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salmobytes

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Everything posted by salmobytes

  1. 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.
  2. Here's another photo showing the white wing a bit more prominently. Yes I'm a big fabric cement fan now. This one has a bit more hackle than previous examples. You can make them as bushy as you want. This one (The Mule Skinner?) is made with mule deer hair plus a white synthetic wing. But it could be anything. Could be squrrel tail or guard hairs of some kind.
  3. :=)) I like bass flies, even though I don't live near bass. 2 hour drive anyway. Been thinking about the videos above, posted by fly tire. Both of those vids rely on pinching deer hair with thread to make it stand up. If you use a tube instead (a straw or empty ball point pen) to push the fibers back, so you can pinch them with one hand while winding thread with the other hand, then you don't need pinchable deer hair. You can use guard hairs, squirrel tail or synthetics like Zelon. With my technique some kind of glue is a requirement. A thread head won't hold the fibers upright forever. But glue of some kind does. I like fabric cement. A fat thread head is like a C-clamp on a wood joint. It only needs to hold things in place long enough for the glue to cure.
  4. Good vid. Hadn't heard about Michael Jensen before. I'll add him to my watch list. "without spending a lot of dollars on top quality hackle" ..........like that quote too. His technique is a bit different than mine. I learned something. I'll incorporate a bit of what he does into mine. Relying more on the barrel-of-a-ball-point-pen technique, rather than thread flaring--does I think make it easier to add some white wing material into the top portion of the hackle flare, which is helpful to old farts who can't see much anymore.
  5. ...and here is a white-winged version. The hackles are a bit long so I'll call it a variant--thereby pretending I intended it that way? At $100 a neck or more I increasingly like any and all dry flies that don't use rooster feathers. I do have a larege collection of necks. But I'm not excited about buying more.
  6. Here's a better one. A one material dry fly, albeit two separate clumps of mule deer hair. From a mature late season buck. Tie the hackle hair on facing forward. Push it back with the barrel of an empty ball point pen. Wrap in front. Whip finish. Add CA or UV glue up front. Or fabric cement, to hold the deer hair facing straight up. Without the final glue step the deer hair eventually starts to point forward again. I like fabric cement best, because it is soft and flexible compared to CA or UV. Aleene's Flexible Stretchable fabric cement is the softest. I'll post another in a day or two, incorporating a prominent white wing, so old guys can see it.
  7. Cool flies. Blue Winged Olives are hatching on the Jellystone. I need to get organized.
  8. This is crude I know. It needs work. It's a proof of concept. It's not really dry fly season yet. This is a two material dry fly. Mule deer tail. Badger guard hairs hackle. It doesn't have to be badger. Most guard hairs seem to work just fine. Tie the badger on facing forward. Push it back with the barrel of an empty ball point pen. Hold it. Build up a head in front. Whip finish. Add CA or UV glue at the head. Or fabric cement (fabric cement can be thinned with water). I need to figure out how to add some Royal Wulff like white wings up front, so I can see it on the water. I'll be working on it.
  9. Hair hackles tied the no-bead way, as above, would make an interesting dry fly. George Grant Randy Flynn and others made and still make woven hair hackle dry flies. I'll have to work on a no-weave version.
  10. The Sandy Mite is one of the greatest flies if all time--largely because of it's transparently superior name.
  11. Here's Mark Freedman's version of the Sandy Mite. https://montana-riverboats.com/?robopage=Flies/Mark-Freedman I need to start making video. I'm pretty close. I have a new camera and all the needed software. I'm having trouble getting my butt in gear.
  12. How does a rubberleg body hold up? Good question. Silicone rubberlegs do not last all that long. I don't know the chemical difference but I use the strong stretchy rubbery stuff that includes the trade name Spanflex. Or is it Span-Flex? That stuff is indestructible. You could make a sling shot with it. The bead behind the hackle version of the Pott Sticker is a good decade old at this point. It's long been one of my goto flies. The bead in front of the hackle and the no bead at all versions are new. They depend on tying the hair so it points forward at first. And then somehow someway forcing the hair to point back.
  13. This is a Frans Pott Sandy Mite. Pott started manufacturing these in the early 1920s. They used to be by far the most popular fly in Montana. Woven hair hackle weaving is time consuming and hard to learn. Frans Pott, George Grant, Henry Wombacher, Tom McIntyre, Mark Freedman, Matt Watrous, Robert Biggar, Todd Collins and Randy Flynn are the tiers I know about who have figured it out--and who make their own woven hair hackle flies--with two or three thread strand weaving techniques that often vary slightly from tier to tier. I'm a retired computer programmer--software engineer as it were. In my profession "lazy" is considered a virtue. Larry Wall who invented the Perl programming language coined this idea. What he really meant was "Any technique that is faster and easier and just as good or better than its more complex competition..................is by definition better." In that sense Larry Wall dedicated his programming career to being lazy. In that sense, as a fly tier, I've been dedicated to lazy for a long time now. Here's the Frans Pott original deal: A Sandy Mite: The Pott Sticker A long time ago I found I could wind hair onto a hook so it jambs up against a bead, so it looks a lot like a woven hair hackle fly but I didn't have to weave anything. This idea puts a bead behind the hackle. I called it a Pott Sticker. I never could get Pott Stickers to work with the bead in front of the hair hackle, or with no bead at all. Until I tried tying the hair on so the fibers point forward (temporarily) tenkara style that is. If you put a bead on the hook as a first step, then tie the body (two contrasting rubberleg strands) and then tie the hair on so it points forward over and past the bead, you can then push the bead backward so it forces the hair fibers to point slightly back instead of forward. Then whip finish in front of the bead. Or do the same thing without any bead. Fibers face forward. And then back. Then wrap a head and whip finish. Pott Stickers. I like'em.
  14. It turns out Halford himself invented the first wigglers! https://montana-riverboats.com/?robopage=Flies/Sandy-Pittendrigh/Articles/Hoyt-E-Toytea.htm
  15. No name. Just a bug I made up. A generic nymph. Tying nymphs on a needle, sliding them off the needle and then attaching to a hook (like the above) is growing on me. It's easier to tie on a needle (thin #10 beading needle) than trying to tie inside teh bend of a hook.
  16. by iteself and then with a #16 scud hook. On a snell. Might be a bit too much Partridge hackle. Sparser would have been better.
  17. Bass fishermen sometimes refer to lumps of soft plastic molded independently of any hook as Grub Baits. Does that make this one a Nymph Bait? It was tied on a waxed (ultra-thin) beading needle. And then attached to the hook after it was made. I'll have to make another one with a bead up front, on the hook but before the nymph is attached.
  18. Instead of fabric cement you can use clear silicone seal too. It's faster but messier. Fabric cement is easier to clean up. It's important to keep the fabric cement (or silicone) at the rear end only. If you glue up the length of the flap tail the fly becomes too wind resistant and too hard to cast well.
  19. Shape Shifter -- with a waggle tail made from a saddle hackle and fabric cement, glued onto the end of another saddle, with fabric cement. They sure do wobble.
  20. I target them for sure. https://montana-riverboats.com/?robopage=Flies/Sandy-Pittendrigh/Articles/Catfish-on-flies/up_another.jpg
  21. We get March Browns in April/May. But still. It is almost March. This is a size #14 or #16 fly tied a short shank #18 hook.
  22. I need to get some Gadwall. I love duck flank for lots of things dry fly.
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