Jump to content
Fly Tying


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by kschu

  1. I find myself using quite a bit of Marabou lately. I've started tying Marabou Leeches (cause I don't have any bunny strip materials). The first fly I really learned (as in tied at least a dozen of them) was a Woolly Bugger pattern. That also uses Marabou. My latest craze is a Damselfly with a marabou tail, bead chain eyes. a cactus chennile body and darlon as a sort of wing case. Anyway, I was wondering where Marabou comes from. I know it is a feather, but from what bird? I doubt that knowing this will make me a better tier, but I am curious. I was reading articles on another site and found an article in their "Tips" section on Marabou. It does not answer the question of their source. However, some of you may find it helpful in getting the most out of each feather. More later, Ken S.
  2. I'm thinking along the same lines as Mark. You can't do anything to change the fish. Nobody would want to turn down the chance to catch full pound sunfish. Perhaps you need to re-inforce your flies. I have found that Prince Nymphs are some of my best flies for the bluegill and green sunfish in my area. The problem is after you catch 50, the biot that was tied in as a wing starts getting bent out of shape. These fish almost engulf flies like this and when one has to use forceps to reach in and retrieve the fly, the feathers (or hackle, or dubbing) can only be manipulated so many times before the fly looks worse than worn out. I find that I ruin more flies retrieving them than any fish has ever damaged the fly with their tiny teeth. Things to remember are over-wraping with a light wire ribbing builds body strength. Make sure you wrap a good head on all flies and add that drop of head cement to hold it all together. I'm sure others who have been tying longer than I will offer other suggestions. More later, Ken S.
  3. Hey Mark, That is a nice looking fly box. I hope to try my hand at tying a foam/sponge spider in the next few weeks. I have never tied any sort of popper. Now Streamers, those I can do. I like to use the spiders for locateing the fish on the pond at work. This 14" smallmouth took the spider right near the shore. You can still see the spider in the corner of the fishes mouth. Oh and this picture was taken in August 2003. Once I found this one, I started having some real fun. I've not had much luck with Topwater yet this year. Lots of rain has really muddied the waters. We've had two cold fronts in the last week and severe weather tonight. We had an awesome light show in last night's thunderstorm. My friend Jamie is doing well with his topwater Zara Puppy. My co-worker Jim and I have had more luck on large nymphs and smaller streamers so far. More later, Ken S.
  4. I had already tried that. I learned that trick years ago when I used to work for an Internet Service Provider. It was not working on the Internet Explorer browswer at home last night. This morning I have accessed the site using a Mozilla browser on the Linux system on my desktop at work. It is showing the animated graphic listing 7th place. Just in case anyone did not pick this up already. I HATE anything to do with MicroSoft. Thanks Will Ken S.
  5. kschu


    One thing you have to say about this site is that it is very entertaining. Sulfer Love. Wasn't that a song by the Captain and what's her name. (I remember her name, I just can't spell it ) More later, Ken S.
  6. I'm thinking it has something to do with the way the image is cached in one's web browser. On my computer it still lists the site as 12th place. Who cares what the graphic says. We all know this is the number one site anywhere. More later, Ken S.
  7. QUOTE (steeldrifter @ May 20 2004, 10:52 PM) Not bad at all .......for a bass fisherman Keep it up we'll make a troutnut out of you yet bud! Oh, the abuse we Smallmouth fisherman have to put up with. That is a very good looking fly. Will, you did not specifically say. Are you going to be throwing these tiny flies at Trout or at Smallies? Just because it is a small fly does not mean it can't catch a big fish. When I first read your posting, I assumed you were using the small flies to try and catch Smallies. Did I miss something. Have you gone over to the Dark side? Or should I say "Rainbow side" or "Brown side" or "Brookie side"? More later, Ken S.
  8. So if we are up to number 7, why does that little animated graphic at the bottom of this and other pages say we are number 12. Maybe it is just a stupid picture. Ken S.
  9. You asked for it, you get it. Visit the Scientific Anglers Fly Boxes website for all the details. I use their Fly Filing System to store the flies that I tie on my bench. I have one of the small System Fly Boxes which you can put different inserts into. It holds two of the inserts. They make Streamer inserts as well as multi-row "MicroSlit" inserts for storing different sizes of flies. I also have one of their System Fly File boxes that holds six of the inserts. They also have the line of Waterproof fly boxes that were mentioned earlier in this thread. One of the top items on my birthday wish list is the 12 row Waterproof Box. This box has six rows on each side of the box. It is designed for flies ranging from size #4 to #18 and can hold up to 282 flies. It also has the capacity for you to add an insert into a slot in the center of the box. I would like to add a seven row divider which is made for fly sizes #8 to #22. Once I get that big Waterproof box, I'll use the smaller System Fly Box with the Streamer inserts for the woolly buggers, clousers, mudlers and poppers. FYI, they also make the Filing Boxes with the Waterproof case. My trout loving fly fishing buddy at work (Jim) has at least two of these Waterproof boxes. He has the ones made for much smaller flies that I often use. He has densely packed rows of drys, nymphs and everything. And he has tied most of these himself. He also fishes the local ponds where we work and does better than I do catching Smallies on Bunny Leaches, Clousers, Woolly buggers and so on. If I did this right, you should find a picture of the Waterproof Streamer box at the end of this posting. It is not real clear in the picture, but it has six rows of long "MicroSlit" slots that you can put a streamer hook into. These things work very nicely. More later, Ken S.
  10. First, they are doing road construction (imagine that in Chicago ) in NE Indiana. Yes, you can take the Skyway to avoid I80/I94, but there are a lot of other folks trying that right now as well. Check one of the Chicago Traffic web sites before deciding for a trip around the bottom of the big lake. I live in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. As a matter of fact, my house is on the street that marks the dividing line between North and South addresses in suburban Chicago. I am 26 miles STRAIGHT west of the loop. Having said that, I know the western burbs and DuPage county much better than Lake county up to the north. You mentioned that you are looking for fly fishing in particular. You might try to get out to the western side of Lake county and visit the Fox River. It is near flood stage right now with all the rain we have had. They have had even more in Southern Wisc. which of course flows down to fill our portion of the river. The Smallmouth are just comming off the spawn right now. I fish the Fox further south, between Geneva and Aurora mostly. It ain't called Lake county for nothing. There is also lots of fishing choices in the Fox Chain of Lakes as well. Every other town out on that side of the county has its very own lake. The chain is NW from Vernon Hills. Use IL Rt 83 North to get you close. There is a Bass Pro Shops store up in the Gurnee Mills Outlet mall. It is a bit further north from where you are or will be, right up I-94. I'm sure they can offer some other suggestions as well. My buddy and I caught three Muskie up on the Chain on June 19th 2001 (I'll never forget that date). The largest was 45". All were tagged and released. There is a picture of the big one on my web site. No, we were not using fly rods on that outing. If you have a bit of time and a car for some exploring, you might try the Kankakee River south of Chicago. You don't have to get into the construction traffic near Indiana to get there. The Kankakee is one of the very best Smallmouth fisheries you will find. Search out the web site for the Kankakee River State Park. All my trout loving fly fishing friends can't say enough about the trout fishing in SW Wisc., the Coulee region in particular. I still have not tried this myself, but hope to before this summer is out. I don't know if you are into Charter boat fishing. I hear the fishing on "the big lake" (Lake Michigan) is really good. No one has left me money that I could afford such an outing myself. Although I did recently learn that one of the charter boat captains is a member of a club I am in. I have a friend at church who takes two boatloads of his best clients out each year for Lake Trout. If I can answer any other questions, post them here or drop me a PM. Check my web site for a bit more info on fishing in the western burbs. There is a great fly shop up on the North side of Chicago called Trout and Grouse. My local fly shop (Fly & Field) in Glen Ellyn is owned by the same folks that own Trout and Grouse. More later, Ken S.
  11. I really like the Columbia shirts. I got the long sleeve which I can button up with the built in tabs. The shirts I have are very well ventilated in the back. There are plenty of pockets and there are reinforced holes for pinning a zinger onto the pocket without makeing more and more holes in the fabric. The thing that caught my eye when I was shopping was the idea of an SPF 30 protection. When I spend as much time on the water as I do, I need every trick available to keep from getting burned. I wear a wide brimmed hat and long sleves (except in the harshest of heat). I've also got the SPF 30 quick dry long pants that I can wear when I am in the mood to (and water where it is safe to) wet wade. And the pants zip off into shorts as well. OH and SpentWing mentioned Gander Mountain. That is where I got my Colombia shirts, on sale last summer. More later, Ken S.
  12. I have to agree with SD here. Your wading boots should be one, or two, sizes larger than your street shoes. I wear a size 11 shoe. I have the SIMMs Ultra-Light stockingfoot waders. I don't remember if the size is just XL or XXL. When I bought my wading boots, I got a size 13. They work very well for me. If the boot was any smaller, I have no idea how I would get my feet, with those Neoprene socks, into the boots. More later, Ken S.
  13. I fish mostly nymphs. In my home waters, I can catch so many different kinds of fish on the nymphs. The first fly I learned to tie was a Woolly Bugger, but for having tied so many of those (and clousers), I've caught many more fish on my nymphs. It amazes me when I do throw a bugger or a clouser and the bluegill will attack the thing. Some of these bluegill could be that clouser's big brother. There is no way these gills could ever get the whole bugger or clouser in its little mouth, but that never stops them from trying. I must say that I do really enjoy throwing sponge spiders. I've caught all sorts of fish on them. I get Crappie, Bluegill, Greenies (green sunfish) and bass on those rubber legged weapons. And there is a special satisfaction when they suck that spider off the surface. With the nymph's it is so much more like fishing with soft plastics. You pull the bait through the water and try to feel for the tug on the other end. At least with the spider, you can tell when something is "attacking". More later, Ken S.
  14. That's right, there is a mirror in it. And I do recall George (or was it Kyle) dropping a fly in there and having me look at the mirror to see what it looked like from below. I just assumed that George came up with this thing himself. I hope to visit the store on Saturday. I need more beads for bead head nymphs. I'll try to remember to bring my son's digital camera. I'll get a photo of this box, with the CDC fly still floating I'm sure. I'll also try to get photos of some of the awesome bass bugs that Kyle tied recently. It is remarkable (to me anyway) how talented this young man is. He'll be going off to college this fall and the fly shop won't be the same without him. More later, Ken S.
  15. I sure that others have seen a similar display. At my fly shop, they have a small clear cube filled half full with water. Many weeks ago (6+ maybe), George tossed in several dry flies and put the lid on the box. The fly made with CDC is still floating. The others are soaked and have sunk to the bottom of the cube. I've not tied with it yet, but this is my first year of serious tying and I'm still working on other patterns and have not done anything that would use CDC yet. Ken S.
  16. QUOTE (PoPnBuG @ May 19 2004, 09:01 AM) When I got my traveler, I found tying the clouser a bit "pointy" when tying on the "bent arm". It isn't really the best hook position for clousers. I found the point getting in the way frequently. I bit the proverbial bullet, and bought the arm and jaws for tying clousers, and I'm glad I did. I can do a lot of tying on the straight arm, and usually don't have to switch back. So, IMHO, the clouser arm is worth the price. ... and I love my traveler, too! I would not have thought to describe tying clousers as "Pointy", but I do know exactly what you mean. It is a good description. Not only does the hook point get in the way of materials you are wrapping, but the first few Clousers I tied, I kept nicking my fingers on the point. I'm glad to hear that you think the Clouser arm is worth it. I have been to the Renzetti web site and checked out the options. It looks like this is going to cost more than I first thought. It comes down to "switching" between arms. How difficult or awkward is it to switch the arms. I did ask my dealer about this when I stopped in his shop recently. His recommendation is to simply buy a second vise. I did not ask him to demonstrate "switching" arms, but from what I understand, it appears you are changing the whole rotational collar and everything. Perhaps I am better off with the second vise. Although that does mean I will wait even longer before I make this move. Ken S.
  17. So this was an interesting collection of information. The one thing missing was that while I (and probably others) recognized many of the names for some of these knots, I could not picture them. Therefore, I could not tie them or try them. So, I have researched some of those mentioned here to find the following links: The Duncan Loop (aka. Uni-Knot) or Uni-Knot System Improved Clinch Knot "Standard" Clinch Knot Palomar Knot Non-slip Mono Loop Pitzen Turle Knot (aka. Turtle knot) Tie-Fast lets me tie very neat Gryp Knots Yes, I know the "Figure Eight" knot was mentioned, but all I found was this site by a wire manufacturer. The other sites mentioning this knot were boy scout sites that were not talking about fishing applications of the knot. Anyone want to post some details on this one? Hope everyone finds this collection of links helpful. Many are worth exploring for info on other knots and fishing related tips. I could say that I have too much time on my hands, but as you can see by the time this was posted, I just stayed up too late running knots through the Yahoo! search engine. I hope I don't fall asleep at the 6:30 AM bible study tomorrow morning. No wait, that's this morning. (There is no "Smily" face showing a yawn). Good night, Ken S.
  18. I think the idea of wearing "Sweats" under waders needs a little note attached. If you wear breathable waders, you want to wear something under them which provides a wicking effect. When I bought my first pair of Breathables, my dealer made a big point of telling me not to wear my blue jeans under these waders. He explained that the cotton fabric of blue jeans will hold twice its own weight in water. Most of my "sweats" are the type that absorb and hold water. I mentioned the long legged bicycle pants I have. They are designed to wick the water away from my skin. The water can then evaporate from the outside. These actually work very well under the breathable waders. I also found a great deal on two different thicknesses of a wicking fabric long johns. These are great and provide some added warmth when wading in cold water. More later, Ken S.
  19. Love my St Croix 4 pc 8 ft 4 wt Imperial Rod. I asked at my fly shop about 2 pc vs 4 pc and George said that technology has come a long way and that today's many piece rods are just as functional as those with fewer pieces. I find the convience of being able to fit the 4 pc (in the case) in the back end of my Subaru just too good to pass up. I do have an older 2 pc 6 wt and I bought a case for it. That case also fits in the back of the car, but only if I fit it in corner to corner over everything else I have in there. My next rod will be a 4 pc 9 ft 8 wt Imperial. More later, Ken S.
  20. kschu


    QUOTE (SmallieHunter @ May 15 2004, 10:11 AM) Started tying less than a year ago. I had so many questions and I wasn't happy with most of the fly tying communities out there so I had the idea to start my own. And we are all so glad that you did, start your own that is. I started just last year. Tied nothing but Woolly buggers and clousers for the first year. This year I took a class (4 Saturday mornings in a row) and I've also attended several of the informal Thursday night tying sessions at the local fly shop. I love fly tying. This really is a great site. More later, Ken S. P.S. Yeah, that's me. So far the oldest guy in this poll.
  21. QUOTE (dontheo @ May 13 2004, 05:28 PM) When one speaks of a rotary vise, are they referring to the vise rotating 360 degrees for inspection, or are you talking about actually winding on to the fly with the head rotating. My vise rotates, but I use it to check out the opposite side and often for cleaning up a few loose hairs. Ted, For me, rotary means that one can rotate the fly around the axis of the hook. I use this to roll the hook over and over while applying the body, wether it is a dubbing loop or chennile. Once you have someone demonstrate this to you, it makes all good sense. It is not for everyone. I do not believe it makes a significant difference in how fast I can tye a fly. I do think that my flies come out with a better looking body when I use the rotary then if I wrap a length of chennile around and around a stationary hook. There is a section on FlyAngler's Online called Tying Tips. There was one posted by Steven H. McGarthwaite called "What Does a Rotary Vise Really Do?". It is a short discussion well worth the read. In the 2003 Buyers Guide issue from "Fly Fish America" offered an article called "Buyers Guide to Rotary Vises". This link is to a PDF file (you need Adobe to view it). Regretably, they got all their advertisements into the PDF along with the article. There is not a whole lot of meat to the article, but you may find it helpful. I've seen some rotary vises that include a book or video specifically on how to use the rotary features. I have not reviewed any of those. Since all of the guys at my fly shop use a rotary vise, I would rather talk to them then watch a video or read a book. Hope this helps. More later, Ken S.
  22. Ted, I am very happy with the pedistal stand. My experiance with the Thompson was my only use of a C-clamp vise. I did not like the way the vise was right up at the edge of the table. I also felt somewhat restricted in that I had to work in an area where I could clamp to the table I was at. I am also a ham radio operator and I typically do my tying down in my ham shack. That space has the best lighting in the house. I built the bench/table before I had tried fly tying. There is no where on that bench to clamp a vise. I have not had any problems with the pedistal being unstable. Well, I did learn that one does not want to put anything like a newspaper down to protect your work surface and then set the pedistal on that. The little rubber feet on the pedistal work best when they are directly on the table surface. I use the pedistal in the ham shack, at the kitchen table (nice light through the patio doors) and I've taken it in to my office and the fly shop. I know one other fly tyer at work and he and I have booked a conferance room over the lunch hour and tied flies together. It's fun and we have even had others stop by to watch what we are doing. When I tie down at the local fly shop, I have seen other tiers use clamp and pedistal. I was talking with Eric (the new guy working at the shop) just yesterday. He prefers the clamp and said he likes that it puts the vise right up at the edge. Guess that must just be a matter of taste. Kyle ties lots of bass bugs and I can see the advantage of the clamp for him since he is often pulling hard on thread while spinning hair. I was taught how to spin hair on a muddler minnow. My pedistal mount worked fine for me and I was able to spin hair nicely. Well, as nicely as one can on your first spun hair fly. More later, Ken S. P.S. The materials arrived fine and I am quite pleased with this, my first Ebay purchase. Thanks.
  23. We've had a few other topics lately that have discussed choice of vise. In a recent discussion thread called "Dyna-King Professional" I explained how I came to own the Renzetti Traveler. I won't repeat all that here. The Traveler Series Vise came with their "Bent Shaft design" arm. While this is wonderful for most of the ties I do, I have found it awkward at best for tying Clousers. Before I got the rotary, I would remove the hook form the vise and re-mount it upside down to tie the second batch of bucktail to the "underside" of the hook. I figured that with a rotary, I'd simply roll the fly over. But with this bent shaft, it is very awkward to try to tie to the "underside" with the hook clamp sticking up on the bent shaft. Renzetti offers an accessory called their Clouser Minnow Arms . This is basically a straight arm which holds the hook clamp horizontal even when one turns the fly over. They even sell a Clouser Traveler Vise that comes with this straight arm instead of the bent one. It looks like it would be ideal for tying clousers, or any other streamer type fly that has stuff tied top and bottom. It's just that I only know the Clouser pattern so far. Does anyone have experiance with this Renzetti feature? Has anyone tried this type arm in a store? I would appreciate any opinions on the question of wether or not this accessory is worthwhile. I have not yet talked to my own fly shop. I want to ask my local guru how much trouble it would be to switch between these two arms. It may be that not only the cost of this arm, but the hassle of switching arms make this unattractive. I mean I can still remount the hook after turning it over. More later, Ken S. P.S. You may notice from my postings, I crave knowledge. This board has been a tremendous source of good information. Keep it comming. All opinions would be appreciated.
  24. I used a Thompson vise for my first tying class in Jan 2003. It was a one day thing taught by the ISA. I joined the club when I signed up for that class. For the first year, I tied mostly Woolly Buggers and a few Clousers. This spring, I knew I was ready to get deeper into the tying. I signed up for a class through my local fly shop. It was Saturday mornings for four weeks. When I showed up the first week, I took out my Thompson. The store manager very politely suggested that I put it away and try my choice of several vises that they carry. I have to agree that there is a lot of value in trying a vise before you buy it. I tried two vises. I ended up buying the Renzetti Traveler. It is a full rotary vise on a pedistal mount. Three things made the difference for me. First I really like the way this vise holds the hook. It is easy to mount the hook and it just plain stays put. Second, I like the way the vise feels under my hands. I can rest my left hand on the vise while holding materials as I tie them in. It just felt so much better than the other vise I tried. The third factor was that this vise is a full rotary. By the end of this beginner level 4 week class, I had already learned several situations where I used and really saw value in the rotary capability. I have since learned several other patterns. When I went into the fly shop to ask for advice on how to improve my Woolly Worm pattern, the store owner looked at me and said "Ken, it is a rotary vise, use it". He showed me how to use the rotary while wrapping the chennile around the leaded hook. I now do this fly much fast, with a much cleaner look to the wraps. I also find that using the rotary has helped me waste less lead while weighting hooks. So there are two main points I'm trying to make. First, Try before you buy. It is very valuable time spent making an informed decision. Second is to try a full rotary, with someone who already uses a full rotary. That person will be able to really show you the value of this feature. Maybe the flies you tie would not benifit from a full rotary as much as what I tie, but you owe it to yourself to investigate this carefully before you make your decision. This is of course one man's opinion. YMMV (Your Milage May Vary). Having this quality vise has greatly enhanced not only my ability to tie nice flies, but also my enjoyment of tying them. More later, Ken S.
  25. kschu


    I would like to fish with our host, Will (aka. SmallieHunter). Even though I belong to the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance, I'm surprise how few fly rodding smallmouth fisherman I have come across. The ISA has a sub-group called the "BassBuggers" who do fly rodding, but in all the club outings I have attended, I've only seen one other fly rod. The one time I've met with a group of BassBuggers was in January for a fly tying "class". I would like to fish with Mark (aka. luvinbluegills). He and I have traded E-mails and we have some common interests. When I first got my 4 wt rod, I was fishing for Bluegills and Green Sunfish almost exclusively. Those fiesty little fish are what re-awakened my love of the fly rod (after not picking one up for over 16 years). Then I discovered some Smallmouth stealing my little nymphs in a pond at work. I still go after the little guys quite regularly, but the Smallmouth Bass has become my new favorite target fish. So far, I've only caught two trout on my fly rod in my life. Those were last summer on a trip to Wyoming, in the Wind River. I'd love to get up into SW Wisc. and try the spring creeks up there. I'm talking to a friend at work and the manager at my fly shop. Hopefully I can arrange a trip up there with one of them. I'm also hopeing to try Pike on the fly rod when I visit Hayward WI early in August this year. More later, Ken S.
  • Create New...