Friday, March 24, 2017

Tying the Top Secret Midge...On a Size #26 Hook!

In his latest tying video, Tim Flagler ties Pat Dorsey's Top Secret Midge pattern, which is a hard enough task for most tyers without having to get it right in front of a camera.  If there's an upside to tying this pattern, it is that it's fairly easy to tie and works well in sizes #20 on down to #26. It was designed for fishing tailwaters, which are midge factories, but it works well anywhere there are trout (midges can be found in just about any river or lake in the world). 

To give you an idea of the size, here's a comparison with a size #20 above it on a quarter. 

Sharpen your hooks!

Monday, March 20, 2017

The X-Caddis

I go through quite a bit of deer and elk hair, as I use it often for various dry flies and emergers. Last week I was placing an order from Blue Ribbon Flies, and I saw that they had early season cow elk hair available, so I ordered a piece.  This stuff is great; fine hair with nice even, unbroken tips and the perfect color for medium to lighter colored flies.  I tied up a bunch of tan X-Caddis with it, which is a pattern developed by Craig Mathews of BRF, and the results speak for themselves.    


Hook: Partridge Dry Fly Supreme #16
Thread: 6/0 Olive Danville
Shuck: Amber zelon
Body: Tan zelon dubbing
Wing: Natural early seasons elk 

LINK: Blue Ribbon Flies

Sharpen your hooks. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Clear Water Dry Fly FIshing In Norway

Here's a great short film about dry fly fishing in Norway on a beautiful, crystal clear river called the Laagen. 

Looks like something I may have to add to my bucket list.

And here's a link with information on the fishing and the river: Fishspot

Sharpen your hooks!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Winter? Spring? Fly Tying Is Where It's At

As I write this the bright winter sun is streaming through the living room windows giving the room a golden glow.  Outside, high up in in the red oak where a past storm tore off a large branch exposing the hardwood to insects, a pileated woodpecker taps loudly as it searches for a late day meal.  On the south facing hill below that, several dozen robins root among the thick blanket of dead leaves searching frantically for a meal to fight off the cold.  They hop from spot to spot, grabbing leaves with their beaks and toss them aside hoping to reveal a worm within the warm, decaying matter.   They don't stop moving; I wonder if they stay in motion in an effort to keep warm.  Nevertheless, many chirp that familiar song that often accompanies the blooming of daffodils.

It wasn't but a couple of days ago that it seemed spring was overtaking winter with temperatures in the 60's and friends texting me to leave the office to go wet a line.  There was no fishing this weekend, but we have done plenty of fly tying and thinking about warmer days and rising trout.  The shows are over, the last one being Lancaster a week ago, and that was a great time as usual.  Before I get to the fly tying, here's a shot of me and some of the hoodlums that sit along fly tyers row on the show floor enjoying a cigar after Saturday dinner in Lancaster, PA.

(Click to enlarge photos...or don't)
With opening day in New Jersey and Pennsylvania being about a month away, we are tying flies in anticipation of warmer weather, hatches, and rising trout.  Below is a Hendrickson Sparkle Dun that I tied today, as we typically see these mayflies hatching around opening day in NJ and PA.  They hatch later in the month of April in the Catskills and Delaware system.  I also tie these with a snowshoe rabbit foot wing; both work well for these early season mayflies. 

And of course, we are tying several versions of blue-winged olives, as these little flies are abundant and often the only mayflies hatching in early season.  This is a variation of the Comparadun; woodduck flank tail, thread abdomen, tied on a size #20 emerger hook here.  6/0 olive Danville thread, don't leave home without it.  

And here's a new pattern designed by Bucky McCormick of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone.  It's called an Almost There Baetis, and imitates an emerging blue-winged olive.  The tail is woodduck fibers, thread abdomen, small dubbed thorax, and grey EP trigger fibers for the wing; also tied on an emerger hook.  Tie some up and fish them with confidence.

And finally, there's a new Atlantic Salmon fly rocking the crusty fly fishing world called a Jock Mop!  Look for details in a future post.

Sharpen your hooks.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tying the Kinder, Gentler Mop Fly

I watched Tim tie these at the Lancaster Fly Fishing Show this past weekend, and the result is a streamlined, wiggly fly that in the right colors imitates a cranefly larva well.  In the video Tim adds some underwater footage of the natural that confirms this.  As usual, the production is second to none.

Sharpen your hooks!

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Fly Fishing Show - Lancaster, PA

This weekend, March 4 & 5, 2017 we'll be at the last of this season's Fly Fishing Shows taking place at the Lancaster County Convention Center.  I'll be doing a presentation each day, the featured tyer gig, and the rest of the time I'll be on the floor with the usual tying hoodlums you have come to know and love.

My schedule is a follows:

Saturday at 1:30PM - Release Room - Simple Dry Flies for Sophisticated Trout

Sunday at 1:00PM - Release Room - Eastern Hatches and their Imitations

Sunday at 3:00PM - Featured Tyer - Tying Simple Dry Flies

For more information and the full schedule: The Fly Fishing Show Lancaster, PA

Hope to see you there.

AND the first "BUGS and BREWS" fly tying event takes place tonight........

The first Bugs and Brews fly tying event will take place at Czig Meister Brewery in Hackettstown, NJ, located at 106 Valentine Street starting at 6:00PM.  This is the first time for this event, which has been organized by Frank Rosata of Ridge and Valley Trout Unlimited.

Press release:

On March 3, 2017, RVTU will host its first "Bugs and Brews Night." This is an open tying event. Bring materials to tie your own patterns or match up with other tiers and learn theirs. This is a great opportunity to learn and ask questions.

We encourage other Trout Unlimited Chapters to participate and help spread the message of TU's cause and our great sport of FlyFishing/FlyTying. We also encourage you to bring a banner supporting your local TU chapter.

Some notes about Czig Meister Brewery. They have a ample selection of their craft Brews. YOU CAN NOT BYOB. They do not serve food but they encourage you to support local restaurants (many of which deliver) or bring your own food. The space they will reserve for us in the back is rather large. I noted they lighting was actually pretty good but a tying lamp always helps. I also took notice of the tables. C- Clamps will work on some, but if you have a base clamp bring that. We're hoping this will be the first of many events for us.