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The Beginner's Corner: Getting Outfitted to Tie Flies

The Beginner's Corner: Getting Outfitted to Tie Flies

10 tools to get started First off, if you're confused as to whether or not to buy a kit or build up your own, see this . So assuming you don't buy a kit, let this be a primer on what you'll need to get started, including 10 popular and useful tools. As a word of advice, if you're still up in the air as to whether you want to invest in this stuff, stop reading this, go to your local fly shop or a fly tying neighbor and try it out. Even better, take a class! Point is, we're not recommending you go out and buy a bunch of stuff without doing some research into whether or not you'll like it. I've taught far too many people that spend hundreds of dollars on tools and materials only to tie a couple of flies and give it up. If you want to go that route, I'll save you the time and send you my PayPal account and you can just send me the money in the first place. ;) So, with that said, here are the basics of what you'll need and what to consider. If you

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Hopper Project 2013

Hopper Project 2013

Project Hopper 2.0 Green and black barred legs. As you have seen with patterns like the Rainy's Grand Hopper, Crosslink foam is a great material that can be used to sculpt a great hopper body.  It's a very dense, hard foam that is almost like fishing with balsa wood, but with more forgiveness during the tying.  I like to use an x-acto knife to cut the general shape of the fly, fine tune it with razor scissors, and finally I round off all of the harsh edges with a lighter (very little heat does the trick!!!). Yahtzee!  Success with the Project Hopper.  It's more durable than I thought. In the first version of this hopper I used knotted round rubber legs, but it's hard to get them to sit just right on the fly due to the angle of the knot that is tied.  I have been going over a potential leg-fix in my head for a while, and I finally got the legs laid out on a hook.  I cut the thick section out of foam, but the thin section is 20# monofilament that has been c

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The Gut-Bomb Revisited

The Gut-Bomb Revisited

This blood worm gets traction Back in January, we posted about a new pattern that we'd been messing with. Between that post  and the video we did for the pattern, the response from our readers has been quite surprising. We had feedback from some fly shops where there was a run on the materials for the pattern to the point where they were running out. We had a number of emails and messages from people that had been fishing the pattern this spring and had had excellent results. (**Update: You can now  buy these from our online shop **) Needless to say, it's been a fun pattern to tie and to fish with and we've found it to be very effective. Just this past weekend, proved the point again with some fat rainbows that found it difficult to resist. As it turned out, the bigger fish of the day fell for the Gut-Bomb . Curtis Fry and a Gut-Bomb eating fish Fish it however you like to fish your chironomids, but a floating line with an indicator is a pretty good w

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Peak Vise Review

Peak Vise Review

Durability is its middle name I have tied on many different vises through the years - some for the long term, and others just long enough to get a whip finish on my first fly.  I started tying on a rotary vise about 10 years ago and I'm truly addicted to the rotary feature.  Even though I don't wrap all of my materials on the fly rotary style, I struggle to tie a fly without being able to rotate the vise to see what is happening on the other side of the action.  When the peak vise came out, it intrigued me, and it looked like it had all the right moving parts to be a major player in the vise market.   The very first thing that I recognized with the Peak vise, and their other products (see review for the Peak Hair Stackers HERE ), is that they are made from the highest quality materials.  The vise is essentially all metal, and has a very simple, durable, and functional design.  I got the rotary vise with the regular jaw, the saltwater jaw, and the midge jaw.  I reall

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La Bomba Bluegill Snack

La Bomba Bluegill Snack

simple fly for stubborn gills Not to be confused with the EXCELLENT movie La Bamba. Stubborn gills?  Really?  It was prime spawning season, and day 2 of a 3 day bass/bluegill trip was proving to be much more difficult than the previous day.  Just 24 hours ago we were having the "lets see if it will eat THIS," contest, and the gills were coming on every cast.  Today, however, it was almost like they had their morning safety meeting with bar graphs and powerpoint presentations with information about NOT eating those bright snack looking thingies.  I went through my boxes and found something that was really simple to try to throw.  What could it hurt...  I had already gone through about every fly in my box.  The keys to this fly were a flowing tail and orange rubber legs.  I don't think it was on the "do-not-eat" list because it became the slayer for that day.  Since then, I have made some modifications to the fly, and it is now "La Bomba" beca

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Pike's Puke

Pike's Puke

A toothy predator fly A few years ago, I was working on a fly for meatier fish that would both push a lot of water as well as offer good movement in the water. Articulation is a no-brainer, but I wanted to get the head to act differently than the normal spun hair, brushed out dubbing or EP style stuff out there. While I originally went down the tube fly route (look for the Deflectinator in a future post), I came up with this version here. First concern was the head made of foam, would it stand up to some sharp teeth and thrashing movements. The answer is "mostly". Coated with something solid like Clear Cure Goo both under and over the head, makes it pretty bomb-proof. The foam also gives the head a different style of movement than the tail section so it creates a bigger wiggle as it is pulled through the water. Another bonus is you can tie the tail sections in various colors for "hot swappable" sections. Anyway, sorta unorthodox, but it's a pe

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The ChupaCamarón Shrimp

The ChupaCamarón Shrimp

The "Shrimp Sucker" I live about 30 miles from some very high concentrations of saltwater shrimp. Unfortunately the shrimp are the miniscule brine shrimp and the Great Salt Lake doesn't hold any fish to speak of. Nonetheless, when I got asked to participate in a saltwater fly pattern swap a couple of years ago, I decided a good shrimp pattern would be the way to go. As I usually do, I like to refer to actual images of the bug/fish/thing I'm trying to imitate. In this case, it was a species of shrimp in the Caribbean I decided would be a good bonefish pattern. So I dug through a bunch of materials and came up with what I thought would be a good translucent and representative imitation. Because I'm a fair jaunt from any bonefish, I had to rely on the reports from fly swappers that got a chance to fish the pattern. All reports came back very positive and I had requests to do a video. Well, I finally got around to it. So it's nothing fancy, but it

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Foam Dragon - Bluegill Edition

Foam Dragon - Bluegill Edition

Mixing a bugger with a chernobyl ant Brown and Tan I was in a bluegill-ish mood the other day at the vise, and like I often do, I just started throwing some materials onto hooks.  I had some marabou from Cheech Leeches , I had AZ synthetic dub from some AZ Princes, rubber legs from the Masked Marauder , and foam from the fact that there should ALWAYS be foam readily available at your desk...  I already have a lot of topwater bugs like La Ranita tied up, so I decided to tie some subsurface stuff to pick the more picky ones off their beds.  On went the marabou for the tail, and then the foam started looking at me funny.  On it went and the rest is history. Like many flies that come off of my vise, I huck them into a bowl of water to see if they will ride like I want them to, and then on to the fishing.  This one has not yet punctured a lip, but my fishy jedi senses tell me that this one will be a killer for at least bluegill.  Trout version coming soon. And some other colors

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