The latest issue of Revive
is now on the news stands; cyber stands that is. Our good friend Dave Hostler of PileCast.Net
has a fantastic story in this issue. If you have ever wondered what fly fishing in Indiana for smallmouth is like this story will paint the picture for your. I have had the good fortune of fishing with Dave a couple of times on the Tippy and Wildcat Creek. This story brought back memories of each outing. But, it also brought up memories of Sugar Creek, White River, Fall Creek, Yellow River, Driftwood, Big Walnut,and on and on. A much needed metal vacation during this long cold winter.
Oh, and by the way… the rest of the magazine is well worth the read also!
Week 9 - Dub in Layers for Better Tapers
For some fly tiers, dubbing can be a complete mystery and frustration. Dubbing loops are not too difficult. It is an easy process to place some stuff between two pieces of thread and then twist it up. But when it come to twisting dubbing on thread they can never seem to get it quite right so they have a nice tapered body. Usually, way too much dubbing material is placed on the thread and the resulting body looks like a dust bunny from under the couch. The easy solution is to think in terms of layers; like onions and Ogres. If you dub you body in layers your can get it perfect every time.
When you begin to apply your dubbing to the thread make certain to put on about half of what you think you need and then half of that. Make your dubbing noodle very sparse and about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. Wrap the dubbing on the hook up to where the body ends. Then wrap your thread back down about 3/4 of the body to the tail. Apply another dubbing noodle (a little shorter) to build up the body and the taper. Then bring your thread back down between 1/4 and 1/2 of the body. Apply another short dubbing noodle to finish off the body and the taper. If needed, you could even apply a small amount at the end of the body to get the taper just right.
By applying your dubbing in small layers you have greater control over the resulting body. It might take a little more time but in the end your flies will look better, last longer and you will gain more experience in this method of dubbing. Eventually, you will be able to apply the correct amount of dubbing on the thread in the correct manner to complete the dubbed body in one attempt.
In the mean time, do yourself a favor and dub your bodies in layers. Save the headaches for something less meaningful.
It seems it is always a debate as to how long monofilament and fluorocarbon leader and tippet materials last. You buy a few leaders and some extra tippet spools and in no time the expiration date wears off. By the time the next fishing season rolls around your wondering if they are still any good. Raise your hand if you have a box of "old" tippet spools that you are going to practice knots with some eventual winter.
Barry & Cathy Beck have been pondering the same question and just posted some great information from RIO
about this very subject. It might not keep you from having winter knot tying supplies but it might help you to keep your mono materials in good shape for when that dream fish takes your fly.
While your there… check out the rest of Barry and Cathy Beck's site. You'll be glad you did.
Week 8 - Use One Thread Color
Fly tiers are pack rats by nature. This might be due to the fact there are so many flies to tie and we never have all the materials we need so we hoard what we have. Or maybe we are fly tiers because we are hoarders. The Zen of fly tying! Big questions aside, there is one particular fly tying material you can simplify, if you want. All you need is one thread color to tie all your flies; white.
Roughly, 95% of the flies you tie end up with the only thread showing at the head of the fly. So why not simplify your tying by using white thread and coloring it with a permanent marker when completing the head and whip finish. Really, most of us only use about ten different colors in our fly tying and five of those cover 80% of our flies. So, get yourself some Copic markers, Prismatic Markers or Sharpies in the colors you use most. When finishing the fly, color the last layer of thread wraps on the head. Then color about 3 to four inches of the thread to complete the Whip finish. Now your fly has a head in the color you want and you have less threads to manage.
One note, make certain you check to see if your favorite head cement is compatible with the particular permanent mark you use. Some head cements will cause the ink in the marker to run and the white thread will show through. Usually, a Copic marker works well because it is an alcohol based marker. There are also oil based Sharpies available that will keep the ink from running. You could also put a base coat of head cement on the stained head and top it off with another coat of your favorite head cement.
Now you have more brain power to tackle the difficult questions in life. Keep it simple.
Looking for a great site for fly tying; specifically warmwater fly tying? Jr. passed along a great site he found called Warmwater Fly Tyer
This site has tons of great resources for beginning and expert alike. Lots of great patterns with super step by step instruction and photos. Articles on tying as well as general warmwater fly fishing. Information on tools and gear for warmwater fly fishing. Plus lots of information on books, DVDs and other web sites all about warmwater fly tying and fishing.
Cold and snowy here in the Midwest this weekend means it is a great time to surf the Warmwater Fly Tyer and learn some new tricks.
Week 7 - Save Your Materials
A really short and simple tip this week. If you want to keep your natural materials in good condition make certain to keep them in the original bags they come in and separate from your other materials. Now that the tip has been stated, let me explain why.
Natural materials, we're talking fur and feathers, are harvested from live animals. Sometimes these animals are breed and raised for human consumption or use and the fur or feathers are a byproduct of the harvest. Various chickens, turkeys, pheasant, deer, rabbit, and cows are a few of the common animals that fall in this category. However, many "wild" animals are also processed and used in fly tying. Bear, Moose, Elk, wild Turkey, grouse, Wood Duck, and partridge are some of the common 'wild' fly tying materials. Even though all of these are processed (meaning washed or bleached or dyed or tanned) sometimes small creepy crawly bugs remain. Mostly eggs that somehow survived the processing of the materials. If you buy your materials and then throw them in a bin with all your other feathers or furs you run the risk of these little buggers chewing up all of your other materials.
When you buy your furs or feathers they come in a air tight bag. Make certain to place them back in the same bag as they came in in order to insure they are preserved for as long as possible. If you happen to harvest and process your own materials make certain to place them in an air tight plastic [Ziploc] bag. This will make certain if they have any insects they will not get into you other materials.
If you keep your materials in their original packaging you can preserve them longer. Plus, you'll know just what the hell you have in your box of furs. If you lump them all together you might not be able to tell the Arctic Fox, from the Temple Dog, or the Red Fox fur. Make it easy on yourself and make them last.