Tube Flies

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Dave Westburg, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. Dave Westburg

    Dave Westburg Member

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    Spent a couple hours at Thunderbird yesterday. I was fishing a tube fly tied on a 2 inch plastic tube. It seemed to plane upwards in the water. I was worried that it wasn't fishing at the right depth even with a sink tip and a short leader. The plastic tube fly wouldn't touch bottom at all. Switched to a waddington shank and then to a brass tube and ticked bottom occasionally.

    Am curious what types and sizes or tubes people prefer for steelheading.
     
  2. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    You beat me to a post about this subject. In one of my mags., the tube is boomed as the answer to it all. But we are crossing over to the dark side using Kamakatsu hooks with a bait type hook. Yet I am intrigued to say the least. I need to catch more fish (only two so far this year, and both hatchery) and so I am willing to get down in the dirt a bit.

    I like the copper tube idea. And I'm going to tie up a few typical steelhead flies using different lengths of tube. Thought maybe I would use a floater , then a nine foot leader and then tubes progressively longer until I hit bottom.

    If I hang up and break off then I'm going to row number four instead of five.

    Each row is a bit heavier than the last.

    Bob, the Thinking there might be something to this and so I am going for it.
    All my old flies are for sale at $.05. :clown: :clown: :clown: ;) ;) ;)
     
  3. Dave Westburg

    Dave Westburg Member

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    I can cast a one inch brass tube but a two or three inch brass tube overpowers my 13'6' sage. Am going to try aluminum tubes as a slightly less heavy alternative.

    I bought Ken Sawada's book on tube and waddington fly dressing. Some of his patterns are works of art. Am going to take a few pictures of the flies and put them in the gallery one of these days.
     
  4. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    Our own Les Johnson (Sea Run) is one of the fathers of this whole movement which has been going on for some time. It's just new to me. Les has a fine book on the subject and it should be must reading. Besides, Les is just one hell of a guy and a conservationsist and should be supported. 02.

    I'm not going to worry so much about the fly anymore but concentrate instead as to where the fly is in the water column. Either we tick on the bottom or we get jerked and something heavier is tried until we do.

    Bob, the Just call be Bottom Bob (but make no sexual reference here). :eek:
     
  5. Dave Westburg

    Dave Westburg Member

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    Have the Johnson and Mandrell book. It's a great introduction into the subject. Wish they talked about Waddington Shanks more and explored the best way to attach the hook without using a treble. Sometimes I trail the hooks off the back. Sometimes I attach the hook to a small o-ring and cover the hook and o-ring with a soft silicon tube.
     
  6. Rich McCauley

    Rich McCauley Meiser & Mohlin

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    I have been fishing tubes for steelhead since '95 or so. They allow for as large a silhouette as you choose without having to use a large hook. Gammi SC 15’s have been my hook of choice almost from the beginning. You have a small sticky hook, against which and the fish has limited leverage. I generally use the small HMH cut to length plastic tubes. You can add barbell eyes in varying sizes or cones to take them down. Several styles of brass tubs are available. I find the shorter lengths not to my liking and the longer ones unpleasant to bring to the surface for the next cast. I have a short Spey rod to handle this chore, but it gets tiresome.
    Anil at Puget Sound Fly Co (A Site Sponsor) can show you some very cool tube fly designs.
    Rich
     
  7. tailfeather

    tailfeather New Member

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    I may be a bit of a heretic with my methods, but I wanted to fish tube flies deep, and wanted to make them cheaply. I've had great success with some tubing I got from the hardware store for next to nothing. I insert a smaller size tube at the back of the fly to hold the hook. Then I put a very small piece of lead into the tube on the front to make the whole thing sink/swim nice. It works for me. Rob.
     
  8. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    Thank you, Bob Lawless for plugging "Tube Flies" which has been reprinted and is available to anyone with $29.95 plus tax in his jeans. The book only addressed Waddington shanks in passing because it wasn't about Waddington shanks. The only connection between the two is that Richard Waddington worked on his shank flies at about the same time as tubes were being simultaneously designed in London, England and Port Angeles, Washington in 1945.
    For all the information on Waddington shanks find a copy of "Salmon Fishing - A New Philosphy" by Richard Waddington (Charles Scribner and Sons, New York, 1948) It is the original volume on the subject and you will probably have to go a rare book dealer like Gene Fassi in San Rafael, CA, or Adams Angling in Berkeley, CA to get a copy. If you are a student of flies it will be a worthy addition to your library.
    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  9. Dave Westburg

    Dave Westburg Member

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    Les, I've enjoyed Tube Flies and Coastal Cutthroat. Am looking forward to the reprint of the Pacific Salmon Fly Fishing book.

    I bought Waddington on Salmon Fishing from Coch-Y-Bonddu Books after reading of him in Tube Flies. Appendix C of the book is a reprint from Waddington's Salmon Fishing on the merits of Waddington Shank flies.

    Yesterday on the Skykomish, I tried slipping a gold cone over the head of a 2 inch plastic bodied tube fly. It kept the fly from planing and gave extra depth. Much easier to cast than a two inch brass tube.