Swap 05-06 Beginner/Intermediate Anti-Shack Nasty Marathon Fly Swap


Will Fish For Food
Ron Eagle Elk said:
Looking forward to your dries.
Yes, please let me know what you think. I meant to put on the toe tag, but forgot: when you fish this, don't think you need to leave it nice and pretty. Crush a wing, take a lighter to it, whatever floats your boat, because the trout seem to like it as a cripple as much as a dry.

Ron Eagle Elk said:
Terrestrial = Any bug that doesn't live in the water. Hoppers, bees, wasps, beetles, spiders, ants, inchworms, etc. All of which catch fish.
Well, no offense, but I think we should cancel the terrestrial swap. Not because I disagree with the categories ... of course not, they're 100% in line with how flies are normally described ... or because I think we should add a category for scuds and other water bugs ... the swap's long enough already ... but because if my current practice tie works out, nobody else's terrestrials are going to want to be confined in a small box with mine. :rofl:

This will be a good month for making me expand my realism skills ... :beer2:



Will Fish For Food
Ron Eagle Elk said:
Holy cow! Shad is going realistic on us! One of you guys is always trying to make this underachever look bad.
We could have another mini-contest, you know "most realistic" A.K.A. "ooh gross, I'm not touching that", or for the more honest amongst us, "closest resemblence to why I gave up bait fishing." :rofl:

In that contest I'd have to bow out and let my wife take over. She's actually a much better tier than I am. Younger eyes and steadier hands do make a difference. She also likes those realistic flies.



Will Fish For Food
Spiders, scary icky spiders!

Randy Diefert said:
I love her Spider fly! That is awesome!
I'm doing spiders, loosely (and I use the term loosely) from David Martin's article in the Winter 2004 issue of Fly Tyer. Pages 31-35. It's a great article that got me started on realism ... not that I've pursued it very far!

That said, if you have the article, the only two things my pattern has in common are:

1.) they both look like a spider
2.) same hook (#14 light-weight scud hook)
3.) mono legs, bent the same way.

I tried tying a couple the way the article had and while they came out ok, I found the whole thing to be rather finicky. Although the hair legs are scary realistic, what with the taper and all.

Instead, what I'm doing is taking 1/4" round foam, i.e., a cylinder. I melt one end and shape it into a spider's behind ... use a candle and your finger. You'll screw up the first one the rest are easy. Do both ends of the cylinder so you only have to do this every other fly.

I cut a tiny slit into the bottom to help it settle over the hook. This is optional, but if you don't do it, I recommend covering the hook shank with some white silk because otherwise you'll see the hook from below.

Tie the butt end of the foam in at the bend of the hook with no more than a half-dozen wraps. You may find that you can get just a little tail of melted foam at the butt end, which makes tying in a breeze.

Advance the thread underneath the foam, and then tie the foam down with a few wraps where you want the abdomen to start.

Cut the foam off at an angle, i.e., leave as little foam as possible. You don't need much foam to make the abdomen, and while you can tie in all the foam without cutting it back, the extra weight / density makes the front end of the spider sink.

I cut 4 pieces of 15 pound test for legs, and tie them in all at once, with a big figure eight. I then over-wrap each individual leg. The article recommends 20 pound test; I wouldn't go higher than 15, 12 might be better, 10 is probably not too light. It's an issue of realistic size vs. the legs acting as a bite guard. Update: after tying the swap flies with 15 pound test, which looks very good, I tied another one with 10 pound test. I'd stick with 10 pound test for fishing flies, as it doesn't act so much as a bite guard yet still is thick enough to be realistic. However, it's definitely trickier to bend the lighter test ... a very fine line between bending and cutting with the lighter test.

[On larger spiders, you can tie the legs in two at a time, leaving a bit of a gap between each set of legs. But on a size 14, there's not really enough room to do this.]

Bend the legs with a heated bodkin & color. [This step is the only one in common with the article.] Be careful with the bodkin, though: it's really easy to turn your spider into a cripple with a too-hot bodkin. In case you don't have the article, bend the legs up sharply, then two milder bends back down. Bending the legs, surprisingly enough, is the only tricky step of the whole pattern.

Coloring is easy, and lots of fun. If you pick up a very light color, you can use it to blend in other colors, almost even erasing earlier layers if you rub hard enough.

Even though my final tie didn't follow the article very much, I still feel very grateful for having seen the article. I would never have tried a realistic pattern without it, and I am impressed at Martin's ingenuity in having come up with such a simple but realistic tie.

I have my spider down to just over 20 minutes door to door, i.e, with no prep work.

At that speed, I have no problem fishing this pattern ... or tying 15 of them for a swap. :thumb: I did six yesterday, only one of which (the first one after the test pattern, which I didn't count) came out a cripple.

Last detail: some of the letters written to the editor talked about turning the pattern around on the hook, so the tippet would come out of the abdomen, thus looking even more realistic to the fish. I thought this was a neat idea, so I tried it with the test pattern ... which promptly sank. The original pattern is lighter than this one (a plus for the original on landing, a minus on casting since it's pretty wind resistant) and will float either way. But the foam will only float right if it's over the hook.


ps. Ron, my dries just went into the mail. You should get them before the weekend.

pps. A half-dozen very realistic spiders will in fact give you the creeps when they're sitting on your fly tying table. :eek:

VEE ties the same spider with the deer hair body. She had 15 of them on her desk last year and just creeped me out. I went hunting a rolled up newspaper to smash them with.

Dries went out today. Sent a bonus fly out as well since I got done so soon.

The spider flies shouldn't get me too worked up. Hope no one ties any ticks or snakes.:eek:



Will Fish For Food
Wayne Kohan said:
Hope no one ties any ticks or snakes.:eek:
One of the largest rattlesnakes I've ever seen was quite happily
swimming down a prime feeding lane on the Deschutes.

If there's a tick in the box I'll probably just chuck the whole thing
in the fireplace. :) They scare me more than anything, what with
what I now know about all the diseases they carry.


Fishing with the kids
Ok, time to get started on the next round. I am going to try something different to test my skills. I am not promissing anything that will look good, but it should catch fish.

My mailbox overfloweth. Flies arrived from Wayne Kohan, The Shad King and Tom Grobelny. We have another two-fer this month.

Nice flies from all three of you.

Procrastination is my middle name. :thumb:

No, truth be told, I'm just getting into Steelheading and have been enjoying myself with steelhead flies. I wish I could say that I forgot about the dries that were due, but I knew all along the end of the month was coming up fast. :eek: No worries however, I tied half last night, and I'll finish the other half tonight to be mailed out Saturday.


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