Monthly Archives: January 2019

Fly of the Month – Top Gun

Guest Blogger: John Satkowski, Toledo, OH, J. Stockard Pro Tyer, fly tying demonstrator and instructor. Find Hohn on Instagram and Facebook.

A couple of years ago, I was hitting the river on a warm, hazy evening. Having forgotten my fly rod I grabbed one of my spinning rods from my vehicle and tied on a small Heddon Torpedo. I started nailing fish left and right and had a great topwater evening of fishing. As I was driving back home, I started to think about how I could develop a fly that has the characteristics of a Torpedo, but can be used with a fly rod. After a few attempts, the Top Gun was born. This is an extremely effective fly for all types of species including smallmouth and largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, and even has a Longnose Gar to its name.

The head of this particular pattern is unique in that I used carved foam to simulate a Creek Chub, which is the favorite forage fish around my area. In the commercial model, I would use premade foam product such as Rainy’s PSP bodies, Rainy’s popper or slider bodies, or Rainy’s frog bodies. I wanted to show how you can create very realistic patterns with just foam, a dremel, and some markers. It’s a fun project on a bad weather day or over the winter when the cabin fever is setting in. The materials are pretty common and can be ordered through a myriad of tackle building sources such as Jann’s Netcraft. The tutorial will show you how to build the fly body and some techniques for the foam head. This is an effective fly, and a lot of fun on the vise. more…

A Dance of Life

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

“Vigor of youth,” they call it, and it vows to never end.
Cheap hackle ads, a Bergman book, pop music loud at work…
A creek ‘tween cornfields rumored to hold browns north of the bend;
I watched from near the guardrail silver flashes in the murk.

True trout streams… more…

Motivation to Use BIG Flies

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

Larger streamers, wooly buggers, and girdle bugs can provide exciting fishing. There’s nothing like the jolt of a large fish crushing a fly on the retrieve. However, as I have gotten older, my casting shoulder has become increasingly less enamored with throwing these larger flies for hours on end.

Then a couple of years ago I caught 29 fish that were 15 inches or bigger. That was my best year ever for larger fish. Over 80% of the fish were caught on a nymph including the 22 incher! The nymphs were sizes #16-#12. An additional 11% were caught on wooly buggers or girdle bugs sizes #10-#6. The remaining 8% came on #14 parachute Adams and #10 hoppers. I also fished larger streamers, wooly bugger, and girdle bugs over the course of the season, but none of my largest fish took any of those offerings.

This success in numbers and size shifted my strategy in subsequent years to focus on nymph fishing unless there was an active hatch. While I have not reproduced the number of larger fish, I have consistently caught the largest fish on a nymph in the intervening years. And, yes, I still put on larger flies for 10-15% of the time. This served to solidify my belief (or bias, if you prefer) that larger fish can be caught consistently on smaller flies. more…