Sunday, August 29, 2010

Great Lakes Fly Shop

We got a chance to visit John Fehnel at the Great Lakes Fly Company in Duluth, Minnesota.  Cool little shop and John is a great guy.  John was right in the middle of moving, so the shop was kind of boxes, but I can tell it is a great place.

I like the fact John includes bass and musky/pike fishermen in his mix.  I picked up this fly at his shop and learned a very cool craft fur technique from John.  This is a very simple fly, but it looks deadly.  Craft fur is such a cool material!  My version of this pattern is coming soon.

Make sure to hit the Great Lakes Fly Company when you are in Duluth.  I hope to join John on a guided trip on the Saint Louis River in the spring of 2011.

Duluth Trip

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Toothbrush

Hook: Size 4 7311 VMC Worm Hook
Thread: 6/0 Chartreuse Uni
Belly: Hareline Medium Krystal Hackle (White)
Body: White Craft Fur
Body: White Ice Wing Fiber
Flash: Fire Tiger Flashabou
Body: Chartreuse Craft Fur
Eye: 3mm Holographic Dome Eye

This is a variation of a fly that JeffSod posted on the Fiberglass Fly Rodders site. I eliminated the worm rattle and used Krystal Hackle in its place. The reduction in weight gives this pattern a nice drift. Crappies won't leave it alone and bass hammer this guy.

Many people mention the fact that this pattern is tied pretty sparse. I've tried it bushy and sparse and for some reason I've had more luck with a fly that is on the trim side. Craft fur is the easiest material to use because it keeps the head small. The swimming action is nice and it is a very light streamer to toss.

VMC is a great hook manufacturer. I have used a few hundred of their hooks and am extremely pleased. Great products, good prices and really sharp out of the box.

Good luck with this one...I feel sorry for the crappies in your area.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Evening Scratch

Hook: Tiemco 8089 NP (Size 6)
Thread: 6/0 Brown Uni
Tail: Spirit River Mottlebou
Flash: Gold Krystal Flash
Body: Variegated Chenille Medium, Light Olive/Rust
Hackle: Medium Rootbeer Palmer Chenille
Legs: Chartreuse Rubber Legs
Weight: 1/50 oz. Black Presentation Eyes

This is one of my new inventions for 2010---my version of Tim Holschlag's HHF. It uses a few cool products that really make it shine. First, I used a very nice Tiemco hook with a very wide gap, the 8089 NP. The hook is a little expensive and not stocked at many places, but it is the best hook for the application.

I used another very, very cool material (new for me) by Spirit River called Brown Speckled Mottlebou. I was at Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop and Mike showed me the stuff....had to have it! This material is very cool. It's actually marabou that looks and acts a like fur. There are no stems to deal with and the material is actually stitched on a cloth runner. The mottled brown color is natural and can emulate a ton of different critters. The fibers have a very life-like texture that is incredible in the water. This is a must have material!

This pattern has a ton going on. The hook rides inverted---butt in the air to reduce snagging. The Mottlebou has a very unique action in the water- almost a trance-like quality. You already know by now I favor the durability of Palmer Chenille over hackle. The green rubber legs offer just another layer of deliciousness.

My youngest boy called it the "Evening Scratch"....a perfect name.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Birthday E

We had a great day on the St Croix River! We paddled down for almost 3 hours and had a blast for E's 7th birthday.

I didn't bring a fly rod, but I wish I had! The river looked very fishy today.