Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ben Jewell's Slough Creek Spinner a step-by-step

Ben Jewell's - Slough Creek Spinner
Fishing Yellowstone National Park's famous Slough Creek can be a real test of skill and fly fishing knowledge.  The Cutthroat trout are tough to catch and by mid-season have seen most every fly available.  Knowing a few key flies and how and when to fish them can make all the difference.

There are a few flies I would not be without on Slough, this is one of them.  That's why my fellow guide Ben named it as such.  Anytime you see a fly with a creeks name, and you are going to fish that creek....... Yeah, you're going to want some of those.

an average Slough Creek Cutt'y...

I enjoy tying this fly even though it has more materials than I like and they can be troublesome to manage.
Here you see wing bundles, each made up of white and dark gray Widow's Web and 2 strands of Krystal Flask.  Turkey rounds of Gray-olive biots are used to wrap the body and moose  body hair is spilt to form the tails.

using a size #12-14 dry fly hook with Danville Olive thread, tails formed and a biot at the ready for wrapping...

wrapping the biot forward with the rib exposed...

wings added with figure 8 wraps and thread dubbed with gray dubbing...

wrap the thorax with the dubbed thread using more figure 8's and then form the head and double whip finish...

a completed Jewell's Slough Creek Spinner.
I fish this fly in size #12 during the Green Drake hatch.  I fish it greased, 12 inches or so behind a EMT Green Drake Emerger as these spinners are tough to see on the water and the EMT acts as my indicator.  It's best fished to slow risers in quieter water.

Also, I like to feed them to difficult fish when nothing else seems to work by fishing them as a trailer without floatant as a drowned dun... this usually does the trick.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What ya tying?

I've been tying dozens of these:

Korn's Tinsel Caddis

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

a fly tying tip

Hi folks,

Today I was tying up some of my Korn's Spent-wing Caddis flies with Opal Tinsel bodies.  The tinsel was a real pain in the butt to handle as it was full of static.  It was so bad I almost couldn't put it down! Then I remembered an old trick.  I ran downstairs and grabbed a dryer sheet from the laundry area and put that on my tying bench and laid my tinsel on it, bingo!  The anti-static dryer sheet solved the problem and I could get back to knocking out 15 dozen of these killer flies...

Here is a photo of the Opal Tinsel body, nice and slim.

Anti-cling dryer sheet does the trick...

finished fly - bottom

Korn's Tinsel Caddis - top

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Flies for the Greater Yellowstone Area by Bruce Staples

Early last year Bruce Staples contacted me and asked if I would be willing to contribute some of my original fly patterns to his new book.  Needless to say I was flattered, and said yes.  I sent off to Bruce examples of eight flies, a materials list and a short description for each.  I just recently received my copy and I was very impressed with both the content and quality of this publication...

My "Korn's Marabou Caddis" even made the cover!
My flies included in this book are:
Korn's; Spruce Moth, CDC Spent-wing Parachute Caddis, Green Lantern, Holiday Golden Stone, Marabou Caddis, TNT Golden Stone, TNT Green Drake and my Wrapped Foam Hopper.

It is truly an honor to have my flies listed alongside some great fly tiers like: Bob Jacklin, Hans Weilenmann, Walter Wiese, Craig Mathews as-well-as many others...

If you get a chance please give this book a look especially if you plan on fishing in Yellowstone Country!  Thanks Bruce...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Back in the Saddle, tying flies...

Hi folks, I've been "tied up" with my knee surgery and some other health issues as-well-as the Holidays.   Needless to say I've fallen behind on my fly tying... But now I'm back up and at them.

Today I'm tying up a bunch of my favorite fly - the "Korn's Spent-wing Caddis".

You can check out my YouTube video titled; "Korn's Spruce Moth".  The Spent-wing is tied using the same methods with just slightly different materials.  See my list of materials and tying instructions below.  The thing to remember is, caddis flies have a narrow wing profile, where the spruce moth's wings are wider.

Korn's Spent-wing Caddis, tan version. 

Tied with narrow hen pheasant feathers producing the perfect profile in the water.

Hook: MFCo. #7000 Dry 14-18
Thread: Serafil 200  
Rib: tag end of thread 
Abdomen: DK Tan dubbing
Palmered hackle: ginger rooster neck.
Wing: 2 hen pheasant wing or neck feathers

1. Start thread at eye, wrap thread base to bend of hook, leave tag end for rib.
2. Dub thread, form tight dubbing noodle, wind forward to form body.
3. Tie in hackle 1 eye length behind eye, palmer front to back.  
4. Trap hackle at bend with the tag end of the thread, wrap through hackle and tie off at eye, clip hackle short on top..
5. Prepare 2 pheasant wing or neck feathers, tied in flat one on top of the other, 1 gap length longer than hook, tied behind eye then folded over to form head and wrapped and whip finished. Varnish head, clipped “^” out of center, bottom hackle.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Knothole Spoon (or taking a break from fly tying today)

Spoon #4 - I finished carving this ash serving spoon today.  No sanding, just a carved finish.

Here are the other tools I used for this spoon.  The Keen Kutter 1 1/2 lb. axe head is one I recently bought off the bay for $20. I reground the edge bevel and made the handle and mask for it.  My spoon knife and Mora carving knife are also included in the photo.

The knot hole worked out perfectly.  It popped out nicely with a little help while carving the bowl.  It will make a nice drain hole for serving cooked veggies...

The spoon is 10 1/2 inches long.  I'm sorry that it's not fly fishing but thanks for checking it out...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Making dubbing 101 a step-by-step by Doug Korn.

Making dubbing from yarn is easy using a coffee grinder.  Buy one just for making dubbing, they are cheap, about $15.  Experiment with different yarns yourself to find the right color, texture and float-ability desired for your fly tying needs.

Today's goal is to make an orange sulphur dubbing for dry flies.

Materials needed.  All you really need is a coffee grinder and some yarn...

I use a 12 inch board to measure my "parts".  

I cut one part of orange yarn and ten parts yellow. 

Then, cut the 11 pieces of yarn in 3/4 inch lengths or "bundles".

Keep the 3/4 inch bundles nicely lined up so that they can be added to the coffee grinder in the proper 1 to 10 ratio.  You will end up with about 15-16 bundles.

Add 3-4 bundles at one time to the grinder.  Turn it on and run it for about 20 seconds.  Grinding times will vary depending on your wool and the volume of yarn in the grinder. 

You should end up with dubbing that looks something like this, with color blending and texture consistent throughout the batch.  Safety Note: always unplug your grinder before putting your hands in it. Repeat the steps above with the remainder of your bundles.

You should end up with some nice orange sulphur dubbing.  Here is the orange sulphur compared to my standard sulphur dubbing.

If you get this - you haven't blended enough.  There is too much material in the grinder.  Remove some and grind some more.  Trial and error is necessary until you get a feel for how much material is too much.  Take notes on your dubbing blends so that you can repeat your recipes when needed.

As you can see here this batch needs a little more blending to be consistent throughout the blend.
Be careful though, too much grinding creates heat and the heat will melt and clump the yarn/dubbing.

I ended up making two batches of orange sulphur dubbing.  Above is the darker of the two.  This was 2 parts orange to 10 parts yellow.

The finished dubbing...  On the left 1 part orange to 10 parts yellow and on the right 2 parts orange to 10 parts yellow.