Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fly Tyin' Times - Using Peacock Herl In A Dubbing Loop

As anyone who has spent much time fly fishing for whatever species they want, and particularly if you are a fly tyer also, then you probably are very aware of the fish catching quality of Peacock Herl.

You know this stuff: Found in most all fly shops, mail order fly tying suppliers, craft shops etc.
The color, the iridescence, the sleekness, whatever it is, Peacock Herl has "IT".  Now for as long as Peacock Herl has been used, those that tie much with it can tell you that while it makes some beautiful bodies and other fine effects on a fly pattern, it is not the most durable material to tie with and expect it to hold up.  What to do to make it more durable......... That is the question?

Now some tie with it as it is and put with the fact that if you catch a fish it is quite possible you may have to replace your fly also!  Others have gone away from using Peacock Herl for bodies and gone to dubbing their bodies on flies with Peacock look alike dubbing.  I have done that and really like this:
However, some time ago, I learned that traditional Peacock Herl could be used in a dubbing loop made of wire for strength purposes, twisted into a rope and then wrapped on body style.  This reinforced Peacock Herl body works wonderfully and holds up better when fish are feeding  and looks amazing durable.  Plus, you get the real thing on the body of your fly.....

Here is a picture of a fly that I just tied this morning that uses the Peacock Herl in a dubbed wire body rope.  Now this is an old traditional Wet Fly (some call them Soft Hackles, I do).  Panfish, and particularly, Bluegill love this little pattern.  Rest assured you can exercise lots of flexibility with this fly.  Example: Peacock Herl in a wire loop is optional, Red Tag for the tale can be left off (Why, Bluegill love Red somewhere on a fly), and finally, your choice of hackle for the front can be of your preference. (In this case, I used Dyed Partridge in a Yellow Olive color.)
  • Hook - I use a 2457 Tiemco style scud hook size 10
  • Thread - Black 6/0 your preference
  • Tail - Just a tag end of Red Yarn
  • Body - Fine Gold Wire tied in as a dubbing loop
  • Body 2 - I use at least 6 strands of Peacock Herl.  More if you want a bigger body
  • Hackle - Dyed Partridge (Again, color is of your choice)
  • Remember, you can double click on the picture to get a better view.
Now for a few tips in tying the Red Tag Soft Hackle................................................................
 
  • Begin by applying your thread to the hook and bring it back to the point on the fly straight up from the barb. 
  • Tie in a short piece of Red Yarn at this point.  Not too long and serves as an attractor color to get the fish's interest.
  • Next take a fairly long piece of Fine Gold Wire and fold it in half and tie it in like you would a dubbing loop.
  • Then take at least 6 strands of Peacock Herl and tie them in so that you have your wire loop and Peacock Herl laying next to each other.
  • ***Key Part here - Make sure your wire dubbing loop is open and ready to work with.  Take your Peacock Herl and bring it down along side one side of the loop.  Take the Peacock Herl and begin wrapping it around one side of the loop only.  Keep twisting until the loop on that side is totally wrapped with Peacock Herl.  Then insert your dubbing loop twister into your loop  which should tighten your loop for you.  Then twist the dubbing loop tool until the Peacock Herl is twisted into what looks like a chenille rope.  Wrap the Peacock Herl forward leaving enough space at front of the fly to tie in your hackle.  Tie off dubbing loop and clip any excess left.
  • Hackle - Tie in your Soft Hackle feather by the tip and make (3) full turns around the hook (one in front of the other) sweeping them back each turn in wet fly style.
  • Whip Finish Knot - Go Fishin'
If you have any additional questions on this pattern don't hesitate to jump right in the conversation and leave a comment.
 
 




Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fly Tyin' Times - A "BG Special"

In interacting with other fly tyer's over on a couple of Facebook Fly Tying Groups I participate in, I was asked to share my pattern recipe for one of my very favorite Bluegill nymphs.  Thus, I will share here my tying technique for the "BG Special".



But, first I would like to just make note here of a few fly tying facts.  In fly tying, there are really very few original patterns anymore.  With the popularity of fly tying being what it is nowadays, just about every known material for fly tying known to mankind has been used and fly patterns created with such materials.  When we think of something new to tie, and, have not seen it in existence before does not mean it is really an original.  We would like to think so, but, many great fly tyers have gone before us to lead the path to where we are here in 2017.  Anyway, original ideas are hard to come by.  Let that be true about the "BG Special"

The thought for the "BG Special" came from a standard lake pattern that is famous here in the West and Northwestern part of our country.  That being the Sheep Creek Special!
 For many years, this fly has been a great producer of Trout in our Reservoirs, Lakes, etc.  I must give due credit here to the gentleman who created this original pattern. (The late George Biggs of Twin Falls, Idaho, area).  Many, many years ago, might I add.... I fished this pattern quite often in my float tubing efforts and had great success.  Now, this pattern alone as it is, would be a great fly for fishing for Panfish also.

But, you know how us fly tyer's are.... We just got to tinker while we are at the vise.  A while back I decided that I wanted to use this fly and embellish it a lit for use with my collection of nymphs for fishing for Bluegill, etc.  So, I set out to do just that.  We all know that Bluegill love Rubber Legs and action from a fly.  So I enhanced the fly by adding a Rubber Leg tail and a Rubber Leg hackle for movement.  Result: dynamite success on the local ponds here in Northern Colorado.  Bluegill, Bass, and, Trout have all taken to the Rubber Legged pattern.  I always carry this pattern in my Panfish box and have several  on hand for other anglers or in case the fish have worn it out!  So, let's tie a "BG Special"




Bead: 5/32 oz metal bead (Gold or Silver)
Hook: I use a 3xlong Nymph hook - Your preference to maker.
Thread: Black Ultra Thread 70
Tail: Rubber Legs your choice - I used a Brown and Olive Silly Leg
Rear Hackle: I use an oversized Dry fly quality Brown Neck Hackle
Body: Peacock colored Krystal Chenille 
Downwing - Mallard Flank Fibers
Front Hackle: Same Rubber Leg material folded back over body to represent legs.
***Double click on picture to give a larger view....

A few tips to help you in tying the "BG Special" 

  • Tail - Use a fairly long piece of Rubber Leg material,  Fold it in half and tie the looped end in at rear of hook.  Do not trim the remainder of your legs as they will serve as your front hackle also.  Cut the loop evenly at rear of hook creating a "V" shaped tail.  My tail is noticeable on the fly, but, not too long.  Hold the remainder of the Rubber Leg material down the top shank of the hook and tie it down by spiraling thread up to bead area. Again, do not trim the Rubber Legs yet!
  •  
  • Hackle - Remember to choose an oversized hackle, tie it in straight up from barb of hook and make (3) complete wraps with hackle and then trim off.
  •  
  • Body - Tie in Krystal Chenille next and wrap forward to a space just behind the bead area.  Leave a small area to tie in the downwing and forward hackle.....
  •  
  • Downwing: Mallard flank fibers (At least 10 or so fibers) tied downwing.  Size so that the wing does not extend beyond the hackle, slightly less than that.
  •  
  • Front Hackle: To finish the fly fold the Rubber Leg material back over the fly and tie down so that it lays to the sides of the fly.  Make several thread wraps to insure that the Rubber Legs do extend backwards.
  •  
Whip Finish and have fun!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Fly Tyin' - A "Golden Retriever"..........

A few evenings ago, while I was reading the new posts on a Facebook Fly Fishing Group that I participate in, a question came about if anyone had heard of a Golden Retriever fly pattern.  I quickly offered up a pattern that I have been tying for awhile with just that name.......... Now, I did not create this pattern, but, I have had it in my Panfish, Bass, and Trout fly boxes for awhile now.  I am not sure where I came across this fly pattern, but, that is not relevant here.  What is relevant is that this fly is one of my go too Streamer patterns for fishing the ponds and lakes in Northern Colorado.  So I thought I would write this post and share some love of the Golden Retriever!

Tyin' A Golden Retriever
***As always on my blog, please double click on the picture if you want to see a larger version.
 
So, let's tie a Golden Retriever - Sorry no video, but as always, a material description.
 

Hook: I use a 3xlong Nymph style hook.  I prefer a size #10 for mine, but, tying them in a size 12 or 14 would certainly be O.K. for smaller baitfish imitation.
 
Thread: Any bright Red thread would work as it is used for the underbody on the fly also.  I use a heavier Ultra Thread (280) size in Red.  I do this so that it takes less time to build up an underbody than using the smaller 8/0 size threads.  The Ultra Thread (280) almost seems to be Floss size.  I tie the fly using that size thread for the entire fly from start to finish.
 
Bead Head: I use a Gold Bead size 5/32 0z   De-barb your hook to begin with and slide Bead to head of fly.
 
Body: Red Thread as mentioned above.  Tie the thread in place behind the bead and built up a small ball of thread just behind the bead to hold the bead in place.  Wrap thread down to point on hook where you are straight up from barb spot of the hook.
 
Tail: Tan colored Marabou.  Your pinch of Marabou for the tail should be approximately the length of the hook shank.  Tie it in directly above the barb spot on the hook.
 
Body of Fly:  Estaz Chenille ( Peach).  Next tie in your Estaz directly above the barb spot at the same place where you tied in your Marabou.  Now, take the thread and begin to build up an underbody with the thread.  Go back and forth down the shank of the hook until you have a nice even body thread underbody.  Make sure your thread is at the front of the fly just behind the bead when your done with it.  Now begin wrapping the Estaz chenille forward leaving a small gap between each wrap of chenille so that the red underbody shows through.  Bring the chenille forward to the point just in back of the bead where you will tie it off with red thread.  After the chenille is tied off, make a few more wraps of the red thread to snug it up against the bead.
 
Finish:  Tie a whip finish knot and add a drop of head cement on red thread to secure the tie.
 
After you tie a couple of these, you will become very comfortable tying this quick and easy fly to add to your Panfish Box and Bass Boxes.  For the Trout angler, don't forget to fish these also.  They can be a hot pattern at any time.  For Bluegill, or Bass, I like to fish them early and late in the day and like them best in the early season and then again in the Fall of the year before ice set in here in Colorado.
 
Tie some up and let me know how you do.  Leave a question in comment form if you have one...
 
 
 
 
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