Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another Tying Video - Soft Hackle Mayfly Emerger

This one has been picked up by Midcurrent, so we just have the link.

This is a most versatile pattern as you can just change the throax color and hook size to imitate all of the different mayflies in their emergent state.

It's one of my go-to patterns all year 'round.  Tie some up for the fall on a size #12 hook, with a reddish brown dubbed thorax - this imiates the Slate Drake (Isonychia) quite well.

And sharpen your hooks!  You'll catch more fish.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Great Autlumn Sedge Soft Hackle

Here is my soft hackle version of the Autumn Sedge we highlighted in our last post.  This fly imitates the emerging pupa quite well.  Fish it dead-drift then lift it when it gets to likely holding water, or fish it on the swing and let the current lift it at the end of the swing as the line tightens.  These are tied on size #10 hooks - the first is tied on a Czech Dohiku hook, and the second is a Dai-Riki dry fly hook.

We tied these using orange 6/0 Danville thread, the body is a mix of equal parts yellow and orange dubbing with a smidgen of brown to mute the bright colors, the rib is doubled and twisted 3/0 brown monocord, and the collar is a brown speckled hen body feather.

(Click on images to enlarge)

This is an easy tie that works well this time of the year, fished any time of the day.  We've been known to fish them with a split shot on the tippet to get them down into the deep holes and runs.  Fish them through the run and don't lift the fly to cast again until the current has brought the fly to the surface.  We get some hard takes on the end of the drift just as the fly ascends to the surface.

Have fun and sharpen your hooks!    

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Real Orange of Autumn

The Great Autumn Sedges have been hatching quite well this year on our streams, despite the recent floods and prior summer heat.  If only we could get our asses away from work long enough to fish, we might enjoy the colors of Autumn both in the trees and on the water.

This is a big mother of a bug, size #8-10, and quite the looker.  Wings bathed in a soft orange, clearly veined, and with large rust colored eyes and long antennae, this caddisfly is loved by both trout and fly fishers alike.  Although it hatches primarily very late in the day and after dark, it hangs around flowing trout waters in the early morning hours and at dusk enough that the fish are familiar with and will feed on them.  In fact, we will blind fish our low-floating dry version over likely holding water and take plenty of eager risers.

For you eggheads, these are the eastern October caddis - Pycnopsyche (sp.).  They hatch from August through October, with the apex of the hatch occurring in late September into early October most years.

A large orange and partridge soft hackle is a good wet for the emerger - add a fur dubbed thorax to add a little bulk and lend a better silhouette to the mix. 

Here's the adult:       

Here is my low riding adult imitation: Ruddy orange body; amber zelon underwing; orange dyed elk body wing; touch dubbed hare's ear for the thorax.  Size #10 dry fly hook.  This pattern has worked well for me as a general searching pattern early and late in the day this time of the year.

Here's is an elk hair caddis version I tied for those of you that prefer this style.  The body is ruddy orange, the hackle is bleached grizzly, and the wing it natural elk hair (the color is washed out by the flash). 

Tie some up and give them a shot.  And be sure to fish them in the skinny water and right up against the bank.  Trout will lay in water only a few inches deep this time of the year if left undisturbed.

Good luck, and sharpen those hooks. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tying the Iris Caddis

You've seen the step by step photo tying instructions we have posted in the past, and they have been good (sort of), but this is the tits! 

Seriously, Tim Flagler aka Tightline Productions, has produced the first Caddis Chronicles full length tying video.  We chose Craig Mathew's of Blue Ribbon Flies, Iris Caddis pattern, as it is a killer fly when the Hydropsychidae are hatching on just about any North American river or stream.  And they do hatch, from May through September.  It also imitates other caddis species that hatch in a similar fashion - drifting in the surface film for a short period before launching straight into the air.
Iris Caddis from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

Tie some up and fish them, you won't be disappointed.

All comments and feedback are welcome!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Thursday, September 8, 2011

After the Flood Video

Tim Flagler works fast! It was just a couple days ago he filmed us fishing after the flood and he already has a video of us on the web!  (See my post of 9/5)

Nice job, Tim!  And yes, we do need to spread would still have to film all of us though, so put on your running shoes. : )

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Visual Flight Rules? Not a Chance.........

We are experiencing a very low, thick cloud bank that's full of wet.  Seriously full of wet!  The vast grayness hanging just above the treetops dropped it's load earlier today and the rivers again exceeded flood stage.  And in so doing, they also have zero visibility!  Even if the trouts had GPS on their dash, it would be worthless - like a drunk in the dark.

If you are in the area Sunday morning and happen to have your tying tools with you, stop by Shannon's Fly Shop in Califon, and join me for a couple of hours of fly tying - we're going to do Flies for Fall Trout.  How to tie them and how to fish them.  The fish may not be able to see your flies, but that doesn't mean they won't look good to us. 

It's a great way to watch me make a fool of myself in front of a tying vise and a gang of strangers, and maybe I'll learn something at the same time.  It's always fun.   We'll do a couple of dries, and a couple of wets/nymphs, and maybe take a request or two.

And why should you want to do that?  So you can go out to your favorite stream on a cool October morning when the trees are in all their golden glory, and do everything right so one of these beauties comes to your fly and takes it like candy.....

Now that's living!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Fishing Was Fine

After a somewhat long, forced withdrawal from fly fishing for trout thanks to hot, dry weather, we fished last evening.  The river is still somewhat high and still turbid, but not so much so that we couldn't fish our flies and have the trout pick them out of the suspended particles flowing by them.  It was a warm, humid evening with calm skies tinged by the soft golden glow of the late summer sun.

We were actually fishing for a purpose.  Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions wanted to put together a video of post hurricane trout fishing to show that the fish are still right where they were before the storm.  He was also hoping to get some footage of the proper way to release a trout after landing it.  Me, John C., Len R., Jim of Shannon's Fly Shop and his mate Donna, all met at the river and did our best to give Tim what he needed.

As you might expect, not much was happening on the surface so the order of the day was nymphs and streamers.  We all hooked fish and managed to land a few nice ones, mostly on nymphs in the course of a few hours.  The trout are right where they should have been despite the way the river had flooded the week before.  They were all healthy and fought hard - several managed to break me off before I could get them to hand.................see what happens when you don't fish for a couple of weeks?  The mind and the muscles get rusty!!!!

It was great to be on the water with friends.  There is nothing like spending an evening standing in cool flowing water, warm summer sun on your face, fishing, and sharing some laughs with your friends.  Sure, we fished much too close to each other under normal circumstances, but sometimes the catching takes a back seat to bullshitting.


Mr. Q. caught a beautiful brown a few miles down river from us.........I got this photo from him when I got back to the fishing shack.  Way to go buddy!        

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Does Size Matter?

I know we're digressing again, but the rivers are just too full of water and debris to fish right now. 

The old wives tale says that the bigger the acorns, the worse the winter to come.  If you believe in that stuff, we're in for a doozey this coming winter season.  This is a typical acorn from one of the oaks on my property this year.  The things are huge!   This photo is not doctored or p-shopped, just a little ole acorn next to George for perspective.  When one of these fatties falls from its mother and lands on the roof, it sounds like someone is tossing rocks at the house.  

The squirrels may be happy now, but that may change when they are freezing their asses off this winter trying to figure out where they stashed them.  And the deer, they think they're in candyland right now.