Charlie Craven of Charlie’s Fly Box in Colorado has begun a YouTube channel showing how to tie some of his favorite patterns. Charlie is an excellent fly tier, so these fly tying videos will be good.
“The X-Caddis comes from Yellowstone fishing guru Craig Matthews. Craig is the guy who brought us the Sparkle Dun and a host of other effective patterns, trademarked by their simplicity. The X-Caddis is no exception, and can be whipped out by the dozens! I like the X-Caddis in smaller sizes, from 18-24, although it certainly holds its own in bigger sizes as well. It imitates a caddis with the shuck still attached, but I think its general profile can match many different insects in various stages of emergence..in other words, it just looks like food! Tie some up and see what you think.”
Hook: #14-24 TMC 100 SPBL
Thread: White GSP 50-Denier
Shuck: Ginger or Amber Zelon
Body: Brown or Olive Superfine Dubbing
Wing: Natural Deer Hair
The new issue of Tail Fly Fishing Magzine is now out! This is the only saltwater fly fishing magazine I know of and it is a quality publication. They recently went to a print version of the magazine, but still offer a digital subscription as well. It’s definitely worth the subscription, because they pack a lot of cool stuff into this mag. So be sure to check it out!
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A few years ago I heard some of the guys talking about a still water fly. The name made me chuckle as I thought it was someone’s idea of a gag fly. Not so, when I started doing a little more research into this fly, I was surprised as its legitimate and successful use.
“The HMG Hydropsyche Variant is a variation of Herman deGala’s Hydropsyche pattern. Herman is my idol and his attention to detail is exceptional! I took some liberties with his pattern and in so doing reduced the number of steps, the use of a UV product and substituted ostrich for peacock. This is such an easy fly to tie especially when using the HMG Fly Systems hot melt glue process. EASIER, CHEAPER, DURABLE, MORE REALISTIC. See recipe below, more HMG patterns at www.hmgflysystems.com.”
Hook…………………TMC 400T size 14
Thread……………….Veevus 12/0 white
Body…………………Ostrich herl (wet, comb downward)
Legs…………………Ostrich herl (wet, comb downward)
Shell back…………..HMG hot melt glue
Head…………………HMG hot melt glue
Eyes………………….HMG hot melt glue
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“I give a step by step instruction on tying the Fuzz Jr. which is a single hook suggestive baitfish imitation. The fly is designed to target Bass and Trout but can be used to target a much larger range of species. The fly is easily cast on a 6 wt. and is designed for sink tip and full sinking lines, however the incorporation of weight to the fly for floating line scenarios is applicable.”
Ahrex Hooks Trout Predator sz. 1
Tail: Barred Ostrich Plumes – White
Foul Guard: FlymenFishingCo Faux Bucktail – White
Flash: Hedron’s Accent Flash – White
Body: EP Foxy Brush 3″ and EP Sparkle Brush 3″ – White and Holo Silver respectively
Head: Hedron’s Strung Fuzzy Fiber – Grey
Overwing: Peacock Herl – 10 fibers
Eyes: Hareline’s Real Fake JC in Chartreuse – sz. small
SmithFly is an interesting company because they carry interesting products. Besides their custom made packs and pouches, there is the Big Shoals Raft that has really made a splash in the last year or so, since its release.
Guides have been turned on to this raft because of its small profile and light weight, which allows them to get to skinnier water. What’s different about this raft, than others on the market? Well, read on and find out!
Owner, Ethan Smith, says, “The next batch is due in here in the first week of September and batches usually sell out. I have some boats left, but they sell quickly. So if someone wants one before November or December, this batch is the one to get in on for fall fishing.”
Please contact Ethan Smith at SmithFly if you are interested in purchasing a Big Shoals Raft for yourself.
The Big Shoals raft is one of the few rafts on the market that gets three people on the skinny water and weighs in at less than 150 pounds and fits in the back of a pick up or on top of a car or SUV.
What makes our raft different and so unique?
1. Gets three people on the water
2. Dry weight of raft is 120 pounds
3. 13′-6″ Length
4. 4′-6″ width
5. One piece rigid frame
6. Dierks drift boat anchor system
7. 5 position hinged front casting brace / lean bar
The base package consists of:
• 4 chambered Raft body 15″ tube diameter (Summit valves)
• Rigid inflatable self bailing floor with dense foam pad
• Rowing Frame and oar locks
• Padded Draining Rowers Seat
• Two Swivel Fishing Seats – Fore and Aft
• Dierks Anchor system
• Frame Tie down kit
• 8′ One piece Rope Wrap Sawyer SST Oars
• Raft body carrying pack
• Dual action foot pump
• Patch kit
Shipping to all lower 48 states except Oregon and Washington is included in the $3499 price. For shipping to Oregon and Washington please contact us.
Upgrade Options: • Multi-Piece Take Down Frame Option $249
• 20 Pound Spiked Drift Boat anchor and 50′ rope $120
• 35 Qt Yeti in Front Seat position $349
• 45 Qt Yeti Front Seat position $399
• Rod Rack holders – 2 3 and 4 place – $350
Casting Brace Demo
There are a number of similar light weight rafts on the market currently but we have solved some of the primary pain points that have prevented guides and fly industry pro’s from making the leap into the light weight rafts, the biggest being the ability to seat three large people. This opens this raft up to a number of people who haven’t traditionally been able to justify a light weight raft.
Second is the frame and anchor system. Our frame is one piece. We are not selling this as a pack raft at this point. Our frame is simple solid one piece design. This is a frame that will take years of abuse and will not squeak and get rickety over the years. Shipping is a pain and transportation is not as compact as a take down raft but trailers and trucks are part of the gig for most fly fisherman. So we chose durability over portability. That isn’t to say that there is no place for a portable packable raft, for some people that is important, but for us the rigid welded aluminum tube frame is important.
The anchor system is a standard Dierks aluminum side pull drift boat style anchor system. We recommend a twenty pound drift anchor and the anchor is not included with the package.
The frames are built in batches. We open and close ordering windows a few times a year. Production is not limited right now but demand has been swift enough that we are a month or two out on delivery.
Aft casting brace is welded in place behind rowers seat. Bow casting brace is a five position adjustable that lays flat when not in use to allow for seated fishing or just sitting back taking it in in the bow of the boat.
This is the perfect third boat to add to a guide or lodge fleet. Most guides and lodges have a rigid drift boats and big rafts. The Big Shoals is the perfect light weight raft to guide customers on when flows get skinny in the later summer and those other boats get to drafty and heavy. Even western rivers that traditionally run drift boats get skinny that time of year. Having one of these ultralight weight raft makes portages and log jams so much easier.
This is an exciting time for SmithFly and I hope you are as excited about this raft as we are.
Extremely quick and easy to tie with only one CdC hackle, the IOBO ( It Ought to Be Outlawed ) emerger is a must have pattern and should be found in every trout and grayling fishermans fly box.
This pattern was originated by Jack Tucker in the 1970s.
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