antelope

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by colton rogers, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. colton rogers

    colton rogers wishin' i was fishin'

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    i went to the taxidermist and got some patches of antelope hide some is really white and some is tan, i have a lot and im wondering if anyone has used this for any flies? antelope hair is hollow and brittle, it also flares a lot. i have 2 patches about 6x8 so ide like to put it to good use
     
  2. Big E

    Big E Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep...use it quite often. Its very bouyant. You can flare it or not, just depends on your thread control and tension. You can use it much like you do with deer and elk. Mostly I use it as winging material on dries, hoppers, dahlberg divers, small serendipities, etc.
     
  3. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    I like to use it for callibaetis cripples (chopaka emergers) - it floats better than elk hair, but it breaks easily, as mentioned is brittle, so a good tuft to start with will allow for a good number of fish chewing on it before it's toast.
     
  4. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    As most of the above posters have pointed out antelope hair is very brittle. I had quite a bit of it, given to me by by a hunter friend, but finally gave up using it because of its fragility. I don't mean to blow my own horn but I have an article on Callibaetis mayflies in the spring issue of Flyfishing & Tying Journal, including a description of Chopaka Emerger. I've tried to popularize this fly for quite a few years. It was shown to me by a friend a long time ago who claimed to have gotten it from an "old timer" at Chopaka years before, which is why I call it the Chopaka Emerger. Over the years I've modified it quite a bit from the original and, I think, improved it somewhat. I always use well-marked coastal deer hair for the thorax/wing.
     
  5. colton rogers

    colton rogers wishin' i was fishin'

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    i think you mean "I don't mean to toot my own horn", but whatever:)
     
  6. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Preston, it's a great fly. The lack of a hackle and its vertical presentation is perfect. I've had birds zoom over and pick it up and drop it a couple feet away, only to catch a fish there once... hehe. Looks right. I use three little elkhair fibers in the emerging tail, but add about 1/2 a puff of tan cdc to give it some shucky goodness down there. I'll have to look into getting a good little patch of deer hair, don't think I have anything that would work for it.
     
  7. pittendrigh

    pittendrigh Active Member

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  8. pittendrigh

    pittendrigh Active Member

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  9. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Actually, one of the first modifications I made to the Chopaka Emerger pattern years ago was to tie it so that it floats horizontally. It's been my observation that most Callibaetis nymphs lie horizontally on the surface while emerging from their nymphal shucks and I've found that this configuration seems to be more attractive to the fish as well as being a little easier to see. Without weighting the abdomen with a few turns of wire, I don't think the shank of the hook tends to sink and, while the pattern as originally shown to me had a wire rib, that was one of the first things I omitted.

    Sorry to have strayed so far from the original intent of the thread.
     

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  10. colton rogers

    colton rogers wishin' i was fishin'

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    i dont care where the thread goes i like to read what yall have to say
     
  11. tkww

    tkww Member

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    So has the spring issue of Flyfishing and Tying Journal shipped.... Haven't seen mine yet. :-( I look forward to reading the article.

    As for the OP...I eventually stopped using it, due to brittleness, and propensity to flair so easily, which is rarely what I want.
     
  12. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    D'oh, I lied... I've been using caribou on chopaka emergers, not antelope. It, too, is pretty brittle but has nice kink to it and floats great.

    Since we're already off on a slight tangent...

    Preston, I read a bunch of articles some time ago about the vertical rise of callibaetis nymphs into the film, and I think saw some photos of the same. Not like that disputes your observations, of course, but makes me wonder if there is just a good deal of variation in how they present in the film. This one works well enough for me though, and as we all know that's what counts. I can see how the dubbed body would help it stay horizontal. I went to a biot body so it would sink up to the wing and present vertically, and added the cdc puff shuck plus a little hareline dub plucked for the emerging legs. Thanks for sharing!

    Edit: here's a pic - the wings aren't out yet, so it would make sense to me that as the wings emerge there would be more tension pulling the body up into the film.
    [​IMG]
     

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  13. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Could be, but most of the ones I've observed at Chopaka, Lenice and elsewhere seem to haul themselves out and onto the surface before the nymphal cuticle splits and the head and thorax begin to push out. In hot, dry weather this can apparently be accomplished in a matter of seconds and the dun can be airborne almost as soon as the emerger appears on the surface, during an emergence in such weather, the fish seem to be more likely to concentrate on ascending nymphs; apparently realizing that the emerging duns represent a very fleeting target. In colder, and particularly drizzly or downright rainy conditions, it may take a minute or even longer for the dun to get his wings disentangled and erect, representing an easy, stable and tempting target. The Chopaka Emerger will sometimes, but not always, out of preference to a dun imitation and I've often fished it from the beginning of a hatch until there was nothing left on the water but a sparse scattering of duns. Here are my nymph, spent spinner and dun imitations.
     

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  14. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Could be, but most of the ones I've observed at Chopaka, Lenice and elsewhere seem to haul themselves out and onto the surface before the nymphal cuticle splits and the head and thorax begin to push out. In hot, dry weather this can apparently be accomplished in a matter of seconds and the dun can be airborne almost as soon as the emerger appears on the surface, during an emergence in such weather, the fish seem to be more likely to concentrate on ascending nymphs; apparently realizing that the emerging duns represent a very fleeting target. In colder, and particularly drizzly or downright rainy conditions, it may take a minute or even longer for the dun to get his wings disentangled and erect, representing an easy, stable and tempting target. The Chopaka Emerger will sometimes, but not always, out of preference to a dun imitation and I've often fished it from the beginning of a hatch until there was nothing left on the water but a sparse scattering of duns. Here are my nymph and dun imitations and even a spinner.
     
  15. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Great stuff as always Preston. The guinea (?) on the leading edge of the spinner wing is dead on :thumb:... clearly have eyeballed your share of callibaetis. I got lazy a couple years ago and quit dressing the edge of the wing, used something similar a few years ago I think some gray partridge, but now just mix a tiny bit of uv sparkle into my antron wing material and call it good. Thanks again... gonna have to tie me a few of those nymphs, it's not too far off til we can catch some desert lake hogs again.
    :beer2:
     
  16. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Actually a couple of sprigs of teal and I don't think they matter a damn to the fish. It's just for a little classier look. The color variations of Callibaetis are pretty wide; Chopaka bugs are much darker, for instance, than those at Lenice. Instead of whitish with dark brown spotted wings as at Chopaka, Lenice duns have brownish-gray spots on a cream-colored background. The spinners differ even more. Chopaka spinners have hyaline wings with a light speckling on the leading edge and Lenice spinners have a solid, yellowish-tan colored band on the leading edge. I had to go to Taxon and Dave Hughes to get a definite identification on that one. Here are pictures of a male spinner (Chopaka), dun (Chopaka) and a female spinner (Lenice). I've got a good picture of a Chopaka-style spent spinner somewhere but I can't find it; I've really got to organize my pictures one of these days.
     

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  17. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Great shots. Wow, the chopaka dun is really dark, they are just as you described re Lenice at the desert lakes that I've fished.

    I have not fished Chopaka (I know, I know...) but Lenice spinners, and spinners at other locations I've fished, usually have the tan leading edge. I'm sure I have also seen a few with a thin band of speckle there, which is why I used the partridge for a while. I love callibaetis, could talk about this all day... so... at Lenice have you also observed male spinners with the tan band as well?

    For a little while there I experimented with a fine strip of tan foam on the leading edge of the wing to aid flotation as well as approximate that tan band, but that was when I was tying biot bodies on spinners and have flotation issues as a result... hehe - many iterations of these flies. These days I tie the spinner with a body dubbed much like yours - I just like the look of biot and like tying with it so I had to try it for a while.

    Damn, see what you went and did? Now I'm getting all excited to go throw leeches, damsels, midge emergers and callibaetis! :D
     
  18. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    No, I don't think I've ever seen a spinner at Chopaka with the tan band, they all seem to have just a few dark speckles at the front of an otherwise clear, glassy wing. Male spinners are rarely seen on the water since, once they mate, they fly ashore and die or are eaten by birds, predacious insects, etc. I had almost convinced myself that the Lenice spinners were some other species and that's why I had to seek some expert assistance.

    Here are some pictures of: a Callibaetis nymph (courtesy of Dave Hughes), a female spent spinnner (ditto), a male spinner from Chopaka (note the large turbinate eyes, typical of the male) and, since you mentioned it, a leech that I netted out of Vogler Lake.
     

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