Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tying Articulated Streamers (just some basics)

Several people have asked me to show how to attach articulated streamers. Although I don't mind showing how I do it, the best thing for anyone to do is purchase Kelly Galloup's Tying Articulated Streamers . Kelly is certainly one of the best in the country at this stuff.

Here are a couple shots that show the materials, I use, for attaching the front and rear hooks and a couple shots of the process.

The Materials

  1. A completed rear section of an articulated fly (just make it up as you go)
  2. 5x Floro- (The materials can be pulled tight with floro)
  3. Red beads (go to Hobby Lobby and buy them in bulk)
  4. .015" Bead Stringing Wire (can't beat it for $7.00 @ Hobby Lobby)
  5. Front Hook (I like to use straight eye's and short....think saltwater)
The Connection
  1. Slide the wire through the eye of the rear hook and pull (this will make a pocket/bend in the wire. But not too tight. You will know when it is right)
  2. Add 3 or 4 or the red beads (really any color works)
  3. Tie the wire into the front hook (be sure the eyes of both hooks are level with each other)
  4. Run the wire through the eye of the front hook
  5. Wrap the floro to the eye of the front hook and capture the wire
  6. Fold the wire back toward the rear of the hook
  7. Wrap the floro to back of the front hook and capture the wire on the bottom at the same time
  8. Add some super glue to smooth out the wraps and give some bite to the materials

Now It Is Ready to Build the Front Portion of the Fly

That's how I've been building the articulated streamers. Is it right or wrong? Who knows, but the flies have great action when they are stripped! Let me know if this helps and if you have any questions just shoot me an email or give me a call.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 Double Haul Awards (part III)

The Quick Draw

Jamie and Rachel have fished with us several times over the past couple years and I have had the pleasure of watching them grow as anglers. They have produced some of the best mends and the last trip of this year I notice their hook sets were lightning fast. Fast hook sets, like a quick draw; bring results, even when the fishing is slow. Rachel bagged the biggest trout on this trip and had the quickest hook set I have seen in a while.

The Nastiest Surgical Procedure on the River

So, here's the story. I had a guy (who will remain nameless) on the boat for a half day trip. The first half of the day was good for hatchery brats, but only a few notable fish had been brought to the net. We were fishing tandem rigs and as the trip wound-down the action began to pick-up. We caught several nice browns and had just boated two over 19" in a row. We decided we would throw streamers where we had seen some nice fish and I backed the boat up the river to hit the good spots again.

We decided on yellow, for those bigger browns, and out came the streamer rod. On the third cast I saw the fly come through the boat right in front of me. My feet were on the cooler and as the fly came through the rowers area, I felt a stinging in my shin. The streamer was a size #2 hook and was stuck past the bend of the hook, all the way up to the material on the shank.

Then came the minor surgery... I poked the barb through the back side of my skin, we were able to cut the shank in two and then pull the hook out the second hole. Then we finished out the day and I went for the yearly tetanus the next day. The photo is not real clear, but at least I was thinking clearly enough to get the shot.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Streamer Season Is Just Around the Bend

Streamer season is coming upon us quickly. If the water will cooperate and the temps will go down, we will be in the midst of my favorite time of the year to be on the water. We could use a good strong shad kill, but it is not a necessity for protein seeking fish. So, what is there to do while we are not on the water?

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Everybody

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Articulation In the Making.....

An Articulated Mess

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Friday, December 18, 2009

2009 Double Haul Awards (part II)

The Stevie Wonder
(Catching While Not Really Looking)

I am not sure if this should be an honorable mention, but it deserves a Double Haul. Anyway, Dan and I were fishing and it was time for me to fish……his time to row. As we came down the home stretch to the ramp, the sun was fading behind the hills, a light cloud cover was over the water and the fish were rising.

God's yellar moon was a' shinin' on the cool clear evenin',
God's little lanterns just a' twinklin' on and off in the heavens
and, like I explained to you once before....

Oops, that was some Jimmy Buffett.....

Anyway, Dan and I were talking, solving some major world problem, I'm sure. And, Dan had a line out too. You get the picture, no one else on the water, it was a late weekend afternoon and there may have been a beverage somewhere, it was a nice way to wind down a weekend.

Dan gave a slight push on the oars, then just as he lifted the rod to cast ahead of the boat, for a good drift, a nice brown trout smacked his top water fly. I am betting the action on the fly coaxed the brown to strike. We quickly switched places, me back on the oars and Dan into the casting brace. After a brief fight between Dan and the fish, a quick scoop of the net.....Dan had his second really nice brown of the day. After that, I think I won the "row us onto the ramp award" and Dan takes home the Stevie Wonder.

TWRA Writes Another Ticket

The Lunchables
(Most Entertaining Streamside Lunch)

We stop for a nice (insert frilly) shore lunch on all of our full day trips. During a Summer trip, Mark, Joe and I shared the gravel bar with the guys from the TWRA. We watched and listened to the passing canoe enthusiasts, who rented canoes and even one boat owner. All had various stories concerning their life jackets, or lack of life jackets. And most of them entertain us as well as our friends from the TWRA. While the TWRA guys worked writing tickets, we put away come cedar planked grilled salmon. The remarks made to the TWRA guys were some of the most interesting and entertaining one liners I heard all year on the river.

The conversation always began like this....

“Sir orMa’am, can I see your life jacket?”
The TWRA officer

>”My what? Lifejacket?” (The lady while adjusting her bikini top.)
>“I think it’s under the cooler?” (The really intoxicated guy)
>”It’s in their boat” (A lady in a kayak)
>”Lifejacket? I didn’t know you had to have a lifejacket if you were in a boat?”
(The guy with a $180.00 ticket)

And, sometimes the officer ended with “Sir/Ma’am can you pull to the side of the river?”

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Monday, December 14, 2009

2009 Double Haul Awards (part I)

It has been a couple weeks since we've been on the water. The extra time has gotten the creative juices flowing. After reflecting back on the year, it is time to bring back some of the more funny and interesting moments of 2009. So, here we go with the Inaugural 2009 Double Haul Awards...part I

The Best Bet:

After lunch we shoved off the bank and I had Rob in my boat. Rob is the type of guy who likes a little competition and to have fun on a trip. As I backed the drifter into the current, Rob yelled to our sister boat, with his friends aboard “the first one to catch an 18” fish wins $50.00.” We drifted another hundred yards and Rob’s indicator went to the bottom. I yelled “pull, pull” while slapping him on the shoulder, Rob set the hook, and then boated the first fish after lunch. It was, of all things, an 18” brown. I still wonder if the rest of the group ever paid up?

David's Miracle Rainbow

Here’s Your Miracle:

Bob, brought his son David to float the Elk, after a week floating in Tri-Cities. It was after the big rains of the Spring. We shoved off at the Highway 50 Bridge and when we got to the Bend Pool David put on a catching clinic that would rival any pieced together fishing show. As we floated down river David could do no wrong, while Bob was hanging in there with him throughout the day.

When we got to one of my favorite runs a flock of geese took off downstream and flogged the entire run. We drifted into the run and I told David, if you catch a fish in here it will be a miracle.

A few feet later David set the hook and bagged a nice rainbow. He turned to me and said calmly….”Here’s your Miracle”,

Stay tuned part II is just around the corner.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Middle TN Fishing Report


The skies have dropped lots of rain over the Middle Tennessee area and most of the Southeastern U.S. The fishing report is lots of water and the fish are trying not to drown. That is probably an accurate description.

One Drop

I say "come on cold weather". A good shad kill after the lakes get back to Winter pool, whenever that is, would be good for morale. Cabin fever should be setting in after a week or so.

Please Use Caution Below Dams, Water May Rise Rapidly

My Dad shot the picture below, at Chickamauga Dam, the other day. The picture is an indicator of the amount of rain the state has received over the past several days. So go out and do the Christmas shopping, but check back later for a new feature later this week.

Chickamauga Dam

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Salmon Derby, Triploids and World Records

Back in the 1970’s my grandfather would travel from Memphis to Ludington Michigan to fish the Salmon Derby every year. The Derby is the largest fresh water salmon tournament in the US. Because we lived in Michigan, we would meet my grandparents at Ludington and spend the week with them at the Ludington fairgrounds. I was allowed to go on the boat a few times. But this was serious fishing and since I was young, my trips were on pre-fish days before the derby began. I don't remember seeing a fish like this, but I do remember some big browns coming out of Lake Michigan on these trips. I also remember Lake Michigan is very rough!

Before reading any further please understand I can see several sides of this issue. I haven’t made up my mind, and really, I am not sure any of this matters. I would have put this fish back in the river, because a world record doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me at this point in my life. But, congratulations are in order for Mr. Healy and Mr. Roller.

Tom Healy (holding the Michigan State Record Brown trout) and Guide Tim Roller

Adj.1.triploid - of a cell or organism having three complete sets of chromosomes.

So what does that have to do with fish, fly fishing or the great outdoors? It has more to do with fish than anything. You see the current Michigan State Record Brown Trout apparently may be a triploid. The fisheries biologists, who work in some fisheries management departments, understand triploid much better than most. However, it is common knowledge the trout is sterilized (with heat) shortly after the eggs are fertilized. This process makes them triploid. Surely it isn’t as simple as that and can be made as complicated as anyone wishes. But, the sterilization prevents the fish from reproducing and from maturing sexually. If a fish can’t do these two things then what’s a fish to do?

Hold on I have to get some more coffee, this could get interesting…

OK I am back. These fish eat, and eat, and eat. They can go into a feeding zone and clean up. This part seems to be similar to our local striper population (which I really like to chase). Anyway, the triploid can’t find another triploid interested in movie, video games or anything else for that matter after a good meal. What is a triploid to do? Eat some more, until they become of mammoth size. Apparently these fish never go through the motion of a spawn and never expend that energy. If a fish doesn’t go through the motions of spawning they don’t lose the weight through the spawning process, but they continue to eat like they just spawned. And, they grow some more.

Howard "Rip" Collins World Record Brown Trout (1992)

Sounds good right? Well there are a lot of different angles, thoughts and feelings on this subject. Here are just a few questions:

Is this just a genetically engineered fish?

Where did I put that 8 weight?

Should biologists be messing with the genetics of a fish?

Why are we talking about this fish when it wasn’t caught on a fly rod?

Should a fish that is genetically altered count as a world record?

Does Arkansas still hold the world record brown trout and the Michigan trout is a different species altogether?

Does this fish really matter to the entire fly fishing snob community?

Should we tie some shad patterns, load our stuff and head to Michigan?

All these questions and a whole lot more have been pondered, discussed and argued. With me they were pondered over two cups of coffee, just long enough to do some research and write this article, because it is interesting and I am a little under the weather and stuck in the house.

There is a question that has been bothering me though…I wonder how fast a triploid brook trout would grow in the Caney Fork River?

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