Monthly Archives: April 2019

Fly of the Month – Exo Crab

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Tim Morales, Caladonia MI

Well, with spring break behind us and vacation season right around the corner, here’s one for all of you heading to warm and sunny tropical destinations.

Ever since I started tying, I’ve been mesmerized by realistic flies. The problem is, a great many of them are very tedious to tie and just way too time consuming to fill a box. On my travels to Denmark I came across a wide variety of realistic shrimp patterns that were overall not terribly time consuming to recreate and looked stunning both in the vise and in the water.

Since then, I have tinkered with my own realistic patterns. Some of my ideas have worked while many have not. With fishable realistic flies, the key for me is to bring about just enough realism while still making them practical and quick enough to produce. While I found a great many realistic shrimp patterns, I really couldn’t find many realistic crab flies. So, my project began to create a fishable realistic crab.

All in all, I feel that this pattern satisfies my desire for a realistic fly that is still fairly simple to tie. I hope you all enjoy this tie as much as I do.

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Nymphing Subtleties: Part 2

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

In Part 1 of this series, we began looking at using a two-fly set-up where the lead fly is a dry fly of your choice with a dropper to a bead head nymph. We looked at how the types of dries, the dropper length and diameter, and the size and type of bead head influence how deep the nymph will run. In the second part, we will look at how the style of the fly influences the depth and how one can adjust the different variables to consistently tick the bottom. When you get all that right, this can be a very productive style of fishing.

Style of fly. I have found that color and type of fly often doesn’t make a big difference as long as you get the nymph down to the right depth. However, there are days where color or style can be important so don’t be shy about switching nymph styles if the bite is slow. The bigger issue is how fast do you want the nymph to fall and how deep do you need to be to get fish. This is where the style of the nymph plays a huge role. For faster sink rates and deeper water, I prefer using Copper John nymphs. They drop like a rock (especially when you drop your last one accidentally into the water). I use these in deeper or faster water. If you find that you are snagging too much with a Copper John you can either downsize one size or switch to a fly style that has a slower sink rate. For these situations I like Prince and Pheasant Tail nymphs. When I am facing shallower or slower water and I want a slower sink rate, I reach for my Hare’s Ear patterns in various colors. They sink the slowest as the fuzzy body style produces drag that reduces the sink rate. more…

Nymphing Subtleties: Part 1

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

This is a two-part series on nymphing in low water conditions.

A few years ago, Wisconsin changed the opener of the pre-season catch and release season from the first Saturday in March to the first Saturday in January. If you live in the upper Midwest, you know that January is usually when we experience a stretch of sub-zero weather. You may be thinking, is this guy nuts (That’s a separate discussion we can have over a beer or two!)? However, in this case, we were experiencing a heat wave with temperatures approaching freezing and bright sunshine. The radiant energy in the sunshine is enough to minimize the ice in the guides and the reel, so I decided to go fly fishing.

I checked my fishing log to see what I usually use in the early pre-season and proceeded to rig my rod with a float indicator, a #6 bead head olive wooly bugger, and an 18-inch dropper to a bead head silver lightning bug. Within a few casts it became clear this was not a good choice as I was spending most of my time walking through my best spots getting my flies unsnagged from rocks and other debris on the bottom of the river. more…