Fly Tying- Everything you’ve always wanted to know about Organza

Get your Ojo working by Nick Thomas via Eat Sleep Fish

Ojo 1
the title basically says it all. Nick’s most excellent and comprehensive tutorial includes preparation of the organza strips, Ojo 2to mixing different coloured strips, to detailed sbs’s of three different patterns with plenty of tips and tricks along the way, to ideas on combining this material with others, to etc, etc, etc.
this is Ojo’d Organzan bliss.

click either image to access the complete article on Pete Tyjas’ Eat Sleep Fish, one the nicest, most unpretentious online fly fishing mags there is. enjoy !
austin-powers-cocktail-glass-4900072

Craig’s Bottle Rockets

here’s a super-cool, fun and very effective fly casting exercise from Craig Buckbee

Have you ever thrown apples off the end of stick? well, neither have i, at least not until i started taking this fly casting thing seriously something like ten years ago. my childhood toys involved rocks, wrist-rocket slingshots, BB guns, bows & arrows and various types of fishing rods. all projectile-throwing activities but the apple on a stick thing just seemed a bit too Tom Sawyerish to even be considered at the time because it didn’t seem like a cool thing to do. looking back on it now, neglecting the apple thing might be why i struggled for so long getting my fly lines to do what i told them to do. who knows…

ready to start launching ? you’ll need rockets like these
bottle rocket 1
and they’ll be attached to your launcher like this
bottle rocket 2(snow is optional)

“At first, don’t think (or worry… ) about Casting the bottle – just place it over the end of the rod and simply throw it to an area out in front of you – not too far. Then, as you get warmed up, throw it a bit further . Don’t think about Smooth Acceleration or a Crisp Stop – just throw the damn thing out there.

Next step: Start to Think. Taking a cue from this, ease into the Key Position, the Ready Position: the starting place for the forward cast, where your arm and body should be to begin the stroke. Then, with your hand + arm easing forward and down, pick up speed – smoothly – as you drop your elbow. When your rod hand arrives inline with your view to the target allow (not force ! ) your wrist to hinge forward… just a bit”

this is really good stuff and definitely one to do with your little ones. i’m firmly convinced that the best way to learn or improve fly casting is through games and here’s definitely one to add to the list.

for the rest of Craig’s very comprehensive article click either pic or here, enjoy !

Fly Fishing History- The Dry Fly

via Dr. Andrew N Herd’s great A FlyFishing History

“The first mention of the dry fly in print is in the issue of The Field dated December 17th 1853. In an article by-lined “The Hampshire Fly Fisher” the writer says: “On the other hand, as far as fly fishing is concerned, fishing upstream, unless you are trying the Carshalton dodge and fishing with a dry fly, is very awkward.” Dry fly patterns certainly became commercially available around this time; the firm of Foster’s of Cheltenham selling dry flies with upright split wings as early as 1854. It is, however, unclear who actually developed the first dry fly, if any one man can be said to be the inventor. James Ogden, another Cheltenham tackle dealer, claimed to have been the first to use a dry fly, stating that he used dry patterns during the 1840’s.”

drymay

ok, it doesn’t take a brainiac to figure out that in order to catch surface feeding fish one needs to make a surface imitation however, this is where the whole journey becomes really interesting:

“One reason why the dry fly took so long to catch on was that it wasn’t very easy to fish it. The dry fly of the 1880’s had several glaring deficiencies. When cast, traditional dry flies frequently landed on their sides, or even upside down. Another problem was that the that flies became waterlogged and sank, often in fairly short order. Again, flies were most often tied to gut, which not only made bodies bulky but positively encouraged them to sink, a process which was speeded up by the tendency of silk lines to become waterlogged.

Another key development was the acceptance of the single-handed split-cane trout rod. The 1850s marked the beginning of the end of long double-handed trout rods, although they didn’t  totally fall from favour for at least another forty years. Apart from their length, the worst fault of these early and mid-nineteenth century rods was their excessive pliability. Six strip split-cane fly rods, which were stiff enough to false-cast a dry fly repeatedly, didn’t become cheap enough for general use until the 1880’s.

The term ‘false-casting’ wasn’t adopted immediately, although the technique was widely practised, and for many years after its invention, the process of drying a fly by false-casting was known as ‘spreading.’ The technique led to the development of stiffer rods with pliant tops that could generate the line speed necessary to perform the manoeuvre and had a far-reaching effect on the design of dry-fly rods. These were pioneering days, and one school of thought held that in the absence of paraffin flotants, it was necessary to ‘crack’ the fly at the end of every false-cast in order to dry it properly, a method known as ‘flicking’.” and very probably leading to several un-gentelmanly comments muttered under their breath…

fascinating indeed when we see that the creation of the dry fly was the roots that basically conditioned everything we can still consider to be contemporary fly fishing.

this is special. for the complete article click HERE. enjoy !

Davie’s Black Cricket

Davie McPhail’s been recently upgrading a lot of his youtube tying videos to HD and as we say here in the south of France:
‘zat’s f’n great’ !!!
so, to celebrate this high definition, on today’s menu we have a lovely and quite crunchy-munchy Black Cricket
Black Cricket

note that “It’s Bill Skilton’s Stretchy Foam that I used and not Thin Foam as I said in the video, sorry….” and as you’ll see in the video and even if it might not be the easiest thing to find, this particular foam is absolutely perfect for this type of patter. something worth hunting down.
otherwise here’s the recipe to make this too-cool bug.

Hook, size 10 dry fly
Thread, Uni 8/0 black
Tail, Dyed Black Turkey or Goose Biots
Body, Bill Skilton’s Stretchy Foam and Black Dubbing
Back, Bill Skilton’s Stretchy Foam
Legs, Dyed Black Turkey Biots and a Dyed Black Cock Hackle
Thorax Cover, Black Foam
Head, Black Dubbing
Horns, Dyed Black Pheasant Tail

and here’s the beast. enjoy !

on a personal note, the tier can certainly go and finish the fly just like Davie’s doing but apart from some long-stranded dubbing to tidy up the head at 8:40, i’d probably stop adding materials, whip finish and pull out the strands a bit to imitate the short front legs of the crunchy black beauty. either way its all good.