Driftless Trout Anglers

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William Schlafer  
#231 Posted : Monday, November 18, 2019 7:07:59 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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Back at the tying bench.

Next season I want to fish dry flies more often. So last night I tied up some mayfly style patterns. This is an extended body Light Cahill imitation following a Tim Flagler pattern.

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The beauty of this pattern is it's simplicity and minimal materials required to tie it. A scud hook, thread, a single Mallard Flank feather, Para Post Poly for a wing, and some Superfine Dubbing for the thorax. The feather forms the body and the seductive up swept split tail. Easy and fun to tie. This one is in size 12, but I will tie some smaller versions if I can find some proportionally sized feathers.

I fished a similar split tail pattern last summer and did well with it. The fly sits up well in the film and is reasonably durable. I also tied a few using Lemon Wood Duck feathers to provide a bit of variety in color and size.

Here's another one, but with darker gray dubbing to give it a different look. Getting the dubbing to wrap correctly is half the battle with this pattern. I didn't do a great job with this one, but I doubt it will matter too much once it gets wet.
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Another Flagler pattern is this Isonychia Mayfly pattern.
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The Isonychia is a well know eastern Trout pattern, but I feel like it will fish well here in the Midwest also. It's a basically a just a parachute Adams with purple-ish body dubbing. The Flagler video for this one is good to learn tying techniques from. His skill and detail are unmatched. Using the bare quill of the hackle in the wing post is brilliant and effective.

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-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
thanks 2 users thanked William Schlafer for this useful post.
stan b on 11/18/2019(UTC), Z4c64 on 11/19/2019(UTC)
William Schlafer  
#232 Posted : Friday, November 22, 2019 8:56:12 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
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Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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I've been cleaning up and restocking my fly boxes for the upcoming 2020 season.

In the spring, I like to carry a couple fly boxes dedicated for just streamers: one for large patterns, and another for the smaller stuff.

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The one on the left holds my articulated and single hook versions of Crayfish, Sculpin, Silk Kitty, Baitfish and other big streamers for days and places that I think I might run into a large Trout. The other box holds smaller versions of Woolly Buggers, Leeches, jig heads and other smaller offerings. All of these are flies I've tied.

Some patterns I'm looking forward to trying out this coming season:

Rusty Crayfish
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Galloups Silk Kitty
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Small Sculpin/Minnow
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The Super Bugger (my own design)
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Soft Hackle Streamer
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-Bill
“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  
#233 Posted : Saturday, November 23, 2019 8:48:37 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Here's a few more streamers I tied up this morning.

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A couple of smaller Sculpin single hook streamers and The Mini Dungeon, a downsized version of Kelly Galloups popular Sex Dungeon articulated streamer.
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I didn't have the best barred marabou that the pattern called for, but I think this will work OK. At only 2 1/2" I really like the size of this streamer. A better option for the smaller streams I prefer to fish.


-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  
#234 Posted : Wednesday, November 27, 2019 4:07:07 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
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Great looking bugs. I love the mini-Dungeon. Great size, can throw it on a 4W, and fish eat 'em. I like the silk kitty a lot too. I tie a soft hackle streamer that's similar to yours too. Basically a big messy wet fly, but they sure work.

"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  
#235 Posted : Saturday, November 30, 2019 8:11:35 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Made a trip to the fly shop on Black Friday to take advantage of some sale stuff and pick up the proper materials for tying the Mini Dungeon. This one turned out much nicer than my previous efforts.

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Tied this one with size 4 hook in front, and a size 6 in the rear. The proper barred marabou really provides for that striping and mottled look that Sculpins have. I overdid the yellow marabou tail and will trim that down in the next effort.

Not crowding the hook eye with the dumbbell head to leave enough space to spin the deer hair is critical. I'm getting a bit better at getting that right and forming the head properly. It's too easy to overdo trimming and ending up with a too small head. A bit of a learning curve with this one, but it gets better after five or six.

Also, GSP thread really makes streamer patterns like this one much easier to tie. The stuff is really strong and gives just a bit, and lays flat making applying materials to the hook much easier. GSP thread is worth the extra money.


-Bill

Edited by user Saturday, November 30, 2019 8:28:45 PM(UTC)  | Reason: added GSP thread 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  
#236 Posted : Wednesday, January 1, 2020 8:49:17 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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I spent this New Years tying flies.

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Still trying to create a better looking Mini Dungeon.. Getting a good package of Grizzly Marabou is key. About half of very package you buy is junk. I'm still struggling to get the collar and spun deer hair head shaped correctly.
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I really like the smaller size of this articulated streamer, and the contrast of the materials. It's going to look great in the water.
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Tied up a few of Tim Flagler's Squirrel and Hurl Streamers which are basically a Woolly Bugger variant using a Pine Squirrel Zonker Strip.
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I fished one of these a couple seasons ago and had a great day going until a large Brown Trout broke off the only one I had in my fly box. I'm going to keep at least several in my streamer box this year. The zonker strip pulses and wiggles seductively in the water when stripped and brings some dramatic strikes.
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Finally I took a shot at tying Gunner Brammers Sculp Daddy Streamer..
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It's hard to see in this photo, but this is an articulated streamer. The hooks are hiding under all that X-Select Marabou used to form the body. I tried using wool for the head instead of stacking deer hair. It came out pretty pooffy and I was reluctant to try trimming it down any further. But I'm confident it will look more streamlined once it gets wet.

-Bill

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
madguy30  
#237 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2020 2:18:13 PM(UTC)
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Can anyone give any sort of general tips to avoid having my flies fall apart?

It's not immediate, but I've noticed the last two years that my materials basically slip down the hook, much quicker than it seems they should. This especially happens with woolly buggers and the like.

Thanks.
SquareEgg  
#238 Posted : Monday, January 6, 2020 3:29:11 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: madguy30 Go to Quoted Post
Can anyone give any sort of general tips to avoid having my flies fall apart?

It's not immediate, but I've noticed the last two years that my materials basically slip down the hook, much quicker than it seems they should. This especially happens with woolly buggers and the like.

Thanks.


Do you mean to say that your flies are falling apart after 2 years of use? or rather that this is something you've noticed over the course of the last 2 years?

If the former, congratulations. My flies have a MAX life expectancy of about 1 season.

But it sounds like you may just need to build up a toothier/heavier/sturdier thread base. Something the materials can grab onto, rather than a nice smooth base you might lay for a fly such as a zebra midge or similar. If I am tying a streamer that will have a lot of materials tied in I will often add some head cement or superglue to the thread base before tying in those materials.

Even then, some materials seem more prone to moving and sliding than others. I think I struggle most often with Rabbit strips doing this...

Edited by user Monday, January 6, 2020 7:14:03 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

madguy30  
#239 Posted : Tuesday, January 7, 2020 12:06:07 AM(UTC)
madguy30
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Originally Posted by: SquareEgg Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: madguy30 Go to Quoted Post
Can anyone give any sort of general tips to avoid having my flies fall apart?

It's not immediate, but I've noticed the last two years that my materials basically slip down the hook, much quicker than it seems they should. This especially happens with woolly buggers and the like.

Thanks.


Do you mean to say that your flies are falling apart after 2 years of use? or rather that this is something you've noticed over the course of the last 2 years?

If the former, congratulations. My flies have a MAX life expectancy of about 1 season.

But it sounds like you may just need to build up a toothier/heavier/sturdier thread base. Something the materials can grab onto, rather than a nice smooth base you might lay for a fly such as a zebra midge or similar. If I am tying a streamer that will have a lot of materials tied in I will often add some head cement or superglue to the thread base before tying in those materials.

Even then, some materials seem more prone to moving and sliding than others. I think I struggle most often with Rabbit strips doing this...



Something that I've noticed the last two years. Fly materials seem to be falling down the hook sooner. Might try to tie in one thing at a time or something.

Also wrapping a few materials in different directions.

Thanks for the input on the thread base...might look into that as well.
William Schlafer  
#240 Posted : Tuesday, January 7, 2020 2:45:21 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,529
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 193 times
Was thanked: 200 time(s) in 154 post(s)
In many of Kelly Galloup's videos he preaches proper tension when applying materials to a hook, and using effective thread techniques when securing them. Applying half-hitches when tying off materials helps prevent them from coming loose before you tie on the next material. A good thread base is also helpful when tying patterns like the Woolly Bugger. Wrapping hackle forward with the thread (like a wire wrap) also helps secure it from coming loose. I often apply a little head cement (or superglue) to lead wrap to keep it from spinning on the hook or coming loose as other materials are applied.

Here's a short video from Kelly on tension control and setting the thread during a tie:



One thing I've learned from watching really skilled fly tiers is the control they have with their fingers when they place materials. There are some tricks to learn, but mostly I feel that control comes with practice and experience. This is something I've struggled with now for years. Especially when stacking deer hair.

Controlling the materials, placing them properly and applying the thread effectively are the most important traits of a good fly tier.


Good luck!
-Bill
“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.
EddieRivard on 1/7/2020(UTC)
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