Isonychia-ing

Isonychia Emerger from Matt Grobert  via Tightline Productions

Isonychia… cool name.

torn somewhere between the desire to go fish these critters in their home waters and lavishly repeating that word in some lovely redhead’s ear, i guess for today we’ll (well, i’ll… ) have to just enjoy this creature and tying video from afar.

Primarily an East coast, Midwest (US) insect, this rather handsome emerging ‘Slate Drake’ pattern is simply awesome by it’s simplicity, sturdiness and general profile. in a sense, a mayfly is a mayfly is a mayfly and as such, by changing colors and sizes, the basic pattern will make an all-over all-around great emerger for any waters.

as always, the Mat Grobert/Tim Flagler team make an excellent tutorial displaying excellent technique and know-how well worth paying special attention to.

 ” Their nymphs are among of the fastest-swimming mayflies in the world. They can power their way through fast riffles with ease, and their imitations should be fished with fast twitches.

They are unique among mayflies in that they have extra tuft-shaped gills at the base of their fore legs, a structure normally found in stoneflies. ”

images and nymph quote from TroutNut.com. be sure to click either pic for more info on this sexy bug. enjoy !

Fly Tying- a CDC indicator Caddis and the difference between Croupion and Cul

Marc Petitjean didn’t invent Croupion De Canard* feathers nor was he the first to use them to tie flies but when it comes to this particular material he’s one of if not the best in the field so getting the chance to watch and hear Marc demonstrate one of his patterns is not only a treat but an enriching experience. be sure to pay attention to all the details as this pattern encompasses just about every cdc technique there is. enjoy !

* contrary to popular usage, CDC actually means Croupion De Canard which translates from french as Duck Rump, the not very specific region where these feathers are located whether it be duck, goose or other waterfowl.
the more popular moniker of the first C, Cul is the vulgar translation of butt or arse (think old school here. let’s say the word wouldn’t have been pronounced on tv until the 70’s or 80’s) and while those two bird parts aren’t very far from each other and even if butts tend to be nice generally speaking, waterfowl butts are rather inexistant and mostly consist of a hole that isn’t very exciting to say the least… and while its function is secretion, its nothing that would help any feather float.

where the more common Cul comes in (that was a fun thought), is when Henri Bresson, a long ago dead frenchman created a pattern using the very same feathers and made a slightly vulgar play on words when giving it its name. somehow that name stuck even if the very vast majority of fly anglers around the world have never heard of Bresson or that particular fly pattern. funnier still, is there’s no available image or tying description of his fly, only written stories so, for all we know it all might have been a dream.

sorry to be so anal but this butt stuff makes it fitting…

Two flies for Friday

just sent in by buddy Trevor Hayman, a Large Dark Olive spinner – Baetis rhodani
“Quite a few of these around on the (Southern England) chalk streams right now.”

Trevor Haymen Large Dark Olive spinner

this kind of ultra-lovely bug image gets me going in a good way. i wish i was on those chalkstreams right now but that’ll have to wait till next month so, to get in the mood i immediately went to the local café, ordered a double espresso and got to work on making a few somewhat dark olive imitations for the trip. i’m feeling really positive about this one !

friday's candy fly m.fauvet-TLC 6-6-16

thanks again Trevor !

Fly Tying- a Quick and lovely Olive

robert strahl green drake

for a first tying video, this doozy by Robert Strahl is well, a doozy and one hell of a nice start !  those of us that follow Robert’s work through Facebook are well aware that he’s an exceptional tier, i can’t wait to see further videos.

for most, this pattern will probably be way too mussy and fussy and as far as actual fishing flies go i’d mostly agree, but that don’t matter ’cause its pretty and pretty is non-fattening eye candy plus there’s more than a few tying techniques to pick up along the way that the creative tier can benefit from. its all good, enjoy !

Fly Tying- a Long Hackled Secret

why ‘secret’ ? well, to start with, this usually reserved for wet fly method of hackling a dry fly is anything but common.

in its finished all-in-one-step legs and wing aspect it closely resembles the layed-back wing and prickly legs/head results one would get with deer hair but without all the fuss and muss plus, generic cock hackle fibres are softer than genetic fibres and a lot less stiff than any deer hair, giving a more life-like movement to those very same fibres while still keeping the pattern afloat. who knows, the softer fibres might also result in less spit-outs compared to the probably unnatural extra-crunchiness of stiffish deer hair but that’s more of a guess than a rule.

long hackled dry D.McPhail

secondly, besides the ingenuousness of the hacking method is Davie McPhail’s enthusiasm about this pattern. after studying what, several hundreds of his tying tutorials with many of them shared here on TLC , apart from the excellence of each one, the common denominator -and i don’t mean this in the slightest derogatory way- is Davie’s droning voice and while his voice is still the same here there’s a certain held-back excitement when he describes this pattern’s merits that i haven’t noticed in any of his other tutorials and that’s telling me that this little secret tie is really special, has been held back long enough and is now ready to be shared with all. thanks Davie.

originally created as a Bibio/Hawthorn/St. Mark’s fly –Bibio Pomonae– imitation, its more than obvious that a little tweaking here and there with different colour schemes and in different sizes will make this pattern an equally effective imitation for a whole lot of other terrestrial species and even aquatic-born sedges. Bibios ‘thighs’ are a very distinctive red, thus the red wool but that same wool can easily be nipped off waterside if need be.

at first glance, this isn’t the most impressive looking fly out there but it’s designed to catch fish, not anglers.  enjoy !

March and its Surrealist standard

as tradition would have it, i sat down to tie some much-needed deep-down nymphs, carefully selected all the necessary goodies, bead-heads and other assorted non-floaty materials and went off to make some coffee before starting the assembly process.

'standard' march brown m.fauvet-TLC 5-3-16_edit_edit

once back, all that water-absorbing crap got pushed out of the way, the caffeine blasting long-ago recollections of André Breton’s writings in a random cortex…

“The aim was to resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality”

his definition of the Surrealist Revolution movement-

Dictionary: Surrealism,

n. Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or in the craft of fly tying, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.

Encyclopedia: Surrealism.

Philosophy. Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought. It tends to ruin once and for all other psychic mechanisms and to substitute itself for them in solving all the principal problems of life.

all that maybe meaning that this guy’s strung-out subconscious decided that since my dry fly boxes are overabundantly filled in the real world, the dreamy side of things, the one that can’t count flies nor boxes nor reason with reason and thinks soft watches are cool just went ahead, took over, blanked the brain better than any mind-numbing substance could ever do and a dozen or so of my standard March Brown dries size 16 where there waiting for me when my fingers stopped twitching and my eyes opened. a fair amount of drool gently puddling excess materials further proved the “solving all the principal problems of life” part above because wet excess materials don’t fly all about the house and are easily collected and binned.

i’m quite certain that Breton’s arrogance would never have admitted fly tying to be a worthy expression of his beloved revolution/movement but that’s his loss. among other displays of numptiness he was more than happy to vehemently proclaim that music was shit which, even if that’s correct to a certain extent with regards to rap, pop and country music, those musical forms didn’t even exist back then and it’s a stupid thing to say even if it probably felt good to say at the time.

for those interested in the more materialistic aspect of this pattern,

made with:

subconscious love and several juicy materials from my buddy Lucian Vasies at troutline.ro

hook- Maruto D82 BL

thread- Veevus 12/0 brown

tail- Coq de Leon Pardo Rihnon

abdomen- Mad Rabbit (Romanian hare mask)

thorax/wings- Ultra Dense CDC fibres in a dubbing loop, wound with the fibres teased upwards at each turn. be sure to give the bottom a nice Brazilian to keep the imitation flat on the surface and treat the whole thing with Loon Lochsa, the stuff’s awesome.

its a really good-all-purpose mayfly imitation that’s done me good for many years. its my standard.

a Griffith’s Gnat variant

here’s a seriously interesting emerger offshoot of the infamous G-Gnat.
created by Blue Ribbon Flies and demonstrated by Tim Flagler at MidCurrent, this little bug should do the do and do it well anywhere there’s teeny-tiny midges coming off and dancing about the surface. this one’s in size 20 but the basic idea in various tones and sizes to match your local bugs are sure to raise some trouty interest.
maybe its just me as it took me a little while to figure out the G-Gnat component in this pattern but fly names are fly names and its always good to respectfully attach a variant to its original, and said component happens to be: a very volume-reduced few turns of grizzly hackle over a short peacock herl thorax. those few turns are good enough for me and i’m positive, more than enough for a hungry fish. enjoy !

Fly Tying- The Klippies en Kolgaans

most of the tying videos i share here are about the whats (flies) and how-tos (techniques),

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but this little doozie from South Africa’s pride and joy, Fanie Visagie (a.k.a Gordon Van Der Spuy) is more about the how or rather…  give a totally nutter yet completely lovable guy a vice, tools, video cameras and some exotic fluff and see how he manages to put them all together in his own very particular style and in other words, this is a real treat. enjoy !

Eat Sleep Fish’s Happy Birthday Dun !

ESF 4th b-day

48 issues and 4 years old today !

that’s really big and a wonderful example of perseverence and passion resulting in a simple, good-natured, non-advertising, no glits and glam, always great to read fly fishing ezine.

in a way, Eat Sleep Fish has the feel of your local newspaper but with contributors from around the world and that’s why i like it so much. it’s a combined effort of peers just like you and me and not the same-old hotshots over and over again.

saying how much i enjoy reading a magazine without having adverts shoved down my throat might sound like i’m ranting about most other ezines (all?) but birthday’s aren’t about ranting, they’re about yummy celebrations and what’s better than chocolate cake ? well, nothing. or rather, chocolate cake with a big scoop of chocolate ice-cream on top ! but neither Pete Tyjas who runs ESF nor i can slip you a slice via the web so let’s just slurp down Warren McCarty’s non-fatteneing #20 Olive Dun instead but first you’ll need to tie some up and here’s how to do it.

take special note of steps 10 & 11. i’d never seen this method before and its really special.

click either pic to access the birthday issue and HERE for an archive of all previous issues. enjoy !


#20 Olive Dun Step by Step by Warren McCarthy

“A smaller than average dry fly this month and one which takes inspiration from the dedicated ‘small fly’ websites. Although a size 20 is hardly small compared with the miniscule flies some tie it certainly is as small as I need to go for almost all my fishing. I love all the materials used in this pattern, the natural materials and colours produce a fly which to me, looks and feels right both in and out of the water.

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I have been tying duns with quill bodies and long split tails for a while, my patterns having the popular CDC wing with a hackle. But once I started to drop out of my comfort zone into a #20 and even smaller I started to use a thorax/hackle that I had come across whilst reading Andy Baird’s excellent ‘small fly funk’ website. Andy used a mole fur thorax with his hackle in his ‘generic olive’, which when I tried looked great. By doing away with the wing the tie was simplified. Less materials equalled less turns of thread and therefore less bulk, essential in smaller flies.

The extented tail is without doubt a trigger point, much has been written on the subject and I for one have been converted to the silhouette this type of pattern creates.

1_24

Material choice is especially important to me with with this pattern.

The hook is always down to personal preference but to me the Partridge hook is a ‘proper’ size 20. I also go a bit smaller with the Tiemco 103bl #21. But I have to confess to using the Flytying Boutique dry fly light hook (which is essentially the same as the Tiemco but cheaper) more and more these days.

Although a #20 is by no means miniscule, the size still creates problems with the tricky tail and making sure there is no excessive thread build up throughout the tie. The excellent veevus thread has great strength for its diameter which certainly helps.

Yes I am afraid it’s another fly with a Polish quill body, but I’m quite honestly struggling to find anything that looks as good in this sort of ‘natural’ pattern.

I find most capes have a fair few tiny hackles at the base which are fine for a #20. Finally, not much to be said about the mole fur except don’t overdo it.

Materials

Hook – Partridge SLD #20 or Flytying Boutique Dry Fly Light #20

Thread – Veevus 16/0 AO5 Olive

Tail – Tan Microfibbets

Body – Polish Quill Yellow

Thorax – Mole Fur

Hackle – Cock Cape – Brown

Tying

1. Vice up your hook and catch in the thread.

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2. Carefully wind down the shank with touching turns until in line with the point.

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3. Now carefully separate two microfibbets and lay together so as the tips align and then lay on the shank leaving the tail at least twice the length of the hook shank. Carefully catch in the microfibbets with your thread and wind down until just short of the bend. Make sure the microfibbets remain on top of the shank.

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4. Follow the same procedure to split the tails as described in detail in my June ESF article ‘Olive Variant’

With the waste trimmed and covered the thread should be left just short of the eye.

5. Wind the thread back down to the bend where the microfibbets split. Select a quill and carefully catch in, then wind your thread back up covering the waste quill finish three quarters of the way up the shank and trim off waste quill.

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6. Now using your hackle pliers carefully wind your quill up the shank to form the body, tie off three quarters of the way up the shank leaving enough space for your hackle.I now use a couple of whip finishes to hold the body in place for varnishing. DO NOT cut the thread.

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7. The quill, as always, needs varnish to offer protection and to bring out the colours. For such a small body I use a sewing needle to apply a very fine coat of ‘Hard As Nails’.

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8. While the varnish is drying select a small hackle. Take a bit of time and care: the individual fibres should be, if possible, no longer than the length of the body.

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9. Catch in the hackle with the stem towards the bend, give a couple of turns of thread then trim off waste. Continue to wind the thread up to the body covering the waste and tidying up.

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Catch in.

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Trim waste and tidy up.

10. Wind on three or four turns of hackle snug against the body catch in with one or two turns of thread.

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11. Now dub on a tiny amount of mole fur (I apply a tiny amount of wax). Carefully wind the dubbed thread in between the hackle fibres leave thread at eye ensuring and spare dubbing is removed.

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Lightly dub.

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Wind the remaining hackle back through the previous wound hackle/mole dubbing foundation towards the hook eye.

12. Push back hackle and whip finish.

Trim thread and apply varnish with a sewing needle.

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13. I like to give the hackle a haircut and trim off underneath to ensure the fly sits well in the water.

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The finished fly

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Look out for these:

Take time to ensure the tail microfibbets sit on top of the shank and split with a nice wide ‘v shape’.

Although easier said than done with a small body, try to ensure the quill body still has the definition showing the black edges.

As mentioned before do not overdo the mole fur dubbing.

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Summary

To me the most important part of the fly is the long split tail; it helps the fly sit well in the water and definitely acts as a trigger point as mentioned before. Although not a ‘classic’ technique I like running the dubbed thread through the hackle, it splays the fibres out giving an uneven finish. And when trimmed underneath the hackle takes on a ‘hedgehog’ effect.

Although I have made reference to the small fly websites, this fly is by no means the ‘work of art’ type patterns seen on these sites. Their creations go down to staggering #28, #30 and even smaller. The thread I use and no doubt the tying technique would be over the top for these tiny masterpieces.

However it is still fun to tie and more importantly, fish with, whilst being a step in the right direction of even smaller creations. After tying a few, a #16 seems enormous.

Now where did I leave the box of #26 !!!!”

Fly Tying- The Angler’s Curse

personally and generally speaking, i think that trying to match a hatch is about as much of a pain in the a** curse as i can stand and that’s why non-specific generalist patterns always get my preference but wait ! that doesn’t have much to do with today’s just-out and great tying tutorial by Matthew Pate, sorry… 😆

so… these cursed things have a name; caenis, and even if they’re still in the same Ephemeroptera order, they’re not in the same family as tricos but it doesn’t really matter in practical terms because the pattern below will be just effective in imitating either one. yup, it’s a two-for-one imitation and that should make it interesting for a lot of anglers around the globe.
these bugs are size 18 and below teeny-tiny and when tying teeny-tiny flies there isn’t a whole lot of room for minute and mostly completely unnecessary detail so the idea is to stick to the essentials and there’s three things common to both caenis and tricos: short, stumpy wings, slender abdomens and loooong tails.

tying-wise, it’s a straight, simple no-fuss pattern with two main ingredients: Pardo fibres for the tail and Aero wing for the… wing.
you can make the same pattern with substitute materials but given the fly’s size and more importantly, lack of material volume, it might have a hard time staying on the surface. as a reminder, Aero wing has hollow fibres and Pardo tends to be just a little stiffer than regular cock hackle fibres. both of those details tend to mean better floatation over a longer period.
as for the heron herl and how hard or even illegal it might be to procure, you’ll probably have to substitute for something else but don’t fret as any other bird’s fibre will do the job and so will fine dubbing.

nuff’ said. here’s the tutorial, enjoy !

Tim’s Little Black Stone

by Tim Flagler via TightLineVideo

hard to think of a nicer, simpler, great surface footprinted, Wonder-Winged, low-riding adult stonefly pattern.
harder yet to think of anything else i could add to what looks like the end-all stonefly imitation except for… enjoy !

ps- well ok, just one thing. try not to crowd the hook eye so much with excess materials when you’re tying your own… 😆

Dry Fly Fishing in Theory and Practice

dryflyfishing cover halfordanother doozy from the infamous “Detached Badger of “The Field” *,  Frederic Michael Halford, first printed in 1889 via openlibrary.org

while all of us in the Northern Hemisphere are secretly hating all those that aren’t, impatiently waiting for open waters and better days… here’s a more than amusing and informative and oh boy, once again reminder that while certain details have changed through fly fishing history, the bigger picture hasn’t evolved that much.

a few tidbits-

reels

rod action

changing

rod length
and if those don’t get your interest, this one on rod-holding ‘butt spears’ should do the trick.

butt spears

click either text/image to access the complete 400 or so page book. its well worth the read, besides, well, its well worth the read.
the guy sure had a lot to say about everything one might want to know and then more. enjoy !

* please don’t ask. i have no idea and i really don’t want to know.

Fly Tying- Herman’s Roy-style Reversed Parachute micro caddis

Herman as in deGala and Roy as in Christie !

i of course don’t mean any disrespect as i really like this video and Herman’s demeanour but ! apart from the bright green egg sack, to be honest, i can’t for the life of me see this fly as anything caddisy… but (again) ! lets have a closer look at this fly’s other component, one we can easily transfer over to countless other dry/emerger/floating nymph patterns; the Christie-style Parachute hackling method.

no style is an end-all but this one really stands out from the crowd on several levels, most notably by its ‘puffed-up in a ball’ fibre positions but also overall strength and resistance to fish teeth and other abrasions.
more ‘traditional’ hackling around the hook shank has the fibres oriented vertically when the fly is resting at the surface whereas others where the hackle is wound on a post such as the Klinkhammer or Christie styles have them horizontally, parallel to the water’s surface.
generally speaking, vertical fibres will have only their tips in contact with the water’s surface, thus the fly’s body is suspended above the surface whereas horizontal fibres are splayed out on the water. the latter leaves a bigger imprint on the surface but also does a better job at suspending what’s beneath it, in this case, the fly’s body or ‘floating nymph’ as it where.

as to it’s sturdiness, what makes this one so close to the proverbial bullet-proofness is that the hackle stem is enclosed within the nylon loop. should one segment be torn, the rest still hold their place, something traditionally wound hackles can’t claim. one little nick and the fly needs to be changed.
i don’t loose a lot of flies so how they hold up through time is important. (i’m also very lazy when it comes to tying sessions, or rather, it’s hard for me to actually start tying flies. once i’ve started i can’t stop and it’s not like flies are precious but i just don’t know when i’ll feel like tying again so the ones that have hatched are expected to last. i’ve digressed enough….) anyhow !

a while back we’d already seen Roy’s Reverse Parachute step-by-step and complete video tutorial and while Herman’s version isn’t a night and day variant, something about it makes the whole nylon post and hackling method seem simpler, something that should be of great interest for the person wanting to learn and try out this hackling method.

my guess is the ‘simpler’ part might have to do with using a Gallows tool to hold the nylon post vertically and tight whereas Roy does without. i’ve been tying mine for years without the tool and it of course works very well but i’ll give it a try soon as i suspect it makes winding the hackle easier and more importantly, easier to keep the winds compacted close to the hook before tightening the loop.
in a pinch, you can make a little metal hook from a paper clip and attach that to a rubber band, the lot suspended from your tying light or have someone hold the nylon post while you wind the hackle. it only takes a few seconds, plus its a good way to put your partner/spouse/sexdwarf/roommate/butler or whomever’s handy to good use… ummmm, enjoy !

some previously seen yums. i loves yums !

thoughts on fly tying and art

Art Led Me to Fly Fishing by Cheech at Fly Fish Food

gotta love the colder months. people are inspired enough to take the time to dish out some real gems and here’s yet another.

“We didn’t have guns to shoot, ATVs to ride, or animals to feed. I really was fueled by sports, mainly soccer, through my younger years but I always had access and drive to create art. In about 5th grade I realized that I couldn’t draw anything that was realistic, so I’d draw and create caricatures and abstract stuff (like the flyfishfood logo) that would freak out my teachers. I guess the sculpture of a figure in a hooded robe with his mouth sewn shut was the kicker for her… ”
Art Mascots Cheech FlyFishFood

and it gets groovier and groovier from thereon.

click the moustache for the whole bit and be sure to dig through the Fly Fish Food site for tons of awesome reggae-inspired flies. enjoy !

Floating Flies and How to Dress Them

by Fredric M. Halford 1886 via Thefishingmuseum.org

halford 1

cold, depressed by closed rivers and the oncoming xmas onslaught ? here’s a little something that should distract you for at least a little while. regular readers will already know of my lack of affection for this Halford character but that doesn’t mean that he was all bad. the book is after all a classic and well worth the read, specially at work or hidden away in a back room during family festivities.

halford 2

see ? anyone that says grayling are silly can’t be all bad. click either image to access the complete online book. enjoy !

Tim’s Asher

fresh off the vice and video editor comes another great tying tutorial by Tim Flagler.

immediately recognised as being in the Griffith’s Gnat family, this tiny coloured variant is yet another go-to pattern to have in the box. Tim’s tie has an orange body but you can easily use whatever colour that matches your local bugs.
as an example, just yesterday there was a midge hatch here at home that had lovely yellowish lime-green bodies and this pattern would have done the trick more than fine, i’m more than certain.

as simplistic a tie as it may seem, these types of patterns are hardcore fish attractors. 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 !

Black Beaver and Cock

‘A fly no angler should be without is a small black midge. Summer or winter you will always find them on the water, and so will Mr. Trout.
The beauty of midge patterns is that they don’t need to be complicated, a bit of dubbing and a hackle is all that’s needed.
Stick one on anytime you can’t see what the fish are taking, chances are it’ll work.’

black beaver & cock

and i couldn’t agree more with Dennis Shaw. these sweet little simple to tie and unpretentious things do good and do good really good.
at first it might seem like a spider but it isn’t. the cock hackle keeps this pattern in the surface film with the body/hook-bend hanging down and the whole thing’s appearance when fished looks similar to an open umbrella in the same manner as emerging midges do when trying to break through the water’s surface tension.

the bug above is on a straight shank size 20 hook but on bigger patterns i’ve found great success using light wire grub style hooks. when sitting in the film, real midges are are twisting and turning so i guess the curved hook reproduces this profile a little more realistically. with teeny-tiny hooks my thought is the hook bend itself reproduces this curved body but then, once again, that’s just a guess.

a very sweet and just as effective just-under-the-surface variant to Denis’s Black Midge would be to replace the cock hackle by just a turn and a half of hen hackle and fish this spider on a degreased dropper attached to the bend of the hook of the dry. a double treat !

click the image above for the materials list and complete sbs on UKFlyDressing and be sure to check out their homepage for hundreds of other groovy flies. enjoy !

as a reminder, Dennis Shaw is the author of the seminal A Complete Dubbing Techniques Tutorial. if you haven’t seen this yet you’re in for a real and unique treat.

Roy’s Flat Spent Mayfly Spinner

yet another lovely-lovely bug and step-by-step by Roy Christie

flatspentspinner R. Christie

“This is another cabin-fever fly, the result of sitting down with a notepad, drawing what we want the trout to see; then building it in a useable form.
This and many of my other working flies come from this process.
Concept flies may eventually become working reality.
This fly will always land gently, right side up and can be easily presented on a sunk tippet.
Build it from materials chosen to match your local fall of spinners.
The fly is built on a curved hook of your choosing, which is cranked about twenty degrees toward the tyer, a quarter way back from the eye. It is dressed round the bend to get the tails to support the weight of the hook shank over the greatest possible area, so it can be dressed sparsely.”
very astute thoughts there showing us what creative and effective fly design is all about: studying the naturals, the prey, how the imitation should ‘behave’ upon presentation and do its job of enticing that prey.
a fly designed to catch fish, not inspired by what other tiers have done but one inspired by trout.

to access the step-by-step and learn how to tie this little cutie click the image.
for more of Roy’s flies previously posted on the Cobra click here. enjoy !

the CDC Bubble Sedge

cdc bubble sedge d. mcphail
here’s a fine example of a must-have trout fly. just like Frank Sawyer’s Pheasant Tail Nymph, in the sense that the basic design is just about the only style of nymph one would ever need, the CDC Bubble Sedge has everything an adult caddis imitation should have: shape, colour, proportions, a sense of transparency, buoyant in just the right way and lively, life-resembling materials all with the added bonus of being simple to tie.
just like the PTN, tie these in different sizes and eventually in different colour tones with maybe a touch of green or orange at the butt to imitate the female’s egg sack to match the local bugs and you can’t go wrong. enjoy !

Trout Fly Design: The Avon Special step by step

you may remember this little Avon Special beauty from a while back: one of Roy Christie’s signature upside-down, reversed mayfly emerger patterns.
avonspecialat the time we where treated to a lovely article based on this fly’s particular design and even though i still have a few that Roy had personally tied and offered me, what was sorely missing was a step-by-step but it turns out that there is one so, here goes my friends.
note that this emerger pattern sits on the surface film by only the hackle, the wing is used as a sighter for the fisher while the rest of the body is submerged, hook shank and eye angled down at a 45° angle. as such, apply floatant only to the hackle and wing and wet the abdomen to help it go subsurface on the first presentation. don’t forget to degrease the tippet !

avon14click either image for the complete sbs on FlyAnglers Online. enjoy !
avon22

giffed flies for giffed fish.

some nice little gifts for us from The Watershed

tumblr_n4ycr5eDJk1taq0qwo1_1280tumblr_n4yc4kMRGF1taq0qwo1_1280this should come in handy when we’re in one of those
‘can’t figure out what fly to use for whatever that species is’ moods.

drying off flies with a rubber band

funny how this old trick is old-hat in some parts of the world and unheard of in others. this great tip’s for the latter.
simple and inexpensive as can be, all you need is a rubber band or two to dry off a water soaked dry fly in just a few seconds and that’s it, no paper towels, drying patch or dumb chemicals.
image002 and here’s how to do it. the video’s in spanish but if you don’t understand a word it’s ok, there really isn’t all that much to understand.
great for any material, this is a real bonus for cdc flies. no more of this ‘once and away‘ stuff !
– a single or double rubber band is attached to your vest-chest-pack-shirt-whatever
– if the fly just caught a fish clean it well in the water to remove any residual fish slime
– place the hook at the end of the band
– hold the leader 20 or so cm from the fly and just hold the band and tippet tight without excessive pulling
– pluck the band several times till all the water flies off (the guy in the video goes a little ‘excessive’ here, most of the time 3-4-5 plucks does the trick)
– resume fishing
– simples !

side note- rubber bands usually don’t last long when exposed to uv rays so you might wanna add a spare in your kit.

here’s a fancified band made of silicone with a wire snap at one end so it easily holds the smallest of flies. shrink tube ends keep it slim and out of the way.
(i know, i can’t help it… )
dry fly rubber band m.fauvet:tlc
EDIT-  Michael from Berlin asked for a bit more info on how to make the D-Lux ‘Pimp my Rubber’ Drying Band (and it just got a fancy name at the same time !), here’s a few close-ups, materials list and a brief description on how to put it together.

rubber band 2
– the band itself is a high-heat tolerant silicone band found in the cooking department at a local shop. why anyone would want to cook food with a rubber band is beyond me but the gadget-freak within me screamed “buy it ! its bound to be good for something fly fishing related !”
once again, this isn’t really necessary because standard household rubber bands work very well and they basically cost nothing. lets just say the gadget-freak told me to do it…

– a small snap used to quickly attach lures for spin/baitcast fishing is what holds the hook. the reason i added this is since the silicone band is relatively thick, very small flies wouldn’t go around the band easily. this clip in turn makes the devise suitable for flies of all sizes from the biggest to size 32. with the latter, we’ll want to take it easy on the plucking considering the breaking strength of tippets used for tiny flies.

– a small cut length of shrink tube fitted over covers the bottom and ‘snaggy’ part of the clip but its mostly there to squash down the end of the band to take up less overall space as the band forms a full-size ‘O’ without the ends being pinched. a quick little pass under a lighter flame does the trick.

– put another little piece of shrink tube at the other end, heat it and add an attachment clip of your choice and you’re ready for some fly plucking !
rubber band 1

Catskill style flies- the Red Quill

by Tightline Productions tied by Matt Grobert

Art Flick’s old standard just doesn’t get old. it’s elegant, as effective as ever, straightforward to tie (just be sure to get the proportions right !), comprised solely of feathers and as an interesting-quirky feature, was devised to represent the Ephemerella subvaria (Hendrickson) male.
the TroutNut link tells us: “There are significant differences between the males and females in both size and color, and anglers should be prepared to match either one” but unfortunately doesn’t tell us what those differences are… however, once in the imago stage, these mayflies tend to drift for quite a long time before flying off and that’s what makes this ‘old-style high-riding’ fly interesting, specially for those of us who tend to favour emerging imitations over the completed imago.
nuff said, this as-ever great video by Tim Flagler shows in great detail how to get this fly just right. i hope you’ll enjoy.

a little love

‘Harrop-style cripple on a TMC 101 #18 by David Stenström

sure, we see very small and much smaller flies all the time but it’s not every day we get to see one that has all the very same elements and proportions as a much bigger fly so successfully condensed to this size. i can’t think of a trout water on earth where this little cutie wouldn’t do wonders…

a little love

for more of David’s super-sweet treats be sure to click the pic.