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Capt Bob LeMay

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About Capt Bob LeMay

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    Advanced Member

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    Everything that swims in the 'Glades
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  • Location
    south Florida

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  1. Yep, these are on #4 Mustad 34007 hooks and in a size or two larger - small permit.... I've been thinking about a version that would pretty closely imitate a sand flea (mole crab) without those sili legs legs and with a very short maribou tail.. This pattern, I believe was originally meant for fishing the Turneffe Islands in the Caribbean. I got regular orders for it back when I was tying for shops in south Florida... I haven't had much use for them in the backcountry of the Everglades where you'll never see a bonefish until you're halfway between Flamingo and Islamorada (we fish the dark waters to the north of that area and are rarely found in Florida Bay...).
  2. What Philly describes is exactly what I found with rubber legs... all those years ago - so I just quit using them. When Sili-legs came along they were exactly what I needed. Yes, they'll tear and break - but they won't cause the problems that rubber did. Here's a pic of one pattern I do that uses the Sili-legs - my version of Mathews Turneffe crab...
  3. Years ago, before Silli-legs came along, all we had was rubber - and it just didn't age very well at all. I know nothing about stretch magic (or whether it's rubber or not) so I'm only speaking about plain rubber legs... That technique of wrapping around a form or mandrel then marking looks like a great idea.
  4. My “old favorite” is a Sage RPL+ 8wt… It’s one of two I got from them back in 1996 when I took up guiding full time (the other was a 7wt RPL+)…. Can’t tell you how many fish those two rods have taken over the years from bonefish to tarpon and everything in between… Along the way I suppose each one has had its share of warranty repairs and/or replacements…. If Sage still made them I’d have brand new versions instead of my old battered ones… With the decline in their warranty program, I’m the one doing the repairs now instead of Sage and eventually they’ll no longer be in service. That eight weight has taken tarpon up to 40lbs on more than one occasion and I just replaced its cork grip… It doesn’t look like much but most of my anglers use it just fine…
  5. Only one drawback to using rubber in any pattern is that it doesn't age well... Those sili legs last forever -but not so with rubber (another of those "ask me how I know" propositions... ).
  6. Bikes and boats have one other thing in common…. When it’s cooking, crank up, get running and it’s instant air conditioning.
  7. This time of year most gulf spots from Texas to the Keys near me are cooking (both for fish and anglers alike). In the ‘glades I deal with it by doing a very early start (before sunup)… Better fishing - and we’re off the water before those afternoon thunderstorms really get cranking - hopefully… Here’s a trick or two to keep you and whoever you’re fishing with in the game… The first is easy… drink lots of water to stay hydrated (save the beer for the run back to the ramp…). Secondly, remember that long before A/C… folks had ways to deal with the heat. The first thing I do is have my anglers dunk their hats, wring them out, then back on their heads… That’s backed by doing the same with your shirt… Lastly, a wet towel or two kept in your cooler that’s placed around head and shoulders sure feels great when you’re cooking. When it’s no longer cold enough - back in the cooler it goes…
  8. Pat Dunlop, Cascade Crest, was right on the money.. when you can't find any other color use white then color as you choose with Prismacolor Art markers (or just that old standby - the Sharpy... ). Years ago I was able to buy sheets of foam in every color under the sun - at craft shops - not fly shops... To this day the background color on every photo I take is one of those sheets (I must have eight or more colors kept just for that purpose). Here's pic or two - forget the flies just look at the background... In order, Swamp Rabbits (an original pattern that I do in five colors..), Lefty's Deceiver (my version), Flip Pallot's Prince of Tides (my version).
  9. My only brother has lived there for more than forty years - he thinks salmon is dog food and has acreage on the Matanuska river... We're as different as can be, I'm a fisherman - he's a hunter (and they haven't bought their meat at a store in years and years... ). His idea of a rifle is a 375 H&H - he has three of them.... I know Alaska is part of the US - but must admit that I haven't thought of it that way...
  10. Actually… polar bear hair was legal to import into the US, starting about 20 years ago, from Alaska… Haven’t heard whether that window is still open these days since it was premium material in small quantities (and pricey…). Me I’m a wholesale buyer if at all possible… One other thing to mention about polar… it really takes dyeing very well - while keeping its natural surface shine.
  11. I still have a pound or two of polar bear - from years and years ago... Back in the sixties and seventies enterprising souls down here in the lower 48 would scrounge up old moth-eaten polar bear rugs - then cut them up for sale piece by piece... I very carefully never used the slightest bit of it in my commercial tying years and only now as the hair is yellowed and not in particularly good condition am I starting to use a bit of it... Polar hair has some unique characteristics that other hairs don't have... The first is that it turns translucent when wet, something that works well when you're working up streamers that imitate small fry or young bait - that is also translucent... The other characteristic that makes it unique is that unlike bucktail, polar hair is quite durable and a strike from something with razor sharp teeth doesn't cut it at all (very handy if fishing barracuda or mackeral type fish that normally shred a fly or jig with a single bite..). I have several barracuda patterns that were designed specifically to take advantage of polar's durability (and it's longer tapered hairs... ). Recently I've also been using a bit of it for clouser-style flies with good results... this particular batch is a very simple "clouser" using only a 1/0 Mustad 34007 hook, bead chain eyes, and a bit of pearl Flashabou with the entire wing just a single clump of polar bear hair on one side of the hook (with a good bit of the underfur left on the base of the hair... The snook I fed them to on a short night trip in the Jupiter area couldn't get enough of them.... Since the fish were holding in docklights you could actually watch them from the moment they saw the fly until the take - great fun. these were smaller male snook, nothing bigger than 24" that were feeding on small bait in every docklight I checked (and they'll be there every night this summer...
  12. I needed a few shrimp flies for an upcoming backcountry fly trip where tarpon were the target... Here's what I came up with the night before (eight bugs, four in each size...). You also need to know that I've never liked most of the shrimp patterns I've seen over the years - even though they're quite popular around the world - and I've done my fair share of them when filling orders for one shop or other.... They do resemble shrimp - but many of them won't move like shrimp, or drift like shrimp, or sink like shrimp... maybe that's just me, but keep it in mind... Tied up on an Owner Aki 2/0 hook - this one is for bigger fish in deeper waters and comes with a wire weedguard this smaller, lighter one is on a Tiemco 600sp #2 hook and does without the weedguard - for smaller fish in the shallower drains along the west coast of the 'glades... The tying materials in each are mostly the same. Thread: Danville's flat waxed nylon - fl. orange Tail spreader: very sparse dyed orange bucktail, the orange mixed in with the brown near the base of the bucktail so it will flare under tension a bit... Tail: Natural ginger variant strung neck hackles (very coarse, most tyers would reject them for freshwater use...). Three on a side for the larger version, two on a side for the smaller version, splayed outwards in classic tarpon fly fashion.. Eyes: largest bead chain for the larger version - none for the smaller... Collar (and body): Palmered saddle hackles (once again from cheap strung saddles) in that same natural ginger variant stock, using as much of the fluff as possible (that's the much lighter fiber that looks like maribou), three of them as a unit for the larger version - only two for the smaller version... That fifty pound tarpon? He jumped on the larger version worked on a 10wt Intermediate line, slow and deep... Now we need to find another seven fish to use up the remaining seven "SomethingShrimpy" flies... The larger fly was intended for heavier rods (that day it was a 10wt for my angler), the lighter version for an 8wt, and could be well fished with only a 7wt if the fish stay small... For me the critical stuff when fish are feeding on shrimp is pretty simple. The fly has to be the right size, coloration, and move and/or suspend the exact same way a real shrimp does. Anything else is secondary. One of my first jobs all those years ago in a tackle shop ( Reef Tackle, Miami, 1972) was using, cleaning, and maintaining the shrimp tanks - so I had lots of opportunity to watch exactly how they behaved... That lesson stayed with me over the years. Pretty sure that this simple pattern will become a staple in my flyfishing gear now "SomethingShrimpy"... who knew?
  13. “Aren’t boats fun”… particularly when you’ve just re-powered and before things start needing work again. Looks like a great rig - enjoy
  14. I plan to… for now though, in the dark waters of the backcountry dark or drab colors work well…. If I’ve come up with something someone else did before me …. It wouldn’t be the first time since all of us are standing on the shoulders of those that came before.. In recent years I’ve seen more than a few “new”things that we were doing 30 or 40 years ago.
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