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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by DFoster

  1. On youtube you can find step by step instructional videos on how to tie almost any fly and you should get a good "feel" for what tying is about. From there you can make an informed judgment if it's for you before you invest in tools and materials. Keep in mind the tiers on youtube are generally seasoned pros and they make it look easy. If your like most of us the more time you can spend at your vice the better your flies will turn out. From there your local fly shop can help you with good patterns to start with based on degree of difficulty and which species your targeting. Good luck and welcome-
  2. Steve, I just got back from 5 days in Honor and had a great time. This was a family vacation but my wife and I managed to get out for half a day on the Platte. What a beautiful river, I could spend years fishing it and never get bored. It's actually very much like the Swift and Still water rivers here in central Massachusetts so we felt right at home. The first location we tried was a little too close to the local canoe rental companies so kayak hatches became a problem by 10am, sad because we could see rainbows feeding in that location the day before. We moved a few miles east of town and found a beautiful spot on South St, knee deep with a 4' deep channel against the far embankment which was shaded by shrubs. My wife and I landed 5 nice brook trout and lost several more off the barb-less hooks (we were releasing them anyway). They were all in the 8"- 9" range and because Brookies are my favorite species, that's just fine with me. One of the locals gave us advice on where to find rainbows but we were having to much fun to move! We caught most of the them on a #14 partridge an orange drifted in the shade under the over hangs. I just wanted to say thanks for the advice above, we had a ball!
  3. Silver that's a lot of math - hopefully there won't be a test later! I tie my own leaders, the result of trial and error. On occasion I'll tie one that seems to match really well with the rod I'm using and my casting style. The ones I like I copy. All part of the fun!
  4. Amnesia line is a great tip!
  5. DFoster

    dry fly takes

    I wish we had Grayling here in New England, they look like a lot of fun to catch. I'm not why they were not introduced, does anyone know?
  6. I have Xink, It works great when applied to the fly - sunk it like a stone. However when applied to tippet it seemed to make little difference. It's very thin, the same consistency as water and seemed to just wash away. As you said a floating tippet/leader will help keep a dry fly on top. On fast riffles that's OK because of the speed of the water. The fish don't get a good long look at it. I fish a lot of small fast water streams that at points flow into slow pools. In these relatively calm, clear water pools (moving but flat, no riffles) the tippet is very visible when floating. If I can see it the fish can too. In that situation I prefer the tippet be submerged so only the fly is floating. The de greaser recipe above works perfectly, literally sinking the tippet right to the eye of the hook and it doesn't wash away after a cast or two.
  7. I'm sure home made tippet de greaser has been covered here before but it's what I worked on this weekend. On the calmer water I have been struggling to find a way to get the 24" of tippet to sink in front of a dry fly making the tippet less visible to the fish. From what I've read the grease from your fingers while handling tippet and other properties of the material are what causes it to want to float. After a little internet research I decided to make some de greaser from the old and well known recipe of Bentonite clay, aka "Fullers earth", dish soap and glycerin. Bentonite clay is available in several household products. The easiest for me was at the market in natural clay unscented kitty litter. To be a useful ingredient it must be powdered it with a mortar and pestle. I found the glycerin at Michael's in the cake decorating isle. After mixing the ingredients to the consistency of tooth paste I loaded roughly a teaspoon of the stuff into a small plastic cup with a press and seal lid. It worked perfectly. Take a small dab between your fingers and rub it up and down any part of the tippet/leader you don't want to float and it will submerge. It also last for good while. I caught several fish over a half hour and did not have to reapply. I read that it also removes the reflective gloss from the tippet.
  8. Size 14 Elk Hair Caddis with a #16 PT nymph as a dropper is a good place to start for me. I also like a #14 Royal Coachman/Wulff with a #16 flashback Nymph. In New England either combo can produce fish from April through November.
  9. My wife says crazy things like that too, maybe their related?
  10. Good luck today Norm- I've been working on home made leader/tippet de greaser paste. Glycerin, Fuller's Earth (Bentonite Clay) and dishwashing liquid. The clay has been surprisingly difficult to find at the local stores. I can get it on line but the shipping cost as much as the clay. I'm looking for the fine powdered stuff used in facial masks. Easier than powderizing kitty litter. I read the stuff works well for sinking your tippet when fishing a dry.
  11. DFoster


    I'm with you- At new wader time I'm always tempted to replace my bargain waders with a "nice" pair. But then I start thinking about the dense thorny brush and barbed wire I sometimes push through and over to get to a nice spot and it scares me off. Currently I have a pair of LL Beans that I got a year ago for around $140 and I've already had to UV patch them after slipping into some sharp brush, otherwise they've been good. I would hope the expensive waders are tougher but I can't bring myself to drop $400 or more to find out.
  12. With 60 hour work week, wife, house, 6 grandchildren and working as a professional upright bassist on weekends free time for me is precious. I'm definitely a more prolific tier from November to April as the raw New England weather forces me to question how badly I want to catch trout. I enjoy tying and fly fishing equally so given a choice of a couple hours on the bench or a couple hours on the river, the weather generally makes the decision for me. 35 degree wind driven rain will usually lose to a glass of bourbon and dry warm bench. In the warmer months I tend to tie to replace flies lost in action. In the winter months I work on new patterns and techniques.
  13. DFoster


    I can't argue with you on that-
  14. Thanks Steve that's very helpful! We are renting a house on or across the street from the Platte. I'm not sure how much time I'll have to fish but any time on a river is a gift. It's always enjoyable to fish new locations. Thank you again!
  15. Thanks Steve- I see your located in Michigan. In two weeks I will be in Honor MI on a family vacation and would like to do some stream trout or small mouth fishing. If you know the area is there a river near by that you can recommend?
  16. Well It happened, I finally "doubled". On Sunday I was fishing for the last of the stocked browns on a the river behind my house. The water temp is rising and the stocked trout are starting to disappear. I was casting a two fly set with a #14 black spider on the point and a #12 olive scud as a dropper 18 inches apart. One particular cast landed 2 blue gill one on each fly, a first for me. It was an interesting experience. There was the adrenaline rush at first I thought as I thought I had hooked a good size brown which was followed by some disappointment seeing I had a blue gill followed by excitement with the realization I had two fish on the line.
  17. Great article Norm- thank you for posting that!
  18. The 1st of June was a good day for me. I was able to get on the river an hour after sunrise. It turned out to be a nice day with temps in the low 60's. I netted a rainbow and 4 Brookies along with bunch of fall fish. All of the trout fell for a size 12 olive scud.Great fun! Besides the fish biting the scenery was gorgeous, trout don't live in ugly places.
  19. I love those flies Utyer but please don't fish the originals even if they're in good condition you might lose them. They're beautiful, old flies seem to take on a patina that gives them that "antique" look. I would put them in a nice display box and hang them on a wall (there are instructions on line). Over the years I've had several small collections of 50+ year old trout and salmon flies given to me as the result of a death in someone's family. When time permits I intend to mount them in a shadow box for display in my office.
  20. Here's a couple of generic nymph patterns I've had luck with and a two feather fly-
  21. Phil I tend to cast 1-2 rod lengths of fly line plus the leader up stream so It's not really traditional high sticking. I call it the English method because I learned it watching Oliver Edwards fishing in England on you tube. See the link below, about half way he discusses upstream wet fly fishing. You will miss some strikes but you also gain some do to the stealth inherent in casting without an indicator. In my case one of my main local trout rivers has a lot of smooth shallow water holding heavily pressured spooky fish so when I became aware of this method it seemed to make sense. I'm told that in England it's illegal to use an indicator so that's why they fish this way. Maybe a British based member can add more information about the technique?
  22. The best "soft" indicator is no indicator at all. I like to use short 7' leaders and watch the fly line. Yes you will miss some fish on delicate takes but I like the stealth and casting ease you get without the indicator. I will use a thingamabobber when fishing really fast riffles but otherwise I go without.
  23. DFoster

    Fly Fishing

    Yup - what Mark said.
  24. But ease of casting one fly as opposed to two or more and most importantly the accuracy of delivery, plus better control win. I can't argue with you on that- I always favor ease of casting for that reason I generally don't fish with an indicator other than really fast water.
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