Monday, January 30, 2012

Russ Maddin's Circus Peanut

With winter time and a lack of fishing, I switch over to mostly tying and not so much fishing.  To break the monotony of just filling my boxes, I participate in fly swaps if I'm interested in the theme.  Over on the Pa Fly Fish forum, someone suggested an articulated streamer swap.  I'm really going to fish streamers hard this year to hopefully have some success with them, both for trout and smallies.  Since we did something similar last year with the Meatbox Swap and it was a huge success, I decided to join up.

I choose for my pattern the Circus Peanut.  As far as I can tell, this fly was originally tied by Russ Maddin, if I'm wrong I'd love to give credit to the tier who first created this fly.  Here is my step-by-step for this fly.

Materials List:
Hooks: Two 2XL long streamer hooks in size 2-4 (I'm using Mustad 3306 Size 2)
Thread: Black 6/0
Eyes:Waspi Painted Eyes Size Medium
Tail: Marabou
Flash:Crystal Flash
Body: Crystal Chenile
Hackle: Black Schlappen
Legs: Sili Legs

Step 1: Attach the eyes to the front hook.  Use the Figure 8 wrapping technique and apply some glue to firmly lock the eyes into place.  Set aside to let the glue dry.

Step 2: Moving to the rear hook, tie in marabou tail and wrap up hook to create bulk for body.

Step 3: Tie some flash into the tail.

Step 4: Tie in chenile and wrap 3/4 of the way up the shank.

Step 5: Tie in 2 sili legs on each side.  Wrap chenile up the shank a few turn.

Step 6: Tie in 2 more sili legs on each side and wrap the chenile up the shank a few more turns.

Step 7: Tie off chenile and tie in your hackle dull side facing down.

Step 8: Make a few wraps of hackle and tie off.  I like to make a few thread wraps over the hackle to make sure it lays down over the body.

Step 9: Whip finish and apply some head cement.  The back hook is now finished.

Step 10: Using 7 strand jewelry wire, attach back hook to front hook.  This is an important step as it will determine how the articulated fly will swim in the water.  I like to tie one end of the wire to the front hook, then come up through the hook eye of the second fly and attach the other end of the wire to the front hook.  This ensures that the back hook will track the same way as the front hook.

Step 11: Tie in chenile and wrap up 3/4 of the hook shank.

Step 12: Tie in the legs as we did on the rear fly.  Wrap chenile up to the point right behind the eyes.

Step 13: Tie in the hackle dull side down and make a few wraps.  Tie off hackle and wrap thread over it to make sure it lays down like before.

Step 14: Wrap the chenile over the eyes in a Figure 8 pattern, make one wrap of chenile in front of the eyes, tie off, and whip finish.  Apply head cement.

Finished fly:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Somerset Fly Fishing Show


Today kicks off the Somerset Fly Fishing Show.  I'm stuck at work today, but will be attending tomorrow.  Looking forward to some great lectures, getting some tying ideas from all the tiers, and picking up a few things.  Have fun everyone!  Don't forget the International Fly Fishing Film Festival will be presented tonight after the show closes.  If you attend, let me know what you think of it, I'm planning on hitting that up in Lancaster.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Woven Anchor Nymphs

Well it is winter so that means I need to fill all the empty spots in my box.  When on the stream I am fishing a Euro nymphing rig more times than not.  I usually run two nymphs, one heavy anchor to get the flies down in the water column quickly and the other fly is a lightly weighted fly (or unweighted fly).  My anchor nymph box has a lot missing in it.  I decided to start working on some woven nymphs tonight.  I did three color combos: brown over tan, brown over yellow, and brown over olive. 

Woven Nymph
Hook: Size 8 nymph hook
Thread: Brown 6/0
Top: Brown DMC embroidery thread
Bottom: Tan/Yellow/Olive DMC
Rib: Various wire colors
Collar: Hare's ear plus or squirrel dubbing
Bead: Varies
Weight: Lead or non-lead underbody
Special Thanks go out to the guys who run Fly Guy's Guide Service for posting an awesome tutorial on how to do the shuttle weave that I used for these flies.  Also, thanks for Aaron Jasper for taking the time to show me how to do the weave in person.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

IF4-International Fly Fishing Film Festival

Saw this trailer online today and it got me excited about the IF4.  I'll be checking it out after the Fly Fishing Show in Lancaster, but note that there is a showing the Friday of the Somerset show as well.  IF4 Schedule.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Fly Fishing Shows

One thing I like to do to try to interrupt the cabin fever that sets in during the winter tying months is attend The Fly Fishing Show.  This year there are two shows that will be held in my vicinity and I plan on attending both.  The first is being held in Somerset, NJ as it has been for as long as I've been attending.  This is the biggest show I've ever attended.  One could stay all three days and still not see and do everything that there is.  My plan of attack is to pick out the seminars that I want to attend, this year I'm going saltwater heavy for this show.  I'm excited to hear the guys from Shore Catch Guide Services talk about bait and their profiles and also fishing from beaches and jetties.  I'm also looking forward to seeing Bob Popovics tie up some patterns and I'm going to pick up his book Popfleyes as well.  When I'm not in seminars, I like to walk around the floor and check out new gear and featured tiers to see what is new and exciting in the world of fly fishing.  I usually have a few things I'm looking to purchase and this year is no different.  In addition to Popfleyes, I'm looking to pick up George Daniel's book on Dynamic Nymphing, Aaron Jasper's new DVD European Nymphing A Strategic Approach, and a few small tying items.  Once I get these items and have a chance to digest them, look for reviews in future posts.

The other show I will attend is in a new location in Lancaster, PA in February.  This show will be more focused on PA and trout, which will be nice since that is my main focus in fly fishing currently.  Joe Humphries will be at this show and despite what you think about him or his affiliations, he is a great fly fisherman and I savor every opportunity to listen to the man that I can.  I will give more details on this show as it approaches.

Anyone know of any other shows happening this winter?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Eve Fishing

Wanting to get the last bit of value out of my PA 2011 fishing license, I decided to hit up White Clay Creek.  This stream was stocked by the White Clay Fly Fishers on the previous Thursday so I thought that I might run into a bunch of fish.  Well, I ran into something and it was a bunch of other fishermen.  Usually I will park in one lot and walk upstream, then fish back downstream to where I parked.  For whatever reason, I decided to jump in at my usual ending spot and work my way upstream.  Apparently everyone else decided to park at the lot at the top of the stretch and fish their way downstream towards the other lot.  I started off well and picked up a real nice rainbow trout in my first few casts on the brown over yellow woven nymph I was using as my anchor.

Then I moved upstream to the next holding spot.  I spotted a few fish laying in the slower current closer to the bank I was standing on.  Had a few hits, but for whatever reason was unable to close the deal on them.  Decided to move upstream to the next holding spot and I ran into the first of what would turn out to be many fisherman on the stream (I shouldn't have been shocked, it was 50 something degrees outside, plus it was New Year's Eve).  I walked back around him to give him room and to maneuver to the next spot I wanted to fish.  Again, more anglers.

I decided to hit the trail and move upstream to where I was going to finish at and see what was going on up there.  You guessed it, more anglers.  I took a break, fished a small riffle that had held fish in the past, but I was hemmed into a small space with anglers upstream and downstream of me.  On one of my casts I got stuck in a tree and ended up losing my tippet and flies below my sighter (yes, I fish Euro methods).  I waded out and picked my flies out of the tree (wasn't going to lose flies and I didn't feel bad wading into a spot where I had caught zero fish).  Sat down and took my time tying on new tippet and the same flies, hoping to give the guys downstream from me a chance to clear out.  This plan worked only a little.  I worked my way downstream and was able to get into a run that I had wanted to fish but had been occupied on my way upstream.  Settled in and caught another rainbow on a small caddis emerger type fly.  I'm not sure exactly what it was since I had received it in a fly swap at some point.

Hit a few more spots on my way back to my parking spot without catching anymore fish.  It was getting dark, and I needed to get home and get dinner, a shower and a shave.  I hadn't seen my wife all week since she was on vacation in Nashville, and I wanted to look presentable when I picked her and my daughter up at the airport.

All in all, it was a nice way to end 2011 and get ready for 2012 and the fishing adventures that await.