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Friday, July 31, 2015

Sparkle Minnow Variation

Fill up a box in no time


As much as I love fishing Complex Twist Buggers, this fly has found a permanent spot in my streamer box because of how simple it is to tie and how effective it is.  I recently went on an excursion with a friend who hadn't really caught fish on streamers, so I tied on a white and gold version of this fly.  Long story short, He's probably tying some up right now...  Anyway, this fly is similar to the MFC Sparkle Minnow after it's all tied, but the method for this one is even more simple, in fact, this fly is easier to tie than a wooly bugger.  

Some variations that work well for this pattern are: 1- Tie the tail out of a single piece of marabou. 2- Use gold, silver, or copper ice dub in a loop instead of the EP brushes. 3- Leave out the Bruiser Blend head.

A word about the EP brushes...  I can typically get 2 flies out of each individual brush, and there are 6 brushes per package.  This stuff is an awesome blend of flashy material that really moves great in the water.  I really hadn't messed much with these until this year, but now I think I have one of each color at my desk.  It's an awesome product.

~ Cheech

Cutthroat on a Golden Ticket


Recipes:

Olive/Brown
Hook: Daiichi 2461 #1-4 (BUY HERE)
Bead: Slotted tungsten cone - Copper 6mm x 5mm (BUY HERE)
Lead Free Wire: .035 (BUY HERE)
Thread: UTC 140 or Danville 210 - black or brown 
Tail: Nature's Spirit prime marabou - olive and brown (BUY HERE)
Body1: Holographic cactus chenille- Brown (BUY HERE)
Body2: EP sparkle brush - Rootbeer (BUY HERE)
Head: Bruiser Blend Jr. - Barf brown or olive brown (BUY HERE)

White/Tan
Hook: Daiichi 2461 #1-4 (BUY HERE)
Bead: Slotted tungsten cone - Black Nickel 6mm x 5mm (BUY HERE)
Lead Free Wire: .035 (BUY HERE)
Thread: UTC 140 or Danville 210 - White
Tail: Nature's Spirit prime marabou - Tan and white (BUY HERE)
Body1: Holographic cactus chenille- Silver gold (BUY HERE)
Body2: EP sparkle brush - Pearl or pearl magic (BUY HERE)
Head: Bruiser Blend Jr. - Cream (BUY HERE)

Copper/Brown
Hook: Daiichi 2461 #1-4 (BUY HERE)
Bead: Slotted tungsten cone - Copper 6mm x 5mm (BUY HERE)
Lead Free Wire: .035 (BUY HERE)
Thread: UTC 140 or Danville 210 - black or brown 
Tail: Nature's Spirit prime marabou - Brown and rusty spinner (BUY HERE)
Body1: Holographic cactus chenille- Brown (BUY HERE)
Body2: EP sparkle brush - Copper (BUY HERE)
Head: Bruiser Blend Jr. - Hidden treasure of sasquatch brown (BUY HERE)

Smaller Variations

Golden Ticket
Hook: Daiichi 1750 #6(BUY HERE)
Bead: Slotted tungsten cone - Gold 5mm x 4mm (BUY HERE)
Lead Free Wire: .035 (BUY HERE)
Thread: UTC 140 or Danville 210 - White
Tail: Nature's Spirit prime marabou - White (BUY HERE)
Body1: Tinsel chenille- Gold (BUY HERE)
Body2: Ice dub - Gold (BUY HERE)
Head: No head on this fly

Silver Ticket
Hook: Daiichi 1750 #6(BUY HERE)
Bead: Slotted tungsten cone - Black nickel 5mm x 4mm (BUY HERE)
Lead Free Wire: .035 (BUY HERE)
Thread: UTC 140 or Danville 210 - White
Tail: Nature's Spirit prime marabou - White (BUY HERE)
Body1: Tinsel chenille- Silver (BUY HERE)
Body2: Ice dub - Silver (BUY HERE)
Head: No head on this fly

Copper Ticket
Hook: Daiichi 1750 #6(BUY HERE)
Bead: Slotted tungsten cone - Copper 5mm x 4mm (BUY HERE)
Lead Free Wire: .035 (BUY HERE)
Thread: UTC 140 or Danville 210 - Brown
Tail: Nature's Spirit prime marabou - Rusty spinner (BUY HERE)
Body1: Tinsel chenille- Copper (BUY HERE)
Body2: Ice dub - Copper (BUY HERE)
Head: No head on this fly




Monday, July 27, 2015

Card's Cicada Variation

Could this be "THE" guide fly?




For those of you who don't know Charlie Card, he's a guy who has been rowing a drift boat longer than he has been driving.  I knew Charlie in high school, but I really didn't appreciate his fish wizardry until I started fly fishing about 15 years ago.  Utah's Green River below Flaming Gorge Reservoir is home to some great terrestrial fishing because it runs smack dab in the middle of a desert.  Not really known for hatches of giant salmonflies or green drakes, the Green River is mecca for terrestrial fishing.  Hoppers, beetles (even in February), ants, and most of all - cicadas.  Charlie has a fly with MFC called Card's Cicada that has been wrecking fish for years and years, but if you get a glimpse of Charlie's fly boxes, you will see that he has variations upon variations of these big black beasts.  He gave me one of them that still sits perched on a piece of driftwood in my tying room.  I have studied it in it's simplicity many times to gather inspiration, and it has helped me put many a fish in the net.


I was replenishing my boxes with some big foamies this spring and decided to make some variations of Charlie's pattern.  In the fly I got from Charlie, he had a piece of accent foam (purple) under the black main foam body, but I decided to put it on the top of the fly.  I also swapped out the calf tail wing for treated para-post material.  Also, I wanted to add some "spent" wings that laid a bit off to the side of the fly, so I tied in wings of sparkle emerger yarn.  Sparkle emerger yarn really doesn't do much to add buoyancy, and it just sits in the surface film looking all translucent and such.

Once I had my variations tied up, I had to see if they passed the two most critical tests on big foamers.  1- Will it land the way I want it to every time? 2- Will the foam stay put without twisting all around the hook shank?  These bugs passed with flying colors, now to fish them (which I wasn't worried about at all.)  I won't bore you with details, but these flies absolutely have been crushing fish on several different river systems and on a lake with picky browns.

~ Cheech

Recipe:
Hook: Gamakatsu S10 #6-10 (BUY HERE)
Thread: MFC Premium Thread 3/0 - Rusty brown (BUY HERE)
Body1: Evazote foam 1/8" - Black (BUY HERE)
Body2: Fly tying foam 2mm - Orange (BUY HERE)
Under-Body: Snowshoe hare's foot dubbing - Rusty Orange (BUY HERE)
Wing1: Para post wing material - Norm Woods special (BUY HERE)
Wing2: Sparkle emerger yarn - Cream (BUY HERE)
Legs: Centipede legs Medium - Speckled orange and yellow (BUY HERE)


Transform this fly into a hopper...

Recipe:
Hook: Gamakatsu S10 #6-10 (BUY HERE)
Thread: MFC Premium Thread 3/0 - Light Brown (BUY HERE)
Body1: Evazote foam 1/8" - Camel (BUY HERE)
Body2: Fly tying foam 2mm - Tan (BUY HERE)
Under-Body: Snowshoe hare's foot dubbing - Tan (BUY HERE)
Wing1: Para post wing material - Norm Woods special (BUY HERE)
Wing2: Sparkle emerger yarn - Cream (BUY HERE)
Legs: Centipede legs Medium - Speckled tan brown(BUY HERE)



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Leetle Beetle

Quick and effective

Leetle Beetle in Black

"Uh... yes...  I'd like materials to tie a fly that is quick and effective sir."  Summer time is a great time to expand your terrestrial game, and we have been tying all kinds of big nasties like hoppers, cicadas, and larger beetles.  I realized that there was a hole in my box right where my smaller terrestrials should be.  I started using some of the techniques from the Unsinkabeetle, and stripped them down a bit.  This fly is about as simple as it gets, and it plain hunts.  Tie them in a variety of sizes and colors to fool basically anything that eats beetles (trout, bass, carp, sunfish, etc.).

This beetle is most effective in black, but olive/brown and tan are great as well.

Recipes:

Black
Hook: Gamakatsu S10 #10-14 (BUY HERE)
Thread: MFC (BUY HERE)
Body: Evazote foam 1/8"- Black (BUY HERE)
Underbody: Nature's Spirit Hare's Mask dubbing - Black (BUY HERE)
Legs: Fine round rubber - Black (BUY HERE)
Indicator: 1mm Crosslink foam - Golden yellow (BUY HERE)

Olive/Brown 
Hook: Gamakatsu S10 #10-14 (BUY HERE)
Thread: MFC (BUY HERE)
Body: Evazote foam 1/8"- Olive (BUY HERE)
Underbody: Nature's Spirit Hare's Mask dubbing - Brown (BUY HERE)
Legs: Fine round rubber - Brown (BUY HERE)
Indicator: 1mm Crosslink foam - Golden yellow (BUY HERE)

Tan
Hook: Gamakatsu S10 #10-14 (BUY HERE)
Thread: MFC (BUY HERE)
Body: Evazote foam 1/8"- Camel (BUY HERE)
Underbody: Nature's Spirit Hare's Mask dubbing - Natural (BUY HERE)
Legs: Fine round rubber - Brown (BUY HERE)
Indicator: 1mm Crosslink foam - Golden yellow (BUY HERE)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Complex Twist Tube Fly & Peak Tube Vise

The Deflectinator Gets An Overhaul


Complex Twist - Tube Style
When I first wrote about the Deflectinator a couple of years back, Cheech hadn't quite spilled the beans on the Complex Twist method for tying buggers and the like. However, after we released the first Complex Twist Bugger, I knew that was soon to be the new method for tying up what's become my go-to bass pattern.

And while I won't bore you with the background on the Deflectinator, this version here is more trout color and size and works great in streams. It's also done some damage as a bugger or leech style pattern on lakes.

And probably most notable about this tutorial here is the use of the awesome Peak Tube Fly Vise. As I point out in the video, it's definitely not a "beginner" vise, but if you tie any amount of tube flies, this is the vise you need. It's well-built and works very nicely with any size of tube fly you might need to tie on. Plus, since it's designed specifically for tube flies, you cut out a lot of the nooks, crannies and angles on a regular vise and get a sleek uncluttered fly tying machine.
Peak Rotary Tube Fly Vise
So as you'll see and hear in the video, we really like this vise and for throwing together patterns like the Deflectinator here, it works out great. I much prefer it to my "old" method of using a standard vise jaw adaptor to tie tubes.

And if you're still new to the tube fly world, here's a quick primer to help you understand the benefits and such. Tubes are definitely not new and not made to be your prime tying method, but it's one that I think all fly tyers should at least look at.

Material List

Hook: Partridge Nordic Single Hook #6  (BUY HERE)
Tube: Small Plastic Tube (or size to fit your needs). (BUY HERE)
      NOTE: You can also buy colored junction tubing, as shown. This size fits the small tubes above
Cone: Ultralight or Regular Monster Cone  (BUY HERE)
Thread: UTC Ultrathread 140 Denier, Tan  (BUY HERE)
Tail: Magnum Rabbit Strips, Dark Brown or Dark Olive  (BUY HERE)
Body: Schlappen, Olive & Fiery Brown; UV Polar Chenille  (BUY HERE)
Collar: Arizona Diamond Dub, Ice Blue Brown  (BUY HERE)
Hackle: Whiting Coq De Leon, Speckled Fl Green Chartreuse  (BUY HERE)

Tools Used:


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fripple 3.0: Caddibaetis

And yet another variation...


Fripple: Caddisbaetis
I look back on my history with the original or version 2.0 Fripple patterns and find I've tweaked this fly more than probably any other pattern in my little fly boxes. And like Brian Fantana says "60 percent of the time, it works every time", so we may as well keep trying to get that number up to something like 80 or 90 percent.

As it is with a lot of my pattern variations, the changes come as a result of fishing it and finding ways to catch more fish under different conditions. This rendition came out as a result of needing to increase the buoyancy a bit more in order to either support small droppers or to perform better on rougher water in rivers. Not only that, I wanted to take a lazy route and make this thing imitate a wider variety of bugs so I could fish this across hatches.

In order to get that, I added a good clump of CDC, improved the hackle method and created a more realistic non-foam thorax area. At the same time, we keep the Klink style hook and the medallion sheeting wings -- both of which are the real key to the effectiveness of this style pattern. The end result is a fly that has nailed fish eating Drakes, Callibaetis and Caddis -- all on the exact same color and size fly.

A Brown trout that was alternating between eating caddis and some PMD's.

And speaking of hackle, rather than cutting the underside like I did with the Green Drake version here, I employed the para loop or hackle stacker method to get a good solid dense clump of hackle fibers. This method is definitely one to learn.

Material List

Hook: Daiichi 1160 or 1167 #10 - #16  (BUY HERE)
Thread: UTC 70 Denier, Fl. Fire Orange (hot spot)  (BUY HERE)
Body: MFC Premium Thread, 8/0, Light Brown  (BUY HERE)
Ribbing: Midge Flash, Tan  (BUY HERE)
Under-Wing: MFC Bulk CDC, Golden Olive or Nature's Spirit CDC, Brown Olive   (BUY HERE)
Wing: Medallion Sheeting, Buggy Light Dun  (BUY HERE)
Thorax: Ice Dub, Pheasant Tail  (BUY HERE)
Hackle: Whiting Hebert Miner Saddle, Speckled Badger or Whiting Rooster Saddle in Barred Dark Ginger, Grizzly Coachman Brown or Golden Badger. Many options and great colors!  (BUY HERE)