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Fly Tying


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About TroutFodder

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    Alberta, Canada

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  1. Love the scraggly, scruffy look of this one. This is what makes a fly come alive under water.
  2. JB weld is always a solid repair option. Adventure dual-sport motorcyclists carry it to make emergency repairs to just about anything, including a cracked engine case. I also have also had good success with Lepages PL Premium adhesive.
  3. That is something I have not tried. It may work OK on the smaller size without rounding it out too much - I might give that a go as well. I like my pattern with the brass core - it sinks quickly and the fish seem to be good with it. But I also like the possibility of the more realistic look based on the information SilverCreek provided. I will be out on my home stream this weekend and keeping an eye out for any lingering empty cases. Looks like more experimentation is in order - I will try to post any results I come up with.
  4. Thanks for the information SilverCreek. The first link routed me back to this post but I just copied and pasted the text to get me there:) I have tied a few flies in the past using empty cases but never made the connection of tying the fly with the head towards the hook bend. I like the idea and look of using a bead at the back end with some hackle sticking out for the legs, as in your examples. It looks more realistic and doesn't seem to difficult to tie. I will have to keep an eye open for more empty cases to scavenge and try tying a few like that. I do know that when Brachycentrus pupates, they move to the slower current on the backside of a rock and attach their case with the skinny case end towards the rock. If the wide end is open (see photo), the pupa has emerged and the case is fair game - but if the end is still sealed, it is best to leave it as you found. And of course the live larvae should be left undisturbed as well. I'm not the most artistic fly tier but will try to post a photo or two once I get a few tied.
  5. Brachycentrus caddisflies are common in a lot of our foothills trout stream here in Alberta. Even though the larval case provides great camouflage, trout do learn that morsels in the drift with this squared-off look have nutritional value and quickly form a search image for them. Whenever I see good numbers of the cased larvae attached to the rocks, I know that some invariably end up in the drift (oftentimes intentionally as they migrate to better feeding grounds). In the absence of a hatch, and with good numbers of the larvae present, a Brachycentrus larva imitation becomes a great pattern to use. I have been experimenting in an attempt to create a fly that mimics not just the squared off look but also the tapered shape. So far the pattern below is the closest I have come (squared but not tapered). It starts with a short length of square brass tubing glued over the hook. I then wind on a base of dark brown thread and then accent it with medium brown, light brown, and white thread (I don't worry if the brass shows through in places as it adds to the color contrasts. The whole body is then covered in head cement or Hard as Nails. The fly is finished off with a tuft of dubbing to imitate the thorax of the larva as it reaches our in a attempt to regain a hold on the stream bottom. This fly sinks quickly and works very well - not just on trout, but also on mountain whitefish. I have seen artfully tied Brachycentrus larva using split quills that look very realistic but my preference is for patters that can be quickly tied with just enough effort to get the job done. I am interested to see if anyone out there has a go-to Brachycentrus larva pattern that they could share here - or if anyone has any advise to improve on my current pattern.
  6. The exoskeleton hardens through a process called sclerotization. This in general leads to a darkening of the exoskeleton but colors also develop during this time, either independently through the formation of sub-cuticular pigment molecules, or through different cross-link reactions during the sclerotization process that affect the color of the cuticle itself. Some colors are also enhanced by the physical structure of the cuticle that refracts light in different ways (much like light passing through a prism).
  7. Great photos SilverCreek. I have to provide clarification on two of your comments though: "Both Dragons and Damsels have two adult stages, just like a mayfly." and "The Teneral stage is like the sub-imago or dun stage of the mayfly = adult but sexually immature." Dragonflies and damselflies only have one adult life stage. When the nymph molts into an adult, it is sexually mature at that point (i.e. has sex organs that are fully developed) and does not undergo any further molts . The term teneral is simply used to describe the freshly molted adult as it waits for the exoskeleton and wings to fully harden. In the case of mayflies, the first adult stage (sub-imago/dun) does not have fully developed sex organs and must under go another molt to the second adult stage (imago/spinner). Here, both the freshly molted sub-imago and the imago also experience a brief teneral phase. Teneral is a term used to describe any insect that has molted and is waiting for the exoskeleton to harden (sclerotize) - including insects molting between nymph or larva instars. Hope this explanation helps.
  8. Hey Scott - I like this one. It would imitate emerging Chironomids quite nicely and as you mentioned, it could be tied in smaller sizes. I will have to experiment with variation on this style at my local lakes. Cheers, Rob
  9. troutracker, Thanks for your recipe. I bought some blue foam sheet a few years back with the intention of working up a few different adult damselfly patterns to try. Your post has inspired me and provided some good patterns to try out. My experience with trout consistently taking adult damsels was at a mountain lake with steep drop-offs along the shoreline and lots of overhanging shrubbery. Lots of adult damsels were resting on the shrubs along the lake-shore and the rainbow trout were jumping up and grabbing the adults right off the bushes. In some cases fish were clearing the water by a couple of feet to pluck bugs from the bushes. sometimes the fish would miss but knock the damsel onto the water where it would circle back and take it from surface. If I did not see it for myself, I would not believe it.
  10. Good point chugbug27 - I do find that the the pre-hatch nymph activity can provide more action than the hatch itself. Here is the fly selection I carry. The nymphs are tied in simple Hare's Ear style (but a bit chunkier) using olive-brown rabbit dubbing. For the emergers, I replace the wing case with a tuft of deer hair and the tail with olive antron. When I fish the emerger, I apply floatant to the deer hair only and spit on the rest of the fly - this makes it hang in the surface film.
  11. Green Drake hatches should be starting up any time on our local freestone streams. Drunella doddsii (adult dun pictured here) is most common but we also have Drunella grandis on a few of the spring creeks in the area. I prefer to fish this hatch with an extended body green drake parachute in medium olive when the fish are keyed in on the adult duns waiting for their wings to dry.
  12. Here is a photo of the adults in copula. This hatch is just getting going in our neck of the woods.
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