I recently started to notice some beautifully tied flies posted by Son Tao. After seeing a friend from Indianapolis post that he was fishing with Tao, I was surprised to learn he was here in Indiana. I contacted him and below you can read a little about him. He has also been touched by Project Healing Waters, which is a fantastic organization that help vets. In a very short time, you can see by the photos, that Son has skills! Check out his work below!
From Son Tao:
“I’m 44 years old and currently live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I grew up in Pennsylvania but have bounced around for the past 16 years since I am active duty Army. My current rank is Master Sergeant.
I’ve been tying for 14 months now. I was first introduced to tying by a Korean War vet as a way to deal with post traumatic stress. I’ve been deployed 5 times and have seen some unimaginable horrors around the world. After dealing with numerous surgeries and the horrors of war, I was in a dark place. Fly tying provided me with an avenue to escape those memories. It relaxes my mind and focuses my attention in a positive way.
Other than that, I thoroughly enjoy tying classic patterns. I’m a history nerd and find the story behind Flies as interesting as fly fishing itself. So when I got started, I naturally was drawn to Catskill style dry flies.”
“The Henry’s Fork Salmon Fly is a great Salmonfly Dry Fly Pattern for large picky trout in slower water and pools. The Henry’s Fork Salmon Fly was developed on the world famous Henry’s Fork River, by Mike Lawson, and continues to be a popular Salmon Fly Dry for wary trout. The Henry’s Fork Salmon Fly is best tied large, on a #06 dry fly hook, and is most often fished near the bank.”
Hook: #06 Tiemco 5212
Thread: Orange UTC 140
Tail: Black Coastal Deer Hair
Body: Rusty Orange Hareline Dubbing
Wing: Natural Elk Hair
Head: Black Coastal Deer Hair
Legs: Brown Whiting Rooster Cape
Comments Off on Henry’s Fork Salmon Fly – InTheRiffle
From Ryan Cooper:
“If you have giant black stoneflies in your waters give this guy a try! I love the semi-realistic look the larva lace gives the body. Hope you enjoyed and be sure to tune in next week!”
Hook: Allen Curved Shank Nymph Sz.8
Thread: Uni 6/0 Black
Bead: 2.8mm Black/Nickel
Lead Wire: 0.015
Tail: Black Goose Biots
Body: Black Larva Lace
Legs: Black Goose Biots
Wingcase: Black Thin Skin
Dubbing: Black UV Ice Dub
This is a sedge fly pattern or caddis fly if you prefer. I saw this when Paul posted it the other day and my mouth dropped. This is a beautifully tied fly and I thought it deserved it’s own post. Paul included the recipe as you can see below. I hope you enjoy the eye candy as much as I did.
Hook – Partridge, size 14, Partridge G3A/LY
Thread – Veevus 590 denier GSP
Body – Laine St Pierre 922
Underwing – 2 cdc tips
Overwing – Bull elk
Hackle – Dun Badger (anything will do)
Antennae – Bronze mallard
From Tim Cammisa:
“We welcome Don Ward back to the channel! In this video, Don Ward of the Keystone Fly Rod Company ties a unique version of his Sulphur Spinner. This version of the spinner is a great one to use at dusk…and don’t forget your UV light when on the water.”
Hook: Daiichi 1110; #14
Thread: UNI 8/0; Tan
Tail: Microfibetts; Lt. Blue Dun
Body: Turkey Biots; Sulphur Yellow
Wing: Snowshoe Rabbit; natural
Wing Case: UV Flashabou; #6955
Thorax: Sulphur dubbing
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.
Since the Hendrickson hatch will soon be upon us, I thought this video would be timely. Tim Neal hails from Michigan and has been tying flies for 62 years. Tim knows his stuff and is a great teacher. He ties his own deadly pattern for the famous Hendrickson hatch in this fly tying video!