Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Been a Dry Month...

...for fishing. We've had so much rain in May that fishing is nearly shutdown except for die hard retirees and those with private lake memberships. The water on the Illinois river in the Peoria area is so high that the Coast Guard posted a no boating policy over the Memorial Day weekend.

I'm looking forward to doing quite a bit of Smallie fishing this year in the local rivers, but I'm worried the spawning season has been interrupted with high, muddy, fast moving water. Never the less I'll be out there. After all, it's not just about fishing.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Nose Full of Rabbit Hair

Clif has been bugging me for some time about instructions for the double weed guard I use on my bass flies. Last night I tied a few so now I've got some photos and I'm ready to post. The nice thing about weed guards is they don't interfere with the tying method of most flies. It's simply an added step in the recipe. I'll use an eyeless modified Mad Tom pattern on a Mustad #2 streamer during this instruction.

Begin the tying session normally. Start with wrapping the hook shank with thread and tie on the zonker for the tail. Then build up the body as shown here.

There's no need to build up the body to the eye, just go forward enough to place the weed guard. The guard will be sloped back but still in front of the hook tip by 1/4 to 3/8 inch. The goal is to allow the fly to glide over an obstacle as you strip your line slowly but deflect enough to set the hook.

Let's attach the guard.

In case your wondering where the hook point is, when I tie I place the hook in the vise so the point is just inside the jaws. I do this to allow the thread to slip over the jaws, instead of getting caught up on the point as I wrap, and also to avoid getting poked. Now, back to the guard.

Cut off about 4 inches of 40 lb mono, straighten it with your fingernail, fold it in half with a crease, and place it over the hook. Then wrap it with 5 or 6 turns of thread as shown above.

Add a couple of over and under wraps, similar to the second step of tying on weighted eyes, to spread the mono to a "V". Add a drop of your favorite glue to the turns to set it. As the glue dries hold each end of the mono in position so it looks like this.

After the glue sets push the guards to the hook tip and trim the ends about 1/4 inch past the hook tip. Finish your fly as you normally would. Here's how mine turned out.

I'll call it a Mad Bugger. The body is made with an
anemic black zonker so it ended up looking more
like a woolly bugger.

Here's a couple more.

No name yet, it's a zonker tail with a maribo body and Flashaboo. Maybe I'll call it Dave's Clam Shouter. Think about it for a while, it'll make sense. ;)

The Red Green Show (In honor of our fearless leader of the Possum Lodge)

I'm going to tie more Red Greens because of this...