Category Archives: Our Regular Contributors

Surprise Takes

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

I was about fourteen, and after corn-on-the-cob and chicken and tossing baseball in the sun, I had become bored of the heat or perhaps the relative inaction of the family picnic. I wandered down to the midwest lake’s edge, where a short rickety pier no more than 6 or 7 feet long jutted out from shore in water that went from 2 inches to 18 inches in warm cloudy depth. I pulled a little spooled hand line from my pocket (a kid always carries one), tied on what amounted to a fuzzy little wet fly to which I had attached a tiny spinning metal blade at the hook-eye end, and began to drag it mindlessly along one side of the pier. As I watched a duck swimming far out in the lake’s middle, my flashy wet fly snagged on something, which turned out to be the mouth of a huge 6-pound carp, the largest fish I had ever landed up to that point.

Another time: I was about sixteen years old and my Dad had driven us up to Ohio’s Rocky Fork Lake one late November afternoon. It was nippy, and we got there with really not enough time to do much of anything, but as a very rare treat the family had planned to make it an overnight. November is late for fishing in those parts, but kids will be kids, and instead of helping with stuff I put reel to rod and tied one of those “L&S Mirro-Lures” to the line. There was a marina there, and a low cement wall along the top of which I could walk–the water was probably 20 inches deep at the wall. I dropped the lure into the drink at my feet and attempted to get away from my siblings, who were following me asking what the heck I was doing…so I walked away from them. They followed. I walked faster. The lure dragged along in the water. Suddenly there was a lurch, and I landed a very nice 2-pound bass, by far the largest game fish I had ever caught up to then. more…

Enjoying Fiberglass Fly Rods

Written by Paul Beel: J. Stockard Pro Tyer Team Leader and owner of FrankenFly

Through the years I have owned and casted many fly rods and for a good portion of those years I used what I could afford to use at the time. At one point I purchased an Eagle Claw Fiberglass Fly Rod for $45.00. It was a 4/5 weight and I used it exclusively. It performed very well and at such a cheap cost, it was most definitely a bargain.

As time passed by I purchased other rods which were mostly graphite. However, that first fiberglass rod had an impact on me and I began reading online websites like The Fiberglass Manifesto and joining the forum The Fiberglass Flyrodders. These places love fiberglass fly rods and discuss them still to this day.

I then bought my first custom built fiberglass fly rod from Midwest Custom Fly Rods.  The advantage of a custom built fly rod is that you get to select what you want on the rod. You can select the cork, reel seat, guides, hook keeper and color of wraps around the rod. Sometimes you have the option of picking the color of the rod, but that’s not always the case. Some rod blanks only come in a specific color and some of them have limited colors.

Of course receiving and fishing this custom build just added to the fiberglass rod enjoyment that I had already experienced in the past and just made me want another one. more…

Fly of the Month – Thunder Creek Minnow

Guest Blogger + FOM Tyer: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

In the 1970s, Keith Fulsher, a commercial fly tyer from New York, popularized the Thunder Creek Minnow style of baitfish streamer.  The reverse bucktail style head enabled larger heads and eyes on otherwise slender baitfish patterns.  The style has been widely adapted to both fresh and saltwater species.  Although a relatively simple pattern to tie, creating a clean, secure head and eyes using the original methods takes a bit of practice.  This is where Deer Creek comes in (metaphorically).  Deer Creek is just one of many brands of UV cured cement.  Brand is not important here, but UV cured cement, Fish Masks and Living Eyes has made tying the Thunder Creek style a whole lot easier.

As I occasionally participate in fly swaps on Flytyingforum.com, I recently took the opportunity to participate in a “Classic Bucktail” swap.  The rules were simple: “Anyone up for some quick, easy classic bucktails? Don’t get hung up on “classic” patterns…get creative if you’d like.”  Swaps are great opportunities to get a bit creative so I needed a pattern I could play with.  I had all the materials I needed to create a variation of the Thunder Creek style for the swap.  The result has proven to be a pretty effective fly on my local trout streams. more…