Thursday, May 10, 2012


So it has been a while since my last post.  Even though I've been extremely busy I've fit in a surprising amount of flyfishing related activities lately which I'd like to get into at some point.  I just haven't felt like posting lately.  I do hope to get back into the groove of posting again.

I'd like to discuss divers.  Quite a while ago when I first thought about fishing for pike when pike were still fairly new to the state of Maine I did some research into pike flies.  I came up with a few must have flies like bunny bugs and mega divers.  So I sat down at the vise and whipped up some standard, book versions of these flies along with some odd variations that came to mind.  The bunny flies caught fish although not many due to lack of knowledge and probably skill at the time but I could not catch fish on the divers.

I waked them on the surface and also made them dive slightly then let them float back up to the top on a floating line.  I swam them deeper with sinking lines.  They just did not produce for me.

This winter I wanted to change that and tied up some divers in a couple different color combinations.  They looked good coming off the vise but the fish are the real critics.  Here is a sampling of my creations.

This past weekend I had a chance to get out and after a slow start with some of my usual go to patterns I decided to put on the chartreuse diver and give it a try.  After a few casts to get the fly wet and fishing I took a small pike after a nice, visual strike.

The strikes were frequent after that with some impressive missed ones.  About 3 or 4 more fish were brought to the boat.  I was on to something with this fly.

The boat was moved to allow casts to be made to an edge bordering deeper water.  During one of the first few casts to this spot, a pike of unknown size took the fly and cut right through my 50# flourocarbon tippet leaving me without the hot fly.  I barely felt the strike.  Guess I'll have to go to wire or put up with a few lost flies along the way.

The action was fun while it lasted but the other divers didn't produce like the first one and after a while I started switching to some other types of patterns.  I do have some new found confidence in the divers and plan on stocking up on them for future trips.  I have so many flies I tied up this past winter I couldn't resist putting them on and giving them a swim.  I took one small pike on a 12" articulated musky fly.that I didn't think any pike would take a shot at.  Those pike are sure vicious predators. 

I'm still learning about pike and found a lot of fish in a little bit different location this trip out.  The water temp was about 50 F with overcast skies and the pike seemed to be pretty tight to cover like old weed edges, brush and other woody bushes.  Normally early season the pike can be found very shallow spawning but by the time the water warms up this much they seem to move deeper.  Maybe they are in a transition period.

This fly is more typical of the stuff I usually fish and I happen to like the way this one looks and fishes.

I was fishing with John again today.  I hardly fish with anyone else since he is one of the few people that can put up with me for the day.  He was able to catch the best pike of the trip and a nice, chubby bass getting ready to spawn shortly.

As always I hope to get out on the water again soon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


The blackbird continues to be my favorite and most consistent night fly.  The ones left in my box from last year had rusty hooks and were starting to look pretty beat up and scraggly.  I decided to tie a few fresh ones up for myself and for some friends hoping they will have some of the same success I've had.  I added a picture to the Striper Flies page.

They look a little creepy head on.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thursday tying

Got together for another Thursday night tying session with some friends.  The highlight of the night was homemade regular and peanut butter whoopie pies baked by Mike's wife who also happens to tie flies.  Chad and Alan worked on some soft hackles again.  I was planning on joining in but got distracted and started spinning up a big tandem muskie fly and went on to tie a few more muskie and pike patterns afterwards.  Once I get going on the big stuff I have a hard time pulling myself away.  I'll show some of what I've been working on another time.  Here are some of soft hackles.  I'm not sure what they are called and if most of them even have names.  They trout don't seem to care.

Mike worked on some monstrous versions of a foam fly I showed him at Eldredge Bros. Flyshop last Sunday. 

I think they came out pretty well.  It will be interesting to see how they perform on the local largemouth bass.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Little epoxies

Here's a basic, little saltwater pattern that works well imitating small, thin bait.  I don't tend to fish them that often preferring to throw around bigger patterns but if the fish are focused on little bait sometimes this fly will do the trick.  I've tied a few that have caught bonito and false albacore also but I haven't been that lucky yet.  These are going out to some friends and I'm hoping they have better luck than I.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winter brookies

I did a little snowshoeing with Mayu on my back close to home recently.  We came across a tiny little stream where I've seen some little brookies in the past.  After carefully looking around for a while we saw 4 small brookies in one little pool.  They were a little spooky and difficult to see so I wasn't able to get any decent pics of them.  I don't know how they are able to survive the winter or even the summer for that matter in such a tiny trickle of a stream but they do.  I wonder if a few little changes to the stream to create more pools or adding some structure would help them out.  They seem to be making it on their own and I wouldn't want to do anything that would adversely affect them.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Favorite pike fly

These are a few variations of my favorite pike fly for different situations.  I've posted them elsewhere before but thought I'd add them to the blog.  The pictures make them look a little scraggly but once these flies get in the water they come alive and really swim.  The 3 variations I've tied are a basic standard one, one with eyes and one with a spun deer hair head.

To put the eyes on one of them I used some loon UV cured resin.  I loved having the ability to get it all in place without worrying about it curing then hitting it with the light to set everything in place.  I'm not completely sold on it yet and would like to try out some of the other brands too before coming to many conclusions.  My flytying room is a little cool and the resin seemed to be a little thick to work with at that temperature.  The finished head was slightly tacky too but for fishing flies I'm not worried about it.  I look forward to using more of it.

The deer hair version can be fished as a popper with a floating line but I've had the best luck fishing it on an intermediate line.  I can get a couple good pops on the surface then work the fly back with fast, erratic strips just subsurface.  The action is a lot like a jerk bait fished with conventional tackle.  Last year I got one of the most amazing topwater strikes I've ever seen by a nice musky on an orange version of this fly.  That strike still plays over and over in my mind.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday tying

The last few winters I've got together with a few of my friends to tie on Thursday nights.  I thought I'd start posting a few pics with some comments to keep to a little more consistent posting schedule until something more interesting comes up or the time comes where I can flyfish without feeling like I'm just trying to survive the conditions.  I also like to ice fish a lot which I don't post much about.  A big pile of crappies and white perch on the ice doesn't seem to fit that well on a flyfishing focused blog.

Last night we had our first get together for this winter.  We planned on tying last week but we got our first decent snow and I spent the evening shoveling instead.  This week we got some more snow but it held off until late in the night.

Lately I've been fooling around with making heads on pike flies using kinky fiber instead of deer hair.  The result is very similar to deer hair but without the buoyancy plus you get the consistency of material and color out of using a synthetic.  I'm not crazy about the way the flies have come out so far but I'm liking working with the material so far and I'm starting to get the hang of it.  John has been catching fish on similar patterns and I plan on using them more for pike and stripers especially this summer.

Last winter we tied up some steelhead patterns.  One of them was a pattern by Jeff Hubbard called the Trespasser.  Alan doesn't normally fish for steelhead but the fly ended up being his most consistent pattern for lake trout last year and he was out.  We ended up tying some more of them for this year and I hope to catch a few lake trout on them myself.

We all seem to have an interest in tying and fishing soft hackled wet flies and Chad had some exceptional results swinging and nymphing them for trout and salmon so we tied up some of them too.  I didn't fish much for trout and salmon last year and I found I missed tying trout flies.  I started filling up a brand new special flybox I got for Father's Day with some freshly tied soft hackles.

Overall I thought we had a great time catching up, telling fish stories and talking about future fishing plans.