Saturday, April 28, 2018

Dissembling Life in the Anthropocene

Getting awful hard to keep up with these people. How does this benefit us?

I still write leadership, but it feels like spitting into the wind, & seems to be about as effective. How should we address world killing policies? If somebody has the answer, I'm in.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Blue Sinixt ~ For Trout Spey

Blue Sinixt for Trout Spey ~ Steven Bird

    Been working up some lures for swinging this Spring. Pre-spawn rainbows, like steelhead, react to certain color combinations & are incited to grab (fun when they do it). The classic Atlantic salmon design frame, which has contributed much to the sea trout & steelhead fly traditions, applies to create killing wetflies for inland trouting as well. Studying classic dressings reveals creative material applications that may be applied to defining Trout Spey designs. For tiers compelled to exercise fanciful imaginations, attractor wetflies offer a satisfying outlet.

For swinging:

Blue Sinixt  

Hook: #6 TMC 200R

Thread: black UNI 8/0

Hackle: church window body feather taken from a cock ringneck pheasant

Tailing: Hareline UV Shrimp dubbing fibers

Body: rear to front – tip, blue tinsel; butt, peacock herl; girdle, blue & silver tinsel; thorax, blue dubbing

Topping: golden pheasant tippet (I dye it with an orange marker), splayed ~

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Hairless Muddler

   Designed to simulate sculpin, there’s no denying the effectiveness of Don Gapen’s original Muddler Minnow, a pattern that has spawned countless variations tied with heads of clipped deer hair or wool to create a fat-headed sculpin profile.  

Though quicker to tie, I’ve found wool-head versions not as killing as I’d like; & though there aren’t many fly-tying operations I don’t enjoy, I’m not that fond of spinning & clipping deer hair – mainly because it is time-consuming, hence frustrating when the Muddler snags the bottom & is broken off, or otherwise lost by any means (these work best fished with a sink-tip, tickling over the bottom).

Because it is such an important & wide-ranging trout food form, I’m always experimenting with new sculpin patterns & have had good results with several hackle-headed versions, employing multiple brahma hackles to effect the wide-headed profile. However, those versions use up a lot of brahma hackle in the process.

My recent fascination with the dabbler design frame has led me to realize how well it serves to create a sculpin profile, giving the illusion of mass without a lot of material build-up. The hackle version breathes & pulses; the hackle head providing a more realistic color blend with the rest of the fly than one might achieve from hair. Here’s the dressing for one I like:

Olive/Brown Muddler

Hook: #4-#6 TMC 200R

Thread: camel UNI 8/0

Hackle: front collar: olive guinea hen; rear collar: brahma hen

Tailing: brown over olive marabou, topped with a pinch of olive guinea hackle barbs

Rib: copper wire

Body: dark olive hare’s mask blended with a pinch of lighter olive antron & a pinch of chopped Hareline UV Shrimp dubbing for highlights – build the body heavier toward the front of the fly

Palmer: brown or brown-grizzly shlappen, 5 turns over the body (counting the initial collar) – wind a collar of 3 full turns of the hackle before palmering back to the hook bend

Wind the ribbing wire forward to cinch down the palmered hackle, tie off the wire in front of the palmer hackle collar (having left room to wind the 2 collars in front); wind the brahma hackle back to the palmer collar, 3 full turns, apply a turn of thread over the hackle tip & wind the tying thread forward over (through) to the front of the hackle (then trim away the hackle tip); & then do the same with the guinea hackle behind the hook eye.