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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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The Lemon Lime Bugger

The Lemon Lime Bugger

A Tribute to Dennis Brakke For anyone that's been around the Rocky Mountain states for a while and fishes stillwaters, you've likely run into or heard about Dennis Brakke -- whether on the water, at his fly shop, The Fly Desk, or one of his books. Unfortunately, Dennis passed away from short but tough battle with cancer in 2009. He is missed. For those of us who had the pleasure of knowing Dennis or who were able to spend time with him fishing or talking shop at the Fly Desk, he was a dedicated student of the sport. Whether it was specific materials (I spent a lot of time with him discussing hackle), techniques or patterns, he had things dialed in. Dennis and another angler on Strawberry Reservoir, 2005 My first exposure to one of his patterns was the "Lemon Lime Bugger". I'd heard good things about a bugger tied in this specific color combination using a special chenille on the body. Dennis told me about several outings to a relatively unknown stil

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Fly Hack: The Spool Minder

Fly Hack: The Spool Minder

A better way to tame your spools Here's another one of those "ah ha!" type tips on how to store and manage your spools of wire, tinsel, floss, v-rib or anything else that comes on a spool. And yes, it involves a trip to the Craft Store.... I'm pretty sure once you create and use a few of these little doo-dads, you won't go back to the free-wheeling spools like you might have done in the past. The video explains it nicely below, but all you need are some 1/4"  or 6 to 7mm craft beads, some 1/4" elastic and some super glue. I usually make a "template" piece of elastic and cut a bunch of them at once using this piece to measure against. Then you just glue and let them dry. Easy as can be...

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Scissors.  In hand, or out of hand?

Scissors. In hand, or out of hand?

Attack of the killer scissors. These look like harmless scissors.  They are really deadly weapons. Several years ago I was tying flies at an expo and somebody mentioned that they thought it was interesting that I tied flies without holding my scissors in my hand the whole time.  It really struck me that I could save more time and tie faster if I just kept my scissors in my hand.  Also before I get too deep into this story, I feel like I need to explain some genetic  Gigantor qualities  challenges that I have before I tell you why I threw a perfectly fine pair of Dr. Slick scissors across my fly tying room.  I'm 6'5" and have hands that are tight in XXL gloves.  Yep.  I officially suffer from sausage fingers. Dr. Slick Razor scissors are shaaaaaaaarp! Anyway, I had just purchased a new pair of Dr. Slick scissors, and I was going to go home and get all efficient while tying flies.  I had an order of Grumpy Frumpies to tie, and the first thing I noticed with

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5 Essential Rules for Tying Flies

5 Essential Rules for Tying Flies

 Really?  Rules? Pink and White?  Thanks to a tip from a buddy, I modified the colors of this Cheech Leech. 3 sections to the Cheech Leech?  Yes Please. I remember being excited to attend the annual outdoors expo in 2001 because there were always demo fly tyers showing off their new goods and skills.  I was just getting started with fly tying, and I loved to watch other people tie flies so I could see how they did it.  I was walking up one of the aisles, and I heard someone proclaim "You MUST add exactly 15 wraps of .015 lead wire to the hook shank or this fly won't ride correctly." and "If you add any more than 4 turns of hackle, this fly won't work." and "This fly, if tied correctly, is so effective that it's illegal in Oregon." (I think some of you might know of the guy I'm quoting here).  The point here is that this guy had rules for everything, including tying and fishing...  Really?  No doubt his flies were effective, b

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REVIEW: Synthetic Quill Body Wrap

REVIEW: Synthetic Quill Body Wrap

Another way to get the segments Soft Hackle tied with the Adams colored SQBW I've always been a big fan of quill body patterns. Anything from stripped peacock to peccary -- I've used a lot of things out there. So I was understandably excited when I saw a new product from Hareline called "Synthetic Quill Body Wrap" (SQBW). Per my normal sick material collecting tendencies, I ordered a couple of packages of each color. I tied up a few patterns and came to some conclusions about SQBW: First off, it's very easy to tie with and get consistent segmentation. Not only that, it's much stronger than the natural materials out there, so it's nice to be able to give it a tug while you wrap it. The "strips" are also equally consistent in color and size along the length so you can use one strip to tie a number of flies. The strips are made of some type of paper-ish material and they are obviously printed on a printer. Granted these need

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"That Guy" with the "Secret Fly"

"That Guy" with the "Secret Fly"

I'll show you my fly, but then I'll have to kill you Uncle Ken's Secret Ninja Wooly Bug I think in every industry or sport there is "That Guy."  In golf, it's the dude who always kicks his ball into the fairway and conveniently forgets what shot he's on and always ends up beating you by one.  In fishing, it's the guy who is adamant about counting fish and knowing who is in the lead, even though he disappears out of sight for an hour or so and comes back and says "All on top.  All over 20."  Then there is the guy who has that "secret" fly pattern that he won't share with anyone because it's so damn effective that it would ruin every fishery due to catching so many fish.  Many times, these "secret" flies are no secret at all like Uncle Ken's Peacock King , or Wooly Bug .  These "heroes" or "one uppers" exist in all facets of life, and I'm glad they do because they provide me mu

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The Chimera Hunts

The Chimera Hunts

Fall Field Testing Update Chimera in Black with Orange hot-spot As we do from time to time, I'm revisiting a previous post with updated on-the-water results and photos. See the original story on the Chimera here . If you're not into tying, you can buy them already made right here >>>> So going back to the original idea on this pattern, I wanted to be able to tie a similar pattern in a lot of different sizes and colors to imitate a lot of different bugs. The idea is similar to a general attractor pattern, but with more specific trigger mechanisms drawn from the various bugs. Yeah, pie in the sky, I know. One "magical" pattern to catch fish under all conditions.  Not. It's more of an efficiency thing for tying purposes, but  as it turns out, this little pattern really keeps impressing the hell out of us. Fall fishing backdrop, courtesy of awesome changing colors and lots of fish. Pretty brook trout that inhaled a Chimera My ugly m

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