Puppy Love

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

I’m a Dad again! I have a new son. He’s now about 11 weeks old. His name is Ruffles. Here’s a picture:

This kid is a handful, but we’re trai…no, make that, he’s training us. And although he’s about as much a watchdog or a hunting dog as a goldfish would be, and although his primary mission in life seems to be acting like a goofball, he has one stellar attribute: His super-soft ginger-colored wavy locks are just begging to be used on a trout fly.

So I stole a tiny snip while he terrorized his squeaky squirrel toy, and tied a couple up.  Here’s the recipe:

Hook:  #14 Gamakatsu “Executive Series, Keel-Balance” C13U
Body:  SemperFli “Dirty Bug Yarn,” Caddis Brown
Weight:  Size 0.010 weight wire, your choice of type
Ribbing:  Wapsi Ultra- wire, red, small
Thread:  Dark brown or black
Hackle:  One small light brown partridge soft-hackle feather
Tail:  A small snip of hair from Ruffles The Puppy

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Fly of the Month – The Shrimpadillo

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

ShrimpadilloAn inshore Gulf Coast flats trip to Florida in the Spring of 2021 was very successful save one frustrating morning. As I paddled the kayak in the early dawn across a shallow flat at low tide, I encountered several dozen tailing bull redfish. It was quite a sight as large pods of fish slowly meandered around the flat stirring up breakfast. I wasn’t really set up fly wise for redfish, but quickly changed flies and started chucking various stuff in front of fish. For whatever reason, they were not the least bit interested nor spooked and I never connected before the pod slowly moved away. So when I returned home, I started thinking about what flies I needed if I wanted to be successful in the tailing redfish scenario. One of the options was the traditional spoon fly, a redfish staple.

I had never really tried to tie spoon flies before primarily because I was never keen on all that slow drying epoxy and braided tubing hassle. But times had changed and with a little research it was easy to discover the advent of new methods of tying spoon flies with purpose constructed cutouts, hooks and UV resins. As I ventured down the spoon fly road, I came across a unique design—the Shrimpadillo.  Half shrimp, half spoon, the Shrimpadillo was a hybrid design that captured the essence of a shrimp pattern as well as the wobbling nature of the spoon fly which might represent a baitfish or crab pattern. The Shrimpadillo is the original creation of brothers Steven and Alan Kulcak of Sightcastfishing.com, a south Texas outfit.

The inspiration for the Shrimpadillo came after a day on the water sight casting to redfish along Texas Gulf coast. Alan had the original idea but both brothers worked through many variations until they felt they had the pattern nailed down in terms of effectiveness and durability on the water. Steven told me the name came to them almost instantly as the fly looked like the head of a shrimp with the shell of an armadillo—an abundant resident of the South Texas countryside. Rumor even has it that one version called for the urine stained belly fur of a female armadillo, but I couldn’t verify that.

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Night Moves: What I learned Fishing at Night

Night Moves: What I Learned Casting into the Dark

By Jim DuFresne

For an evening float on the Upper Manistee River Spence Vanderhoof and I met Ed McCoy at an access site around 5 p.m. where a party of canoers, who had too much to drink that day, didn’t have enough patience with each other that night so someone had to call the police. Four police cars arrived and blocked us in the parking lot for 20 minutes before they allowed Ed to pull out in his pick-up with a driftboat in tow.

By the time we drove upriver to our put-in site and slide the driftboat down the wooden ramp into the current, it was almost 7 p.m. Just as well. This day had been brutally muggy and hot even for a week that was unseasonably warm. Ed, a guide with Mangled Fly Outfitters, knew we were still an hour away from rigging up our rods.

So we just floated for a while, eating sandwiches while drifting around one river bend after another. Soon the Manistee was ours, the paddlers and inner tubers were long gone. So were most other anglers. Wildlife slowly began to appear with Spence happily naming the ones with wings.

Then we saw the first rings of a feeding trout.

“When you take the time to listen to nature,” Ed said, “she tells you things.”

Continue reading → Night Moves: What I learned Fishing at Night