This Fall has been an odd one when it comes to the big Walleye. In past years you take a Clouser and cast it across current, count it down to the bottom and start a steady strip. Bang! Big Walleye. This years has not been the same, in fact the standard way to get them has failed miserably. There has been zero daytime bite. In previous Falls, the bite was better in the daytime. When they did start biting at night I added glow in the dark flashabou to the Clousers I tie and was back into the fish. I don't think you can buy glow in the dark Clousers. Reason 1 to tie your own.
This year as in most years, the Emerald Shiners start running the river in the Fall. With the Shiners come the big Walleye. This year however the Shiners are coming in major droves. This is the best Shiner run in years. When the Walleye start feeding though, it has almost all been right on the surface. You can hear them popping Shiners on the surface. This presents a problem to a guy with a box full of glow in the dark Clousers. I could not keep the fly up high enough in the water column and go slow enough to get hits. My Canadian friend Bill could not take it anymore and tried a Rapala to see if it was in fact Walleye. It was. All big. This made me even more frustrated. I started experimenting with fly designs and came up with a few that work, but I think the best one is a version of this:
This is also a glow in the dark fly, having glow in the dark flashabou mixed in the white belly hair. This fly is made in 2 sections. White bucktail with glow flash on the bottom, Black bucktail on top, silver tinsel on the sides tied to the rear of the hook and trimmed of so that when tied down tight it makes a tapered body with a good 1/4" of the front of the hook shank bare. I whip finish it and cut the thread off. I then slip a section of mylar tube over the body all the way to the hook bend. I start the thread back on and tie down the front of the tube. I repaet the sequence on the front 1/4" of the hook. In the final version which does not appear on the pictured fly was to put a bit of Flourescent Yellow Marabou for about 3/4" on the sides of the head, and I changed the eye color to red. The yellow was added after my friend Bill who can be a ted magic marker happy, took a highlighter to the front of an earlier version of the fly. He caught fish. I changed the eye color to red because yellow on yellow, well.... I then use thread to temporarily tie down the front of the body into a good minnow shape put it in the vice head down and stick it up past the eyes in a jar of softex. Put it back level and run an old feather or something through the eye to clean it out. These don't sink much at all, and with short twitchy strips I can keep it up in the top few inches of the water column.
If I didn't tie my own flies, I would not have caught these two fish I got last night.
If that doesn't make the case for tying your own flies......