Category Archives: Mike Cline, Bozeman MT

Random Tying Tips and Assorted Advice – Part 2

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Mini-Hackle Pliers Make Good Drying Stations

Spring loaded mini-hackle pliers are easily adapted to drying stations for flies under production. Using an old plastic hotel key, loyalty card or in the case of the photo, an expired Florida fishing license, mini pliers are epoxied or super glued to the card to make a drying station. A bit of coarse sand paper can rough up the bottom of the pliers and a spot on the card. A drop of super glue or 5-minute epoxy will hold nicely. They are also useful for fly photography. more…

Random Tying Tips and Assorted Advice – Part 1

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Oscar Wilde once wrote “I always pass on good advice. It’s the only thing to do with it. It is never any use to oneself.” (1895).

I must admit that most of what I practice at the tying bench was learned from someone else. I either read about it in a magazine or book, saw it on YouTube or witnessed it at a tying demonstration. Over the years, specific techniques became routine when the hook was in the vice. Here are some I can remember. Also, if I can remember, I’ll attribute the tip to its rightful genius.

Don’t Throw Away Those Hackle Tips.

Applying some form of cement to the thread wraps of a finished fly is something we all do. It is essential for securing thread heads, regardless of the size of the fly. For all kinds of reasons, many times the cement will migrate into the hook eye and if allowed to dry there will cause problems streamside when you go to tie the fly on a tippet. To solve that issue, I save all my hackle tips, including peacock herl ends in a container on my tying desk. When I cement a head and the cement migrates into the hook eye, a hackle tip is used to clear it before it dries. The hackle fibers do a good job of soaking up excess cement and the stiff hackle stem is easy to push/pull through the hook eye. This technique has an added benefit that allows you to apply a liberal amount of cement to the thread wraps without fear of clogging the hook eye. more…

Firehole Sticks in the Salt

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

My experiences so far with the new barbless hooks called Firehole Sticks has been great. Overall, they are a joy to tie on and make for some attractive looking flies. Firehole Sticks are a no brainer for freshwater flies, but I wondered how they might hold up under saltwater conditions. If you read just about any blog or article on fly fishing for speckled sea trout or snook, authors encourage anglers to pinch the barbs to protect the tender mouths of snook and trout. A 2010 article in Saltwater Sportsman went into a lot of detail on the best hooks for de-barbing flies and their use in saltwater. Clearly there is an application for barbless fly hooks in the saltwater environment. more…