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Thread: It's a start!

  1. #1

    Default It's a start!

    Some may remember the thread I started recently on flies you consider musts for bass and panfish. Well, be assured I took all suggestions and wrote them down. I picked out a few easy patterns to start tying just to begin with (mostly for simplicity sake and so I did not have to buy a whole lot of supplies all at once.) The least few days I have been hunched over my work bench spinning thread on hooks, and here is what I have to show for it......

    While I know this is a trout pattern, and I can't honestly say I found a need to make it, I did watch David Camiss make this easy pattern and figured it would be a good start since it is so simple. I made 4 of them, 2 olive (one brass wire the other silver) and 2 black (same brass on one, silver thread the other):

    Olive buzzer

    Next up was also super easy and also used only hook and 3 materials (thread, lead free wire and chenille). I am thinking of getting some red bead heads to save a bit of thread wrapping and to make a cleaner looking head :

    Green weenie

    From there it was on to an even simpler pattern than the weenie, the san juan worm. I did one in red and one brown. I know they usually are done on curved (scud?) hooks, but this is what I had to work with for right now:

    San Juan Worm

    From here it was time to start working with foam. I will admit that it took some getting used to cinching 1/4" wide foam onto a hook, but I think I have the knack of it now, and with zap-a-gap the bodies seem durable and should remain in place on the shank. I started with a couple foam beetles:

    Foam beetles

    Next up, yet more foam fun. This time it was on to Chernobyl Ants. This is the last one I made (so far). My first attempt I found I had uneven body segments. As I was starting this one it dawned on me....take a pencil and just make a small mark where to tie body segments. As you can see the result was even body segments:

    Chernobyl ant

    And last up a couple of gurglers. I have made about 6 so far, but the first 4 were pretty rough looking. But I think I have got the gist of how best to work this pattern. Here I used deer hair, chart. flashabou and crystal flash in the tails, chenille for the bodies, and on the last one a sharpie for a little added flair :

    Blue/Chart. gurgler and Bee gurgler.

    All in all it has been a good learning experience so far. I must say Youtube is a godsend! I also was amazed to find out I have a fully stocked fly shop ten minutes away, Stone River Outfitters in Bedford, NH. I stopped in today to pick a few things up and was amazed at the sheer volume of materials they carry. So now I have a local place to get just about anything i need in materials. So stay tuned for more "Beginner tying fun."

  2. #2

    Default Re: It's a start!

    Very good work, clean and symmetrical. You are well on your way and better to start with the easy stuff while your fingers adapt to nimble work.

    I was going fly fishing until my wife suggested it, now I can't tell who is outsmarting who!

    Being "one with nature" requires a knowledge of what animals are living nearby and a weapon of sufficient magnitude to give you at minimum an equal chance of survival. No one has an invisible aura that animals can detect and sense your good intentions.

  3. #3

    Default Re: It's a start!

    Thanks! I will admit to being the kind of personality that likes to "run before you walk". But this time I figured that that attitude would work against no size 22 spinner or tricos just yet for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: It's a start!

    Brian: Congrats on the great looking flies!

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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Schodack, NY

    Default Re: It's a start!

    Those look great. My first attempts with foam were...sad, to say the least.
    Wooly buggers are another easy tie using materials you already have as well. I've landed numerous smaller bass and panfish on them. I also caught my first trout on a wooly bugger I tied. Satisfaction!


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  8. #6

    Default Re: It's a start!

    Hi Brian.
    A Good Name,sounds Familiar,I like your Ants,as well as The Others as I Tie some of My Ants Similiar With either Palmered Hen Hacle or Crystal Flash for Legs & Chenille Bodies.

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  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    St. Louis, MO

    Default Re: It's a start!

    Those should catch fish no problem!!
    "When you do things right, people wont be sure you've done anything at all."

    Storm Drain Bonefisher

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  12. #8

    Default Re: It's a start!

    Chris, wooly buggers are indeed on the list of stuff to try at some point. I actually bought a bunch of pre tied, bead head wooly buggers a couple years ago, but since I moved to a 5 weight, and the wooly buggers I bought, I believe, are in the size 2 range and heavy as sin I don't think I will be able to cast them very far. So I will be making up more appropriately sized ones.

    Brian, I like that idea of using crystal flash in place of the rubber legs. I will admit it is a MAJOR pain in the a$$ trying to whip finish around those darn rubber legs.....

  13. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    middle Tennessee

    Default Re: It's a start!

    Tie some beetles just as you have done but before you tie down the head put a nice sized drop of Zap a gap on the bottom and put a couple of rubber legs in an X pattern on the bottom and then tie down the head. Bass and Bluegill both like rubber legs. I tie them on a #10 and 12 and 14 hook. I only use the small ones when the bluegill are short strikeing the #10. On the size 10 and smaller you may not want the foam quite so wide and the chenile is not required either. I do all my spiders in yellow. Mostly so I can see them better and the fish don't seem to mind.

    If you have trouble doing the whip finish you can make a small ring out of wire to slide over the body to hole the legs back out of the way. A lot of times I just use 3 or 4 half hitches and then a drop of SH. It has been several years since I have had one come untied because of half hitches done this way. A whip finish is better but not required. A good whip finish does not require any SH but most do it anyway.

    You can also make small foam popper bodies out of the 2mm craft foam. Use a hand held paper hole punch and punch 3 holes. Take the disks and put some CV or zap a gap on them to glue together into a small cylinder. Cut a slot in the cylinder and CV onto a size 12 hook and wa have a popper. ...Cheap and a good fish getter. Bass will also hit these small poppers.

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  15. #10

    Default Re: It's a start!

    Hey Ditz, those are some great suggestions, especially the one about making popper heads. That is a very nifty idea, and is now on the short list of stuff to try (planned on making some poppers at some point soon).

    So I toyed with a couple more the last couple days. First is nothing too special, just a basic adaptation of the Chernobyl Ant I saw that used deer hair wing and some knots tied in the rear legs to make a Chernobyl hopper. In this example I tied body segments gradually getting smaller to the front....not sure why since I know the fish won't notice, but it looked neat to me. Oh, and as you can tell I went for all out vibrant. I call this one the Fire Chernobyl Hopper:

    Fire Chernobyl Hopper

    Ain't going to have a problem seeing THIS on the water.

    The other new tie came from a Youtube video I happened on while watching a bunch of other fly tie videos. This one the person doing the tying calls it "Bluegill Candy":

    Bluegill Candy

    I did mess up a bit in that I was supposed to be sparse on the wraps the legs are tied into on the first go (because of the fact that when it came time to tie in the legs it would bulk up more). Not a functionality issue, just a "looks" issue. Lesson learned for the next time around......

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