Friday, September 28, 2012

Featured Fly - Trigger Nymph

Here is a spin of of Mike Mercer's Trigger nymph, I made a few simple substitutions to this great fly, so that it is a bit faster to tie. You will notice on his original pattern, he uses pheasant tail for the tail, I use CDL feathers, the CDL feathers are a bit stronger so they will last a bit longer before breaking off. The other small difference that I do, or don't do, is add legs, its one more step and I'm working on simplicity with my nymphs these days. This little nymph works great during a hatch or around the time of a hatch, this particular pattern is tied in BWO colors, I also have it in hendrickson pink, sulphur yellow, and march brown. Fish this guy anytime of the year and you will love the results.

Hook: TMC 2488 sz. 12-20
Bead: Cyclops Bead sz. to match hook
Thread: UNI Thread 6/0 - Olive 
Tail: CDL Feathers
Body: Goose Biot - Olive 
Thorax: SLF Squirrel Dubbing - Olive 
Wing: Ice Dub - Olive 

Step 1: Make a thread base, stopping just after the bend of the hook.

Step 2: Tie in 5 to 8 CDL Fibers.

Step 3: Tie in the goose biot, move the thread to behind the bead.

Step 4: Grab the goose biot with hackle pilers, making even turns wrap biot up to bead.

Step 5: Dub a section behind the bead leave a little room for the wing and second dubbing wrap.

Step 6: Make a dubbing ball with the ice dub, slide it down on-top of the fly. Tie down, keeping all dubbing on the top.

Step 7: Make one or two more wraps of SLF Dubbing behind the bead. Whip finish and cut.

Finished Fly 

Trigger Nymph - BWO and Sulphur 
This awesome Brown fell to a Hendrickson Trigger Nymph 

This little guy couldn't resist a March Brown Trigger Nymph 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Smallmouth

After throwing on a hoddie and beanie, I made my way out to hook the boat up for another smallmouth float. I was happy to see the gauges reading over 400cfs at Berne and over 900cfs at Reading, this was going to be perfect for 8.8 mile full day float. Sipping on my coffee, I jump in the car, and have to stop, looking at the outside temp, 46! Well yup its fall, lets get with the "warm water" fishing while we still can.

 I have to say while the numbers haven't been super high with the colder nights, the average size of the bass have gotten bigger. Flipping rocks and gazing into the water, I have found a lot more crayfish, so naturally it wouldn't make sense not to fish them, sculpin, yup they are still around, and small shiners, they haven't gone anywhere. 

Pictures from a couple more floats:

Jerry with a nice bass right off the bat 
Mike with his first bass, and first (i think) fish on a fly rod

This little Schuylkill Crayfish was nice to let me photograph him

A revamped crayfish pattern, from Clouser's Crayfish 

Yet another Sculpin pattern from my bench

Hot Flies: Zuddler, Hellgrammite, New Sculpin, Crayfish, Fish Skull streamer

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Guest Tyer

Frank "Chip" Swarner, a good friend, and even better fly tyer will be showing off his amazing skills this Saturday the 22nd at the shop. Stop in and pick his brain about traditional salmon flies, and his vast knowledge of the New York Steelhead runs.

Check out his Blog for a preview: Chip's Blog

Chesapeake Weekend

Spent the weekend down in MD visiting the family, the good thing is a visit with the family almost always means a fishing trip too. Monday the commercial fishing season was closed,  but dad had to go out and send Spot pots (baitfish) for the next 2 days when the season reopened. In exchange for my help, he said he would drive me around looking for breaking fish... DEAL! Well that was all we did was look, not a single bird or splash for about 2 hours. When we were about 100 yards from the slip I looked up to a happy sight, birds, ducks, and stripers all over the place. We spent the next hour or so fishing clouser minnows and bob's bangers for 12 - 20 Stripers. It was awesome, we caught a bunch, nothing huge but they are such cool looking fish!

Smaller Striper, but ill take it

Got this guy in the mix

A Redfish my dad caught about a week ago

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Sculpin

The sculpin is a bait fish in every stream, river, and lake, across the US. They can take many different shapes, sizes, and colors, but one this stays the same, every predatory fish loves to eat them!

This is why my smallmouth box is all brown and Olive, with just about every fly imitating a sculpin in some way, shape, or form. Look into my trout streamer boxes and you will find the same. Change the colors a bit to purple and pink and you have a strange bread of steelhead sculpin mixed into those boxes as well. The common theme to my streamer tying has revolved around these blunt nosed bait fish long enough, when someone asks me what I'm tying the response is always the same, "typical or of course you are", after I tell them "a new sculpin".

These bait fish are a soft bodied, big headed bottom dwelling fish, that if you flip of a rock you will often times find one scurry away under the next rock it can find, in its haste to hide again. This reaction can get any predatory fish moving closer waiting for it to jump out just at the right (or wrong if you are the sculpin) time. Other behaviors common among these fish are pretty simple and natural, they spend their entire life under water eating small nymphs, or algey off the rocks and pebbles. Gliding along the sides of rocks in the shadows, trying to be stealthy, their main purpose in life is to survive another day. These little guys, or for the most part little guys can be seen up to 12 inches in some systems, and other species found in larger bodies of water cab be even larger.

Jesse talking to a large sculpin that ate a small egg pattern.

They can be fished many different ways and in many different sizes. Most of my sculpin patterns are on single hooks, sizes up to a 4, where others can be articulated on double 4s or even larger. After my last visit in MT, I discovered that most guides dead drift smaller sculpin under indicators in search of the large, smart, and in a way lazy browns. Others say that striping the fast along the bottom of the stream bottom is the most effective way to fish them. Me well I do all of the above, If its not a sculpin I'm probably not fishing it. So next time you are out flipping rocks looking at mayfly nymphs, pay closer attention when you lift the rock, looking for a fast moving trout meal. Match that hatch!

Top view of my latest Sculpin Fly Pattern 

My latest Sculpin Fly Pattern.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Featured Fly - Biot Body Nymph

Here is a little pattern that I came up with a while back, while looking online at a bunch of attractor nymphs. It is very simple, and fast to tie, and after a few years of guiding I've realized the fast and simpler the fly is, the less pissed I get when they get hung up in a tree or on the bottom. Ok pissed might be an exaggeration, but you get the idea. Simple and Fast is my new motto.

Hook: TMC 2488 sz. 14-18
Thread: UNI Thread 6/0 Fl. Orange 
Bead: Tungsten Bomb Bead
Tail: CDL Feathers 
Body: Goose Biot - Brown, Black, Amber, Olive 
Rib: Ultra Wire - Gold, Black, Olive
Thorax: Hare's Ice Dub - Peacock, Brown, Black

Step 1: Make a thread base just past the bend in the shank.

Step 2: Tie in the Ultra Wire.

Step 3: Tie in about 5 CDL Fibers.

Step 4: Tie in the Goose Biot.

Step 5: Wrap the biot forward leaving about a hook eye gap behind the bead.

Step 6: Wrap the Ultra Wire, using the biot edges as a guide.

Step 7: Dud the Thorax.

Step 8: Whip Finish, or add hot collar then whip finish.