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Fly Tying

Mark Knapp

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About Mark Knapp

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 05/02/1961

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    Fairbanks Alaska

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  1. Yes, I do it all the time. Pike, and most of the ocean fish I fish for are very toothy and need wire.
  2. Mike's point is a good one. If I only ever caught what I expected to catch, I think it would be rather boring. I fish for what "I could catch" and not what I should catch. I'd like to be ready for it if I can. Two years ago my buddy caught a 97 pound halibut on a nine weight. That's pretty cool but that's what we were trying to do. Not long after that, I hooked into a halibut that would have been the new world record halibut on a fly, by a long shot. He spooled me before he got tired and broke off. After that, I replaced all the backing on my halibut reels with Spectra and tripled the length of backing on my reels. Maybe I will be ready for him next time. One thing is for sure, I am more ready for him now than I was. Catching big fish on little stuff is the goal for many of us.
  3. The phrase "More money than brains" always bothers me. Just because a guy has a lot of money, (I don't) and he makes a purchase you would not make, does that mean he has more money than brains? Why does it have to be an insult? Does Bill Gates or Steve Jobs have more money than brains? They can buy whatever they wanted, and more power to them. If it's your money, and we can assume you came by it honestly, what business is it of ours what you spend it on? I have sold some very expensive things that I made and would not have bought myself. I appreciate those people. I have bought plenty of things that a lot of people would think questionable, and I have no regrets. I'm sure people have thought poorly of me. There are no bill collectors at my door, it's my money and what I do with it is my own business. PS, I have about 15 vises and my most expensive one was $500.00. I tie on it all the time and have had a lot of enjoyment from it. I very good purchase if you ask me. On the other hand, I only have one vice. You can guess what it is if you want. I wish I could add womanizing to that list but I am watched pretty close.😁
  4. So I leave for a six week trip there this Monday. I'll see you guys, and catch up, when I get back.
  5. Thanks guys, still.... it's sad to see it go.
  6. I have an occasion where I need sinking grasshoppers to get down to some deep water sunfish. I found a couple of patterns on the internet that looked completely fine but I wanted something a little different. Here's what I came up with. These are neutrally buoyant so that they can be sucked in easily by feeding fish. I tied them on straight hooks and jig hooks to present them both vertically and horizontally. Here's the bug I wanted to imitate. The first step, make the extended bodies. I used a needle in a cordless drill with clear silicone sealant, light tan or white, fine dubbing, tan tying thread and dry fly hackle for the organic look of the bodies. Apply clear silicone sealant to the needle. Then light tan or white, ultra fine dubbing is wrapped around the needle by running the drill slowly. Then smooth it all out with a wet finger while you spin it on the needle. Next pick out some dry fly hackle the color and size you need to get the effect you want. To imitate the hoppers at lake Havasu, I needed something grey/tan and reticulated. I chose about a size 12/14 Cree hackle. It worked perfectly. Next, I cut sections of the hackle the same length as the dubbing on the needle and stuck them to the dubbing. I used three or four pieces to go all around the dubbing body. Light tan 6/0, 70 denier thread was used to secure the hackle down. It was wrapped in a segmented fashion. You may use whatever color suits your purpose. Whip finish at the pointy end of the needle. Using a wet finger on the spinning body, smooth the whole thing out and remove with a Brassie or similar hair packer. After removal, the body can be stretched back out to original length and by rolling between wet palms the body can be smoothed out. They should look like this. This one is laying on the needle for a picture. The fuzzy ends are trimmed off after drying I usually make a bunch at a time and leave them over night to dry. I'll sort them and use the best ones for extended bodies and the rest for thoraxes and heads. Each one is good for two bodies or two head/thoraxes. Building the fly The bodies are cut in half and using the cordless drill..... or the dubbing needle, pierce the body through the center of the cut end and out the side about 1/3 of the way back. The cordless drill method being, by far, the easiest. This makes running the hook through much easier. I usually do all of the body pieces at once. I thread all of them on the hooks I want to use. Like these, or jig hooks... like these. They should be, in my opinion, tilted down in the back like a real hopper. More of the under wing will show if they are tilted down.The bodies are tied on and glued with something like Zap-a-Gap.... or this stuff. The head/thorax body pieces are cut in half and "V" notches are cut into them with a cautery, so that they can be folded into a squared "J" shape. A groove is burned into the bottom of the long half of the head/thorax, with the cautery. The assembly is tied and glued on the hook with the groove in the body straddling the hook like so...... or like this. A dubbing noodle is formed around the thread and applied like this. I like them loose and fuzzy but experiment and see what you like. Here's a tight one. The underwing is tied in. Pheasant tippet or wood duck flank feathers imitate hopper underwing well and add flash to the fly. Wood duck flank under wing. I like to match the underwing color with the body dubbing to add color and flash like this, or these..... An example on a jig hook. Mottled turkey is used to imitate the hoppers outer wing that I want to match. The outer wing is tied on with the lower third of the body exposed. The front is trimmed just in front of the forward wraps of thread and the back is trimmed just behind the underwing with scissors. The back wraps of the outer wing are made at the point between the extended body and the thorax. Feathers for the legs are selected. Ringneck pheasant chest feathers... Guinea foal and Argus Pheasant feathers make great legs About eight leg fibers in bunches of four each are tied in a crisscross fashion under the thorax. Here I tried tying the legs on before the outer wing to see if it would be easier. It didn't matter much. Here Argus Pheasant tail feather fibers were used for the big kickers that make hoppers hoppers. Rink neck Pheasant was used for the front four legs. Here, Wood Duck flank feathers were used for the four front legs and Argus Pheasant was used for the kickers. On his one, Ringneck Pheasant tail feather fibers were used for the kickers and Silver Pheasant tail fibers were used for the four front legs. One on a jig hook. These will be seen from all the way around, so here they are, viewed from all the way around. The are coated with head cement, in an attempt to make them more durable. I will report back after I get back from my trip.
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