Driftless Trout Anglers

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William Schlafer  
#201 Posted : Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:12:55 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,497
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 179 times
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Here's a pattern on found on the net called the Blue Gill Belly Bean. It's somewhat similar to Ryan Frick's terrific "Frick's Fix" jig head fly.

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It's a Smallmouth pattern, but I definitely can see it working for Trout too. It's supposed to imitate a Bluegill minnow with it's gold belly and green gill plate. The dumbbell head is tied so the hook rides up, so you can jig and bounce it off the bottom and through the rocks.

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I couldn't find the exact hook the pattern called for. The one I used is an extra heavy wire Umpqua version, but at least it has the 60 degree bend. I tied mine in a size 6, but I may tie a few more in a size smaller and experiment with orange dubbing. Can't wait to try it out.

Here's the Tim Flagler narrated video from TightLineVideo:



-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
Fishes-with-fly  
#202 Posted : Sunday, November 18, 2018 12:15:09 AM(UTC)
Fishes-with-fly
Rank: Midge

Joined: 3/2/2012(UTC)
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Location: Midwest

Its not about being a Pro, in fact there are a great number of us around. It’s about as they say “practice, practice, practice”. Once your skills and technique improve, so will your quality of your flies. Correct proportion, excellent technique, and consistency from fly to fly are the 3 most important aspect to fly tying.
William Schlafer  
#203 Posted : Monday, December 31, 2018 10:36:57 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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While on holiday break from work I spent some quality time on the fly tying bench preparing some new patterns for the coming season.

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This pattern really has me excited. The Wood Duck Heron uses only two materials: Wood Duck flank feathers and hen soft hackle in a nice contrasting color. I didn't have the best Wood Duck feather or hen hackle available, so I experimented using what I had. Looking forward to tying some more of these in different colors. These used a size 12 3XL hook.
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These are Soft Hackle Streamers tied on a size 8 streamer hook. Once again, my soft hackle isn't the best, but they still turned out OK. I tied a few of these last year and they really look enticing in the water. The soft feathers pulse and wiggle just like a swimming leech or a struggling minnow. I really like the red thread used to form the head.
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Another Tim Flagler special The Holy Grail Caddis Emerger just looks like it will catch fish. Tied on a size 14 scud hook, it's a bit of a pain to tie, requiring more dexterity than my fat fingers have. But the results are worth it. Again, I really like the red thread finish on the head. Really makes the fly pop. A good quality hackle clip really helps. Precise thread control and placement of the materials is a must to get the hackle on correctly. Fluorescing UV head cement for the wing case really gives this pattern an impressive finish. The way it shines and reflects light can't help but attract Trout.
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The Gallagher Special is another nifty simple midge pattern using peacock hurl and small hackle feathers. Tiny is probably better, but I tied mine in size 14. It's sort of a fancy Griffiths Gnat that might just stand out in the bug soup during a midge hatch to entice a finicky rising Trout.
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Although I've never really had a lot of success with them, I like the look of this Stonefly pattern called The Midnight Intruder. The Pattern called for a size 8, but I tied mine with a #12 scud hook. Once again Fluorescing UV head cement to form the wing case really makes this pattern.
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The weather forecast looks pretty good for opening day (in Wisconsin) next Saturday. Can't wait to get back out on my favorite streams.


-Bill

Edited by user Tuesday, January 1, 2019 1:46:22 AM(UTC)  | Reason: corrected fly name: Holy Grail

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
William Schlafer  
#204 Posted : Sunday, January 20, 2019 5:34:52 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
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Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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A few years ago I caught a fine Brown Trout who coughed up several (still alive) Crayfish while I was extracting the the hook.

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Most of the Crawfish patterns I found online were either too large, or didn't look like something I could tie with the materials I have. Then I ran across the Nancy P Crawfish - yet another articulated pattern by Kelly Galloup. So I tied up a bunch with various head sizes.

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There's a pretty steep leaning curve when it comes to stacking and spinning deer hair. I've struggled with it in the past on other patterns and the first couple I tried to tie went straight to the recycling bowl. But I finally made a few that were acceptable. Ironically one of the better ones of the bunch was ruined at the last moment when somehow I managed to snap off the front hook point while removing it from the vise. Nuts!
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One of the keys to this Crayfish pattern are the curved legs or claws in the back that pulse and undulate in the water in ways that Trout supposedly find irresistible. This seems backwards as the claws on Crayfish are in front next to the head. But this is the way is supposed to be tied, so I'll follow the formula.

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I downsized mine to about 3 inches in length from the original 6, which just felt much too large for the streams I prefer to fish. Instead of 1/0 and #2 hooks, I moved down to #6 in the back and #4 in the front. The smaller size made it difficult to hold materials out of the way while trimming the deer hair and working on the front half. It's very easy to lob off rubber legs or other materials accidentally when working with a razor blade or scissors.

I found these mini hair clamps in the fly tying (women's hair accessories) isle of my local Walgreens, which came in very handy in holding materials out of the way. Only a couple bucks for six clamps.

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Can't wait to give this pattern a go this spring.

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-Bill

Edited by user Monday, January 21, 2019 1:38:14 AM(UTC)  | Reason: added photos and text

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
William Schlafer  
#205 Posted : Sunday, January 27, 2019 11:28:38 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Back on the fly tying bench today.

This is a simple pattern that imitates a Mayfly emerger. I tied them in size 14 & 12. Lemon Duck quills for the tail, Comparadun Deer Hair for the body, some superfine dubbing for the thorax and poly yarn for the wings. It's a bit hard to see the wings in these photos.

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I'm not much of a dry fly fisherman, but we'll see how these fish this spring.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
WI-fly  
#206 Posted : Monday, January 28, 2019 1:43:38 AM(UTC)
WI-fly
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Beautiful work Bill. I might give that crayfish pattern a try.
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Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
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snbrd4evr  
#207 Posted : Monday, January 28, 2019 1:49:47 AM(UTC)
snbrd4evr
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Originally Posted by: WI-fly Go to Quoted Post
Beautiful work Bill. I might give that crayfish pattern a try.


I was seriously just messaging Bill to see if I could buy a few of those from him...

Bill, your inbox is full btw.

I bought 6 of those from Sierra Trading Post for a pretty decent price but they're all pretty large. I have a spot with some large trout and a lot of crayfish, so we'll see how it goes this summer.
William Schlafer  
#208 Posted : Monday, January 28, 2019 2:38:13 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,497
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 179 times
Was thanked: 190 time(s) in 148 post(s)
Originally Posted by: snbrd4evr Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: WI-fly Go to Quoted Post
Beautiful work Bill. I might give that crayfish pattern a try.


I was seriously just messaging Bill to see if I could buy a few of those from him...

Bill, your inbox is full btw.

I bought 6 of those from Sierra Trading Post for a pretty decent price but they're all pretty large. I have a spot with some large trout and a lot of crayfish, so we'll see how it goes this summer.



Thanks guys!

It says my mailbox is empty, but messaging hasen't worked for awhile, along with the search function.

I'm excited for that first day I find stained water and I can give those crayfish patterns a try. Still trying to perfect the tie. Stacking hair around that dumbbell head is tricky. Seems like no matter how hard I try not to crowd the hook eye, I still end up with difficulty getting the whip finish on. I like the smaller size. Six inch articulated flies seem pretty massive for DTA streams, but downsizing the materials for smaller hooks adds challenges in getting the tie right.

Selling flies goes against my religion. But if I (and you) make it to TrapFest, I would be happy to give you a couple. I always end up tying way more flies than I'll ever use.


-Bill

Edited by user Monday, January 28, 2019 2:48:59 AM(UTC)  | Reason: added text

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
OTC_MN  
#209 Posted : Monday, January 28, 2019 4:21:10 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
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Originally Posted by: William Schlafer Go to Quoted Post
A few years ago I caught a fine Brown Trout who coughed up several (still alive) Crayfish while I was extracting the the hook.
-Bill


Those look great Bill. The Nancy P is an awesome bug. A couple streams I fish are swarming with crayfish, and I think trout eat a lot of them.

When there's a crayfish in the shallows doing whatever it is crayfish do all day, and you spook one, they scoot off toward deeper water with a couple tail kicks, then kind of fold up and sink to the bottom to find someplace to hide. They swim tail-first, and kind of fold their claws inward so they're in line with the body. Then when they stop the claws spread back out. That's why the claws are on the back hook.

I cast the Nancy right to the bank, jerk-strip it a couple times until it's over the break, then kill it. If you're straight across current or nearly so, you can throw a downstream mend in too so it'll sink parallel to the break. Then jig it a couple times and cast it again. When they hit this thing, they're trying to murder it.

The deer hair heads can be kind of a pain. Anything with lead eyes, like a Nancy P or Dungeon, I stack rather than try to spin the hair. The lead eyes just fight you when you try to spin next to them. I know some guys can do it. I can't - at least not consistently. Sad

For finishing the heads, if I can't get in there to whip finish without binding down a bunch of hair, I just use half hitches with a half hitch tool. Works just as well.

Nancy P

Another really good jig fly/crawfish imitation is Galloup's Big Hole Bug. Kind of a weird looking fly really. Easy to tie (no deer hair) other than working the Estaz around the rubber legs. Fishes well on a floating line too. If you fish smallies at all, this fly is a killer smallie bug.

Big Hole Bug

I downsize the articulated streamers I tie too. Most of mine like Dungeons, Silk Kitties, Legals or Peanuts are tied with a #4 in back and a #2 in front. Sometimes 6/2, sometimes 4/1. Jumping up two sizes, you get a little more tail kick. I do carry a couple big flies - black Dungeons on a 1 and 1/0 for throwing right at dark. A Dungeon tied on a 4/2 is only 4" long or so. Not too big at all for around here I don't think.

"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
William Schlafer  
#210 Posted : Monday, January 28, 2019 4:57:48 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,497
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 179 times
Was thanked: 190 time(s) in 148 post(s)
Originally Posted by: OTC_MN Go to Quoted Post


Nancy P



Those look great!

Nice tight heads and a smooth transition to the collar. Getting a smooth curved head when trimming with a razor blade is difficult for my fat fingers. I tried mixing some yellow and red deer hair for the head paired with orange and brown rabbit strips on a couple of mine, but the results were less than stellar. I think natural to darker colored deer hair just looks better a for crayfish imitation.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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