Guest Blogger: Justin Bowman
I tie an unweighted zonker-ish fly variation. I’ve fished this fly the past few years for smallies on my local Midwest rivers. This last year, I’ve also fished it a fair amount for Driftless trout and most recently, on the Missouri River near Craig. I’m sure it will catch fish anywhere there’s hungry fish wanting to survive. On bigger or faster water, I’ll use a 7wt Rio 15ft type six sink tip line and on smaller streams, I’ll use a floating line or various trout versileaders to adjust depth. The color combinations of this fly are infinite, but black, purple, and orange will always be a personal favorite. more…
Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN
The STONFO Comb and Brush Tool is a handy tool and reduces the clutter on the fly tying bench by combining two tools in one.
The comb has excellent teeth spacing for removing any under fur in deer hair. This is critical for getting high quality spun deer hair bodies. I also used the comb to straighten and align various synthetic material I use for parachute posts. The comb was plenty sturdy to pull through and straighten or remove snags and twists.
The brush tool works well for brushing out dubbing after wrapping a body for nymphs. I use it for scud patterns and to create a halo of fur for Hare’s Ear flies. It worked well for both applications.
The tool is handy, easy to use, and stores well. The only improvements would be to make the comb a bit longer for larger clumps of deer hair and the handle could be a bit thicker for comfort in the hand. Neither of these are major issues – it would make a good tool a little better. I am glad I added this tool to my kit.
Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana
I don’t really know when the fly tying material commonly called Finn Raccoon (sometimes Finnish Raccoon) became popular. I had never really heard of it until I started my quest into tube flies. For steelhead and salmon flies, Finn Raccoon fur is often a common portion of the pattern. In the mid-1980s, Swedish fly tier Håkan Norling created the Temple Dog style of Atlantic Salmon fly by using “Temple Dog” fur for the wings. As far as I can discern, “Temple Dog” fur comes from some Asiatic Dog breed such as the Tibetian Mastiff, Chow Chow or Chinese Foo Dog which resembled Chinese Guardian Lions or Foo Dogs. I don’t think the Temple Dog fur on the market today comes from any specific species or breed. Today, Temple Dog style flies are tied with Arctic and Marble Fox, Goat and other long, supple furs to include Finn Raccoon. more…