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Capt Bob LeMay

Recycled flies

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Using up flies is part of fishing - but for a guide you soon learn to retrieve and if possible re-cycle any bugs you have that can still be saved... Recently I had a weather day and found time to go through my pile of flies that might or might not be worth a bit of work to get them back on line... Here are the results... I don't have any "before pics" but none of these were fit to use until.... 


The top left fly is a Crystal Schminnow variation (Norm Ziegler's famous Sanibel Island snook pattern) in size #2 that we use down the in 'Glades for baby tarpon... that underwing shown, in very old polar bear, was the only component saved from the original... The wire weedguard was made from #3 trolling wire (Malin's Hard Wire)...

The second fly, top right,  started as a Whitewater Clouser in 2/0, was stripped down to only the eyes and the fl. fire orange thread body then re-built from there.  The two grizzly neck hackles are an experiment to see if I could come up with something to imitate a baby largemouth bass... There are places in the backcountry where you're very close to freshwater sawgrass country - and the saltwater fish in that barely brackish water will eat anything they can catch... All of this in places where you can catch freshwater species ( bass, oscars, gar fish),  mixed in with redfish, snook, trout, and tarpon...   The Whitewater Clouser is a staple for us when working shorelines in the 'glades - year in and year out.  It's my own "guide's pattern" (and probably one of more than a hundred different variations's of Bob Clouser's original pattern for smallies up north..).  Here's a pic of the usual Whitewater.. like the re-cycle with a wire weedguard made from Malin's #5 wire... 


We vary it by changes in the top color ranging from fl. chartreuse (shown) to fl. green... 


Lastly, the bottom pattern is one of my Silhouettes - this one done up as a large shrimp imitator in Cree or ginger variant (or red Chinchilla...)... depending on your source feathers... It's an all saddle hackle pattern (six for the tail turned inwards the way a Deceiver tail is done, and three for the body/head, with small lead eyes and a wire weedguard made from #5 Malin's... The hook on this one is a heavy, Owner Aki 2/0... This particular bug needed the least amount of work - only a new weedguard and one additional wide webby saddle hackle to re-fill the head (the area between the lead eyes and the hook's eye... 

Once done here they are sleeved and ready to go back in service as needed... 


By the way,  I do get a lot of questions about those weedguards - one that comes up frequently is what wire do I use... Here's a pic of the package - trolling wire can be found in most saltwater shops - but may need to be ordered if your local shop caters to freshwater, mostly... Here's how I size the weedguard - for hook sizes 1/0 on up - #5 wire, size 2 and 1 hooks - #4 wire, size 4 hooks and smaller get #3 wire...



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Funny you should post about recycling flies on the day that you did. Tuesday was the day that I cleaned up my tying bench last week. I tie for a week,then clean the bench up. I usually have scraps of chenille,feathers,foam, etc. Several years back, I started taking these materials and doing what I call trash ties. I take all of the flies that have gotten trashed over the course of a few months and make new flies out of them with the scraps from my bench. They are seldom a specific pattern, mostly just what I can wrap on a fly to make it buggy looking enough to catch a Bream or Bass. All of the flies in this photo were recycled from scraps off of my bench. These flies are on #8-#12 hooks except for the one with the long Ice chenille tail.


Trash Flies.jpg

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Cool - and if you fish them one or two might be just what's needed on a given day... That standard Whitewater clouser I showed above (the one without the grizzly accents... ) was all we needed yesterday down at Chokoloskee (report to follow - with pics of course...).

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