Tag Archives: fly tying

Sunday Night Sedentary Activity Log

The guy catching the fish had flies I didn’t have, tied in a way I can’t tie. But he let me take a look at them and I figured I’d try to replicate to the best of my ability and see what takes.

I took a tying class a few years back and bought a vise. Nobody told me at the time they made left handed ones or that you can convert them, so I just turned it backwards. I use scissors with my right hand because they never had the lefties in school. It’s all screwed up but I won’t be on display at Somerset anytime soon, so what’s the difference?

Baseball works as a backdrop because there’s a lot of nothing going on between the something and you can look up based on the sound off the bat. So the Yankees are in first, and I have some baitfish patterns that haven’t failed me yet.

Fire One Up

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My buddy Ovi saw a guy from Atlantic Outfitters tying saltwater patterns at a Fishing Expo and curing the heads with a UV light. Ovi told me about it.

All my flies have brown heads. This acrylic head gunk supposedly cures clear. I found a thread from 2006 started by Bob Popovics on Stripers Online, where the master tyer said this:

As far as the cost goes, it probably is more expensive than epoxy but not that much. There is no waste since no mixing is involved. No excess on the mixing paper after the fly has been made. I apply the stuff directly from the syringe onto the fly, when I am satisfied with the shape and coverage, I light it up and in about 8 seconds it’s hardened. No obnoxious smell, no cleaning of my bodkin, no papers etc. The cost comes back positively many times after you use it. The light is the big investment but I could buy ten or more lights if I got rid of so many junk items that I bought in the past. What about an epoxy turner? Don’t need them anymore. How much did they cost? Give it a try first. That is all I suggest.
One of the coolest things about this stuff is seeing it get CLEARER in the sun! When first applied, the stuff has an amber tinge to it. A couple of hours in the sun and its CYRSTAL CLEAR! FOREVER! Great stuff.
BobPop”

Endorsement enough for a hack tyer like me. I made my way to Atlantic and came away with a tube of Loon UV Knot Sense and a blue light. I haven’t tried the flies in the water yet but, man, is it easier to set the head shape. And I didn’t feel like some crazy glue sniffer at the end of the night.

FLIES: The Hamilton Eat-Me

albie-eat-me

The Hamilton Eat-Me is my favorite fly. The Florida guide Scott Hamilton introduced me to his pattern 10 years ago on a trip where we used the same fly to catch baby tarpon, dolphin (mahi), and false albacore. He gave me one and the next day I used it freshwater fishing and caught largemouth and peacock bass.

peacock-from-boat

Since then I’ve caught 21 different salt and freshwater species with an eat-me. Hamilton says the species count is well over 100. (Like Alex said today on 40 Rivers, a good streamer/baitfish pattern will work for just about anything.)

pike

It’s a simple, durable, deadly baitfish pattern. I like simple. I like durable. Deadly, too.

When I started epoxying my fingers together tying a few years ago, I followed suit and made variations in different sizes and color schemes.

Hook: whatever size you need,  saltwater nasty.

Hair: Super hair; white with variations of green, chartreuse, brown, black, yellow, blue…whatever.

Thread: mono

Head: big ass eyes encased in epoxy.

Blog Flies

gracie-flies

People ask, what’s the point of having a blog? You don’t make any money. There are, like, a million people doing it, and your words get lost in the clutter. You should be ashamed of yourself you stupid idiot. (That’s just Mom.) And I answer them thusly: Sometimes you get free flies.

A while back I sent Michael Gracie my Drift tickets. As thanks, he just sent me some killer poppers and clousers. [editor's note: I am supposed to share a few with Jason Puris of The Fin but I think I'll just tell him they never showed.] As a side bonus, he sent them along in a reusable plastic sandwich container. Thanks MG, they will be used and abused.

And, as a result of catching a bowfin on fly when I was trying to catch snakeheads, recording it for posterity with a photo, and sending it into the Roughfisher, I have more flies en route. (Photo of the Roughfisher flies to follow soon.)

Get The Bully Bugger, Support TRCP

bully-bugger-donate

Two of my heroes are named Ted. One is Ted Williams the baseball player, even though I’m a Yankees fan and he retired 11 years before I was born. The other is Teddy Roosevelt. I’ve been to Sagamore Hill, the “Summer White House” in Oyster Bay, twice in the last year alone. And as Marshall Cutchin from Midcurrent points out, TR’s dynamic and pioneering conservation record as President stands in stark contrast to the resource plunder Mr. Bush is setting in motion on his way out the door.

So, thanks Midcurrent, for posting this one. The Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is auctioning off 150 limited edition Bully Bugger flies, pictured above, starting on December 1st. The auction is open to anyone who donates $150 or more to the TRCP.

FLIES: EP Floating Badassery

Through a confluence of developments having little to do with me, I wound up hosting Tom Rosenbauer and Enrico Puglisi on my boat during part of the 2008 Flies and Fins Rhode Island trip. A hack like me can take away a lot by watching a top technician and tyer work together to catch fish.

We hit a spot where striped bass were popping bait on the surface along the edge of a rip. Rosenbauer decided to switch out to floating line and tie on a gurgler to watch the topwater takes. The fish wouldn’t hit. Puglisi reached into his bag and gave Rosenbauer an EP floating minnow, a baitfish pattern with foam flotation subtly tied into it so you can’t see it without close inspection. The original pattern was too thick, so Puglisi pulled out scissors and trimmed it to match the hatch.

Rosenbauer tied it on, cast it, and, instead of stripping it, gave it one simple twitch and let it float on the rip like a stunned baitfish. Result: Awesome surface takes. Puglisi switched boats and tied on one for himself and started fishing the rip. Result: Awesome surface takes. Rosenbauer gave me a shot on the rod and I cast out and mimicked his presentation. Result: Awesome surface take. The EP Floating Minnow is now taking a spot above the popper, gurgler, and crease fly in my saltwater topwater cluster, pending further investigation.