Monday, January 27, 2014

Feenstra Fly-Chucker Streamer

Fly-Chucker posted this pattern on The Drake's Fly Tying Message Board.  He was nice enough to email me post the recipe and use his picture.

Kevin Feenstra is the originator of the pattern that Fly-Chucker has made his own.

Materials in order of use:

Hook:  TMC 300 #2
Thread: Black flymaster+
Weight (optional): 1/4 brass cone
Tail: Australian Possum
Body: UV polar Chenille olive-copper
1st underwing: Grizzly chickabou
2nd underwing: Barred mallard flank
Flash: Gold or copper flashabou
Overwing: Barred mallard flank
Flash: Brown or rootbeer krystal flash
Collar: Guinea feather natural
Head: Australian Possum

This is a great looking pattern.  I really appreciate the opportunity to post it on the blog.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Bobbing Baitfish by Rich Osthoff

I found this tutorial buried in a thread on  This was one of my favorite smallmouth patterns of 2013.  Rich has come up with a real winner here.  The Bobbing Baitfish swims and darts just like an injured minnow.  The foam ensures the minnow will float forever and the flexi-cord/epoxy combo makes it almost completely bombproof.

Just a little note before you start reading...  The recipe below calls for an epoxy overcoat over the Flexi-cord shell, but I use Hard as Hull and it words perfectly.  Hard as Hull is so much easier to work with!

Tutorial for the Bobbing Baitfish by Rich Osthoff:
Hook: 3x streamer
Thread: White and/or color to match tail
Body: Foam cylinder
Overbody: Mylar, Flexi-cord, or similar
Tail: Marabou blood quills
Eyes: Doll eyes
Coating: 5 or 30 minute epoxy

1. Prepare an appropriate size foam cylinder(for a #8, 3x hook I've been using a 3/16") and lash to the hook just behind the eye. 
2. Wrap thread over body being careful not to compress too tightly the foam. Secure at the bend and wrap thread back to the eye shaping the body. (If using Flexi-cord or transluscent material cover hook shank and tie in foam with white thread. I used olive for visual purposes.)  
3.  Cut Mylar material about 1 and 1/2 times the length of the shank and attach to the hook behind the eye with the Mylar facing away from the shank. Half hitch and cut thread. 
4. Gently invert Mylar back over itself and onto the body. 
5. Pull the Mylar taught toward the rear of the hook. 
6. Reattach thread at the bend.  
7. Attach a marabou tail with even tips about 1/2 the length of the hook shank.

8. Color dorsal area with olive and/or black marker to enhance lateral line. 
9.  Coat with a thin layer of epoxy and attach doll eyes when epoxy is still tacky.( Do not overcoat with epoxy. It may add too much weight and sink the fly.) 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Boggs Tacklemaker

COMING SOON....  I will be introducing all of you to the Boggs Tacklemaker.  This handy little unit allows you to make jointed or articulate streamers and poppers.  I learned about this contraction from Brad Bohen.

Stay tuned on this one.....this was the biggest innovation I have come across in years!

Big Flies For Big Fish

Like the rest of you, my fly fishing tool box has been fairly simple over the years. I read smallmouth fishing books and pretty much did what everyone else does. I started tossing poppers with a 7 weight and guess what?....I caught stuff. The world of streamers and sinking tip lines came next, so I started flipping size 2-4 streamers and caught fish. Last year something changes for me and I'd like to give you some details because I caught stuff....big stuff.

Before you go crazy about me not posting a ton of pictures please realize that I started fishing from a kayak this fall.  The kayak got me into more remote waters with rapids, boulders, downed trees etc. Since it was my first year in a kayak I did not take many pictures of the fish I caught.  I did not feel comfortable managing the paddle and the other million things going on in my head when I caught fish.  Kayaks are great, but they take a bit to get used to!  The fish were so beautiful this fall I wanted to get them back in the water right away.  This was my formula for success this year:

Kayaks are cheap these days and they get you into into fishy places
  • Use a kayak or small boat to get into places people are not hitting.  The fish I caught this year would be much harder to find in high pressure areas.  Go places where the bigger boats and traffic can't!
Fly by: Gabe Schubert
  • Use bigger flies!  Look.....we all know that if you put a small or medium size fly in the perfect place and the fish is hungry they will eat it - which is great!  I caught all kinds of 12" fish when I tossed your standard popper or Murdich Minnow with lighter gear, but I want to catch big ones.  I started using a 10 wt this year with 12" streamers...what a difference!  The end result was less fish overall, but the fish I caught were larger.
Large Fly Seminar by Gabe Schubert (Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop)
  • Get involved with local fly fishers in your area.  The more you hang around your local fly shop the more inside information you will get.  Attend seminars, open fly tying events and/or just be a good person and people will give up some good fishing spots, techniques, etc. I learned about a beautiful spot this year and had a ball.  I will be respectful to my source and not fish it to death.

  • Big fish require a strip set, NOT a trout set!  When you do get a big fish to eat point the rod right at him and reef on the line HARD with your stripping hand!  Do not use the rod to set the hook like you do with spinning gear or you will lose fish for sure.  If you are a rod setter like me it is a very hard habit to break.  Lastly, make sure your leaders and tippet are tied correctly.  A good strong leader and tippet is key for a god hook set.  Here is a link to a blog post that goes into more detail.
My 2013 season was one to remember.  Not a numbers year by any means, but I did catch more larger fish than I ever have.  The move to heavier gear with larger flies is key to it all.  Smallmouth eat BIG stuff....much bigger than #4 Clousers or #2 Murdich Minnows.

New Hardy Fibatube

The rod collection grew a little today.  I added a 9', 7/8 weight glass Hardy Fibatube to the rack.  I have been waiting patiently for this one.

Excited to get out this year and chase some Smallies and Muskies.

Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop Seminar - Brad Bohen's Big Flies

Photo Courtesy of Musky Country Outfitters
On January 14th I took one of the best fly tying seminars I have been to in years.  Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop had Brad Bohen come in to teach a "Big Fly" class and it was fantastic.  We learned to tie two patterns, the Hang Time Minnow and The Beauford.

Bob Mitchell's has historically been a place for trout guys, but now that Robert Hawkins has taken over it is becoming a real warm water mecca.  Guys like Brad are coming back in and our little warm water habit is now getting some traction.  If you haven't stopped into Bob Mitchell's since Robert has taken things over you need to get in the car and pay them a visit.

The class was way above my expectations.  Brad was down to earth and taught a comprehensive class that inspired the whole room.  He is passionate about the sport, has created innovative patterns and is a flat out nice guy.  If you ever get a chance to attend a Brad Bohen event, or hire him as a guide you should not hesitate.

Great class....thank you Bob Mitchell's.