Apologies for the late post about the Ebay listings that went up last week. They end tomorrow.
Bendback flies are in both my saltwater and freshwater boxes. They are a great weedless fly and ideal for dealing with grassy conditions on the flats or in the rivers. I generally keep them in my favorite clouser colors (chartreuse/white, Pink/white, etc).
I keep my bass streamers in a wide range of sizes. On the large end are flies with lots of marabou and a large profile to move vigorously in the water. In the mid range would be fox fur baitfish patterns with a thin, but long profiles. Finally, I keep several different types of small zonker style flies. I use both rabbit and squirrel zonkers. However, I am particularly fond of squirrel for micro streamers for flies int he size 10 and 12 range.
I got the chance to meet and watch
Kelly Galloup tie flies this year in Austin and at Troutfest. This experience
was a bit surreal because one of the very first fly fishing magazines I ever
read (now close to ten years ago) contained an article about his patterns….for
all I know he might have written it. I do not have the magazine any more to be
absolutely certain.However, I am certain
the article detailed two flies I never forgot: The Sex Dungeon (somewhere out
there a Google algorithm hates how fly tiers screw with it) and the T & A
Bunker. I found the heads of both flies fascinating, and at the time I had no
idea how to make either. I certainly did not even know you could spin dear hair
at the time, and would not have even considered stacking wool as an option.
There were some early tying attempts, but I had few resources to learn
techniques from at the time and fell away from articulated patterns.
forward to the fully committed tier I am now, and perhaps it will make sense
that I take on new styles of tying as studies in technique. I look at tying
styles as I imagine an artist would and work to replicate the techniques of other
tiers to improve my own skills. Once the tying is replicated well enough to be
fishable, then I fish the flies to see if I recreated the movement as described
by the original tier. For example, Galloup ties his sex dungeons with a much
wider head then the commercial patterns available. He explained this head
achieves is a front hook that brakes faster then the rear hook making the tail
kick around the side of the fly as it is stripped. If you have never thrown a
sex dungeon in the water and made it move… you should! It will change how you
look at streamer action.
When I do a
study in any tier’s style I try to focus on their techniques (ie. wool heads
and spun deer heads) rather then replicating everyone of their flies. A style
usually breaks down into a few techniques applied in only slightly different
ways to achieve different effects on a given fly. In the case of Galloup’s flies it broke down
into the type of head, the type of tail, and the placement of marabou wings.
at creating both wool and dear hair heads, even adding in the “sighting dot.” I
have to comment on wool for heads because I found the correct wool some years
ago and then never could since. The key here, and Galloup confirmed this in his
talks, is to avoid the wool patches still on the skin. Supposedly Spirit River
is now carrying the correct wool. I actually found wool rovings at Hobby Lobby
that are the loose sheared wool (no skin) that works best for these kinds of
heads. They also carry a wide variety of colors.
were far less complicated, but new to me. The galloup patterns I had seen so
far always had marabou tail (similar to a woolly bugger), but I was fascinated
to see the differences in the swimming action of the patterns like the Silk Kitty,
which has deceiver style tails instead of marabou. Having now tied them and put
them in the water I say that the action is more of a slither then the marabou
tails, which seem to make the rear hook kick outward. It’s a bit hard to put in
text... go tie some and fish them.
Ultimately as a tier I want to take
the new techniques and then apply them to new flies of my own design. This
leads to learning ways to add different features to new flies. Take for
example, if you need to add a tail that moves more then the rabbit strip you
tried on prototype 1 of a fly. Perhaps a palmered marabou tail is the solution….perhaps
not, you try it and see.
This week's listings include some classics. As I am sure most readers will know the Clouser minnow. Keep it as a staple of their arsenal. I learned early on to tie mine on salt water hooks so they will always fish no matter what water I am fishing. These are some of my favorite colors.
Additionally, there are several varieties of bass and sun fish flies included as I have been prepping my own boxes for the spring fishing to take off. I fish two categories of bass and sunfish flies. The first is a series of small insect/frog style patterns and the second group includes suspending and bottom dredging streamers. The sizes vary but I usually don't throw many things over a size 2.
Don't underestimate the big fish catching power of small flies. A size 12 ant can take on a very big bass. River bass will always continue to feed on some stuff that falls into the river from shore. Take advantage of that fact.
I have also added a buy it now option for some of my Dirt Cheap Divers. These were designed to avoid the efforts needed to produce deer hair divers and make a fly cheap enough to leave in a tree if you hang up trying to make the necessary casts under over hanging branches. These do a great job of that diving ker-plunk that has made Dahlberg Divers so effective. Try them with a sink tip or sinking leader they are even more versatile.