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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by phg

  1. Australian 'possum has a lot of the same characteristics, and should work as a substitute. Save the seal for your salmon flies....
  2. ...But, yes, weighted flies are usually a bit bulkier than unweighted. For weighted nymphs, I usually use a brass bead followed by 6 or 8 wraps of lead wire, of an appropriate size. That gives the thorax of the fly a "meatier" look. Of course, on an unweighted fly, you can get the same "meaty" look by using fluffier materials, but I rarely tie unweighted nymphs. Just my style of fishing....
  3. phg

    White Fly Rods?

    Sort of, but crawling it isn't usually necessary. I normally use the natural cover offered by the trees and bushes along the stream bank to cover my presence. I also try to stay low, often sitting on the bank or kneeling in the stream. I don't usually fish open streams where there isn't much cover.
  4. Well, "mop fly" is a Johnny-come-lately name that caught the popular imagination. I've been tying the "Green Whopper" for 5 or 6 years, which is just a green noodle on a size 10 or 12 hook (can have a bead head). Go to the dollar store, and look through the cleaning supplies. You'll find several items that use microfiber chenille. I started with a scrubbing pad for $1. The same stuff, though, is found in bath mats, toilet seat covers, dust mops, car washing mitts, etc., etc. There's no need to pay more than a dollar or two, though. Just keep your eyes open and you'll find all the colors you could want.
  5. phg

    White Fly Rods?

    Back when I was a kid, my dad had a couple of white fiberglass casting rods. They weren't THAT white, just a dull ivory white. I don't see why that would be a problem for a fly rod, although I don't think I'd go so far as to paint one bright white.... I do sometimes wear camo, and almost always soft earth tones, when fishing. In a small stream environment, it sometimes doesn't take much to spook the fish. Of course, there are also those times when the don't care, but you never know when those times will be.
  6. It's generally called "golden pheasant tippet." Any of the options above will give you an abundance. I personally prefer to buy the complete head. That gives you the full size ranges in the tippet, as well as the crest feathers. Crest feathers are fun to add as an accent to your flies, and they also make pretty good tails.
  7. Sheesh! I do it all the time, and it works fine. Tying the bead chain in the bend still places it well below the center line of the fly. With the hook eye turned up, the fly will jig, just as you expect. It will be a little nose heavy, so it will dive, rather than settle, but sometimes that's what you want to fly to do.
  8. Short bodied nymph (no bead head) or egg patterns. Think of them as a wide gape, 1x short hook. I generally find I get better hookups on smaller flies that have wide gapes.
  9. I agree with Mike. Fly fishing takes too much concentration and action on your part. Surf fishing is different. There you bait up your rod, add 1/2 ton of weight and pitch it into the surf. Then you sit back in your beach chair, break out a soda, chat with your wife, watch the kids, etc., etc. You could even enjoy a picnic lunch, or even toss a frisbee with the kids. If a fish does bite, it's a bit of excitement for everyone, but otherwise, it doesn't require much of your attention.
  10. Craig, for years, as a kid, I kept all my tying materials in a cigar box. Lots of space, if you don't let yourself get carried away. It's probably harder to do today. Back in the '50's and '60's, you could purchase a package of a dozen size 12 dry fly hackles in black/dun/grizzly/etc. That was what you normally did. Today we purchase full capes. I also purchased a dozen golden pheasant tippets and maybe a dozen teal flank feathers. Even packages of peacock herl were smaller. To do the same thing, you would have to take the time to size and package the materials you wished to carry with you. No full capes, and no 1/4 oz packages of strung saddle hackles, etc.
  11. phg

    new material

    That's a great looking material, but the color selection seems very limited. I'll have to keep an eye out for it in the yarn shops....
  12. I have been using something like this for years: http://www.jsflyfishing.com/crest-tools-head-cement-dispenser As long as the cap is screwed on tight, and you reinsert the pin after use, it shouldn't clog. I have had a new bottle "leak" when I used it the first time, but after letting it set, the glue filled in the threads and formed an air tight and water tight seal. The bottle itself is polyethylene, like a milk bottle, and nothing sticks to it, so the cap is still easy to remove when it's time to refill the bottle.
  13. phg

    Blown out in VA

    We had the same storm in the mountains of NC. The main streams got too high to fish (wade) safely, although the bait chunkers were doing pretty well. I just went higher up the mountain and fished the feeder streams. High water washes lots of food into the streams, so the fish are usually actively feeding. You just have to be able to get to them. With a fly rod, high water can be a challenge. Anyway, I wound up doing OK, it's just not what I had planned to do....
  14. Also, remember that the color changes a bit when wet. Even when treated with head cement, it doesn't look nearly as bright when submerged as it does in open air. Then again, we don't really know what the fish are seeing. The real test is if they take it, then it's a good color.
  15. Borax powder also works. I often tread pelts with it, and have not had a problem. I have used the cut up dog flea collar as well. That works well in a plastic container full of materials. Keeping materials in closed plastic containers, when not in use, seems to be my best preventive. I've lost a few flies I've left laying out, and anything that's left on the floor gets demolished, but the stuff I keep out up is fine. I do have multiple plastic bins, though, and most have an inch of a flea collar in them. (Remember to change out the flea collar every couple of years.)
  16. That's good advice, Shoe, IF you have the materials to "get familiar with" in the first place. For a tier that DOESN'T have the material ... what would be good substitutes for fox fur? Fox is very long, and a bit coarser than rabbit. If I had to do a substitute, though, I would use rabbit, just choose the longest fur in the patch. If you are using it for dubbing, though, it doesn't make much difference, just get the color right. Red fox has redish-brown guard hair, with soft grey underfur. Grey fox can have reddish patches that are red all the way to the skin. Of course red fox belly fur is the correct color for a Hendrickson, with a reddish tan/cream color. Fox tail, on the other hand, is a lot different. Raccoon tail is similar in texture but not in color. Coyote tail would be similar, but other than that, I can't think of an adequate substitute.
  17. ...and they are all knock-offs of the original DL Thompson AA vise.
  18. I have a pair of Dr. Slicks, with an offset finger hole, that are meant to kept in hand while you tie. I don't find them to be any real advantage, but, as other have said, I'm not tying for speed. What I do do is keep a tool caddy near my vise. I keep my scissors in that, close to hand while I'm tying. It only takes a second to snatch up the scissors or to put them back.
  19. Any kind of jig hook will also work. The simplest way, though, is to tie a bead chain to the top of the hook. It doesn't add a lot of weight, but it will flip the fly over.
  20. When sulphurs are coming off on the South Holston, I've had reasonable luck using a Catskill size 16 sulphur dun, but I've had better luck swinging a size 14 partridge and yellow past the rise forms. Of course I've also had days where I couldn't buy a hit no matter what fly I had on.... Sulphur hatches can be frustrating!
  21. ...and there's absolutely no reason why you can't troll a jig with a fly rod. I tie a number of flies on jig heads, especially for shad, but they work for bass and other deep holding fish (as in crappie, white bass, etc.) For trolling, I think I'd favor an intermediate sinking line over a full sinker. I don't have a good rod holder solution for my pontoon, though, so I'm interested in what other people use.
  22. ...but I love the 2x short 2x wide in smaller hooks! A size 20 body with a size 16 gape makes a very effective size 18 fly.... OK, it doesn't make sense, but it works very well. How many hooks? Remember, I only tie for myself, ... but I have thousands! I tend to buy 100 packs of each size and style. It doesn't take long to by ten packs of hooks, and still need a lot more. There are a fair number of specialty hooks in the mix, and some I wonder why I bought, but a good many, if not the majority, are sizes and styles I use on a regular basis. What do I do with all of them? Well, obviously, I donate a fair number to the fish and the streams, and a few more to the trees, but mostly, I give away flies to friends and strangers.
  23. Sure, I do the same, but not really on purpose. I select two hackles for the size fly I'm tying, but, invariably, they will be slightly different in barb length. Also, once you wrap the hackle around the hook shank, no 2 barbs stick up/down the same amount. So, yes, the theory sounds good, but no, it doesn't really work that way.
  24. No, no, absolutely not! Fish don't bite when it's raining. If it even looks like it might rain, you're better off doing something else. Don't even think about going fishing. It would be a total waste of your time....
  25. Packable is nice in a light shower, but for steady rain, you need a good quality breathable jacket. These cost a bit more, and they are a little bulky, but are worth it. I got mine from LL Bean, but there are several good brands out there. I agree, though, that an insulated jacket is too condition specific, unless you are a fishing guide that spends all winter/spring on the water.
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