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