Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sweet fly Tees from Patagonia

Just got some sweet new T-shirts in from Patagonia with a classic Green-Butt Skunk design printed on the back. Original artwork by Jeff Kennedy and printed on Patagonia's standard organic cotton fabric with PVC- and phthalate-free inks. Check them out on our online store!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Epoxy minnow fly

When you fish salmon bearing streams at this time of year, you will notice the amount of salmon fry present on shorelines and back eddies. Nothing quite satisfies hungry trout and Steelhead like a protein packed salmon fry, so much that most fish won't even look at anything else.
This fry pattern utilizes Ostrich for the back and Diamond braid for the body with stick on eyes, simple ingredients that make it quick and easy to tie. The epoxy coating insures durability, weight and gives the fly a brilliant sheen, adding an extra touch of realism.

Start off with an appropriate hook for the size of the fry you will imitate. This is a size 4 straight eye 1750 Daiichi. Whatever works for you, though try to avoid down turn eyes. Using White or Grey thread, wrap a strip on lead along the bottom of the shank.

Tie in the diamond braid out the back of the hook and some Olive Ostrich herl out the front.

Wrap the braid forward, overlapping just a little bit and tie off close to the eye of the hook. Tie in some red "string", here I used larva lace, but red wire, yard or thread will work. Wrap a few times for the gill and tie off. Whip finish.

Tie in at the tail of the fly, pull the Ostrich back and tie town. Whip finish. Take a lighter and burn off all the long fibers from the back of the fly (not the tail). Any longer fibers will make the epoxy stick out and look pretty bad.

Pinch the tail about .5" back and rip off the excess Ostrich dangling from the back of the pattern. Ripping rather then cutting gives it a more natural appearance. Add stick on eyes and your pretty much done the fly.

Add your epoxy, it is good to epoxy a bunch at a time rather then just 1 or 2. 5-10 minute epoxy works, though it tends to shatter a little easier then 24hr cure epoxy. A rotating dryer is a great tool for the longer cure stuff. Add the epoxy evenly and don't add more then you need. If you can, try to keep more on the belly of the fly to insure it rides right side up in the water. Done!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Making Prawn eyes

Here is a simple method of making quality prawn/shrimp/bug eyes with a few basic materials. They look just as good as pre-made eyes but much cheaper and customizable. You will need: 40lb mono or 50lb Slickshooter, a lighter, Black permanent marker and Krazy glue.

First, light that sucker up. Keep too much heat from the ball of molten mono and work it until it is a desired size. It shrinks when it cool as well, so make it a tad bigger then you want it to look. Make sure not to get any liquid mono on your hands, it really hurts!

It should look like this when its done and cooled off. Don't heat it too much afterworks or it will burn and become brittle. Stick it in some cold water to cool it right away.

Color it up with some permanent marker. Black works the best.

Now Krazy glue or Zap-a-gap and your done! its easy to make a few dozen eyes like this at once so you have a decent supply. They look sharp, last a long time and can be made using a variety of materials. Next step, I'll actually find a use for them, time to make some Prawn flies!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Steelhead family

A well made video of the life of a real Steelhead family, the Clays. Check it out if you haven't already!

Video by Andrew Hardingham

Rigging Mono running line with Shooting head Spey lines

Got all your gear for a new setup but not too sure how to rig it all up? This is a very easy and dependable way to set up a Slickshooter (or Mono) running line with a Compact Spey head (Skagit, AFS, Scandi, etc.)
Starting off with backing, there are a few knots you can use to tie it off. I use 2, the first being the end loop knot which is strong and easy to tie but a bit Bulky.

The End loop knot

The second is the Bimini twist which takes a bit of practice but is the strongest of the bunch. Make sure that the loop of backing is big enough to go around the reel or spool of running line.
Then I take my Slickshooter and tie in a perfection loop.

Perfection loop with the Slickshooter flat against itself right before tightening

IMPORTANT! when you tie your loop, make sure that the Slickshooter is lined up flat and there are no twists, otherwise when you tighten the knot the sharp side of the line will cut through itself. You will know very quickly if you did it wrong when you test the strength of the knot. If done right, you should have a perfect loop that shouldn't break for any good reason.

Loop to loop

Loop the Backing on the running line and reel the rest on. Tie a perfection loop on the other side of the Slickshooter and attach the Line. Easy!

When attaching Airflo Shooting heads, remember that black is the back

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bad weather Bulltrout

Nice Bulltrout caught in a cold, gusty winter storm yesterday. The weather these fish bite can be quite surprising sometimes. This Bull took a Black Sculpin fly in some low and cold water.