Tomorrow I am going to be in Denver at the 41st Annual West Denver Fly Tying Clinic. I've been privileged to be a part of this event for 8 or 9 years now and love going to see my old and new friends. I'll be tying some of my "secret" new patterns such as the Kryptonite Caddis and the Slim Shady series. If you have noticed, photos and instruction on these patterns are like Bigfoot photos.
I hope to see you there!! Info below. http://www.westdenvertu.org/event/fly-tying-clinic-february-11/
Once again, it's that time of the year when we all make the trek to Denver to attend The Fly Fishing Show. I'll be there again tying flies all three days. I'd love to have you stop by and say hi. I'll be tying some old patterns, some new patterns and some in between. Maybe it will be one of your favorites.
I'll also have a few Hopper Juan Tying kits for purchase.
As we return to the beginning of the new year, I want to thank you all for tuning in and for sticking with this blog. I also want to wish you the best for 2017. Its going to be great for all of us and let's take advantage of all that we can!
I am just going to put this out there for all of us. It doesn't matter what type of Simms products you buy us, just get us some Simms!! Even the socks are top notch and something special. On the upper end, a pair of waders is super nice and will last for several years. In between, there is a ton of items that can be purchased and enjoyed by your favorite angler. The shirts are cool, the nippers are cool, the packs and base layers are cool, the boots are cool and even the accessories are cool. So really, it doesn't matter what you get us, we will like it and be thankful for it. It's pretty easy. Thanks gift buyers!!
Lets start with a few MFC fly boxes. Recently they have released a series of really cool plastic fly boxes that have some awesome artwork on the covers. Every year they add to the selection and just this past year they added some state flags to the cover. Of most interest to us here in Colorado is the Colorado box. It's pretty cool and I have one sitting on my tying bench ready to get filled up. These boxes also accept an insert leaf that can double your storage. If you really need to stash a boatload of flies, you might want to get a boat box. These things can carry enough flies to open a fly shop. They are sold with different sized slits to hold appropriately sized flies. This too can accept a swing leaf to double your storage.
Tacky Fly Boxes are new to the scene but have made a huge impact. Perhaps one of the favorites, I am guessing most people own one, if not, they want one. With different sized options now, one or more will be appreciated. They hold flies the best and with a clear cover case, it's easy to see what you need even if you carry multiple boxes. I carry two or more of these with me on the river. One other item they produce is the Tacky Tube. I don't own one (HINT, HINT...) but I do want one. These tubes are designed to hold your flies, either used or some you throw in for a small creek expedition. The magnets are an added bonus to this cool little item.
There are plenty more fly boxes out there, but these are just two that I am familiar with. You can find these at most fly shops ready to be wrapped and placed under the tree. As you can see, there is a big difference between the two boxes. One with cool artwork and one with a clear, simple case. Either way, these are great gifts for the angler.
Every once in a while we stumble upon a tying material we knew was out there but never tried. I knew about Bramha Hen for a while before I tried it and finally realized that I had been missing out for a while. I generally use the hen saddle in various colors as well as the soft hackle with chickabou. The chickabou can be used for small buggers or wings on an RS2. If you tie a lot of flies with soft hacks tails, this is perfect. Think Gunkel's Radiation Baetis and Two-Bit Hookers. For legs on stoneflies, this again is perfect. Think legs on Pennington's D-Rib Goldenstone, or legs on a 20 Incher. At a price that is affordable, you're able to purchase multiple colors. So get this info over to someone so you can get one or two or three under the tree. Check with your local fly shop to see if they have them. Check out the colors here:http://whitingfarms.com/brahma-hackle/
Of all the options of reels out there, I choose to fish Lamson reels. Why? Because they work for me and many other people. I am especially fond of the workhorse Lamson Lightspeed. It's been a fine reel over the years and one I reach for as my personal reel. This year you can find them on discount as they are in the transition of updating the reel to a new model, the Micra 5. The higher priced reels are some of the lightest reels available and also some of the sweetest looking reels. The lower priced reels are just as solid as their more expensive brothers but a little more affordable. Either way, you will be getting a reel that is dependable, functional and durable. Most fly shops carry Lamson reels and they are certainly available online.
Deer Creek Diamond Fine and Diamond Fine Flex UV Resins
In the world of UV resins there can only be one. Only one that can be tack free. That one is the Deer Creek Diamond Fine UV resin. Sure there are several other options out there but I am only going to recommend this one. I've been using it for several years now and it does everything I need it to do. The hardest challenge it has passed is to drop it into my small tying trash basket next to my vise. It usually contains bits of thread, z-lon, deer hair and other bits that would stick to any tacky surface given the opportunity. The key to any UV resin though is to cure it completely. If your light is not powerful enough or the battery is low, you will have some issues. The best news for this resin is that it is now distributed by Hareline Dubbin, which means that it will probably be available in most fly shops from now on. Do yourself a favor and ask for some or get a bottle for a tying buddy. UV resins will change the way you tie flies and this UV resin is my personal favorite.
How many of you have and carry a first aid kit? How many of you know where to get one small enough to carry in your vest or pack? I know that this suggestion is not very exciting. You can't and really don't want to use it, but when it comes to a time when you have to use it, you will be glad you have one. This kit covers you in case of a small emergency on the stream or in the field. And since you probably won't buy this for yourself, pass this information along and maybe you will find it under the tree come Christmas morning. Take a look at conterra-inc.com, to purchase this kit. There is also a larger one available if needed for more coverage. I've been carrying a small first aid kit and have had to get into it several times this year and not just for bandaids. It's not a matter of if, but when you will need this kit. Make sure you are prepared!
I am sure a lot of you already own a pair of these awesome scissors. If not, you need to make sure that you let someone know that you need a pair for Christmas. For around $25.00 and available at most fly shops, it's a pretty affordable gift to either give or receive.
What make these scissors amazing is how sharp they are and how well they cut. If you are new to fly tying, increase your please with a pair of these. You will never go back to a different pair again. If you already own a pair, a new pair never hurts. Eventually we drop them on hardwood floors, cut wire with them accidentally or our kids use them for their school projects without permission. Whatever your status is, get a pair. You will not be disappointed.
On Day 2, I offered up an idea for a needle to pick out your knots. Today, I am going to one up it and offer up an even better idea. A nipper with a retractable needle to clean eyes and take out knots. Who would have thunk it? This is my favorite nipper and I haven't been without one for the last 4 years. At one time, these were all on backorder and unavailable. I thought I was going to freak out. Since then, I have stocked up and have several in my own back-stock. I think they are that important to have. I carry these on a Fishpond zinger on my waders so I have a pair of nippers and access to the needle at all times. If the nipper needle is too short and I need more length, I use the C&F Needle. The nippers are great and do exactly what I need them to do and that is cut 6x flour carbon tippet. Again, this is one item that I don't ever want to be without. And again, you might have to ask for them at the shop. Not every shop carries them. I find mine at Sportsman's Warehouse in C.S., but save some for me. I'll need some extras, just in case ya know.
Patagonia Tractor Boots.
If you or someone you know needs a little more traction in the river, you need to get a pair of these.
I don't own a pair of these yet, but I am going to get a pair. I have been able to spend several days in them this summer though on the South Platte River and the Arkansas River. If you fish the South Platte, these things are like putting football cleats on or maybe more like velcro. You are much more stable and safer with them. The only problem I had with them was in high water at Deckers. I slipped and fell in at 500CFS, but I don't blame my footing, I blame the fish I was trying to land and was chasing around and got pushed by the water. On the Arkansas River, these things really shine. It makes for a much better day all around. I was able to walk my clients through the rough water and give them a hand without worrying too much about slipping on the very slick boulders. Overall, these things fit well, and are completely durable. The bars will eventually wear out just like a pair of tires do, but I still think they are worth it. The price is steep ($279.00), but again, I feel that its very worth it to stay dry and safe. When you see me on the river next time, I am going to have a pair of these on. I hope you have them on too!