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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bruiser Bugger

Beef Up Your Bugger

Bruiser Buggers

The Wooly Bugger is probably the most popular fly on the planet, and it can be tied in about any configuration you can imagine.  I really like a heavily weighted bugger to fish in rivers, and you all hopefully have seen the complex twist bugger with it's large tungsten cone head.  The Bruiser Bugger was created just because I was addicted to throwing the new double pupil eyes on about every fly that came off my desk.  For my river buggers I like them big and bold - long tailed and thick headed dragons that move a lot, dive deep, and push water.  My stillwater buggers (for lakes) I like to make more like leeches - Shorter sparse tails, short hackle, and minimal weight.  The Bruiser Bugger is a pretty quick tie that really moves well and pushes water really well.  They will be a great addition to your streamer box.




Hook: Daiichi 2461 #2 (+)
Thread: Veevus GSP - 50D (+)
Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil Eyes - Large Yellow/White & Black (+)
Tail1: Nature's Spirit Prime Marabou - Yellow (+)
Tail2: Nature's Spirit Prime Marabou - Brown (+)
Body: Cactus Chenille - Rootbeer (+)
Hackle: Variant Neck Hackle - Yellow (+)
Legs: Silicon Streamer Legs - Magic Lemon (+)
Head: Ice Dub - Pheasant Tail (+)
Overwing: Bruiser Blend - Canary (+)


Hook: Daiichi 2461 #2 (+)
Thread: Veevus GSP - 50D (+)
Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil Eyes - Large Yellow/White & Black (+)
Tail1: Nature's Spirit Prime Marabou - Olive (+)
Tail2: Nature's Spirit Prime Marabou - White (+)
Body: Cactus Chenille - Pearl (+)
Hackle: Variant Neck Hackle - Olive (+)
Legs: Silicon Streamer Legs - Olive Gold (+)
Head: Ice Dub - Olive Brown (+)
Overwing: Bruiser Blend - Brown Olive (+)


Hook: Daiichi 2461 #2 (+)
Thread: Veevus GSP - 50D (+)
Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil Eyes - Large Yellow/White & Black (+)
Tail1: Nature's Spirit Prime Marabou - Brown (+)
Tail2: Nature's Spirit Prime Marabou - White (+)
Body: Cactus Chenille - Pearl (+)
Hackle: Variant Neck Hackle - Chinchilla (+)
Legs: Silicon Streamer Legs - Speckled Copper Brown (+)
Head: Ice Dub - Pheasant Tail (+)
Overwing: Bruiser Blend - Brown (+)

Midnight Fire

Hook: Daiichi 2461 #2 (+)
Thread: Veevus GSP - 50D (+)
Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil Eyes - Large Black/ Chartreuse & Black (+)
Tail1: Nature's Spirit Prime Marabou - Black (+)
Body: Cactus Chenille - Black (+)
Schlappen - Black (+)
Legs: Silicon Streamer Legs - Black/Chrome Red (+)
Head: Ice Dub - Black (+)
Overwing: Bruiser Blend - Midnight Fire (+)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Titan Rod Vault Install

A Huge Win for Mobility

The truck rigged with two Titan Rod Vaults
Over the years, we've messed around with different ways to transport rigged rods from location to location when we're fishing on different waters during a day or hole-hopping on local rivers and streams. From the ol' windshield wiper "clamp" trick to shoving them out a window to transporting them inside the vehicle getting rod tip slapped as we drove and finally to a more recent contraption I built with PVC tubes, magnets and bungie cords, we tried them all. And all of them were very poor methods to get quickly in and out with no rod damage but could also weather a jaunt down the freeway if needed. Finally, after a few rod scratches, a number of drops and one painful rod break, we decided it was time to bite the bullet and get something better.

So we started shopping around for other solutions and found a few products designed to carry rods more securely. Ultimately, we settled on the Titan Rod Vault from Denver Outfitters as it seemed to have more of the features we wanted:
  • Rod Protection
  • Ease of removal and put away
  • Tube length (we fish a few 10 footers for Euro style nymphing)
  • Ease of install and mounting options
  • Security. You can lock the vaults themselves and also padlock the tube clamps to the rack you install it on.
  • Business end of the Titan Rod Vault 

  • Cosmetic, yes, but we really wanted a cool wrap so we went with a Brook Trout theme from a fish we caught a couple years back.
Custom Fly Fish Food wrap
Even though Denver Outfitters has a great set of instructions on how to mount and install, I figured we'd do one ourselves. One very important thing I'd recommend if you have a truck with no shell, like my Tundra here, give a look at US Rack. They carry high quality racks with a ton of different mounting options. And they're cheaper than the standard Thule or Yakima offerings. Since my truck has a bed rail system, it was awesome to have the US Rack system attach right in there with no drilling or other obtrusive mods to my truck.  

Anyhoo...check it out in the video here...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

California 420 Leech

Makes Fish Get the Munchies

california 420 leech simi seal
California 420 Leech

Anyone that's fished leeches, buggers or other patterns using John Rohmer's Simi Seal dubbings knows how insanely effective they are. In fact, I was looking in my stillwater boxes the other day and realized I've got a lot of patterns featuring simi seal. And as many of you know, we work with John on custom colors and blends of most of his dubbings, so when Cheech came up with the "420" series of dubbing colors for Bruiser Blend, we knew John could work the 420 magic on the Simi Seal.

And magic he did work. The color is an awesome darker olive with UV highlights in red and green. It's the perfect leech color for the darker olive leeches we see, so I knew the first pattern we needed would be a leech.

If you've ever wondered why wooly buggers and those types of patterns work so well with trout, well it's because trout eat a lot of leeches. Check out Phil Rowley's section on leeches here, but they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. I tend to like olives, browns, blacks and dark reds but it depends on where you fish of course.

Leech (Courtesy Phil Rowley)
I was going for a pattern here that had some color variations like we see with naturals. Leeches are often comprised of a number different colors, so besides the 420 Simi, I threw in a collar and tail that would add some highlights.

Material List

Hook: TMC 5263 #10  (+) or
           U 103 (50 pack) #10 (+)
Bead: Plummeting Tungsten, 3.3mm, Metallic Olive (+)  (Nickel, Metallic Brown or Metallic Green also work well)
Thread: UNI 6/0, Olive (+)
Tail & Collar: Coq De Leon Hen, Soft Hackle with Chickabou, Speckled Yellow Chartreuse (+)
Tail Flash: Krystal Flash, Rootbeer (+)
Body: Arizona Mega Simi Seal, California 420  (+)

Other tools from the tutorial:
Stonfo Combo Brush/Comb  (+)
Turbo Dubbing Spinner (+)

Belly Scratching Game Changer

Wiggle Wiggle, Twitch, Wiggle

Belly Scratching Game Changer
Swim bait.  Two words that might be foreign to the fly fishing purist, but are synonymous to catching huge bass on conventional gear.  Fly-only people typically refer to anything made of hard plastic as a Rapala or a crank bait, but a swim bait is quite different because there is usually not a "lip" to create wobble factor.  The hard plastic swim baits that I have under the deck of the bass boat are typically made up of two or more sections that make it swim like a real fish.  The paint jobs are pristine, and they absolutely crush fish - not just bass, but any type of fish that eats other fish.  Where am I going with this? The game changer style of fly is basically a swim bait for your fly rod, and they are big fish magnets due to maximum movement.  Big thanks to Blane Chocklett for tweaking this fly to what it is today, and another big thanks to material companies like Flymen Fishing Co. and Hareline Dubbin for being willing to produce materials that make this fly easier to tie.  

Like most flies that I try or see, I can't help but tinker a bit with them.  I wanted to invert the fly to make it ride hook point up so I added the belly scratcher style weighting system.  I also made the head out of bruiser blend because I thought it looked cool and really blended well with the Game Changer Chenille.  That's another thing...  The game changer style fly really lends itself to many different materials like craft fur, EP fibers, and feathers; but the easiest to use are made by Hareline and are called "Chocklett's Body Wrap" and "Chocklett's Game Changer Chenille."  They will both make your game changer tying experience a lot better.  These flies are not difficult to tie at all, but they take a bit of time to construct and trim, so be patient.




Hook: Gamakatsu B10s - 2/0 (+)
Thread: Danville 210 - White (+)
Spines: Fish Skull Articulated Fish Spines - Starter Pack (+)
Connection: Articulation Wire (+)
Weight: Plummeting Bead - 5.5mm (+)
Weight Plummeting Bead - 4.6mm (+)
Eyes: 3D Big Fish Eyes - 3/8 (10mm) Super Pearl (+)
Tail: Arctic Fox Tail Hair - White (+)
Body: Game Changer Chenille - Clear (+)
Head1: Bruiser Blend - Alpha Wolf (+)
Head2: Bruiser Blend - White (+)
Head3: Bruiser Blend Jr. - Alpha Wolf (+)
Head4: Bruiser Blend Jr. - White (+)
Marker: Chartpak - Delta Brown (+)
Marker: Chartpak - Black (+)


Hook: Gamakatsu B10s - 2/0 (+)
Thread: Danville 210 - White (+)
Spines: Fish Skull Articulated Fish Spines - Starter Pack (+)
Connection: Articulation Wire (+)
Weight: Plummeting Bead - 5.5mm (+)
Weight Plummeting Bead - 4.6mm (+)
Eyes: 3D Big Fish Eyes - 3/8 (10mm) Super Pearl (+)
Tail: Arctic Fox - Black (+)
Body: Game Changer Chenille - Gray (+)
Head1: Bruiser Blend - Black (+) The head is solid black
Head2: Bruiser Blend Jr. - Black (+)
Marker: Chartpak - Black (+)

Other Items Used
Tear Mender (+)
Loon Applicator Bottle (+)
Stonfo Comb and Brush (+)
Flush Cutters (+)
Streamworks 5" Razor Scissors (+)
Streamworks 4" Tungsten Scissors (+)
Regal Revolution Vise - with big game jaw (+)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Duracell Jig

Another nymph for the quiver

Duracell Jig
I haven't fished the duracell jig for more than a year or so, but it's quickly becoming one of my all-around go-to flies for Euro style nymphing as well as something to drop off of a big dry fly.

Originally created, near as I can tell from what I read online, by Craig McDonald, the Duracell has quickly become a favorite pattern among the Euro or Czech style nymphing crowd.

I'm very particular to Ice Dub and Hare'e Ice Dub, so when I saw this was created almost entirely from one of my favorite materials, I figured it had to be golden -- and it's been golden, no question.

If you tie, the tutorial follows. If you don't tie, we have some already whipped up for you here.

Nice Brown Nymphed up with a Duracell 

Material List

Hook: Fulling Mill Jig Hook #12 #2 (+) or
           Partridge Jig Hook #12 (+)
Bead: Plummeting Tungsten, 3.3mm, Nickel (+)
Thread: UNI 8/0, Camel  (+)
Tail: Coq De Leon Tailing, Dyed Brown (+)
Body & Thorax: Ice Dub, UV Brown (+)
Ribbing: UTC Ultra Wire, Small, Red (+)
Collar: Nature's Spirit CDC, Brown (+)

Other tools from the tutorial:
Stonfo Elite Rotodubbing Twister  (+)

Petitjean Long Blade Scissors (for use with Magic Tool)  (+)

Petitjean Magic Tool Set (+)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Skirted Bugger

Conventional Bass World Meets Fly Tying

Several years ago when I started to fish more seriously for bass I was given a lead pot, molds, powder paint, and "skirt" making material.  My friends wanted me to give jig making a try since I knew how to tie flies.  Boy did I ever make some jigs...  I still make all of the jigs that I fish with, but it didn't take long for the conventional bass influence to trickle over to fly tying.  The El Sculpito is a design that is heavily influenced by bass fishing because of the gross amount of silicone legs that it uses.  This "skirted" style of fly is nothing really new in the warm water game, but I wanted to meld it with a bugger style fly.  This fly is kind of Calcasieu Pig Boat meets Wooly Bugger and can be modified about a million different ways.  Also, the way that the silicone is tied in can be used in a lot of different flies to add bulk and maximum lateral line stimulation.  I see some guys buying pre-made bass skirts and using those on a fly, but the only reason that the bass guys will use those pre-made skirts is that they don't know how to "hand tie" them.  By tying them in with thread you get a much more durable tie in point, and the silicone flares much more.  Good luck with this fly...  It's very simple and a ton of fun to customize.

~ Cheech



Hook: Daiichi 2461 #2 (+)
Thread: Danville 140 - Black (+)
Cone: Brass Cone - Copper Large (+) Any color works...
Weighted Wire: Lead Free Wire - .030 (+)
Paint: Powder Paint - Olive Gold (+)
Tail: Nature's Spirit Prime Long Marabou - Dark Olive (+)
Body: Hare'e Ice Dub - Olive Brown (+)
Flash: Ice Dub - Gold (+)
Collar: Silicon Streamer Legs - Olive Gold (+)


Hook: Daiichi 2461 #2 (+)
Thread: Danville 140 - Black (+)
Cone: Brass Cone - Copper Large (+) Any color works...
Weighted Wire: Lead Free Wire - .030 (+)
Paint: Powder Paint - Black Red (+)
Tail: Nature's Spirit Prime Long Marabou - Black (+)
Body: Hare'e Ice Dub - Black (+)
Flash: Ice Dub - Red (+)
Collar: Silicon Streamer Legs - Black Chrome Red (+)