Monday, August 26, 2013

Early Delayed Harvest Soft Hackles

Hey Y'all,

        Mike here, I don't know about the rest of you but I always find the first few weeks of the delayed harvest to be a bit slow. Trout get stressed from the stockings and its just not quite as cold as I needs to be. I also believe that it takes trout a week or two just to get into the swing of foraging for food because they aren't used to seeking out flies yet. These pellet fed river hogs need to relearn what it means to be a wild trout and until they do it may not be easy to get them to strike flies that accurately match the hatch. This is just my experience but it really varies year to year.  Regardless, I have always found that these trout are impervious to soft hackles. Wooly buggers work well too but they can also spook trout that are stressed. Often times I will trail soft hackles behind a wooly bugger using tippet material using the wooly bugger as more of an attractor. Whatever type of hackle you want to use, soft hackles just seem to have the perfect type of subtle movement that trout love. So what I wanted to do is just give you a few patterns that I have been tying recently to give you some ideas to get started. Check them out and let me know what you think.

Take it easy and Tight Lines,

This fly is the essence of simplicity and versatility. It doesn't get better then a three material fly that is known to bring up good fish. I really like these simple and traditional flies because they offer unlimited versatility when it comes to customization. Traditionally this fly is tied in orange but I have tied this fly in a number of different colors. You can mix up the hackle, add in a herl collar, you can even bulk this pattern up with lead to where it bounces along the bottom as it drifts. Mix it up some and give it a try...

This is my favorite caddis emerged pattern. Typically I use this fly as a last resort because sometimes trout can sip an emerger without you ever knowing he was there due to the fact that emerger patterns are designed to sink down just below the water film. Plus, I don't know about you but when I am in the middle of a large hatch I want some dry fly action! Every now and again though it is important to but wishful thinking aside and remember that the goal is to catch fish. Not wait to a lucky break....although, those are nice too!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

New Flies!!!

Hey Everybody,

          Get out of your normal fly tying box and try out some new patterns. I picked out a few patterns I thought y'all would like and made a few videos on how to tie them. I have been in a fly tying frenzy with this colder weather we have had over the weekend. It almost made me feel like trout season is right around the corner!!!!

This is a new Attractor Dry Fly that I want to try out this upcoming fall season. Like I have talked about before, I really believe in mixing things up and looking around for out of the box flies to use, especially attractor patterns. Big trout don't get big by eating every fly that floats right over them. These big fish are used to seeing Parachute Adams, Hare's Ears, Pheasant Tails, and a lot of other flies that can be found at just about every fly shop in the country. Sometimes it just takes a different profile or pattern to set them off. All fish adapt, and this is why we can't use many of the old fishing methods used back in the day of Hemingway. Fish have adapted to basically avoid being caught. As a fly fisherman and fly tier, you have the ability to adapt your methods very quickly by varying the way you tie flies.

This is a wet fly I came across at a fly shop here in Charlotte. I thought it looked pretty interesting and so I decided to copy it. The only thing I do different to this fly that wasn't on the original is the ostrich herl under the hackle. I like the look and the ostrich helps puff out the soft hackle a little bit more when it gets wet. I use this fly both as an attractor nymph and a wet fly. Sometimes I will even trail this fly behind a heavier wet fly like a soft hackle wooly bugger or a big leech on about a foot and a half of tippet.

Ok to be honest I made a slight yet embarrassing error in this fly. While I did forget to use Golden Pheasant Tippets for the tail to make it a true Royal Coachman, I did purposely use the moose main fibers. I like the way this type of tail looks on attractor dry flies for the reason that it tends to splay out more. This gives the fly the more natural appearance of a mayfly. I was tying a bunch of these to stock the fly box and forgot to mention in the video that this was my own variant that I do different just to mix things up a bit.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer Heat Fly Tying...

All throughout the Tarheel State we are seeing temperatures peek in the 90's. Even the rivers and streams seem to be close to boiling which are driving all the trout down deep. This is the time of year where trout must fight to survive to the next year. Smart trout that end up as big carry-overs find a deep hole to hide out until they can get some cold water come fall. Trout that can't seem to find a spot to call home end up suffocating in the warm oxygen starved water. While the water isn't really near the boiling temp, it isn't nowhere near the colder temps that trout prefer and this causes trout to die off. Not to mention the large amount of rain that we have seen in the foothills this year. While a big storm every now and then is something that trout are built to withstand, 17 straight days of rain will test the will of any river dwelling fish. This year alone we have seen record deaths in the streams and rivers famous for lazy rafting. Some people do not understand the dangers of a flooding river. Even if it is not raining at that particular moment, storms in the upper mountains can cause flood buildups of debris that form a wall of water, logs, and mud that rush ahead of the storm and cause massive damage. So what do you do when all this is going on? Your starved of fishing.... You can't go outside without filling your waders with a gallon of sweat.... And on top of all that your wife wants you to cut the grass this weekend so you can't drive to Tennessee!!! I tell you what to do... Go ahead and stock your fly box with some new patterns for fall!!!! The delayed harvest and fall season is almost upon us. We are less then two months away from the DH opening and the cooler temperatures that follow. If your like me then you enjoy fishing in cold weather. Nothing makes you feel like apart of the river then having a mile long section of water to yourself with snow falling. So what I have for all yall today is a few of the fly patterns that I have been tying in preparation for what I have come to call Fly Fisherman's Christmas Season.. The Fall!!

This is my own variant on the Delaware Adams. I call it the Carolina Adams. In the NC Mountain Streams I can't even begin to count the amount of big trout I have caught using big whulff patterns as dry flies/ strike indicators on dropper style rigging. Trout just can't seem to resist a large fly in certain situations. On top of that it pays off to use patterns that large trout aren't used to seeing. In many rivers known to hold large fish, big trout may see a hare's ear or a parachute adams float by them many times. Displaying a different type of fly can pay off big time...

This is my own spin on a prince nymph. I created this fly to be an attractor pattern to use above a midge. A lot of times when the trout aren't biting like you thing they should, they will usually bite very detailed midges, but they aren't the easiest things for trout to see. I use colorful attractor nymphs to lure trout in closer. They will see the colorful nymph and most of the time it will bring them in just close enough to see the midge.

This is the Royal Humpy. What makes this fly a Royal Humpy rather then the traditional Humpy is the fact that it boasts a calf hair wing and a moose main or dark long elk hair tail. This is an easier version to tie verse the traditional humpy due to the fact that you do not have to tie the but ends of the elk at the base of the fly, fold the elk over the back to create the hump, then use the tips of the elk to create the wing. This method requires much more measuring then the way I tie the Royal Humpy. This variation of the Humpy also has more features of a mayfly then its attractor counterpart.

This is a traditional Copper John tied in red. Being that this fly is one of those traditional mayfly attractor patterns, it can really pay off to tie this fly in multiple colors. It is a great fly in both shape, size, and overall fishability. This is such a popular fly that some fish will have seen it multiple times in their life. Sometimes all it takes is a change of color to make it seem like something different to a fish. A big trout didn't get big because it was stupid. It has the ability to detect the simple imperfections or perfections in some cases that separate real insects from flies. Fly tiers tend to do all sorts of things to make their flies look different from the rest. Some fishermen will even go as far as to tie on very wacky uneven wings on flies such as an elk hair caddis. I watched one tier who refused to use a hair stacker for his hair wings. He just kept saying "I've never seen a caddis with a perfectly even wing". The point being is that it really helps to step outside the norm when it comes to tying your own flies. Take traditional patterns and make your own variant or do as I did in this video and just change the color. I know that you can pick up a Red Copper John in just about any fly shop. I just used red because I felt like it would be something that people would search, but feel free to tie this fly in any color you wish. Personally I have it stocked in my fly box from every color from brown to pink.