Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dohiku Hooks

I've been tying on a new fly tying hook madei n Czechoslovakia that Eric Stroup introduced me to at the Marlborough, MA., fly fishing show a couple of weeks ago.  I've been tying nymphs, soft-hackles and assorted dry flies on them and can't wait to use them on the stream.

Today I tried tying a classic Catskill Style dry fly on a size 14, dry fly hook.  I have tied this style fly on the nymph Dohiku hooks, and they look great, as you can see in my post of a few days ago - the Royal Wulff.  Here's the Red Quill I tied today on the dry fly hook:

You can see the hook shank to hook gap ratio is on the short side for this style, and the shank begins to curve well before the bend, unlike the traditional dry fly hook.  But not so much that the fly shouldn't perform well, it just looks different on this hook.  Other style dries I tied on the hook look better to me than they do on the traditional dry hook - snowshoe rabbit duns and emergers and thorax style.  I'll post some pics of those after I recharge the battery in the camera...most likely after I return from Beantown later this week.
And here's a pheasant tail soft-hackle I tied on a small dry fly hook - #16.  Looks great, and I'm guessing it will fish great.  The hooks are very well made, strong and know how I like sharp hooks!

I'm going to keep tying on these hooks, and I can't wait to fish them.  I'm thinking they may become my go-to hook for a lot of my patterns.

You can get the hooks from Kevin Compton at Performance Flies.  Look him up and give him a ring, he's got the goods.  Just leave some for me. 

Here's the link: Performance Flies   

Go get 'em, and sharpen those hooks!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hugh's Fish Fight

Half of all fish caught in the north sea are thrown back overboard dead.

Click here to join the cause: Hugh's Fish Fight
Enough said, join the cause.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blue Ribbon Flies Ties the Muskrat Midge

We all know the Zebra Midge is a winter-time staple for trout. You may want to add this midge pattern to your arsenal as well. Not that midges are only important during the winter.....they are important all year, every month, and if the fish aren't rising, keep them in mind when fishing subsurface.

Fish them deep and keep 'em sharp!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Somerset Fly Fishing Show

The big show this past weekend was one of the best I've attended as I tied all weekend long alongside a couple of good friends, and lots of other friends, old and new, stopped by to watch us tie flies.  I got to catch up with some old friends, and all of us managed to create some general mayhem and laughter.  My presentations were very well attended, I signed a boatload of books (I thought that would start to wane but I signed as many as I ever have), and got started on the making of a fly tying video to be out later this year along with my next book.  Life is good. 

I must have tied a hundred flies and gave most of them's kind of show and tell and then give the guy that asked the most quesions the fly you just tied as a sample.  Or if there's a little kid watching, it goes to him or her.  

Here's a couple of Red Quills I tied, one with light hackle, and the other with dark hackle.  Both will work like a charm.

And here's a Royal Wulff I tied on a Czech made hook.  The fly is going to be mounted in a shadow box and auctioned off to raise funds for the Federation of Fly Fishers.  I'll be writing more soon on these hooks and showing other patterns tied on them, and where you can buy them.  They are well made, sharp and they even look pretty wicked with that circle point.  Can't wait to fish them and report back, I hear they are as good when fishing them as they are in the tying vise.  

And here's a soft-hackle Hendrickson emerger, also tied on a Czech made hook.  

That's all for now, got to listen to President Obama-lama-ding-dong give his annual speach.   Maybe he'll bring Speaker Boehner to tears, not that that's hard to do...........I just noticed, Speaker Boehner doesn't blink........and Obama is the only one in the room without a ribbon on his lapel for Rep. Giffords.  

I'll be back.  

In the meantime, sharpen your hooks and laugh with your friends every chance you get.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More on the Urine-Stained Fox Belly Fur

You don't have to be a chemist to know that fox pee stains fox belly fur the perfect shade of another one of nature's creatures, Ephemerella subvaria - The Hendrickson mayfly.  It's a rare find, this fur, that many traditional Catskill Fly Tyers covet.  It's been said that some tyers have had wet dreams about it, and why shouldn't they?  After all, perhaps they might be trying to create their own magic fur. 

Pick up any book on the history of the Catskill Fly Tying Tradition, and you'll see this material was the
reason for bar fights, marriage proposals and dissolutions, hunting "accidents", and in a number of cases, wader slashing.

One old-timer recently recalled how he overheard two local Roscoe, NY fellows named Walt and Harry, discussing over a couple of beers how they would carry out a trip to their safe deposit box at the Salmonid National Bank, to cut a smidgen of fur from their treasured fur so they could tie some fresh Hendricksons for the upcoming hatch in the spring of 1957..........

And now, after 40 years of tying flies, I have my own piece of pee-stained fox belly fur to tie my Hendricksons with thanks to one of the finest Catskill Fly Tyers known, Dave Brant.  And now I can see for myself why this fur "gold" has reached mythical status - the creamy gray with a pink cast fur color is found no where else in nature...........or labratories.  All those years I had mixed a blend of pink, gray and cream dyed rabbit fur to get the desired shade, and now I have the real deal.

So now I just have to pull out all the guard hairs, then cut off and blend the remaining underfur into a natural creamy, pink gray dubbing in a coffee grinder.  The result will be the ultimate Hendrickson dubbing.  I'll tie a few up and share them with you all (photos that is) sometime in the very near future.

Another reason to look forward to spring!     

Sharpen those hooks!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Show's Over.....On to the Next One

Just got back from the Marlborough, MA show, and it was a good one.  Karen and I had a sort of vacation for three days, me tying and demonstrating, and both of us catching up with friends and having a great time in the evenings.  The crowds were good, but not crazy like Somerset, and even today was pretty busy for a Sunday.

Yep, I know I didn't post anything like I had hoped, but we were busy having fun and tiring ourselves out.......and focusing. ; )  I did take a bunch of photos, which I'll post tomorrow along with the details. Tied a load of flies, gave most away, and also scored a beautiful piece of pink urine-stained fox fur for the Hendrickson, courtesy of Dave Brant.  Thank you, Dave!

Off to bed.

Sharpen those hooks and hold on for more..........         

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's Show Time!!

The first show of the year for me starts today, in Marlborough, MA.  After taking care of a couple of things for work, I'll head over to the show this afternoon and get started.

I'm bringing my camera and hope to post a story each day and some photos for you here.  I say hope to, because as most of my friends know, I'm easily's rumored that I'm A.D.D., but you know how rumors get started these days with the internet and all.  I think Mr. Q started the rumor........or maybe it was my wife.............or my mother?


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 1, 2011 - We Fished, We Caught, and Mr. Q Provided Some Wisdom on Weird

The year started out well as not only did we get our feet "wet", we even caught fish!  When I met Mr. Q by the river about noon, the air was a cool 45 degrees, but the sun brightened the sky through high, thin clouds.  By the time we left the water, those clouds thickened and the sunglasses had came off.

The river was clear as air, low, and a cold 40 degrees.  Every rock, stone and stick on the bottom could be seen.  When you looked carefully in the deeper, protected flows, quite a few trout could be seen. 

Here's the bearded lad nymphing a fast run below a long, smooth pool.

And here's one of the wild browns I caught.  This one took a scud, as did all the others with the exception of one that took a black zebra midge.

And here's the scud that worked so well.  It's a simple tie; olive/gray fur with some clear antron mixed in, and a gold wire rib.  Easy and very effective.

At one point, while Mr. Q fished, I stood above him on the top of the bank overlooking the pool listening to him tell me about a mutual acquaintance of ours.  After he finished his story, I commented that the guy seemed pretty weird.

Mr. Q turned and shouted back at me, "We're all weird!"

"What the hell is it when we spend an evening sitting at a vise under a light tying flies with feathers and fur to catch fish on?"  .........."THAT'S f&%#ing  weird!" 

Then he hooked a fish on a fly he had tied.............

To each his own.  I'll take our weird over other weirds anyday.           

Here's to a prosperous 2011 to all!

And sharpen those hooks.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

In order to start the year out properly, I'm going fishing.  Mr. Q is, too, and we're hoping Eric is at the rendezvous spot to join us.  We'll be fishing a very special, secret spot on a local stream, and with the sun out and the air at 47 degrees already, we're hoping to start out the year on a high note.  Even if we don't catch fish, it should be fun.

Report later.

Here's a reminder of things to come from last year - late May.