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Best and Worst of  Fly Fish Food for 2013

Best and Worst of Fly Fish Food for 2013

Drum roll, please... In looking back over the year, we wanted to throw out some of our most memorable moments, fish and patterns -- both the good and the bad. We're also stoked to be a part of some exciting things for the coming year, so stay tuned for some announcements in the next few days! In the meantime, here's the list.... Worst (not much was "bad" this year, but you gotta know the bitter to appreciate the sweet). Socks aren't necessarily made to be good toilet paper. Nature yelled hard when Cheech had to make a quick and urgent run to the rustic 1920's era outhouse on a remote lake to get rid of three days of gut-busting convenience store and camp food. As he emerged from the woods, a greatly relieved man, he lifted his pant leg and asked "Hmmm...where's my sock?". Lucky for him, there was a nearby campsite that had some extra man-sized wet wipes so he could finish the job. Wader Farts. The. End. Fly eating, rod-breaki

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Cheech's top 5 subsurface patterns of 2013

Cheech's top 5 subsurface patterns of 2013

 Danger Lurks Beneath Synthetic 20 Incher For the past two or three years I have been on a nymphing/streamer kick, and I'd say that about 75% of my fishing is done beneath the surface.  In particular, this summer has been one of european style nymphing and throwing streamers, so I thought I'd share the flies that were on my line most of the time. Masked Marauder / Synthetic 20 Incher: Tan Masked Marauder The Masked Marauder in both light and dark applications has been so very good to me ever since it's first dip in the water...  I added the Synthetic 20 Incher (pictured above) because it's pretty much the same fly without the fancy wing case.  I think one of the keys to the success of these patterns is the use of Arizona Synthetic dubbing that is used for both the thorax and abdomen.  These patterns can be tied in a wide variety of sizes and colors due to the synthetic materials used.  I mainly fished these flies in size 10.   Masked Marauder tu

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10 Organization Tips For Your Tying Area

10 Organization Tips For Your Tying Area

Get your stuff together! A few months ago, we did a blurb on fly tying stations here  and wanted to follow up with a few suggestions on how to organize things once you have a workstation in place. If you read that previous post, one of the biggest takeaways is to plan big and grow into your space (if possible). This is especially important for a tyer just starting out because this will make their collection and organization sooooo much easier down the road. That means pay attention! So with that in mind, here are a few tidbits on getting your space organized... Keep materials stored and separated as early on as you can . There was a time in my tying career that I kept all my "feathers" in one bag or box. It won't be too long before you have to dig through a considerable pile of stuff to get what you're looking for. One suggestion is either bags or plastic bin or drawer type containers to group "like" materials together. For instance, I have drawers

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Bug-Eyed Boodle

Bug-Eyed Boodle

Simplicity is it's game Bug Eyed Boodle I can credit my father-in-law for first putting a fly rod in my hands at the age of 22.  I had fallen in love with chasing the local bass and trout with gear, but fly-fishing was an enigma that eluded me until I sat in his back yard waving a custom built fiberglass 6 wt with a pflueger medalist attached to it.  I was just some kid that his daughter had dragged in through the door a few weeks earlier, but he perked up when I mentioned fishing.  Bill and I have had many an adventure since that day, see, he is the father figure in my life, and there is no better place to talk about life's triumphs and struggles than while laying down big attractors for willing brook and cutthroat trout.  I place an extremely high value on my time fishing with Bill. The phone rang.  "We are going to Idaho next monday to fish."  There was no question that I was game for that trip, so I started to do some research.  Snake River cutthroat we

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Wolff Vise Reviews

Wolff Vise Reviews

Durable workhorses of the bench Apex vise and Versa-Clamp I love gear.  There, I said it...  I love trying out new or existing stuff, and I'm usually pretty adaptable when it comes to rods reels, etc.  I'm a bit more particular when it comes to vises, so I was really excited to get the opportunity to tie for the last several weeks on Wolff Indiana's Atlas and Apex vises.  I was also able to review one of the best c-clamps (the Versa Clamp) that I have used (I'll go into detail later in this post).  These vises are the same vises that were made famous under the Anvil name, the only difference is that they now bear the Wolff name. What really interested me in these vises, is that they are made in the USA, they looked to be very well made, and they had an excellent price point.  The Apex vise retails for about $99, and the Atlas vise retails for about $149, so they fall right into the same price range as some of the other popular vises in the market. Both

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REVIEW: 6th Finger Scissors

REVIEW: 6th Finger Scissors

An Ergonomic Scissor Choice When I first saw the 6th Finger scissors, from www.singlebarbed.biz, a few years ago, I was a pretty dedicated "scissors-in-hand" tyer, so these scissors had an immediate appeal. It wasn't too long before I had a pair in my dirty little mitts and started to tie with them. I also ended up doing a short review on our Youtube channel that I've posted below for your viewing pleasure. Now to the nitty gritty... First off, in full disclosure, I am no longer a dedicated "scissors-in-hand" tyer. I won't go into a lot of detail as to why I switched, but a lot of it has to do with a recent article Cheech did on the virtues of tying with scissors in your hands . Nonetheless, I wanted to give this cool scissor design a fair review. With that in mind, I believe these are likely the "best" solution if you wish to tie with scissors in your hand. I definitely don't advocate tying with super-sharp "regular" s

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Double Wide Cheech Leech

Double Wide Cheech Leech

This fly is straight from the trailer park Double Wide Cheech Leech This summer was a great one in regards to testing new fangled ideas that turned into bona-fide fish killers.  The Mongrel Meat was the biggest success (that we published anyway...), but I was also toying with a big brother for the Cheech Leech .  The main difference is that it's longer and more bulky than the little brother.  The swimming motion was INSANE and it stuck many fish.  I tied it with all three hooks intact, but I typically cut out the middle hook (I'll leave that decision for the end-user). Much more info to come on this bug...  including a video. Oh yeah. Check out my sexy Dyna King vise too.

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Classic Wet Flies

Classic Wet Flies

The Ongoing Wet Fly Collection The page is an ongoing collection of wet flies -- both classic and not-so-classic, but all tied in the same manner and style as the old-school patterns out there.  Candy Cane The Mascot Dr. Burke Purple Turtle Ferguson Greenwell's Glory Hare's Ear Wet Fly

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Gut-Bomb: Tan Edition

Gut-Bomb: Tan Edition

Tan is the new red The other day, we got a comment on the original Gut-Bomb article asking an excellent question in tying the Gut-Bomb in a tan color, similar to the photos we posted of the natural bloodworms ( from Phil Rowley's website ). The naturals come in a variety of colors, depending on the amount of hemoglobin, ranging from red to tan, as shown below, but also showing up in greens, grays and browns. New Tan variation of the Gut-Bomb Bloodworms come in a variety of color shades The challenge with this particular color combination is that tan, being a lighter color, becomes more difficult to get it to "pop" in contrast to the darker black vein. I ended up going through a few variations with different colors of thread, stretch flex and Sharpies. Most of the time, the fly ended up much darker than I'd like. I finally ended with a relatively decent color combination using some tan GSP. Because the thread now becomes the main fly color, I ended up usin

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Spirit River UV2 Giveaway!

Spirit River UV2 Giveaway!

Win $100 worth of UV2 materials! We're excited to kick off the holiday and tying season with an awesome giveaway in conjunction with our friends at Spirit River . The winner will receive a cool $100 worth of UV2 materials from Spirit River. Here's the way this giveaway will work: The giveaway will go from today through Wednesday December 4th.  A random winner will be chosen from all entries submitted You can submit an "entry" by any of the following methods: First, go and like the Spirit River page on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SRflies Comment on this post Share or Comment on any photo on the Spirit River or Fly Fish Food Facebook pages or Instagram feeds. The more entries you have, the more chances you have to win. There is a limit of 4 entries per day. In the meantime, we have a great write-up from the Bill Black at Spirit River, regarding their great UV2 product line. ----------------------------------------------------------

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Fall Callibaetis

Fall Callibaetis

Going Deep Dish Again...  On a recent fall Brook trout outing on one of my favorite Brookie lakes, I was faced with a situation where the fish were in a bit of a funk when it came to the normal stillwater patterns. I could see the fish holding in 6 to 10 feet of water, occasionally nabbing a snack, but otherwise, not moving too much. We tried a few different patterns (scuds, leeches, damsels, etc) with relatively little success. On this specific lake, as with many bodies of water, the Callibaetis population is quite strong. I typically see stronger emergences in the late spring and summer, but the nymphs are available year-round and the bugs are there. The lesson in all this is don't discount a given insect in times where you're not seeing it normally hatch. Deep Dish Callibaetis Given this, I dug out a Deep Dish callibaetis and sent it to the depths to tangle with a trout. 5 casts later and 4 fish to net, I think I figured out what the fish were keying on.

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The Diving Sparrow

The Diving Sparrow

The Allen J100 BL - Jig Style The Diving Sparrow In the past few weeks, I've been messing around with a few different styles of small nymphs tied on the Allen J100BL . I like the hooks for their sharpness and, of course, the fact that the hook rides point-up (as I've verified in testing). The other little facet of this pattern is that it will drop (i.e. dive) pretty fast in even fast water.  We took it out for a spin the other day and it did very well nymphing up a few nice little brown trout. Brown trout that inhaled a Diving Sparrow The fly is pretty fun to tie and has a few little unique features with the wing-case and the biot side-panels. The Diving Sparrow Hook : Allen J100 BL #14   <-- Buy Here Underbody : .025 Lead Free Wire Thread : UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier, Hot Orange Bead : 2.3 mm Tungsten Tail : Brown Goose Biots Body : Arizona Synthetic Dubbing, Dark Hare's Ear with Goose Biots extended Ribbing : UTC Ultrawi

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3 Hackle Colors to Rule Them All

3 Hackle Colors to Rule Them All

Hackle is expensive.  Purchase wisely. The Fly Tying Tri-Fecta Biot Adams with only grizzly hackle 13 years ago, I sat mumbling in Spanish at a call center wishing I could be out throwing banjo minnows at my beloved bass when a colleague of mine started unboxing a fly tying kit from his backpack.  "If we have to sit here tied to our phones all day, I might as well be productive," he said.  One thing led to another, and I ended up tying my first fly that day.  I remember it well.  It was a red, blue, and yellow wooly bugger.  That turned into almost an every day thing, and it was a great way to pass the time while we waited for our phone calls (I HATE call centers).   That is how I got introduced to the art of tying flies. Grizzly Hackle The thing I remember most about those days tying in the call center was the fact that we never had the right hackle for the job, and we would end up cutting the webby, schlappen-like hackle to get it to fit.  Now... these wer

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