August Newsletter: Summer Fly Tying
The summer is in full swing with it's heat, humidity and slow fishing days. Many of the hot days can be very productive. In the latest issue of Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Journal, Dave Whitlock talks about terrestrials and patterns which are effective for late summer. Dave mentions how some of the Pa fly tyers like Menario, Shank and Koch inspired him and gave him new ideas for dry flies. A fair number of this patterns of these patterns are easy to tie and give you some new dries to fish when all of the mayflies and caddis are coming off.
Some patterns Dave specifically mentions are Inch worms, bees, hornets, crickets, hoppers and moths. Early this spring I picked a new line of products from Pa. I have the USA brand foam products from Bill Skilton. These are pre-cut strips and tubes which are ideal for making interesting new patterns. For the most part you wrap these to the hooks, add legs or wings ( once in awhile add a deer hair head ) and you have a nice fly. This avoids spinning miles of deer and carving balsa or punching out blanks.
Below is a list of the items I have on hand:
Bug Legs: Hardened leg material for use in ants or beetles: Black: $1.50
Damsels: Pre-made damsel bodies. Just wrap and make a wing case or spinner wings. Colors: Black, Light Blue, Med Blue, Brown; Ties size 10 damsels dries: $2.75
Dragon Fly Bodies: These are pre-cut tubes to use for dragon flies. Wrap tube in , add some eyes and some wings that's it. Black, Brown, Insect Green (Chartreuse This can be used for an inch worm body) Med Blue: $2.75
Hard Shell Beetle Foam: For those that want just one color. This makes some really cool oval beetles, carpenter ants and is used as a back on hellgrammite patterns. Black or Brown $2.00
#1 Hard Shell Beetle Assortment: This is a unique foam that creates really nice carpenter ants and beetles. Very realistic looking oval shapes can be made. Assortment of grays, blacks and brown: $4.00
Metallic Beetle Strips: These are cool! Colored strips in Peacock, Brass, Olive or Copper, these make metallic beetles in sizes 12-16. $3.00
Quick Sight Ant: Tube of pre-punched foam with colored head. Simply tie in the middle, add a wrap of hackle, you have an ant! Size small only ( ties 16-18) Colors: Black w/White head, Black w/Red head: $1.75
EZ Sight Black Beetle: This is a black foam strip w/an orange dot to make the bug more visible. $3.00
TMI Yellow Jacket: This is like a Chernobyl yellow jacket. Layered yellow and black ideal for smallies and FAT browns. Size 8-10 only. $2.50
TMI Hornet: Layered Black-Brown-Yellow big giant hornet. Cool for largemouth and giant gils. Size Medium for 8-10 sized flies. $2.50
Wasp Wing: A crinkle pearl material to use for wings. Nice for flashbacks. Use on ants, beetles or big hornets: $1.50
Yellow Jacket: Layered black and yellow. Wrap and tie like ants. Size small only. $1.75
Hornet: Layered black, brown and yellow. Wrap just like ants. Size small. $1.75
( Note: A Popular new Catskill tie is the Yellow Jacket Madam X. This is a spun deer body in black and yellow with a white madam x head and legs. If you use the small hornet or bee body and tie it on a 2 xl hook, you save loads of time. You can also cut these bodies in half and tie on a standard dry hook.) ======================================================================
Choas Hopper. This summer I started fishing this hopper and have had amazing results. I have been fishing a cinnamon color and everywhere I have fished this I have caught at least a few fish. The pattern for making this fly is on my web site. I have the cutters you use to make this fly for $40. These are hand made with solid wood handles. The blade is glued in and it comes in a wooden carry case.
I always get requests for Cree and I have some available. This is a very limited supply I have on hand. Very likely these will get cleaned out at any shows I do. The supply will not last long.
Strung Red Game: These are wide webby hackles, strung 5-7" long. Tips are round and can be made into matuka patterns. They mostly tie size 4-6-8 and are ideal for sculpins, woolies and for crawdad patterns. Natural, dyed olive, dyed purple and claret. Price: $3.75 a pack
Olive Variant Chinese Necks: I have some nice dyed over variant necks which are sort of a bad grizz and cree. These are a brown and green olive mix. Tips are okay and will tie size 10-4. The price is nice: $4.50.
Whiting necks and saddles: I have a Whiting Cree neck in a Bronze grade, will tie to size 22 and below: $45, Whiting Bronze saddle: mostly 14-16, ideal for parachutes. Will tie a ton of Adam's. Price: $40.
Metz Microbarbs: I have a few cree Metz micro barb saddles. These are not as long as the Whiting's but they will tie a lot of flies. These are 14-16's and some 12's. Color is a bit darker than Whiting's too! Price $25
#2 Hen Pheasants ( Body with wings only ) : Believe it or not some nice cree marked feathers are available on the flanks of these birds. The quills have a cree type color and are suitable for wets and muddlers. The body has loads of soft hackles. The best part is the price: $2.50 each!
Pine Squirrels: I have some nice tanned pine squirrels. Cut these into to strips or use for nymphs. If you like making the red fox squirrel, this is a nice collar. Price was $4.50 each, now $2.50 each.
Small Muskrats: These are what they call a grade 3-4. They are mostly small hides. Fully tanned, no holes, although they might not be a thick in some spots as a number 1. Will still tie a ton Adams and dries. Price: $5.00, in the past I sold #1's for $18!
Australian Possum: I have a nice 1/4 skin of these, soft tanned. Use for nymphs or the famous Ausable Wulff. Lots of red brown and brown tipped hair. Very nice. Price $6.50.
Big Bag of Dubbings: I still have some of the dry fly dubbings in a bag. You get a ton of patches. Included in the bag is otter, beaver, beaver dyed black and brown, nutria. $2.50
I have been fishing some gorges in the area and catching browns, a few planted Atlantics, rainbows and yes nice bluegills. A fair number of these fisheries are far too fragile to mention as the population of these streams are pretty small. I will mention for folks tired of Fall Creek or for those looking for a change, give 6 Mile a shot. It is off of Giles street on Route 79 on the East Hill/ South Hill. This is a popular place to swim. If you go early the sun bathers are not out.
Also head upstream of Ithaca Falls. I have found that the bulk of the people using other parts of the stream are more or less kids swimming.
You might wish to try a crawdad pattern. I have several on my site for you to look at. I use the Rev Bobs crawdad and the Near Nuff sculpin. Most of the crawdad around here are a dirty tan or olive.
I haven't heard much else.
Laura and I will be gone 8/8 to 8/22. We will be at the FFF show in Montana. I will give those of you a nice report when I get back. If you have an orders which arrive during this period, I will send them off when I get back.
I will have a booth at the Summerfest at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center 8/25. This is a one day event and promises to be a nice little show. Poul Jorgenson and Joan Wulff will be the guest demonstrators for the event. Admission I think is $4 for non-members and free to members. Contact me for more info.
Mike Hogue/Badger Creek Fly Tying
1408 Hanshaw Road Ithaca, NY 14850
607-266-0736 www.eflytyer.com Mike@eflytyer.com