Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lonely Deckers, 05/30/09

Fished Deckers stretch of the S. Platte this evening. There is not a lot to write about. A few fish were caught and some lightning struck and rain fell. Caddis were out but I didn't see any fish rise. The water is up to around 535CFS, up from 100 CFS last week. The most interesting thing about this evening was the fact that there was no one on the water when I got there. I mean no one. Usually, you have to wait for a spot to fish. I got there and waited the lightning out and finally went down to fish. Two other hardware flinger showed up after the rain stopped and one of them hauled in a pig of a fish. Well over 20" and he kept it. Oh well, I guess. Other than them, there was nobody there!!!! From the big hill to the fence line it was all mine! Of course with the higher water, there was less area to fish but it was still good to be out. Fish were on caddis pupa. I fished a Graphic Caddis tonight and did ok.

Tan Graphic Caddis #16

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Barr Emerger using Flouro Fibre

Here is a simple modification to a great fly that will increase tying efficiency and will not change the fly's effectiveness. Plus, with this one change, it is still a Barr Emerger.

Barr Emerger
Hook: Dia-Riki 125 #18-24
Thread: Uni 8/0, Iron Gray
Tail: Brown hackle fibers. (use only about 6-8 fibers)
Body: Olive Brown Superfine Dubbing
Thorax: Adams Gray Superfine
Wingcase: Spirit River Gray Floure Fiber

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Hopper Juan Tying Steps

At last, the blueprint for my Hopper Juan. The Hopper Juan was created in a desire to have a highly visible hopper pattern that covered a few criteria of mine: First, I wanted a pattern that I could call my own; I didn’t want to copy something already out there. Second, it had to look nice. I wanted to create a pattern that was simple and attractive, a reflection of my tying style. Third, it had to float well and be able to hold up a nice chunk of iron and tungsten. Fourth, it had to be high-viz for my clients that have trouble seeing a small duck on the water, and lastly, it had to catch fish and be durable enough to catch a bunch of them. I often fish a hopper dropper most of the year on a variety of different water. The Hopper Juan can be tied in orange, to reflect the bigger salmon flies or used in tan/brown for golden stones.
I have been fishing the HJ, for a few years now and it has been going through the modification process during that time. Many changes have been made, but the final product is what you see here. I make sure to treat each fly with Watershed, even though it is foam. It definitely makes a difference throughout the day as it soaks up less water. I usually follow the HJ with a heavy beadhead of some sort to make sure I offer the fish a second option. I will also follow that nymph with a third fly, usually a smaller, more imitative fly. Depending on seasonal hatches, it could be a BWO, midge or PMD nymph or emerger. John Barr calls this the "bait and switch". Bring them in with the attractor and they take the smaller fly. I like his thinking.
Tie up some HJs and go and fish them this summer. They are really not that complicated to tie and I am very proud of that. Let me know how you like them or let me know some suggestions for the fly. I plan to list some of my other patterns that I tie to drop from the Hopper Juan later down the road. So here it is, the Hopper Juan

Original Hopper Juan

Hook: 2XL such as TMC 5262 or MFC 7026 size 6-10
Thread: UTC 140 denier to match foam
Foam: 2mm foam, cut to shape with chernobyl taper cutter.
Glue: Krazy glue with brush
Underwing: MFC wing material, brown, cut with wing cutter.
Wing: Nature's Spirit early season cow elk
Flash: Krystal flash, pearl or U.V. pearl
Legs: Med. rubber legs, color to match body
High-Vis: MFC Gator Hair

Layout of materials. I use a Medium* chernobyl cutter for this size fly, a # 8*

Foam colors you can use. Mix and match.

Start by making a layer of thread on the hook. Measure the hook gap and pierce through the bottom piece of foam. This is the tapered side.

Position bottom piece of foam and make three wraps to secure. Place a small dab of crazy glue on to hold to hook shank.

Lay top piece of foam in position. Make three wraps to secure. The glue will help hold it together. Make sure the tapered ends of the two foam tips match up.

Make thread wraps to next segment point and tie down bottom piece of foam. Place a small amount of glue to hook shank and foam. Make sure you estimate where you want the segments to be. If you don't, your 3rd and 4th segment will be squished together and look funny.

Continue to make segments using just a dab of glue on each segment. At this segment will be all your hair and additional wraps to finish the fly so don’t overdue it here. Only make enough wraps to secure the foam. The glue will help hold it together.

Make last segment and leave a little room to make a cut and to be able to cover foam with thread.

It is very important that you have micro tip scissors to make a clean, close cut. You will end up with some little “nubs” that you will have to trim and then cover with thread warps to make a clean head.

See the "nubs"? This is why we use the UTC thread. It lays flat if needed and here, we need it to lay flat to cover the nubs.

At this point, I have covered the “nubs” under thread wraps. Notice my frayed thread? This is the only disadvantage of using UTC thread. It important to use UTC 140 though.

At this point, make one wrap over the top of the foam to the first segment.

Montana Fly Co. wing material cut to shape using a wing cutter. This step is optional.

Tie in wing material so it extends just past the back of the foam. Tie in some flash material. I usually use midge pearl krystal flash. On this fly, I used U.V. pearl. Tie in some good cow elk hair that is somewhat stiff. I love good elk hair!

Tie in some legs. I used Hareline’s barred rubber legs here but you can use what ever you want.

Place some glue on the top of the foam where you made a single wrap of thread.

Pull the foam down over the glue and thread wrap. Tie down using only two wraps to secure. The glue will hold it down.

Tie in some hi-vis material. This helps the older generation to pick up this fly on the water easier. It is optional, but I tie it on all my flies and I am still in the younger generation. Leave some of the material sticking out the front as in the photo. This helps lock it in there and is harder for it to fall out.

Trim to finish up and make sure all your legs are even and your body is straight and tight.

View from the back and top. Nice wing.

View from the front.

Fish's view.
Make sure to check out the HD tying video!

e-mail me for more info.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I love this!

While this blog is about flies and fly tying, there are those things out there that just make you smile. This is one of them. While the world is wilting away, along with your 401K and your fishing fund, music is the one element that continues to grow and give. So put down your scissors and bobbin for a couple of minutes and check out this. You may really enjoy it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Stillwater Flies Class

Last night was the Tying Stillwater Flies class. This is the time of year that we need to fill those stillwater boxes with flies that catch fish. The rivers are starting to show some color and the tailwaters are low--for some reason.
We tied three flies and I tied the last one as a demonstration, since we were out of time. We started with a BH mini leech. This has been one of the most popular flies recently, because IT WORKS! I tie these in black and in olive.
BH Black Mini Leech
Hook: TMC 3761 #10
Bead: Gold 1\8"
Tail: Marabou with optional krystal falsh
Body: Arizona Simi-Seal
Collar: Olive Hungarian Partridge
This has been one of the most popular flies recently, because IT WORKS!
I tie these in black and in olive.

Schroder's Callibaetis Nymph
The second fly we tied was the Schroder's Callibaetis Nymph. Umpqua used to carry this fly commercially, but no longer does. I don't know what happened, but it is still a popular fly here on our reservoirs and lakes. It is a pretty simple fly, using all natural materials. It works really well when fish are keyed into callibaetis nymphs.

Hook: TMC 3761 #16
Tail: Mallard dyed wood duck or tan.
Body: Turkey wing quill, mottled oak #1
Rib: Small copper wire
Thorax: Natural ostrich herl
Legs: Mallard dyed wood duck or tan.
Thread: Rusty brown

Barr's Damsel Nymph
This is one cool looking fly. It was fun to work with this fly using different materials including some mono eyes that just make this fly. Real damsel nymphs have big eyes that are very prominent and most flies available copy that feature. We substituted some scud back for the thin skin as I think it is easier to tie in and stretch than thin skin. When fish key into migrating damsels it can be a lot of fun fishing these. You may be able to sight fish to cruising fish as the nymphs usually swim 1-3 feet below the surface.

Hook: TMC 200R
Tail: Olive marabou
Body: Light olive Sow/Scud dubbing
Eyes: Medium mono eyes
Rib: 4X tippet
Shellcase: Olive Scub Back
Legs: Olive Mallard
Foam Adult Damsel
This is one of my favorite flies to throw in a certain New Mexico lake. The fish in Charette Lake love to eat adult damsels and I try to be there every year. I spent a lot of time at that lake and I am amazed that they spend so much energy chasing these and the bigger dragonflies. I fish from a float tube and hit the edges of the weed beds or I wait for rises and cast to them and usually just a nose pokes out and takes it down. It is some of the best fishing of the year. Wind can put all the fish down though, so make sure you have the nymphs and some woolly buggers and leeches just in case.

Hook: TMC 100 #14
Thread: Uni 6\0 Royal Blue
Tail: Hareline Damsel Body
Dubbing: Superfine Damsel Blue
Hackle: Large grizzly
Post and over body: 2MM foam, Damsel Blue.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Somedays I find more flies than I lose.

I found a small box of flies on the river a few weeks ago. There were a dozen new flies that someone bought and they were probably the only flies that they had, and they left them lying on the ground for someone to find. I walked right up to them and saw them and since it was pretty early in the morning, I figured that no one was around to claim them. I doubt I will ever use them, but I may just donate them or maybe just give them to some one who responds to this blog with an address. There are 4 BH FB phesant tails #16, 4-Blue duns #18, and 4- parachute Adams # 14.

Last year, I saw a fly box floating down the S. Platte near Deckers and I scooped it up with my net. I thought that I would turn the box into the guys at the local fly shop in case someone stoped by to ask, but when I opened up the C&F box, there were only 8 flies inside. I kept the box and am currently using it, so it was a good find. If it was full of flies, I would have posted on various BBs letting people know in case it was theirs. There are only a few days a year that I can say that I returned from fishing with more flies than I took to the river.

Do you want these? Send me an address.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Arkansas River 05/02/09

Where are the caddis? Who cares when the BWOs are out and the fish are eating them! I was at the 2nd annual Columbine Fly Fishing Camp this weekend, helping out a friend that hosts this program. There was a great turnout despite the weather being somewhat cold and breezy all day. The water was in good shape, a bit higher and off color than last week, but the fish were still there. After a round of helping people on their casting, it was time for some fly tying and knot classes. As soon as those ended, it was off to the river. I invited a friend from Denver to join the fun and we fished together most of our free time. It was a good day with a lot of fish caught and a lot of instruction. The highlight of the day was the BWO hatch--or was it dinner? The hatch came as a storm was aproaching and soon all hell broke loose. First, shot were being fired, from where? I don't know, but we mooved away from where they were coming from. That put us in a perfect spot to see some noises poking out. Rain was falling and fish were biting and a good time was had by all. After many fish and a couple hours, it was time for some dinner. BBQ at the end of a long day was the perfect end to a great day of fishing.

Students learning about knots

The Hopper Juan in Action!

Ben's fish

Mercury RS2-Ben's Rainbow

BBQ sausage, chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, slaw, potato salad.