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Filtering by Category: Fly Tying

What's working?

Lately, a lot of folks are asking me the same question, "what flies are working?" We are keeping it simple throwing crawfish patterns in black and brown as well as Clouser Minnows in chartreuse and white. Also, we did manage to catch a few nice fish on poppers this past week when the weather and water temps permitted. Pretty basic patterns are the ticket for winter bass on the Colorado River.

My new favorite crawfish pattern is the Lead-eyed Double Bunny Crawfish (AKA "DB Craw") tied on 1/0 — 2X Mustad Signature hook. The two most productive colors are black and brown/orange. As predicted all of my crawfish patterns are tied with with a 25# mono (Hard Mason) weed-guard.

In the winter we get a really good run of white bass mixed in with our usual catches of Guadalupe and large mouth bass. We have yet to find a more productive fly for white bass than the Clouser Minnow. The best color has been chartreuse and white Clousers using 1/32 oz. on lead-eyes tied on a 1/0 — 2X Mustad Signature hook with a 25# mono (Hard Mason) weed-guard.

Winter bass fishing is great right now so grab a handful of crawfish and Clouser patterns and your favorite 6-weight the bass are ready and willing!

The Bench Warmer

No one wants to be called a “bench warmer”, but the truth is, every team relies on crucial players that spend most of their time on the bench. So, what does this have to do with fly fishing? As fishing guides we are all very reliant on fly boxes stuffed full of well-crafted flies, which have to be tied by someone with special skills manning a fly tying “bench”.  For us a bench warmer is someone who can spend hour after hour at the tying bench cranking out flies.

Over the course of a season we go through a ton of flies and we can’t physically—or mentally—handle tying flies day-in and day-out. We are talking about hundreds of flies, some of which are difficult and time consuming to tie and quite frankly, beyond our skill set. Additionally, many of our favorite patterns are custom, meaning that they vary greatly from the flies you can find in your local fly shop or online retailer. In almost all cases our flies need to be more durable, have specific color variations, and other incorporate finishes like heavy weighted eyes and stout weed guards.

For the last couple of years I kept seeing photos and reading post from a group of hardcore smallmouth and pike fisherman in the northeast who were catching nice fish on beautiful flies tied by this crazy bearded and tattooed fly tier named Pat Cohen. Sure enough I checked out Pat’s website and friended him on Facebook and it didn’t take long for me to realize that Pat has some mad tying skills that I will never master.

Pat not only speaks bass fishing, he is also a diehard bass fisherman. It shows in his flies, which reflect his vast knowledge of bass, where they hide, what they eat, and most importantly, what they can be fooled by. I am excited that Pat has offered to work with me and All Water Guides to further develop a his already incredible line of crawfish, baitfish, popper and diver patterns. With our year-round bass fishery here in Texas—our northern brethren don’t get to bass fish all winter like us—and plenty of huge river bass we have the ability to field test new prototypes and refine existing patterns giving Pat “real-time” data all year long.

I spent the weekend testing some custom divers Pat recently tied for me. Despite poor water visibility, cold temperatures and heavy weekend fishing pressure these divers moved some huge bass. See for your self how beautiful Pat’s flies are—follow him on Facebook or better yet visit his website and order flies from him direct.

Imagine this. Pat ties every fly himself—using the absolute best materials—and when you call him on the phone you actually get to speak to Pat. As far as we are concerned a bench warmer is a good thing and when Pat Cohen is at his bench that means we can all be catching fish.

http://www.rusuperfly.com/

 

A Night of Friends and Flip-flops

I had a great time as the guest tyer at Sportsman’s Finest (SF) Tuesday night fly tying class. We tied up the infamous Flip-flop Popper designed by All Water Guides’ head guide Alvin Dedeaux. We had a packed house and plenty of nice poppers for everyone’s fly boxes at the end of the night—bass be aware! The Flip-flop Popper is a staple in my bass fly box and accounts for the majority of all bass caught on the fly.  If you want the “recipe” stop by SF and they will set you up with everything you need.

Watch All Water Guides’ Best of 2012 video to see the Flip-flop Popper in action: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10200769969428745

 

 

As always, the SF crew—Greg, Stacy, Chuck, Ted, and Lindy—was amazing. The Austin area is fortunate to have a great fly shop that always goes the extra mile for it’s customers and the greater fly fishing community. Thanks again to SF and Greg for the invitation!

Remember folks, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FLY SHOP!

 

 

popper_proof.jpg

FISHING CRAWFISH PATTERNS

As fly anglers we can learn a lot from our bait-castering brethren when it comes to catching bass in early Spring. Fly selection based on crawfish patterns is a must for enticing bass to eat in cold water conditions. Up to 50% of a bass Winter/Spring diet comes from crawfish.

Crawfish patterns fished deep and slow while casting into weeds, brush and heavy cover requires weighted patterns with weed guards. Additionally, the position of the weight (lead eyes, lead wire) is crucial to the "action" of the pattern selected. All of the All Water guides prefer crawfish patterns in red and orange as we seem to see a lot of fish that puke-up real crawfish with this same coloration.

Here is a good article by outdoor writer Gene Mueller on this subject. Remember what works for the pros is alway worth trying for any angler no matter what their skill level. Enjoy the read and happy Spring bassin'!

http://www.genemuellerfishing.com/2011/01/creature-baits-are-all-rage-for-bass.html