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Fly Tying

djtrout

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Everything posted by djtrout

  1. I use coyote. I source from Crazy Crow Trading Post (native american crafting is another passion of mine); face mask for 8.95, complete hides for, well, a little pricey - wouldn't get one just for fly tying, but I have a hide so I snip from it for flies.
  2. 1 - use primarily WAPSI water-based head cement. It's grand; it is a replacement for my lacquer-based RUMPF cement that I've used for over 2 decades. Main advantage is it doesn't evaporate thus requiring constant thinning. I use water-based waterproofing solutions on my outdoor clothing and equipment and it works great; once the solution dries it becomes completely water-proof and is not soluble in water. $$$ 2 - Loon UV. just started using it as an experiment, I like it very much for the finish it imparts plus no dry time. Best for larger heads on streamers where I like a nice finish. $$$$$$$ 3 - nail polish, or hardener, or whatever they call it. clear, at all drugstores in nail depts. same thing as hard as nails. great stuff. $ I use both the nail polish and water-based cement to toughen up legs and wingbacks.
  3. some good recommendations above. at $50-75, it will be difficult to find anything you might view as an upgrade. The Dyna King I started out with that cost me I think $70 at the time is going now for $175; I've settled into my Renzetti that goes for $195 as a long term vise (it cost me a lot less when I bought it, that's today's price, but it is a vise I will stick with forever. I may upgrade if good fortune finds me ... but it will be a gratuitous move, not by technical need). A good vise is one that reliably holds your hooks and feels good to you to use, as you said. If you can push your budget up just a little I think you'll be glad you did, if not you can still find a reliable vise at a reasonable price. I see that a Dyna King Kingfisher is going for $91 on ebay, a good choice. As Mike mentioned, there a number of Griffins for sale on ebay. I've no experience with fishing stuff via ebay; but I would stay clear of the many no-name/off-brand vises advertised there for $29-60 (many are advertised simply as "quality vise" with no brand name); especially the few that are labelled "true rotary" when if fact all they do is rotate (not a true rotary). They might actually be fine, but I am suspicious. Maybe I'll buy one sometime and try it out to confirm my suspicions - I may be passing up real bargains...
  4. black or olive coneheads. black 80%. just works for me that's all. I have a number of colors and sizes in my box, but black size 6 or 8 gives me results.
  5. I follow the hype trail on the mojo to some degree; mostly because I really want to hear about anyone who scores well in a bass pro tourney with a flyrod. Me, I'm not in fly fishing to out-compete anyone in catching fish. I'm also a baitcaster for bass, and I have a hard time accepting even a remote chance that a flyrodder would stand a chance in a tourney. Now, a separate class for flyrods on the pro tour, now we're talking! I guess that's all digress. I like St Croix rods, I'm sure the mojo is a good rod. I wonder whether my 9' rods will be obsolete in 20 years (already happening with spey and switch rods). I never did find out exactly why 9 feet became a standard anyway. Truth be told, if the "standard" when I bought my first modern rod was 7'11" I bet I'd be happy with it. I'd adapt my fishing to it. Final note: the mojo first got my attention because I'm a kayak fisherman for bass. I use lots of long power casts, but the idea of a shorter rod intrigues me. It is also at a price point where I don't mind experimenting a bit; there's storage space for several rods on my rigging. Still thinking about it.
  6. djtrout

    Fripp Island SC

    I was there when my son went through USMC basic last summer. Being a trout/bass guy, I was a little intimidated to find out that shark is a primary species for fishing. A local park ranger even advised against my going out into a local inlet .... place sure looked fishy though....
  7. Now this is Christmas that makes sense. Thanks to Branden_* for a wonderful selection and just-so-happens my currently fav box! Taking a short vacation visiting my kids in VA Beach this weekend; looking out over the ocean and the boardwalk xmas light display from hotel room, reading posts ... Life is good.
  8. Li'l Dave's post reminded me that I enjoy entering swaps to tie flies I don't usually fish. I enjoy tying up something I don't usually do, which means of course I probably won't fish the ones I get, myself, but they are good give aways and maybe for things like the Santa swap. I did commercial tying for a few years and tied a lot of salt water flies, but I never fish salt water. I think I would enjoy trying my hand at some bonefish/flats patterns (may the future recipients forgive me).
  9. thanks for the post, Silver. I tie my elk hair "caddis" with a flair and swiss straw shuck hanging off the back; been very successful with it. actually it may be a misnomer to even call it an ehc, but i'm too lazy to come up with then try to explain another name. i just prefer to call it an ehc and let folks take me to task ... :-) Wonderful video, A. Troth. his son points out the most critical, IMHO, fundamental to understand: the relationship of the fly - in perspective - to the fishing experience. it is but one part, and we fishermen don't always understand fully what exactly about each fly, the precise defining characteristics, that cause a trout to view it as not only just food, but essential food that will elicit a strike. other parts include the all-important presentation, fisherman behavior (these two are under our control) and the whopper: the fish's environment, which is not under our control, but can be within our understanding. it is the environment that conditions the fish as to what is or is not food, and fish adjust their behavior to optimize their survival in their environment. In any stream/river/lake there are multiple foods available, and each environment has its stressors, such as non-fish predators, bigger fish predators, etc. When fish take my "ehc" I personally do not believe they are thinking they are nailing a caddis fly (but who knows, maybe ...), but I have presented something that in their fish brains tell them looks like good food. the fast water helps because fish must decide quickly to take or refuse. trout are after the most nutrition for the least amount of energy expended. I suspect this is the reason for the success of many poorly tied dry flies; they actually look like good food that is defective or injured and unable to get away easily! just a conjecture. I like to tie and throw flies on a lark - not too far off profile, but enough to be a little "out there", and when one works - I am amazed and begin to look around and think, why did this work? That drill reminds me there is so much to understand, and that juices me. I love building my tying skills, but that's just one small part of the fishing existence. People like Troth understand that well. I love living in an age where videos are spun off so easily and widely available so we can absorb the wisdom of masters. aint it great!
  10. Freddo, my vote for best post! my passion is developing this craft as my personal signature art. enjoy the journey!
  11. beautiful rod. i love the clear guide wraps trimmed in red.
  12. saliva does it for me. layering works well, especially with any leggy dubbing; dub a little, wrap, repeat. after finished, pick out a few strands if i like with bodkin.
  13. Agree all with Fish for Life comments above. My commercial tying experience taught me well that what we tyers consider standard practices in terms of proportions, materials, sizes etc. can be more about catching fishermen than fish. It is good to learn the art, and the biologies of fish and insects, but your flies will catch fish. The thing is, good ties can entice by impersonating a particular hatch, or by appealing to the predator instinct by simply impersonating something "foody." Fish often strike at objects in the water column to "taste" whether it is actually food. That's why it is important to set hooks on strike, otherwise the fish will spit out your fly and wait for another opportunity. An imperfect fly, or one that doesn't match any hatch (such as the various attractors) will still get the hit. I catch fish all year 'round on terrestrials, though nymphs tend to me more productive as a year 'round staple. I catch fish on a range of nymph types in any given body of water. Some seem better than others at times, and this is true. But, appealing to fish selectivity does not depend on my ability to present the perfectly PC fly.
  14. Received mine today. Good for my hiking hat for starters (which is also my fishing hat). Thanks all, fun!
  15. I like that Stanley organizer.
  16. Yes, it is indeed a great smallmouth/big trout fly. It's a fisher!
  17. Oh yeah, it's an eater! To all who are tying tonight for a trip tomorrow, please get a good night's sleep and don't obsess on the vise till 3:00 am! Good luck tomorrow and welcome to the community!
  18. I have used 2 Rite Bobbins for a year now, and no problems, love them. I would go straight to the phones and call them. I love getting feedback on this forum, but with equipment problems the answer usually lies in contacting the manufacturer, who is normally only too happy to make sure you are happy.
  19. I would add, about those really long casting dreams, when kayak fishing on big rivers my standard setup is a spinning outfit, a baitcaster, and fly rod. If I need to rip my shorts to get a cast out to 100', I reach for the baitcaster or spinning rod. But, being mobile on the water means I can usually bring myself closer to the strike zone for the fly. I think you're on a good track with your selections so far; since you already have a 6, I'd just stick with the 8. My own rule of thumb for multiple rod acquisitions: always leap in weight by at least 2 weights to make a significant difference. 3-5-8 seems to be the best combo for all my fishing.
  20. OK, I'm in for next year. Resolved to do better on schedule.
  21. I use icelandic horsehair for wings and streamer tails. very fine stuff and popular in iceland for creating char patterns.
  22. i have a mix of water sealed and non-sealed. open boxes after fishing and dry them out. use a vest fly patch of some type to dry flies on stream (though I tend to lose flies in that, sometimes I just put them back in the box; i'll dry out the box anyway at day's end). I don't care about water seal, per-se. I do care about floatability ever since I lost a bunch of my best bass ties in a canoe overturn in the New River VA. I rescued everything that floated (my SA boxes) but at the time I had a bunch of flies in metal boxes that sank like rocks and water was too fast and deep to retrieve. I fish often by kayak and I try to lash down everything possible, but if I drop a flybox overboard I'd like it to float. That said tongue in cheek, I have not subjected my new favs, the Umpqua day tripper and flats, and the tacky boxes to a float test. ugh. On salt water - I don't do ocean but have fished brackish water, what I did was immerse each fly box in fresh water and swirl thoroughly, then open and lay out to dry in the sun. This done within a day of use. I've lost one fly box to rust. lesson learned. I have, really really like: Umpqua UPG day tripper, flats; Tacky box I have, old but still good: Scientific Anglers boxes with compartments; misc boxes As mentioned, much has been said about vises. I use the Renzetti Traveler and HMH Spartan. Love the Traveler, Spartan not so much but it's a good vise. Traveler seems easier to use, but I've used it for 10 years now and just got the Spartan (just to try on a whim) a few months ago, so I'm just not acclimated to it.
  23. scratch I don't worry about being too consistent in swaps; I like to experiment as I go along, actually. I don't mind the variation as long as the quality is there. When I want consistency: - First decide to produce a consistent batch - Experiment and determine a pattern (materials, order of materials, exact specifications of materials) and method (how and where to attach thread, exact same procedure to lay thread foundation, where to attach each material to the hook, define the head profile, step by step procedure for stacking hair …). Once the batch is started, do not deviate from the pattern and methodology. - Material prep and selection: use the same quality and spec of material for every fly – lay out these materials before starting the batch. Dry fly hackle can be quite variant within the same saddle or cape sometimes, ensure each feather is an exact replication in size and webbiness. This step was huge when tying in large batches for fly shops. I took it one material at a time and selected and laid out. Some material cannot be pre-laid, like deer hair for stacking or bucktail for streamers. During tying these, select the hair consistently: same density of hair clumps for spinning or stacking, the same straightness and clump size of bucktail. Note on bucktail, fibers from the tip are very different from fibers close to the base (base hair flares more) – try to select hair bunches from the same area of the bucktail. - Reject and redo mistakes. Consistency is achieved by completing the prescribed process exactly as defined, and hampered when I try to “repair” a mistake mid-tie. As I said, I don’t shoot for consistency very often. Tying is an art, each piece may have, just as a piece of fine top grain wood, its own character or variation. I permit this, even in the swaps. I’m working though on being more consistent with my hair stacking. I still need to improve my method; haven’t found one that works consistently for me yet. The “artful” variations in my hair work are the result of a work in progress. This year I’m focusing on using up materials I’ve accumulated over many years. This impacts consistency to some degree; challenges my creativity. If I am inconsistent because I got in a hurry (happens) or for some other reason was just sloppy, I criticize myself for it. Sloppiness if often the result of not rejecting and redoing mistakes, but trying to over-wrap/repair them or outright just letting it go. Hmmmph. Nonsense. commit to consistency-determine pattern and process-prep and select materials-reject and redo mistakes I also often do batches in sections as Eastern Fly suggested. That tends to discourage sloppiness.
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