Dec 31, 2010

Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters

I buy almost all my materials from these guys. I have met almost all the guys at the shop in my past visits. They are a nice bunch of guys and have always gone out of their way to help me out.

Great job guys!
Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters
312-944-3474 866-922-8130

If you buy stuff, tell them you were sent by CowboyFlyFishing.

Dec 30, 2010

Gander Mountain Fly Tying dates

The following dates are now booked at Gander Mountain in Cedar Rapids for tying.
January 20 from 6-8
February 10 from 6-8
February 24 from 6-8

Dec 28, 2010

Sparkle Spinner

This is a cool little deal I got for Xmas. Stores all my sparkly stuff. Now, I may buy the dual level attachment, which makes it two high. I have alot of sparkle stuff. Normally the top has eight peices of dowel to hold 16 spools of thread. I only use about 6 colors so I drilled the holes out to hold bobbin, scissors and tools. The top is semi loose so it spins to pull different colors with out having to move it. I will only take this to shows now instead of my whole little tool kit. Really nice.

Dec 25, 2010

Fly Tying at Gander Mountain

Don't forget we are tying at Gander Mountain on the 30th of December from 6-8. All are welcome. Just bring some fluff and a few hooks.

Dec 22, 2010

Merry Hanakwanza

Yesterday was my last day of work until January 3. What a nice Xmas break. Gonna be lots of food, beer, tying and talking with family and friends.

Enjoy your time here while we have it.

Dec 21, 2010

Semi Realistic minnow head

Found this picture. I plan to work on adding this type of head to my big streamer. I just love how realistic it looks. Now, I am concerned this hard style head will track terrible in the water, but we will see. My concern is finding tubing big enough for my large flies.

Dec 20, 2010

New Rod

I am very impressed at how well my Temple Forks TiCR X super fast tapers 8 weight throws my monster flies. I think after Christmas I will pick up a TF Axiom, which is rated as Ultra Fast. You can always have a little more backbone when throwing big flies on smaller weight rods.

Axiom Series

ax·i·om \ˈak-sē-əm\
n. a self-evident truth that requires no proof

Alternate View

Through a proprietary process, Kevlar is sandwiched between two layers of carbon fiber pre-preg. This patented (US patent pending) process helps reduce the ovaling effect a rod blank experiences under load, creating an exceptionally smooth powerful rod with remarkable damping (tip bounce) qualities. The result is ultra high line speed with crisp, clean, accurate loops.

TFO’s Axiom series feature a rich translucent blue blank accentuated with gold script and accents, Flor grade cork (reverse half wells on the 4 and 5, full wells with decorative burl rings on the 6-10), gun metal blue up-locking reel seat and large stripping guides with gold titanium oxide inserts.

Dec 16, 2010


If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand.

Dec 15, 2010

Greys/Hardy Customer Service- Thumbs up

I contacted Ken over at Grey's because I was having some issues with my reel. They charge a $25 repair charge, which includes shipping. Had a little issue with the repair, but I am completely happy with the customer service I received. They did a great job taking care of me.
Three thumbs up!
I have two reels that take matching cassettes to cover more water situations.

Dec 12, 2010

Thanks to those who have followed my site

Well, apparently the friend emails with in the blog are not working. So, anyone who has "followed" my site in the last month or so has not received your complimentary joining flies. Send me your address and I will get you out your flies. If you have a choice of colors let me know as well.

Dec 9, 2010

Wading stick

Spend allot of time in the rivers and thought it would be a good addition to my gear. I also made sure it had an attachment on the top for a camera. I am hoping to set my camera on top, stick it in the mud and use it to take self portraits when I am alone. We will see.

Dec 7, 2010

Indiana on the Fly Show Spectacular Announcement

Well fellow crazies, I am excited to announce I will be tying at the Indiana Fly Show on January 8. I have attached a link to the site so you can learn the details. I would love for all of you to stop by and see me if you can.
Just keep your eyes open for the big crowd of good lookin' women, then look for the table with me behind it, most likely somewhere else.

Dec 6, 2010

Mounds of Big Pike Flies

Well, not actually mounds, but 117 so far.

19 days til christmas

Fly fishing and Rudolf. What more could we want?

Dec 5, 2010

Dream Fish Post

People posting about their dream fish lately. Well here's mine. I have always wanted a big cuda. Been to Florida a few times already. Caught a couple big snook, lady fish, a big Sanish Mackeral would be kinda cool as well. But this is the holy grail for me right now.

Dec 2, 2010

Baltic Pike article in Fly Fishing in Saltwater

I have to say this is a pretty nice article. Good pictures and information. Pretty much anything you would expect from a good magazine. But one complaint. The flies they show on the guys rod look like something my ten year old hacked onto a hook. Nothing more than clumps of synthetic or bucktail lashed to a hook. How about a little pride? I would be embarrassed to get caught with these in my vest.
Now get back to tying.

Nov 30, 2010

Thursday Fly Tying Nights @ Gander Mountain

We have the Thursday get together nights going again. This is the schedule so far.
December 9 from 6-8.
December 30 from 6-8.
I will book more in January once they get the calendar going. These will all be at the Gander Mountain in Cedar Rapids in the event room in the back of the store. All are welcome. There are about 8-10 chairs around the tables. We do some tying, but mostly we bring new flies, gear and photo's. This is really just a guy night, not to say all women are not welcome, to help pass the crappy weather. Generally we get together every other Thursday and at the first night we will decide if we get pizza again or eat before.

Nov 29, 2010

Readiness for fishing

This tupper-ware case holds everything I need for a weekends worth of fly fishing, not including my waders. Everything for wading is held in an identical plastic box. I only need to grab my rod case. I keep this and my rod case in the back of my mini cooper from the first day of the season till the last. I never know when good weather will hit or the phone will ring. This way I am always ready.

Chest bag.
Extra flies and leaders.
Multiple lines cassettes.

Nov 28, 2010

On the water bag contents

Let's go through the contents of my chest bag.

Head phones, I carry my blackberry to answer calls and also it takes all my pictures. I have an 8 gig card that is full of music. I am always jammin when fishing. Small line clip. Foam handled pliers. Finger strippers to cover my line holding finger. Hook sharpener. 30 pound fluorocarbon. Extra leader. I use only furled leaders now. They throw big flies much better. On the opposite side of the leader I also have a few hooks for my tube poppers.

Boga grip. This goes in the back outside pocket. I have the carabeaner to attach it to the loop on the side pocket. I bent over once and it fell out. Luckily I was in shallow water.

Of course flies. I carry flies in the same little bags I sell them in. This keeps them flat and nice to fish. They lay very flat and I can carry about 40 in my pouch. Now obviously I never take more than 6-7, but the point is space. There are no boxes big enough to carry my flies and still fit in my pack. Boxes also limit the amount of flies I can carry and just add weight and bulk.

Cigars are a given as well, but that is a whole other post.

Nov 26, 2010

Bullet proofing your fly heads

Tying big pike flies uses allot of material for creating the large bulky silhouette. This also means more material to hold the the hook. All of my heads are coated on the angles cut-off end with superglue. The glue will wick up in to the ends of the materials for about 1/2 inch. Once dry, the deer hair and other materials will break off before they can be pulled out. All heads receive a coat of epoxy over the superglue, once eyes are applied.

Epoxy mixer for heads

These are what my daily contacts come in. Small, nice bowl inside, which keeps the epoxy in a nice ball to mix and they are free. I get two a day from my contacts. They hold enough epoxy to do two flies and then right into the garbage can. I am sure we all know someone who wears contacts. I am sure they would save them for you.

Nov 25, 2010

Loop knot- tied with orange backing.

This is the only knot I use. Flies swim much nicer with it, instead of the leader being attached directly to the eye to limit it's movement.
Start by making a loop in the line.

Slide that loop up the the hook eye of the fly.

Hold the loop and fly in your fingers. Wrap the thread three or four times away from the hook eye.

Run the thread back through your original cirlce loop.

Hold the loose end of your thread and the leader and pull away with the fly.

Go fishing.

Nov 24, 2010

Winter posting: Tips and tricks

Since I use mostly the same fly all the time I will be doing less posting on the flies I tie. I am mostly in production mode right now anyway. My goal is to have 400 flies tied by the end of January. These will be sold at the Midwest fly shows I go to. Instead I will be posting tips, tricks and the gear I use. I have been fly fishing for 20+ years and have continually reduced my tackle down to the bare minimum. I take only what I need and nothing else. It takes alot for any item to work it's way into my chest pack. We will start with the things I use and why and work our way through the knots i use and the set-up as well. All this is meant to give new ideas to other fisherman. I have adapted a few tricks I have leaned on the blogs I follow and used them to my benefit. I am a firm believer that we never stop learning.

Nov 14, 2010

The fruits of today's labor

As a reference for size, these are all tied on 2/0 octopus hooks. Pike Fly.

Nov 13, 2010

The factory is up and running again.

New 4/0 hooks from Gama

I normally tie on 2/0 hooks. Gama now has them in a 4/0 version. Normally I don't go bigger than 2/0 because I get alot more snags in the shallow rocky water I fish.
I have a couple of different flies I use now though. The bodies are all the same but the epoxy heads are different. A very small epoxy head allows the fly to float until pulled under the water. A large head sinks. I will make some up with both hooks and see how they work.

Nov 9, 2010

Sunday fishing

Hit the local dam today and threw a little fluff. The fly with the epoxy keel worked great. My fly ran much straighter in the water and I think I only had to get the fluff off of the hook a couple of times. It will be on all of my big patterns going forward.
We have no pike in the local lakes and the rivers are getting very cold. Times are getting tough for pike.

This looks deep but is actually around three to four feet deep the entire way. Nothing but big rocks. Great pike habitat.

Nov 3, 2010

Flies with a keel effect

I tie all my flies with light saltwater hooks that are barbless. I get all the advantages, but one major problem. I am pushing big 10 inch flies with a lot of bulk. There is almost no hook weight to help keel the fly straight in the water. This is even worse when fishing cross current in the rivers. To try and correct this I have added a line off epoxy after the hook on the bottom as well as extra on the bottom of the head in front of the hook. I am hoping this added weight on the bottom of the fly will help to keel it straight in the water.
You can see the extra epoxy behind the hook on the fly.

We will see if this helps.

Pike Fly.

Nov 2, 2010

Oct 30, 2010

Saturday on the water

Hit almost 60 today and the water was clear and looked great. We pounded the water but I only rolled one pike. She exploded out of the water and then hit the fly twice more on the same retrieve before disapearing.

Oct 29, 2010

Greenies in the water

Went down and hit the water for a few hours after work tonight.

The Greenie swam great and was very bright and flashy in the water, water temps are getting cold and the fish are getting lazy.

Gonna eat pizza, drink beer and watch some Samurai Jack tonight while I do some tying. Planning on hitting the water again tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully this nicer weather for the end of October holds out.

Oct 27, 2010

New Greenies

Lefty Kreh once said something like "Any color will work as long as it is flourescent green." So in case he stops by to go Piking, I thought I should have some flies to hook him up with.

Oct 26, 2010

New Batch coming

Added some black material for a lateral line. Will post finished flies in the next couple of days.

Oct 19, 2010

Beautiful night on the river

Snuck out for a few casts after work. Rolled a couple of fish, but no hook ups.

Oct 15, 2010

Good night on the water

Worst thing about fishing by yourself is the pictures are crappy. Tough to hold a flyrod, fish and camera all at once. Going out in the morning with a dedicated photographer- so I can pretty much guarentee no fish.

Took this guy and had three others on.

Oct 10, 2010

Big pike of the day

This was the big dog of the day, 7 1/2 pounds.

Nice float. 85 degrees, full coke and a wood tipped Swisher Sweet.

This guy just missed 6 pounds.