Category: Fly Tying Patterns

A great book to embrace your cabin fever and a few reflections on my so-called childhood ‘fort’. Book review:”Winter World. The ingenuity of animal survival”

When I started writing this, there was at least a foot of fresh snow on the ground with more in the forecast and the animals were heading back to doing whatever it is they do during this time of the year. Yet a week ago it was pushing 60 degrees in winter and I was in a t-shirt dreaming of small mouth bass fishing.

I began wondering if they were now suddenly confused. Did they animals start to think it was the beginnings of spring? Hungrily eating all of what they had stored in joy, hopping out of their shelter in anticipation that it was April. Only to find that when the temperature dropped to a chilly 10 degrees the next day, they would return to their barren dens, and immediately question those poor life decisions they made in haste? Or did they know better. Did they instinctively know that this was just a freak occurrence? Just a brief three day warm up so they can look for stale bagels and old french fries at the bottom of a parking lot dumpster in suburbia?

“The Smallmouth Sparkle Grub”

My favorite smallmouth pattern!

On The Vise Q&A: “Jig/Slotted Beads: The proper way to fit them on the hook.”

I tie on jigs a lot, so much so that it’s become almost automatic when reaching for a hook. They are great for nymphing, will sink deep with a tungsten bead and extra weight under the body and ride with the hook point up on a tight line. Translating into less hangups as you are high sticking through the riffles.

Not to say that I dont still use standard nymph hooks with brass beads when I am going to be fishing skinnier water, and need to opt for something lighter that wont barrel straight down through the water column; It’s just that I cant seem to keep myself away from them.

While I may never really know what it is that makes them so attractive to look at, what I do know, is that one question I am asked the most when demonstrating or tying At a show, is:

“How do I get those slotted beads to sit right?!? It doesn’t work. What am I doing wrong?”

On the vise Q&A: Part 2-“Too much hackle, not enough hook. More techniques for utilizing oversized soft hackle.”

Last week we discussed two ways you can utilize an oversized feather when it comes to tying with soft hackles, and today we are going to look at two more. These two methods listed below are my favorites and while one is rather quick, the other allows you to mix it up a bit. Lets take a look!

“The Flying V”

While I have no idea what this technique is normally called, or where it came from originally; what I do know, is that I have seen it used many times by many different people, and I am always amazed at how quick and effective it is. I have also added a YouTube link at the end to a video by Craig Matthews on this technique, in case you need a moving visual.

“Fly Tying 101”: Creating a Split Thread Dubbing Loop

The Split thread dubbing technique is mainly used when you don’t want to add extra bulk to your fly. It works well when you are applying material to the head of a fly such as a hackle collar. Keep in mind that all threads are not good for splitting. Here I am using Danville thread which works just fine. This technique can be used for many different patterns, large or small, and the way you put the dubbing on will also have a different effect.

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