Sunday, December 30, 2012

Out of my comfort zone - fly tying.

Most of the time that I tie flies, it's foamies and simple streamers.  I used to make nymphs from Tom Nixon's book which I used for panfish.  I wasn't a big a fan of his bass flies but I did try a few such as the Calcasieu Pigboat.  I did make a few of those and added spoons.  Unlike my father, I caught very few fish on that pattern.

I grew up fishing for lake trout in Kamloops, B.C.  In 1987, I took some tying and casting lessons from Mo Bradley.  He lived nearby and my father made friends with him.  I remember going to his basement and seeing that he had a few insects from the lakes in aquariums so that he could study them.  I didn't have time to do much still-water fly fishing because we soon moved back to the states.

My father bought a flat bottom boat for bass fishing of which we did very little.  I got into coon hunting and quail hunting and we both became busy networking with friends and taking care of the dogs.  I did miss those lovely evenings on the lake.  We had a small boat with a little outboard Johnson motor.  We would listen to the Loons as we fought mosquitoes.

Moving to Arkansas, I was a bit out of my element with bass fishing.  I had done a little catfishing on local ponds during our summer visits.  I had no idea you could fly fish for bass and panfish.  Heck, I couldn't catch a fish on a Texas rigged worm all afternoon.

Where we lived in Sebastian County, I just couldn't find what I thought were exciting or productive waters.  Not many streams nearby unless you count the Oauchita or Mulberry but I think my father was more into fly fishing impoundments for bass.  I didn't pick a fly rod back up again for about 10 years.

It wasn't until I made a few trips to Bull Shoals and the Buffalo River that I became obsessed with wading streams.  It wasn't all about catching fish but a chance to really experience the outdoors.  Growing up in B.C., I spent TONS of time out in the woods with my air rifle or building forts and discovering trails at Lac La Jeune Provincial Park which was immediately at our back door.  I went bear hunting and called some coyotes and killed a few Grouse and Marmots.

So, I guess you could say that I am following a trend of coming out of my comfort zone.  That is if I ever was in one.  At this point, I am becoming bored of tying the same ol' flies.  I have begun to make articulated flies and am interested in what else I can do to entice some more smallmouth and largemouth bass.  Maybe, just maybe I might work with deer hair - again - and which I dislike.  But those flies do look great don't they??

The fly on the photo is Gartside's Articulated Gurgler.  And yes, those are lead eyes.  This is a streamer.  I hope this fly lands a few smallies but I am more interested in finding out how effective it is on bucket mouths.  I've been tying for a long time and swapping flies.  I've sold flies off and on for several years but have sold a lot on ebay, through my blog and Instagram.  I'm just glad that folks like my flies.  Especially, those that I make up and are effective patterns.

It's almost New Year's Eve and you know folks are coming up with resolutions.  Mine pretty much stay the same.  Lose weight, find some good water to fish.

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