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Found 5 results

  1. Their are many patterns that can catch fish year round (the Wooly family -Bugger and Worm come to mind). The problem is that fish (especially warm water pond/lake fish) move around in the water column and to have the best chance to catch them is to keep your fly in the fishes water column as long as possible. Fish may move because of the season of the year, light conditions and weather conditions. Here's the challenge - you have two IDENTICAL patterns one weighted and one unweighted. How can you easily tell which is which? I guess you could drop each one and see which lands hook first vs. eye first. The problem with that is 1) I'm just too old to bend over a find the flies and trust getting back up! and 2) I would probably lose the flies in the grass and find them with my feet and not my hands! Luckily the first thing I do before I tie is debarb the hook! Here's a solution - tie each fly with a different color head. Here's what I do. If a pattern calls for black thread I use it on all the WEIGHTED flies. For the UNWEIGHTED flies I'll either use brown tying thread throughout or tie with the black and finish with an under finished head then anchor on the brown thread and finish the head. This way you can tell at a glance which is weighted and which is not. This works for other color threads as well. Just remember that the LIGHTER color is the Unweighted(lighter) version and the dark color is the weighted version. As an extra reminder (due to a senior moment or two!) I put "W" and "U" on the end of my spools. You could also write something like "Dark = Weighted" on your flybox (luckily I'm not QUITE that old yet!) I hope this helps and have fun tying and fishing. Remember there are always two things you can do if if you tie a fly you think is ugly 1) Take off your glasses and it'll look better or, 2) Go out fishing on an ugly day and catch an ugly fish! See you on the waters! Oh, and by the way the "WW" in my name is for Warm Water!
  2. Back in 2006 Richard A. Lewis wrote an article for the Fly Anglers Online site entitled "Tying Deep Minnow Clones" (www.flyanglersonline.com/flytying/fotw2/030606fotw.php). He was trying to show a Clouser based fly but with some advantages of using kink shanked (popper) hooks instead of a normal streamer hook. (Mustad's 33903 was an example used.) It's a great read of a very good idea. The one thing I thought of is that the 33903 actually has TWO kinks in it, one up and one down. Being cheap, I mean FRUGAL, I said why not tie TWO sized flies using a single sized hook. Mr. Lewis used the front kink in his design and he explained the reasons in that fine article. What I do is also use the back kink to tie a size bigger fly. The one additional step I take is to mostly fill in the kink with the same sewing thread he mentions as a base for the eyes. By filling in back crook/kink MOSTLY in accomplishes getting the eyes in a spot where the fly still fishes hook up. If you're worried with short hits that's why the fishing gods invented stinger hooks. Just figured I'd share the thought as well as the fine article. This is repeated in the Beginners Tying section as well. They say thanks and ask questions while the more senior members like to discuss - I like both!
  3. Their are many patterns that can catch fish year round (the Wooly family -Bugger and Worm come to mind). The problem is that fish (especially warm water pond/lake fish) move around in the water column and to have the best chance to catch them is to keep your fly in the fishes water column as long as possible. Fish may move because of the season of the year, light conditions and weather conditions. Here's the challenge - you have two IDENTICAL patterns one weighted and one unweighted. How can you easily tell which is which? I guess you could drop each one and see which lands hook first vs. eye first. The problem with that is 1) I'm just too old to bend over a find the flies and trust getting back up! and 2) I would probably lose the flies in the grass and find them with my feet and not my hands! Luckily the first thing I do before I tie is debarb the hook! Here's a solution - tie each fly with a different color head. Here's what I do. If a pattern calls for black thread I use it on all the WEIGHTED flies. For the UNWEIGHTED flies I'll either use brown tying thread throughout or tie with the black and finish with an under finished head then anchor on the brown thread and finish the head. This way you can tell at a glance which is weighted and which is not. This works for other color threads as well. Just remember that the LIGHTER color is the Unweighted(lighter) version and the dark color is the weighted version. As an extra reminder (due to a senior moment or two!) I put "W" and "U" on the end of my spools. You could also write something like "Dark = Weighted" on your flybox (luckily I'm not QUITE that old yet!) I hope this helps and have fun tying and fishing. Remember there are always two things you can do if if you tie a fly you think is ugly 1) Take off your glasses and it'll look better or, 2) Go out fishing on an ugly day and catch an ugly fish! See you on the waters! Oh, and by the way the "WW" in my name is for Warm Water! (Note: a copy of this post is also located in the Beginners section as well.)
  4. I just saw a post from CapeBSalar asking about the best tying book for a beginning tier. I answered Helen Shaw's "Fly Tying" for many reasons but if I had to choose one it would be this - there is NOT ONE fly pattern/recipe in the entire book! I challenge anyone to give me another example of this in a tying book! It concentrates on handling and tying one material at a time - one chapter to each. Think of it this way, if you wanted to learn an instrument would you like someone to give you a song and teach you how to play it or would you like to learn how to handle the notes and the various sounds each makes if you do this or that while playing it? This gets me to this topic of thread control and this is not covered in deep detail in many books and even if you watch a video or a live demonstration you may not see the subtle ways the thread is manipulated. (Ever see a person play the clarinet - can you see what their tongue is doing to manipulate the sound??) Let me show you by an example. First, tying a Wooly Worm - many a tiers first or second fly they learn to tie. Basic recipe/directions. First is the materials list - normally in the order tied in on a well written recipe. ( I'll forgo that here.) Next - 1) Start your thread an eye diameter behind the eye. Then wind a smooth thread base back to the bend. 2) Cut a piece of red yarn and tie it in to form the fly’s tail. As we did on the last fly, wrap down the yarn on the hook shank from the bend of the hook up to a point about one eye diameter back from the rear of the hook’s eye. After tying in the yarn, cut the tail to a length roughly equal to the gape of the hook. After tying in the yarn, leave your thread hanging at the bend. 3) Prepare a 6-inch piece of chenille and tie it in by stripping off about a 1/4" of the chenille exposing the base thread. Tie down the thread and return your thread the starting point just before the bend of the hook. 4) Select and prepare a hackle feather by stripping the fibers from the tip of the feather leaving a bare stem. Then tie in the hackle feather at the bend of the hook. The feather should be extending rearward beyond the bend. 5) Move thread forward to one eye diameter behind eye. 6)Now begin forming the body by making one turn of chenille behind the hackle feather. Then wrap the second turn of chenille in front of the feather. Continue wrapping the chenille forward (over the tied-down tail material) to a point one eye diameter from the eye. Tie off the chenille and trim away the excess. 7) In this step, we will wrap (“palmer”) the hackle. That’s the key to creating the Woolly Worm. Grasping the feather firmly but not too tightly, wrap it in an open spiral toward the front of the hook. Space the turns no closer than about an eighth of an inch; a little wider spacing may be preferable. Wrap to that point one eye diameter back from the back of the hook eye, and then tie off the feather. Once the feather is tied off, add a couple of “security wraps” in front of the feather tie-off point as described earlier. Then use the very tips of your scissors to cut away the excess feather, trimming closely (but don’t cut your thread!). 8) Now form a small tapered head at the front of the fly. Use your half hitch tool to tie a couple of two-turn half hitches or use a whip finish to secure the thread Trim the thread, apply a drop of head cement, and you’re done. With that, your Woolly Worm is complete! First I believe that most tiers of any experience level would read this and say that it's a pretty complete set of directions and very similar to what you'd read in ANY fly tying book. But there is more going on that is not even mentioned! (Again why I love Helen Shaw's approach!) There are 6 mentions of the word "thread" and 10 mentions of the word/or form of the word "tie" in those directions (if I counted correctly on my fingers that is!). But beyond that it doesn't say what the thread is doing! Here's the more complete tying directions. (Anyone fall asleep yet?) The Wooly Worm (again I'll forgo the standard list of materials). 1) Start your thread an eye diameter behind the eye. Then wind a smooth thread base back to the bend using a relaxed thread that will allow you to cover more of the hook and tie a smoother base (not as important here because of the bulky materials we are using on this pattern but a good habit to get into. 2) Cut a piece of red yarn and tie it in to form the fly’s tail using a tight thread that will "cut" into the yarn to better secure it to the hook shank. As we did on the last fly, wrap down the yarn on the hook shank from the bend of the hook up to a point about one eye diameter back from the rear of the hook’s eye. After tying in the yarn, cut the tail to a length roughly equal to the gape of the hook. After tying in the yarn, leave your thread hanging at the bend. 3) Prepare a 6-inch piece of chenille and tie it in again using a tight thread for the same reason as above by stripping off about a 1/4" of the chenille exposing the base thread. Tie down the thread and return your thread the starting point just before the bend of the hook. 4) Select and prepare a hackle feather by stripping the fibers from the tip of the feather leaving a bare stem. Then tie in the hackle feather again with a tight thread at the bend of the hook. The feather should be extending rearward beyond the bend. 5) Move thread forward to one eye diameter behind eye use your relaxed thread here. 6)Now begin forming the body by making one turn of chenille behind the hackle feather. Then wrap the second turn of chenille in front of the feather. Continue wrapping the chenille forward (over the tied-down tail material) to a point one eye diameter from the eye. Tie off the chenille again using your tight thread and trim away the excess. 7) In this step, we will wrap (“palmer”) the hackle. That’s the key to creating the Woolly Worm. Grasping the feather firmly but not too tightly, wrap it in an open spiral toward the front of the hook. Space the turns no closer than about an eighth of an inch; a little wider spacing may be preferable. Wrap to that point one eye diameter back from the back of the hook eye, and then tie off the feather again with a tight thread. Once the feather is tied off, add a couple of “security wraps” in front of the feather tie-off point as described earlier. Then use the very tips of your scissors to cut away the excess feather, trimming closely (but don’t cut your thread!). 8) Now form a small tapered head using a relaxed thread so the head comes out smooth at the front of the fly. Use your half hitch tool to tie a couple of two-turn half hitches or use a whip finish to secure the thread Trim the thread, apply a drop of head cement, and you’re done. With that, your Woolly Worm is complete! Now how do I get a "tight" vs. a "relaxed" thread? By the spin you put on your bobbin. I your thread is wrapped in a clockwise or counter-clockwise manner. How can I tell? Attach the thread to your hook and let it hang - the direction your bobbin starts to spin in is the direction to relax your thread - anything wrapped will want to unwind! Think rope vs. a strap handle. Rope round and can cut in to your hand due to the smaller surface area. A flat strap handle spreads the pressure over a greater area. Another example I could've used is any fly where you need to pinch tie down a material. A tight thread will angle towards the tips of your finger/thumb where a relaxed thread will be perpendicular to the material being tied in or even point back into your finger thumb. Usually the directions will say something like tie in using loose turns and then remove your fingers and finish tying in the material. It should say to first tie in with 3-4 wraps of relaxed thread and then finish tying with a tight thread to secure the material. Oh, and why is it bad for the thread to be pointing to your fingertips - because at that angle it can miss/push the material back that you are tying down! If you've ever placed a newer tiers fly next to a professional/experienced tiers fly one just looks better than the other and you may not see the reason why. Thread control is probably the reason. One last thing take two of the same fly - one by a newer tier and one by an experienced/professional and carefully take each apart. The more experienced tiers fly will use less tying thread than the newer tiers (sometimes by up to half!). Again, thread control. Thanks for reading my musings. I tend to write like I talk and I've been told I have the gift of gab! If you tie an ugly fly you can do two things 1) Take your glasses off and things will look better and 2) Go out fishing on an ugly day and catch an ugly fish! See you on the waters.
  5. Back in 2006 Richard A. Lewis wrote an article for the Fly Anglers Online site entitled "Tying Deep Minnow Clones" (www.flyanglersonline.com/flytying/fotw2/030606fotw.php). He was trying to show a Clouser based fly but with some advantages of using kink shanked (popper) hooks instead of a normal streamer hook. (Mustad's 33903 was an example used.) It's a great read of a very good idea. The one thing I thought of is that the 33903 actually has TWO kinks in it, one up and one down. Being cheap, I mean FRUGAL, I said why not tie TWO sized flies using a single sized hook. Mr. Lewis used the front kink in his design and he explained the reasons in that fine article. What I do is also use the back kink to tie a size bigger fly. The one additional step I take is to mostly fill in the kink with the same sewing thread he mentions as a base for the eyes. By filling in back crook/kink MOSTLY in accomplishes getting the eyes in a spot where the fly still fishes hook up. If you're worried with short hits that's why the fishing gods invented stinger hooks. Just figured I'd share the thought as well as the fine article.
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