Monday, January 28, 2013

La Toxique

This fly originates from the competition scheme: as such it goes light on the specific imitation front, while being heavy on general attraction, at the same time being easy to tie and thus expendable. Not the best pattern for gin clear waters, but deadly whenever there is color in the river.
Effective when used with the long leader nymphing techinque.

The tie:
heavy gauge curved hook (#10 Kamasan B110 Grubber in this case)
3.0 mm silver Tungsten bead
ribbing of peacock side of the #16 UNI Peacock/Orange tinsel, stretched out to make it even thinner
body of red Mylar tinsel
collar of synthetic peacock dubbing

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What a difference dubbing makes?

What's in a dubbing? That which we call a fly
By any other fur would catch as sweet.

This sort of question occurs each tying season to many fly fishing Juliets; and just like a name in drama the dubbing in fly tying matters more than seems obvious at the first glance.

I am tie the all time favorite Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear on a gathering of fly tying pals. To make it a bit more interesting - after all the GRHE is not exactly rocket science - I have prepared a demonstration of various dubbing choices.

The following flies are all variants on the GRHE theme, tied on #10 Skalka wet fly hooks with 3.3mm bead, partridge tails and ribbed with Gütterman golden tinsel. Only the dubbing varies.

#1 - Young Hare

This fly is tied with fur from a young hare. The fur is light in colour and smooth in structure. It will have lots of movement in water, but it will have a "soft" feel to it.

#2 - Old Hare

This fly uses fur from an older animal. It is darker, with some hints of grey. The dubbing is mostly guard hairs from the back of the animal, where the hairs are longest and roughest.

#3 - Hare mixed with Fox Squirrel

This is actually the same fur as in exhibit #1 (I mix my dubbing myself, so I know for sure it comes from the same pelt). It has been mixed with some Fox Squirrel hair to give it some structure. The Fox Squirrel is very rough fur, with plenty of structure but it does not dub easily and is very messy. Mixing it with some Hare makes it much easier to work with.
This fly has the most structure, in fact so much it might have trouble in sinking to the catching depth.

#4 - Flashy Oppossum

Something else for a perspective. Entirely different from the previous flies - the result is not exactly undesirable, but definitely something else.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Olive Heron Mayfly

Yesterday I published a post on the importance of a fly tier knowing when to abandon the slavish imitative style in order to let his imagination fly on a Pegasus wing. I still stand by that opinion, but on the other hand I do not wish to disparage the Halfordian legacy.

The imitative tying style has its benefits - not least of which is the satisfaction a fly tier feels when he reproduces from a few threads and bits of feather a simulacrum of an insect that is capable not only of tricking of a wily predator but also of pleasing the eye of its maker.

The tie:

#16 Hanák H130 hook
UTC #70 Ultra thread, color Tan
a few fibres of Coq de León for tails
Heron herl, dyed Picric, for body
two CDC feathers, spun in a loop and cut to shape for wings

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Matrix Inspirations

Fly tying inspiration can come from unexpected sources. I have experienced a profound sense of fly tying insight when watching (for the ump-teenth time) The Matrix over the Christmas holidays.

The moment of insight came to me when I was watching the famous "Matrix Is a System" scene. In this scene Neo pushes himself thorugh a crowd of black & white dressed people, listening intently to Morpheus - only to lose focus when an attractive blonde in red dress passes him by.

I have found that this movie scene beautifully illustrates an important fly fishing problem - one that is especially common during heavy hatches. How should the fly tier / fly fisherman help poor Mr. Trout in choosing one particular individual fly from a swarm of seemingly identical insects?

It is true that the heavy hatches when a layer of mayflies on the water surface resembles a woolen carpet when seen from distance are rare. But still, these are can be surprisingly trying times. The laws of statistics and sheer number of naturals on water ensure that your fly will have to pass a rising fish for many times before getting a strike; all the time risking scaring the fish by badly executed cast and resulting drag.

The contrast of the woman in the red dress vs. black and white crowd illustrates the need to be less imitative in times of fly life overcrowding. Your imitation needs to look familiar in size and shape - the woman in the red dress is clearly human, being neither a midget nor a giant - but has to stand out in the crowd.

The Matrix lady does this by having blond hair and red dress; your fly can get the same result by having a body tied with a gold tinsel instead, or having a bright orange tag, metallic bead head or a contrasting thorax. Anything goes, as long as the difference in color and movement is subtle enough not to scare Mr. Trout / Mr. Neo rather than attract him.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

PF 2013

Wishing all the best to my fishing friends, a very good 2013 fishing season and tight lines!