Friday, July 30, 2010

Tying Bench

Here is a drawing I made using the high end CAD (Computer Aided Design) system we use at work (I was bored and had nothing to do for an hour or so)

Its the tying bench I use and I bought this many years ago when I lived in Colorado. It is for a right hand tyer but all you have to do is move the vise attachmet to the other side of the bench.

I did not provide any dimensions for the spool holder dowels as I dont like them or even use them. It will not be that hard to figure out where they go and at what angle to place them at.

I also screwed in simple cup holders on the right side of the bench for my hackle pliers.

A magnetic strip below the first row of holes was there when I bought it and theres one by the vise c-clamp.

You will notice that I did not dimension or provide the size of the holes in the bench. I decided that was up to whoever wanted to male one. Just measure the sizes of your tools, cement bottles etc and go from there. You may want more holes, less holes or whatever. Wood for this project is up to the builder.

Heres the real one

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tying Tip - Powder Coating

Heres a quick tip for powder coating bead chain eyes to the color you want.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bloody Butcher

Here's another pattern from "Montana Trout Flies" by George F. Grant.

Bloody Butcher

The recipe from the book

Bloody Butcher
Hook: Mustad 9672, #4-6
Tying Thread: Black Nymo - Size "A"
Tail: Scarlet & Yellow Hackle Fibers
Body: Peacock Herl
Hackle: Scarlet & Yellow Saddles, Palmered
Rib: Fine Gold Wire
Wing: Gray Squirrel
Head: Peacock or Ostrich Herl, Full

Tying Note

The scarlet and yellow body hackles should be "doubled" or "blended" together prior to tying in by the tips at the tail end of the fly, and then wound on as a single hackle, wet-fly style, over the peacock herl body.

The process of doubling, setting, or bending a hackle, as it is variously described, is quite easily accomplished by putting a hackle plier over an upright post and then catching the the hackle tip or tips in the hackle plier jaws, which leaves both hands free. The butt end of the quill is held with the right hand and the hackle fibers are folded over from the butt to tip with the left hand.

Crazy Goof

I like finding older fly patterns. I found this one in a book called "Montana Trout Flies" by George F. Grant.

Crazy Goof

Per the recipe in the book

Crazy Goof
Hook: Mustad 9671 size 6-8
Thread: Black - heavy size "c" - .008
Under body: yellow chenille or wool
Over body: natural deer body hair
Rib: heavy black tying thread (criss-crossed)
Hackle: grizzly - tied full but not dry fly style

(size "c" thread is probably no longer available, so use whatever thread you like)

Tying note

Deer hair back and tail are an integral unit. Tie in the hair at forward body termination as for wing and then tie down to bend with open spirals of heavy black tying thread.

Take 3-4 turns of thread at tail to secure and cause the tail hair to flare. Return the thread to shoulder in criss-crossing pattern with previous winds. Give turns of thread at tail several coats of lacquer.

History (from the book)

Legend has it that this fly was the creation of an amateur fly tyer in the Bozeman, Montana area and this could well be for it is very popular on the Gallatin river.

Dan Bailey of Livingston, Montana was tying a similar fly as early as 1940, calling it the "Yellow-Bodied Grayback" and still carries it in his current catalog (remember this is in a book from 1972).

There are several similar patterns, such as the Horner Deer Hair, the Goofus Bug and the Humpy. Which is a variation of the other is a moot question, but the fact remains that they are all basically the same and all are excellent.

Most of the above-mentioned deer hair patterns are tied with upright hair wings and in comparatively small sizes as they are essentially dry flies. The "Crazy Goof" on the other hand, is one of the very best flies to use when big hoppers are being blown on the water and is probably at its best when it is used in a large size.

The name of the fly is not at all appropriate as the dressing is extremely sane. The coloration is moderate and the liberal use of deer hair makes it a good floater.

Thats it from the book.

Montana Trout Flies by George F. Grant has a copyright of 1972 so some of the tying threads called out in the book are probably no longer made or hard to acquire. I guess that if one looks hard enough you could find some spool of "nymo" thread.

The heaviest I tie with is 6/0 so that's what I used for the fly in the foto.

Happy Tying


Here is a couple of links to consider when tying with biots.

Bookmark the links for future reference.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tinsel Tying Tip

OK, so you're going to tie up some patterns that require a tinsel body with a rib of oval tinsel and after searching high and low, you have no oval tinsel to be found. Do not despair, help is on its way. Just use the following tip and you'll have a substitute until you make it to the fly shop to buy some.

Tie in the tinsel at the hook eye and wrap the tinsel in touching turns to the hook bend. Attach your hackle pliers to the remaining tag of tinsel.

Begin twisting the tinsel in a counterclockwise direction.

The twisted tinsel should look like the tinsel shown above.

Wrap the twisted tinsel in spiraling turns to the eye of the hook and tie off the tinsel.

You will now have a tinsel body wrapped with a makeshift oval rib and now you're ready to finish the rest of the fly.

I hope you enjoyed this simple tying tip.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Simple & Easy Flies

Simple & Easy Flies
Mid Depth Pupa (Tan Thread Midge)

In the March 1989 issue of Fly Fisherman magazine is an article called “The Mighty Midge Pupa” written by Eleanor I Schaeffers (she and her husband “Dutch” owned Terminal Tactics, a now defunct company that used to make a complete line of tippets and accessories). One of the patterns that caught my eye was the “Middepth Pupa”. It is really just a simple thread midge that has given me great success on many rivers in the Rocky Mountain west. I like simple and easy flies, and this one is all of that.

I tied up a few dozen in assorted colors for our annual Trout Unlimited chapter spring trip to the Bighorn River in Montana. Our usual migration from Cottonwood Camp to beautiful downtown Fort Smith is a short but necessary one to pick up supplies for the days float and for buying a fishing license to be legal. A required visit to the fly shops to check out the hot flies. You can usually tell which ones they are since there’s only a couple or so left in the bins. After everybody was filled with fly shop trinkets and licenses, it’s off to the afterbay boat launch to our waiting flotilla of rented drift boats.

Back then the hot flies were an orange Bighorn scud; Pheasant tail nymphs, orange slickers and San Juan worms. Heading down river from the boat ramp we would hook and land a few trout as we made our way to our first destination behind the first island commonly called the “meat hole”. This is usually a very productive area for large rainbows. After a few hours of fishing this area our boat decided to move on to the next area we wanted to fish, a place called “split island”.

After beaching the drift boat at the island, it was time for lunch. The usual fare, nothing exotic. Our next order of business was to decipher the current coming in from the main channel of the river and a back channel behind the island. Once figured out, I decided it was time to use one of the “Middepth pupas” I tied up for this trip. I tied on a tan colored “Middepth pupa” (I call it a thread midge), crimped on a small split shot about 18 inches above the fly and had one of the best days on the Bighorn river that I’ve ever had. Fish after fish just wanting to be hooked. Even some of the members fishing with me were amazed at all of the fish I was hooking and releasing.

Since that spring trip to the Bighorn River, that fly pattern has proven itself all over the rocky mountain area. So its time to tie the pattern. It’s really easy to tie and does not require complicated tying steps.

Mid Depth Pupa (Tan thread midge)

Hook: Tiemco 101 Size 16
Thread: Hook & Hackle Brand 8/0 Tan
Rib: Thread colored with black marker
Body and head: Tan thread
(See Tying Notes)

Step 1: Tie on thread behind the eye and wrap thread in touching turns to the bend of the hook. 
Leave a short tag of thread at the bend; this will be used for the rib.

Step 2. With a permanent marker, color the tag of thread.

Step 3. Using the tying thread, build a body. I like to use 4 layers of tying thread to do this. How many you use is entirely up to you. After wrapping the body, spiral wrap the ribbing thread forward and secure.

Step 4. Wrap a small bulbous head, whip finis and apply head cement, if you desire.

Tying Notes

Use any style hook
Tie this pattern in any size
Tie this pattern in any color
Use anything you want for the ribbing (thread, wire, Krystal flash etc)
Use any size thread (3/0, 6/0, 8/0 or any denier)
Use whatever colored bead
Use 2 beads
You can taper the body if you want it tapered
Add a wing of Krystal flash, Zlon etc
Coat the entire fly using the latest UV cured adhesives
Use a darker thread for the head (colored with permanent marker)
Add breathers for a chironomid


Different Hooks

Different Beads

The above fly is tied on a Daiichi 1250 size 12 hook, has 2 beads (gunmetal and mercury) anda slightly tapered body that is coated with Clear Cure Goo UV adhesive

Different Colors