Monday, February 27, 2023

Guide Flies with Ralf Kuntzemann

Ralf Kuntzemann loves simplicity. Ralf certainly makes you think about how intricate flies really need to be. Ralf will tie simple streamer flies for upcoming trips with his buddies. He brings the flies, his buddies bring the food and adult beverages.

Tonight Ralf showed us how he ties basic marabou streamers with a single marabou feather and some wire. Quick, easy to tie and definitely fish catchers. Just one tie in point!

We also looked at foam dragons. Again easy to cut and form, one tie in and then some silly legs! Finally we looked at tie a dragon nymph with a sparkly pipe cleaner and some pheasant fibres.

Ralf's personal experience with his patterns has proven to him how effective they are! As always we owe Ralf and big thank you!

Next week it is chironomids. We will be tying blue dun chironomids and a number of chironomids with antistatic bags. We will also try blending threads. See you next week!

Pipe cleaner and pheasant tail dragon nymph!

Foam Dragon

Marabou Streamers with a single feather and wire.


Monday, February 13, 2023

Booby Fly Patterns with Doug Pullan

Doug Pullan was our guest instructor tonight. Doug showed the gang how to tie three different types of booby flies. Below is a copy of Doug's presentation. It is an excellent summary of how to fly fish with booby flies and you can see the three excellent examples that we tied tonight. Thanks Doug for the outstanding and informative presentation!

There is no fly tying on Family Day. Our next presentation in two weeks is with Ralf Kuntzemann. As always, Ralf will be teaching us some great patterns for fly fishing. See you then!

Today’s fly fisher has access to many different fly patterns. Some represent a natural food item, while some act as attractors. Fly patterns may use natural materials or synthetics or a combination of both. The fly is only part of the equation of success; the other important part is the presentation.

The Booby Fly which is not just a fly pattern, it’s a tying style. Many fly patterns can incorporate the booby style. Chironomids, nymphs, baitfish, damsels, dragons and leeches can be transformed to Booby Flies. Foam is the essential component of the booby eyes which gives a life-like action in the water column. The important element to your success using booby flies is choosing the right fly line, leader and fishing technique.

The Booby Fly was first created by a UK fly fisher/tier by the name of Gordon Fraser in 1987. His booby pattern was a small midge larva that he fished in reservoirs using a sinking line and a short leader.

The Booby Fly originally represented emerging insects. The foam booby eyes were designed to imitate the air bubble that insects used to ascend to the surface. Even though fly tiers have boobized many transitional fly patterns, contemporary boobies are focused on the attractor category. This is mainly due to the predatory nature of trout and the booby’s ability to entice a strike.

Booby Flies can be fished in lakes as well as rivers, but most fly fishers us these flies when fishing stillwaters. It can be fished in all parts of a lake, in both shallow and deep water. Regardless of the depth, the approach is similar. There are many choices of fly lines that can be used to fish Booby Flies. Booby Flies can be fished using floating lines, midge-tip or clear-tip lines, but it is most at home when using an ultra-fast sinking line with a short leader. 

Depending on the type of Booby Fly pattern being fished, may determine what retrieve method is best. There are 4 things to consider when retrieving your Booby Fly. They are the length of the pull, the speed of the pull, the rhythm of the retrieve and the pause between the pulls.  A hand twist retrieve can be used when imitating slow-moving food sources such as chironomid pupae and larvae, mayfly nymphs and damselfly nymphs. When fishing using Booby attractor patterns, a faster Rolly Polly retrieve is sometimes recommended. You can also use this type of retrieve when using natural booby patterns including leeches, minnows and dragonflies. The pace of the Rolly Polly retrieve can be varied in order to trigger a strike. Please note: when fishing with Booby Flies, always maintain contact with the flies to avoid the fish swallowing your fly. Sharp strips with minimal pauses are key to avoid fatal injury to your prey.  

An effective way when using Booby Flies is to use a method called the Washing Line. To use this dropper technique, attach your buoyant Booby Fly on the point and then attach non-buoyant flies as droppers. Often times, the Booby Fly will attract the fish to one of the dropper flies.

Note: The location you are fishing will indicate the number of flies you can use legally. 

You can use this method from the surface to the bottom of the water column. Use the countdown method to cover the different depths of the water column. After you’ve made the cast, give the line a quick tug to cause a surface disturbance before letting the flies sink.

Booby flies come in all different sizes and colours. Some resemble national food items while others are purely attractor types. Some booby eyes are large and some are small. Booby eyes can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Whatever the configuration, they are buoyant in nature and are very effective in triggering a response out of curiosity, territoriality or aggression.

You can purchase blocks of foam and then drill out the foam.

Half Booby Buzzer

Hook: Daiichi 1120,  #12

Thread: Black UTC 70

Booby Eye: Foam ball covered with nylon patch

Body: Buzzer Wrap, black

Rib: UTC Holo Tinsel, red, small

Thorax: Peacock Herl

Damsel Booby

Hook: Mustad 9671 #10

Thread: Olive UTC 70

Booby Eyes: Black 7mm Foam

Tail: Olive Marabou

Flash: Olive Flashabou 6969

Body: FNF Jelly Fritz Ellerdine Olive

Sunburst Coffin Booby

Hook: 2X Heavy Hook, Wide Gap, #10

Thread: Fire Orange UTC 70

Booby Eyes: White 7mm Foam

Tail: Fl. Yellow Marabou

Flash: Yellow Krystal Flash

Body: Sunburst Orange Fritz 15mm

Rubber Legs: Yellow/Black

One of our gang concentrating on his fly!

Sunday, February 12, 2023

A Tremendous Weekend of Fly Tying and Socializing

What an excellent weekend of learning and socializing. Phil and Patsy Rowley came for Phil's 11th Annual All Day Fly Tying Workshop here in Central Alberta. We had an enjoyable Pub Night and the tying workshop that had an international theme of flies was outstanding. Phil looks forward to visiting our club here in Red Deer. He enjoys the gang and teaching us fly tying techniques as well as introducing us to flies that will be great additions to our fly box! Thanks Phil for adding us to your crazy "show season." Phil is one of most respected presenters and instructors in North America.

Tomorrow night, Doug Pullan is our guest tyer. Bring black, olive and orange UTC 70 or 8/0 thread with you. Doug has an excellent program set up. See you tomorrow night!

Phil's Students

Pub Night

Diawl Bach (video is callibaetis version)

Callibaetis Cruncher

Nano's Leech

Diablo Roho

Landon Myers's Mini Leech


Bearded Boatman-Phil Rowley

Rinse and Repeat


Monday, February 6, 2023

Damsels, Pub Night and Final Details for Phil Rowley's Workshop on February 11th

Hi Everyone!

Tonight we took a look at some damsel fly patterns. Have you ever experienced damsels migrating to the shore line then transform into adults? The trout certainly are aware of these tasty morsels when it is happening. Immature damsels are also a constant food source for fish. 

Tonight we looked at a cool immature damsel pattern designed by BC Fly Guys called a slim damsel. We also looked at one of most popular fly patterns in the UK called the Blue Flash Damsel. We tied up a variation that Davie McPhail ties and I shared a second variation that Barry Ord ties. I have included video of these great patterns from their originators.

This Friday is Pub Night at Mohave Grill. We have reserved a space on the Anthony's Kitchen side of the restaurant in the back for our gang! Phil and Patsy will be there to visit. We will be there around 6 ish and we will stay and visit for a bit! Come and have dinner (Mohave Grill menu) or just visit! Mohave Grill right behind Tim Hortons by the traffic circle on 67th Street!

Next Monday February 13th, Doug Pullan is our guest fly tyer. Doug has asked everyone to have black, olive and orange UTC 70 thread along for his tying session. Doug always has an excellent fly tying session. His theme is booby flies!

Our all day workshop with Phil Rowley is this Saturday February 11th starting at 9 am at Reliance Learning Centre. Lunch is provided. We will also have coffee and some drinks available during the day! We still have room for a few more tyers. Just drop me a note (bob.vanderwater@rdpsd,ab,ca or text me @ 403-598-3802.

Slim Damsel (BC Fly Guys)

Baby Damsel (Brian Chan)

Blue Flash Damsel (Davie McPhail version)

Blue Flash Damsel (Barry Ord version)