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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Kreelex variation

Maybe the easiest streamer in your box

Speckled Silver Kreelex Variation

The Kreelex fly designed by Chuck Kraft could almost be considered the holy grail of streamers because it's about as simple as it gets, and it is very very effective.  I started playing with this style of fly a little while back, but I used flashabou instead of the original Kreinik fibers because I wanted a bit more of a sparse profile.  For added kick, I also added a coat of powder paint to the barbell eyes and the eye of the hook.  Powder paint is guaranteed to help you catch 57.33% more fish, and it will also help you have 37.97% cooler looking flies in your box.  Also, 87% of all statistics are made up.  I just had to add that in there because someone will ask if the powder paint is absolutely necessary on this fly.  The answer is always no, but I think that there are times when a bit of added flair can help you in your fishing.  Powder paint is available in many different colors, and they can be a killer addition to barbell eyes, coneheads, etc.  I would just kind of avoid using it on smaller nymph bead heads because it will gum up the eye of your hook.  All in all, this fly can be tied in a bazillion color combinations, so get some hooks, flashabou, and powder paint and make some fish catchers.

~ Cheech 

*Also, I lost all ability to think while I was filming, so there are lots of speaking errors...  I blame Curtis' dog Pedro and his evil stare downs for the mistakes.



Hook:  Gamakatsu B10S #2 (+)
Thread: Danville 140 - Black (+)
Wire: UTC Small - Gold (+)
Paint: Powder Paint - Black Blue (+)
Barbell: Lead Barbell Eyes - Large (+)
Body1: Speckled Flashabou - Silver (+)
Body2: Dyed Pearl Flashabou - Dark Blue (+)


Hook:  Gamakatsu B10S #2 (+)
Thread: Danville 140 - Black (+)
Wire: UTC Small - Gold (+)
Paint: Powder Paint - Olive Gold (+)
Barbell: Lead Barbell Eyes - Large (+)
Body1: Speckled Flashabou - Gold (+)
Body2: Dyed Pearl Flashabou - Black (+)


Hook:  Gamakatsu B10S #2 (+)
Thread: Danville 140 - Black (+)
Wire: UTC Small - Gold (+)
Paint: Powder Paint - Black Red (+)
Barbell: Lead Barbell Eyes - Large (+)
Body1: Speckled Flashabou - Copper (+)
Body2: Dyed Pearl Flashabou - Orange (+)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Flugenzombie - An Articulated Streamer

A mashup of three effective patterns

Flugenzombie in Dirty Baitfish coloration

It's no secret that we like to take effective patterns and mash them up into what we hop will be effective bugs.  The Chimera pattern (that Curtis has promised to start wearing as earrings because he loves it so much) is a good example of a fly that wasn't designed to match any one specific bug, rather to be a "close enough" type of pattern that the fish might take for a lot of different things.  We, as human beings, are pretty picky about what we actually put into our mouths with the intent of eating, for example: If I hid Curtis' glasses from him and lined up a delicious chocolate whopper, a raisin, and a deer turd on a table and told him that all three had some caloric value, he'd probably take his time before figuring out that one is literally a piece of crap, one might as well be a piece of crap, and only one of them is actually worth making the effort of putting in his mouth.  Fish?  They are a bit different.  They don't have the highly developed taste buds that Curtis has, so they eat more like me...  If it's of caloric value, it's going down the hatch.  Before I start getting hate mail about all of the picky 20 inchers that you fish for that only eat a properly presented baetis pattern with two tails and a body made from dubbing color 38923-A presented on 7x tippet, I do understand that lot of fish are picky eaters...  It's just that we shouldn't lose the mindset that fish are searching for calories, and many times a pattern that is "close enough" will do the trick.

Now that I got that little rant out of my scattered brain I can tell you about the Flugenzombie.  The name is more of a joke than anything, but this fly was rumored to have eaten the Cheech Leech, The Complex Twist Bugger, and the Lunch Lady to morph into a mashup of all three.  I use the body and tail from the Complex Twist, I use a collar of marabou and silicone legs from the Cheech Leech, and I use a Lunch Lady head.  One thing I forgot to do on the video is attach speckled flashabou at points 5:15, and 10:24...  The flash should be tied in front of the sections of the fly, and kind of act as an over "wing" that extends to the length of the tail.  You can see the flash in the example patterns that I show.  The Flugenzombie is a takeoff of other patterns that were already not an exact copy of anything that lives in the water.  All I know is that the fish either love this style and want to eat it, or they hate it and they want to kill it.  To accomplish either of these ends it will need to be in the mouth of the fish at some point.  Win win.



**A good substitute for the Gamakatsu B10S is the Partridge Attitude Streamer (+)

Articulation Wire Flush Cutters (+)
Stonfo Comb/Brush Tool (+)

Dirty Baitfish

Hook 1: Daiichi 2461 #1 (+)
Hook 2: Gamakatsu B10S #1 (+)
Eyes: Ballzeyes - Large, Chartreuse Eye (+)
Thread: Danville 140 - Black (+)
Tail1and Collar1: Nature's Spirit Prime Long Marabou - Muskrat Gray (+)
Tail2 and Collar2: Nature's Spirit Prime Long Marabou - Tan (+)
Body1: Schlappen - Heron Gray (+)
Body2: Schlappen - Tan (+)
Body3: UV Polar Chenille - Large  Gold (+)
Flash: Flashabou - Speckled Gold (+)
Connection1: Articulation Wire (+)
Connection2: Articulation Bead - Gunmetal (+)
Legs: Silicone Streamer Legs - Sparkle Sand (+)
Head1: Bruiser Blend Jr. - Alpha Wolf (+)
Head2: Bruiser Blend Jr - Cream (+)

Cali 420

Hook 1: Daiichi 2461 #1 (+)
Hook 2: Gamakatsu B10S #1 (+)
Eyes: Ballzeyes - Large, Red Anodized (+)
Thread: Danville 140 - Red (+)
Tail1 and Collar1: Nature's Spirit Prime Long Marabou - Dark Olive (+)
Tail2 and Collar1: Nature's Spirit Prime Long Marabou - Claret (+)
Body1: Schlappen - Olive (+)
Body2: Schlappen - Black (+)
Body3: Senyo's Aqua Veil Chenille - Chocolate Covered Cherry (+)
Flash: Flashabou - Red (+)
Connection1: Articulation Wire (+)
Connection2: Articulation Bead - Ruby Red (+)
Legs: Silicone Streamer Legs - Chrome Watermelon (+)
Head: Bruiser Blend Jr. - California 420 (top and bottom) (+)

Wyoming Sheep Herder

Hook 1: Daiichi 2461 #1 (+)
Hook 2: Gamakatsu B10S #1 (+)
Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil Eyes - Large, Yellow White/Black (+)
Thread: Danville 140 - Yellow (+)
Tail1 and Collar1: Nature's Spirit Prime Long Marabou - Brown (+)
Tail2 and Collar2: Nature's Spirit Prime Long Marabou - Yellow (+)
Body1: Schlappen - Fiery Brown (+)
Body2: Schlappen - Yellow (+)
Body3: Senyo's Aqua Veil Chenille -  Peanut Brittle (+)
Flash: Flashabou - Speckled Copper (+)
Connection1: Articulation Wire (+)
Connection2: Articulation Bead - Nuclear Corn (+)
Legs: Silicone Streamer Legs - Speckled Pumpkin (+)
Head1: Bruiser Blend Jr. - Brown (+)
Head2: Bruiser Blend Jr - Canary (+)

Pink Britches

Hook 1: Daiichi 2461 #1 (+)
Hook 2: Gamakatsu B10S #1 (+)
Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil Eyes - Large, Pink White Black (+)
Thread: Danville 140 - White (+)
Tail1: Nature's Spirit Prime Long Marabou - Pink (+)
Tail2: Nature's Spirit Prime Long Marabou - White (+)
Body1: Schlappen - Pink (+)
Body2: Schlappen - White (+)
Body3: Senyo's Aqua Veil Chenille - Bubble Gum (+)
Flash: Flashabou - Pink (+)
Connection1: Articulation Wire (+)
Connection2: Articulation Bead - Magenta Fire (+)
Legs: Silicone Streamer Legs - Speckled Shrimp (+)
Head1: Bruiser Blend Jr. - Neon Pink (+)
Head2: Bruiser Blend Jr - White (+)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Flashabaetis Nymph

A Flashy and Unweighted Mayfly Nymph

A gaggle of Flashabaetis nymphs
There was a time that I got into a sort of weird rut with my nymph patterns and ended up with the vast majority of my flies tied with beads on them. I didn't even think about it until a day when I was sight fishing to a bunch of nice high mountain cutthroats and my bead head patterns were all sinking way too fast past the noses of the fish, resulting in a very poor showing in the net. Even though I finally dug out an unweighted fly that ultimately scored me some good fish because it spent more time slowly sinking (i.e. hanging in the "zone"), I realized I'd become too bead-heavy in my tying. Lesson learned: always be sure to have a good mixture of weighted and unweighted nymph patterns in the same types of patterns in order to cover more of the water column and different fishing conditions.

 The nice thing about unweighted patterns is that they can actually be a little more multi-purpose than bead-head flies. It's tough to get a bead head to sink slower, but especially in lakes or slower moving water, you just need to add a little more time and the unweighted fly can reach your target zone and even hang there longer.  My little cutthroat excursion above was a pretty obvious example of this where the unweighted fly (same style) outscored their beaded buddies by a huge margin. I could only chalk that up to having the fly maintain a more natural descent or movement in the water and possibly remaining in the fish's view for more time.

The Flashabaetis was born out of this concept with some added flashiness to help get a little more attention in the water. It's a really fun pattern to tie and you can mix up the color schemes to imitate a lot of different mayflies, although I'm usually tying them for Pale Morning Duns (PMD's), Baetis (Blue winged olives) or Callibaetis nymphs.

Material List

Hook: Partridge Czech Nymph, #14-#18 (+) or Daiichi 1130 #14 - #18 (+)
Thread: UNI 8/0, Olive Dun (+)
Tail/Legs: Hungarian Partridge -- Full Skin (+) or Bagged Partridge Feathers (+)
Body: UNI Double Sided Mylar, Peacock/Orange, #12 (+)
Ribbing: UTC Ultra Wire, Brassie, Copper   (+)
Abdomen Back: Veevus Holo Tinsel, Med, Brown (+)
Thorax: Hare'e Ice Dub, Gray (+)
Wing Case: Nymph Skin, Bronze/Tan - Clear (+)
                   or Fino Skin, Brown (+)

Other Tools, materials:
Loon UV Fluorescing Clear Fly Finish (+)
Touch Dub, Dubbing Wax (+)

Monday, March 14, 2016

M3 Mayfly Nymph

A realistic Box Filler

In my tying it seems as if I get really caught up in the synthetic materials, flashy fibers, markers, etc...  One day while I was fishing a local river on a pretty bright summer day I was determined to focus on my nymphing techniques on this stretch of river.  I knew that the fish were plentiful, and they would readily eat a good fly that was properly presented, but I was having a hard time hooking up that day.  As I waded upstream there was a steep bank that dropped right into a deep hole that was for sure a home to many fish.  As I approached this hole, I realized that my best shot at getting a proper drift would be to stand on the bank nearest the deep part of the hole and make a cast from a higher vantage point.  As I stood looking into this dark hole, I realized that my nymphs were giving off a LOT of reflecting light due to the sun being directly overhead.  I fished them for a bit with no luck, so I brought them in and saw that there was just a minimal amount of flash on the wing cases of both of my flies.  That minimal amount was enough for the sun to hit them and make them look like flash strobes.  I clipped them off and replaced them with very drab, flashless patterns that looked more like a natural.  I did catch fish after making the change, and I often think back to that experience while I'm at the vise.  I'm not saying that all flies need to be removed of flash, but it's a great idea to have some more plain patterns in the box.

A friend of mine, Michael Faulkinbury, recently showed me his most popular nymph pattern and I immediately started adding them to my boxes.  At first it was kind of hard to decipher what he was using for the tail and body, and I was pretty surprised when he told me.  It's called the M3 (Moose Mane Morsel) and the tail, body, and wing case are all tied out of Nature's Spirit Speckled Moose Body Hair...  He said he used to tie it out of moose mane until the nice body hair came out, so maybe we need to call it the Mike's Moose Morsel or something like that.  Anyway, Michael is a great fly tyer who does some amazing work with natural materials.  Check out his instagram feed @2dryfly.

~ Cheech

*Please note...  Make sure the super glue has time to set up before placing the resin over the fly.



Hook: Daiichi 1560 - #16-20 (+)
Thread: Uni 8/0 - Olive Dun (+)
Tail/Body/Wingcase: Speckled Moose Body Hair - Olive (+)
Thorax: Snowshoe Hare's Foot Dubbing - Olive Gray (+)


Hook: Daiichi 1560 - #16-20 (+)
Thread: Uni 8/0 - Iron Gray (+)
Tail/Body/Wingcase: Speckled Moose Body Hair - Medium Dun (+)
Thorax: Snowshoe Hare's Foot Dubbing - Hare's Ear (+)


Hook: Daiichi 1560 - #16-20 (+)
Thread: Uni 8/0 - Camel (+)
Tail/Body/Wingcase: Speckled Moose Body Hair - Brown (+)
Thorax: Snowshoe Hare's Foot Dubbing - Hare's Ear (+)

Other Items Used:
Loon Fluorescing UV Resin (+)
Stonfo Comb/Brush Tool (+)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Ice Hare's Ear

A simple spin on a classic

The Hare's Ear is one of those flies that most people have fished and tied.  Part of the charm of a Hare's Ear is that they are super effective even though they are pretty messy and buggy.  I have been tying Hare's Ears in different variations for many years, and this version has been pretty good to me due to how effective Ice Dub is.  Ice Dub has just the right amount of flash, UV sparkle, and black magic to make fish for miles crave it...  This pattern can be tied in many different sizes and colors just like the original Hare's Ear pattern.  There really isn't too much more to write about this pattern because it's so simple...  Check out the video below.

~ Cheech



Hook: Daiichi 1260 #14 (+)
Bead: 2.8mm tungsten - Black Nickel (+)
Weight: Lead free wire - .015 (+)
Thread: Danville 70 - Black (+)
Tail: Pheasant tail fibers - Black (+)
Rib: Dyed pearl flashabou - Black (+)
Counter rib: Mono Thread (+)
Thorax and Abdomen: Ice Dub - UV Black (+)
Wing Case: Fino Skin - Black (+)
Resin - Loon Fluorescing (+)

Olive Brown

Hook: Daiichi 1260 #14 (+)
Bead: 2.8mm tungsten - Black Nickel (+)
Weight: Lead free wire - .015 (+)
Thread: Danville 70 - Black (+)
Tail: Pheasant tail fibers - Natural (+)
Rib: Dyed pearl flashabou - Black (+)
Counter rib: Mono Thread (+)
Thorax and Abdomen: Ice Dub - Olive Brown (+)
Wing Case: Fino Skin - Black (+)
Resin - Loon Fluorescing (+)

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sparklesvelte Blood Worm

Slim, small and deadly

Sparklesvelte Blood worm
It's hard to beat the effectiveness of a simple blood worm pattern, whether on a lake or in a river or small stream. And while the Gut Bomb, discussed here and here, is my go-to still water blood worm pattern, the Sparklesvelte is what I'd call a specialist pattern. It works well when fish are picky or when imitating much smaller midge larva in streams or rivers.

I keep a good number of these little guys in both my stream/river nymphing boxes as well as my still water boxes. You never know when they might come in handy. The rainbow shown below was taken on a Sparklesvelte when bigger nymphs weren't producing as well and a throat sample showed a good number of smaller blood worms in the mix. It ended up catching a lot of fish that day.

Nice little Rainbow that fell to the Sparklesvelte

And the nice thing about it, is that it's a super-simple fly to tie and you can literally tie around 100 an hour.

Material List

Hook: Daiichi 1150 #18 (+)  (for smaller sizes, go with the Daiichi 1130 #20 - #24 (+)
Thread: Uni 8/0 - Red (+)
Body: Veevus Holographi Tinsel, Med - Cranberry (+)
Rib: Thread
Body Coat: Loon Fluorescing UV Clear Fly Finish (+)