickets (my favorite), bees, beetles or grasshoppers are all useful this time of year. Don't overlook simple soft hackles, herl nymphs and fur nymphs. Steve
  2. The only time I ever caught a catfish was when I was bass and panfish fishing at a pond outflow. It was on a wooly bugger. I have heard of guys purposely targeting catfish on flies but I suspect it is a very niche activity. Still, I know that NJ and PA are both looking to get rid of as many invasive flathead catfish as possible so maybe there is a chance to start a new trend. Steve
  3. People forget that the original pheasant tail nymph was tied with a hook, pheasant tail and fine wire from an old radio transformer that Frank Sawyer scavenged from somewhere. No peacock, no hackle, no thread, no bead no problem. Z-lon was originally found as the core of a boot lace that John Betts was playing with. Most of the stuff we think of as special for fly tying was originally a "found" material that someone had the bright idea of using for a fly. Steve
  4. AFAIK Flexament used MEK (Methyl-ethyl-ketone) as the solvent. It would probably be a good solvent for Shoe Goo also. HOWEVER; only play with this stuff in an open environment and use gloves. I have worked with a lot of nasty stuff over the years and while MEK is not on the level of radiation or organophosphates for danger, for a consumer product it is on the edge of my safety comfort zone. Playing around with hazardous materials in a lab is one thing, doing it in your basement or garage is another. Steve
  5. You soaked your gut strings before playing? I never heard of that when I played, in fact one of the disadvantages of gut racquet strings was that they would loosen when wet. Racquets are strung dry at a specific tension specified by the player. For pro's the disadvantages of gut are minor, they get their racquets and strings free if they are sponsored. That is why you see them bring 5 or 6 racquets with them to a match and most people don't realize that they restring them after every match or two. Back to tying; if you find an old racquet with gut strings sure you can cut the strings out and use them. If the racquet was used a fair amount don't be surprised to see some fraying of the strings near the center of the hitting surface, that is normal wear. Steve
  6. If you want freezing effectiveness see if you can get access to a -80oF freezer. I am luck because my wife is a professor at a local university and has one in her lab. I don't know who else uses these other than research labs but there must be other places that have them. Of course if you really want to go off the deep end, liquid nitrogen baby! Steve
  7. With regards to tennis racquet strings, natural gut is and always was more expensive than manmade. Like I said, call a pro-shop and see if they do any stringing with natural gut, some places probably don't any more due to cost/demand. To those who made comments about its thickness, if you read my post you note that I said it could be untwisted to make thinner strands. Another source of natural gut is for musical instruments like violins and violas. I don't know about costs for instrument strings. Steve
  8. If you have a pro-shop that does stringing for tennis rackets they likely will have scraps that you can get for free and can play around with. Try and get the lightest gauge, though even that will be pretty heavy for flies smaller than a size 10 or so. What I have found after playing with tennis string is that you can untwist it some and pull out finer strands. As noted above you still need to soak it to soften it enough to work with. Interesting material but not something that will be very popular, more of a niche product. Steve
  9. The guard hair is not really suitable for dubbing even when you run it through a blender. The underfur is a different matter it is really good dubbing for dark colored flies. The guard hair is very useful for tails and wings on dries and makes a really nice streamer (look up the Llama streamer). I would skin it, that way you have all the different lengths of hair readily available as needed for different sized flies. Steve
  10. J, as I noted earlier, if you cross the Delaware you will need to display also. I would note additionally that when you are in your car it has a license plate on it that can be seen. Heavynets, I am not in law enforcement so maybe I am not aware of preferred foolproof methods of enforcement. Steve
  11. Space is at a premium? Dude, my house is only about 15% larger than that. Listen to Mike, depth can really cut back on floor space and make the back of the shelves prime mouse habitat since they will be mostly undisturbed when you are away. Don't know where your place is but every cabin in the woods I have been in has a mouse infiltration problem. Steve
  12. I taught myself to keep my scissors in my hand while tying. It took a little while to get used to it but I don't ever recall stabbing myself. It actually feels odd when I don't have them in my hand while tying. It's like anything else in tying, we all have our habits and tendencies. Steve
  13. FlaFly, I have spent a fair amount of time wandering around Michaels but have never seen the epoxy you refer to. Do you remember which dept. it was in? Also, what kind of pipettes are used to dispense something fairly viscous like epoxy? Steve
  14. You have to in NJ and NY. I forget about PA but I do out of habit. I think VT did also but I haven't lived there in years so it may be different now. Steve
  15. If you are feeling ambitious, look up some older work by Caucci and Nastasi. They worked out recipes for most of the major US mayfly colors using mixtures of red, yellow, blue and white rabbit fur. They sold it for some years but I don't know if it is still available. They used to have the recipe on the packet, at least the few that I have in my dubbing drawer. Steve
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