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Freddo

Casting Class Tomorrow Morning; Need Fly Suggestions (please)!

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Thanks again to all for your ideas.

@Adam - I've been watching elk/deer hair caddis tying videos and that'll be the first dry I tie for sure. Can deer be substituted for elk and why would one be better than the other.

I'm on a nymph kick at the moment and getting better little by little. I need to know (????????) what the best bang for the buck is for the leg material for flies like a prince nymphs. I've been looking at the Whiting brahma hen saddles...is that a good choice? There are SO MANY feathers/types/grades it's bewildering at times. I'd like to see a decisive list to what's best for specific flies. Even some pattern recipes are vague.

Thanks again to all - you are all so helpful!

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I've been watching elk/deer hair caddis tying videos and that'll be the first dry I tie for sure. Can deer be substituted for elk and why would one be better than the other.

 

 

 

Yes it can be substituted BUT what is more important that the species is where on the body of the animal the hair comes from. So rather than worry about elk vs deer. it is more important to be able to examine a piece of hair in a fly shop and know whether it will work for the pattern you are tying.

For an elk hair caddis pattern, the hair should not flare very much when compressed. A caddis natural holds its wings over the back, flat. So a caddis dry pattern should be a “down wing” pattern like an adult stone fly. Mayflies duns hold their wings upright like a sail boat and the flies are “up wing” pattern.

Therefore, hair for a elk hair caddis should have minimal flare and hair for a comparadun should flare.

What then determines how a hair will flare? Wall thickness and how hollow the hair is. The thicker the wall and the smaller the center cavities, the less the hair will flare. Elk hair on average has thicker walls and flares less than deer hair so that is why the fly is called an elk hair caddis. Thicker walled hair is also more durable as an additional benefit.

Deer and elk hair have dark solid tips. Quality hair has short dark tips that are the same length. If you buy hair with long and variable length tips, when you tie the hair in, the color change sill not line up and although the tips will be lined up, the wing will actually look jagged because of the color change.

So for both elk hair caddis and comparaduns you want short tips with thick walled minimal flaring hair for EHC and flaring hair for comparaduns.

Take the hair out of the package, hold the tips against a white business card and examine the tip length. Then take some hair and pinch it with your thumbnail against a finger tip to see how it flairs.

Here’s a post on selecting comparadun hair:

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/general-fly-tying-discussions/251936-selecting-deer-elk-hair-comparaduns.html

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I bought a Primo Deer hair strip from actually Hairline that suits my purpose for both spun flies and caddis. It's a beautiful piece of deer hair skin that will probably last me the rest of my life. The fibers are good, with enough pressure they flare nicely but yet with a couple looser wraps back toward the bend of the hook you tie the wing down well too. I keep elk hair as well. Mid summer caddis where I fish tend to be light and this is light elk that I have. My deer hair is darker ( very sturdy for deer), good for early and late caddis.

 

I also tie tent wing caddis with downed wing turkey. The West Branch Tie is my best performing tent wing caddis up in Maine ( it's named from the West Branch of the Penobscot river in Maine). I tie a spin off of this with deer hair as well ( the pink fox dubbing, hackle collar etc , just sub in the deer hair instead of turkey.

 

But Elk Hair caddis is a very good first dry fly to try and tie. We did that in Maine many years ago out of necessity in a year where caddis were super king on the rivers up there. There wasn't caddis to be bought in town so right then and there is when I learned how to tie my own. Bought some hooks, a patch of elk hair, I had the dubbing and hackle. I went to our trailer and kept myself and two boys catching fish all week long up there. Great success story.

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Freddo! I use deer hair when i ty the cdc&elk, but don't tell anyone! :-) Raindeer hair is much softer! Interesting information SilverCreek! Thankyou!

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If your going to be tying with elk, deer , moose or any stranded hair of the like get yourself a decent hair stacker. I used a cut off section of a plastic straw for years and years and got it done that way but why should two of us go through that LOl !! Buy the stacker.

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If you're going to be tying with elk, deer , moose or any stranded hair of the like get yourself a decent hair stacker. I used a cut off section of a plastic straw for years and years and got it done that way but why should two of us go through that LOl !! Buy the stacker.

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Freddo, someone further back in your thread here mentioned that scuds are prevalent in your rivers where you live. Don't overlook scuds if that is the case. It's something you fish wet, interesting to tie and not difficult to tie, very productive where scuds are prevalent. Around Here that would be over and through weed beds in ponds, fished on sinking or intermediate sink line. I tie my own pattern using a piece of plastic baggie over the back and clear mono for a rib over that but there are plenty of patterns you can follow that may be more accurate for your area.

 

For mine:

Size 14 wet fly hook.

Olive hares ear dubbing

Ginger hackle

Tan thread 6/0 is fine but if you have 8/0 for other flies that is fine as well

Thin wire weight ( used to be lead, today it's probably zink or what ever)

 

Run turns of thread down the hook shank to near the bend of the hook.

Wrap in the wire weight mid shank, maybe six turns or so and wrap the thread over that and back again ending at the bend of the hook.

At the back of the hook tie in a Ginger hackle ( Grizzly works too), a piece of mono and a strip of plastic baggie. I let this come forward most of the length of the hook and tie it down tight ending again at the bend of the hook.

Dub the hook and weight with the dubbing, dub all the way to an eye length behind the eye of the hook.

Palmer the hackle through/over the dubbing and tie off at the head of the hook leaving room to form a thread head.

Pull the baggie forward over laying the top of the hackle and dubbing and tie in at the front with about 3 turns of thread. This forms a shell over the back. It may not conform on it's sides perfectly but the rib will pull it in.

Wrap forward a spiral of the mono, forming a rib pattern over the back shell. Be careful not to trap too many hackle fibers with the spiral but if you do you can pluck them out with a pin or dubbing needle. Tie that down with three or four turns of thread and trim. Build a little head and whip finish. Put on a seal coat of varnish/head cement, CA etc. if you wish. Done deal.

 

GO FISHING !!

 

The hackle of this scud forms the legs straight down more or less below the body. Some of the hackle fibers from the side of the fly will stand out horizontally from under the shell back of the stud. It seems to fish all the better that way in my view. For the record I use inexpensive X-tra grade or so hackle for this fly I don't waste my best dry fly hackle on it, it will fish just as well with cheap but consistent hackle.

 

You can sub in materials as your area scuds dictate, these work for me here locally and probably a lot of other places too. The basic materials will work anywhere there are scuds, it's coloration and size that may vary.. People like to use other materials for shells, from thin skin to UV resin. I just keep it simple and cheap lol !

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Freddo! I use deer hair when i ty the cdc&elk, but don't tell anyone! :-) Raindeer hair is much softer! Interesting information SilverCreek! Thankyou!

 

 

Hans Weilenmann introduced the CDC and Elk during the 1995 [email protected] Dry Fly Swap. It is tied with deer hair and not elk so you are using the correct hair.

 

http://user.xmission.com/~amundsen/dry1.htm

 

http://www.flytierspage.com/hweilenmann/cdcelk.htm

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Oh boy - so much to read and study and tie... I'll never get to fishing! NOT SO! My first trip was TONIGHT after dinner. I went to a pond nearby that had nice still water to get a feel for this fly fishing deal and I imagined correctly there'd be hungry bluegills in it. I first tied on a pheasant tail nymph, not weighted. On the third cast I managed to get a take. It was such a hoot and I wish you all could have seen me fumble after hooking my first fish on a fly rod. HAAAAAAAA HAAAAAAA! I didn't know what to do and lost him quickly (I would have loved to see myself during those moments). Anyway, I kept fishing that fly and missed one more. Then after about ten minutes of no bites I went to check my fly and the thing was not on my line. I know I didn’t lose it to a fish so I suppose it was an epic fly casting fail. The second fly I tied on was a wet I tied while practicing all these new techniques: peacock herl and soft grizzly hackle on a budget hook from Walmart). Killer pattern for this trip. I landed three nice sized bluegills. Being used to a 4'6" UL spinning rod I thought catching a bluegill on a 9' fly rod wouldn’t feel like much....WRONG! It was GREAT! I can't wait to start hooking trout! I've got a lot to learn but this pond will help me to get that "feel" I need as I start out.

@SilverCreek - Thanks for your notes and the pointer to that article. I'll read it through for sure. I might as well get this all "correct" from the get go. I know we can substitute and take artistic license but I personally enjoy the mechanics and the details so thanks again.

@Dave G - Thanks for the scud recipe. When I first started cruising the net for patterns, I was intrigued by the scuds and shrimp and that was one of the first patterns I tried to tie (and with a plastic bag from my Dr. Slick scissors purchase). That CDC pattern looks awesome.

DRY FLIES???
I guess I'll be tying some dries now that I know I managed to get fish to take a wet fly and a nymph (and yes I know that the BG's aren't too fussy). I'd like to see them take a fly off the surface real soon too. So that leads me to ask if I need to pick up some floatant. Yikes - I asked for it - here we go for yet another great lesson and education....bring it! And thanks so much in advance!. I really don't need another excuse to head to my local fly shop but I'll take all I can get. :)

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Blue Gills don't need a lot of reason to not jump on a small fly, they even try larger flies but not so successfully. I catch quite a few when midge fishing in warmer weather in midge hatches using the Griffiths Gnat tied about size 18. So sticking with the Peacock Herl and Grizzly theory already proven to you, maybe tie a nice sized Griffiths Gnat. Say size 16 or maybe even 14 to get you started. That is one pattern I have not needed floatant for.

 

Blue Gill dries

 

Griffiths Gnat

 

Elk Hair Caddis

 

Adams

 

Muddler Minnow ( yes you can grease up a Muddler and fish it dry).

 

Small Royal family of Wulff.

 

So Royal, Green, Yellow, Size 14 lets say Wulff's. Look in particular to Davie MCPhail videos but there are a ton of them out there on the these flies, except maybe the yellow, that is a variant I tie myself not sure about others.

If specifically targeting BG I would personally alter the tail on this pattern. It calls for pretty long moose hair. I'd probably shorten that up by half size and maybe nix the moose for deer or elk or even hackle fibers. Moose is stiff and as long as the recipe calls for BG might have trouble getting all the tail in resulting in more misses that way. Sometimes I shorten my Royal Wulff's tails anyway just because I like that look on some. But moose is a fun tie in though, so worth owning a patch, there is your excuse to go to the store ! Hey, I tie my up wing with calves tail on Wulff flies and I have done the tail the same way for variation. Here you may need that floatant if you try that idea... Calves body hair or tail, there is another reason to go to the store LOL. I keep yellow and white.

 

Maybe it's time to start collecting materials for tying Muddlers, then you will have them.. BG love small Muddlers. Muddlers can be fished wet or dry. Of the Turkey quill selections around these parts the fish tend to like the dark mottled better than tan barred turkey, fwiw.. I have no idea about NJ though, it may be they like the tan there for all I know. I also vary my underwing. Calls for grey squirrel, I use red squirrel and find that to be more productive. BG won't care but the trout and Salmon seem to. Also yellow underwing and olive too, for when the Hoppers start jumping in Aug and Sept. Muddlers can do pretty well as a hopper pattern for brook trout and salmon.. I tie them a little elongated on a size 10 streamer hook.

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The edit button doesn't seem to be working. I wanted to edit my first statement in that last message.. Blue Gills Will jump on dry flies. Keep them bite sized.. Size 12,14,16 even 18 dry fly hooks. As you found out they do like Grizzly and greens. But they like browns and yellows too. Trout are more fussy than BG.

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Thanks DaveG - Yes - the BG will get me used to the idea but the end game is trout fly fishing. I'll ejoy the BG fishing too for sure so your input is greratly appreciated. I will get some elk hair shortly, after studing some caddis patterns and getting a materials list together.

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Freddo! Did you get a fish already? Thats not fair! No more infomation for you! Just kidding!:-) I've been out 8 times already & nothing! 4 times were in my float tube & only both the first 2 times had 2 bites but they diddn't stick, pike! Seatrout fishing from the shore, nothing! Local fisheries=busted water still! But when you hook a fish, hand strip that line & get the fish at bay, then real the line onto your reel! Yes! There is a lot to learn at first! But don't worry, it never ends! Thats fly fishing! But it keeps us all off the streets, no matter what age! Welcome to one of the most confusing but interesting hobbies you could have picked! It's my chosen one till the day i die!:-)

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The edit button doesn't seem to be working. I wanted to edit my first statement in that last message.. Blue Gills Will jump on dry flies. Keep them bite sized.. Size 12,14,16 even 18 dry fly hooks. As you found out they do like Grizzly and greens. But they like browns and yellows too. Trout are more fussy than BG.

 

Also the new post button and "more reply options" don't work.

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Hi Guys -

I'll confirm there's an issue with the forum working correctly - it's not totally.

@Adam - The blue gills up here really like the flies - and a lot! Maybe they take flies more so than all the other "stuff" I've thrown to them over all my years of fishing (over 40); go figure! I was catching them during each of the few short outings I took with my younger son. My son too was using a fly I tied for him but he doesn't have a fly rod (not yet that is) and was fishing the fly about 2 - 3 feet behind a float. After he caught his first two BGs, this whole fly fishing world I've been talking so much about since January has got him thinking pretty good about getting a setup for himself (he's 14 now and loves to get out fishing).

 

@Dave G - <<My most strike prone woolie bugger is tied with a peacock herl body, black tail and grizzly hackle.>> Well here in North NJ too! This is what I tied and used and the blue gills were going crazy over this pattern. I may try typically black and olive just to see for giggle and grins but know the peacock is always a winner. I also tied a Zug Bug but didn’t get it wet yet.

 

Thanks again *to all* for sharing and helping. I don't think I'd be as far off as I am already without your comments, suggestions, and encouragement here in this forum.

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