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Everything posted by knotjoe

  1. Native wildflowers usually do pretty well and are quite attractive while being pleasantly low maintenance. That's how I groove with it, anyway. Take note of what grows naturally when out fishing and birding, grab seeds after the bloom seasons and plant them at home. If your spouse is the talented horticulturist you describe her as, this can open up a whole new realm for her to explore. Some get munched...Butterfly Milkweed, Dill, and anything for butterfly attraction/propagation because that's it's main purpose. Beebalms, salvias, coneflowers...there's a huge category of botanicals to work with here and they seem largely resistant to most insects. There's something in Okie you can work with outside of what I suspect are attractive, yet very weak choices in marketed cultivars. For what it's worth, my horticulture hobby started as a vegetable gardener (actually growing weed earlier in life😁) and evolved into a native pollinator gardener largely for the reasons your wife is bummed. I'm no chem on herbicide/pesticide and it works great, but you gotta plant the right stuff. My sister lives down in Okie and does great with the same approach, actually vastly better due to the awesome sun exposure and long growing season. Get out for a few hikes with a camera and take note of what's out there, nice to look at, and doing well in the conditions present. A different look, but surprisingly attractive and very rewarding approach to playing in the dirt and growing stuff.
  2. Looks like a fun day, those Koi are stalking you. What's up with the dropper, you getting more on the top or more on the dropper fly? I've done it before, but it always seems to end up a tangled mess or snagged fish on a missed strike. Then there's the part where I forget the dropper is attached and wonder WTH is going on with the topwater bug...then it disappears, I remember, feel dumb.
  3. Kreh also likely tied a lot of (very) large Deceivers for stripers and salt species where a more casual approach to feather orientation might be perfectly reasonable, maybe even preferable. On smaller ties, the random orientation might spin or end-up looking more like a craw or frog pattern and kill the minnow profile.
  4. Thanx, man!👊 I did not know this and just assumed they were mostly a clip-off source. They're actually one piece, continuous twist/pull-throughs and can be used several ways. Here's an autopsy pic of my gray & green... This does give more options for working up the shank after tail tie-in or perhaps even incorporating the remaining section of material in a brushy dubbing loop.
  5. knotjoe


    Dude, you're a flytyer. You have a stash of fur, feathers, and dubbings galore. Cats hock-up hairballs at 3 in the morning. Do I really need to spell this out further for you? I suggest a slow-mo hairball expulsion into the camera eye. This would be proper use of all the nifty video effects folks try to use on YouTube, but often do so lamely. You can be different there, you can be the shining ray of light they all look to. Make it (the hairball) pretty with Steelhead colors, flash, etc and for crying' out loud don't choke on the friggin' thing. Do it soon for I have a feeling your video equipment may be the victim of parental confiscation sometime in the near future. Never jive your Ol' Man on the internet or there'll be a foot headed for your a$$ soon. The microwave quip on the push-up video was pretty good.😁
  6. Love the Porkchop fly🤣. Absolutely imperative that you catch at least one bass on it...just because. Think the hook-up problems on smallies was due to them hitting the head of the fly? I've always wondered this on longer streamers, seems the smaller fish are hard to hook and I think it's because they aim more for the head section on bigger baitfish patterns. Kelly Galloup mentions this theory quite a bit with trout, never seems a problem with LM bass, but smallies have given me fits in the past with it. Great big one's get hung fine, but a lot of misses on the smaller customers.
  7. That’s exactly the idea I speak of, Joe. Good bead bearing there, solid metal or even a tungsten bead is a smart option. The wear and tear with props is no big deal underwater, but whizzing back & forth with flyline can spin them at incredible speeds so a hard metal bearing is essential. Overtime, some of the more used blades would develop a slightly larger hole and polish the hook shank pretty well, but they still functioned just fine for me. It’s the airspeed that does it. Bigger blades can actually clean algae off themselves on the false cast, too. The 3/8” dumbbell shape from Jann’s are freaking salad choppers on the double haul.😁 If the blade doesn't spin freely, just play with the bead to blade size a bit. Small blades do better with smaller beads, big blades spin against anything. I liked a 2 bead stack...one large and secured, one smaller against the blade surface so the blades don't rub if they tilt a bit. You might need a bit smaller diameter bead against that little blade so the only contact point is the "center bearing surface" around the hole. Small props can be quite sensitive to friction, bead sizing is a huge factor with them. Fortunately as a flytyer you probably have every imaginable size of high quality bead to select from.
  8. Have to correct myself here, the lure alluded to above is NOT called a Sweet P…it’s actually a Cutie Pie and they are still produced. Used to make a smaller size, now they appear to just make the bigger one’s and have a slightly different look. https://www.hhlure.com/products/cutie-pie I think one can do this idea pretty effectively with tungsten Insta-Jig weights these days, they keel hooks even more efficiently than dumbbells in most cases. Take up little room on shank as well, nice if adding a bearing bead or two for a prop. Not something I’m going to pursue in the near future in current waters, but just an FYI from a guy who played with some spinner flies in the past. Definitely work better when stabilized for flight and swim on fly tackle.
  9. Yeah, long ago I played with some prop flies which was mostly a remnant/revisitation of my GL Yellow Perch fishing era. We used a lot of Roostertails and Sweet P’s with propellors on them, the latter lure had a small lead(?) body which keeled it better. You won’t find a Sweet P anywhere these days, it’s an old lure. For what you seek, dumbbell eyes worked for me in terms of keel/upriding hook. Just tie the eyes in mid shank with a bead/prop in front and you’re good to go. Works best with Clouser style ties because you have the advantage of a bucktail wing to help keep position upriding. They caught fish, but I hate flycasting spinners and probably fish a standard fly better without the prop blade. Then there’s the moss thing and it takes very little to stop a small prop from spinning. I spent way too much time cleaning moss off those lures and don’t care to revisit the experience. Same for tail spins and Roadrunner style ties. However, if you are in less weedy/mossy water and need to cover areas and find fish, they are a pretty decent option. Kinda noisy on the cast and make a Whistler fly seem rather quiet by comparison. I used the larger prop blades from Jann's, they are a bit thinner and more contoured, but easier spinning.
  10. You wouldn't believe how loud these guys are when they go at it with their reflection. The Cardinal's beak is a stout seedcracker and when he puts it to the window, there's no ignoring it. Uses the trim piece as a foothold anchor for extra power.😆
  11. knotjoe

    Pro tactics

    Good article and illustrations, probably could answer a great many questions about rigs. Folks always ask when it comes to EN, this could be a useful bookmark if one cares to address their inquiries. Have to hand it to the anglers cited in the article, they make a clear and strong argument for the method regarding strike detection and presentation. Heck, even one of April Vokey's recent podcasts was a chat with Clint Goyette so it's gaining acceptance. Possibly because I'm a lifelong multi-tackle angler I like it when flyfishing lore and discourse directly addresses strike detection and the advantages/disadvantges of flytackle in general. It's a good concept to understand by a broad range of experience regardless of whether one is rigging to optimize at any given moment.
  12. knotjoe

    Back at it

    Impressive! That's like losing an entire person, no small feat unless you have the Siamese twin thing going on. Even then, it's big load to shed. No doubt you'll achieve the current goal and probably just extended your life by more than a few years. Being fat's great in the cold, but if you're not already feeling the absence of it's wonderful insulating properties you certainly will. Gotta dress warmer now, at least that's been my experience.
  13. It works quite well everywhere, I learned of it back in my apartment days when management sent out fliers in winter. I still do it in my house, cabinets on outer walls can get cold when doors are shut.
  14. Contour for slick weedless heads.
  15. Revisit some patterns of old in my fishing history, there's a few I'd like to see with newer materials and techniques. Fish less productive ties which are often more fun at the vise and water. Yeah, I know...that's somewhere between counterintuitive and downright asinine, but it's the truth. I know longer care as much about absolute effectiveness and I've caught both numbers and sizes in my time so it's no sacrifice. There's a rut one can get into when everything is distilled down to what works best, sometimes who cares and Oh, WTF is a more fulfilling approach to selecting a fly on the water. Definitely more interesting and entertaining. Look forward to torrential floods which compromise most fishing options and head for the Fertile Crescent. Scoped a good floodplain which gets loaded with carp on high water and I think I might try to get some on topwater this year. Iffy, but compelling. If not, still gonna whore out on 'em with standard streamers like last year. One of the few chum-free stillwater zones I've found where a Purefly Carp is not only possible, but common. Get some Partridge feathers, on skin or in a bag. There's some materials that don't have attractive synthetic subs (I'm done trying). Finally build that new dubbing board I have plans for! Still cranking off the 2x4 throw together after my old board warped and got weird in a moisture event. Works, but it make me feel cheap.😞
  16. Me too. Was like daaaang, this dude's passionate about his adhesives😆 Sounds like an annoying state to fish in, but the final verdict depends on how the actual fishing is. It might be pretty good despite the unusual regulations one has to learn and navigate through. Although the 9-5 rule is a crippler, there might be a midday bite to enjoy or a species which is not as hungry at dawn as they are by mid-morning. I'll take afternoons on a smallie creek any day over the morning bite, some fisheries just turn on better with a bit of sun exposure and all the bio activity it brings with it. Stay positive...you're there now, healthy enough to rant, and committed to fishing.
  17. Really diggin' the proportions on that tye. Plenty of "breathing room" relative the more bugger-esque type notions of the idea. Saved and labeled in a file. Thanx!
  18. Depends on what you tie, but for me it’s more about material work and prep that makes the messes. Cutting, combing out short fluff, and brush blending techniques often call for a vacuum cleaner conclusion. Making longer wire brushes on boards also tends to get a bit of scatter, especially on the wind-up. Woolhead clipping on larger flies has it’s place in the rankings as well, it’s the final fine-snipping that produces the drift prone shorties. I think many synthetics are worse for mess and wander relative naturals (with marabou "pinch trimming" being a possible exception, of course☺️). Tools of the trade below for making the place look like a disheveled nest in short order…
  19. Yeah, but I don't have photos from doing the same thing earlier this year. Lotta crap builds up in the nooks & crannies, I like to get it all out and wipe it down. Never hurts to lube a bit on contact points for wear and continued proper fits. O-rings do wear and fatigue, I hate it when they fail in the middle of something else. Skin oils/salts probably aren't the greatest salve for anything metal so some periodic maintenance is a good plan. If nothing else, disassembly and cleaning is darn good for finding potential future issues with certain parts (like plastic knob splits/cracks).
  20. Little plastic garbage can fitted to the desk under the main vise. Small shop vac from Menard’s takes care of the rest. You can buy the mini’s most anywhere these days under some brand name. Some of you are brave with those handheld compact vacs, I tried one years ago and made a horrible mess out of my tying room. They’ve got some serious suction power, but the backdraft out of the rear is like a tornado at the tying desk. Tilt it the wrong way and the feathers fly! Funny in retrospect, but at the time I was seriously PO’d. I lack much vacuuming discipline and thus opt for a few feet of separation between the sucky end and the motor housing itself. As long as the windy end is far enough outside of the project area I do alright with things.
  21. knotjoe


    Me too! Surprisingly fast given the holiday hours at banks. It's $600.00, but I'm afraid to mail order anything for awhile due to back-up deliveries and general stock problems with so many vendors.
  22. Believe I'm gonna follow the same path. I'm a big CA glue user, but the convenience of SH with a less annoying formula/thinner holds great appeal at the tying desk. Loon Waterbased is a joke these days, even several test layers are worth near nothing in durability and protection. There's a great deal of tying which simply does not require CA power or the effects on some materials. It can be darn wicky sometimes and crusty in humidity! Great informative thread here.
  23. You've already got the info on good sources, but if you are looking for big blocks outside of the FFing market, every fitness center sells backs of EVA close-celled foam. Swing through the aisle on Pliates & Yoga, you'll see the assist blocks and other items of use. Brick sized stuff in various colors. Bought some drapery/shower rods which had EVA shipping/packaging blocks in them so keep your eyes open for such things, it's not all styrofoam packing material these days. Sometimes there's the unexpected score! Those little white cylinders in a bag are from Micheal's or Hobby Lobby, they work pretty well for coring. No telling where in any store it's at, but there's usually an ample supply of good foams in most large stores. It's the exact form that's makes it a hunt.
  24. I’ve pondered this a bit and I think what you say may be much more accurate than I previously thought. Folk like me usually try to learn principles for adding distance due to experience on other tackles. We know there are fish out there beyond the head length even if not seen. Our experience with easy 100’+ casting on spinning/BC tackle and resultant catch rates define much of what we consider typical fishing area and we want those fish on flytackle, too! Or as close as we can get to ‘em within the limitations anyway. Saltwater fly guys need the reach as do most shore anglers in general, many bass bugs in general are more fun and effective with longer retrieves than short combat fishing. This type of pursuit probably leads one to double haul technique and distance work long before the drag-free drift and mending casts are ever wondered about. Betting those short casters are probably aces on drag-free drifts, pocket water accuracy, and some of the more useful casting techniques in their fishing range. Regionally, you’ve got a lot of trout streams and creeks where long casting ability likely takes a back seat everything else casting and presentation related. Imagine there can be a lot of other reasons for this, but I’m not ready to call it a deficiency in general. May simply reflect priorities and preference in species, waters, and what works well in the region. No doubt a flycaster who tops-out at 40’ could enjoy a lifetime of very productive and talented flyfishing in some areas of pursuit. Apparently, Tenkara fanatics do it a much less distance and yearn for no more. Of course, it occurs to me that I seldom see many folks FFing around here so it’s all speculation at some point. The one’s I do see are pretty competent casters in general, maybe that’s the only kind inclined to grab the flyrod around here. Silvercreek’s explanation of the potential advantages definitely do apply to the waters I frequent, it probably culls off the shorter distance crowd pretty early in their exploratory efforts.
  25. It's often described as "acrylic" fiber and it all takes dye pretty readily. I bought the synthetic RIT version to see if there is a difference on craft hair, but the regular ol' RIT (or koolaid, coffee, etc) will color it well to some degree. It's tough to get really bold colors (like steelie hot pink or chartreuse) and I think it's easier to buy those. I get lighter/washed-yellow with the regular RIT, it'll be interesting to see what the synth will produce. Here's a few patches of regular in yellow and and old red which looks kinda dark and subdued relative intended results. Foam is just in there to give an idea of what a true, deep (or bright) yellow would look like.
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