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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by bart

  1. Here's a mug shot from the Green River caught by my friend Jay.
  2. OK Peterjay, what's the deal... do you see in black and white? I've taken at least 2 dozen color photos of mine that I like and turned into black and white's and am not all that pleased with them. I'm basically totally confused at this point. Nice color contrast in color clearly does not mean good contrast in black and white. And I'm too much of a rookie to jump into the Adams zone zortex, I need something real. I'd like to find something outdoors that I really enjoy photographing that will come out nice in B&W. What can I start looking for? If all else fails, I'll just keep taking pictures until I like them. I guess that's the way I learned to fly fish... but it took years.
  3. I've just recently read about wing burners and failed at locating a set at any of the local shops. I'll keep looking and buy one in person. bart
  4. Nice Job Man! Clean and efficient. :headbang:
  5. Chrisfish, All my photographs are digital, taken with a Canon Rebel EOS and the stock 18-55mm lense that came with it. I've been playing around with black and white's thanks to Peterjay (he's a real artist). I don't use photoshop to convert images, I use The Gimp. It's free, and for my purposes, everybit as good at photoshop. Here's a tutorial using The Gimp if you don't have photoshop: http://gimp.org/tutorials/Selective_Color/. Let's see some of your pictures! bart
  6. If you to this site you will see many pictures, look for the one that says aquatic worms: http://www.bighornriverlodge.com/AquaticContent.html That's what I'm talking about. I tye mine with simple colored wire and a simple thread head. I bet some trout mistake mt fly for a worm while other trout mistake it for a nymph. The pattern has treated me well so I'd like to continue to improve it. It's a very simple fly. Maybe that's all that's need. bart
  7. Does anyone have any good pictures of aquatic worms? or patterns that imitate them? I've been doing well on tail water fisheries with them and am confuesd as to why I can't find more info on them... maybe I'm not looking in the right places. Helpl me out! bart
  8. So I just looked over my tying table to see what all things cost. The Digital SLR camera is the most expensive, but not really on the desk for tying per se (I've been playing around with depth of field on pictures of flies). Next is the table itself, and then my vice. After that necks, which are still under $30. So, for the most part, nothing on my table is more then $20. I'm sure many of you have already figured this out, but tying is one of those things that doesn't really cost a lot of money to get into, but ends up being a wierd type of collection. Overall I'm guessing there's about $2K on the table, but outside of those few pricey items I mentioned its all been purchase in $50 increments. I can't walk into a fly shop when I'm in tying mode without spending $50 (plus or minus $10). Like last weekend, all I wanted to buy was 3 spools of colored wire which should of cost a grand total of $5... $58 later I suddenly had another group of flies I wanted to tie for the upcoming bighorn trip. Gotta love it! bart
  9. One other thing to think about. If you are going to be renting a car and using your car insurance check with your insurance company to see if they cover stolen goods from rental cars. One year over $5k of fishing gear was stolen in the keys when a rental got broken into... luckily the insurance company picked up the tab though.
  10. I fly regularly (nearly 300K in the last 4 years) and have never had any issues bringing my fishing gear. My buddies even travel with their boats, ables ATC's and MasterCrafts. The luggage for me is just normal luggage, though my buddies all use abel, orvis, and fishpond. Fly rod tubes vary from 2 foot tubes for singlerods to large 4 1/2 foot long , 6 rod tubes that look more like luggage. I'll fly with a significant amount of tying gear that I put in a large suitcase all to itself. I always check everything nowadays... it's just easier, and nothing has ever been LOST, but some stuff has taken longer then it's supposed to. Just a bring a good book on the plane is my philosophy (heck, I read War and Peace in it's entirety on flights to and from DC). Now here are some horror stories that have happened to my buddies, NOT me. And then I'll tell you why I think this things happened afterwards... Last year my buddies flew from Philadelphia to Salt Lake and then drove to Dutch John, I drove with HomerDog and met them at the Flaming Gorge Lodge. They flew with ALL their gear, 2-3 rods per person with at least as many reels. Wading Equipment. Tying Equipment. Boats, and equipment. Plus clothing. For all that gear, it's a surprising small amount of luggage. A dry bag per person that holds their wading gear and boats, rod tubes, and a single piece of luggage per person for tying equipment and clothing. We do this at least a few times a year for different locations, so the process is pretty smooth. Something happened on last springs Green River trip though. DVDs were missing from luggage. Tying Equipment was routed through and a total mess. Hackles were taken out of their bags and not replaced properly. Hooks were all over the place. Feathers everywhere. A Gore-tex jacket missing and a pair of waders with a slice in them. WOW! Not a good start to a trip. But thankfully the fly shop at the lodge is well stocked with quality gear and VISA took care of the rest. Here's what I think happened. Most people don't travel with DynaKing vises finor reels, plus funny feathers and fuzz with fishing hooks... so the kind folks at TSA wanted a look. The gear was packed so tightly that they couldn't get it back in a convientient manner, so not all the gear made it. secondly, what did make it back was shoved and cramed... and ultimately the waders got sliced on something, maybe a pair of tying scissors... who knows. So why has none of this stuff happened to me? The only thing that I can think of is that my bags are never stuffed and all my tying gear is stored is travel ready plastic bins. Nice and Neat in their own luggage. My rods are always checked if they don't fit in my luggage. And if you really like your rod make sure it's a sturdy case. I travel with rifles on a regular basis too and if you look at my travel fly rod cases and travel rifle cases you'd be shocked at how destroyed they are. In short. I check ALL of my gear and keep my bags neat and orderly. TSA IS GOING TO GO THROUGH THEM, so make it easy for 'em. Just my two cents. bart
  11. Let's see your fall black and whites! Here's a couple from this weekend (it snowed :-) I got the DOF all wrong on this one, but I liked the color:
  12. When I started fly fishing, that also meant that I started tying too. First off I didn't know you could buy flies, and secondly tying flies was part of getting ready for the weekends trip, so it gave me something to do when I couldn't get to the streams. And of course tying got me into entomology which got me into learning about healthy water. I even did a a water quality research project for Stroud Water Research where me a buddy put trout eggs in little plastic mesh boxes in different places along different streams in PA and took water samples everyday until the eggs hatced... or didn't for 6 weeks. That taught me about the impact of we all have on the environment... and now I try to have to as little impact on the environment as possible. Fly fishing also got me into traveling to new streams with the same friends and has forged life long friendships with those guys. I like photography more and more each day (and work less and less as a consequence as it just gets in the way of me taking pictures of these incredible fall colors). I had to learn how to row a boat to float the western rivers, with a 100lbs dog on the back of my boat. I had to learn how to train a dog to fly fish, both wading and floating, with and without ducks flying overhead! But most important to me is those friendships... and fly fishing brings us all together a few times times each year. Sure, I read books, get 'em signed, take photo's, tie, kill/skin/tan hides, rod building, and teaching others whatever I can, and generally have a darned nice time doing it all, but the friends are the strangest place that fly fishing has taken me. Who knew? bart
  13. Wow, what a help you all have been. Between tying for an upcoming Bighorn trip and learning more about photography, who has time for work? I've been looking for some B&W trout photos - does anyone have any? I also took the suggestion of getting a subscription to Outdoor Photographer. Seems quite nice. bart
  14. Thanks guys. You've got me moving in the right direction. It's pretty humbling to enter a new hobby like photography. I use an open source image editor named The Gimp and found a good article on turning colors into B&W's. After reading it, I was able to improve my images without much effort. B&W sure is interesting. I'll read up on the Ansel Adams zone later tonight!
  15. I just started playing with black and whites. Peter, got my wheels turning. I spent last week elk hunting here in Colorado and got some OK color digital photos of the fall colors. When I got back to my computer I used The Gimp to convert my color photos to black and white and quickly learned that my bright yellow aspen leaves which had a nice contrast to the dark gray clouds loose most of the contrast when you convert to black and white. So here's my question: What color combinations work well for high contrast black and whites? thanks bart
  16. Even though it's not a "glowing" material, you should checkout the UV Ice Dubbing from Hareline. If I'm tying a dozen flies that require dubbing for a specific river, I'll usually tye up one or two of that dozen using the UV dubbing. I've got a dozen different colors, so I can get pretty close on the natural color. Sometimes finicky fish will respond to it when the snub the other dubbing. bart
  17. This true much of the time, however there are many exceptions. Take for instance the Green River during the spring BWO hatch. After a winter of dining on mostly midges the big brown's (all 20 + inch fish) just go nuts for a size 20 ro 22 BWO. When the hatch comes off they line up in the feeding lanes for these little mayflies like kids in a candy store. Another example is this tazmainian rainbow I was lucky enough to catch on the Frying Pan on a size 22 dry. My point is even big fish eat little bugs, though it's probably not their staple food source, so don't be afraid to go after the big guys with little flies.
  18. Here's a great book on midges titled Midge Magic.
  19. This has happened to me many times and made scratch my head even more. The last time this happened was about a year ago while fishing the blue river. There was a late season green drake hatch coming off and the bugs were huge, size 8! So I tied one on and fished away. After an hour denials I had had it. So I went back to my usual midge patterns for this river (26's and 28's adults and pupaes) and scored 8 fish before I left. So what was the deal? Why were the cuthroats not keying in on such a protein rich food source that was readily abundant? Well there's more then one answer, but here's what I came up with. I think that the midges were even more abundant then the green drakes and more readily available. A little research on google tells me that midge larvae densities are typically 4000 per square on the bottom nutrient rich bodies of water. Now that's a lot of bugs! Additionally, after a whole season of eating the drakes, and being caught on them, I think the fish may of just turned off of the big flies. It also turns out that midges make up a significant portion of the menu for trout on many streams/rivers throughout the year. If trout are not responding to my adult when there are plenty on the surface the first thing I do is stop casting and watch the river. Are there any risers in feeding lanes? If the answers yes I either change flies or change presentations. If the answer is no, I tie on an emerger of the adult and go at it. This often times works. The emergers get stacked up under the surface film and the trout just gorge on them there and ignore the adults on the surface until later when most of the emergers are gone.
  20. let me know what patterns you want - I'll tye 'em and mail 'em bart
  21. Frank, That's darn nice fly! Many a trout will be glad to chomp it! It seems you've got an eye for proportion! Tight Lines!
  22. bart


    So I've fished scuds for over a decade. I've pretty much used the same pattern the whole time, though it has morphed slightly over the years. It's really nothing special, but it catches me plenty of fish. I'm always looking to improve though and am interested in seeing other peoples realistic representations. The folks up in British Columbia have done a fine job recording much about the scud in still water fisheries, here's a good example. However, I don't fish stillwaters and was wondering if anyone tell me which scud I should be trying to imitate here on the wester rivers? And, of course, let's see your flies!
  23. Heck, it took me a long time in this sport to get to the point where I understood the value of an excellant tying bench. Truth be told you have to have your vice up 100% of the time to make it convient for you to tye flies. When I first started fishing I didn't own anything and just tyed on my best friends older brother's vice. (I now spend more time with the older brother then my best friend???) As a bachleor his entire kitchen was a fly tying/rod building mecca to me. But for whatever reason, until now, I never was able to replicate that environment in my own home. Though I may never have a half dozen guys over my house tying at the same time for the upcoming weekends trip, I just may have a couple guys over eating pizza, drinking beer, and tying flies (though as we age it seems like out tastes for food and liquor change too). Anyway, a local furniture store was having a sale this weekend and I stopped by. They some nice dinning room tables at a reasonable price, so I bought two, one for me, one for my girlfriend's crafts. I also got anxious and bought the exact same set of drawers that RunninDetox spoke of instead of being patient getting the nicer drawers that Streamside has. I may end up buying the wooden drawers and using the plastics ones I bought in my garage, lord knows I need them! Here's a picture boys! I've tied a bunch of scuds on it so far.
  24. Rodger that fish`n feind! When I was younger my buddies and I would haunt the Pennsylvania trout streams chanting "Your hole is my goal" on the weekends. But thing have changed over the past 15 years, or at least I have, and it sure seems like lots of folks have taken to fly fishing. My little post to find out how many rod companies there are has dug up nearly 100 companies. Now granted a good chunk of these companies are custom bamboo companies, but it does show that there enough fly fisherman to finance all these companies. So with all these normal folk turned flyfisherman I've seen a general shift in attitudes on the water over the years. It used to be my buddies and I would hike in a couple miles on a bg river and camp for the weekend and we wouldn't really see anyone. Now, if you want less crowded water you have to either fish the excellent tributaries to many of the fine larger rivers, or pay a premium to fish private land. Unless of course you are land owner on a nice section of water in which case if you are reading this post I implore you to hire me as your personal fly tying slave in return for the simple act of letting me fish on your land :-) I live in colorado where water is damn precious commidity, bought and sold buy folks that look with greed on a resource that has no right being bought or sold... by anyone. So, since it's these greedy folks that control our water flows, and these folks love regulations. I figure if we fly fishermen ever get out of control and start fighting amongst ourselves on the rivers, they will have no problem creating their own rules and regulations for you and I! Hell, I've even done it myself. One day I was fishing and all the action was under the water when all of sudden I had a midge hatch go off in the hole I was fishing. I fish this stream regularly and have tweaked common patterns to match the insects on this stream, and so, started slaying 'em on midge adults. Wouldn't you know an old man 80 feet above me started drifting into my hole. I blew a gasket! As a long time wrestler and coach I wanted to put him a guillotine and make him suffer until he apologized for this offense. So what did I do? I bit my lip and caught ever singal trout in that hole, and held up everyone so that he could see. He left after 7 or 8 fish. I'm an aggressive, energetic, and tactical fly fisherman and I sometimes take things too seriously because of it. Unfortunately, this guy got the better of me. It happens. And I've seen it happen to guides on western rivers too. So, from where I stand, if we don't do a better job of governing ourselves by a general set of unwritten rules, someone else is going to govern us. It turns out that not everyone has had the luxury of growing up fly fishing, and has had no one teach them any manners. I'm guessing though that the new folks to the sport just want to catch fish like anyone else and get a little over zealous. Now I'm guessing the man that got me so miffed was in his 60's and should of know better. However, I'm also guessing that he only had a couple years under his belt with a fly rod in his hand. So, even though he was 30 years my senior in age, I was many older than him in the sport, and still didn't set a good example. Maybe I should of asked him if he wanted to come and fish my hole with me like I would of if he was a friend. Heck, every year, on the same weekend, I fish the same river and the same hole with the same friend and we take turns rotating in and out of the head of the hole. One person is at the head of the hole, once he hooks up he moves down to the tail of the hole to land the fish and the other person moves into the head. We rotate like this for hours until the sun goes down or until we have to break ice off the eylets on every 3rd cast. We pound the hole so bad we only fish it once during the entire trip. I bet if I hd treated that older man like a friend we both would of caught enough fish to make us both smile. The problem with this mentality as I see it is that we like to travel and fish different rivers/streams, so we not have dialed into the water yet and have the EXACT patterns in our boxes, and so we are in the process of learning the river. Now I KNOW that I can go almost anywhere in colorado with a caddis pattern that I've developed for this state and catch fish during summer evening hatches, but I don't have that same confidence on new rivers, or rivers that I only fish every once and a while. And so, for the most part, when I'm learning a river I want to be left alone. It takes time for me to get into the zone where I start to dial into the particular hole that I'm fishing, and I WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE! When I growing up I would rock climb at the gunks in New York (a absolutely amazing place) that is a VERY popular destination for climbers all over the world and you often have to wait in line to get on a climb. But since I was after more of an outdoor experience I started climbing in the Adirondacks instead. The Adirondacks footed the bill quite nicely. But I still loved climbing at the gunks, I just learned to not expect an outdoors experience while there. I tried this theory with fishing the famous western rivers because there are just so many boats on the rivers and fisherman wading, that any sense solitude is gone. And while I wish that this wasn't the case, I can understand and deal with it. But if fly fisherman end up like climbing I wonder what the world will think of us when we get our first group of Vulgarians? Climbing used to be a sport defined by strictly controled clubs here in the states. To lead a climb with the Appies you would have to first get certified for that climb. the Vulgarians shunned this culture and have 101 antics against the Appies. Appies would climb in tweed suits and ties; Vulgarians would climb in the nude. Maybe I'm just trying prevent ever to having to see a nude fly fisherman but I hope that we, as fly fisherman can somehow learn not be a menance to one another on the rivers. Like I said before, if we don't govern ourselves, someone else will. bart
  25. I grew up hunting squirrels and have skinned/tanned many of them. I'm not any good at tanning, I just get the job done so they don't smell. I simply remove all the meat/fat and salt the hide, so they are VERY stiff and would not be good for zonkers. However, tanning is a good little trick to learn and your friends will love all the hides you give them to tye with. I've never used the products on cabelas web site, but becareful that you don't get a product that removes the hair. A simple but painful mistake. Some products help you make leather out of your skins. Let me know what you end up using and how it turns out. I'd love to be able to make soft skins.
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