Fly of the Month, Howitzer Bustin’ Baitfish

Fly Tyer: Martin Bawden, CEO, Fly Fishing Company, creators of Fish-Skull™, Nymph-Head™ and Surface Seducer® products

For August, we feature Flymen Fishing’s new Howitzer Bustin’ Baitfish tied using the new Howitzer foam baitfish popper head that imitates the head of a small minnow (or baitfish) splashing and sipping at the surface of the water. The Howitzer head is designed with a deep recess at the back so that an articulated body and tail of a minnow can be embedded seamlessly into the back of the head. As a result, the body of the minnow hangs down in the water (roughly at a 45-degree angle) and moves enticingly in a position that can be seen by predatory fish from a long distance and offers them an irresistible profile and an easy opportunity for a meal! To tie the Howitzer Bustin’ Baitfish, you combine the Howitzer popper head with Surface Seducer® Dragon Eyes™, Surface Seducer® Popper Hooks, and the Fish-Skull® Articulated Shank.


Head: Surface Seducer Howitzer Baitfish Popper Head – white, medium size
Eyes: Surface Seducer Dragon Eyes – 6mm size, any of the 4 colors available will work
Front Hook: Mustad 34007 (or similar) streamer hook, size 1/0
Back Hook: Gamakatsu SC15, size #2
Shank: Fish-Skull Fish-Spine, 15mm shank
Main Body: Gamechanger Chenille, Clear
Middle Body and hook: Marabou, White with several wraps of Palmer Chenille.

Want to learn more about how to tie this fly? Read the Flymen blog, Inside Look: Designing the Surface Seducer Howitzer by Martin Bawden for a behind-the-scenes look at developing this new material, as well as videos demonstrating how to tie the Howitzer Bustin’ Baitfish.

Mitta Mitta – Too Late for Blackberry Pie

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman MT

The Murray River is Australia’s longest—some 1500 miles. The Mitta Mitta, flowing out of the Great Dividing Ranges in Victoria is the Murray’s largest headwater tributary. Hydro schemes, gold mining, dairy farming and logging has long transformed the Mitta Mitta valley into what it is today. Although Australian anglers are quick to praise the introduction of brown and rainbow trout into the Victorian mountains in the 19th century, they are also quick to show complete disgust for the introduction of the European Blackberry, Rubus fruticosus. Blackberries were introduced into the Sydney region in New South Wales in 1830 by early settlers. However, in a fateful decision that continues to plague trout anglers well into the 21st century, in 1851 the Government Botanist in Victoria, Baron von Mueller, and the first Curator of the Gardens at Melbourne University, Alexander Elliot recommended blackberries be planted along stream banks to prevent erosion. It didn’t take long for everyone to realize how bad a decision that was.

Gorge section of Mitta Mitta is choked with bramble

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Designing Effective Flies

Jack Fields, Guest Blogger and avid fly tyer

Designing effective flies, where does one start with this exactly? Creating something that will convince another living thing that our creations are good to eat, and that, it is food.

Books? They’re great for research. Experienced friends? Yes! There you go! Hatch charts? Great source for what’s happening on your local stream or one you plan to visit and this gets us the closest to our beginning, the stream.

The stream you fish the most is where we’ll make our start. A little entomology 101, what’s under those rocks and in the drift? No better way to start designing effective flies than to have a look at what’s in the trouts kitchen. You can do this by simply wading in and start turning over stones, or you can use a seine net like the one pictured. The trays shown are containers from take out that I use to view the insects that I’ve collected.

Continue reading → Designing Effective Flies