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Skittle Scud

The Griffin Montana Mongoose

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Complex Twist Bugger

Complexity in a simple form

Olive Complex Twist Bugger

The Wooly Bugger is the first fly that I learned how to tie back in 2000, and I bet it was one of the first flies that most people learn how to tie because of it's simplicity and effectiveness.  As my tying skills increased, like many of you, I started to add lots of variations to my buggers including flash, different chenilles, and dubbing loops...  For the past few months I have been in full mad scientist mode at the vise, and dubbing loops have been my main medium for my madness (even though I kind of ditched the whole idea of dubbing.. and loops).  The first complex twist bugger I tied really made me realize how endless the possibilities are for this twist.  Here are some of the items that I have put in this bugger...

- Schlappen
- Cactus chenille
- Palmer chenille
- Polar chenille
- Simi seal dubbing
- Small animals
- Unicorn mane fibers
- Pictures of Curtis' mom

Now you can see that you can throw almost anything in this bugger, but I have kind of settled on the materials that are listed in the video and recipe below.  One thing that I realized is that it was hard to get a grip on all of the materials that I put in these flies, so I made a very rudimentary tool that just so happens to work so well that I made a bunch of them to sell on our store.  It's not too hard to figure out what it is, and if you want to make your own go right ahead...  For those of you who want a cheechcrafted original, you may purchase these gator grips here...

~ Cheech


Hook: Allen S402 #4 BUY HERE
Thread: 3/0 Uni - white BUY HERE
Bead: Tungsten - 3.8mm BUY HERE
Tail 1: Wooly bugger marabou - olive BUY HERE
Tail 2: Senyo fusion dub - tobacco BUY HERE
Body 1: UV polar chenille - rusty copper BUY HERE
Body 2: Speckled chenille - lime olive BUY HERE
Body 3: Schlappen - olive BUY HERE
Veil: UV ice dub - olive brown BUY HERE

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Junk Yard Soft Hackle

Turn your tying waste into fishy goodness

Junk Yard Soft Hackle - From trash to treasure

This is another one of those videos that isn't necessarily to show you a new pattern, but it's to show you a few different techniques.  I have dabbled with throwing a bunch of stuff in dubbing loops for years, but since I got my new Stonfo tools it has kind of gone into overdrive...  In this pattern I specifically use the "under-fluff" part of a coq de leon hen saddle feather to create a functional soft hackle.  If you like a really sparse soft hackle you can use fewer turns, and if you like a full hackle (like the one I was shooting for) you can load it up.  I also used a dubbing loop technique for the body that isn't anything new, but it helps really compact buggy materials into a tight loop.

~ Cheech

Hook: Allen D202 #10 BUY
Thread: UTC 70 - fl. orange BUY
Body: SLF dubbing - RFSN thorax BUY
Thorax: SLF dubbing - RFSN abdomen BUY
Hackle: Fluff waste feathers from coq de leon hen saddle - dyed salmon BUY 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Carp Dough Boy

Move over dough balls

Carp Dough Boy

Here is a little carp pattern that we have been playing with recently. With some of the new carp toys out like Cohen's carp dub, and Allen carp hooks, I couldn't resist messing around with some bugs.  This fly is also very functional as a mini crawfish and can be tied in a variety of different colors to match the forage in your waters.

A couple of keys for this fly:

  1. It's compact like a little edible nugget for the fish
  2. It is a low odor fly.  No superglue was harmed in the making of this film.  The glue was Loon water based stuff.
  3. It's tied on a beefy hook that will hold up to the biggest and baddest carp battles.
  4. Ice dub - it plain catches fish.

Hook: Allen MP003BL #4-#8 BUY HERE
Thread: UTC 140 - fl. fire orange BUY HERE
Eyes: Barbell eyes with eye - 4mm yellow BUY HERE
Tail: Wooly bugger marabou - hot orange BUY HERE
Legs: Magnum predator legs - grizzly barred rootbeer BUY HERE
Body: Cohen's carp dub - cray-zee orange BUY HERE
Collar: Whiting coq de leon hen saddle - speckled orange BUY HERE
Wing: Wooly bugger marabou - rusty brown BUY HERE
Head: Ice dub - pheasant tail BUY HERE

Monday, October 6, 2014

Rusty Mayfly Spinner

Sometimes you need to go a bit realistic

Rusty Mayfly Spinner
If you've ever hit a really good Mayfly spinner fall, then you can see the benefit of this pattern.
Because it features these "hyper-realistic" wings, in traditional spinner orientation, it's sexy as all get out and it's been a great fly to have in the box during these awesome hatch stages.

As far as this pattern goes, it features one of my favorite body materials: wrapped turkey biots (with the ribbing up). If you're a little hesitant to go with Turkey biots, we've done some homework for you and explained all you need to know about biots in general.

Another addition to this type of traditional pattern is the use of some specialty wings. The wings and the wing burners are from the guys as J:Son Sweden. They're an innovative bunch of fly tyers that put out some awesome materials. The wing burners, shown here, come in a variety of sizes and types. These are specifically for mayfly wings and I use them all the time. In this pattern, I use the matching wing material they provide, but you can also do this with any of the medallion sheeting colors we carry in the store.

Material List

Hook: Daiichi 1180 #14 - #20  -- Buy --
Thread: UTC 70 Denier, Rusty Brown  -- Buy --
Tail: Sparkle Emerger Yarn, Gray  -- Buy --
Body: Turkey Biot, Rusty Spinner  -- Buy --
Wings: J:Son realistic mayfly wing material, M4  -- Buy --
            (get the Wing Burner too...)
Thorax: Ice Dub, UV Cinnamon  -- Buy --

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Real. Easy. Parachute

Tidy up your parachutes

Real. Easy. Parachute

I remember when I got my first metz grizzly neck.  I went straight home confident that all of my hackle woes were solved, and that I would be able to tie top end flies just because I had better hackle. Well, the hackle helped, but I still had a lot to learn, specifically with parachutes.  Through the years, I have adopted several steps that have made my parachute tying life a LOT easier and cleaner.  As you watch the video, you will see some tips on tying in the biot, how to tie in the post without any bulk, and most importantly, how to tie off your parachute without ruining your work of art.  This pattern is more of a demonstration of techniques as opposed to a be-all end-all color combination.  Change up the body, tail, and basically any part of this fly...  Just incorporate the techniques in this video, and you will tie better parachutes.

~ Cheech


Hook: Daiichi 1110 #14-18 BUY
Thread: UTC 70 - olive BUY
Tail: Sparkle emerger yarn - gray BUY
Body: Turkey biot - BWO or olive BUY
Post: McFlylon yarn - white BUY
Thorax: Ice dub - UV lt. olive BUY
Hackle: Rooster saddle or cape - dun BUY

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Real. Easy. Mayfly.

Great for skinny water

When I was working my way through college, working in a local fly shop, one of my fellow shop rats invited me to head out and fish a PMD hatch early one June. As we ventured out, I made sure I had a few of my favorite PMD dry fly patterns at the ready. As we began fishing a very slow and glassy section of the river, my buddy was into fish right off the bat while I struggled to get any takers. My comparadun wasn't cutting it. I ended up swallowing my pride and took a peek at his pattern. It was nothing more than a hook with very sparse yellow dubbing and a few wraps of light dun hackle. No tail, no wings and nothing else. It was the only thing, on top, they'd eat that day. Since that time, I usually always have a variety of "sparse" style mayflies ready to roll. 

This particular pattern is nothing fancy nor is it ground breaking, but I've been on a kick lately incorporating UV resin coated bodies into my dry flies. Surprisingly enough, a UV coated body doesn't sink like you'd think it would. Granted, you're not slopping on a ton of the resin, but a light coating will work just fine without affecting flotation.

And I'm again impressed with the awesomeness that is the D202 hook from Allen. It's a great dry fly hook -- one of my favorites. And if you haven't tried UNI-Flexx for your ribbing (or bodies), you need to get some on your tying desk. It's basically a span-flex type material, but comes on a spool.

Material List

Hook: Allen D202 #14  -- Buy Here --
Thread: MFC Premium, 6/0, Yellow  -- Buy Here --
Shuck: Sparkle Emerger Yarn, Gray  -- Buy Here --
Body: Thread; UNI-Flexx, Gray  -- Buy Here --
Hackle: Whiting Bronze Cape, Dun  -- Buy Here --
Body Coating: Loon UV Fly Finish, Flow  -- Buy Here --
Thorax: Ice Dub, UV Lt. Yellow  -- Buy Here --

**(Obviously, you can mix and match colors here to get Baetis, Callibaetis, Tricos, etc)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ice Wing Pupa - Caddis

A simple pupa that fish can't resist

Ice Wing Pupa

There aren't many times that I catch fish faster than when the fish are keying on caddis pupae in the summer time.  Because of this, I really love fishing caddis pupa patterns and I typically have about 1,297 of them in my boxes.  The thing about caddis patterns is that you need a pretty wide variety in order to ensure that you have the bug that the fish want on a given day.  Instead of trying to dial in each exact specie and type of bug, I just carry a few shades and sizes of green/olive, amber, tan, and orange.  The ice wing caddis is designed to be tied in bulk and many of the fine details (wing pads, antennae, etc) are omitted in order to make it a quicker tie.  Guess what?  The fish don't care.  It reminds me of a little saying that a good buddy told me "If it looks like a caddis pupa, and it talks like a caddis pupa, you are drunk.  Caddis pupae don't talk."  This fly is similar to our Ice Wing caddis dry fly that we posted a few days ago.  Check out the tutorial HERE.

To sum it up.  Fish eat this fly.  The end.

~ Cheech


Hook: Allen N204BL #12 - 16 BUY HERE
Bead: Tungsten, copper size to match BUY HERE
Thread: UTC 70, olive BUY HERE
Body: Midge tubing, olive BUY HERE
Underbody: Pearl tinsel, LG BUY HERE
Wing: Ice dub: olive brown BUY HERE
Collar: AZ synthetic dub: dark hare's ear BUY HERE