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Everything posted by djtrout

  1. I have more than I'll ever fish. If they meet my need, they go into an operational flybox. Otherwise, they go into jars that are roughly categorized (nymph, "little guys", streamers, etc.). They make cool displays. I'd say maybe 15-25% will be in one of my on-stream boxes. My personal hangup is that I like to fish my own flies. When I use a guide, I always ask that I be allowed to use my own flies unless I don't have what we need to fish, even then I correspond in advance and try to get the guide to let me tie some up of what he wants to use. Some guides allow it, some feel jinxed unless they use theirs, or maybe they are just particular about their patterns. So, I've been trying to tie on more of the swap flies this year. I have some especially nice bass and panfish flies that I will absolutely use; trout less so (exception there - some of you swappers are tiny fly magicians - those little guys (sub 20's) I will definitely use. I'll be casting more swap trout dry flies this year. I will say this, when an impromptu opportunity comes up on short notice, any preparation shortfall I have won't be in the flies dept. I am armed and dangerous! I love the art of tying. The swap is a forum to enjoy that art. Perhaps fishability is just second to that appreciation.
  2. I have had my Scott STS 8 wt since 2003. I live in the Shenandoah valley; I got my 8 for bass, primarily smallies. I also wanted to hold out the possibility of striper and steelhead fishing as a couple of opportunties were there at that time for me. I use a 5 wt for bigger trout and streams such as N Branch of Potomac and the Elk in WV. I recently added a glass 3 wt, which I'm glad I did just for brook trout creek fishing. For me an array of rods made sense (also have a 7 wt and 4 wt in my collection, but I've started getting redundant). Many of the prominent folks in the fly fishing community in VA would recommend a 7 wt for bass. I agree, and do use my 7 weight, but I've found the 8 to be more pleasurable to throw some of my bigger flies - baitfish tied on a 1/0 hook, and large deceivers/parakeets, articulated double hook bait fish. I'm replacing my 7 wt flyline now, and have noticed that the new lines available may help throw the bigger flies better; my 7 being adequate as-is all the same. If I had one rod for smallie fishing in VA, it would have to be the 8. That said, if I were in your shoes (with my eyes on your bigger trout comment), I'd relook a 7. I don't mind being over-gunned (I have a blast on the Shenandoah river with my 8 wt hauling in bluegills that smack my top water bugs); but it bothers some fishermen. A nice 7 wt rod will easily cast what most would consider a typical smallmouth fly. I don't really care THAT much about the difference between a 7 or 8, so I don't have much more to say, I like 'em both (I won the 7 weight in a raffle, that's why I have both). I've personally tasted Orvis, Scott, St Croix, Winston, and Reddington rods. All great. I do love my Scott and Winston. Reddington is my 3 and so far it's lovely. If I were starting fresh from this point building my rod collection, I'd definitely look at TFO, they make great stuff, and I like the pricing. I would be looking at all the series, Lefty's signature rods as well as the BVK, but the BVK looks to be real solid. Being here in VA you should be able to drop by a shop that carries the TFO's and try one? I highly recommend that. A fly rod becomes a partner so I like to make sure we hit it off right from the start. On reels, I have little to offer; my own collection is a little boring to me. I have an Orvis Battenkill on my 7 wt, and Ross Canyon Big-Game on my 8. The Orvis is a nice reel, I like the gold color, otherwise it's run-of-the-mill. I really like the Canyon but it's overkill; I never needed a reel that is as stout (and a wee bit heavy). I like light. There's just so many fine reels out there. The Taylor looks as good as any for the money; maybe others will express more of a preference and logic behind it. What I will look at if/when I buy another reel: Hardy reels - but they might be just a tad over your budget line (you didn't express any budget constraints); 3-Tand (they just look exciting). So I have nothing to offer from personal experience, but reels are going the way of the auto - they're all starting to look the same to me. I would want something a little off the beaten path. I have used the disc drag for big carp, but at 7/8 wt and in typical VA fresh waters I don't think I need my fly reel to be state-of-the-art indestructible. Without knowing your budget line, I would say maybe look into reels at about $150 more than what you're looking at in the Taylor now. Maybe that's just being indulgent, but when my budget allows that's part of this sport for me is to exercise a little indulgence along with utter practicality. As with rods, if you have a chance to handle before buying, that's the ticket.
  3. 4 cats, 2 are interested in feathers, calf tails, and buck tails. One just likes to snooze (like above) on the table when I'm tying. I just picked up some peacock herl off the stairs. One likes to carry bucktail around the house; if I leave one out it isn't unusual to have to hunt for it before I sit down to tie. One cat likes to knock things off tables, so sometimes she'll jump on the tying table and bat some tools onto the floor. Seems to be gratifying. I do put finished flies, hooks, and razor blades away. A few months ago I caught 2 of them playing soccer and keep away with an articulated bass streamer I'd just finished tying up the day before so since then I've made sure hooks and flies are not accessible.
  4. djtrout


    hmmm, $200-300 for an outfit I can beat to death for life and it keeps on tickin, or $1400 for rod reel and line I can't get wet. Oh choices, let's see ... I lived in Denver in the 70's when pollution was steady arisin'; if that has reversed, praise be. Love the comments; keep 'em rolling!
  5. i also use the Plano boxes, plus large glass jars, fruit cake tins, spice bottles, oh you get the picture. Main is the Plano. What I have done this year is move flies to the Plano in categories (ex: poppers, clousers, light dries, dark dries, emergers, I have BWO in their own compartment because I have a lot of them, etc.) and I load flyboxes for a particular trip or day's fishing from those Plano compartments. I am still going through the tons of flies in the jars and tins and putting them in the appropriate Plano box. I get a sort of enjoyment though at looking at all the misc storage stacked up on the windowsill above my tying bench. I need a little of that chaos just for ambiance.​ I will stick with the Plano strategy because it is an extendable strategy; I can add as many Planos as I have need. Also, those are particularly useful for a range of household and sport uses - sewing, small hardware storage, craft projects, baitcast lures and accessories, etc. Just very useful. flytire - man after my heart. I need to generate a couple of projects to up my game. One thing that is an idiosyncrasy of mine, I think maybe compared to a lot of fishermen and tiers, is I like open box compartment storage. I do have slit foam in my on-stream boxes, but also flip-lid compartments, which I prefer for smaller flies (anything less than 12). for mass storage, I don't care for the slit foam - I just keep knocking flies out of place. I also jam too many together and find it unwieldy. Stream-side, I drop more flies pulling from the foam than I do by opening a compartment and choosing one out of several; go figure. I can't even pull out a 2/0 clouser without knocking it's neighbor 2/0 out of the box. Klutz.
  6. FYI, Cree is not dyed. It's a natural color that is kind of a genetic mutation that is hard to replicate (hence it being so hard to find.) That being said, it looks like he tried to pass off a "grizzly variant" as cree... Bad mojo. Regarding his service and track record... No way in this world I'd order anything from him based on how many issues he has had. There are lots of other hackle dealers that provide much better service. ok one quick post. my bad, went straight to "dye" without thinking. I realize cree is natural, thanks for the correction. Mine served its purpose as I said.
  7. I agree. As a professional business consultant (retired) my input, Dave, is you have let the flames burn a little too long. Wrong forum for it, just not good form. Yours is the lot of every small fly fishing business - tough world. You and every shop owner or supplier out there are already better than I for gumption and fortitude. Some customers will be impossible; focus on what brings you success against your business plan and near and long term goals. Arguing on this forum does nothing for your image enhancement. Bad taste to return slam for slam on the internet; take a higher road. Not valid comparison to compare check posting in a brick and mortar. I have never found shaming to be an effective image-enhancing or business growth strategy (unless you're in politics, perhaps). I'm a private person, whereas I intend to use your business again, your willingness to throw customer info up on the net like this does concern me. You're good. You got some good and maybe some bogus feedback. Your're a little guy, it's OK; you may not be so little in the near future, who knows? Keep on keepin on and you'll be fine. Learn when to drop it, My feedback? no better than 2 cents worth ... guess I'm dogpiling on; I also agree this thread needs to end so I will not post anymore.
  8. uh oh. wonder what happened; in spite of the time of year they should easily have been there by now. give a day or two i guess and see what happens. a set of flies I mailed on same day to Virginia (down the road from me a couple hours only) got there on Dec 3. maybe another day or two. I should have anticipated better.
  9. lovely. what a lot of work all around! thanks again vic...
  10. a whole new horizon in tying. that's what I'm talkin 'bout!
  11. vic, did you get my flies yet? i know you are about as busy as can be with the Santa swap. you should have received my fur flies by now.
  12. and...I do like to support the one man shops in this industry, as long as they're giving it a good effort and not blowing me off.
  13. nice post Mike. I like my lanyard and i don't worry about break away, that is, for wading. to Piker's point, I'm sure i could find a way to fall and get wrapped up in it. i ignore the risk. it will break anyway, without designing it to break away, before it will choke me or break my neck. when in kayak, i wear a fishing pfd and everything is attached to it, nothing else to my body. I'm more careful with that scenario. I've dumped the kayak before, and any number of weird things can happen. last time i did i ended up in the drink with my fishing line and anchor line both wrapped around my legs. all i had to do to extricate from that was stand up and walk, pulling my kayak out behind me, but i can't count on that simpilicity all the time. so, i organize my deck and personal body to minimize risk. i also don't carry the anchor anymore as a habit, only for particular waters (flat or very slow moving river - too much risk having anchor in fast water i often float). i pull up on shore or mid-river island and wade fish rather than anchor. not a trivial topic, glad folks are thinking about it.
  14. 8 wt when I first started fishing for bass, starter St Croix. 8 wt premium rod when bass fishing turned me on. 5 wt gift to myself earned tying for a shop, another premium rod. 4 wt because I thought I could use it for brookie fishing (starting now to get out of control). 7 wt i won at a Trout Unlimited Christmas party raffle - I do like that one and use it interchangeably with the 8 wt for smallie and laremouth fishing. 3 wt glass for brookie fishing - love that rod. two 8, one 7, one 5, one 4, one 3. Really? That leaves me with at least one 8 wt and one 4 wt that are functionally useless to me, and no real reason to keep both the 7 and 8, both of which though I'm quite fond of. will i put the excess up for sale or donate to TU or some cause? hmmm, gotta have rods. just gotta have them. gotta hold them. dunno. maybe. oh yeah, then there's my spin and baitcast collection, but that, as they say, is another story. Have a muskie guided trip laid on for May ... will i get out of that without investing in a 10 or 11 wt? doubt it (since it's local water, once I get turned on ...). i just realized today i desperately need a Tenkara. not. well, maybe. i realize my story is mild compared to some ....
  15. amen. need to switch between felt and studs due to regulations? buy two pairs of boots.
  16. JS - lol that's why I float with 2 baitcasters and a flyrod. I am, of course, overthinking it, that's what I do when I buy something new. I don't buy new stuff except once in a blue moon and I get all absorbed in the choices. Well it's fun. Counter-productive, but fun... :-)
  17. I use him as well. I've been happy; I'm kind of a one-stop-shop man, so I appreciate being able to meet my feather needs in one place. I recently, however, ordered a couple of their custom Whiting "100 packs", and was very satisfied with the service and delivery, but the cree (described as black-white-brown grizzly, popular where grizzly and brown hackle are used together, one hackle from these feathers can do the job of two) feathers were poorly died. A few pieces out of the middle of the long strands were good, the bottom was almost pure brown and tops maybe a light standard black/gray grizzly; very erratic. Other colors I ordered were, as usual, just fine. The erratic coloring of the 100 packs is annoying because I lose a lot of the "100 fly" quantity due to having to carefully select a portion along the feather, and reject the rest (up to 50% of some strands). I'll continue to use him just the same. I've been satisfied. When I stopped tying commercially I also find that the life span of a cape is pretty large, so my purchases are in those 100 packs, small bugger type packs, half or quarter capes, etc. After my initial purchase, I noted to self that when I order from them I need to be ready to receive the order with a packaging I make myself to keep feathers in, as someone mentioned above, he doesn't send your feathers in a detail-labelled package. As for using him after all the complaints (I wasn't aware of those, I see another had problems with the Cree), unless I am specifically interested in a platinum or pro cape, I am willing to accept some flaws (because I'm not a volume tier, if I lose out on some cree hackles, it might cost me $3 or $4, no woopie). Slow delivery would rankle me because I always wait till the last minute to order, when I really want to tie, and that hasn't been a problem for me with Emporium, yet. My last order was in September I believe, and their website is up, so I guess they're still around. All above said, having been a commercial tyer before, if I was back in the biz again and needed higher quality hackle that supported volume production, I'm not sure Emporium would be my supplier of choice, but I'd give them a look because as it is now I haven't given them a fair shake on that scale.
  18. Received my flies yesterday; thanks to Branden_******! Now begins the waiting, or not, we are an empty nest and don't really do the Santa thing in a disciplined way ... but I'll leave it wrapped for the time being ... to think about it ... I usually get into trouble when I think about it. Merry Christmas all!
  19. I've read about the Sharkwave, interesting how it seems to grind on the hands. Now, I wear paddling gloves so I guess that would work out; still, it feels off-putting. Looking at it all the same. Rio claims the shorty is already one line overweight, I shall take that into consideration. I overline my 5 wt with a 6 from Rio, and it fishes like a dream. Thanks for comments ...
  20. perused the forum and found many topics on kayaking from the standpoint of kayak selection. I am currently looking to replace my 7 wt fly line, and my primary mode will be river fishing smallies from kayak (Tarpon 120, which I dearly love for 5 years now). I will always be seated, which generates my question, in that I cast from a seated position that is low/close to the water. Although I've done fine with the Orvis bottom of line flyline of 8 years ago (I don't even remember the model), I want a line I can punch out a lot of distance (50-70 ft regularly) with heavy streamers/baitfish and poppers with the least possible line out in my backcast (i.e. shorter head), and minimize false casting. Looking for the ability to load and fire quickly as it were as I float down a river. I was thinking a shorter head, such as in a Rio outbound shorty, would offer a nice compact head to get the best distance for the casting stroke. I do need some control for fishing my crayfish and nymphs, but most of my throws will be the baitfish and surface bugs and poppers. I use an Orvis T3 9 foot rod. A local shop has recommended the Rio smallmouth bass line, and I was going to get that, but second thoughts due to the kayak - want the best line to support easy distance casting from that platform. I'm going to see what my shop has to say on that aspect tomorrow, but I enjoy the feedback of the experienced folks here in this forum. I'm wondering what experience folks have with the Rio line in a 7 or 8 wt, especially if you have kayak experience. I also use the 7 wt for pond and lake fishing (secondary). Thanks all!
  21. PJ, yeah we're talkin now!
  22. Recently retired from a lot of years as a business analyst (yeah, the pic is old), I've had a lot of experience advising clients on requirements for IT systems and other types of projects. I learned that people tend to talk a lot about "quality" from the product manufacturer's perspective, without due regard for their actual needs for a product, which invariably would result in them paying way more than required to achieve the needed capability. The function of a fly tying vise is rudimentary - to securely hold a hook. Beyond that we may need to consider the range of hook sizes we want to be able to use and maybe be able to view a fly in progress from various angles. Beyond that, it's pretty wide-open as to what any individual might want. This just isn't painting a picture for major investment on par with my car (but I'm cheap there, too - being requirement rather than market driven). Here's an excerpt from a catalog description of a vise (I bought 15 years ago for I think around $50, it goes for $199 now): "The most affordable high quality vise found anywhere. Small yet durable, made of the finest materials. Notch- lock cam, famous hook holding capability and 360 degree rotation." It's just a basic vise. Calling it the most affordable high quality vise ... quality according to whom? What exactly makes it "quality"? There's not a lot of steel involved here. Just what is it about "finest" material that I am really interested in or care about? I'm not manufacturing the hooks, just holding them for a minute or 15! I can't exert more pressure than thread will allow before breaking, so ......... I also don't see many vises at any price out there that won't hold a hook, though perhaps not "famously." I wanted a vise that was tight - meaning when I rotate it doesn't wobble. I wanted the jaws to be durable, the mechanism not prone to failure after a few thousand ties. I contend that most vises, including the under $100 vises, give me that. It comes down to my comfort, what feels good to me to use. I haven't seen a "beginner" vise yet that the best of us on this forum couldn't use to tie first class stuff. It's just a matter of where we want to go with this art. $100 can be a lot of money for some folks. If I'm advising a beginner, I 1) let him use one of my vises for a while, 2) see what he can pick up used to experiment with, or 3) invest in a sub-$100 vise - you can get a good one for $50 plus or minus. The important thing is to just start tying so you can figure out what you require from your equipment, then when you know this you can determine your budget point. Budget is determining your functional need (requirements) and identifying a baseline vise that meets these needs, then deciding how many bells and whistles (accessories, finish, adjustability, etc.) you are willing to pay for (i.e., not "need" but want). True rotary or not? I like mine; I also like my non-true rotary. Simple fact is the rotary feels more friendly to me, and I do use the rotary feature often. That's trial and error to develop a personal preference and habit, not quality. Both handle nicely the range of hooks I use, both will tie anything I do just fine. I will treat myself or talk my wife into treating me, in a future Christmas by acquiring a $500 plus vise. This will be a pleasure to use, but pure hedonism. As long as I see it for what it is I'll keep my perspective! I said above that the rotary feature is preference after trial and error though I like it. It is not a quality requirement for me because when I shop for the vise of my dreams - I'm not sure rotary will be a requirement. I will probably stick with it, and I have eyes on Renzetti's top of line as well as the Jvise, but I may go a completely different direction. I may come to my senses too and forget about it ... it is not a "requirement" that I have a vise that costs more than $500. I indulge my passion for the sport and craft, but I like to think I see the marketing hype for what it is. I enjoy the hype, but do not allow myself to be particularly informed by it. I focus on what I really need to tie my flies, and for the time being, for the least cost possible. Remember, vendors have a vested interest in convincing you that you need more, and setting market expectations that things should cost more.​
  23. I'm ok with whatever the swapmeister will support.
  24. Welcome! I'm strictly a fresh water guy though I've tied a few salt patterns commercially (never myself used them). I also like books, and you have some good recommendations. The one thing I'd add that did me a lot of good is 2 things: 1 - find a fly shop and sign up for tying class, they usually are very low cost, fun, and person to person you get more than you bargained for in direction and resources. 2 - find a local club, like Trout Unlimited (you may have a salt water equivalent in your area, but many Trout Unlimited folks are avid salt fishermen and salt tyers; can't hurt to check around in your area) Just found an interesting link, Mass fly fishing clubs: askaboutflyfishing.com/stpr_clubs.cfm?c=US&st=MA
  25. I finish the head wraps, then wrap back and tie in the hackle feather at base of post. I wrap the hackle stem up the post to where I want to begin winding the hackle, then wrap my thread back down to the base of the post and let it hang. I wrap the hackle down the post, then to tie off I wrap the thread horizontally through the hackle (it goes smoothly without trapping fibers) over the stem to capture it. I whip finish horizontally over the post, at the base of the post where I tied down the hackle fibers. If I'm careful with the whip finish I won't trap any fibers, but I may get a couple caught when I pull the whip tight. If so I trim any really wayward fibers. The hackle comes out nice and even and full.
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