Monday, February 29, 2016

Tying the Jindabyne and a Flav Emerger with Dr. Bill Young

Dr. Bill Young was our guest tyer tonight. Dr. Bill showed 24 keen fly tyers how to tie two very interesting fly patterns. The first pattern comes from New South Wales in Australia and is called the Jindabyne, a town near the Snowy Mountains. It is a pattern that Bill and his gang love to fish near dark at several British Columbia lakes. It is the "go to" pattern at dusk! The second pattern was an emerger pattern that will be an excellent fly to use during a flav hatch. A flav or Lesser Green Drake is a popular hatch on our Eastern slopes rivers. This emerger uses a stripped peacock herl and the resulting quill is an excellent body material. Thanks Bill for the outstanding tying session!

...this Wednesday March 2nd is the IF4 Fly Fishing Film Festival at Carnival Theatre. The show starts at 6:30 pm and Josh Nugent will be all set up at 6 pm to greet you and sell tickets at the door. You can buy "cheaper tickets" at TC Outfitters right here in Red Deer or buy them on line RIGHT HERE! This is going to be a fabulous evening of fly fishing films that will last about 2 hours! we would love to see you there. Bring some of your fly fishing friends along!

Next week, Bernie Peet is our guest instructor. We will be tying chironomids, slim chironomids. Bring your 8/0 threads along with any favourite flashabou colours!

...see everybody at Carnival Theatre on Wednesday night!

Dr. Bill Young


Thread: Black 8/0
Hook: Size 8, 2 XL streamer hook
Tail: Red Schlappen
Body: Black chenille
Rib: Gold tinsel
Wing: Mallard
Colar: Yellow hackle

To strip a peacock herl, dip the peacock herl in a bath of 1/3 bleach and 2/3 hot water for a minute. Notice in the above picture that Bill secured the peacock herl with a clip. Bill then added a small amount of  moisturizing lotion on the stripped quills to make them more pliable.

Quill Flav Emerger

Hook: Curved Caddis Pupa sizes 12 to 18 (depending on emergence)
Trailing shuck: Antron
Body: Two Peacock Quills
Thorax: Hares Ear Ice Dub
Post: Antron
Hackle: Olive grizzly

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Our Booth at the Sportsman's Show

Thanks Willy and those who lent a hand helping at the Sportsman's Show!

February in the Crownest Pass

Larry and I were itching to get out and we finally had our window of opportunity! The weather forecast was warm but windy. Hey the wind in the pass is a staple, you just have to deal with it! We loaded up at 6 am, hit Tim Hortons and started our run to the Crowsnest Pass. We were wondering if our usual haunts were ice free. In a word, yes! We were surprised.

 The wind was quite tolerable and the early season fly fishing was excellent The rivers were in excellent condition. One a bit clearer than the other.

The mercury climbed up to 17 C at one point, we even had about an hour with no wind but then later the wind was blowing like a freight train that was running late! The chinook arch spanned all along the eastern slopes. That was amazing to marvel at.

The flies, it was all about the wiggle worm. The rainbows and whitefish were all over this pattern today.

The drive home always seems long. This was our first February trip to the pass. Timing is everything!

A Good Day on the Bow River

My buddy Byron sent me this picture from Friday on the Bow River! Byron said that he has been on a bit of a Bow River slump. I would say that he got that monkey off of his back yesterday. Well done Byron!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Paraloop Flies with Doug Pullen

Doug Pullen was our guest instructor tonight and he showed 27 fellow fly tyers the ins and outs of tying paraloop flies. Doug's presentation is detailed below along with the 3 flies Doug taught everybody to tie. Again Doug, your presentation was fabulous. We all learned a lot!

...a few reminders:

1. The IF4 Film Festival is next Wednesday March 2nd. You can get tickets on line RIGHT HERE, or you can get tickets at TC Outfitters or at the door. The IF4 Film Festival is at Carnival Theatre. The doors open at 6 pm and the show starts at 6:30 pm. Josh Nugent from Out Fly Fishing Outfitters will be here to host the show.

Lets get a big turn out everybody!

2. Next week, Dr. Bill Young is our guest instructor. We will be tying quill body flies, a fly tying style that A.K. Best popularized. See you then!

Paraloop Flies

Many a person goes fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after. In other words, it’s not the destination that’s important, it’s the journey.
The fly fisher has many fly options that can be used depending on the conditions at hand. Dry flies, wet flies, emergers, nymphs, and streamers are possible choices. Circumstances will dictate their use. Feathers have been incorporated in fly designs since the dawn of fly fishing. One method of incorporating a feather in the fly is a process called hackling. There are different ways to hackle a fly be it a dry fly, wet fly, emerger, nymph or streamer. The paraloop method is one way to hackle a fly that provides options to the angler that are not available using other hackling methods.
Whether the water you fish is your home waters or some exotic place. Your prey being small golden trout or large steelhead, the fly you offer must be convincing to arouse a strike. There are countless patterns available but selecting the best one is sometimes a daunting task especially if fish are finicky. A subtle modification in fly design can make all the difference. A fly that uses a paraloop can sometime mean the difference between a good day on the water to a great day.
Paraloop flies can be fished in all types of water; paraloops will not cover all fishing situations. But at the right time and place, they will more than prove themselves.
The paraloop method of hackling a fly does not have a long history and has not been widely used in the past, but that is changing. Books and articles are starting to feature this method of hackling. Some fly tyers call this method Hackle Stackers, others use the term Pullovers. Whatever name is used, the process remains the same.
So what makes Paraloop flies special? It is the profile that the fly presents when on or in the water. With no hackle below the hook shank allowing the fly to sit low.
The orientation of all paraloop flies is they lay flat on the water’s surface. Therefore the materials used in constructing the body and thorax of the fly should be such that they minimize any water absorption. The hackle that provides the best results when tying paraloop flies should come from neck capes. These feathers hackle fibres that are stiff and straight which allows for a tidy and effective hackle brush to be made. The hackle is wrapped around a post to form the hackle brush. Examples of the materials that can be used for the Hackle post are: Gel-Spun Polypropylene, Kevlar, Super Floss, Mono Tippet or just tying thread.
One of the major features of a Paraloop fly is that the hook is ideally placed for hooking the fish. It is this hooking ability which makes a paraloop fly excellent to fish with. The lack of hackle under the hook shank results in easier and more effective hook-ups.
When comparing traditional tied dry flies and dry flies using the paraloop method, they both have their place. A traditionally hackled dry fly sits on top of the water’s surface while a paraloop sits in the water’s surface much like a parachute fly. Paraloops are more flexible than the parachute style of fly allowing more variation and options.
Paraloop fly designs can position the hackle brush in an open loop or closed loop configuration. The hackle brush can also be secured at the front of the fly, or the back of the fly or even along the entire top of the hook shank. These configurations and orientations provide the angler with options to address different hatch and water conditions.
Important differences when comparing Paraloop flies to traditionally hackled dry flies are:
  • There is no hackle attached to the side or base of the hook; all the hackle is attached on the top of the hook shank.
  • The only hackle fibres extending below the level of the hook shank are the tips of the hackle brush
  • The paraloop fly sits lower in the water
  • The hackle is full assisting in the floatability of the fly.
  • The fly when on the water has a very distinct profile.
  • The hook point is clean of any materials.
All these points can make a real difference in how the fly appears to a fish and the way in which it acts on the water. Flies using the paraloop method allow a full and bushy hackle that greatly assists in keeping the fly afloat. The profile of the fly on the waters is unquestionably of major importance. It has been proven that fish are extremely partial to flies sitting in the surface of the water as opposed to floating high on the water’s surface.
Difference pattern types are can utilize the paraloop method are:
  • Dry flies
  • Emergers
  • Buzzer/Chironomid/Midge
  • Spent wing flies
  • Wet flies
There are a few different methods that can be adopted when making paraloop flies. The most common method is using a gadget called the Gallows tool which attaches to your vise. The sole purpose of the gallows tool is to apply tension to the hackle post at the various stages of tying the paraloop fly. Other methods have been used with good success as well. These include using one of your fingers to hold the hackle loop tight while your other fingers are wrapping the hackle or using antron yarn to form the hackle post and applying a small amount of UV epoxy to stiffen the hackle post before wrapping the hackle. The hackle brush is then pulled over the body/thorax and tied off. This design is very durable and the stiff hackles are easy to dry out with a couple of false casts.
The paraloop method is worthy of inclusion in every fly tyer’s repertoire of tying techniques.

Paraloop Griffith’s Gnat

Hook: Mustad R50-94840 Size #12 (standard dry fly)
Thread: Black 70 UTC
Body: Peacock Herl

Hackle: Grizzly or Black Hackle  (Paraloop style)

Paraloop Film Chromie

Hook: Daiichi 1150 Size #12 (Curved Hook)
Thread: Black UTC 70
Body: Silver Flash-a-bou
Rib: Holographic Red Tinsel
Thorax: Peacock Herl
Wing: Grizzly hackle (Paraloop style)
Gills: White yarn

Paraloop Callibaetis (Dun Stage)

Hook: Mustad R50-94840 Size #12 (standard dry fly)
Thread: Gray, UTC 70
Tail: Dun Microfibbets
Body: Gray Turkey Biot
Wing: Cree Saddle Hackle (Paraloop style)
Thorax: Adams Gray Superfine Dubbing

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Warm February Day on The Red Deer River

I stepped out of the truck and immediately felt the warmth of the sun. It is February and today was one of those days that escaping the city with your fly rod was a good idea if you could pull it off! The sun's rays are getting warmer as the tilt of the earth is slowly working its way towards spring! Yes!

I broke out the spey rod and the usual clouser minnows and headed to just below the Dickson Dam in pursuit of anything that would bite! I bumped into Tyler from our club and the two of us had a great time fly fishing the afternoon away.

The fishing was not fast and furious. It rarely is this time of the year. Nevertheless we did find some active fish. I just loved the sun's heat today! A couple of walleye were caught and the whitefish made a half hearted effort to take a nymph or two. Some whitefish made splashy rises at the tiny winter stones and midges that were on the water.

The Red Deer River below the dam is open to fishing until the end of February and then it is reopens May long weekend. If you get a chance to get out,  send me a picture or two!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Marrying a Feather Wing and the Voodoo Thang with Darren Petersen

Darren Petersen is a very creative artisan who loves fly fishing. Tonight Darren showed 25 fly tyers how to marry feathers together that were then tied into a brook trout fly as a wing. For many of us, this was our first experience marrying feathers together.  Everybody managed to get their wings put together. Ensuring the feathers were from the same side of the feather is a key element to success. It is a very traditional technique that results in colourful wings.

The second fly we tied all started from a bead. An unusual bead that is not associated with fly tying. It is a skull bead. Well the challenge was to construct a streamer with the skull as the focal point of the fly. Well the creative juices were flowing to construct the Voodoo Thang! Everybody had lots of fun designing their flies. The impartial judge, who disqualified me (I protest), awarded the special original scotch glass (made by Darren) with mayflies etched on the side to Steve Luethi. I think it was the hairdo on his fly that gave him the win. Willy's fly was a close second!

Thanks for the neat tying session Darren. We all had a great time!

Remember that we do not have fly tying next Monday, Family Day. We will get going again in two weeks time when Doug Pullen is our guest tyer. Doug has requested that you bring grey and black 8/0 thread!

Also the IF4 Film Festival is making a stop in Red Deer on March 2 at Carnival Theatre starting at 6:30 pm. TC outfitters will have tickets shortly. Lets get a BIG turn out.

Finally the Sportsman Show is coming in three weeks. We are going to have a fly tying table and we need some volunteers to do a shift! Willy is coordinating the effort. Drop Willy an e-mail, to take a shift!

Enjoy Family Day everybody!

The guys concentrating on marrying feathers.

Marrying Feather Wings

First and Second Place! Way to go guys!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

IF4 Film Festival Makes a Stop in Red Deer on Wednesday March 2nd

The IF4 Film Festival will make a stop right here in Red Deer at Carnival Theatre on Wednesday March 2nd. The doors will open at 6 pm and the show will start at 6:30 pm. Josh Nugent will be here to host the evening. I bet there will be some draw prizes and some give away swag!

Take a look right here to check out the films!

Tickets will be available from TC Outfitters shortly and of course right at the door!

This is a fun evening everybody! Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Neat Mayfly Technique and the Famous Dave's Medusa with Rick Miyauchi

Rick Miyauchi is a very skilled fly tyer. Rick's fly box is filled with precision. Rick is particular about getting the correct proportions on his flies. He is not afraid to tie challenging patterns.

Tonight 24 fly tyers took in Rick's presentation. Rick's first fly is a Ken Morrish pattern that is a technique one could use with any mayfly pattern. It did have a hackle that is a bit challenging to tie in! The second pattern was a salmon fly that has incredible movement in the water called Dave's Medusa! Correctly tapering the Medusa is the key to make the rubber legs move in the water.

Thanks Rick for the fly patterns and presentation!

Next week, Darren Petersen is our guest tyer. Darren has a very neat set of flies to present to the group. See you then!

Ken Morrish's May Day

Hook: Standard dry fly size appropriate for mayfly
Thread: 8/0 color to match natural
Tail: Parapost grey thinned out
Body: Olive antron (or colour to match)
Hackle: Yellow (parapost style)
Parapost/Wing: Grey, thinned out

Dave's Medusa

Hook: Salmon 1/0
Bead: Large Pink or Chartreuse 5/64ths
Legs: Rubber
Tail: Marabou
Body: Chenille