Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tarpon Fly Pattern

In my fishing adventures I have had mild experience with Tarpon. These prehistoric beasts with a resemblance of the jurassic era, boast a skin made of armor and a mouth that would test of hardness of granite. There is a reason they call these fish Silver Kings. On a fishing trip to the Southern Keys of Florida, I had the opurtunity to catch a few Tarpon in their home waters. I wouldn't say that these fish are hard to hook. They do not require near the amount of searching as species such as bass. A good sized mullet with a large circle hook will test the will of any Tarpon's appetite. In my opinion it is the fight these fish pose that makes them the gamefish that they are. Their granite mouth, power, and ability to leap out of the water with stunning aerobatics tests the skill of any true angler. With all this in mind I wanted to come up with a fly pattern that incorporated two iconic traits of classic Tarpon Patterns as well as the durability to stand up to multiple fish. Chances are you will lose more Tarpon then you land and this poses a problem to any fly tier. My idea was to use the rabbit zonker strip tail of the Tarpon bunny with the thick and webby hackle collar of the Classic Tarpon Fly. I increased the durability of this fly and gave it a thicker collar by doubling the amount of hackle feathers on the collar and using them to form a dubbing brush. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of a dubbing brush, let me explain how they work. Using a rotary vise with a secured hook, you are able to lay hackle feathers, dubbing materials, or furs between to pieces of heavier gauge wire. When the vise is rotated a few dozen times while holding the two pieces of wire the materials are twisted together within the wire to essentially form a wire reenforced dubbing loop that resembles a small pipe cleaner. This method, which was brought to America by fly fisherman from Czech Republic, allows you as tier to pack on more material when you need it most. Try it out and see if you can come up with some patterns that could benefit. You may even discover that this method is a replacement for chinnel.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tying The Redfish Bug

This is a redfish fly that I have copied off a bass pattern. It is based on a deciever fly made of deer belly hair and saddle hackle feathers. The colors are based on those which I had success with in the Florida Pan Handle fishing for redfish and speckled trout. Let me know what you think.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Those Random Fishing Thoughts.....

Greetings From Mexico!!!,

           It is almost the middle of June and yet I am already feeling the withdrawals that come in the heat of summer when fisherman such as myself now have to accept the fact that the majestic creatures we strive to catch will go into hiding. Some may even die after years of growing and preparing to be stocked in a river that is unlikely to hold trout year-round. Currently I am on a vacation with my future wife. I wonderful nurse from the outer-banks of North Carolina. A woman who by luck happens to be from the salt-water fishing capital of North Carolina. Two days ago she became an official nurse but in my mind she was capable of healing long before that. What I have come to realize is that a true fisherman... and I mean true at heart... is someone who is at a life long battle with the impossible. A true fisherman will keep a line in the water as long as there is a fish to catch without thought of giving up. While one method may fail he is sure another will surely work. Fishing is a lifelong pursuit of a bigger and stronger fish. Some of us target trout, some of us target bass, and some of us target whatever is biting that day. What it always boils down to thought is nature and the will to survive. The understanding that we have to catch a bigger fish or another fish is in our very existence, from our ancestors who needed these fish to survive all the way to ourselves who just want to catch a fish big enough to prove that we can. What I have realized more then anything is that fishing has values, moral, and life lessons that should be past down from generation to generation. A fish is not just a creature, it is a life goal that must be pursued. It is the impossible and while we all are in search of different species, we must realize that to give up will only leave us to wonder what we could have accomplished.

Random Food for Thought and Tight Lines,

Sunday, June 2, 2013

In Search of Reds On The Fly....

Hey Everyone,

Really quick before I begin I just want to thank everybody for the support. I really want to thank Phillis and Leita for your more then generous donation to the website. I promise I put the funds to good use and more fish will find a hook because of it! These past few weeks have been a journey. First off trout season in North Carolina is over... If you want I catch good trout you better take some days off from work and head to Tennessee STAT!! Sorry for the medical terms, my fiancĂ© is a nurse. To be honest though the hot summers of North Carolina bring the withdraws of fly fishing. Trout slow down from the heat or die off in hatchery water and fly fishing for bass is tough unless you know of a holy untouched pond full of lunkers. Once you have experienced the sensation of tying a fly and landing a fish via your own creation, their isn't much that can fulfill that kind of need. Two weeks ago this time I was in Florida just south of Tallahassee fishing for red fish on spinning gear. My goal was to land a Red  Drum on the fly even if it wasn't a fly that I tied. I just wanted to know the feeling of catching a Bull Red on a 9 foot 8wt. When I got to the dock I was all but impressed with fly outfit and section of the worst clouser minnow flies I have ever seen. Don't get me wrong!!!! The guide I was with made an effort. He was able to put that boat right on the oyster bars. But with the line that I had and he rod which was a 24 year old sage limited my casting ability. It was all borrowed gear and I was ok with that. The suppliers for my families company had paid for the trip and a fly fishing guide with quality gear and excellent hand tied flies costs top dollar, more then most are willing to pay. After almost throwing my shoulder out trying to drop a fly in front of a bull red I switched to spinning gear and was able to land many smaller reds. We filled the boat with our limit of sea bass and speckled trout. It was also very interesting to see bull sharks, hammerheads, and manatees in their natural habitat. Something about the natural understanding of insects and the role the food chain that comes with fly fishing just causes me to appreciate how these animals survive. I returned to the Tar Heel State with a new goal in mind. I want to tie saltwater flies and land a Big Ol' Bull Red with my own intuition, understanding, and technique. In my life I have targeted a number of species such as largemouth, trout, and striped bass. I am a trout bum by heart and I know that veering off the path of a trout seeker is tough but I honestly believe that learning how to saltwater fly fish will make me a better river guide. So here is what I have done so far. First off I purchased a new vise. I wanted to start tying saltwater fly patterns. So I switched to a Nor Vise. For those who are not familiar with a Nor Vise please go to www.nor-vise.come and check it out. Basically the Nor Vise spins the hook so that the tier doesn't have to constantly wrap the thread like trout flies. I also went to orvis and made the hefty investment is some salt water fly materials. These materials are very hard to come by in the piedmont and mountain regions. I have tired a few dozen flies thus far on the vise and I can say that it does take quite longer to tie a saltwater pattern then it does a trout fly. I have been working on my technique in spinning deer hair and using z-Lon and I am getter better. Also I have been using clear cure, the UV epoxy quite a bit and I am very impressed with how easy it is to get a smooth fly head with no bubbles. Lastly I have to mention that my fiancĂ© is from Morehead City, NC. For those of you who don't know, Morehead is ground zero for summer Marlin tournaments and is the southern capital for trophy redfish. The kicker to this story is that my future father is law just purchased a flat bottom hybrid from Carolina Skiff. I am one 9wt outfit away from my goal. A bull drum in excess of 35lbs is my goal for the year. Morehead is also know for beach fishing along the eddies for reds as well. I am really looking forward to this summer. Please let me know if you have any questions or tips. I will soon be posting pics of flies that I have been tying and once I get the hang of tying salt water patterns I really want to post a few more videos. I will be posting pics from the last trip soon. 

Thank You and Tight Lines,