Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Featured Fly - Double Feature

For my feature fly this go around, I decided to do two simple yet effective dry flies that work well all winter long. The first one I did was a Blue Winged Olive or BWO, this Mayfly can hatch throughout the winter months. When these little guys are flying around your favorite limestone or spring creek, it is a great time to see fish rising regularly. The second one is the Griffiths Gnat, this is a super easy pattern to tie, yet very effective. It mimics multiple midges clustered together; what better reason for a fish to rise "an easy, filling meal" than to a Griffiths gnat.

Hook: TMC 100 - sz. 14 -22
Thread: UNI Thread 8/0 - Olive 
Thorax: East Coast Dubbing - BWO
Abdomen: Goose Biot - BWO or Olive 
Wing: Super Select CDC - Dark Dun or Light Dune
Tail: Wapsi Mayfly Tails - Lt. Dun or Dun

 Step 1: Make a thread base back to the hook bend, Add a small dubbing ball, this helps split your tails.

Step 2: Tie in your mayfly tails, tie them back to the start of the dubbing ball, they will split apart making your tails. Cut off extra.

 Step 3: Wrap thread 3/4 of the way back to the hook eye. Take 2 CDC feathers, aline the tips together and tie down. Make a few wraps forward, trim the extra.

Step 4: Tying back to the tails; tie in your goose biot.

Step 5: Wrap your goose biot forward until you are right behind the CDC feathers.

 Step 6: Dub behind the CDC feathers making 2 or 3 turns, wrap thread forward and make a small thread dam helping the CDC stand straight up. Add 1 or 2 more wraps of dubbing.

Step 7: Whip Finish and cut thread.

Griffiths Gnat

Hook: TMC 100 - sz. 18-24
Thread: UNI Thread 8/0 - Olive or Black 
Body: Peacock Herls 
Wing: Grizzly Saddle 

Step 1: Make a thread base, Tying in a single grizzly feather from the butt end.

Step 2: Tie in 2 peacock herls, making sure they start at the hook bend with the grizzly feather.

Step 3: Wrap the 2 peacock herls forward, making the body. Tie off right behind the hook eye.

Step 4: Palmer the grizzly feather forward. Also tying this off right behind the hook eye.

Step 5: Whip finish and cut thread.


Here are a couple fish that fell to one of these flies:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Revised... Early Morning Float 2

With the snow on the ground, I decided to sit down and mess with some new footage that Joey and I took of a few days on the Tully this past fall. Here is the revised version of the original Early Morning Float 2.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good Friends, Road Tips, and Steelhead

One of my goals for 2012 is to fly fish in 10 different states. With Steelhead season in full swing, what better time to start than now. So, Leland and I met up at 2:30 Sunday morning to make the 6 to 7 hour drive to Cleavland Ohio.

Looking down off the bridge into a slush-filled river had our hopes of an easy, enjoyable day just about gone. Fighting slush and shelf ice all day kept the hook up rate low. But hey that's steelhead fishing. Days when the conditions are less than ideal and the fishing is all but hot really make you cherish and enjoy holding every fish you get to hand. The Chagrin River outside of Cleavland is an awesome river. What it lacked in fish, it made up for in scenery. From the reports and pictures I've seen from friends and the internet, when the conditions are right it can produce some beautiful fish. 

Leaving Chagrin Falls OH, we headed for Conneaut OH to try out the Conneaut River or the Conny as many call it. Standing on a bridge looking down, we saw a very familiar sight; slush and shelf ice. Not wanting to waste any time, I got on the phone to check the reports and get some inside advice. This led us to Elk Creek in PA.

The fishing was slow but it was nice to have the whole river to ourselves. We managed to hook 4 fish, but only landed just one. You can tell when you have a good friend when he goes swimming just to save your fish from breaking off... 

Leland had the net in had ready to scoop my Steelhead, when all the sudden she turned and went right between his feet. He knew it would either lift and jump back or it was all over. He jumped backwards and into the frigid water. I saw him go down--luckily the fish was running down stream, so I lifted the rod as high as I could, I grabbed him and lifted him up so he could get his footing back (saving him from a full wader shot). The fish started upstream and I was back in full fish-fight concentration. Then, as if falling in weren't bad enough, she decided to test us once more; under the shelf ice she went! I could see her flopping around trying every trick to get off, I lowered my rod tip and guided her out, and into the net. Thanks Buddy!


Leland rigging & battling slush

Breaking ice as the train rolls by

After 2 days of hard fishing!


Driving to the river 

Conneaut River

Lunch on the Ice

A beauty 

Also A big Thank You to Greg Senyo from Steelhead Alley Outfitters. Thanks man for all the help and Directions!!!

Flies that Worked: Prince Nymph, Psycho Prince (Black), Hot Beadhead Prince, Black Marabou Streamer

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Featured Fly - Egg Sucking Leech

The Egg Sucking Leech fly comes in all shapes and sizes. This is one of my favorite flies to fish for Steelhead and Browns. It is also a great pattern for fishing just about any Alaskan stream. With warm water temps, and spring rapidly approaching, this is a great fly to swing or dead drift under an indicator for aggressive fish.


Hook: Fish Skull Articulated Shake 35mm or TMC 300
Thread: UNI Thread 6/0 - Black or Red 
Tail: Marabou - Black or Purple
Flash: Holo. Flashabou - Black or Purple
Body: Ice Dub - Black or Purple
Body 2: Rooster Saddle Feather - Black or Purple
Collar (optional): Senyo's Shaggy Dub - Black or Purple
Head: Ultra Chenille - Med. - Red, Pink, or Fl. Orange

Step 1: Take the hook and slid it onto the back loop of the shank.

Step 2: Lay a base of thread sealing the gap of the back look. Tie in the Marabou so the hook is covered.

Step 3: Tie in the Rooster saddle feather.
Step 4: Dub the body, leaving about 2 hook eye length with no material.

Step 5: Tie in the Holo. Flash at the front of the hook. 

Step 6: Holding the flash tight, wrap the saddle feather once around at the start of the marabou. This will secure the flash. Palmer the feather through the Ice Dub. Once at the front of the fly warp 1 or 2 extra times making a collar.

 Step 7: Center tie a clump of Shaggy Dub; One on the stop and one on the bottom. This will add movement.

Step 8: Wrap the Chenille around 2 or 3 times depending on how big you want the egg. 

Step 9: Whip finish


2 fish that fell to the egg sucking leech.

Jesse with a beautiful Alaskan Rainbow.

Joey was dead drifting an egg sucking leech this fall when this monster ate.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lake Erie in January

I headed out to western PA this weekend to visit my girlfriend and her family.  One nice thing about visiting is that she is only an hour and a half from Erie; the even nicer thing is her dad Jim is also a Steelhead addict. With permison from our ladies we headed to 20 mile for the day. Last March we tried this trip, with less than ideal conditions; needless to say our results were less than successful, not seeing one fish.

Getting to the river around 10, our hopes were high with almost no cars at any of the access points we passed.  The river was about average flow, and slightly off color. Sight fishing for steelhead can be very tough, not because the fish might see you per say; but it is very hard to hold your composure when you are looking at a 10lb fish right in front of you. Often times I walk away scratching my head wondering why it didn’t want what I was offering.  When it all does come together,  watching that fish hit a streamer or seeing the slight movement towards your nymph…well that’s what its all about!

January steelhead fishing often times is not a numbers game but more for the experince, so one or two fish is all I was looking for. Only seeing 4 other guys over about a mile and a half river all the while landing a few fish, it was a very successful day. Not to mention losing a couple in there as well.
Jim and I stopped mid-day to start a fire and have a cold beverage.  Warming up and cooling down at the same time we cooked some lunch. We fished until around 3 and made our way back to the car. The deal was we could fish as long as we were home by dark, Yeah we were still late J

Here are a few pictures from the trip:

Hot Patterns: Copper John,  Egg sucking Leech, Little Black Stoneflies

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Long Time Coming

Joey and I headed to the Tully this morning to try our hand at a few fish before work. We had a pretty good morning considering the conditions being less than ideal. We started fishing around 8:15, hoping to give the water a short while to warm up. It was slow going until the sun crept over the trees, warming the water just enough. We each had a few fish bringing one trout each to hand. Then Joey got stuck on the bottom... or did he?

Joey has been in persut of a golden Bonefish or as most call them a Carp for some time now. He spent countless hours on the Schuylkill this summer frustrated and confused on why these fish were so tough to get to eat a fly. After tying like hell to un-snag his fly from the bottom, yanking, and pulling it; he realized that his fly line was moving upstream. Carp On!!!

Hot Flies: Sugar Daddy, San Juan Worm, Black Midge

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How to Build an Anchor

Over Christmas my brother-in-law and I decided to build a custom anchor for my boat. After playing with high powered tools and a welder here is a step-by-step of the process.

Step 1: Find the right materials

Step 2: Cut all materials to size with over sized saws!

Step 3: Lay out materials where you want them

Step 4: Weld all parts together

Step 5: Weld more

Step 6: Weld even more

Step 7: Grind down sharp edges (optional)

Finished... Only a slight bit larger than the original