Late Night Fly Tying (Running Thread)

What does it look like to you?

(04/05) I’ve decided to pretty much keep this as a running thread. I don’t feel like dedicating a whole new post every time I tie a fly that I decide to share. I’ll continue updating this thread as something new comes along.

On a more interesting note, the flies tied last week swam a lot better than I expected. The one fly I was particularly pleased with was the Rabbit Ears fly. Honestly, I half way expected it to fall apart (I’m still kind of new at this), but it swam with interesting action. I believe its presentation will be more than adequate to entice a hungry blue gill or even a crappie.

Anyway, enjoy the running thread. I’ll keep all of the older parts down below the updated sections.


(03/31) UPDATE: Another late night, another night of tying some flies. This time I tied some basics, and then took the liberty of getting creative. I apologize for the image quality. These pictures were taken from a cell phone.

There’s not much to tell right now. Thanks to my friends at Cabela’s I’ve been doing a little late night fly tying. This most recent one was inspired by my wonderful fiancee Rachel (aka Ray-Ray).

I’ve already got a woolly-bugger drying, and trust me, there will be many more to come tomorrow night. I’ll update this post when/if anything else interesting comes about. For now, it’s bed time.


Fly Box

I’ve been told before that the amount of fish you catch can usually be tied one’s confidence in the lure being used. And, for the most part, I think that’s true. I’m sure there are all sorts of explanations for such an epigram, but it reflects a lot about the fisherman. The lure you’re most confident in usually catches fish.

I’ve received handfuls of explanations for why a certain color of lure works on a cloudy afternoon in mid-July after a rainstorm, and I’ve wasted plenty of fishing trips based on such information.

My Clouser minnow was once chartreuse (bright green) and white. Now it's just white which means it has seen a lot of fish.

For me, the Clouser minnow is one of the most versatile flies in my box. It can be fished deep or close to the surface. It comes in many different sizes, and I’ve seen similar Clouser patterns catch fish in many different bodies of water, from fresh to salt water. When poppers, wet, or dry flies fail, I always tie on a Clouser or similar bait fish pattern.

There’s no doubt that certain lures in certain situations, and knowing species’ behaviors can certainly help catch fish; however, it’s hard to think that there’s not something to always using that “go-to” lure. It could be because your confidence is reflected in your fly presentation, or you just know how to work it well enough to adapt it to certain situations.

I believe that much of fishing is instinctive, and if it’s a cloudy afternoon in mid-July and the water is muddy then tie on whatever you feel will work. Chances are good you’ll catch a fish.

Weekend Fly

Sometimes the only way to get to the fishing hole is to make yourself. This weekend my roommate Drew and I were able to go back to Alabama and spend Saturday afternoon around the fishing hole for some warm water fly fishing.

There aren’t any trout in Alabama, at least not the eastern central part, so we were banking on hooking only bass and bluegill. Spawning season for bass is right around the corner so we were expecting to see some in shallower waters.

The temperature was in the mid 80’s this weekend, which was fairly unexpected. I can’t help but wonder if the sporadic temperature changes are keeping the warm water species from being too aggressive.

We had quite the arsenal to chose from, but the fish didn't make easy for us

We started the day going after top-water action. The assumption was that if the fish were moving into shallower waters then maybe they’d go after something like a popper or dry fly; however, if the top water bite didn’t produce then we were prepared to go deeper.

The top-water poppers produced well early on, but after a while the bite and bump slowed down. It wasn’t until I changed to wet flies that the bite picked up again. At that point it seemed as though nothing was interested unless the fly was 10+ ft down. It was very frustrating considering there was no real consistent pattern. My suspicions were later confirmed as my dad hauled in his 14th fish on a slow moving trick worm he was casting on a spinner combo.

The big fish were still deep.

The bite wasn't great, but Drew still managed to take Big Fish (on a fly)

After a long day of casting, and watching my dad haul in a couple of nice ones on his spinner, I can’t help but figure that they aren’t quite ready for the fly. Drew and I weren’t completely unsuccessful on the fly, but it was very clear that the bass and even bluegill weren’t aggressive. Any bite came deep and on a slow working fly.

Give us a couple more weekends like this last one, and I’m confident that more bass will move in for the spawn. The water temperature didn’t seem too cold (I’d know, I feel in trying to retrieve a hung popper in a bush), but I’m sure the extreme fluctuation in temperature over the past few weeks still has them apprehensive to move in for the pre-spawn.

Why ‘On the Fly’

I should probably include this in the ‘about’ section of this blog (already happened). I’m not a fly fishing expert. I’m not a fly fishing guide, or someone who makes a living selling fly fishing equipment

I’m just a fly fisherman.

This site is an ode to what I love doing. It was not created to tell you how to tie certain knots or to compare the size of my fish to yours (there are plenty of other places where you can do that). Hopefully, if this site does one thing it will make readers want to fish more.

My fly fishing mentor had many helpful tips, but nothing he did helped me more than give me the opportunity to learn fly fishing for myself

There is plenty of information out there on how to tie knots, how to cast, where to fish, etc. Any seasoned fisherman will tell you that the best knot, lure, rods to use are the ones you discover for yourself that catch the fish.

I can only hope my stories, photos, and videos will encourage readers to go out and fish. Learn what works and continue doing what we love.

That’s what this site it about. Doing what we love.