Opinions wanted: Foam flies

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by David Holmes, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. David Holmes

    David Holmes Formerly known as "capmblade"

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    A fly fisherman husband can be hard to shop for. When my wife got me the book "Tying Foam Flies" by Morris I'm pretty sure she was just trying to get me something she knew I didn't already have.

    I've never cast a foam fly, much less tied one. They seem a little ugly to me.

    Are foam flies *the new black*? The hot new thing? A passing fancy? Or a tool to whip out at the right opportunity?
     
  2. Jeremy Husby

    Jeremy Husby Is there a Vahalla for fishermen?

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    I use foam in most of my trout flies, but I try to not over do it. I believe that it is here to stay, like some materials foam can be use in many way beside a huge hunk of floating fly. I use it as a thorax because after a light sanding it collects air bubbles and it gives dries a little more float. Some of the hopper and ant patterns I see I think going a little to far but thats fine as long as you have confidence in what your using. Foam is one of those thing that borders in fly tying but I think when dressed properly and and fished right it is a definite tool to use.

    here is a example of how I use foam:
    http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/board/attachment.php?attachmentid=813
     
  3. Trevor

    Trevor New Member

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    Using foam flies is another great thing to add to your box. A Chernobyl Ant is arguably one of the best terrestrial patterns out there and one that I try not to be without on a trout stream in the summer. I have also seen some great hopper bugs that were made of foam.

    Like all different techniques, it's just something that after you play around with you can find interesting ways to add to your own creations. It may not be the end all, be all, but it is something that can make great flies that are effective on the water.

    Trevor
     
  4. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't say they're new. I've seen them for quite a few years. I just think like most things, they're hitting mainstream. Was a bit more quiet.

    I've seen some pretty cool things with foam. Have seem on floating flies (like wogs) a layer of thin foam for the back to add as "floatation". So that way you didn't have to retire a fly for a bit that had soaked up too much water and wasn't releasing water on the cast.

    If you do get into tying with foam. Go to the craft stores. You can buy similar stuff at a fraction of the cost. In multiple colors too.
     
  5. David Holmes

    David Holmes Formerly known as "capmblade"

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    I like that idea. Do you glue it on or tie it on?
     
  6. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    You tie it in actually. You do the marabou tail like normal. Then tie in the back piece of foam (cut to size already). Then spin the deer hair body and trim to size. Once you're done trimming pull the foam forward and cinch down with thread. Do a couple half hitches and call it quits.
     
  7. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    There is a mouse like pattern, called the "Life Jacket", that is a combination of hair stacked on a hook, hanging off of the sides, a little trailing, and a foam back folded over the shank from back to front, folded standing front, so it has an integral front collar to plow the wake, very effective.

    I like the foam flies. Sometimes they dont last, but that's a good thing in my book, means Im catching!
     
  8. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    You asked for opinions. Here's mine, plus some other stuff thrown in for good measure.
    We all have our self-prescribed parameters and hopefully we apply them only to ourselves. Clearly, you are intrigued by the possibilities of foam. So have at it, any way you see fit and have fun with it. Tie em, fish em, decorate your tree with them. In fact, if you take a fat gummy minnow, one of the ones with lots of glitter mixed in and you position it just right, in front of a colored christmas tree light you can create... oh, never mind.

    Currently I see foam flies for fishing as just one step away from jelly worms, gummy minnows and jelly eggs.

    There is really nothing new about foam flies. They were around when I was a kid learning to fish forty some years ago. The foam was a little different, more like rubber with air bubbles. They had foam bodies and/or rubber legs, some had feathers or hair glued or tyed on them. So if it's a passing fancy it sure is taking a long time to pass.

    For now, I have a full pallet with just feathers and fur (natural and synthetic), but who knows maybe some day I will look at those things and say, “Wow, wouldn’t it be cool if I took one of those and...”

    TC
     
  9. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

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    I got schooled by one of skip Morris's big orange foam stones. I was fishing with a guy on very much my home water, we were doing O.K. with the standard patterns I fish for this hatch and this guy puts on this big orange foam abortion thing from the book you are talking about. It made my patern look sick, it was getting hit 10 or 12 to 1.
     
  10. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    I've been told that chernyobals can be deadly on some desert lakes for rising big trout out of the depths. Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to give this a try on the eastside of the mountains since I heard the news.

    BTW, anyone have a recipe for that Lifejacket fly?
     
  11. Dan Soltau

    Dan Soltau New Member

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    Every one of my hopper patterns is tied using foam. Also, foam ant patterns are deadly as well as beetles. Rainys make an ultra thin foam that makes good nymph and small dry back. Check out www.montanafly.com for some good foam tricks and patterns. It is also a good choice for summer bass and panfish. Good luck1
     
  12. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    For tying a floating fly, using a bouyant material like foam is just good sense. My objection to many foam flies is aesthetic: a piece of cut foam is a little rectangle, while insects are naturally rounded, tubular. Just tying in a slab of foam produces something that looks like Robofly. All that's needed is a little extra work with the scissors, rounding the contours.
     
  13. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Thank God. Yours seem to be getting a bit narrow. First you won't lash a hunk of rabbit hide to a hook. Now you'll only use foam for holiday decorations. :rofl:

    What's next? Just mashed potatoes for dinner every night? :beer2:

    K
     
  14. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    We can't very well have the entire forum filled with folks ready to jump on the latest shiny new bandwagon can we? That would make for a pretty boring community.

    Just say no to foam, jelly eggs and gummy minnows. Oh ya, and rubber legs too.

    P.S. You are treading on some very thin ice there, questioning the virtues of mashed potatoes :) The variations of the basic mashed spud are almost without limit. Much like feathers and fur.

    Mister Mashed Potato
     
  15. orkila

    orkila Member

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    This coming summer when you hike into an alpine lake and want to know if there are any fish in it, forget the copper johns, or parachute adams, or price nymphs, just tie on a small chernobyl ant and cast it out and let it dead drift in the wind. A little chop is extra nice. If you haven't caught anything in 5 or 10 minutes, pack up and move to another lake, the one you are at is barren.

    Orkila