Monthly Archives: February 2017

Another Kind of Trout

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

For most fly anglers, trout fishing means waving the wand over lake or stream for one of the many species of salmonids we collectively call trout. And as we all know; wild trout fishing is a cold-water fishery. Except for isolated pockets of high-mountain trout in the southern Rocky Mountains or southern Appalachians wild trout can be found for the most part in suitable water in the northern half of the US into Canada and the Arctic. We tie all sorts of flies to entice trout–Diminutive flies to resemble aquatic insect larva, tiny winged editions to replicate tiny adult insects, baitfish patterns, terrestrial adults and on and on. We fish with what ranges from delicate cane and graphite rods in those diminutive weights like 2 and 3 to robust wands of the 6 and 8 weight variety. Fly fishing for wild trout has so many permutations that it makes opportunities to do something different almost unlimited. The dedicated trout angler has so many opportunities that they need never look beyond their favorite salmonid, unless they want to. more…

Chicken Parts

Guest Blogger: Mary S. Kuss, Life-long avid angler, licensed PA fishing guide, founder of the Delaware Valley Women’s Fly Fishing Association

Dr. Tom Whiting with one of his birds. Photo by Whiting Farms.

Dr. Tom Whiting with one of his birds. Photo by Whiting Farms.

No, I’m not talking about breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. What we will discuss here is what’s found on the outside of the bird—feathers! Many novice or intermediate fly tyers don’t really understand the basics, let alone the finer points, of the differences in the various feathers found on chickens and the factors that determine their appropriate uses in fly tying. Here’s some information that I hope will help.

First, it’s important to know that the feathers from a male chicken (a rooster or cock), and a female chicken (a hen) are quite different in nature. This is especially true of the feathers on the neck, back, and shoulder of the bird. The feathers from these areas are often called “hackles.” In order to appreciate the differences in the texture of these feathers, one must understand what “web” is and how its presence or absence affects the character and use of a given feather. more…

The Needleback Minnow – Part 2

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

Part 1 of this article promised four “tricks” and then laid the groundwork for a simple snag-resistant streamer based on the Daiichi 1770 “Swimming Nymph” hook. Steps 1 through 5 chose the hook, applied a unique float “bladder”in the right place, selected and affixed twin “underbelly” hair sections, and applied darker hair to represent the minnow’s back. Part 2 now takes that foundation and turns it into a great-looking minnow pattern.

As I said, for the back, I’ve even used grey yarn when I couldn’t find the hair color I wanted. A major problem with yarn is that its twist renders the strands too kinked for good streamer use. But here’s Trick #3: If you’re reduced to using knitting yarn, choose it well, then cut the length you need and unravel as best you can. Holding what you intend to use by both ends, pull until it’s straight and hold it in front of a hot hair dryer. Turn until all the fibers get toasty. (Wetting it first can help too.) The fibers should straighten out nicely, and then you can use them on your steamer. (I have little knowledge of the fine points of knitting yarn properties, but for color accent atop a streamer it seems to work well enough when the colors I want are not at hand. Just pay attention to whether the yarn you choose sinks or floats when water-logged–you need it to sink. Also look at its consistency to determine whether strands are likely to be lost in teeth and over time…no fashion-conscious trout would be caught dead chasing a balding minnow. If “Pseudo Hair” came in a medium grey I’d be all over it, but alas….) more…