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Alpha Predator

Alpha Predator

Large Profile Baitfish My favorite color combo: Purple and White Early last year I had some buddies that wanted some flies specifically for musky fishing, and I just happened to have one of those "itches" to tie big flies.  I wanted to try something that was 100% synthetic to maximize durability and color ranges the fly could be tied in.  The original Alpha Predator was tied very similar to this one, but it was done on a 5/0 Trokar hook.  I had it with me one day when we were fishing for bass, so I decided to give it a swim just to check out its action etc.  Long story short the bass wouldn't leave it alone that day, and I knew I had a winner.  It has since been to many destinations (both salt and fresh water) and it doesn't fail to attract fish.  I really think the all-star of this pattern is the flash-n-slinky fibers.  They have surprising movement in the water for being synthetic fibers, and they are extremely durable.  If I'm tying a fly with long fi

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Tenkara - Help Me Understand

Tenkara - Help Me Understand

Simple or Complex? If you had to chose one fly for the rest of your life.... My father in law is the guy who is responsible for putting a fly rod in my hands, and he tells some great stories about how he and his brothers would take a snelled Royal Coachman down to the "crik" and cut a willow to fish it with.  No rod needed, and they learned how to stalk and catch fish.  They did it because they didn't know any different, and to them it was fishing!  They eventually switched to fly rods and reels because it opened up a whole new set of doors for them.  When I told him about the Tenkara movement (I'll explain why I call it that), he just kind of had a puzzled look on his face. I will fully admit that I have never cast a Tenkara rod, tied a Tenkara fly, or had the though on the river that "man... I sure wish I had a Tenkara rod for this application..." and here's why.  Similar to when my wife came up to me last night and informed  demanded that I g

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Turbo Snail

Turbo Snail

Add Crunch to the Diet Turbo Snail! A number of years ago, while fishing a favorite stillwater, I caught a few trout that had big bulging bellies that crunched when you handled them. I first assumed it was maybe a belly full of crunchy crawdads, but looking closer at one of the next fish I landed, there were a few smallish black-shelled snails that were visible in the back of his mouth. I knew trout would eat snails, but I had no idea it could be to such a large part of their diet. It was then it dawned on me, and as I walked back to the truck that afternoon and saw the shoreline littered with bleached little while shell, that these big trout liked a bit of crunch to their diets. Since then, I've fished a few snail patterns here and there -- mostly simple peacock herl jobbies that didn't really look like snails too much. It wasn't until this past summer that a friend mentioned he was fishing another lake and happened to find big healthy trout also gorging on small

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Things That Entertain Me - The Fishing Guys

Things That Entertain Me - The Fishing Guys

Laughter is the best medicine. Fish entertain me too... Recently I was pondering the great world of fly fishing/tying and how naturally preconditioned human behaviors seep their way into our sport.  At first I thought these things were a nuisance, but as I looked deeper into this very crucial topic, I realized that these things exist in all walks of life, and that they are there to ENTERTAIN us along the way.  I used to hate running into these situations, but as I thought about it more - I am highly entertained.  Here are a few. It HAS to be tan dubbing #5899  Recipe guy - I know that I have talked about this creature before, but he deserves mention in this post too.  He is the guy who has to have the EXACT material for the fly that he saw in a book or on the internet, and if he can't find the material, it's no use...  might as well go golfing. Everything has already been invented guy - I get it...  Most of the patterns out there are variations of other flies,

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Complex Twist Slider

Complex Twist Slider

Slow down your sink! Complex Twist Slider As we continue to venture toward the saltwater side of things, it was only natural that we tie a slider pattern.  I was intrigued by the construction of the head and tweaked it a bit before I settled on the method that we will show you in the video (It has a bruiser blend beard...)  I also decided to incorporate the same tail and body from the complex twist bugger to make up the bulk of this fly.   The slider is a great way to help your bug "suspend" more in the water because of the half buoyant head, and can be a great application for freshwater trout as well.  The key to tying these bugs is to vary your weight system based on the type of water you fish, and how your fish like to eat.  You can use everything from small bead-chain eyes to large tungsten eyes.   Deer hair...  This can be a four letter word for some tyers, but I assure you that this pattern makes it "doable."  The eyes help the hair stay right

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Fat Sancho Shrimp

Fat Sancho Shrimp

Fish it or dip it in butter Fat Sancho Shrimp We have been throwing together some creative flies for buddies that have been heading out saltwater fishing lately, and we have sent baitfish crabs and shrimp patterns all over the planet!  The majority of the shrimp patterns that I had tied were designed to ride hook up and close to the bottom, so I decided to try my hand at a more realistic shrimp that rides hook down. The materials that we use on this fly are key to its creation because they are very transparent when wet.  The body is made out of a new dubbing blend that we have been playing with called "Salty Snack Dubbing."  This dubbing is a very coarse blend of synthetic fibers that can be twisted up in a dubbing loop, tied in like a hank of material, or tied in perpendicular to the hook shank for merkin/toad style flies.  The other key is Loon UV resin in all three thicknesses (thick, thin, and flow).  This UV resin allows me to stick the top of the fly to the bo

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Quick Chironomid/Buzzer

Quick Chironomid/Buzzer

Multi-Tasker Chironomid Soft Hackle Nymph I'm a big fan of throwing soft hackles for midging trout, so this is a style of chironomid, or buzzer, that can double as both a soft hackle nymph as well as a pupating emerger. Although we'll probably do a video tutorial on it at some point, it's not that difficult to tie.  The body is just regular turkey biots in black with a Krystal flash ribbing. The wing case is red holographic tinsel with some Loon UV coated on top. The wing case covering the bead is a great way to keep more of a natural shape to your patterns without worrying about the effect of a bulbous appendage wrecking your look and feel on the pattern. I will fish this in rivers as a regular nymph -- especially on a Euro rig but it works great swung through the current as well. And fished from an indicator on a still water is another deadly combination for this style of pattern. Anyway, give it a try: Material List Hook : Daiichi X710 #14 or

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Art Led Me to Fly Fishing

Art Led Me to Fly Fishing

Fly Tying is Art Some colorful Arizona Princes I grew up in Vernal, UT, which can be described as a big little city in the northeastern extreme of the state.  There is a lot of oil and gas influence in the city, and most of the people there enjoy the outdoors, but my parents were nothing of the sort.  My dad is a local Vernal kid and was a school teacher and a florist of all things (believe me... there is a LONG story there), and my mom is a hippie transplant from the bay area who has lost her mind due to raising 6 rowdy boys and being a kindergarten teacher for about 100 years.  We didn't really camp, hunt, or fish.  We didn't have guns to shoot, ATVs to ride, or animals to feed.  I really was fueled by sports, mainly soccer, through my younger years but I always had access and drive to create art.  In about 5th grade I realized that I couldn't draw anything that was realistic, so I'd draw and create caricatures and abstract stuff (like the flyfishfood logo) tha

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The Gut Sack Sow Bug

The Gut Sack Sow Bug

It's Got Guts Gut Sack Sow Bug, wet and buggy Ok, I know there are a lot of sow bug patterns out there and a lot of them are pretty similar. This one, however, should stand out a bit cuz it's taken, well, about 20 years of evolution to get to where it is today. And the last piece of the puzzle was the dubbing, which didn't come about until this year, but we'll get to that. First, the genesis... As a college student about 20 some odd years ago, I fished a local tail water in between classes and as often as I could make the drive 20 minutes up the canyon to find a piece of water. I was also a typical fly shop rat, scrounging up information on what patterns to use and how to fish them, so I usually threw the standard fair of midges, mayflies and caddis patterns. One day as I was having a particularly tough time getting any fish, I ended up tossing out a bigger size #12 hare's ear pattern and immediately hooked up. While I don't use one very often, I ende

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Belly Scratcher Sculpin

Belly Scratcher Sculpin

Sculpin Overkill Belly Scratcher Sculpin Wet vs dry. I have to admit that I have been on a mission to tie a realistic sculpin for the last couple of years.   El Sculpito has been a great fly, but it's still a pretty impressionistic pattern instead of being a dead ringer.  When Bruiser Blend came to be, I was trying to incorporate it into flies any which way I could, and I got an idea for some fins.  If you have seen a sculpin you will notice that they have huge pectoral fins, and that it's hard to duplicate how big they are with materials that will stay big once wet.  I have seen them tied with hen hackle, mallard flank, zonker strips, etc...  All of that stuff compresses a LOT when it gets wet. It's hard to explain all that goes into these fins, so you will have to watch the video to see it.  Yes, it is overkill, but it's the closest thing that I could get to huge pectoral fins.  They get a bit softer as you fish them, but they still hold a shape pretty

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Product Review: Fish Cat Scout

Product Review: Fish Cat Scout

The Swiss Army Boat Fish Cat Scout -- Frameless Fishing Craft The first personal flotation craft I got was one of those old-style diaper-donuts with an automobile tire tube for the guts. I felt like I was suspended by a couple of those floatie wing things my kids wear to the pool. And talk about difficulty getting in and out of -- I was tempted to find a way to launch myself from shore and lawn-dart my way into a seated position in the "boat" in order to avoid the awkward waddling fin dance entrance you'd normally have to perform.  Luckily, over the years, these personal flotation craft have gotten a lot more user-friendly, versatile and comfortable to boot. We went from higher end float tubes to "U" tubes to pontoon boats and now to frameless flotation craft that neither qualify as pontoon or float tube. Between Cheech and I, we've fished from most of these types of boats at one time or another, so when we saw the Fish Cat Scout from Outcast,

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Belly Scratcher Minnow

Belly Scratcher Minnow

Weighted flies can have a very slim profile. Belly Scratcher Minnow In the past year and a half the Low Fat Minnow has quickly become one of my favorite flies for any specie of fish that eats other fish...  One of the things I really like about the Low Fat Minnow is that it suspends nicely in the water, and is designed to be fished on a sinking line in order to control the depth of the fly.  I knew that I wanted to make a weighted version for rivers, so I started researching about a year ago.  I really like throwing big articulated streamers, but I wanted to come up with something that I could throw at those lookers and chasers that might not want to eat something on the large side of the spectrum.  I also wanted something that I could tie in various weights without effecting the profile of the fly.  Most of the time, more weight means bigger barbell eyes or tungsten beads.  One of the great things about the low fat minnow is the slim profile, and adding heavy barbell eyes wo

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