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.

Fly Tying- More on Biots

today’s tying tutorial treat comes to us from Romania via buddy  Lucian Vasies, one of my favourite all-time trout-type fly tiers.

we’d previously seen a more-than-nice introduction to this great fly body material in What are biots ? and Lucian’s just-out article comes in to seal the deal and help you get the most from these feather parts. here’s a few extracts:

-when you strip the barb from the stem of the feather you will notice that the structure is not symmetrical. The base is transparent and the upper part is more opaque. Also you’ll see a small gap at the base . This gap is a reference for us in tying process.
step-5-flytying.ro-how-looks-closer-a-biot-by-Lucian-Vasies

The opposite part of the gap is not so transparent and in section has a “T” shape. The barb has a small fin/burr. This fin will provide you a very nice segmentation and you can see it in the photo bellow between arrows:”
step-5-flytying.ro-the-T-side-of-biot-by-Lucian-Vasies

and here are a few results on the different ways to use biots. need i say more ?

step-8-flytying.ro-wide-steps-Lucian-Vasies

step-9-flytying.ro-slim-body-Lucian-Vasies
well, yes because i can’t help it… as noted in the article and easily seen and demonstrated in the images above is one of the biot’s fantastic properties: its translucency.
be sure to keep that in mind and use it to its full advantage by strategically selecting an appropriately toned thread or other material under-wrap to reflect light through the wound biot. in the examples above the underbody used was white thread but the possibilities are endless. if you really want the colours to ‘pop’ you could always lay a base of flashabou or similar mirrory-like material and  conversely, you can always tone down and dull or subtly change the biot’s colour by again selecting a primary thread base colour to let it show through the biot. here’s a colour wheel chart to help you mix and match. as we see on the chart, if we have a yellow biot placed over a blue underbody we’ll have a greenish/olive result. 

’nuff said ! click either pic for the complete article. enjoy !

Tying a Troutline Catgut Biothread Nymph

these little beauties from Lucian Vasies are the chocolate covered marshmallow-filled fish candy hot dogs of the nymph world, some of the handful of freshwater fly patterns that fit in the “If a fish won’t take them flies they don’t deserve to be caught… “ category and better yet, they’re a super-easy and super-fast pattern to tie. hard to beat on all levels, aye ?
micro-french-nymphs-for-trout-and-grayling-tied-with-troutline-catgut-biothread

“The Micro Nymph tied bellow with Catgut Biothread is a fly used in East Europe for his realistic look and for “easy to be tied” fact. A fly like this is efficient for his generic aspect and can be considered a search type of pattern. In fact this pattern is tied with body made of different types of threads but catgut gives a special look . The translucency is very unique and gives a realistic aspect to all flies ( nymphs or emergers ) tied with this fantastic material.”
step-4body-of-nymph-tied-with-troutline-catgut-biothread

click either pic for the complete step-by-step and HERE to source Biothread.
bon appétit , enjoy !

Fly Tying Videos- a Catgut Caddis Pupae

remember these catgut lovelies ?
catgut nymph
catgut nymph Lucian Vasies close-up

well, today’s a fly tying double-celebration day !

firstly, it’s Lucian Vasies‘ first video tying tutorial (congrats mate !)
and secondly (well, it ties in with the first point so its not really a a firstly/secondly thing but it sounds good ?..) anyhow, here’s how to tie this oh-too-yummy-to-resist caddis pupa starring über-cool and realistic catgut/biothread that you can get directly from Lucian here.

tip: catgut needs to be soaked in water for 10 or so minutes before tying. since it dries up when stored, this makes it soft and flexible and very easy to wrap around the hook shank. plus, we get to see exactly how the fly will look when it’s wet and fishing: transluco bug-sexy !

btw, in case you’re wondering, this is what an aubergine looks like.
(some might call it an eggplant) Aubergine

Dirty Dusting with a new dubbing

dirty duster 3 m.fauvet:tlchaving received some yummy new, just-out Emerger Dubbing from Lucian Vasies at Troutline the other day i thought i’d give it a try on a simple, hardcore classic, Bob Wyatt’s Dirty Duster generic emerger pattern.

in typical form, when i photographed the resultant flies i got carried away by the beauty of these hackles and completely forgot to clearly photograph the abdomen part so, this dubbing thing will have to be a two part affair…
but ! just for info, it’s lovely, comes in five colours, has very small flashy bits to it and its a dream to roll on the thread !
dirty duster 1 m.fauvet:tlc
Bob trims the lower half of the wound hackle (as in the top pic) but on some flies i like to leave a few fibres and bend them back with fine tweezers to represent legs flopping about under the surface. sometimes another trigger point to get the fish’s attention doesn’t hurt, besides it’s pretty.

tip- with this pattern it’s important to apply floatant only to the ‘winged’ hackle and wet the abdomen and legs with saliva or whatever goo to make sure they’re under the surface as soon as the fly lands on the water.

Catch & Release the funny way.

sent in by Lucian Vasies at troutline.ro from a recent fishing trip in Italy, this has to be my all-time favourite c&r selfie ever !

“I tried to make a photo and the camera was set at 3 sec. So in that time interval I was able only to fall down and not to make that classic photo with a big smile and my trout in my arms… “

Lucian Vasies c&r

here’s hoping we get to see many more images like this my friend !

Darth Nympher

darth nympher 1 m.fauvet:tlc

alright, the name’s complete dork but i couldn’t help it…

made with-
love
hook- Demmon DGS 900 BL #16
bead- black brass 2mm
thread- Veevus 8/0 black 
rib- Veevus Monofil 0,20mm black
thorax- Buggy Dubbing black

some parts of the rib shifted from its segmentation symmetry when the retracting varnish i applied dried but that’s ok. Darth wasn’t perfect either.

Coq de Leon Pardo Colour Chart

as a follow up to Lucian Vasies‘ first introduction to the various types of Coq de Leon feathers: Indio and Pardo, todays focus is on the different types and colour schemes of Pardo feathers. almost too pretty to use…

Pardo Corzuno Crudo
Image

Pardo Corzuno Claro
Image

Pardo Corzuno Medio
Image

Pardo Corzuno Oscuro
Image

Pardo Corzuno Rojito
Image

Pardo Flor de Escoba
Image

Pardo Flor de Escoba sin Penca
Image

Pardo Tostado
Image

Pardo Sarrioso
Image

Pardo Rubion
Image

Pardo Aconchado
Image

you’ll find a fine selection of these feathers and all sorts of tying goodies at Lucian’s online shop troutline logo

don’t hesitate to contact him at office@troutline.ro for any special requests

Increasing the Visibility of Dry Flies

most tiers don’t know this super-easy and super-efective tip so here goes.
as Lucian Vasies points out:
“A simple and very efficient method to increase the visibility for small CDC dry flies tied on #16-22 : adding a small bunch of white CDC barbs in front of the wing.
In certain cases I use yellow or pink instead of white, especially at sunset when the light and the shadows become metallic.”

this great tip has a double purpose: hatching insect wings may have colour tones, mostly striations but they’re mostly transparent so, what i also like about this method is when seen from below (always pretend you’re a fish !), the white ‘veil’ behind the main wing brings out the whole wing’s translucency: a realistic visual effect to the whole ensemble instead of an unnatural stark silhouette.

as suggested above, if we want to add different coloured veils to increase visibility in say, low-light conditions or when fishing a heavily-bubbled flow we can judiciously plan the wing colours to compliment each other.
it’s well worth the small effort and the fish will thank you for it.

one
2two
3

three !

4

click either image for the full step by step tutorial, enjoy !

Lucian’s G – Nymph

by Lucian Vasies

my, that’s a pretty G !

G Nymph 1

i’d probably start blushing if asked which exact mayflies nymphs have gills like these,
contrasting-nymph-1but i have a hard time blushing  so it’s enough to say that some bugs have them and some bugs don’t. however,  these lovely G Flies most certainly have them and for the moment, that’s about all that matters. i guess.
todays step-by-step is a silent one and i like that. it makes us have to visually anchor the tying process by paying attention to all the little details and maybe best of all, transcends all languages. with demonstrations like this there’s no need for words. thanks Lucian.

G Nymph 2

can’t get enough…G Nymph 3

click either image for the complete step by step and materials list. enjoy !

limbo|ˈlimbō|- (or seductive undulating and alternative uses of foam in fly design)

noun
1 the abode of ‘unbaptized’  nymphs, and of the just who died or are about to before hatching.
2  a voluntary uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an induced intermediate state or condition or indecision of water level beingness: the fate of these insects is now in limbo: neither floating nor sinking, just ‘there’.
• a state of neglect or oblivion: cast out and allowed to reside in a state of piscatorial limboness.

'Limbo' TLC 11-7-13

ORIGIN late Middle French ‘Limbes’: from the medieval Latin phrase in limbo, from limbus ‘hem, border, intermediate, limbo.
’limbo 2 |ˈlimbō|noun ( pl. limbos )
verb [ no obj. ]
to fish in such a way.

ORIGIN 2: back to the foam part.
in a roundabout way, it’s pretty simple to make a fly float or sink. create an ensemble of floating/floatant holding materials in a sufficient volume and it should easily stay on top through fast and slow waters and maybe even after catching a few fish if the materials aren’t too slime-absorbant.
invert those basics and if need be add some actual weight and it’ll sink towards the bottom easily.
now, what about when we’re faced with fish that are greedily eating bugs just under the surface and are completely ignoring any fly presented above or below them ?
a pretty standard  technique in this situation is to control fly depth through the use of various types of fly line densities (or various density sink-tips) but that involves retrieving the line in stillwaters or having the line ‘swing’ in currents. that’s all fine and well but sometimes (often… ) that’s too much movement as far as the fish are concerned. a lot of observations in many water types have shown that they can be lazy bastards at times and will only be interested in bugs that are basically stationary: close to their slimy mouths…

enter the Limbo (or any other pattern that can be relied to hover as much as possible before eventually sinking): and here’s where the foam and ultra-soft materials come in.
closed-cell foam is usually considered a sure-fire floating material but depending on its volume and whether its compressed or not changes that common characteristic to one that also helps a fly stay under the surface yet sink as slowly as possible: the closest thing we can get to actual hovering.
less of a problem in faster waters, in a still or slow water situation, if we use ‘standard’ materials such as cock hackle or even pheasant tail fibers for the tail and some stiffish dubbing say, like a lot of non-water-absorbing synthetics or seal’s fur we end up with a stationary and pretty rigid imitation. replace those stiffish materials with the soft, water absorbing materials like very soft hen hackle for the tail and rabbit underfur combined with no more than a dozen hare ear guard hairs to represent a few legs and other straggly emerging bits and now we have an imitation of a bug that’s stationary yet moving a little bit as if it’s still alive or gently undulating with the current in its death.
this gets the lazy bastard’s attention.

this fly’s general profile is pretty  generic so that leaves us a lot of room to adjust the basic construction ideas to match the various bugs of our waters. the trick here compared to the standard float or sinking fly is finding the exact balance between the floating and sinking elements without forgetting how it has to combine with the hook’s weight or some eventual pull from the leader.
this takes some experimenting. expect to come up with a lot of duds and stripping the hook to start all over again before finding the ‘just right’. i test each one at home before fishing them. it’s one of the better uses of bidets there is.
also keep in mind that everything usually changes when going up or down a hook size or hook shape or from one type of insect to another. to be honest, this has been the toughest challenge i’ve ever encountered in fly tying but then, there aren’t a whole lot of times when ‘cracking the code’ feels this good when all else fails.

you can find all the necessary goodies to make these critters and a lot more from Lucian Vasies at TroutLine.ro

Related articles

More Cat Gut !

we’ve already seen the yummymagicalyamazingful results cat gut* can give on caddis and mayfly nymphs by Lucian Vasies and today’s hot-off-the-vise video is from Davie McPhail tying his own version of a caddis larva using the same cat gut from Lucian’s online shop troutline.ro
enjoy !

i can imagine stocks will go out quite fast.

* once again:  no need to worry, no pussy was turned inside-out to supply us with this ultra-cool tying material ! it’s something like gross sheep or lab rats or something… :mrgreen:

related articles

an ugly fly for an ugly fish

if ever there was a friggin’ ugly and stupid looking fish, this is it.
uglylipsgrayling

grayling  (Thymallus thymallus):  their flaccid, distorted, insecure ‘Angelina‘ lips and biology class dead frog expressions are the disgrace of the animal world.
often referred to as “The Lady of the Streams” by what must be myopic, sexually repressed, football or hockey-on-tv-watching anglers, we’ll note that this expression is a horrible insult to women of all kinds.  i’d gladly sucker-punch the ******** who came up with the term and greatly incourage you to do the same next time you hear those despicable words.

these things often live in pods where there can be hundreds of them scrounging around meaninglessly right around your feet. once found, the hardest challenge for the angler is to avoid stepping on them while wading. once hooked, they fight like they look: like a flip-flopping one-legged sheep with butt cancer and to make things worse…  just like vampires, a lot of these creepy things don’t even show up on film leaving the impression that the whole thing was just a bad dream  !

no grayling

anyhow, a lot of us live in areas where trout fishing is closed during their reproductive season and we’re left to resort to  this soggy species if we want to fish in rivers so, as pitiful as these creatures may be they still need to eat and to trick them we’ll often need to resort to ‘flie’s that match their looks, personalities and lack of  taste.
along the same lines as a Happy-Meal placed in front of a pimply kid, this strange, unnatural and otherwise all-around offensive ‘discodildo on a hook’ wakes up these stupid fish’s appetites and gets them to open their disgusting mouths long enough to set the hook.
this fly-thing is very heavy and it’s not really safe to cast. it’s lobbed Euro-Nymphing style through fast and deep pools and holes and we dredge the bottom where these horrid fish hide in shame waiting for something ugly to be swept downstream into their gross mouths.
the line/leader  is tight and takes are usually lacking in subtlety so all we have to do is lift the rod and slide the slimy thing to the net, slip out the ‘fly’ and let it go back where it belongs. job done, next.

disco-dildo (a grayling fly)

made with-
no love whatsoever but a deep sense of desperation mingled with an overwhelming urge to offend any dry-fly purist i might meet on the water.

hook– Partridge “pre-leaded for ugly fish, grub style” #12.
flatten out the round body with pliers so it doesn’t look like a jumbo hotdog when finished.
be sure to sharpen the points as they’re pre-dulled at the factory.
under thread – anything white and cheap, it’s just to make a nice smooth discodildo shape that will be covered by:
abdomen‘ –  Glitter Thread chose the color to match your own tastes, these fish are too dumb to see the difference
head–  Demmon Hot Spot Thread in orange. they’re attracted to orange and considering there’s no orange food available to them naturally, this makes perfect sense.

i’m always fond of saying that “any fish is a good fish”, except for grayling…

a floating spider

greatly inspired by Lucian Vasies’ yummy ‘the Italian Job’, here’s a first (for me) combination of a somewhat traditional North Country style Spider  generic emerger pattern with a cdc floating wing puff to keep the main part of the fly stuck in the surface film. the puff also serves to keep an eye on the fly to detect the very gentle takes that often happen when fishing these types of flies in very calm waters or lakes. the scrufy-fluffy body combined with the hen hackle give a strong impression of life and in this case, of an insect struggling to break through the surface film.

floating spider

made with:
love
hook- Partridge vintage Captain Hamilton barbless #18
thread- Veevus 14/0 brown
abdomen- a cdc mix of fiery red and brown in a dubbing loop
hackle- Whiting Brahma hen, natural brown wound behind and in front of the cdc wing
wing puff- cdc natural

you’ll find most materials used and a lot more at Lucian’s online shop TroutLine

the Italian job.

by Lucian Vasies

what a quirky name for such a cool fly ! :mrgreen:

italian-job 1
devised for inciting winter grayling in the crystal-clear waters of Eastern Europe, this simple yet ingenious generic pattern is bound to be a real success anywhere, particularly on calmer waters, tricky flat sections of rivers and lakes.

i love the one-turn hen hackle legs and antennae and the thin, silk-only body reminiscent of North Country Spiders while being a floating fly. you got it, just the CDC wing will be above the water and the rest will be stuck in the surface film: an emerger stuck in and out, a particularly vulnerable moment in an aquatic bug’s (ex) life…  irresistible !   italian job 2

click either pic for Lucian’s step by step and materials list, enjoy !

cat guts

no need to worry, no pussy was turned inside-out to supply us with this ultra-cool tying material !
“Catgut is tough cord made from the intestines of certain animals, particularly sheep, and used for surgical ligatures and sutures, for the strings of violins and related instruments, and for the strings of tennis rackets and archery bows.”

translucent and as life-like as it gets, sold as a little tube that’s tied in and wrapped around the hook shank,

as in some other things, the real magic happens when it gets wet !

click the pics to get to Lucian’s great step-by-steps, you’ll find catgut here. enjoy !

 

Super Long Hairs

a fly tying material review from Lucian Vasies

” At the beginning I was skeptical about the density of the fibers. They didn’t seem to be enough. I admit that I was used to working with cactus chenille and other synthetic chenille that are denser. After I started using it I liked the fact that the material is fixed on a thin core and the fibers are arranged mainly just on one side so that they can be worked very easily during tying.

I tied a few shrimps and realized that the density of the fibers is exactly what it need to be: dense enough to give volume and sparse enough to allow it to move well in water. The core of the material lays down well giving making an excellent body. “

hard to disagree, huh ?


full review HERE

to show this product’s versatility a little more, here’s two Gum Drop mini-streamer baby fish imitations i tied a while back with the same Super Long Hairs. along with the other aspects mentioned above i particularly appreciate it’s transparency, further enhancing the realistic appearance of many imitations.

‘clear’

and disgusting pink’
pink gum drop

you’ll find Super Long Hair and other great tying materials at Lucian’s online shop troutline.com

Hello Kitty flies

both they go: up, up, up to the Sky

and down, down, down to the graylings.

why any fish would want to put something so ungodly and unnatural in their mouths is beyond me but one thing’s for sure, these campy fish love these pink fluffy candy-like things !

– Hello Mary by Soasig Chamaillard

– Luscious Pink-Puffs by Lucian Vasies

sorry for the offensive links but pink really gets to me in a bad way… :mrgreen:

Agostino Midge Emerger

by Lucian Vasies

looks Juicy, huh ? click the pic for Lucian’s great step-by-step. enjoy !

” Here is a step by step about how to tie a midge emerger using Agostino Roncallo style.
Agostino is a great Italian fly tyier who published a few beautiful fly tying books and many articles. ”

Materials:
Hooks: D910 Daiichi #14-18
Thread: 17/0 Uni
first Body: Puf CDC
Second Body: peacock barbs and grizzly hackle
Wing: Grey Dun Wing CDC

i’m in love with Another.

‘Another Mayfly Nymph’ by Lucian Vasies

“It is a great nymph for the beginning of the season.”
pretty humble to say the least…

southern hemisphere friends, you might want to tie a few for the weeks to come.

click the pic for the materials list and step-by-step. enjoy !

Peacock Quill and How to use it.

by Lucian Vasies

WoW ! here’s a real gem with virtually everything we need to know about peacock quills, how to prepare and use them. thanks Lucian !

” When talking about peacock quill everyone thinks about the stripped barbs of the feathers from the peacock’s tail. Everyone expects it to be wide, nicely colored, gradually from white to dark grey, with a glossy look as if it were waxed. The peacock quill is used because it imitates very good the abdominal part of the dry flies and emergers.
The problem is that a quill of high quality can’t be found anywhere in the feather but only in the area of the eye of the feather. Even so, good feathers are from peacocks older than 5 years. The young ones have thinner feathers and the quill is not so brightly colored.
You can see in the pictures below how to get this quill easily “

go from this-

to this-
 by following just a few easy steps. enjoy !

click on either pic to access the complete tutorial.

be sure to check out Lucian’s online shop troutline.ro for a great selection of fly tying materials, barbless hooks and all sorts of fly fishing goodies.
you’ll find fast and friendly service and all at the best prices.

M-Fly part III

i’ve been getting a lot of mails asking about the tying details and Lucian was kind enough to share the step by step of this lovely fly so here it is for all.

what i realize now and explains why i wasn’t happy with the wing on my first tie is-
i was using the feather tip with the stem like on an F-fly.
a much easier, better and neater result  is achieved by pulling off the appropriate amount of fibers and tying them in, one color after the other. this also means less feather waste and the ability to chose exactly the fibers we want on just about any feather as opposed to searching for ‘the perfect tip’.
neater as well because nipping off the fiber tips with the thumb nail to get the right shape and length is a lot nicer looking without the feather stem.
yet another advantage is, without the stem the wing collapses completely while casting which prevents dreaded/sucky fly/leader twist. (it springs back to it’s initial shape after the energy of the cast has dissipated)

back to the bench for me, thanks again Lucian !

access the sbs by clicking the pic. enjoy !

M-Fly continued

ok, here’s my first try at tying this sweet-sweet M-Fly  bug designed by Lucian Vasies at Troutline.ro
interesting how it turned out to be more of a midge emerger than a mayfly… but i guess that just shows the pattern’s polyvalence (or rather, underlines my incompetence), all it takes is tweaking it a bit and playing with proportions and color schemes and the same general idea will imitate several species of bugs. cool.

first is a soft-focus, desaturated image that really reveals the midge silhouette.

and a more detailed image of the same fly.

it turns out i was way off the mark in guessing the extended body’s material, it’s just plain and simple Micro-Chenille. since light olive is the only color i have right now, the rest of the fly’s color scheme went towards various olive tones.

made with:
love
hook- Maruto C46W barbless #16
thread- UTC 70 ‘warm olive’
extended body- Micro-Chenille light olive
thorax- from back to front: Mad Rabbit (hare mask) dubbing medium olive then dark grey ending with black seal’s fur
wing- two natural color cdc tips as the underwing, one light olive tip on top to merge with and change the tone of the underwing and increase visibility