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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by NohackleHS

  1. I used a Xuron for over 30 years. I bought it at the suggestion of Andy Puyans because he liked the simplicity. After a couple of years the tips of the jaw started flaring out so I took it back to the store where I bought it. They sent it back to the manufacturer and replaced it. Never had a problem with it for the next 25+ years. I'd still use it today except that I started tying flies that use UV resin so I needed a vice that rotates.
  2. I agree that the wings splitting does affect the appearance of the fly. However, in one of his videos Mike Lawson says that the wing splitting does not reduce the effectiveness of the fly.
  3. NohackleHS

    Lock down

    They sell anti-cramp topical medication on EBAY. I have used Caleb Treeze Organic Farm cramp medication. It smells like a mixture of vinegar and garlic. but it has worked for me when I got cramps in my hands after a day of flycasting. You can also try some natural apple cider vinegar by rubbing some on your cramp and see if that works.
  4. If you go to Amazon and look up Frogtogg Waders, there are 888 reviews on the Hellbender model.
  5. If you Google "fly fishing the Upper Sacramento River", you find a large number of videos on fishing it. This should give you an idea of whether you want to hire a guide or not. There is also an OLD video by Mike Fong called "The Trout Fisherman: Fly Fishing - New Challenges" where he demonstrates the "Ted Fay" upstream nymphing method on the Upper Sac. This video is so old you may not be able to find a copy but it's a good primer on how to fish the river.
  6. Like any place you fish it's best to learn what hatches occur in the lake. The two California lakes I fish are primarily callibaetis and midge lakes. One can be fished with a callibaetis nymph/zebra midge combination under an indicator. There is an ant hatch (size 12) in late May and June so having a floating ant pattern is recommended. For streamers, woolly buggers and leech patterns are effective. The other lake has callibaetis but the midges are blood midges. So a callibaetis nymph/red blood midge combination works well. There are also a lot of snails so a snail pattern can replace the blood midge. For streamers, woolly buggers work well. Denny Rickards is a still water author who ties many useful still water patterns; he has written several books and produced a couple of videos.
  7. Some tiers intentionally tie their flies differently (some thin bodied, some thick, etc.) to find out which particular tie is the most effective in hooking fish. After all, the ultimate "judge" of your flies are the fish. I remember fishing the Henry's Fork many years ago when I was pretty new to fly fishing. I caught a good number of fish on a size 20 Adams. At days end I looked at my fly and it looked like someone had stepped on it and mashed it into the ground. Yet it caught most of my fish that day. So you never really know what fly you've tied may be the "best" one you've tied.
  8. My brother got me started into fly fishing. He started fly fishing in the early 70's. By 1974 he got me interested in fly fishing. In 1975 I had worked so much overtime that I had earned a couple of extra weeks of vacation. My brother then suggested that we go to fish Idaho and Montana. I barely knew where we were going. We fished Silver Creek, the Henry's Fork, the Yellowstone, the Madison and the Gallatin. And even though I was a total novice to fly fishing, the fish were so plentiful that I caught fish from every stream that we fished. The trip was so much fun that we continued to make trips to Idaho/Montana for the next 28 years. Can you imagine the first time we got to Silver Creek, I looked down into the water below Kilpatrick bridge, I couldn't see the bottom of the stream because the fish literally carpeted the bottom of the stream!
  9. I was fortunate to learn fly tying from Andre Puyans, the originator of the A.P. nymph and a California Hall of Fame fly fisherman. Since i fish for mostly trout and I took trips to Idaho/Montana for over 25 years, i would have to say Rene Harrop was most influential to my tying. I particularly like his "Life Cycle of the Mayfly" video. He developed a fly he called the transitional dun that has been a very effective fly for me; I nailed a 22 inch rainbow from Silver Creek on it.
  10. I believe he needs to buy some floatant. But in addition to using floatant on the fly, he may also want to put floatant on the last couple feet of tippet to within 3 or 4 inches of the fly. The floatant will help keep the tippet from sinking (just as it does for the fly) and pulling the fly under. I believe I saw this suggestion in a Gary Borger video many, many years ago so I'm not sure it was in his video. In any case, I think it would be worth trying. .
  11. For years the beadhead Copper John was my "go to" fly on my home stream. I would use it in combination with a Zebra Midge and had great success over a very long time. (btw, I preferred amber wire over regular copper) Then for whatever reason, the CJ stopped producing the same results. I don't know if it was because so many anglers started using them or perhaps the bug life in the stream changed. All I know is that the fly stopped producing like it had been. So I can understand why some people love the fly and others don't. I still use the fly but now it's my third or fourth choice as opposed to my first choice.
  12. In the Little Red Book of Fly Fishing, Kirk Deeter has a writeup on the color purple. In this writeup he writes "One theory is that purple catches fishes' eyes better than other shades. Among trout, for example, we know, according to Dr. Robert Behnke, author of Trout and Salmon in North America, that the cones in the retinas of trout eyes are more receptive to shades on the blue side of the spectrum." He goes on to say that "when they're on a hatch, matching size and color is key, but when they are just opportunity feeding, gaudy is better". I have actually used purple PT's on my home stream with good success. It's not my "go to" color, but I have used it as a second or third choice. On one particular day I nailed two 20-inch trout using the fly so I can say that I am a believer in purple flies.
  13. The following address points to an article on the Mercer's Missing Link fly: https://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/mercers-missing-link/152210. In the article Mike Mercer describes how he has been frustrated for many years by the late night rises on the Lower Sacramento river. The Missing Link fly was the result of his experimentation. Hope this helps.
  14. Flytire, Looking at the picture, you'd snip off the lead on the left side of the fly about mid-hookshank. Then you'd make 1/2 turn more on the right side of the fly and snip it off about mid-hookshank. Both ends of the lead would be pointed up. If you count the number of turns on the top half of the fly, there would be 15. If you counted the number of turns on the bottom half of the fly, it would be 16. Thus, the bottom half of the fly is weighted slightly more than the top half of the fly.
  15. If you use lead wire (or lead substitute), when you wrap the lead around the hook shank, make sure that when you cut the ends of the lead that both ends point up. By doing this you will ensure that the bottom half of the fly has one more wrap than the top of the fly (count the wraps on the top half vs the bottom half and you will see what I am talking about). Thus, the fly will be tend to float in an upright position. (I hope this explanation is clear. It's much easier to demonstrate than to try to explain)
  16. Dfoster, Like you, I used to use the tag end of a blood knot for my dropper fly. I fish Pyramid lake in Nevada where the fish are BIG. I discovered that instead of a blood knot, using the tag end of a double unit knot gave me a much stronger dropper knot. I did some testing at my tying desk at home and the tag end of a double unit knot was about 2 lbs stronger than using the tag end of a blood knot. My tests were done with 2X and 3X flourocarbon tippet. Regarding switching flies a lot, I pre-tie the fly combo's I intend to use to a shortened version of a tippet (cut 12 inches above the double uni knot). I carefully coil the fly/tippet combo and place it in a sandwich bag. I do this for every fly combo I intend to use. Then when I want to switch flies, I just cut off the old flies and tie on the new fly/tippet combo; this requires tying only one knot. I know that pre-tying flies/tippets might be considered by many as overkill. However, most often I only get to fish for a couple of hours so anything I can do to shorten the time it takes to switch flies gives me more fishing time.
  17. To confirm what Piker and Steeldrifter have said, this is a true story. There used to be a private spring creek near Fort Klamath, Oregon at the Take It Easy Ranch. While fishing the stream both I and my brother had the experience of a 22 inch rainbow that would follow us around. You'd move and the fish would move with you, staying a few feet downsream. Evidently, moving around would kick up bugs that it would pick off. The creek was crystal clear and shallow so it was very easy to estimate its size.
  18. Western tiers: Bob Quigley: Quigley Cripple Denny Rickards: Seal Bugger Andy Puyans: A.P. Nymph Rene Harrop: Nohackle, various mayfly emergers including the Transitional Dun (my favorite) Jay Fair: Wiggly Tail, Snail (Davis lake patterns)
  19. If you are using a butt section, grease the butt section of your leader with floatant. By doing this the butt section actually aids in keeping the fly line tip floating rather than pulling it down. Re-grease the butt section every few hours especially when you start to see the fly line tip starting to sink.
  20. Here's what I would do if I were you. If you have access to a local fly shop, buy the fly you want to learn how to tie. Let's say it's a gold rib hare's ear. If you don't have access to a shop, buy a couple from a reputable online fly shop. Once you have the fly, buy the materials you think you will need. Take your best shot at tying the fly. When you are done, compare your fly versus the purchased fly. Assuming you have the correct materials, there are two basic reasons that your fly won't look as good as the purchased fly, your tying technique and your fly's incorrect proportions. Perhaps your fly's body looks scruffy and inconsistent compared to the other fly. This probably means that your dubbing technique needs to be worked on. Perhaps your wing case is much smaller than the purchased fly. This is a problem with proportions. Is the body of your fly much fatter than the purchased fly? This could be a problem with your dubbing technique as well as bad proportions. By critiquing your fly you can narrow down what you need to work on. So it's not so much the fly you choose to tie but what you learn from tying it.
  21. I've been tying for over 30 years and have never used a coffee grinder. I've probably tied a couple of thousand flies. When I want to blend dubbing, I take the two or three dubbing colors I want to blend and put them on top of each other. I then pull the dubbing apart into two portions. I then stack the two portions on top of each other and pull them apart again. By repeating this process I can make the color i want. Sometimes rotating one portion over the other speeds up the blending process. With this hand process I can add or subtract dubbing colors to make the exact color I want. I've been using this process so long it only takes me a few minutes to blend the dubbing. Granted this process won't chop the dubbing into shorter pieces if this is desired but if your main purpose is just to blend dubbing, it works fine. Just pointing out that there is more than one way to blend dubbing.
  22. On my home stream in California the trout really like an egg tied with a base color of "Oregon Cheese" (mostly bright yellow but with an orange hue) and the spot is "Flame" (bright pinkish red). It is very productive when the fish are on eggs. A lot of time the fly also acts as an "attractor". By this I mean that it seems that the egg will catch the eye of a fish and then they see the trailer fly and hit it. So even though the fish aren't hitting the egg fly, your catch rate still improves.
  23. According to the "Little Red Book of Fly Fishing" Kirk Deeter states "Use this simple gauge: if the current is slower than one foot per second, forget about the beads."
  24. A copper john USED to be my go-to fly on my home stream. And this was true for many years. But, for whatever reason, it just stopped working for me. Same tie, same stream, but its effectiveness really dropped off. I never could come up with a good explanation but I guess this is one of those classic mysteries of flyfishing.
  25. I've been using bronze mallard for years.
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