Friday, November 29, 2013

Ice Nymph/Midge Tying Tutorial

This is not an original pattern and I suspect it has been independently developed more then once, but what matters is it catches fish. In the previous post on Midges I gave a gallery of the ones I put together and keep ini my box.  Most of which are simple variations of the pattern tutorial below. Very minor material changes can produce dynamically different midge/nymph patterns.

The color of thread is the most obvious thing to change to result in a totally different color fly, but adding flash for the underbody adds additional variations. Plus different types of flash make for very different color patterns. The choice of rib can also change how prominent the segmentation is on a fly. You might surprised how much of  difference extra small wire versus small wire makes on a size 20 fly.

Let's get to the vise.
Place beaded hook securely in the vise.
Start the thread (UTC 70) behind the bead and secure wraps down the hook away form the bead use as few wraps as possible.  Its important through out this fly to not build up wraps behind the bead until both the Flashabou under body and wire rib have been wrapped back forward (see steps below).
Insert Ultrawire size small into the back of the bead and secure with a few wraps. 

Also insert 2-4 strands of silver Flashabou behind the bead and secure with several wraps.

Now wrap down into the bend of the hook with close flat wraps to bind the flash and wire to the hook.

Return the thread forward to just behind the bead.

Wrap the Flashabou forward with consecutive wraps to cover the entire hook up to the bead. Then tie off the Flashabou with a minimal number of wraps. Finally cut the tag ends.

Make well spaced wire wraps with the Ultrwire to create the rib over the Flashabou body. Then tie off the wire and cut the tag end using old scissors or wire cutters.

Dub white ice dub on to the thread.

Wrap the dubbed thread behind the bead.

Whip finish the fly. 

Go Fishing.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Midges on my Mind

So after a good fishing trip where size 20 midge/nymphs kicked some butt for me. I felt compelled to tie a few more up in some other colors.  Here is a little gallery. I'm hoping to get a tutorial up later this week.
 Size 20 caddis hook

Thread: UTC 70
Rib: Small Ultrawire
Head: Gold Bead
Body: thread or palmered Flashabou
Thorax: Ice dub or Superfine dubbing

Monday, November 11, 2013

Oktoberfisch A Texas Must for Fly Fishers

I would like to follow up on my experiences at Oktoberfisch (Oct. 18-20, 2013) this year. It was the first time that I was able to attend and I had a blast.

Oktoberfisch is put on by the Fredricksburg Fly Fishers on the Llano River outside of Junction, TX.

Due to weather conditions I got up to Oktoberfisch and met up with the Alamo Fly Fishers very early Saturday morning (I can't comment on any mischief before then). Temps were in the upper 30s when I arrived.....way to cold for a native central Texan as far as I am concerned. Needless to say I was in waders the whole trip....

Testicle numbing water aside....We killed a bit of time walking around the camp seeing old friends from other clubs and making new ones.  As one of the local fishing gurus likes to put it...."Central Texas stream fish are very gentlemanly and don't wake up until after 10:00 am." This is true in a mid Texas summer and more so at the 30-40 degree temps we were experiencing.

So I took my time, go registered and examined my way through the tables of raffle items and booths. Throughout the day many different  classes were going on. They ranged to from beginners casting an entomology crash course put on by Texas Parks and Wildlife.  Beginners and more advanced tying courses were offered too.  For myself the course in two handed techniques was a must....and I even had my "never got the chance to use it" switch rod with me. However, it was an afternoon class and the sun has warmed enough for me to loose a layer of clothing.

Gentlemanly fish might just be waking up.....

Bullys Blue Gill Spider
So down the river my fishing buddy and I went.  Kayaking the Llano during this event is very common, but we decided to wade it. Both of us are avid "perch jerkers" and find wading to be our most productive method to work a shore line. Its a game of numbers and only occasionally something of size shows up.

Rio Grander Cichlid
We went up to the first road crossing from the park and worked our way down river for several hours. It was slow at first, but as temps rose fishing got better. Unexpectedly Texas Cichlids were the dominant catch for me.  A couple species of sunfish snuck in to the mix too, but no bass for me

Time came to return for my class. The instructor discussed the techniques and various set ups on the demo rods he has for the students to try. I got to cast a "Ballistic “ Vector”  Series" from Ballistic Spey lines on what I think was a 9wt. The fly line functionally was a large shooting head with an integrated running line. It was a cannon....Definitely thinking about its possible jetty applications. The instructors transitioned over to working with individual students so I went and got my Cabelas LSi Switch rod  (an 11 ft  7wt). I have this rod set up for Skagit style casting and Rio lines (ask on Facebook if you want more details).

I walked up to the instructor and flat out said "I bought it on special and I don't know how to use it?"

The instructor said let me cast it and after a couple more details about how it was set up we were off and running. He showed me the basics and had me get into the water work through the casts.

Below is a a video after I had been a casting a while and it wasn't the best cast I made but it illustrates how much I got out this little course and the consensus was that all the coursed had results like I got.

After the class it was time to go cast some rods.....most of which are out of this poor grad students price when else would I get to cast them.

The guys from Living Waters Fly Fishing brought an assortment of rods out cast. The rod me and friend just HAD to cast was the Scott Fiberglass rod. The had the 2wt.......I felt like Tinkerbell casting waving a fairy wand. Don't get me wrong it could cast very well, but it was so light in the hand I would take me a while to get used to it.

The evening was concluded with a steak dinner and a raffle.  I won  a fly line in the raffle and there were rumors our table might have had the rowdiest bunch of guys there.....but I cannot confirm or deny such information.

Sunday morning was met with a mild hangover....good scotch does go with fly fishing.....

But no hangover shall eve keep me from fishing!

So we journeyed on the confluence of the Llano and James rivers to fish.

Again we waded through the waters.

This was good fishing.

I pulled 28 sunfish out of a single overhanging tree and just kept catching the further I waded.

Water clarity was pretty poor from recent rains so it was all about dark sinking flies.

The event as a whole would be a great way to bring new fly fishers in to the fold. Complete novices can learn from scratch and more advanced fisherman can pick up some new tips and tricks.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Video of the Week.

While I'm always happy to promote Texas Fly Fishing in general. I can't help, but call this the video of the week when I found myself in it unexpectedly. More importantly my fly box made it into the video.