February 29, 2012

February 27, 2012

Show Me The Money


Money Shots
Recall the Money Shot, now available in some new flavors.

Money Shot, Rust
I even indulged myself with adding a little UV Pearl Krystal Flash to the tail like I had fancied earlier.

Money Shot, Olive
Money Shot, KB Orange
I think this fly would do a homeboy proud.

February 21, 2012

PSA #6: Keeping your kids off crack

It's dawned on me that I haven't published a recipe for my infamous Carp Crack pattern. I realize that I could pull a dick move and not disclose the simplicity secret behind this lethal pattern. I could direct you to my online store for some or tell you to go find a fly shop that carries my flies. I'm not gonna be that guy, at least for today. Many of you have asked for it, so here it is.

carp crack
Carp Crack
Hook: Mustad 34007/S71SZ, Size 6
Thread: UNI-thread 6/0, Red
Antennae: Medium Centipede Legs, Hot Orange
Body: Roughfisher's Seal Sub Dub, Burnt Orange
Front Hackle: Ruffed Grouse or Hungarian Partridge, Dark/Brown
Thorax: Roughfisher's Seal Sub Dub, Burnt Orange
Eyes: #8 Bead chain, orange

carp crack
Don't say I've never gave you anything...

February 16, 2012

2012 Swap Flies

2012 Swap Flies
Fruits of the 2012 fly swap hosted by McTage. As you may notice, I am not sporting the full complement of flies as was offered to the participants. Rather, I opted for a handful of tasty looking snacks that should provide some perspective and inspiration behind the bench. No offense should be taken by the other participants, as I already have stashed in my fly bank several of the patterns that were offered up in the swap. I felt it redundant to receive these flies, when others haven't had a chance thumb over and drool on the offerings from John Montana, Kevin Morlock, Wendy Berrell, et al. In addition, due to the popularity of the swap, more participants had signed up than was anticipated. Since only ten flies were required per tyer and there were 22 participants, not everyone was going to receive a fly from each other. Hence, me offering up a Carp Crack to all the tyers participating so nobody had to suffer from crack fever. Also, I hoped that be me not accepting all of my entitlement, a few others could benefit from the gain. Many thanks to McTage for hosting this year's swap. Perhaps the torch shall be passed for 2013.

February 12, 2012

Money Shot

Because sometimes, you only have one chance to make a good first impression...

Money Shot
It's been awhile since I've sat down and fooled around at the vise. Lately, most of my time spent at the tying station has involved filling orders, favors, or the obligatory fly swap. So much for fun time; it's been all business. After tying up a bunch of Carp Cracks for a customer recently, I figured it was about time that I do a little experimenting. I love the simplicity of the Carp Crack, it's profile, and I love the burnt orange color scheme. The carp do too, obviously, since this is my most productive fly, go-to pattern, and my best selling fly. Time to have some fun.

Money Shot
Money Shot
Money Shot:
Hook: Mustad 34007, Size 6
Thread: 6/0 UNI, Red
Tail: Grizzly Marabou, Burnt Orange
Body: Roughfisher's Seal Sub Dub, KB Orange
Hackle: Ruffed Grouse
Legs: MFC Centipede Legs, Hot Orange (Medium)
Thorax: Roughfisher's Seal Sub Dub, KB Orange
Head: #8 Bead Chain, Black

Money Shot
Money Shot
I'm toying with the idea of adding some UV Krystal Flash to the marabou tail. I'm not sure if I want more flash on this fly, or if the spectral dubbed body will provide enough bling. As much as I love a little spice, too much flash can spook weary fish. I might have to do a little field testing to see whether or not it will make a difference. All I know is that this fly has all the makings of a perfect carp fly: A great profile, excellent coloration, a little wiggle, and a near zero splash entry construction. The light weight of the bead chain, the soft hackle and touch dubbed body, and the addition of legs to the thorax will help cushion the entry of this fly. The last thing you want to do is splash a little somethin' somethin' in a carp's eye. Trust me.

February 8, 2012

2012 F3T -- Minneapolis

2012 F3T
Once again, Minneapolis is a stop on the 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour. Swing by the Parkway Theater on Friday, March 9, 2012 to catch the latest and hottest films hitting the fly fishing scene. Plenty of free stuff to be handed out by the show sponsors! Doors open at 6:30PM, show starts at 7:00PM.

The Parkway Theater is located at 4814 Chicago Avenue South, in Minneapolis, MN. Tickets are $15 at the door, but I'd strongly recommend pre-ordering them, as the tour usually draws a full crowd, selling out in over 75% of the venues. Discount tickets can be purchased at the Fly Angler in Fridley for $12.

I'll be representing tour sponsor Scientific Anglers again this year, so be sure to show up early for some free SA swag! The show is only a month away! Don't be left out in the cold, buy your ticket today!

February 6, 2012

Stuff We All Get

Everybody loves SWAG, Stuff We All Get, and fly fisherman are no exception. Go to any consumer or trade show and folks stuff as much as possible into their pockets with the free promo goods from the manufacturers. Hell, I've even seen a few folks sporting packs at shows just to load up on all the booty they can get their grubby little mitts on. I love swag as much as the next guy, but I typically only collect a few things and only from the manufacturers I dig or represent. The hoarders, on the other hand, just take whatever's free.

A box showed up on my doorstep last week, I had a heads up it was coming, but I had no idea what the entire contents were. I knew there were gonna be a few hats and stickers, but I didn't expect the quantity. Or the quality. Survey a bunch of random people at a fly show and you'll find that there is a split consensus as to who calls all this free stuff swag or schwag. I guess both terms are mutually accepted in social circles, but I still think of schwag as an imposter term. Anyone in the know, knows what schwag really means, low-grade marijuana. How the two terms got intertwined I have no idea but I do know that schwag, to put it lightly, is not good. Perhaps that is why schwag got lumped in with swag, because I've seen some of the low grade shit manufacturers (in general, not necessarily in the fly industry) pass off as freebies. Frankly, I'd rather they just skimp out and pass on the free stuff instead of doling out third-rate soft goods that would make me blush in embarrassment if they were mine. So I guess I can see why some folks at these fly shows might opt for the term schwag instead of swag.

beer swag
My goodie box from Scientific Anglers and Ross Reels is definitely in the swag category. I'll be proud to pop any of those lids on my melon, or stickers on my rig to represent the SA/Ross Nation. Of course, my package was privy to a few exclusive extras only issued to Pro Staffers, and they are sick! Oh, and Jefe? I chuckled at your note... Maybe next go round you'll order up some coolies big enough to cover up a few 40 ouncers for us fly gangstas. But just so you know, those coolies cover up the bottom of my Hurricane High Gravities just fine! And that's how I roll.

February 3, 2012

PSA #5: Keep It Simple Stupid

KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. There are flies tied to attract fish. Then there are flies to attract the fly angler. Then there are guide flies. Guide flies abide by the KISS principle, you want something cheap and fast to tie, yet is deadly effective on the water. These flies might not win any beauty pageants but the fish don't care. They just want to eat.

KISS flies
I recently found an old soldier (pictured in the forefront) going through my fly boxes recently. It's an old pattern I came up with a few years ago but kind of forgot about. I suddenly remembered how money this fly was; it had a good weight to it, great profile, and almost no splash when hitting the water. A perfect carp fly. I tried to recall why I never tied anymore of this pattern and then it dawned on me. The reason why I never tied anymore of these flies was because I used up almost all of my test flies one day out on the river. They were that good. The only reason why one fallen soldier lay rest was due to a bent hook point. Of course I tucked this fly away deep in my pack never to resurface until a few days ago.

This is about as easy a pattern to tie as the San Juan Worm. If you can dub a body and palmer hackle you're almost there. Just a size 4 salt hook, 0.30 lead wire wrapped hook shank, dubbed body, ringneck pheasant hackle, dubbed thorax, and bead chain eyes. Simple. The beauty of this pattern is that the pheasant hackle pulses in the water, giving a great profile and movement. In addition, the hackle and dubbed body help cushion and dampen the delivery of this fly on the water, huge when fishing to spooky fish. My favorite body colors of this fly are olive and burnt orange. And there you have it, a KISS guide fly for carp.

A quick note to myself and you folks out there: If you ever have a hot fly out on the water, write it down or record a history of it somewhere. Sometimes, when you're down to your last fly and the evidence is gone, it's easy to forget a killer pattern. Don't be a douche. Don't let my mistake happen to you.

February 2, 2012

Carp Swap Flies

Carp Swap Flies
As you may well know by now, I was asked to participate in a fly swap this winter hosted by McTage over at Fly-Carpin. Twenty-two participants in all, including the likes of Barry Reynolds, Kevin Morlock, Will Rice, John Montana, Pat Cohen, and other carp studs. Hell, Even Third Coast referred to some of us as the carperati. Ha! I like that term, kinda like the music mafia of the carp slayers. Regardless, I may be fashionably late in getting these flies off to McTage, but at least everyone in the swap will get a Carp Crack.

February 1, 2012

Old Man Jack

Hoar frost
Some gold old fashioned winter embellishment, courtesy of Jack Frost.