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Halloween Bugger Leech

Halloween Bugger Leech

Get your spook on! This is an oldie but a goodie. One of our favorite fall leech or bugger fly patterns. Nothing fancy, but it's a great pattern. I apologize for the old style picture and video on the fly, but you get the idea. It's more of a style that can combine the leechiness of a leech and the bugginess of a bugger. Make sure you have a good dubbing brush. Cheech sporting the Halloween style buff on a fall Rainbow Recipe: Hook:   TMC 5263 #6 - #12 Thread :  UTC GSP 100 Denier Orange Tail :  Rust/Orange Arctic Fox w/ orange Krystal Flash Body :  Alternating black and orange dubbing in a dubbing loop. Mega-Simi Seal would be great for this. Hackle :  Orange Grizzly

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How to Make Shrimp or Crab mono eyes

How to Make Shrimp or Crab mono eyes

Easy and awesome I'm sure most anyone has seen or has created their own monofilament eyes. It's not rocket science, but there are still a few things I've found that make it easier yet keep a bit of realism in the mix. So for this method, you'll need: 30 to 50 lb monofilament. The brand or type doesn't matter. Use whatever you have and whatever color you might want. Clear Cure Goo. I use Hydro, but you can use whatever style you'd like. Because of the "sculp-a-bility" of Hydro, it's very difficult to get this shape and effect with anything else. Lighter Sharpie. You can color up the eye in any color or combination you might need. Crab eyes come in a wide variety of colors and sizes (another reason the Hydro and Sharpies come in handy here) As shown in the video below, you simply melt the mono with a lighter (starting with the flame above the mono held vertically), allowing the glowing ball of liquid nylon to melt back on itse

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The Importance of Good Soft Hackle

The Importance of Good Soft Hackle

Hungarian Partridge: Grade #1 Hungarian Partridge Skin, Grade #1 (Natural) I'm not quite sure what it is, but I love to wrap soft hackle. Just something graceful about how those fibers lay when tied in and preened back with a nice clean head and tie-off. But don't settle for just any feathers when you're tying soft hackles or tying flies that call for Partridge. Pay close attention to the quality of feather to get the most bang for your buck. I'll try to lay down the reasoning here and explain why I sometimes have an inexplicable urge to cuddle with my Hun skins for warmth and comfort. For the past few years, I've lived on a steady diet of a few Hungarian Partridge #1 olive and brown dyed skins from Hareline. They are, in a word -- exquisite. Because I'd been given a "natural" colored skin a few years ago by a good friend, I initially stuck to the olive and brown colors purchased from Hareline and used the natural color "wild" s

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Articulated Flies - The Importance of a Back Hook

Articulated Flies - The Importance of a Back Hook

Streamer fish have short man's syndrome This Brown swiped the back half of the Mongrel Meat Barely pinned on the back of a 7" prototype fly I really didn't get on the articulated bandwagon until about 4 years ago when I started messing around with the Cheech Leech.  Admittedly, I tied the Cheech Leech in tandem because of a certain swimming motion that I was looking for, but I didn't think too much about how effective the back hook would be.  I think we have all heard people say "But... predatory fish will eat from the head first right?"  Logical, and I agree with this, BUT, this is definitely not a reason to omit a hook in the back of the fly. Front hook!  He was hungry Here is my logic, and it's nothing new, but something to think about specially if you are considering a fly that is long enough to warrant a back hook.  I always tell people that streamer eating fish are feisty...  More specifically, they are the short guy at the bar w

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REVIEW: Fish Skull Fish-Mask

REVIEW: Fish Skull Fish-Mask

The best disguise for your flies... Ok, so not really a disguise, but the words rhyme, it's almost Halloween and it's a mask to boot. Anyway, I got a package in the mail a few weeks back and tore open the container of Fish Skull Fish-Masks (in a variety of sizes) to get a good look and feel.  First off, I was impressed by the wide variety of sizes. Pretty much anything from a smallish nymph or leech all the way up to some big salt-water baitfish patterns would be covered. The mask has an inset eye "socket" so you can very easily place some realistic style eyes in there nice and snug. A dab of super glue held like a champ.  The mask also provides just a small amount of weight but without being too heavy and bulky to cast. So with that said, I whipped up a double Trokar blood-drawing articulated baitfish pattern. Due to a funny incident with auto-correct on Cheech's text message, this fly was dubbed the "Double Wife". Also we live in

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Jake The Snake

Jake The Snake

Simple and effective Olive Jake the Snake We had just arrived at the 4 foot deep beaver dam after bushwhacking through some big nasty "moose hiding" bush, and we see some great brookies at the bottom of the hole.  I knew what I was going to throw, and immediately saw a flash of red, black, and white dart toward my presentation.  Fish on! But - it wasn't the big one.  Jake took a bit more time breaking down the hole, and he saw a much larger fish hanging in the bottom.  I had forgotten that I gave Jake some "experimental" flies to try, and little did I know that he decided to tie one on.  He made quick work of the grandpa fish of the hole, and to my surprise, he held up the fly that he caught it on.  In Jake's honor, It was dubbed Jake the Snake. Brook Trout Love the Snake! I tied these originally for czech nymphing to fish in tandem with a much heavier anchor fly because there are times when I just want a lighter presentation to go along w

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Beginners: Getting Outfitted for Fly Tying

Beginners: Getting Outfitted for Fly Tying

Fly Tying Kits or Not? Cabela's Fly Tying Kit Besides the popular, "can I tie with my cat's belly hair and what's the best way to extract it?" question, probably one of the more commonly asked questions for tyers is whether or not a fly tying kit is something a beginning tyer should consider. Or more specifically "There's so much stuff to buy, how do I know what to get???" In simple terms, my answer is usually "it depends", but in general, kits can be a really convenient way to get started as long as they're full of stuff you'll need and use and not some store-bought made-in-China setups. There are two good reasons we recommend being careful with those types of kits: First and foremost, almost any commercial kit I've seen usually has materials or tools that you don't need. What I mean by that is that you might be interested in tying pheasant tails and brassies, but it comes with materials to tie flies that

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The Chimera

The Chimera

A fly with many faces... I went through a phase a few years ago where I tried to really minimize the number of flies I carried -- especially on back country trips where space and weight are important factors. After one specific outing where I caught fish on scuds, damsels and callibaetis, I decided it was time to pick a few features on each type of bug and create a mega-bug "Chimera" style fly that had pieces of several insects. It's not so much a generic searching or attractor pattern as it is a multi-tasking bug imitator. A high mountain Fall Brook Trout that fell to a black Chimera  I ended up spending some time at the vise and combined a few nymph styles, including a couple I stole from Cheech, and came up with this pattern. I've been fishing it now on some stillwaters and even a couple of rivers and it's done very well. The nice thing is this fly, depending on color and size, can pass as a scud, callibaetis, damsel, dragon fly or whatever else you mig

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The Muskoka MagnaVise

The Muskoka MagnaVise

Innovation meets functionality Muskoka Magnavise and Workstation Magnavise with magnetic base Last spring Curtis and I were tying at the annual Wasatch Fly Tying Expo and people came over to us to ask if we had gone to see "the vise."  This piqued my interest, so I went over to see what all of the attention was about.  The "vise" was the Muskoka Magnavise .  The first thing that struck me about the MagnaVise is that it looks REALLY cool, so the sexy factor got a big check-mark from me.  Upon talking to the vise's creator, Matt Plott, we found out that he was a mechanical engineer with a background in designing medical instruments.  Precision... check.  Then I asked him if I could steal one for an hour or so to give it a whirl.  I will preface the rest of this post with the fact that I'm pretty particular about vises, and it's hard for me to tie with anything other than my trusty Griffin Mongoose.  I got the vise back to my station, and w

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Fall Sculpins

Fall Sculpins

A mover and a shaker A few weeks ago, I was cleaning off my never-clean tying workbench and came across a few left-over mini Fish-Skull sculpin helmets from a previous tying session. I was headed up to do some streamer fishing in the next few days so I figured I needed to put it to use. I snagged some Spirit River Dos Jailed Rabbit in the sculpin color (it was waiting for this pattern anyway), some Rainy's craft fur, some senyo laser yarn and some Wapsi Palmer chenille for a good underbody. Adding another sculpin pattern to the arsenal isn't a bad thing and to keep this in the family, I'm naming it "El Sculpón" a bit gaudier than its brother "El Sculpito" One of the key features on this guy is the flared craft fur "fins" that I tie in facing forward and then force backwards as I apply the helmet to the fly. It's a fun one to tie and it ended up having incredible darting and bobbing action in the water, while rid

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