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Fly Tying


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About salmobytes

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  • Birthday September 1

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  1. This photo was taken on a lighted background, in a petri dish of water. That's how I got the yellow gill fronds to flay out. The background on the original image was a mess with bits of detritus etc. This is a ten year old image. But today I used software techniques to blur the background, leaving only the bug sharp. It helps a lot. The original image looked like a Stonefly Nymph suspended in sewer water.
  2. RE> "tails" Not the best photo but it does have the tails. I need to get some new bugs. The Mother's Day Caddis are hatching now. I might be able to get out Monday. There are mayflies from dinosaur times--preserved in amber--that are essentially unchanged from now.
  3. At my vise.............March Brown Spinner.
  4. ...found another one. Son of Mothra. The Callibaetis Monster. This one isn't quite as sharp for some reason. The date stamp on this photo is May 15, 2014. I need to get some new bugs.
  5. skeet3t asked to see my bug photography setup. I cut a rectangle of 1/8" plexiglass with table saw. Heated it with heat gun so it was soft and bent it a bit. lip down in front, up in back. Put it on sticks next to a table. Mount camera on tripod. Point two umbrella strobes at the plexiglass. Put a slave flash underneath, shining up if shooting down. Else if shooting horizontally put a slave flash behind, that flashes when the umbrellas flash, so the background isn't dark. Shoot manual focus manual exposure. Twist things this way and that until it looks right. The focus stacking setup would take a day or two to explain. There are videos on youtube but I do it differently. The next plateau for me is video. I have all the stuff. Lights. Microphone. New camera. Software. Only the action is still missing.
  6. Re> Greek to me It's easy. It only took me ten years to learn.
  7. I had raccoon chili once. Was surprisingly good.
  8. For tethering Nikon or Canon Entangle HeliconRemote or Qdslrdashboard. For Sony (what I've switched to) Sony has free tethering software. Sony cameras are amazing. Mirrorless is best for fancy focusing because it can show you with red highlights what is and is not in focus. For focus stacking Helicon focus or ZereneStacker. I like Zerene best. For image editing I shoot raw. Edit in Darktable and then Gimp. The Gimp Gmic plugin is hot stuff. Photoshop/Lightroom is good, perhaps even best--but it is expensive. Darktable and Gimp are free. Darktable is complex and hard to learn. But mucho powerful.
  9. that is uncropped. 105mm macro lens with 6" inches of extension tubes. Old photo. I have since learned how to do focus stacking. Hope to get some new bugs this year. For focus stacking you have to use vapors to knock them out without killing them, so they don't move. Put bug on white plexy glass with slave flash underneath, shining up at maybe 1/64th power. Two umbrella strobes synched to camera. Stacking with Cognysis focusing rail, tethering software, USB cables and ZereneStacker software Perseverance selected cuss words and obsessive stubbornness.
  10. .......landed on my screen door a few years ago. So I snagged it and walked it down to my light tent in the basement
  11. The guard hairs make good hair hackle wet flies. If you tie them on in front of a bead they flare out like a woven hair hackle. Without the weaving.
  12. Most color is dimmed to shades of gray at Lake Trout depths. Red and orange are the first colors to go. Then yellow and green. Then the blues. Violet and Ultra Violet maintain their "colored" appearance to fishy retinas at the deepest depths. But at Lake Trout depths even they appear as varying shades of gray. Perhaps the most important characteristic--for deep deep fish--is sharp banded contrast to make the rough outline of any minnow-like silhouette announce itself. There is gathering and growing evidence in fisheries biology academic papers that outline recognition is an evolutionary adaption predatory fish are gradually developing in order to counteract the prey species tendency to disguise themselves with mottled stream-bottom-like coloring. That's interesting. If high contrast outline recognition is an important predatory mechanism it might explain why the Prince Nymph, Zebra Midge, Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear and Daredevil Spoon etc are so effective--despite not looking at all like anything real. ============= run off ============== The streams and rivers here in Montana are (all but spring creeks and tail waters) turning brown with snow melt. The waters are so opaquely brown this time of year it's hard from a human experience perspective to imagine how fish find anything to eat. And yet this is a time of plenty. The fish are now the most fat and healthy they will be. All year long. Do they find prey entirely by smell? When the waters are opaquely brown? Their noses are indeed key senses. But so too is the lateral line which senses movement and vibration in the water. And so too is visual outline recognition--an evolutionary adaption that relies primarily on polarized UV light I. Polarized UV light penetrates the silty off-color spring waters well, so polarized UV outline recognition works even during spring runoff conditions. How do I know this? I asked Biotor who is an academic genie I communicate with at strange and unpredictable times. Biotor seems to know almost everything. Biotor doesn't tell me everything. He holds his secrets close to his chest. But what he does tell me tends to be right on. Outline recognition is the most important visual sense for aquatic predators. Outline recognition overcomes visual spectrum camouflage. Evolution is a never ending arms race between predator and prey. When ever any prey defense mechanism begins to succeed (like visual spectrum camouflage) a counter-acting tactic begins to develop in the predator class. Camouflage works. Therefore outline recognition became necessary. Biotor told me this. I all light in aquatic habitats tends to be highly polarized, by its interaction with the water's surface.
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