Monday, February 24, 2014

Back to Deep Winter

With highs dropping into the teens and lows falling into the single digits and negatives we are back into the deep winter. Thankfully, there has been enough sun to give us a glimmer of hope that spring is around the corner in spite of the bitter cold temps. I could really use a warm up and some open water to cast a line. Spent the majority of Sunday's down time tying streamers for whatever. One was an outrageous streamer called the foosa, which was tied by the Great Lakes Fly guys. It's on a 6/0 2461 and runs 8 or 9 inches long. The tail is 6 schlappan feathers and a mixture of flash of the same length. You tie the tail in right at the bend of the hook above the barb. At that tie-in point you add a clump of bucktail on the top and bottom of the shank. On top of the bucktail tie in some Finn Racoon again on the bottom and top. Then you lash a large rattle at about the middle if the hook in front of the Finn coon and bucktail (be sure to add some glue to hold it in place). Cover the rattle with some medium crystal chenille. Then, in front of the rattle wrapped in crystal chenille, add two more sets of bucktail clumps, just as you did at the bend of the hook. Clump on top and on the bottom. You can reverse tie these for added bulk. At this point you are crowding the eye a bit but add an addition clump of Finn Coon to cover the bucktail on the top and bottom. Then glue in some eyes. This fly will not have a small neat finishing head. There's just nothing small and neat about it.

I didn't take any pictures but if you google Fossa streamer you'll come across some images. It's big and heavy, but that makes it a fun project and has big predator written all over it.

Anyway, flyfishing adventure DVDs, a fire, and big streamers on the brain just fueled my already raging case of cabin fever. The winter feels like it's going to last forever. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Few Flies in Anticipation of Open Waters

With a short warm snap on the horizon I felt inspired to spend some time at the vice.  Spent most of my time tying saltwater flies but at the end I switched to ammo for local waters.  These are all variations of flies that I've seen but never tried.  On the right is a rendition if Jerry Darkes magnum meat wagon in a perch color scheme. It's tied on a 3/0 2461 Diiachi perfect bend. The wing is a series of Icelandic sheep which used in the original pattern. I used splayed bucktail underneath the sheep to give the fly the appearance of bulk. The head is olive palmer chenille. Also I added some copper flash and fire tiger flashabou to the body.

The two yellowish flies on top are Kevin Feenstra's fire detectors. The first time I saw this pattern they were being advertised as a king salmon streamer, now I'm finding that they are used for a variety of different warm and cold water species. Feenstra's designs aren't particularly pretty but the are absolute fish catchers if tied properly; function over form. These are also tied on 2461s but in sizes 1 and 2. The tail is a mix of pearl and mirage flashabou and pearl Krystal flash with pink bars. In front of the flash tie-in point I add two clumps of splayed bucktail. Then I spin a generous clump of deer belly as a collar. The head is made from ice dub, again generous clumps, in three colors. I suspect lazer yarn would be a good sub. The original pattern calls for a 4 bead string of bead chain - I did one with the bead chain and one with a small lead free db. 

Working our way down, are some synthetic Clousers (Clousers tied with synthetic streamer material) and a clouser  flash fly, which is a clouser with two chartruse hackles tied in behind the eyes in the "praying" form. The over wing and under wing are mixtures of flashabou and Krystal flash, then I lashed a clump of ice dub above the eyes.

Finally, a foxy flash tail clouser which is tied in a 60 degree Bend jig hook in size 2. The tail is pearl flashabou and the over wing is olive fox and the under wing is white fox. I used small white dbs with this one. The fox is tied in just as you would tie in bucktail for a normal clouser. 

Looking forward to swimming these along the Lake Michigan shore and some inland waters by me.

This wasn't a particularly good tutorial so let me know if you have any tying questions.

Off to work.

Tight lines.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pure Michigan

Pick up softball game ... in February ... on a lake ... Pure Michigan.

Swung flies for about an hour but stopped when our reels froze solid. Which leads me to - swinging flies in single digit temperatures ... Pure Michigan.

Come on Spring.