Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tying instructions - Sexy Legs Hopper

We received a lot of snow from the good Lord this morning.  A few issues with the buses en route to and from the schools this morning but it seems that the snow is clearing off the roads.  More snow tomorrow morning!  I have a cold which seems to have been picked up at an arcade.  Why my kids didn't get this nasty thing, I couldn't guess "why?"  I thought about going back to sleep but I my chai tea had some ginseng in it.  I am now sipping coffee.

Since I took care of most of my errands yesterday and am procrastinating my current chores which include cleaning the toilets . . . I figured, why not  make a few flies and give the good folks what they have requested of me.  And that would be tying instructions of foam hoppers and flies.  Yes, I have finally come to my senses.

It's been quite a while since I posted tying instructions.  I hope these serve you well and won't be confusing.  Some of my patterns are of my own design and others are a mash-up of different patterns which have come from a lot of research.  As my loyal but few followers know (lol), I love top water patterns - especially, foam flies.

SEXY LEGS HOPPER tying instructions - for smallmouth, trout, panfish, etc.


Size 8 or 10 hook - even a 12 or 6 or whatever.  I am using an 8 as I do with most foam flies.
2mm foam
Rubber legs
Ultra Thread 70 Yellow
A great bonding adhesive.

1) Use your scissors or a cutter to cut two pieces of 2mm foam measuring 4 in. x 1/4 in.  One end needs to be round or slightly triangular at the tip.  You can use craft foam from big box store, Hobby Lobby, etc.  The "store" bought foam is just a tad under 2 mm.  The fly shop foam and store bought foam float the same.

2) Glue the two pieces of foam together as shown in the photo above.  As you can tell, I'm not perfect but this pattern will work.

3) Cut two pieces of foam meauring 1.5 in. x 1mm  It doesn't need to be tapered.  Mine just look that way because I use the sections of foam between the pieces I stamp out with a cutter.

4) Make a couple of loops with your rubber legs.

5) Place the foam legs through the loops.  This can be a tad tricky.  I hold down one tip and use my bodkin to place the loop over the legs.

6) Pull the loop tight - not overly - and trim the excess rubber legs.

7) Secure the foam body at the top of the bend of the hook.  Create 3 more segments - 4 in all with "tail".  The last segment you create at the tip should be made with about 1 mm or less of room near the eye of the hook.

8) Tie in your indicator at the first segment and then do a "crossover" under the indicator and then secure the indicator at the second segment with a few wraps of thread.

9)  It seems that I forgot to take a photo of tying the legs.  You can see here the bend of the legs extends just past where you first secured the body on.  When tying on the legs, don't pull the front of the body over until the legs are secured.  As you make the wraps for the legs, don't pull too tightly because we don't want the legs to splay out too much.  Cut the excess foam legs and secure with glue now or after you finish the fly.

10) After securing the legs, make a "crossover" with your thread and secure the top of the foam with the bottom of the foam at the first segment.  Cross back over, make a wrap or two at the second segment and then crossover again to the first segment.  Tie in some rubber legs, make a few more wraps with your thread and do about three half-hitches.

11)  In this photo, you can see my "crossovers".  Trim the indicator to just past the first place that you secured the body at the bend of the hook.  Apply glue, Zap-a-Gap or whatever to the bottom of the body along the hook shank and at the thread wraps.

Good luck and email me with any questions - rzrbk804@yahoo.com


Friday, February 15, 2013

Bluegill Flies - rock bass, goggleye, warmouth, panfish . . .

I forgot that there were some flies that had been tied up a few weeks ago.  I really need to hit the vise and put a box together.  I have such a hodge podge of flies but nothing really consistent with panfish flies.

I am so excited to prepare for Year of the Bluegill!  Planning bluegill outings kind of takes a bit of stress out of fly fishing because I tend to put a bit of pressure upon myself.  This is due to the fact that I really don't feel that I'm not fly fishing unless I'm landing smallmouth bass.  I don't mind when it's just panfish I'm chasing - as long as it's close to home.  With fuel prices as they are, I tend to mix it up between bass and panfish.  Plus, I feel that sometimes, I do measure myself against other fly fisherman.  And it seems that even the good ones can go out and land carp when they want to do it.  I chased bluegills and sunfish so much that it almost became redundant.  I bragged about catching fat panfish and pushed fly patterns, etc.  But after a while, it would seem that most fly fishers weren't as enamored with bluegills and panfish as much as myself.  In speaking with fellow fisherman, I decided to give them something that would hush them up.  I went all out for smallmouth.  These guys always land largemouth and panfish on lakes.  I decided to change it up.  There are so many folks out there hitting impoundments and landing laremouth and spotted bass but not much smallmouth bass.  Everyone knows that smallmouth bass are amazing fighters.  I finally showed those guys, lol.  However, it seemed that I did burn myself out last year.

My strategy for landing fish went from fishing everynow and then to every week . . . and then several times a week.  I figured the more time on the water, the better the chance to land good fish.  I've scoped out every stream, lake, pond and puddle between here and kingdom come.  I don't care if it's a tiny stream, I've learned how to pluck panfish out of most places.  I enjoy fishing odd spots.

So, here I go again.  Another year.  Winter is coming to and end . . . what winter??  I didn't hit the trout stream which I had planned to do with my father.  White bass will begin to run soon.  Bass and panfish will soon by tugging on the line.

This year, whatever happens, happens.  My sons and I will be catching bluegills and I'm sure a few bass will take some flies too.  All I know is that my favorite fishing spot will still be there . . . all year.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Year of the Bluegill - outlines of an action plan . . .

In response to Bill Trussell's http://btrussell-fishingthroughlife.blogspot.com/ comments asking which rods I will use and how I may be planning to attack those fiesty critters, I'm gonna post my answer.  I have a lot to say and it's more than just a comment.  Bill has got me thinking about how I want to make a plan of action.

Okay . . . I am currently making up some sort of plans here as I type.  Hoping that I can make sense of all the outings I could make this year.  I always try to make some trips to certain spots but never stick to it.  Rods . . . which rods . . . so tempted to take some smallmouth bass . . . gotta load up the kayak too.

Rod selection - I bought a 3 wgt. rod last year and it handles pretty darn well.  Pretty similar to my 4 wgt. but I do use the same 4 wgt. lines on both rods.  I may use a 5 wgt. with sinking tip.  An 8 wgt. will be used for bass but will be used to land bluegills at the same time.   I would have to say that a 3 wgt. will be the rod I will start out with.  I did use it to land smallmouth bass.  Although, that small rod did cost me a few big bass.  I will probably be using a 3 or 4 wgt. on the lakes to target panfish.  I guess the same goes for streams.  I've learned to cast heavier flies on smaller rods but it's really messed up my presentation for delicate casts and I usually have to realign my cast when in the kayak because I have developed a side arm cast.  I was using an 8 wgt. for crappie and bream as I casted Clousers.  The rod seemed a bit rigid but when casting into nasty brush and cover, it at least gave me the ability to tug and pull the line a bit to shake a fly loose.  I was casting Clousers with a mid size stainless steel eyes.  I like to cast streamers off the bank for panfish.  When the brush is in deep water, I like to fish deep and slow with a jigging action while using floating line.  I seem to have forgotten about using nymphs for panfish on lakes and ponds but drift them on streams.  I was using the Jeremiah Nypmh Two, Montana Nymph, scuds and sowbugs.

When casting top water flies on lakes and ponds, I will be using an 8 wgt.  There is probability I may use the 5 wgt. but will have to buy floating line.  The 4 wgt. will be used for top water patterns on streams and lakes.  I am currently tying up nymphs and am reading Harry Murray's Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass and will be tying up such patterns as Murray's Hellgrammite, Bitch Creek Nymph, Strymph, and Brook's Dark Stonefly Nymph.  These will be used for both panfish and bass on lakes, streams and ponds.  I will be casting Panfish Charlies on the 4 wgt.  The eyes are bead chain - so, they won't be too heavy.

I like the sensitivity of a smaller rod to feel the fish.  Such as if they are tugging or soft striking.  I love the play on a smaller rod.  I don't mind using a larger rod if necessary but prefer not using rigid  ones.

I've been catching large Goggleye and Rock Bass on streams and decent size Warmouth on ponds and lakes.  I know a few locations where I can land some monster Pumpkinseed too.  I've scouted out some smaller streams.  Most will be taken on top water patterns but I'm gonna load up a few boxes to take along.  I am looking forward to posting photos and keeping up with Jeff at J&m, Cameron at The Fiberglass Manifesto, Bill, Kevin and others as they go out for "Year of the Bluegill".

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Articulated flies . . . a teaser.

I'm sure you could Google how to tie up articulated flies.  There are many versions and variations of which can be thrown at many species of fish.  I'm gonna let this post marinate for a while because it's been a while since I've had quite a few visitors pass through my blog.  I will be posting instructions with pictures on how to make some of these meaty flies.

As some of you know, I've been tying up these articulated flies all winter in the anticipation of landing some smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.  However, I think my interest in panfish - mainly, Bluegills is increasing day by day.  I've spent the past several years chasing smallmouth bass.  I've had my share of spotted bass and largemouth bass too.  My first love is panfish on the fly.  Don't get me wrong, I do plan on hitting a few streams and lakes for bass.  I'm tying up some nymphs for smallmouth and panfish.

I even tied up a few Panfish Charlies and am currently looking to buy some blue chenille as to make some James Wood Bucktail streamers.  But . . . in the meantime, I will be loading up the fly boxes with various bass and panfish flies.

SO - STAY TUNED - I will be posting instructions for you guys - and these really aren't that complicated.  If I can do it, you can too, lol.  I am sure my visitors will increase soon because I will be posting photos of juicy slabs of panfish.  Of which, I just may fry a few up.

My son wants to learn how to tie flies and fly fish . . . the other son is a bit undecided but I'm sure he'll tag along.