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About mikemac1

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 01/14/1948

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    Brown trout
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  • Location
    Bozeman, Montana
  1. I can highly recommend CDL as a versatile fly tying hackle, but first to your questions. A CDL saddle will provide a lifetime of tailing fibers as just about every feather will have a non-webby mid and tip section. The exception will be the very large spade hackle at the bottom of the saddle. You won’t find any small feathers for small flies or dry flies on a CDL saddle. CDL saddles are indeed suitable for saltwater flies; rooster capes are better. I use CDL for a variety of fly types- Decievers, clousers, and temple dogs. The feathers, especially from capes are very durable, stiffer than typical hackle and more translucent. They are also significantly cheaper than traditional hackle. Here are some links to pieces I’ve written about CDL Leon’s Rooster CDL BB Montana Temple dog Pink Thing I recently used these ties with CDL tails in northern australia on Barra, they exceptionally durable. Chartreuse badger CDL rooster hackle is my goto hackle for seatrout decievers.
  2. Although I would agree with all the comments above that Fly position is somewhat irrelevant with buggers, don’t underestimate the influence of your tippet on the fly position in the water. A stiff tippet (3X -0X) tied with a clinch knot will transfer that stiffness to the fly. Any natural twist in the tippet will be reflected in the fly’s position in the water. If you are using a clinch knot, experiment by tying the knot starting both from the top of the hook eye and the underside. See if the two different starting positions makes a difference. Then try a non-slip loop knot to see if that makes a difference. The loop knot gives the fly more independence from any twist in the tippet.
  3. Zonk some of that mink. Great for small zonkers or Pine Squirrel style buggers.
  4. I believe UTC 140 thread is a good all around thread for the average trout streamer. However, if you need to build up a body diameter quickly, 210 or 240 thread works well. Remember, whatever size thread you use, it should form a good head at the hook eye. When using Fish Skull Fish Masks, you need to build up a bigger thread base under the mask, 210 works well for that. For larger saltwater patterns, 210 or 240 is better as it is a little tougher for toothy fish to destroy.
  5. Mark, indeed there is a 2nd distinction as well, but it is somewhat technical. According to Woolly Wisdom (Gary Soucie, 2005) hackle on a woolly worm should be hen hackle wound with the dull side forward which forces the hackle fibers to face forward. On a woolly bugger, hackle recommended is rooster plamered in a manner that forces hackle fibers backwards. Of course these distinctions apply only to woolly worms and woolly buggers used to target fish with brains bigger than a pea.
  6. I would argue that whatever hackle you choose, it should be high quality. This is especially true if you are catching a lot of fish. Over the years, I’ve not found anything better than Whiting Bugger Packs, but high quality saddles work just as well. Rooster capes on the other hand can have high quality feathers, but they are typically to wide and short for buggers. Several years back I wrote a piece for J. Stockard on dubbing woolly bugger bodies. Using dubbing for the body instead of chenille will improve hackle life. Additionally, tails don’t necessarily need to be made with Marabou. Finn Raccoon and Fox make excellent bugger tails. Finally, bodies can be crafted from other materials as well.
  7. I tied a number of large Gurglers for Barramundi in the last few months and used them with great success in Australia last month. They were tied on 4/0 or 5/0 beast hooks using 4mm foam. Key components were the addition of mini rattles along the hook shank and the use of Fettuccine foam for the legs. Additionally, I tie all my gurglers with Finn Racoon tails. It is extremely durable and lifelike in the water.
  8. Several years back I had the pleasure to help my friend Bruce Richards, former fly line guru at Scientific Anglers dispose of a massive hoard of fly rods, reels and flies on Ebay accumulated over his 35 year career. Among the hoard of course were several dozen System reels. There have been at least three generations of these reels and as far as I know, they were all (except the System 3) manufactured by Hardy in England. The earliest generation came out in the early 70s along with the first System rods (fiberglass generation) and are characterized by solid frames (see pics). The next generation followed the System G rods (early graphite) in the late 70s and early 80s. They have perforated spools. A third generation of reels appeared later with the name System 4, 5, 6 etc. that were essentially Hardy Marquis reels. SA also produced the System 3 Big Game reels in two sizes in the USA. Don’t see these very often. I’ve attached some of the photos we used on Ebay. My suggestion would be to contact SA directly and ask for the introduction dates of the different System reel models.
  9. I can highly recommend Camphor blocks as a bug deterrent for vulnerable fly tying materials. When I started tying flies in the early 1960s I began accumulating materials. When I went into the USAF in 1968, many of those materials followed me around the world for 28 years. A tour in the hot, humid Philippines in the 1980s drove the necessity to protect some capes and bucktails with some form of repellent. Moth balls were the logical choice, but by chance a Filipino friend recommended Camphor, which was readily available in the local market. Camphor is a natural substance and highly effective at deterring insects in closed containers. Camphor blocks are available on Amazon. However, in the PI, the Camphor was so cheap that I still have unopened stocks today. As for the idea that a strong bug deterrent might impart an unwanted oder to materials and thus flies, I have never found that to be the case. As a natural substance it dissipates rapidly in open air and my catch rates over the decades since I started using it have never suffered.
  10. I am not a commercial tyer or outfitter so I pay retail, but that said most Whiting CDL Rooster capes go for $22-25, On Ebay or in fly shops. Saddles run $35-60 depending on grade. My favorite source is https://www.ebay.com/str/farwestflyshop/Capes-Saddles-Whiting/_i.html?_storecat=435845119 but you probably can probably get them at wholesale from your suppliers. A $25 dyed CDL rooster cape has far more quality hackles than the equivalent $$ packs of strung hackle. http://whitingfarms.com/coq-de-leon-hackle/ Here is a post I wrote about CDL a while back https://www.jsflyfishing.com/blog/simple-flies-cdl-bb/#more-5323 You gotta try it to believe in it
  11. Bob, Have you considered CDLSaddle or Rooster Cape hackles for the tails? They are nice and stiff but with great coloration and contrasts—especially the dyed badger capes. I’ve been tying all my Deceiver style flies with CDL hackle for several years with great success. Plus CDL capes are significantly cheaper (especially rooster) capes than regular capes.,
  12. Although we were at least a mile inland from the beach, our location on the small Moyle River was still within the high tide line, thus this would qualify for a saltwater post. We were 2.5 weeks into our Australia trip which we ultimately had to cut short at 3 weeks to hightail it back to Montana. You can find the Moyle River on a map of the Northern Territory of Australia, some 90 miles SW of Darwin on the Timor Sea. It was the tail end of the Wet season but the flood plains were still draining freshwater full of bait, crustacean and aquatic insects into the river. Not much wider than 10 feet, the Moyle was flowing high and fast with tannic colored water. I had my 8 weight Meridian with me loaded with a 300 grain sink tip. The flies—Pink Things and Green Things on 5/0 beast hooks. After checking the area for crocodiles, we landed and were only on the ground at the Moyle midday for an hour, but the 90 degree heat and 90%+ humidity was very taxing. The crazy fishing—just about every eddy in the short 100 yard stretch of river held a large barramundi and a few large Australian catfish. It was non stop. No need to make any long casts, just get the fly in an eddy and you were connected with a Barra bent on returning downstream. It was a challenge to stay upright chasing the Barra downstream in the swampy floodplain. Even lost a few despite the 40lbs tippet. A few pics and the flies that connected.
  13. In the Trout Mecca we call SW Montana, an annual resident license is: $22.50 (seniors[62+] and juniors), $31 all others. (Just got my 2020 at $16.50, price dropped from last year) Cheap at twice the price. There used to be a free senior license, but that was done away with a few years back. Unfortunately, if you are a non-resident, the annual license is $111. These license $$ include fees for conservation and AIS. Although I dutifully acquire my license each March (it is an annual cycle), I have yet to have a license checked by a warden in the last 10 years. If you want to fish the trout rich waters of Yellowstone, its $40 for an annual license.
  14. My friends at Trout Unlimited’s Madison-Gallatin chapter (MGTU) have asked me to share an important message with you. We are proud to be partners with MGTU doing the hard work required to conserve, protect and restore the coldwater fisheries and watersheds we all love in Southwest Montana. And, as a fellow angler and someone who shares your passion for wild trout and the fragile places where they thrive, I’m encouraging you to join us in supporting MGTU’s TroutFest 2020 and its online silent auction–MGTU Banquet Online It is the one and only time they ask for help throughout the year. Thank You and Tight Lines!
  15. Goo Doo Feather Tail Glider The Goo Doo (Murray Cod) Feather Tail Glider was designed to simulate a small marsupial common along the streams and rivers of Eastern Victoria, Australia. Step by Step posted here: http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?showtopic=89256
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