Friday, August 10, 2018

American Museum of Fly Fishing Annual Festival Tomorrow - August 11

The 11th annual AMFF Fly Fishing Festival returns to beautiful Manchester, VT on August 11th this year from 10 am until 4 pm. This is our signature event of the summer—a growing event that showcases the joy of fly fishing with vendors, demonstrations, and a gathering of people who are all equally enthused about the sport. Come enjoy fly tying and casting demonstrations, try your hand at casting vintage rods, learn how to tie a saltwater fly, and mingle with like-minded people as you share the taste and joy of the great outdoors.  Admission is free. 


Stop by and celebrate their 50th anniversary. 

For more information and details click here: American Museum of Fly Fishing Annual Festival

Sharpen your hooks!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Art Lee, Fly-Fishing Virtuoso and Writer, Dies at 76

Art Lee, a writer and guide who described the sylvan joys — and the slyest tricks — of fly-fishing to generations of trout and salmon anglers, died on July 25 at a hospital in Middletown, N.Y. He was 76.

 Photo Kris Lee
I still refer to Art's first book, Fly Fishing for Trout on Rivers and Streams, as it continues to influence my approach to trout fishing.  If you haven't read it, I recommend you do as Art offers many thoughtful and practical ideas and techniques that will improve the way you think and approach the stream no matter where you angle for trout.  I've had the pleasure of meeting Art a number of times on the Beaverkill over the years, and it was he who introduced me to snowshoe rabbit foot for dry flies way back in 1983.

R.I.P. Art 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

More on Mercer's Missing Link From the Man Himself

Here's a link to a recent Fly Fisherman Magazine article by Mike Mercer on the Missing Link caddis as a follow up to my last post; thanks to an unknown reader.

LINK: Fly Fisherman Magazine / Fly-tying / Mercer's Missing Link 

I'm off to Montana, see you on the return.  Look for reports on my Instagram account - @mattgrobert

And sharpen your hooks!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Tips on Tying the Missing Link Caddis

I posted a couple of  photos recently on Instagram of Mercer's Missing Link Caddis and afterwards I got a bunch of emails and messages from folks that are having trouble tying it - specifically getting the hackle wrapped cleanly.  Here's how I do it and it works quite well - pardon my photography skills.

The trick here is to leave the wings - both the spent and the elk hair wing materials long until the hackle is completely wound and tied off.

Spent wings - wrap tight to a ball of dubbing to flare them.  


Elk Hair - Tie in on top of a nice even platform formed when tying in the spent wings.


Hackle - Tie in in front of the elk hair butts and wrap counter-clockwise looking from above for a right handed tyer, and tie off behind the hook eye.  The longer wing materials will allow you to wrap the hackle over the spent wings and around the base of the elk hair wing and butts without catching it. Make the spent wings about 2X the hook shank length, and cut the elk hair right at the skin so you have plenty of length.    


The finished fly from angle above.


Side view.


And here's the video we did with Tim Flagler on tying it from start to finish. 


Hope that helps!

We're headed to Montana in a couple of days, so we hope to have some posts from Big Sky country when we return since the computer is staying home.  We'll try to post stuff from the trip daily to Instagram though - @mattgrobert 

Sharpen your hooks.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Tying the Bluegill Belly Bean

With our local trout streams at their usual summer levels and warm temperatures, we turn our attention to warm water species - bass, bluegills and, sunnies.  Here's a great video with Tim Flagler tying our friend Paul Beel's Bluegill Belly Bean pattern.   We recently featured another of Paul's patterns here - his FrankenFrog. This is a fairly simple pattern to tie and by all accounts it's a fish getter.  Tie some up!
       

Sharpen your hooks!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Green Drake - Sweden

The Green Drake, or the Ephemera danica, is the largest mayfly in Sweden. When it hatches, a short period in late May to early June, the trout goes crazy. Even the biggest trout come out and feed on the juicy insects, and when that happens the fly fisherman should be on the river bank.


Sharpen your hooks.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Tying Flies for Montana

It has been many years since I first went to Montana for the first time with a good friend, Don, to fish the Madison River and the surrounding trout waters, and I still get just as excited today as I did then.  This year I'm going with the usual crowd, albeit without my son and a couple of the others.  We going to be spending half the trip on the Madison River, and the other half up on the Missouri River.  In preparation, I'm tying all the flies I typically use when on those waters in late July.  

Here's my Sawyer's Pheasant Tail nymph.  For me, this is a must have fly as it aptly imitates the PMD nymphs so common and available just about anywhere in Montana in July.  I typically fish it by itself on the end of a long leader casting it straight upstream at the heads of pools and in the riffles; depending on the water depth and speed, I may put a split shot or two on the leader above it.  It works great.       


This is Kelly Galloup's Improved Blue-winged Olive nymph, which is a variation on the Sawyer Pheasant Tail nymph.  It has a peacock herl thorax and gills of a white, sparse dubbing material.  I used Senyo's Laser Dub here.  This fly has been very effective for me the last few years both here in the East and in Montana.    


Here's the Iris Caddis, which as you may know is one of my very favorite patterns.  It was introduced to me that first year I went to Montana by Don, and like many of you, it took a few years for me to recognize its full potential.  I tied the thorax with touch-dubbed hare's mask, but the original is tied with the hare's mask just dubbed on the thread.  I like the touch-dub method because it give the fly a buggier look and the wax helps improve the way the fly floats without the use of floatant.    


Here's a Pale Morning Dun snowshoe rabbit dry.  The body here is dubbed with a mixture of yellow and light olive beaver fur mixed 50/50.  The lighting in the photo makes it appear bright yellow/olive, but its really a paler yellow/olive.  I like beaver because its a natural fur that holds its color very well even when wet.  


Here's a PMD sparkle dun side and front view.  Make sure you are using a high quality deer comparadun hair for the wing - short black intact tips like you see in the front view. If the hair tips are broken or long, don't use it, it is likely dried out and brittle or won't float very well.    


Front view of PMD sparkle dun.


Here's a fairly good photo of the colors I mix for the PMD dun for reference.


Sharpen your hooks!