Fly Tying: The Cranberry Larva

Though it was -9C when I got in the truck this morning, I know that we are almost halfway through March and ice-off is not all too far away.  Laying eyes on an ice-free interior lake you’ve been dreaming of since December is one of the best feelings in the world for an obsessed angler.

This tutorial covers one of my favourite ice-off patterns.  This fly has proven effective for over five seasons now in the early windows of spring stillwater as well as late fall and even mid-summer lake fishing.  The cranberry holographic Flashabou is (in my opinion) what makes this pattern.  It is dulled a little bit by the red scud backing but I believe that is a good thing.  A subtle amount of sparkle from the holo flash mixed with the true hemoglobin colour that the red scud backing brings is a deadly combination. read more

Fly Tying: How to Tie a UV Pregnant Shrimp

Freshwater shrimp, or scuds, are a staple item in a trout’s diet.  From the day the ice comes off until the day it goes back on, shrimp are never a bad option to tie on during periods of slow fishing or early/late in the day.

This particular fly is one of the only shrimp patterns I fish.  I gained a huge appreciation for it during a day of ice-off stillwater fishing in April of 2011.  Fishing was incredibly slow, I had only hooked two fish all day and went into a shallow flat that wasn’t more than 3 feet deep for last light. read more

Fly Tying: Chironomid Underbody Colours

One of the things that makes a body material great for imitating chironomid pupa is translucency, being able to change the underbody material to give off different effects opens up a world of options.  Anti-static bags used to package computer parts have long been one of the most popular materials for imitating the dull silver sheen that the natural pupa themselves take on as they ascend the water column, but what you put underneath this material can change the whole fly itself. read more

Fly Tying: How to Tie EP Fibre Baitfish Patterns

Tying flies in preparation for a quick jaunt down to Tarponville in a few weeks has reminded me how much I love tying with EP Fibre (or “fiber”, for our friends south of the border!).  EP fibre, whether tied in a brush or loose strands, makes it super easy to create great baitfish patterns that offer great translucency.

EP minnows and baitfish can be tied in a variety of sizes and colours for all sorts of species from trout and salmon to GT’s and Tarpon.  The fly in this step-by-step is tied for Tarpon, but can easily be scaled down and fished for rainbows and bull trout. read more

Fly Tying: Two-Tone Chironomid Ribbings

This morning en route home, I was thinking of the small things about the website that I couldn’t quite seem to get dialed in.  Then I started to think about more and more small things, which eventually led me to the idea I was going to do a complete overhaul.

It only took twelve hours, but I have to say I am proud of how the new site looks.  It is easier to navigate, cleaner and more visually appealing in my opinion.  There will be a few quirks being worked out over the next few days, and if you have any suggestions I have thick skin so don’t hold back! read more

Fly Tying: Two-Tone Chironomid Bodies

Tying two-tone chironomid bodies is not a new practice by any means, but it’s one that is a lot easier than it may look at first glance.  I’m sure there are many ways to do it, but this is the method I taught myself at a younger age and have not found reason to change yet.

Chironomid pupa will retain residual hemoglobin when transforming from their larval stage, often you will see dark bodied chironomids with a very prominent red butt or segmentation.  Of course there are many variations of this, but for this tutorial I’ve chosen red and dark brown UTC thread for the body, tied on a size 16 Dai-Riki #285. read more

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