J. Stockard Fly Fishing Blog

Welcome to the J. Stockard Fly Fishing Blog. We’re here to share advice, how-to’s, news and inspiration about fly tying and fly fishing.

Stick It Where The Sun Shines

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

Figure 1: Loops

We’ve all acquired fly line or sink tip material that lacks end loops, or have blown through such a loop for one reason or another–either by putting too much pressure on a snag, or having a small-diameter leader cut through the loop material, or any of a number of ways to blow one out. Or we’ve attempted to tune our cast by modifying the taper of a given line by cutting off some of the line on the end, and now we need a new loop. Or we’ve sought to resurrect portions of a worn out line by using lengths of it as floating or sinking tip material, and each section needs loops. Or we’ve bought lines that have loops so small we can barely get the knot of a perfection loop through them. Or we’ve caught the belly of a good line on volcanic rock and damaged it to the point that we’d like to splice or loop-to-loop it back together.The point is that we’ve all had reason to want to add a loop to a line, or to repair a loop, or to otherwise join two line portions together. We could go old-school–nail-knots and bits of heavier mono–and that can be very strong…but once the ease of an integral line-loop is tasted, many of us prefer that cleaner-flex-profile configuration. We could tie perfection loops and coat the knots with goo, but those knots get big and our tip guides stay small. We could buy those after-market add-on loops, but one is never sure how well they’ll hold, and they introduce an anomaly in the line (as far as floating and degree of stiffness go), and they’re not necessarily an installable solution while on the stream. We could use epoxy to make a loop and suffer an overnight wait and a stiff section of line where it’s applied. We could trust superglue, equally stiff, but when it flexes the bond may break. We could follow those convoluted thirteen-step advice videos that would have us applying an open flame to the plastic coating of the line and melting ourselves a loop, subsequently to wonder whether we’d heated it too much or too little and how much it will really now hold. more…

Fly of the Month – Winged CDC Biot Dun

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Paul Shurtleff, Springville, UT

I first came up with the idea for this pattern after a long afternoon of being humbled by the trout during an epic BWO hatch on my local tailwater a few years ago. The fish in that particular tailwater are fairly pressured as well, which typically makes them harder to catch anyway, but that day the fish were being extra picky and would only look at and eat the naturals… I had a close matching fly in my box but the trout still give refusal after refusal to where all I could do is watch boil after boil and rise after rise seeing trout noses coming out of the water. Cast after cast and still nothing… I couldn’t buy a rise to my fly, even by accident, let alone hook one by mistake! Anyone that has ever experienced this knows exactly the frustrations I met with that day… Anyway, after I got home that night, still feeling the sting of being skunked and reflecting upon the refusals made by the trout… I watched a few YouTube videos for some inspiration in an attempt to come up with a mayfly dun pattern that would more closely match the naturals in hopes of fooling the fish for my next outing. The following pattern is the result… Upon my next outing armed with a few of my new creations, my very first cast to an active rising fish ended with a fat 18″ brown trout in my net… What surprised me most about that fish, is that the wind caught and picked up my cast, which fell a bit short and I missed the ideal presentation but the fish moved out of its feeding lane at least 3 feet to sip down my fly despite my bad cast! 2 casts later and I had another brown trout to net, not as big as the first, but just as spunky. Moving up river hitting the pockets and other fishy spots with risers yielded a few more fish to net… The new fly was proving itself worthy of seducing the super selective and pressured trout of my local tailwater… I can’t remember how many fish came to net that day falling victim to my new fly, but I do know I went home that night very satisfied and tied at least a dozen more flies just like it! more…

Things I Keep “Relearning”

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

As my good friend Tom often says with a sheepish grin, “It’s not that I am opposed to learning, I am just not very good at it!” Sad to say, I have the same problem when it comes to things I do on the river (and in other areas of my life). There are things I keep doing and oddly enough, when I keep doing the same thing, I keep getting the same result (who would have thought?!). My hope is that my confessions and solutions will save you time and money and that I will start following my own advice!

In each section I describe what I keep relearning, the problem(s) it causes, and my solution. If you have a better solution, be sure to reply to this blog so I can take advantage of your solution! There are plenty of other situations to discuss, these are the ones I face most often. more…