Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Home and In Search of Chrome

Being back home for a much needed break is nice. Add a few steelhead to that and the break it is now amazing. Watching metalhead over and over again works for awhile, but after seeing what seemed like hundreds of pictures of fresh steelhead on other blogs, I needed to hookup with a few for myself.






Dad's first steelhead



Thursday, November 18, 2010

lithe leech

Hook: size 6 octopus hook, a cheaper hook that you don't cutting.
Thread: Orvis 8/0 thread
Material: wire, 5" piece of backing, one 3" strip of rabbit fur, one 6" strip of rabbit fur, conehead weight, dubbing, super glue.
Tools: vise, bobbin, scissors, whip finish tool, pliers.

This is a leech pattern that was designed for steelhead/trout or fish living in rivers that will eat a 3" or 4" leech. The targeted size is  3" or 4" inches in length, but can be tied in larger sizes for bigger fish. Can be fished on the swing, drifted through a run, or stripped through a pool. With some modification, this pattern could be adapted so it could be fished in a pond or lake for different species of fish.

Step 1: thread a cone onto the hook shank. Secure in place by wrapping a base of wire around the hook shank and sliding it towards the eye of the hook as far as it can go. Start the thread on the hook shank and secure the wire so it can't spin.

Step 2: Form a "U" with the backing and secure the two ends of the backing so the "U" comes off the back of the hook shank. The backing should be 2 inches long off the back of the hook shank. (make sure the backing is secured because it will be taking a lot of pressure from the fish). Once everything is secured whip finish and apply head cement. 

Step 3: On the octopus hook, start the thread directly behind the hook eye.

Step 4: Tie in the end of the leather on the rabbit strip on one side of the octopus hook.

Step 5: On the other side tie in the other rabbit strip. Again, tie in the end of the hide/leather of the rabbit strip. Once the rabbit strips are secured, whip finish and apply head cement. 

Step 6: take the backing and thread the end of the "U" shape through the eye of the octopus hook. Then pull the end of the hook and the rabbit strips through the loop that is formed by the backing. When done properly it will make it so the octopus hook is attached to the backing loop. Make sure the hook point is up so it wont get snagged. 

(This is what it should look like at this point.)

Step 7: Take the rabbit strips and pull the to the front hook. Tie both of them  down even with the hook point. Clip any extra rabbit fur on the shorter rabbit strip. LEAVE THE END OF THE LONG RABBIT STRIP!!

Step 8: Once both rabbit strips have been secure, wrap the thread to the front of the fly and apply super glue to the hook shank. Then wrap the rabbit strip around the hook shank so the leather part of the rabbit strip is on the bottom. 

Step 9: When the rabbit fur is wrapped all the way up to the front of the fly behind the conehead tie off the rabbit strip and clip the tag end. Then tie in a hackle feather at the base of the feather so the widest part of the feather is at the bottom. 

Step 10: Wrap the hackle around the fly 4-6 times so it creates an adequate collar. Once the collar has been formed tie off the hackle feather and clip the extra end of the feather. Spin dubbing around the thread and wrap 1 wrap of dubbing in front of the collar. 

Step 11: Whip finish and apply head cement. After the head cement dries, use the plies to cut/break off the hook of the first hook (NOT THE OCTOPUS HOOK) so the only part of the first hook is the hook shank.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Flash Sculpin

Hook: size 1 salmon hook
Thread: Black Orvis G thread
Materials: Crystal Flash, 4 Saddle hackle, 4 inch rabbit fur strip, dubbing
Tools: scissors, vise, bobbin, whip finish tool.

This is another pattern that I have unfortunately not been able to fish yet. I have fished patterns like it but not this specific one. My view of the pattern was for it to be a steelhead/trout pattern, but it could be changed very easily to a bass pattern or a general pattern. 

Step 1: start the thread and wrap towards the bend of the hook.

Step 2: when the thread is even with the point of the hook, tie in 2 saddle hackles to each side of the fly (The hackles should be about 2 1/2 - 3 inches long off the back). 

Step 3: Tie in crystal flash to each side of the fly.

Step 4: Tie in the rabbit strip. leave enough of the rabbit strip so you can pull it to the front of the fly so it reaches the a point about 1/8th inch behind the eye.

Step 5: spin dubbing around the thread and make a dubbing body

Step 6: Pull the end of the rabbit strip towards the front of the fly and tie down 1/8 inch behind the hook eye.

Step 7: make a head out of dubbing by tying down 4 separate pinches of dubbing that circumscribe the head of the fly. (tie the pinches down in the middle and fold the tag end back towards the rear of the fly)

Step 8: Whip finish. Manipulate the dubbing that makes the head so a shape you want and then apply head cement to not only the thread but the front of the dubbing head (this will make it so the head stays in the shape you want).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Incessant Articulation

Hook: Daiichi Size 8 No. 2220 hook, and a size 1 salmon hook.
Thread: White Orvis G
Materials: 6" piece of 20lb backing, 2 beads, 5" rabbit fur strip, raccoon finn, arctic fox, estaz, 4 hackle feathers.
Tools: scissors, vise, bobbin, whip finish tool.

After talking to a friend, who is convinced swinging articulated streamers is the only way to fish for steelhead, I decided to hit the bench and grind out an articulated fly pattern. After a few trials and errors, I came up with this fly. It went like this: I like the way rabbit hair looks under water so lets throw some of that in. I like the way a raccoon fin collar looks, lets throw some of that in. Feathers look cool. Beads seem like a nice touch. So after a tying session this is the result. I haven't actually fished this pattern yet, but can't wait until I get the chance to swing this pattern in steelhead water. 

Step 1: starting with the size 8 hook, start a thread base and tie in a piece of estaz in the back of the hook shank.

Step 2: overtop of the estaz, tie in the rabbit fur strip. Tie it in so there is a tail off the back of the hook shank. 
Step 3: Wrap the estaz to the front of the fly.

Step 4: on the underside of the fly, tie in a pinch of arctic fox.

Step 5: Pull the rabbit strip overtop the fly and tie down behind the eye. Whip finish. (the back fly is now complete).

Step 6: Thread the backing through the eye of the size 8 hook. Once the backing is thread through the eye of the hook, thread the two ends of the backing through two beads. 

Step 7: tie down the ends of the backing onto the size 1 hook shank. Make sure to secure the backing to the hook shank. After secured apply head cement to the hook shank.

Step 8: After the head cement is dry, tie down the end of the rabbit fur strip to the shank of the size 1 hook. After the rabbit strip is secure, tie in two feathers on either side of the fly. 

Step 9: After the feathers are secured, Make a collar around the fly using raccoon finn. Make sure to leave space between the collar and the eye of the hook.

Step 10: After the collar is complete, create a tapered head on the fly. 

Step 11: once the head of the fly is complete, whip finish and apply head cement.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Tie: DRC (dorm room creation)

Hook: Daiichi Size 8 No. 2220 hook
Thread: White Orvis G
Material: A piece of a black t-shirt
Tools: Bobbin, vise, whip finish tool, scissors


Now this pattern is interesting. "interesting" seems to me that it is the only word people can describe it with, but it works. When at boarding school, "good" materials are not always available, so one has to improvise, and this is why the DRC pattern was created. Although this fly isn't the most beautiful fly in the world it does have positives. The positives being: the cloth does have good movement, it is by far the easiest and quickest fly I have ever tied taking all of one minute to tie. People may criticize the DRC but for those hating on this pattern, send me better materials and i'll tie more elegant and beautiful patterns, but until then I will be fishing the DRC until there are no more t-shits to cut apart. 


Step 1: cut a strip from a t-shit that is 4 inches long.
Step 2: cut a 3 inch strip from a t-shirt.
Step 3: start a thread base
Step 4: tie in the strip of cloth and wrap it around the hook shank to give the fly more body. Tie off the strip of cloth and clip tag end.
Step 5: fold the piece of cloth in half and tie one end down so that the crease made by the fold is on the top and the sides of the cloth cover the sides of the fly.
Step 6: once the cloth is tied down, whip finish and clip the extra thread. Once the fly is complete the head of they fly can be colored with sharpie to add color. After the head of the fly is colored wait for the marker to dry and apply head cement. 
  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trout Don't Satisfy the Need For Chrome

Up here in massachusetts (at boarding school) the feeling of chasing chrome has been eating me alive. There are no steelhead here but we are experiencing steelheading weather. Its freezing, torrential downpours of rain, and miles of fresh flowing water. Back home in the midwest the steelhead are running full force and all there is to satisfy my urge to fly fish are brown and rainbow trout. At this point in the year I would normally be breaking out my 8 wt. with big, gaudy streamers, but as of now I am still fishing my 5 wt. These trout are not making my reel sing like a steelie, and my backing hasn't seen light in far too long. I need CHROME! constant reruns of the documentary Metalhead are the only thing keeping me sane. The countdown is on for the time when I return home for break and can feel the dance of a fresh steelie in the palms of my hands.

                                                        Metalhead
                                            An AEG media production

video

Tuesday Tie

Hook: Daiichi Size 8 No. 2220 hook
Thread: White Orvis G
Materials: 4" strip of rabbit fur, wire, tungsten cone head, 4 long saddle hackles, arctic fox fur, dubbing
Tools: bobbin, scissors, whip finish tool, vise.


This pattern is my new pattern designed for steelhead. There is enough weight on the fly that it can sink to the bottom of a river where the fish are even in deep, fast moving pools. It can be fished on a dead drift, stripped through pools, or on the swing. The only colors I have tied this in so far are pink/purple (favorite steelhead colors), but like other steelhead streamers, white/black, white/blue, or all white are sure to work. 


Step 1: slide the cone onto the hook shank and wrap wire around the shank. once the wire is wrapped around the hook shank, push it against the back of the cone to secure the cone. Start the thread behind the wire and tie down the ends of the wire.
Step 2: Wrap the thread to the back of the hook shank and tie the middle of piece of rabbit strip down (there should be about 2" off the back and the rest of the rabbit strip going towards the eye of the hook). Once secure wrap the thread towards the eye of the hook.  
Step 3: tie in 2 saddle hackles on each side of the hook shank about 1/8th of an inch behind the cone (the hackles should be tied in so the tips are equal in length to the rabbit strip). Leave the tag end of the last hackle tied down.
Step 4: on the underside of the fly, tie in a pinch of arctic fox.
Step 5: once the pinch arctic fox is secured, tie the end of the rabbit strip in so the fibers are standing up.  Once the rabbit strip is secured, wrap it around the hook shank one time to form a collar (make sure the fibers of the rabbit fur are standing up when forming the collar).
Step 6: Now is when that remaining piece of hackle comes into play.  Take the tag end of the hackle and wrap it around the hook shank in front of the rabbit fur collar to form a second collar on the fly. Once the second collar is formed tie off the piece of hackle and clip the tag end off. 
Step 7: Take a pinch of natural pink dubbing and spin it around the thread. Then wrap the thread 3 times behind the cone to cover up the thread work from the other steps. 
Step 8: whip finish, and apply head cement.