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Barbless Bob

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About Barbless Bob

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    Advanced Member

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  • Favorite Species
    snook
  • Security
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  • Location
    Rochester, NY
  1. Capt. Bob, That sure brings back some fond memories. I used to stay at the Golden Grouper during that time and would wade the flats hours on end behind the motel. From time to time, Randy, Tim, Jack Gartside, and a whole lot of great fly fishers would also be there. It was one of the few places I knew of where you could hook a big tarpon wading. There were some big bonefish there, too. I always used to stop in the World Class Anglers shop and buy some flies. How things have changed.
  2. In the 1990s, when fly fishing in the Keys, I used to stay at a small motel in Marathon Key that was across from the airport. At that time, Del Brown stayed in the same motel. The real-life Merkins tied by Del had arrowhead shaped bodies as described above by DITZ2. Many saltwater books and fly catalogs show the Merkin with a round or roundish body, which is NOT how Del actually tied them. In fact, the arrowhead shape is a major part of the fly's outstanding success. Another very subtle component of the original fly which seems to have gotten lost in literature is that the hackle (claws) was Cree hen, which is nearly impossible to obtain now. The best description of Del's Merkin that I have found is contained in Dick Brown's book, BONEFISH FLY PATTERNS, Lyons & Burford publishers, copyright 1996, page 68. However, even though the fly in the photo of the book was of a fly Del tied himself, the Merkins which I have found to be even more effective for permit are a little more tapered at the head, accentuating the arrowhead pattern. (I don't know if the author of the book is/was related to Del Brown.) The arrowhead shape helps simulate the action of a diving crab, whereas a round shape causes the fly to float and wobble unnaturally while sinking.
  3. The basic reason why I like the original Gudebrod holders is I can feel the amount of tension on the thread in my hand better than with any other bobbin I have ever used. Also, because of their relatively low price, it was very convenient to keep the long spools of various thread colors attached on their own holders without having to change or reload. The plastic holders were part of Gary Borger's/Gudebrod's system to hold a complete offering of various tying thread colors, primarily to match common freshwater fly patterns. The downside of the cheap holders is that they aren't as precise as expensive bobbins. Sometimes the thread slips and sometimes wax build-up causes the thread to stick in the holes. My previous interest in obtaining more holders was that I have been using a lot of Sulky thread which is available in the long Gudebrod-like spools. I like to use Sulky thread primarily for some bass fly patterns I tie for myself. After posting my original inquiry I found enough of the plastic holders to satisfy my needs and I thank those of you for helping me in my search.
  4. Capt. Bob, Hats off to you! You are one of only two professional guides who have asked me this question before booking a trip. Today, most new fly reels come off the shelf with left-hand retrieve, so right-hand isn't the norm. It's attention to details like this that help put you at the top of my list of the best of the best saltwater guides. Of course, knowing tarpon behavior as well as anyone I have ever fished with is another. And, I'd be totally inept if I didn't mention your extraordinary knowledge and skill at tying knots and flies. Such knowledge and guiding skill only comes from decades of dedication and experience fishing South Florida waters.
  5. Capt. Bob, I can't tell from the photo... do you attach the butt end of the wire weed guard on the opposite side of the beadchain eyes? (Rather than up and through the hook eye?) And, what size (diameter) wire do you usually for the weedguard? Thanks!
  6. Yesterday the dragon and damsel flies started mating and the cottonwood seeds started falling, making fly fishing for bass a bit more challenging. All you have to do is find a way through the cottonwood flotsam and eager bluegills to reach the smallmouths and largemouths. A perfect day nonetheless. As one wise old fly fisher once told me, you just have to be patient and don't let the cotton-picking cottonwood get the best of your humor.
  7. I enjoy both of your formats. Well done.
  8. Mike, Best wishes for a speedy and thorough recovery. And, thanks for your ongoing comments, good advice, and friendship on FTF!
  9. Sure wish I was there now. There's something truly magical about flyfishing the Everglades, especially the areas Captain Bob LeMay knows so well. My humble advice is for every "serious" fly fisher to give it a try. Seems like every trip I make down there, I come back with memories that last a lifetime. You can look at a 1000 YouTube videos, and no matter how great they are, they'll never match your own real-life experiences.
  10. Nick, sorry to hear about your situation. My prayers and best wishes for a thorough recovery!
  11. When Capt. Bob suggested covering up to stop the no-see-ums from torturing us, he wasn't kidding. Just one of many helpful tips he shared on our trip!
  12. Perhaps the folks at Fly Tyer magazine can provide a fairly accurate guesstimate. [email protected]
  13. I had the great pleasure of fly fishing with Capt. Bob Lemay last month. He's a master guide with an incredible wealth of knowledge about all aspects of fly fishing! One of the very best guides I've ever fished with! He knows how to fight off no-see-ums, too.
  14. Sorry if I sounded disrespectful to anyone. It was not my intent.
  15. You guys crack me up. About a year ago I had a lengthy conversation with the CEO of a major fly line company about cleaning and maintenance of today's new generation of expensive lines. Most good floating lines today incorporate microscopic materials to help them stay on top of the water. After rinsing a dirty line in lukewarm water and wiping it with a soft clean rag to get the surface dirt off, he suggested using a ScotchBrite (or similar) scuff pad to release the microscopic floatant components incased in the line itself, and then using a few dime-size drops of the line manufacturer's silicone cleaning agent on a clean rag to give the line a final polish. This is basically the same advice described decades ago by Bruce Richards, former head of SciAnglers. Using that technique, I have several saltwater lines that are more than 15 years old and are still in great condition. While some line companies recommend cleaning the lines first with a mild detergent, I avoid that, too. It often leaves a film on the line, which is hard to remove. As for me, I would avoid at all costs, using WD40 or other home remedies to clean today's expensive lines. Why go that route? RIO or Sci Anglers dressings do cost $8-10 for a small bottle, but it lasts a long time and can clean many dozen lines safely and properly. As for Crisco, please! They don't even use that for baking anymore. The way I figure it, if it ain't good for your gut, it can't be good for your $120 bonefish line (neither is olive oil).
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