Driftless Trout Anglers

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OTC_MN  
#221 Posted : Friday, February 22, 2019 1:06:41 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
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Originally Posted by: William Schlafer Go to Quoted Post
I've had good luck with the Baby Boy hopper. There are days when it seems it's the only thing the Trout are interested in. It can pass for a small hopper, a cricket, June Bug, or some other chunky form of insect.

In general when fishing hoppers or other similar patterns, smaller is often better. I've gotten many more rejections from large hoppers, but the smaller ones in size 10-12 are usually taken without hesitation. Just for fun, last March with snow still on the ground, I tied on a small hopper just to see if anything was looking up. I was surprised when I got a couple of strikes. I've been told Hippie Stompers will work year round.


-Bill


Yup. Most of my hoppers are on 10s and 12s. The Chubby C's in the picture are 10s.

Last winter I got to a spot on a stream with a stretch of slow, slick water I couldn't get close enough to to tight line with my Euro rig. Bottom was soft and there was a back eddie, and I couldn't step into it without kicking dirt in their faces. So I needed to make some longer casts. Normally would just put on an indicator, but I couldn't find one in my pack for some reason. But I did find a Hippie Stomper I'd stuck in one of my nymph boxes and never put back where it belonged. Tied on another dropper, put the Stomper on, and kind of hoped nobody would see me fishing a terrestrial in February. Made the first cast, the Stomper drifted about two feet, and got absolutely crushed. BigGrin

"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  
#222 Posted : Wednesday, February 27, 2019 8:00:38 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Here Kitty Kitty...

UserPostedImage

I have some time off, so I decided to tie up a few more Silk Kitty Streamers. These things are a bit time consuming to tie, but look awesome when finished. Rams Wool is so much easier to work with than deer or elk hair.

UserPostedImage


-Bill
“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  
#223 Posted : Thursday, February 28, 2019 5:17:29 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
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Nice Kitties. I like these things a lot. Have the bulk of a deer hair head so you get the profile and water push, but you don't have the buoyancy, so they fish a little better on a floating line. They're a really good smallie pattern too.

Yeah, ram's wool is a lot more forgiving than deer hair. Take a look at Kelly's Butt Sump pattern. I haven't fished it yet but tied some up for this season. Looks like a killer small stream streamer to me.
"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
JGF  
#224 Posted : Thursday, February 28, 2019 11:41:41 PM(UTC)
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Very nice flies, Bill.

Kelly Gallop designs and ties some great flies - streamers in particular - but the naming sort of gives me the creeps.

I've been working on a number of Gunnar Brammer's flies (https://streamersbygunnar.com/) and he uses strung fuzzy fiber in a dubbing loop for a number of the heads, basically as a synthetic substitute for wool heads. Wool heads are a lot easier...
William Schlafer  
#225 Posted : Friday, March 1, 2019 7:50:12 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Gunner ties some really nice streamers, but they can be tricky to put together. Awhile back I tied some Seasoned Geezers and Trout Nuggets with varying results. I struggled with using the plastic fish masks for the head. Somehow they never turn out as nice as his. Plus I like the weight of a dumbbell head towards the front of the fly to give it that nice diving jigging motion.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
JGF  
#226 Posted : Saturday, March 2, 2019 1:03:59 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: William Schlafer Go to Quoted Post
Gunner ties some really nice streamers, but they can be tricky to put together. Awhile back I tied some Seasoned Geezers and Trout Nuggets with varying results. I struggled with using the plastic fish masks for the head. Somehow they never turn out as nice as his. Plus I like the weight of a dumbbell head towards the front of the fly to give it that nice diving jigging motion.


-Bill


Yeah, that's been my problem too. I think I'm going to play around with building dubbing brushes this weekend. I think they'll work better than the dubbing loop heads.

William Schlafer  
#227 Posted : Saturday, March 2, 2019 2:01:25 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Originally Posted by: JGF Go to Quoted Post


Yeah, that's been my problem too. I think I'm going to play around with building dubbing brushes this weekend. I think they'll work better than the dubbing loop heads.


Pre-made dubbing brushes at my local fly shop are very expensive. I tried making my own, but they're really time consuming and difficult to get right. If you don't have the right wire, they won't wrap correctly. I just gave up and used Polar Chenille, or longer fiber ice dub in a dubbing loop instead.


-Bill
“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  
#228 Posted : Saturday, March 2, 2019 2:14:59 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
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I tied up some of Gunnar's Mini Death Grips this winter, and they use the strung fuzzy fiber in a loop. Seems like it's really picky about density, and I think he even mentions that in one of the videos. I kind of got the hang of it eventually, but there were some fails for sure. I do like how they turn out when you get them right though.

I love fish skulls. Fish probably don't care a bit, but I think they make a well dressed bug. Just have to keep checking your spacing once you get close to the front of the hook.

I should post some pics of the aftermath of my streamer tying binge. It...got a little out of hand...
"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  
#229 Posted : Tuesday, October 29, 2019 9:12:54 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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All work and no play make Bill a dull boy…


Back at the tying bench to work on refilling my fly boxes.
UserPostedImage

While hopper fishing this summer, I ran into a couple of days where my generic hopper pattern wasn’t getting the enthusiastic response from Trout as I’ve seen in the past.
UserPostedImage

I discovered that a store-bought hopper I had with a bit more flash and bling seemed to trigger better strikes on those days. This pattern has a bit more of that flash and fussiness, without the extra difficulty and complexity of some other hoppers. A segmented foam cylinder makes the body and several layers of 1mm foam for the thorax, tied to a Daiichi 1270 hook. Crystal flash, elk hair for a wing, and some rubber legs finish it off.
UserPostedImage

I saw this Cicada pattern on YouTube and modified it a bit to make it more generic. I tied a few in western Cicada orange and black, and a few more in green and brown. Several layers of contrasting foam and some poly para post for a wing will make it float like a bobber. It should pass for any chunky bug that might fall into the water. Can’t wait to try it out next year.
UserPostedImage

Here's another hopper variant with a parachute post and knotted pheasant tail for legs. Without any foam and a chenille body, this one should ride a little lower on the water. Another pattern for those days when the Trout are fussy.
UserPostedImage

Here’s a simple cricket modeled after a Dave McPhail pattern tied on a size 10 scud hook. I used rubber for the legs as tying knots in pheasant tail fibers in this smaller size was difficult and didn’t work all that well. Getting the antennae, or horns, to keep that nice backward curve is tricky also. Crickets are an excellent pattern for those warm wet days in the summer when the sun is off the water.
UserPostedImage

This was my attempt at copying Chockletts Game Changer baitfish pattern.
UserPostedImage

It uses articulated fish shanks to form a segmented body that swims seductively in the water. Mine didn’t turn out as nice as the ones I’ve seen in the stores or online. For some reason I kept accidently snipping off bits of the tail. Trimming the minnow body wrap material into the proper shape is trickier than it looks in the videos. I also couldn't get the knack of coloring the wrap with markers.

Here’s what it looks like prior to trimming. It might fish better just like that.
UserPostedImage

I also found the finished product was very light. When dry it would just float on the water surface. Even wet you have to work to force it down into the water. Adding weight to the spines would likely reduce their swimming movement, which is the whole point of the pattern. A dumbbell head, or some other weight on the hook would also probably mess up the motion. The materials are also pretty expensive and it takes considerable time to tie. I think I’ll just stick with simpler streamer patterns.

While I was at it, I mixed up a fresh batch of Red Fox Squirrel dubbing and cranked out some Pink Squirrels in size 12. I’ve tied hundreds of these over the years and it probably accounts for more than half of all Trout I’ve ever caught. I prefer Tungsten beads as they get the bug down quickly into the water column. If they ain't biting on the Pink Squirrel, it's time to head home or to the bar!
UserPostedImage


-Bill

Edited by user Tuesday, October 29, 2019 9:17:24 PM(UTC)  | Reason: damned typos!

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
thanks 1 user thanked William Schlafer for this useful post.
Smis on 10/30/2019(UTC)
William Schlafer  
#230 Posted : Friday, November 8, 2019 8:14:08 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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I've been experimenting with a couple more small hopper/beetle hybrids to add to my arsenal.

UserPostedImage

The Mop Hopper is supposed to use a piece of microfiber clipped from a mop head to form the body.
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

After scouring the fly tying/cleaning supply section of my local big box store, I couldn't find a mop head with the right color or size, so I just went with some foam cylinders instead. 2mm foam wrapped to the cylinder for the thorax and an orange hot spot on top. Poly post material is used for a wing.
UserPostedImage

This version uses segmented foam for the body. For a wing I used a piece of thin clear packing foam I had lying around. The thin clear foam provides a simple and realistic looking wing and won't get saturated when wet, or requires an application of floatant to keep it upright in the water. Plus, it was basically free fly tying material - the best kind!.
UserPostedImage

Here's some close-ups of the foam wing material.
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

The cell pattern in the foam make for a pretty reasonable facsimile of real Mayfly wings.
UserPostedImage

I may try tying some hex or dragonfly patterns next.


-Bill

Edited by user Friday, November 8, 2019 9:04:55 PM(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
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