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Everything posted by sparkleminnow

  1. I guess not many have caught these. If they did they would probably list them as their favorite. I have witnessed guys having their rods ripped out of their hands and into the water, never to be seen again. The take can be that violent. When you find them in concentration, they can be as obliging as bluegill, more powerful than a great many species, fight to the death...almost, and take flies as readily as a bluegill or trout. These three were my legal limit for the day, but I caught 24 others, of similar size, that same morning! These three are 12lb, 11lb, and 12lb. For phisical reference, the reel is a Tibor Riptide that is 4" wide.
  2. Picketpin, Do you have a regular camera? You can take pictures with even a disposable one, get the photos developed, and scan the photos. The other problem is that when you have a photo saved to your computer it can save it as any of several different types of files. Now since you said you're not real computer savvy, I'll explain it best I can. If you have music you like, you know you can have that music on LP, cassette, CD, or whatever. It's sort-of the same for picture files. You'll see photos with names ending in .tif, or .gif, or.jpg, etc. The .jpg's are usually the smallest, and best to use for posting. The problem is like an 8-track tape, and a cassette tape. They are both tapes, but not the same size. When you upload photos they often must be of a certain size to upload. Say if you wanted to post a photo with a report, right here. The photo can not be larger than 50K in size or it will not load. Some pictures I have loaded on my computer were 350K in size. Waaay too big to use for posting, here. So, you have to use photo editing software to shrink the size of the photo. It isn't difficult, but if you haven't done it it can be intimidating. I used to not know how to do this, but through diligent effort, and picking people's brains for answers I finally go it. If you need help with some of the finer points, just ask. Everyone here should be willing to help.
  3. Man, there are just too many good ones to pick a "best". S.W, Wisconsin tribs, near LaCrosse, have been called the Montana of the MidWest. It has really beatiful scenery with great hatches, and both naturally reproducing brook trout and brown trout. Lots of different streams to choose from; all good. OR, go to North Georgia, to the Soqe'. Brigadoon Lodge sits on some of the best water, and the trout average 6lbs!! They say that you should be able to hook up on a 14lber some time through the day, and 15-20 fish per day, per person is the norm. It has to be good for the prices they charge. I think they price a days fishing at $350 per person, per day. And, you have to double book. Only 12 anglers are allowed per day. The upper Chatahoochi in Northern Georgia is a beautiful stream with a good population of nice sized rainbows, and a few browns mixed in as well. Michigan was already covered, so I won't cover that. The upper Mississippi has some of the best smallmouth fishing on the planet. One hundred fish days are common, and the smallmouth regularly get up to 6lbs. I guess the Mississippi is on the line. Does that count? The question was EAST of the Mississippi, but nothing was said about north or south. With that, You could cover most of S.E, Canada. Quebec, and Labrador have some moster brook trout, and Atlantic Salmon. Unmatched scenery, and gin clear water...ok, I'll leave some for other people to cover....
  4. Midge Lace, from the same guys that make Larva Lace will do the same thing. Besides that, it is one of the best looking caddis imitations I've seen. Of course the trout are the final judge, but I think it has to work. I'm going to tie a few of those for this season, and see what the Missouri trout think.
  5. Shep, although Amur are called "grass carp" they operate quite differently than the "Bugle-nose Bass". The carp has a downward facing mouth, but the Amur has a mouth more like a shiner minnow. They tyically feed on vegetation, but it's possible that they might supplement their diet with insects that have fallen to the water's surface. I have not had any luck on Amur with a wooley bugger, but I have had great success on carp with a wooley bugger.
  6. StY Esox, I thought about the fruit explanation, but on a past outing I used the previously mentioned tactic using the popper. I had a school of them pass under the popper without any interest. After all had passed, and the last fish was just a foot or so past the motionless popper, I gave it a fair pop. That last fish immediately turned 180 degrees, swam back at the popper at high speed, and slammed it! He knocked it three feet into the air, but was not hooked. I think it was an agressive response. As spooky as these fish are, if it was startled I think it would have bolted away from the noise, not turned to attack it. If you look at the way a Redfish's mouth is shaped it's clear that they are designed for feeding down. However, it is said by many who fish for them that the Redfish loves topwaters. I think that the Amur is the same way. They may feed on vegetation, but on occasion, they may attack out of reflex, or take something off of the surface out of simple curiosity. Much the way a small child tries to learn about something. How many things do you have to keep out of reach of small children, because they have a seeming natural instinct to put stuff in their mouths. I think that fish operate in a similar fashion. If they don't know what something is, just stick it in your mouth, and find out.
  7. The Amur that I was after were running between 35-45 lbs. I was using a sz 2 popper. I had success with both purple, and I think the other one was white with black spots. Both worked, but I think I would try a few different colors, and be patient, as the ones I was after would spook at the slightest provocation. You had to use more stealth than you would, even for trout. Since the rubber legs seemed to be the key factor, I wonder about trying a Madam X, also. I think they were taking it out of curiosity. I don't know that they actually were feeding, but maybe just wanting to find out what it was.
  8. I have had some luck on Amur by using, of all things, poppers. I had luck by cast ing well ahead of them, and letting the popper just sit. DO NOT move it! These fish are super spooky, and you have to be very careful in placing the fly near them. The poppers I had luck with were those with lots of rubber legs. I didn't find color to be important, but the rubber legs are. If you sucessfully place the popper ahead of the cruising fish, and the ripple rings don't cause them to change course, you can then let the fish cruise under it, and hope that it catches the attention of one in the school. If they all cruise under it, and don't take, you can then twitch it. If that fails to elicite a strike, then you can pop it. If none of the above works, pick it up well after they have left the area, and try again. This has been the only tactic that has worked on them, for me. There are likely other ways, but I only know this one way.
  9. I use a 9, or 10 wt rod with floating or clear intermediate line. I terminate the line with a whip loop, and loop on an Air-Flo poly leader, clear intermediate. To this I add a 4-6ft length of 17lb clear mono. I have been bit off by muskie, but most of the time it wasn't until I got the Boga Grip on them. I did loose one to a bite off when I had to make a second attempt at him. I had two times when the Tiger Muskie bit the end of my fly line instead of the fly!! It was a good thing the line was old, and needed replaced anyway. For the wipers, I use the floating line for poppers, but the longest length of tippet section I can get away with. They spook easily with colored line. They don't seem to mind the clear intermediate, at all. I use that for the streamer. I think that the color is the problem, not the diameter of the line. I honestly think I could use 100lb tippet, as long as it was clear, and the fish wouldn't mind a bit. When you use wire or colored mono, no matter the pound test, your success goes down drastically. The reason I use the shallow set-up is the shallow, rocky shoal where a lot of these fish hold. I think that's why I out fish the spin fishermen most of the time. They can't cast sub-surface lures where I do. They get hung up the instant their sub-surface lures hit the water. I can work the fly slower without getting hung up. The full sink line will work, for me, in really high water. I carry all three lines.
  10. Daryn S, The only marker used on the fly is the barring. The other colors are dyed bucktail. At that, I would like to find another way to make barring on the sides. I use an indellible laundry marker, and it still washes off, eventually. Doesn't really matter, though. The fish have usually mangled it before that happens. Also, to answer your question of the fish names....yes, those are the real names for the species. They are both hybrids, so there isn't widespread distribution (or, knowledge) of these fish. The Illinois state record for a wiper is just a few ounces over 20 lbs. My best is 14.5lbs.
  11. Here's one of the better fish I took with it. The streamer is 6" long, for reference...
  12. I entered my streamer that I use for Wipers in the FTOTY contest, and apparently it shifted in the box during shipping. The tail was bent, and it looked a bit less attractive. Here it is as I shot the pic... I just wanted others to see it as it looks in the vise. It is one of my very best wiper flies, but I took a 7lb walleye on it, several tiger muskie over 30", as well as a 14" smallmouth.
  13. If the Fly Tying Contest photos are still up (I will post the photos to the archieves later), in the LMB streamer catagory, look for the Firetiger/Perch deceiver. I use it for wipers, but have taken quite a few Tiger Muskie as well. Though I call it Firetiger, some think it represents a yellow ring perch. Actually perch have a mostly, white belly, this fly does not. Despite all the guessing, the muskie would hit it just fine where there are NO perch, but there are lots of bluegill present. Sometimes the suggestive approach works better than an exact imitation. This color is a popular muskie/pike color, anyway. OK, silly me, just click on the 2004 Contest button on my post. The picture is there. Apparently, the fly slid in the box when it was in the mail, and bent the tail.
  14. Here's a Black Light pattern, sz 4.
  15. An average sparkleminnow caught Wiper.
  16. Well, while there is a thread on this forum asking, "What is your favorite fly?" I thougt it to be a little too obvious, and maybe conceited to say, "The Sparkleminnow is my favorite. However, I have taken 30 different species on this fly, and counting. It's my "go-to" fly for smallies, and, under the right conditions, slays trout. I took my best muskie, King Salmon, rainbow, coho, smallmouth, and walleye on this pattern. And, though I've caught bigger wipers on other patterns, I had my best day on them using a sz 4 pearl. In fact, I've only had one wiper come out of the water to take a fly, and it was on this pattern. The fly was turning over on the cast, and the fish came out of the water to grab the fly before it was even in the water! Here's my 26" rainbow taken on a sz 4 pearl.
  17. Well, Glen, let's just say I now have lots of time to get flies tied.
  18. MHackney, I use mono thread because no matter that you might have the approriate colored thread, it is still visible through the body material. I tried seveal kinds of thread until I settled on mono. Lefty Kreh, and Bob Clouser recomend it, too. Another thing is that the mono is invisible with whatever color body I am making. If I go from making a pearl to a brown, to a peacock, I only need one thread. No more being out of the color thread that I need when I'm making several colors of flies. Now, I don't use mono on dry flies, or nymphs, but I do on this pattern. Lastly, the mono stretches. This allows me to put a fair amount of tension on the thread, and it will remain under tension after I tie it down. This helps assure that the material doesn't slip out as the thread relaxes, as stranded thread can. To address the magic tool, I just put the material in the loop by hand, and save $30. Not to be too negative, as there may be practical uses for it, and it very well may perform as advertised, I have yet to see it do something that I can't do by hand....or, other methods currently in use. I take smaller clumps of material, orient the fibers in the same direction by rolling, and pulling at the length (and then restacking it) until the fibers are all running the same direction. After I get the first clump done, I place it on the table in front of me. I repeat this until I have a strip of material in front of me roughly 3-4" long. Now I spread four fingers across the strip, place my fingers on the strip(lengthwise), and squeeze them together; leaving enough of the material sticking out so that I can now insert it into the dubbing loop. The whirl should be already hanging on the loop. This will keep tension on the loop so when I let go of the fibers they don't fall to the floor. (NOTE: I use a Dyna-King Wastrol to contain the clippings. I also use a 90 degree extension arm to get the vise out away from the table. This helps deal with the longer than normal dubbing loop.) I then spread the material, evenly, throughout the upper 2/3ds of the loop. To spin it up I pinch the loop with my left thumb, and forefinger at the point where the material ends in the loop. I then pull against the fly to keep tension on the loop, while spinning the dubbing whirl. As the whirl slows, I slowly, and gently relax my grip with my left thumb, and forefinger on the dubbing loop. It should now spin up nicely. With the material secured I spin it once more. Now I will hold the whirl while I use my bodkin to rake the loop a few times. Some of the material will fall out. It shouldn't be much if it was done correctly. I then re-adjust the material as needed. Once I'm happy with how the material loop looks, I wind at the rear of the fly until the material has flared at a right agle to the body for 360 degrees around the rear of the body, before proceeding forward in closely spaced wraps. Once at the front of the fly, I remove any material that I don't need (By now I guess the correct amount every time.), and I will finish with a HITCH. Not a half-hitch. To do this, place your finger parallel to the fly. Bring the dubbing loop from the back of the bead to the underside of your finger, go over your finger, over the top of the bead. You should now have a 360 degree loop. Now make another 360 wrap around the bead (don't take it around your finger this time.), and let the dubbing whirl just hang. Now for the part that throws almost everyone; you have a loop across your finger. What to do with it....OK, as a bucket has a handle, and the handle will swing from one side of the bucket to the other, you want to do exactly that with the loop of thread. The loop should pass across the front of the fly to the opposite side. Now draw the loop closed by pulling on the dubbing whirl. It may help to use your bodkin to keep tension on the loop while drawing it down. Be careful not to catch any material in the loop while doing this. I do this twice, at the head. That should do it. No need to bring the bobbin into play. I just cut it away before making the hitch with the dubbing loop. I guarantee it to be 100% fool-proof. There is absolutely no need for glue, and I guarantee it to never fall apart. The body can still get munched down to the lead wraps, by fish, but the fly will not unravel for any lack of glue at the head! As in the instructions, I also stipulate to use zap-a-gap on the hook shank after starting the thread, and before adding any tailing materail. There are two reasons. One, this fly will retain water, and cause the hook to rust; making a rusty stain on the tail marabou. Second, the mono thread can slip down the shank, of the finished fly, taking the rest of the body with it. Gluing the first few wraps before adding materials will solve these problems. I also hit the zap-a-gap with zip-kicker to fast cure the glue. It greatly speeds the tying time.
  19. Well, the directions get rather lengthy, as there ar e a few things that must be done differently than what is considered "standard." For instance. The usual way to finish a fly of this type is to whip finish at the head,and add head cement, but his will not work. The dubbing loop is about 10" long, and monofilament. If you whip finish with mono, over mono, it will slip. I don't care what kind of glue you use, or how many wraps you use when you finish, it will slip. Then the fly falls apart. You can't use glue to finish it, as the glue will always wick up into the body material. For some reason, that is the death of the body material. It's not the glue's composition that is the problem, it's the fact that the glue's hold on the material is too solid. The loop allows the material to shift, and slip, if only slightly. This is enough to keep it from breaking off, too bad. The way I do it is to fishish the body by using a variation of a Gary Borger technique. I make a hitch(not to be confused with a half-hitch) using the dubbing loop, itself. The dubbing loop is around 10"-11" long, and the last 4-5" of it have no material in it. This allows me to make the hitch using the dubbing loop, itself, and the body will never unravel. No glue needed. I have NEVER had one come apart when done this way, and I don't use glue to finish. The differences of this fly, as opposed to Estaz and such, is that it is much finer. As a result the motion of the body material is more like marabou, and less like bucktail....more action. It comes in a much wider array of colors, and has a different "look" in the water than other materials. Don't use a coffee grinder to "chop" the dubbing, either. Just cut the pieces in 3/8" lengths, roughly adjusting for the size of the pattern. I only tie them in sz8-4. If you make the dubbing loop too short,and cram the material in it, the body will look clumpy. For a smother, more seamless look, you have to use a longer loop with less material. I usually have 6-7" of material in a loop when tying a sz 4. I can send the directions to those who send me their email addys. I need to get busy, and convert my photos to JPGs, so they are small enough to load, here. If you want to see some other pics of them, on line, check out MontanaFly.com. Look under "C" for "Coffey's SM." They spelled my name wrong, though. The best color, by far, is the pearl pattern. This is strange, but while there are at least four tones of the pearl color, only the Pearl Gold (Angel Hair), and Polar Pearl (Lite Brite) are effective. I tried the other types of pearl colors like pearl blue, pearl purple, and pearl green. None of them were even close in performance. There are lots of colors, or color combos that can work, but I found that "Pearl-green & Olive" Lite Brite, works great for S.M./L.M.Bass and bluegill. The Black Light color works well for bass, trout, and especially for King Salmon. The Electric Pink (Angel Hair) works for G.L. steelhead and coho salmon, and the brown works well for S.M. Bass.
  20. Well, I see Tommy Trout found this site, too! With the remodeling work I'm doing right now those SM's will be in shot supply. Hmm..., I wonder if the supply shortage might drive up the price?
  21. I was looking to paint "soft" foam bodies. Is there any special technique to doing this? The foam is the kind like Rainy's sells. I think Spirit River sells soft foam popper bodies that are already airbrushed, so I know it can be done. I just don't know if there are any differences in painting this type of material from that of hard bodies.
  22. I'm hoping for a pure striper over 20lbs this year. Thirty pounds would be be a state record. I have taken wipers to 15 lbs, but a pure striper over 20 would be great. I fish in freshwater, for striper/wipers. A wiper over 20lbs would also be a state record. The weather disallowed almost any fishing for wipers for the last two year. I'm really Jones'n....
  23. Fwrench, it'll be a few months before I can see her in waders, but more importantly, the tying budget is gone in place of plane tickets. She lives 600 miles away! I can only tie with the materials I have in stock. Fortunately, I could tie for 2 years with what I have on my bench, now!
  24. Fishinwrench, I have been busy, as well. I understand B. K.'s dilemma. I havn't tied a fly in a month!...new girlfriend. I'll be doing good to enter the tying contest. I havn't even been on this site for a few weeks. He'll get the site up and running, eventually.
  25. I second Fatman's recommendation for Zim's Crack creme-liquid(confusing, I know, but the liquid works much faster. I use it in the winter. It instantly turns hard, cracked skin, soft. Works great. It says on the bottle, herbal formula. I guess it's all natural. When I use the "cremes" they always seem to be a short term fix, and I have to use them almost hourly. The Zim's is almost a cure, well... sort-of. You use it a couple of times per day for about three days, for best results. But, it works great on the first applcation, too. You could have cracked skin so bad it bleeds, but this will fix it, fast. The best part is that once you use it for a few days, you may not have to use it again for, perhaps, weeks. No, I don't work for Zim's!
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