Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tying the Blue-Winged Olive LTD


The Blue-Winged Olive version of the LTD is by far my best producing BWO pattern, and has been for many years. And it's this time of year, when you are lucky enough to be on the water when those little olive bugs come off that it truly shines.

BWO LTD Recipe

Hook:  #18 Standard Dry
Thread:  8/0 Olive Dun Uni-thread
Tail-Abdomen: Natural Pheasant Tail
Thorax:  BWO Orvis Spectrablend
Hackle:  Medium Dun Dry
Wing:  Medium Dun CDC

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tying the UV Pink

The UV Pink


The UV Pink is a standard UV-dubbed midge pattern as you can see. But with the addition of the red under-body, it transforms when wet, making it a very effective pattern in certain settings.

Note the Pink coloration when wet.

When the pattern is removed from the water it dims to what you see in the photo. When submerged, the pink is even more pronounced.

Both patterns are effective in their own right. But I have found the UV Pink to at times make the difference, keeping it a standard pattern in my box.

UV Pink Recipe

Hook:  Orvis Beadhead #18 - #14
Thread:  8/0 White Uni-thread
Bead:  Gold Tungsten
Rib:  Fine Gold Wire
Underbody:  Red Flat-Waxed
Abdomen:  White UV Dubbing
Thorax:  Peacock Herl

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Rebuilding Classic Glass (Continues)

The Original Johnson Profile 800 8' 7WT

The 1st Phase prior to shipping

Retaining only the blank and original cork, Bass-Bug with his keen eye for giving life back to a worthy rod began breaking it down.  

A Blued Garrison Style Reel Seat and a Burled Buckeye insert was picked.

And here is my "Sneak Peak" just received, with the blank stripped and cleaned, and seat temp fitted. 

Next comes Black snakes and tip-top, along with Merlot Wraps.

She's going to be a beauty. 

Bench Changes of the Stubborn Kind

This is my Bench....there are many like it, but this one is mine.

I have a stubborn way about me at the bench...always have. I get comfortable with techniques, tools & layouts, to a point that I have changed little since 1989. New techniques for new materials I'm fine with. But the rest of the bench pretty much stays the same. 

I'm also partial to things of function given to me by friends & family. Not only do I still use the same core tools that I first purchased after my first tying class in '89, but I have several gifted to me, that I will not part with. One of which is a custom profile plate given to me by a good friend. This item has been with me for years and I love it. However, my clumsiness has broken it twice. Not due to the design....due to me needing to pull it, remove it & spin it countless times because of my workstation space issues. I had to come up with something different before I destroyed it. 

SO....remove it I did, and it is now officially my travel vise profile plate. Which would still be my main vise had my family not provided the new Medallion for my 50th Birthday. The cut down and modified Regal INEX did the job for 25 years.  I still use a brass Sheppard's hook for dubbing loops, that is 25+ years old, amidst all the fancy dubbing tools that are out there. I told you I was stubborn.

But what to do for a profile plate?  

Could the answer be right in front of me after all?

My trusty Cigar box?  Which has been on my bench for an easy 13 years. Picked up at a yard sale at my neighbors house. They were $.50 each. 

Formerly just my materials bin. But with 2 brass eyelets, some 550 cord and some white poster stock....It worked perfectly.

Problem solved!  

No more need to swing anything out of the way. 

Just close the lid. 

Now mind you I do realize, this is no giant leap in creativity, or engineering brilliance. It is however, a solution to a problem that did not require changing my bench in a major way. Nor did I have to give up my profile plate. And while I have looked at the aftermarket plates for years.....well, I told you from the beginning.....I'm stubborn.

New Retrievers

Newly Minted Retrievers
Fresh off the Practice Squad

Some flies you just seem to tie more than others. I think there's a reason for that?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tying the Marabou Mohair Leech

Marabou Mohair Leech

The Mohair Leech is as much a staple in my box as the Wooly Bugger and Hare's Ear. A true cross-over pattern that fishes great on both Warm and Cold water species as well as still-water and streams. I have not met a fish yet that won't eat it. Here are my favorite variations. Adjust the colors to suit your particular water. 

Marabou Mohair Leech

Hook:  #10 - #4 Straight eye round-bend Streamer hook
Thread:  Black
Underbody:  .020 Lead Wire
Tail:  Marabou Tips
Abdomen:  Mohair Yarn

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tying the Foam Butt Indicator

Foam Butt Indicator

The Foam Butt Indicator is a blend of the best of several worlds. It serves as an excellent high-floating indicator due to the combination of foam, heavy hackle and the New Zealand wool. The mix floats well, casts well, is durable and will occasionally bring fish to the top.

Foam Butt Indicator Recipe

Hook:  #10 Caddis Emerger
Thread:  6/0 Black/Brown
Tail & Body:  Thin Fly Foam
Hackle:  Grizzly #12
Wing:  New Zealand Indicator Wool

Friday, December 4, 2015

Steak & Eggs

Steak & Eggs

Or...Green Skittles and Eggs to be exact

Steak and Eggs is a term used within the fly fishing community when we fish a tandem rig consisting of a large nymph and an egg pattern.  Here is my favorite version of that combination. 

When I am drifting eggs I want my pattern to get down quickly. To do that, I use a #10-12 tungsten beaded Skittle. Most often the chartreuse green variety. 

And for the egg?

I prefer a #14 double-egg McFLYFOAM pattern tied on a #14 Mustad #9671 nymph hook. Tie the first egg on at the end of the shank, then another one behind the eye.

When fish are looking for eggs, give them what they want. And while you're at it, may as well toss a steak into the mix for good measure.