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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by jcozzz

  1. Acetate floss?The type you soak with acetone and it becomes plastic like?Still have some i used years ago to make ants and some other crude bugs.The fumes alone made these unpleasant to to tie.
  2. You are right,when i was kip we would go to the International Amphitheatre for the sportsman show.Hunting fishing lumberjack competitions a wrestling bear ,casting contests and more i can't remember.Thet had a fly fishing show at Navy Pier in the mid 90s after the rebuild which i worked on.It was dud for the exhibitors but was a life changer for me.I had never really flyfished and was starting to tie.It was slow to say the least.I brought my young daughter,she is now 34,We had great time as it was my first time back to the pier since ir reopened.I was fascinated and decided to REALLY learn to fly fish and tie.I met Dave Whitlock,bought a book from him .He tied a fly for my daughter Really spent some time with us.I was good angler prior having fished since a young kid and fished from N Ontario to key west.The fly fishing bug took and here i am still in the thick of it and learn something new every time i fish or tie a new pattern. We had a great little show near me at a the local high school that ended with covid.Small vendors shined and local guides and shops could afford spots.They are moving it to a convention center and am sure it will price out the little guys.The shows always were an event and helped in the late winter to get ready for spring.A walk thru the big box store just doesn't do it.
  3. Good luck Mark.Just had my neck scanned and looks good so far.For now i live life between doctor visits it seems.
  4. The internet has pretty much ruined these types of gatherings.I get bombarded with emails from online suppliers of nearly everything i have ever bought online.We used to go to all the outdoor shows to see what is new and to be around people with shared interests.Heck we barely have any bait/tackle shops left in the metro area.Maybe 3 fly shops including downtown Chicago Orvis which is described as a clothing store.Online and the big boxes have pretty much ruined the personal experience.Same as it has turned much of main street in our more rural areas into ghost towns.I am lucky as i have 2 bait/tackle shops nearby.Neither of carry fly tying supplies any more and some rods reels and line.1 flyshop in Chicago is geared for high end customers only pretty much.I think there is one in far west burbs that tons of supplies and was owned by Chris Helm at one time.I am kind of a lone wolf as i know only 1 person personally that ties and he is 60 miles away.I met a guy fishing for stocked trout at a local pond.Throwing a jig i mean euro nymph with a bobber i mean indicator.Was super windy and he was having a rough time casting.Said this rig worked well out west which i am sure it did.We were not in a drift boat and had a high bank with brush behind us.I at least hooked a couple 10 inch trout that came off.He was well heeled at least gear wise.Higher end Orvis rod and reel,chest pack etcHe bought his stuff downtown.I bought mine at the flea market.I was throwing nymphs on a 6' browning/silaflex with an eagle claw hardy clone.I was casting side armed and low ,under the wind.Making good 40-50 foot casts.We did have a good time fishing next to each other.Out of 75 people fishing that day we were the only ones with flyrods .Kind of a lonely sport in my parts.
  5. Nice Mark.Do not use any of those type of dries so only have tied a few over the years but i love the way they look.Defines a "fly" to me..My brother retired right on Lake Michigan and wants to fly fish so starting to play with some classic Michigan patterns,He has his shoulder replaced .He has never fly fished .I was like time to learn you live in western Michigan.I am still slowly getting better but not able to do my trade anymore so my life is in kind of in chaos.By spring he says he will be ready and should have things sorted out on where i go next.
  6. Blue cats are actually bigger and more common to catch than flatheads at least in Illinois.Crazy thing happened years ago,the power plant/nuke lakes which there are several started getting warmer and warmer as power demand increased.These lakes usually a few thousand acres are "perched" lakes meaning a big dike surrounds the perimeter and the water levels are much higher than the surrounding flat farm land.This is to aid in surface cooling.These lakes were fantastic fisheries when they first opened and the bass panfish walleyes stripers catfish musky etc thrived as the artificial environment made year round growth possible.I once caught dozens of catfish on a clouser minnow fishing for smallmouths.Well the party ended as the water got too hot for most fish and the fisheries declined.Shad and algae blooms took over.Someone figured out flat head and more so blue cats thrived in the warm water and roam open water gorging on shad.I know several guys who troll thes lakes with big rattle traps and other chrome colored crank baits and catch giant catfish.No one eats these fish so they just get bigger every year.Big strong fish hooked on crankbaits with big treble hooks in a wind blown choppy lake can ruin your day.A tool like this could come in handy.I have seen flatheads and blues 60 to 80 lbs landed from shore from these lakes.
  7. I favor shorter glass rods as i fish brush lined ponds quarries etc and do a lot of roll casting for mostly panfish.I also employ a few 8foot 8wts for bass bugging and carp.I have Phillipsons,Wonderod panfish specials,Browning /Silaflex glass St Croixs a bunch of Heddons and am liking cane more and more.I see the attraction of high end stuff but i have many vintage glass blue collar rods that are like new and fish well.My favorite bluegill rod is a 6foot cabelas prime 3wt 1 pc that is as smooth a rod as i have ever fished.I have landed a few 5lb plus Bass on this wispy little rod.It flexes to the cork.I have favorites for different waters ,species and situations.And they all have multiple species and rarely only catch the intended fish.
  8. Absolutely FT, or a body of after shaft with with wire i think is how he tied it.I think the dubbed body came when he started selling materials on his web siteI just meant your fly reminded me of the sparrow.Very few flies are new,at least the style they are tied is not new.His i believe special stuff or secret stuff which is an early ice dub type material is pretty cool.I bought some a few years ago and it was enough to fill a large zip lock bag for each color.I mean a lifetime supply for a ridiculously low price.I really liked the guys writings and his flies .I appreciate your renditions of historical flies.
  9. Also very similar to a Gartside sparrow which is 100% pheasamt.
  10. You guys on the east coast have a much older history,we have some sites where the French who were the first europeans to visit and settle the area in the early 1700s.My ancestry includes french and native americans.I always have been fascinated at how the natives moved north as the glaciers receded.Maybe encountering a wooly mammoth or saber toothed cat etc,Maybe it is part of my DNA ,but i have always felt more at home in the woods than in the city where i was born and raised. I had and still have relatives who still farm areas near the old french settlements and have french last names. My dad was the son of Irish immigrants. I believe in climate change as it has obviously always been changing. Many people who grew up here have no idea how young the great lakes are.I just was amazed that one of the birth places of "the bomb" was hidden in the woods and had never heard of it.
  11. Used to hike a trail in a hilly area just outside Chicago.Is hilly because of the Des Plaines river valley and Moraine valley.I did not know what a moraine was for years but it is where the glaciers that carved out the great lakes literally stopped.Not really hills just long ridges,miles long that are not solid rock but piled rock pushed by the glaciers that receded 10;000 years ago.That is correct the great lakes very young in geological time. Here is the weird part.A scenic 2 lane road runs about 8 miles along 1 of these ridges east to west.There is a 3 mile long slough on the south side and a wooded moraine ridge to the north.Looks a lot more like Pennsylvania or Kentucky than Flat assed Illinois.This is all county forest preserve land ,1000s of acres of it surrounding Chicago.At the halfway point of this scenic section of road there is a pulloff and a ravine that goes uphill along a little stream that might have minnows and crayfish but not much else.You can hike along a well worn path.There is a junction in the path at about 3/4 of a mile.A hill with a tombstone that reads OUR DOG 1890 something.One day i had my 2yo son on my shoulders on a late winter day and took the less traveled fork to the right and we climbed pretty quickly to the top of the ridge.The path opened up to a paved road with old 8 foot barbed wire fences along it. Walked the road about a block,remains of old guard house,many large building foundations .Fed Gov signage everywhere.Probably about 10 acres or more of flat ground with asphalt roads with some good sized trees growing in the pave roads,Then i saw an area with a large boulder with a paragraph engraved into it. WORLD'S FIRST NUCLEAR REACTOR WAS REBUILT AT THIS SITE IN 1943 AFTER INTIAL OPERATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO THIS REACTOR(CP-2)AND THE FIRST HEAVY WATER MODERATED REACTOR(CP-3)WERE MAJOR FACILITIES AROUND WHICH DEVELOPED THE ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY THIS SITE WAS RELEASED BY THE LABORATORY IN 1956 AND THE US ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISION THEN BURIED THE REACTORS HERE I cane across this in the mid 80s or so .I had always heard there was something in these hills. Al Capone actually had a golf course nearby.I had fished this area extensively with my dad and as a teenager we rode our bikes from the city 15 miles or so to fish some nearby lakes.A town on the Des Plaines river and the I&M canal near this area has always been a hotbed of local ghost stories and general weird happenings as well multiple dead bodies found in the trunks of cars and sunk in the river.A common Chicago Mob practice,I used to drive by this place on my way to work and always thought it was the ridge screwing with my radio in my truck.Was always a great escape from the city when i was young but always a weird vibe in the area,
  12. I know they sit on slabs here in NO illinois and most are pretty well built.They are still blocked up tho with the axles still attached and have titles like cars .It makes them more affordable this way as they are not taxed like a house with a foundation.Can literally save you 1000s a year in property taxes.I don't recall where the utility meters are located,assuming on a pole or box.
  13. I am boatless and happy for it these days.Can only use one 7-8 months and the best lakes are crowded and always the guys that decide to work on their boats at the ramp.Then after finally backing down the boat either won't start,they are pulling a heavy boat with a mini van that gets stuck on the ramp .The rope comes untied during the launch and the boat floats away.The maintenance and price of endless parts etc .State fees ramp fees etc.My boats only got launches less than a dozen times a year.You sir do this for a living and a boat trailer and tow vehicle are your work tools.What a great way to make living tho.My oldest son has the same dream .He is a firefighter and is working on his captain license to fish Lake Michigan on his off days.Then taking earliest retirement he can and head to Florida and open a charter business.Since he was a small boy all he ever wanted was to be a firefighter and have his own boat.Jaws was his favorite movie since he was like 7.
  14. Hear ya Mark- i can tie fine and it has helped get my fine motor skills back in shape.My balance is a tad iffy at times and have overdone it a little.I was a tile setter for nearly 40 years and kneeling lifting bending etc just aint gonna happen.Plays hell on my back ,tried doing some work for family and just couldn;t work more than a couple hours.Walking a more than a quarter mile my back and legs get cramped.My new normal kinda sucks but i feel extremely blessed for a second chance.Going uphill up stairs etc no problems,down i have to be a bit careful.A lot came back to me the first couple months it has been much slower improvement the last few.I did get out and fish twice last week and am planning on going this coming week.
  15. Cool pistols,did you build those from kits?A lot less hassle to buy them in kit form in my state.
  16. Knives are made from RR spikes?Your wood turning is very nice as well.
  17. Just sucks,a storm door is NOT structural and there should be no problem installing one.
  18. Low cost hooks are not necessarily cheap hooks and have had bad hooks from the premium brands.Many name brand hooks come from China ,made to the brand's specs but you can get some brittle hooks.I always test the breaking/bending of new hooks .I had some curved nymph hooks that would snap on even small fish.Way over tempered and they were pricey,bought at a fly shop not online.I buy my most common hooks online by the 100 these days.BPS had Eagle Claw fly hooks in hundred packs that are more than acceptable .My barbless light wire 12s and 14s that are nearly all from china i buy as cheap as i can find them.No longer paying these online flyshops premium prices to repackage stuff from china they buy in bulk.
  19. Great work DD.I don.t hunt much anymore but my son and several friends do.I have so much mallard and wood duck,goose turkey partidge pheasant ,enough for life.Hobby lobby has goose biots they use in floral displays in several colors .99 cents for a bunch.My wife brought some home.Had no idea what they are.I prefer balsa for my bass bugs .I think the old Heddon Creek Chub etc are bass wood,harder and heavier than cork or balsa.The bunyan bugs were cork.
  20. Have a couple buddies who have relocated to Alabama next to the panhandle will be their first hurricane..We have occasional tornados and blizzards but certainly not hurricanes.They are retired tradesmen so should be good assets if it gets nasty.Have some elderly aunts and an uncle in Fort Meyers that have been thru a couple.Good luck to you guys.
  21. jcozzz


    Yes,have not been here in a bit and had heard it was gone like many others.Glad we're back.
  22. Glad everyone is on the mend including myself.Mark,just saw your post in the Lodge.I had a stroke on Good Friday of all days,blocked artery on left side of neck..Had surgery and am getting a little better each day also but mine was a walk in the park compared to yours.DFoster and SD,i had the same symptoms 5 years ago but mine came and went but got worse each time.Gallbladder was removed and hernia fixed which added 8 weeks to recover .Dont know what i am going to do ,was able to pull half my pension early .Can get early SS next April.Too messed up to work in my trade but not messed up enough for disability.I did catch 9 bass on the 4th shore fishing a pond next to the BBQ i was at .Lifted my spirits.I am ok just walking a little funny and balance is a bit off,have come a long way in a couple months.
  23. F-T is that your dragon nymph?I thought it was real.I have I nave several shells i find on shoreline weeds every year.] that look just like that.
  24. I save hackle tips,many times the sweet spot for the hackle i am using is in the middle and the tips are left ove.,Random pieces of tinsel and wire etc if they are long enough for another bug also go into the scrap box which is just a wood cigar box.Will likely never use most but it takes little effort to stash them.The little tips do make nice little wings on some patterns,
  25. I use sz12 light wire barbless for foam bugs as spiders are just the tip of the iceberg.Last few seasons i like little deer hair bees.PITA to make but i think they like the texture and don't spit them as much.Small Hippy Stompers in black are an easy tie and float well and easy to see good leg action and more subtle than a popper.Soft hackles are good but as mentioned above the little dudes make quick work of the hackle.I cant recall the name but i tie on a 12 mustad sproat a gold tung bead 1/8 sz.Black chenille body with a thick hackle and the tail is the key,is egg yarn red or orange,you stretch it back and clip it short and it makes a little bright puff of a tail.I think it was a Chris Helm pattern.Different patterns work on different ponds right next to each other.There are 1000s of bluegill patterns.
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