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Fly Tying


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About CM_Stewart

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  1. When evaluating answers, you might consider whether the person giving the answer has actually used them or is just giving his ideas of what he thinks they will do. FIN-ITE 34 is correct. You can use them. They do work. They do not twist your tippet any more than a conventional fly. I have fished with them for years now. Also, they are not designed to be fished on the surface. They are wet flies and are designed to be fished under the surface (although with a long rod and short line you can keep them at the surface if you wish). Perhaps most important to realize, there are many traditional tenkara flies and most of the traditional Japanese tenkara flies do not have forward facing hackles.
  2. I have a friend who won't fish an egg pattern because "it isn't a fly." This is for Jason, the Partridge & Orange (widebody).
  3. There are many traditional styles of tenkara flies that were used in Japan, nearly all of them, including the one people in the US refer to as "tenkara" style, are wet flies and were never intended to float. If you want to fish a dry fly, you will probably find that flies designed to float will work better. For fishing with a tenkara rod, I prefer a CDC & Elk, which floats well, catches fish, and has an aerodynamic delta shape that makes it easier to cast with a light tenkara line.
  4. DavidHE Is correct. There are many traditional tenkara patterns in Japan, and probably more than half of them do not have reverse hackles. That said, I believe most of the tenkara flies in common use are reverse hackled patterns. I also believe the reverse hackle fly was promoted in the West as the iconic tenkara fly in part because it was so different than western patterns and thus exotic. Why the hackle is reversed is a mystery. The hackle does open up rather than close down when the fly is pulsed, but in tenkara fishing the fly isn't always pulsed. Northern Italian soft hackles also have reversed hackles, and what I have heard regarding those flies is that they are well suited to the faster currents of high gradient mountain streams - which would be very similar to the streams on which tenkara was developed in Japan. In fact, the traditional Italian fly fishing style - pesca mosca Valsesiana - is quite similar to tenkara.
  5. Ty Flyer, since you asked a serious question, you deserve a serious answer. Tenkara is fly fishing with a long rod and very light line tied to the rod tip, the COMBINATION of the long rod and light line allow you to keep all or most of the line off the water, so it is not subject to drag of conflicting currents. You can thus achieve better presentations and will probably catch more fish (although the casting distance is limited, so you will be forced to fish within about 20' of where you are standing). The comparison with a cane pole is only valid if you agree that a Sage or Winston is a cane pole with guides and a reel seat. No one seems to make that comparison, but a tenkara rod has a LOT more in common with a graphite fly rod than it does with a cane pole. The rods are graphite and weigh a couple ounces, collapse down to 20-24" for convenient travel or for walking along streamside trails. They are generally 10-14' in length, but you can find both shorter and longer ones. The line is essentially 12-16# test fluorocarbon, dyed to make it visible so you can watch the line for indications of a strike. Some people use furled lines, which are the same as furled fly fishing leaders, only longer. The fishing is very similar to fly fishing with rod and reel, except you won't have to mend your line, your line never gets tangled around your feet (because you don't strip it in), you never have to worry about getting the fish "onto the reel" and you never have to regain line from a fish that runs 50 yards downstream. Your line is always the same length, so your casts become very accurate without all that false casting to find the right distance. Your line is not on the water so line splash or lining fish is no longer an issue. Because of the length of the rod, the fish has a lot of leverage, so even smaller fish put up a good fight. With a larger fish, the fight is shorter than with a fly rod (either the fish breaks you off right away or you land it quickly), and you can put just as much pressure on a fish with a tenkara rod as you can with a fly rod. If you fish for bonehead, or steelhead or marlin, it's not for you. If you fish for the size trout that the average guy actually catches, or panfish, or bass, it very well could be. Don't let the guys who have never tried it turn you away. It's not a religion, it's just another way to fish that some people find very enjoyable. It makes no sense that so many people seem to want to make fun of it. After all, it is the way Dame Juliana and Izaak Walton fished. Fly fishing with the line tied to the rod tip is thousands of years old. Fly reels are hundreds of years old.
  6. Those are not alula feathers. These are: You'll have to buy a pheasant skin or at least the wings, because no one sells just the alula feathers. IF you could find a source in Japan, they would almost certainly cost more per feather than just buying a pair of hen pheasant wings for $4. You'll get one feather per wing. (If it hasn't already been broken off, not all commercially available wings still have them - and I don't think it's because they've been sold separately, because almost no one here knows there is any use for them.) Also, coloration is going to change from bird to bird.
  7. I've got hen pheasant wings but not just the alula feathers. You won't find them other than in Japan, and I'm not sure where you'd find them there.
  8. Back when I was first trying to find information about tenkara, which would have been 2007 or 2008, the only post on any forum I could find that even mentioned tenkara was yours, saying that you were using it very effectively following a shoulder injury. Good to hear you're still doing it. And you are exactly right. It works.
  9. I learned about it several years ago, and since then all my trout fishing has been with a tenkara rod (bluegill fishing still some ultra light spin fishing, some tenkara). Some of the tenkara lines are furled, but not all. The furled ones can be furled from mono, tying thread or even kevlar thread. They also use level lines, which is what I prefer, and those are made from a hi-vis fluorocarbon. You could use nylon mono, but the greater density of fluorocarbon makes it much easier to cast. The sakasa kebari fly pattern is a generic attractor type of wet fly. Even people who use only on pattern do tie it in different colors, although they might just limit it to "dark" (for example black thread, brown hackle) and "light" (gray thread, grizzly hackle). In Japan, tenkara fishing is done on high gradient mountain streams, where the fish don't have the luxury of examining their food carefully. If the presentation is good and it looks like it even might be food, they take it - not unlike our brookies. Tenkara patterns are very effective here for browns and rainbows as well, but much more so in riffles and pocket water than in long glassy pools. In general, matching the hatch is less important for wet flies, and particularly in pocket water. The flies can be fished with a Western rod and reel, but you can get more out of them with a tenkara rod and line. Not only is a tenkara rod very long, it is designed to be able to cast a very light line. For that reason, it really isn't at all the same as the canes pole that people here fished as kids with bobbers and worms,m or even the cheap fiberglass telescopic crappie poles. You can easily cast a 14-15' line consisting of nothing more than 0X fluorocarbon, to which you add maybe 4' of 5X. The long rod and extremely light line allow you to keep virtually all your line off the water, nearly eliminating drag. The presentations you can get really are better, so you really do catch more fish (although of course, the fish you catch are all within about 20' of where you're standing. One other point on the rods, they are very good at protecting light tippets, so landing 20" trout on 5X tippet, even with no reel, is certainly possible and probably takes less time than if you had a reel because you never have to regain any line. If it doesn't break you off on the first run, there is no reason to baby it and you can land it pretty quickly. The advantage is greater for streams than for lakes and ponds, because in streams casts tend to be shorter and drag is an ever present issue. For fishing ponds for bluegills, the only real advantage is that the soft rod makes them feel like they're twice as big as they are. Plus, if you're fishing from a tube or kayak, you don't have all that excess line catching on everything. Give it a try. It really is a lot of fun.
  10. Just one tip. Don't worry about the scud back. I'll bet you'll catch just as many fish if you leave the back off. I catch about half my fish on scuds, and never, ever put backs on 'em.
  11. Mike, Sawyer's killer bug was my best subsurface fly, by far, this past year. I've tried several different yarns, and in my opinion, the pinkish/tan color that the fly shows when wet is critical to it's tremendous productivity. The original Chadwicks 477 Sawyer used had red fibers along with the basic fawn color of the yarn. I haven't found any readily available yarn that has that color combination, including Veniard's killer bug yarn substitute. I have read that one of the substitutes available in the UK but not the US is better, but I haven't tried it. However, there is a way to easily create a pinkish/tan yarn that works very well. I use Jamieson's Simply Shetland Spindrift yarn in the Sand color #183. You can get it here: http://www.yarnbarn.com/yarn/colorcard.asp...tNo=KY-JAM-SSSP. It has red fibers running through an off-white yarn. To get the tan color, after tying the fly and while it is still in the vise, I color it with a Prismacolor marker, which by pure coincidence, is also the Sand color #070. You can get it at a good art supply store or here: http://www.dickblick.com/products/prismaco...ed-art-markers/ Some people (notably Oliver Edwards) say that the reddish color of the varnished copper wire Sawyer used in place of tying thread is also important, but I don't believe the color of the wire shows through two or three layers of yarn. I've tried plain copper wire and red Ultra-wire (which is a bright red, not the reddish brown color of the varnished copper wire that used to be available) and if anything, have done a little better with plain copper wire. I don't have a good photo of the finished fly when wet, but it's color is almost exactly the same as these live gammarus (scuds): . Note also that they swim - fast. The fly works fished dead drift, but works better if you give it some life. Two videos on tying the killer bug: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-caF_s6C5Q
  12. If tied and fished correctly, does it skate standing up on it's hackle tips or is it more like sliding around leaning forwards? I only tried to tie and fish one once, but the result was more like a drunk trying to stay upright than a ballerina on her tippy toes.
  13. as far as I know, John's business is totally dedicated to Classic Salmon Flies. Not at all. I've bought several things from FeathersMC, and I've never tied a salmon fly in my life. Just looked at several receipts from my purchases, and in each case the shipping charge was $5.00. Of course, prices change over time, but I'm sure his shipping charge is reasonable - and the qualilty of his materials is top notch.
  14. Shane, It arrived today. Wow, that's a lifetime supply. No need to save any more for me. Once I get tying over the winter I'll send you some flies. Thanks again, Chris
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