Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Featured Fly - Soft Hackle Caddis Larva

This is a great fly to have in your steelhead box. There have been studies on a steelhead's winter diet that say over 50% of their food intake is some form of caddis fly. Winter months in the Great Lakes, and high fishing pressure can often times turn fish off of traditional bright flies. They will turn to more natural patterns, like over sized pheasant tails, any stonefly patterns, and one of my most recent favorites, the caddis larva. So next time you are having a slow day standing in Altmar, try a soft hackle caddis larva.

Hook: TMC 2457 - 8 - 12
Thread: UNI Thread 6/0 - Tan or Brown 
Rib: Holo Tinsel - Gold - Small
Body: Life Cycle Dubbing - Caddis Green 
Under Body: .010 Lead
Collar: Partridge Feather - Natural Brown 
Head: SLF Bug Dub - Tan 

Step 1: Start your thread base. Once you are half way, add in the holo tinsel as you wrap back.

Step 2: Add about 15 wraps of .010 lead.

Step 3: Dub the body, leaving enough space to add hackle and dubbing for the head.

Step 4: Rib the body with the holo tinsel.

Step 5: Tie in the Partridge feather from the tip.

Step 6: Make 2 or 3 wraps of the hackle, or until it is a full as you like.

Step 7: Dub the head.

Finished Fly:

Troy with an awesome Salmon River Steelhead, that fell to a caddis larva
Oak Orchard steelhead that fell to the soft hackle caddis larva in the fast water

Friday, December 27, 2013

Tully in the Winter Months

This past week we have been out a few times. Its winter alright, water temps are in the low 30's, so you really have to hit them in the head. Small caddis larva, and midges have been my flies of choice the past few outings. On the warmer days I have seen small pods of fingerlings up eating midges. Stick with Griffith's gnats, or small pop midges, or try to fool them with zebra midges. Even though the fishing is tough in the winter, often times you are the only one on the water, so it can be very relaxing.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Featured Fly - BWO Nymph

Here is another great fly from the latest issue of Fly Tyer, I saw it and immediately grabbed all the materials to tie it. I have fished it a few times this winter, and it has performed will. Whether there is a full on olive hatch, or you know know that there is olives in the system, make this one of your first picks this winter.

Hook: TMC 2488 - 16-20
Thread: UNI Thread 6/0 - Olive 
Tail: Senyo's Shaggy Dub 
Abdomen: Turkey Biot - Olive
Thorax: Superfine Dubbing  - Olive 
Wing Case: Scud Back - Black
Legs: Senyo's Shaggy Bug

Step 1: Make a thread base.

Step 2: Tie in a single strand of  shaggy dub, making a V for the tails.

Step 3: Tie in the Biot, then wrap your thread half way back to the hook eye.

Step 4: Wrap the Biot forward.

Step 5: Tie in the Scud back, for the shell case.

Step 6: Tie in one strand of shaggy dub on each side of the fly.

Step 7: Dub the thorax.

Step 8: Pull the scud back forward, and tie off.

Step 9: Whip finish and cut off.

Finished Fly:


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Salmon River with the Mailman

Steve and I headed up to the salmon river for a quick one day trip, all thanks to the post office calling him in on his day off, but that's a whole other story. So we headed up to my sisters to get a few hours of sleep and pick up the boat. Snow was in the forecast, so I was hoping for a less than crowded river. The hand held band saw, sledge hammer, and little can do attitude was all it took to change Steve's 2 inch trailer ball to my 17/8 in. Needless to say we had a late start, but Steve was determined to waste no time. Hooking 2 small fish, on a not so traditional steelhead fly, the frenchie, size 12, we had high hopes. We moved down river, with the lack of anglers, we were able to fish just about anywhere we wanted, it was great! Steve managed 2 more hook ups, landing an awesome Hen, and loosing the other very close to the boat.

After a nice hot lunch, I changed flies to a small caddis larva, worked a lot of water, and managed to hook one smaller Hen and lose it, but it was an awesome fight. She jumped 3 times, and took a couple nice runs, all to break me off on the last run. Either way it was a great trip and almost no one on the river but us.

Oh yes, and here are 2 more photos from our Team meeting. The new simms sling pack in action, and a nice chrome one from the DSR, Thanks George for taking the Photos.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 14th: Tropical Movie Night at TCO Fly Shop - Reading

Are you ready for it to warm up yet? Well if you are, take a break from tying your steelhead flies, come grab a beer, some pizza, and relax while we show a movie to warm your thoughts up. receive a 10% off coupon for your next purchase at TCO for the holiday season. We will have fly tying demos, Holiday gift ideas, food, and drinks. Stop out and say hi to the crew and enjoy a nice evening at your local fly shop.
Time: 5:00 pm
Cost: FREE

Friday, December 6, 2013

Simms G3 Guide Bootfoot Waders - Review

 All I can say is, "its about time!", I have been wearing old Simms guide waders with the Royal Hunter boots for the past few seasons. I was ready for an upgrade, right about the time Simms stopped using Muck boots. These New waders are awesome, the reliability of the G3 with the comfort, warmth, and ease of a bootfoot wader. I have only worn them a few times now, but I can tell you right now, these waders are bombproof! The newly designed zip off Tippet Tender Pocket is great, it has a double sided zipper, so you can get into it without flipping the pocket out of the wader. A very nice feature for checking the time on your cell, without worrying about dropping it into the water. Many already know about Simms's staple wader, the G3, so I wont get into how awesome they are, but I'll move to the new boot. If some of you can recall, Orvis came out with a bootfoot last year with a BOG boot on it, the boot was a generic boot that they just attached to the wader, it leaked and Orvis had to recall them. I was sure the bootfoot wader was out of the picture for at least a few more years, nope Simms did it. They got with BOG, and this boot was designed specifically for the Simms wader legs. It is a great boot, however when deciding what size boot you need, go with the exact size of your street shoe, these boots are form fitted. It is a great thing, but most bootfoot waders you can get away with a size smaller. These boots are very comfortable, and relatively supportive compared to other boots I've warn in the past. This is a GREAT buy for the winter steelheader, or just about any trout fisherman that fishes through the winter! 

New G3 Guide Bootfoot Waders!

New Removable Tippet Tender Pocket
New BOG boots designed specifically for Simms Waders

The last few days on the stream, I was wearing just a regular sock, water temps were just under 37 degrees, my feet were comfortable. I would have had no idea the water was that chilly if I hadn't taken the temp, usually in the winter months, I can tell within 20 minutes, when my feet start to get cold. This weekend I will be testing them up north on the Salmon River, I will wear a new Simms Wading Sock, that should be all I need with these Awesome new waders!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Louisiana Red Fish Videos

OK, so I was obsessed before I caught one, but now I have redfish on the brain. Here are two videos from the marshes of Louisiana, one is from the Uptown Angler, the shop I will be using next year to host a trip back down south, to share the awesomeness that is Redfish! The second one is from an outfit in Florida that spends time chasing big Bulls on top, probably the sickest video I have seen. The 3rd and final one, is from an outfitter in VA, after getting re-rib by the salt bug, I started to do a lot of research to find out more about Redfish and their locations along the coast. To my surprise, they are just south of my home town. So next trout season, instead of heading 3 hours north to fish for rising trout, ill be headed 3 hours south to fish for tail reds, in water I have fished my whole life! How awesome is that!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Featured Fly - Tiny Wonder

Back in PA, no more redfish for me, so its back to winter trout fishing. This time I went small, this is an awesome little midge, that has been in my box for a while. It is also featured in this issue of Fly Tyer, so I figured it would be a good one to choose for a featured fly. This one is tied on a size 20, TMC 2488, I will go down to a 22, but this size seems to work the best.

Hook: TMC 2488 - 20
Thread: UNI Thread -  Black & White 
Bead: Bomb Bead -  Copper 
Rib: Ultra Wire - Small - Gold 
Flashback: Holo Tinsel - Black 

Step 1: Slide bead on, and make a small thread base behind the bead.

Step 2: Tie in ultra wire as you wrap the thread to the bend of the hook.

Step 3: Wrap thread forward, forming the body, stop about 3/4 of the way to the bead.

Step 4: Wrap the ultra wire forward, forming the rib. Whip finish the white thread and cut off.

Step 5: Tie in the black thread.

Step 6: Tie in the Holo. tinsel. 

Step 7: Pull the tinsel forward and tie off.

Step 8: Cut off extra tinsel, and whip finish.

Finished Fly:

Friday, November 29, 2013

It's All About the Quest

That's what my guide said to me as we pulled up in 40 mph winds, but I'll get back to that part. Last week, about 4 days before my much awaited Redfish trip, my guide calls and says, the weather isnt looking to good. Great, after 2 other failed attempts this year to catch a Redfish, the whole trip I planned was shot. We went anyway, after day one, I was moping around, and Elizabeth said, "lets to to the fly shop, see if there is anywhere for you to fish.", "ok lets go, I need a hat anyway". Now all I can do is thank her for that.

I was talking to the guy at the shop, he gave me a few local places to catch bass, if I just wanted to catch something. So I did, it was about 3 inches long, on an 8wt. But he also gave me the name of a guide they use down in Grand Isle, said it might be worth going down there, call Capt. Danny, he will set you up. So I called, he said it wouldn't be the "outdoors channel", but he thought he could find me a fish or two.

Alarm went off at 4am, and Elizabeth and I were south bound, and I was starting to get excited. The winds and rain only got worse as we got closer to Grand Isle, white capes, and 4 foot waves destroyed the bay, there was no way poling around the flats was at all possible. We pulled up and Danny said "its all about the quest!", haha yup lets do this. So he took us to a location called 1000 mile, he only took us there because we lived over 1000 miles away. We were not taking the flats boat or bay boat, instead we launched the kayaks, and away we paddled. First cast E had one, first cast I had one, no trophies, but we had constant action the whole time. I have to thanks Uptown Angler , and Capt. Danny of Calm Water Charters for their awesome service and expertise, getting me into some redfish. If it wasn't for Elizabeth, this would have never happened, so thank you!

Redfish, freaking awesome fish!