Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My favorite flies. Part 1

Flatwing(ish)


I'm not sure if I can call this fly a true flatwing or not, but what I do know is that a fly like this has been kind to me. It's easy to make and very versitale in catching many different species of fish. They can be fished in rivers, lakes and oceans and seem to work for everything that eats minnows/baitfish. There's a shit load of movement in this type of fly. The compination of the bucktail and rooster hackle is unbeatable. No wonder that the fish are so turned on about this pattern.

A trio of flatwings with epoxy eyes.

You can start off this article with this video: in Youtube in Vimeo
It's my very first try at making a tying video. 

And here's the Step-By-Step pictures:
Tie some white bucktail as our tail. Tie it big!

Add some flashabou.

Tie a long and wide rooster hackle on top of the tail. Silver doctor blue this time.

Blue bucktail on top of the hackle.

Dub the body with pearl wings and flash.

Add white bucktail as a collar. Half way to the tail.

Blue bucktail for the wing.

Long and fine, black bucktail on top. Tied reversed.

Nice!

Finish it off with some peacock herls.

In this case add some epoxy eyes and coat it with UV-glue.

Finished product from the front.

Finished product from the backside.


Materials you need for this fly:

- Bucktail (variety of colors, with a focus on white)
- Rooster hackles. I like the grizzly colored ones, because they make wonderful bars to the back of the fly
- Flashabou
- Some kind of pearl or silver dubbing
- Peacock herls
- Jungle cock or epoxy eyes
- Good quality hooks in various sizes

Good quality bucktail is a must and by good quality I mean that the hair must be a bit hollow from the butt, stiff(ish) at the middle and soft from the top. This type of hair is very "big" when it hits the water and you can tie it pretty sparse. It's very hard to get tangled too, especially tied the way I do it.

For the rooster hackle you can use either the Flatwing saddles, American rooster saddles or American rooster capes. Whiting has some quality stuff. It's just sad that the supply of quality stuff is very thin. It's very hard to get good materials. You can actually leave the hackel (or hackles) out and make the same fly without any feathers. You can't just call it a flatwing any more, can you?...:)  If your using cape feathers instead of saddle feathers, they make a bit stiffer and fuller tail/back to the fly then if your using the saddle feathers. The saddle feathers move better so it's a matter of what your looking for in a particular fly that should steer your choice.

My favorite hooks for these patterns are the Gamakatsu SC15, Sakuma 410 and the Mustad Stinger/Deer hair hooks. Choose the size according to your fishing and the fish that your after.

Hooks

Sakuma 410 3/0, Gamakatsu SC15 2/0 and Mustad 1/0 Stinger hook


Ready to bring some food to the table!
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On top of this pattern being very efficent, I think it's very beutiful and super fun to tie!

I hope this gets some of you in the groove of tying Flatwing(ish) flies. Please remember, I'm not the most technical tier and don't have much finesse in my tying. So don't learn my bad habits - you can do the same shapes, forms and movement with more finesse if you got the patience for it.

What I am pretty good at though, is making patterns that move and fish decently and thats more then enough for me. Have fun!!

Couldn't resist some fish porn. A nice Bluefish with a flatwing on her lips
Cool, very cool...

In it's right element. From the bench to the water.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

13' #9 Echo King

Keeping it in the review mode and next up is the Echo King twohander...

The Echo King series of fly rods consists of two 13footers - a 9weight and a 10weight. My experiences are from the 9weight.

It has a black finish and deep red wraps on it, which makes it look ageless. I personally appreciate looks like these on a rod. Nice and simple.

Snake


The reel seat is a standard, black Echo aluminium reel seat and the grips are made from the new and sweet "HD"-cork. The "HD"-cork is very nice to hold on to when your fishing and it takes a beating without falling apart. I think the cork is a major step forward for Echo as I have had some not that good grips on my previous Echo's.

Echo man shooting to the moon...


The action, well it's... Just what you've expect from Echo = smooth and responsive. A very strong butt section that eases off when you get to the middle. Mix in a authorative, but responsive tip and you got the King rod!! It is a delight to cast and you can get some serious distance with it.  I think that the rod is at it's best when lined with a shooting head that has about 700grains of total mass and punched out with a modern two handed single spey or around 650gr if your doing a more pure underhand cast. That for me, were the sweet spots on the blank. For sustained anchor casts with heavy and long tips I would start off with a 660gr skagit and feel my way from there if personal preference tells you that another line would be better. I feel it's not a pure skagit rod so there might be some scenarios where one could say it would need a stiffer tip to throw the biggest junk? Well, that then might throw off the otherwise sweet action. All in all, casting sinking tips, full sink lines and even floaters is a pleasure with this rod. It's one of those rods that you don't have to do much and still it gets your fly where it should be and after a while you don't have to concentrate on your casting at all and just fish. I am a big fan of rods like that and while there may be rods that can produce tighter loops and better looking form, these are the rods that you love to grab when your going fishing and not to the casting pond...

Throwing a big 6" fly with the King



As a fish fighting tool for salmon size fish this rod is the best I've ever used and I really mean it. There's a s#%t load of power in the butt section and you can put some serious pressure on the fish your fighting.

The power is in the butt


So, if any of you guys are looking for a rod that is nice to handle (13' #9 is much easier to handle and fish then a 14' or 15' #9), can shoot some serious line and will handle big and strong fish, this is the rod for you. Think big chinooks and bull dog chums in BC or the early season atlantic salmon fishery in mid-Norway when your fishing from the bushes. It's durable too!

Tim Rajeff and his crew have a real nack of creating user friendly rods that are relieble, easy to use and very fishy. My hat is off to you.

Pics and stuff.

Dorky youtube clip... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhZgkSxwXI0