Category Archives: Poppers

Wasabi Frog

Junior Schraeder joins our fly tying video series with his fast and durable Wasabi Frog: Tie up a bunch of these and throw them into harm’s way.

“The wide profile, light weight, and durability of this fly make it an awesome frog pattern for Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Kentucky Bass.
When casting it, make sure to get it as close to the bank as possible, as this is where it is most likely to get eaten. Try to look for grassy banks, or preferably Lilly Pads to cast to.
Once the fly hits the water, give it a few seconds before popping it, as this gives the fish time to become interested in it. Tight lines and have fun fishing. _ Junior”

Materials
Holschlag’s Chartreuse Blockhead Popper Medium (from Rainy’s)
Hareline Grizzly Barred Rubber Legs Medium Chartreuse Neon Green.
Tiemco TMC8089 size 10
MFC Frog Eyes 8mm (from MFC)
Metz Magnum #1 Neck Grizzly Chartreuse
Danville 210 Denier Waxed Flymaster Plus Chartreuse
Fine Point Sharpie in Black

Buy The Materials Here https://theozarkflyfisher.com/shop/home/

Video produced by Brian Wise: Fly Fishing the Ozarks http://flyfishingtheozarks.com/

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Filed under Foam, Poppers

Gurgler

Tim Cammisa ties a variation of Jack Gartside’s Gurgler in this fly tying video.

From Tim:
“Jack Gartside’s classic Gurgler has caught many fish over the years, and in this video I share a simple variation that has performed well for me, too.”

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Filed under Foam, Poppers

Flies Around the Net – July 2017

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Filed under Catskill, Deer Hair, Dry Fly, Foam, nymphs, Poppers, Streamers, Trout flies

Grayling, Michigan 2017 – FrankenFly


Well, another trip up to Grayling in Northern Michigan is in the books. This trip will definitely be one to remember because I couldn’t have asked for better fishing. Although, there was a really big one that got away, but I’ll explain that in a bit.

We stayed at a nice place right on the Au Sable River, which supplied nice wade fishing. I went out right away and caught a handful of brookies. The largest being about 9 inches long. Which is not too bad in this stream. What was great about this stretch, was that my son was enticed enough to ask me to take him fly fishing for the first time. He had used a Zebco type setup in the past, when he was around 7, but hasn’t fished in a couple of years. He is now 12. To my surprise, he came out and asked me to teach him how to fly fish. So I tied on a bright foam Chernobyl dry fly and taught him how to dry fly fish. He was moving down the stream and casting really well. We were able to land him a little brookie and he loved it! This was a fabulous part of the trip and another experience that made this trip memorable.

One day, I met up with Brian Kozminski of True North Trout, for an evening float. Brian’s truck was in the shop because of a collision with a deer, so one of Brian’s other guides, Randy Monchilov, brought his Adipose drift boat for us to use. All three of us went out and had a nice evening of fishing, catching many brookies and browns. I have to say, the Adipose boat is a dream to float in. It has great stability and I like the low side walls. One other item to mention, is that Brian had the Temple Fork Outfitters Axiom II fly rod with him, so I was able to cast this and get the feel for the rod. I loved it! I like the backbone this rod has. If you are familiar with TFO rods, it was like a BVK but with more backbone.
Brian and Randy are nice guys and know their stuff. If you are looking for a guide up in Northern Michigan or you want to use some TFO fly rods or float in an Adipose boat, contact True North Trout. They will no doubt get you into some fish!

In between fishing, I made some other stops into some fly shops, like Gates Au Sable Lodge & Fly Shop, Ron’s Fly Shop, and even drove over to Traverse City and visited The Northern Angler.

I went out on a couple of other special fly fishing excursions, with my good friend, Chris Lessway. First, we spent an entire day and evening fishing for smallmouth bass. We floated in Chris’s older, but still quite capable, Hyde drift boat. I shared time on the sticks, so Chris could fish as well. I want to thank Chris for putting up with my rowing. Even though I’m getting better in this area, I am still learning to keep the boat in the fishing zone. It takes time.

We were catching fish right off the bat using my Thunder Mutt streamer. As we fished throughout the day, we learned that the smallies were a little finicky on that day. They were always hitting on the pause. It helped that we were able to see them most of the time. So I would pause it for even longer and wait until they hit, to try and set the hook. We switched up and went through many flies, trying to find a fly they might like better. But in the end, it was the Thunder Mutt which I had in a Chartreuse/Olive and a white streamer that worked the best.

However, things changed when the evening came. Since the sun was going down, we decided to start throwing poppers. Besides morning, this is the best time to do this. We were also on a different stretch of river. The pause didn’t change in this regard either. I was getting most of my fish by doing a pop, a twitch, and then letting it sit. Then BAM!

So this brings me to the fish I mentioned in the beginning. I did a pop, twitch, and then let it sit. I saw this smallie coming up from the side and munch down on the popper. I set the hook and it felt like a nice fish, but I didn’t realize how nice. Then it started pulling line out and then it took its first jump and Chris and I at the same time, said, “Holy Crap!” This thing was a monster. I have never seen a smallie this big. It proceded to take 4 more jumps and I continued to fight it and give it line when needed. After the 5th jump, it pulled a bit and the line came loose. The thing you never want to happen, happened. The biggest smallie I had ever seen, broke the line and was gone. It was gut wrenching. Chris and I talked about that fish the rest of the week and I stil think about it. What a fish…

Then Chris said, “We will get another one.” So we continued on downstream and I continued to throw a Rainy’s popper that I had tied. Chris was right, we did get another good one. Granted, it was not near as big as the one we lost, but it was a really nice fish! This time, I was able to land it after a great fight.

Chris netted it for me and it was in the boat. This is the smallie that is pictured. I was extremely happy to get that fish. Needless to say, it was a fantastic day of smallie fishing.

The final time I went out with Chris, was a quick morning float, we did early one morning. This time we were after some trout. It was an overcast morning with slight sprinkles of rain at first, but that tapered off to be just a cloudy morning. We tried some streamers at first, but with no luck, we switched back to dry flies. Terrestrials seemed to be what was on the menu, so I stuck with that, catching some brookies and a nice little brown trout. As we made out way downstream, I kept casting to various spots, and then it happened. My personal best, brown trout, sipped in my dry fly and doubled my 7 weight rod over. Of course, after losing that monster smallmouth, Chris and I were on the edge of our seats, as I tried working this brown trout to the boat. Chris was calling out logs that the fish was trying to run under and I would guide it away from. Finally, I worked him to the side of the boat while Chris had the net ready and I was able to guide him in. The largest brown I had ever hooked, was landed!


Chris Lessway guides for the North Branch Outing Club, located in a small area called Lovells, right outside Grayling, Michigan. The NBOC provides lodging, a guide service, and a fly shop right on the Au Sable River. Chris is the head guide there. So, if you are looking for a terrific guide, give Chris a call at the North Branch Outing Club.

So this ended an awesome trip up to Northern Michigan. I want to apologize for not having the time to meet up with Jeff Marsh of High on the Fly and Michael Williams of Green Bus Designs. I had to cancel, but will definitely meet up with these two the next time for some fly fishing action!

Thank you for reading FrankenFly!

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Filed under Dry Fly, Fly Fishing, Foam, FrankenFly, Michigan, Poppers, Smallmouth, Streamers, Trout flies

Flies Around the Net – May 2017

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Filed under Deer Hair, Dry Fly, Foam, Hoppers, Intruders, nymphs, Poppers, Saltwater, Streamers

Fly tying of John Satkowski


Having designed commercial patterns for Rainy’s Flies for two years now, I am constantly pushing the boundaries of movement and effectiveness with my patterns. Being a Bass guy my whole life, my eyes weren’t opened to the whole long rod thing until a family trip to Montana in high school changed my perception of what fly fishing is. Big streamers for aggressive brown trout was the ticket. I quickly learned that these trout can be fished very similar to smallies on a river system by quickly ripping streamers through pockets, over drops, and around cover. I was a convert almost instantly.

When I got back home I picked up a simple tying kit and began to experiment. I will admit I tied a lot of awful buggers and some terrible Adams before I had something that resembled a decently tied fly. I would go to Chris Helm’s shop in Toledo, Ohio and watch a true master spin and stack deer hair and go to Cabela’s on Saturday mornings to watch guys like Bear Andrews and Dennis Potter tie and after a while, all the time and energy paid off. I was able to design patterns and go fish with moderate success. I really started getting into Pike with their nasty attitude and speed. The tug is the drug when you fight these toothy, slime bullets. The more time on the water I spent, the more I started to notice things and by the time I was in college I pretty much had my home waters figured out.

I have learned a lot along the way and now that I am getting waist deep into the waters of the business side of things, I am learning the fly industry can be fickle and tough. You always have to self-advocate and no matter how many patterns you have on the commercial side, you always have to keep being creative and inventive. I do a fair amount of realistic tying but those flies never see the water. The real bread and butter is being able to tie a fly that works for the intended species and is easily repeatable. For the most part, my flies are developed for the way I fish. The people that I take fishing and my friends always get annoyed with me because I fly fish for bass like a tournament bass fisherman. I rip streamers or drift a nymph through a hole and if no takes I move on. I really like to cover water when I fish, especially if I’m wading. When I tie a streamer, I want the movement to be instantaneous when entering the water, get the attention of the fish, and then trigger a strike. Things like the movement of rabbit and hackle together or my addictive and generous use of ice dub in a dubbing loop to create collars and bodies lends to this method. I generally fish clear water so the patterns must not spook fish but have a good draw from a distance.

I was a teacher by trade so I love teaching the art of fly tying as well. The trick to becoming a good tier is always simply doing it. Instead of just trying to tie a wooly bugger, tie seven or eight in a row. You have to work out the kinks in the process whether it be rushing the eye or overly bulky bodies. You will tie a bunch of ugly fuglies before you tie something decent so be prepared for that. Have fun while you are at the vise. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a $500 vise and expensive tools to tie. The same goes for gear, it is really nice to have a $300 fly rod, but it simply isn’t a necessity. Get something in your price range and go fish. It’s as simple as that. A little extra information though, for big or tough fish you don’t want to skimp and be outgunned.

For tying tips, questions, and inquiries folks can visit my facebook business page River Raisin Fly Company or email me at RiverRaisinFlyCompany13@gmail.com for water levels, suggested patterns, and additional information about myself, my patterns, and the adventure we all call fly fishing.

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Filed under nymphs, Pike, Poppers, Streamers, Trout flies

Faux Bucktail Popper

Gunnar gives a step by step instruction on how to tie a Pike Popper using FlymenFishingCo’s new Faux Bucktail.

Material List:
2/0 Ahrex Light Predator Sting
Tail: Faux Bucktail
Wing: Magnum Flashabou (Barred Yellow, Dyed Pearl)
Bottom Wing: Polar Flash
Collar: Extra Select Craft Fur
Head: Flymen’s Double Barrel Popper (L)
Eyes: Flymen’s Dragon Eyes (6mm)
Legs: Hedron’s Perfect Rubber

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Foam Panfish Popper

Note:
I think the way he shows how to cup the foam in the front on this popper is a nice idea.
-Paul

From Kast:
The Foam Panfish Popper is an easy to tie and very effective popper. It can be tied in a variety of different colors and sizes to match any situation you might find yourself in.

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Brita Fordice Interview!

brita
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into the world of fly fishing?

I learned from my dad and grandfather when I was very young.   I grew up with a cabin we spent most weekends at on the Stillaguamish river in Washington state.  I learned to fly fish at the age of 8, and I never truly learned to throw a spinning rod until 2016…..    Spinning rods scared me. Too easy to knot up.

Did you have a mentor of any kind? Someone that you learned a lot from or was inspired by when fly fishing or fly tying?

I wouldn’t say I necessarily had a mentor, however one person that I highly respect that continues to challenge me in my fly tying even from a few states away is my old work colleague Andrew Grillos.  He is also the single best fly naming person I’ve ever met.

How long have you been tying flies?

I taught myself at ten.

What species do you fish for most often these days?

Sea Run Cutthroat and Salmon in Puget Sound

Searun Cutthroat

Sea Run Cutthroat

Would you describe a couple of your rod setups? For example, the size and type of fly rod, line, and leader you use?

I use a Sage 690 X rod with a RIO Coastal Quickshooter intermediate fly line or a RIO Outbound with a 5-10’ versileader and a 4 foot section of 10lb fluorocarbon tippet.

Have you designed your own fly patterns?

Yes.  All of the flies on my Instagram I’ve created.  I have specific Umpqua flies that are copyrighted.

What is your process like when designing a new fly?

There aren’t many things I will admit I am good at. And being self-taught with no formal casting instruction for 25 years I am by no means a perfect fly caster….   But the one thing that has always come very easy to me is tying, and I’ve worked hard at it. There are few baitfish in the world that I can’t look at the fish and duplicate it in a fly form. I have never used recipes, and it bores me to try to follow a recipe. I don’t cook well either for that reason 😉   It challenges me daily to find fish to recreate, and I love the physics involved in order to enable it to ride correctly in the water.

Saltwater Squid

Saltwater Squid

What are some of the things you are thinking about when designing a fly for steelhead specifically? 

“Texture and colors” are what I usually like to consider…  In that I always want lots of movement in the water, and different forms of movement.    I also want different colors that compliment the pattern, yet also give a “depth” to the fly pattern.

What type of fly tying vise do you use?

Beat up old Renzetti Traveler….  One day I’ll upgrade, but this vise won’t die and I love it.

Could you describe a couple of your most memorable fish that you have caught?

I generally look back on certain fish as being memorable not because of the fish necessarily, but because of the company too.   One fish was my Clearwater steelhead hooked on a skated muddler.   The fish wasn’t that great, but the whole weekend was amazing fishing with my friend and guide Brian Styskal.

Steelhead on Skated Muddler

Steelhead on Skated Muddler

I read that you are an encyclopedia of fly tying materials of classic and modern flies. Can you explain a little about this?

I joke with people that I’m a plethora of useless knowledge…   I spent decades ordering tying materials for the fly shop I worked at.    We were and still are the most eager shop I’ve ever encountered to special order tying materials for customers, which required me to memorize every catalog that came through over the years. I can look at virtually any synthetic and most natural tying material and tell you exactly what it is. I used to have people bring in boxes of materials consistently for me to look over and label what the fur and feathers were.

Do you still fish any classic flies?

Yes.   Most are renditions of classics and my own take on them. I love Alec Jacksons Spade fly, the Orange Heron, and Dec Hogans versions of the Akroyd fly. I tie a large number of Dee flies for my own use as well.

Can you explain a little about what spey fishing is for those that do not know? 

In general, it is a technique for casting that originally was developed on the river Spey with heavy rods that were upwards of 20 feet initially. It utilizes a water load as opposed to false casting in the air like a single hand rod. Spey casting allows an angler to cast a great distance with little back casting room, and allows more control over the speed of the swing of the fly.

Custom Bronze and Blue Spey Fly tied by Brita

Custom Bronze and Blue Spey Fly tied by Brita

I notice you tie various flatwing flies. Could you explain what that is?

This is a technique for tying that was developed and created by the legendary Kenney Abrames for stripers on the east coast. It is not one fly specifically, but a technique and fishing method. There is nothing I have ever found that fishes the way a correctly tied flatwing fishes. Many claim to tie flatwings… But there is a method to the madness, and without the correct order and specifically placed materials it just isn’t a flatwing.

traditional flatwing

traditional flatwing

Thank you for doing this interview for FrankenFly Brita, it was a pleasure!

Brita is a fly fishing guide at The Avid Angler in Washington. She also teaches classes there and works for Far Bank(Sage Rods) full time during the week. Be sure to look her up for your next trip to Washington!

Flatwing Sand Shrimp

Flatwing Sand Shrimp

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Filed under Fly Fishing, Foam, Interview, Poppers, Realistic, Saltwater, Steelhead, Streamers

Flies Around the Net – September 2016

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Filed under Catskill, nymphs, Poppers, Streamers, Trout flies