I had molds to make all size jigs and two five gallon buckets of lead wheel weights. I no longer make them since I can get all I need fairly cheap from a local guy that makes them. He makes them better than I ever could and will do them in any color I want. We use 1/16 Oz jigs when the white perch and yellow perch run up the river. The yellow perch will start in February and white perch in March. I am getting ready. One of our main items for hunting or fishing is Hot Hands, hand warmers. They are great and I use them deer hunting and fishing. I carry gloves but don't use them except when dragging deer or waking to and from the deer stand. With the new fusion fishing line I can use 6# test line on an ultralite rod and reel. It is the same diameter as 2# test mono so you can cast light jigs a long long ways. I have caught 12 pound catfish on this tiny outfit and some pretty good size stripers with it too. Yes, big stuff often hits tiny jigs.
A couple of years ago I started making my own salmon flies for trolling. The local stores charge waaay too much for them. I've been experimenting with ideas and designs and thought about selling them once I get the best patterns identified. I have been giving patterns to my fishing buds to try also. I have some new ideas I'll be experimenting with this year. So far it's been fun to do. This is my biggest one caught on my design so far.
Made dozens of my own Colorado type spinner. Buy the hooks, blades, snap-rings and swivels separately, and you can put together any color combination you want. People buy all kinds of fancy gear, but my home-made spinners have put quite few Coho and Chum salmon on the beach.
I dont, but I should .. since Im a Steelhead guy, I use a lot of inline spinners, I was online last week looking at some in line spinner making accessories/kits ... I may start this season .... the streams I fish have a lot of logs, many hidden and it can get expensive losing 3 or 4 spinners each day .. generally I'll use Mepps 2's and 3's, Blue Fox and Rooster Tails, at around $5 each, it gets in to the wallet fast ..... Ive lost 5/6 in one day, losing close to $30 of spinners will make one cry ...
anyone have any suggestions on where to get the accessories and tools needed to make 'em ... I have found a few places online, but any suggestions would help ..
I use to do it back in my younger years with my uncle, jigs (walleyes & crappies) along with some bass lures. Made the winter mos. go by quicker, switch over to making arrows that I will go through several dz or more in a yr.
The average price for standard flies is over $1 apiece, or more in some fly shops. More complicated patterns, like streamers, and larger dry fly patterns often sell for $2.50, or more. I can tie flies for literally pennies apiece, and I've gotten fast enough at it that it's time well spent.
Besides, there's nothing better than fooling a large fish with a fly that you tied yourself, and it's also a fun way to pass time in the evenings with buddies on a fly-fishing trip.
That said, I know some guys don't have the patience, or the aptitude for it. That's what keeps fly shops in business. ;-)
I've tied flies with the hair off my pets, road, bow, shot gun, and rifle kills....you name it. I'm constantly picking up trash that I think would make a good material for flies. My wife hates cleaning out the pockets of my pants when she does laundry. ;-)
I'd like to try building a fly rod or two. That would be a neat thing. The satisfaction of catching a fish on one of my own flies is great, and if the rod was mine as well - well, sorta mine, the blank obviously wouldnt be. Unless I took a bamboo class - and I dont plan to do that.
I like to fly fish for fish. Due to proximity, that's mostly trout, bass, panfish of various flavors. But Ill fish the salt in the North East a few X year and in FL 1-2 X as well as the lakes/rivers etc in MN. I fished in the headwaters of the Mississippi, about .25 miles down from the source, just to say I did it one year.
Pike, suckers, fall fish... anything that will eat Ill try to catch if given the chance. The focus and attention applied when fishing is like meditation, it's awesome.
Because I like to catch everything, some tying sessions are goofy. Do 5 or 6 #26 midges, then 2-3 2/0 streamers for bass or salt water or something. All fun.
Back in college, I was 30 min from good trout fishing and 45 min away from outstanding blue-ribbon trout fishing (cuts, 'bows, and browns).
Used to tie flies like crazy, have even built 4 flyrods from blanks to finished product. Now I live 1 hr from world renowned blue-ribbon trout, but since I got a bassboat, I chase crappie and black bass more these days.
My uncle was the inventor of this lure. He named it the Lunch Bucket, because the blade of his first design was made from an old lunch bucket. It's a top-water lure that's deadly on big bass and northerns.
HDE - take one of those old trusty fly rod's next time you pull the bassboat out. Soooo fun to fish for Crappie's with one.. and bass as well. The evolution of materials has made the creation of amazing subsurface and surface bass flies (generally good for any big predatory fish) awesome. An 8 or 10 weight to help with casting some bigger stuff is good, but even a 6 can work solidly or smaller if you are in a pinch.
GG that's a really cool looking inline, ish, buzzbait!
I'm currently trying to develop a fly pattern to mimic the live pass crabs that we use to catch tarpon. This is where I'm at right now. It looks good in the water, and has a similar sink rate as the live ones, but it's a bit cumbersome to cast once it gets wet.
I'm using EP fibers, but I'm melting the edges, while pinching them, to create the hard edges of the body. I think that causes the fibers to hold water longer. That, and the material I'm using for the legs soaks up water and gets heavy. The combination of the two makes it difficult to cast, especially in wind.
It's a double edged sword. if you tie it sparse enough to cast well, it doesn't look natural in the water. If you make it look natural, it's like casting a 1/4 oz sinker.
Matt,. Might be able to brush on UV glue on the legs near the body to eliminate some absorbtion there. Will make them stiffer, but not as noticable closer the the body. Might also try to UV glue some of the body fibers and create a "shell" coating. I tied some "hollow head" bass flies which makes the head area "spongy feeling" and slides through the water nicely. I'd try to wrap the hook shank with some lead for the weight and try to create a "hollow body" with glue coating and your melting technique. Just throwing thoughts out there. Dave
Matt, that crab is sweet. What if u use fuzzy foam for the shell? Light, holds up well.
UV or epoxy on the top of the shell can yield weight that flips the fly... so if u do that, do it on the bottom. There are a lot of good crab patterns. Scope a bunch on YouTube out... bound to be helpful ideas. Sweet tie man!
Thanks. You do some excellent work yourself, brother.
I've scoured the inter-webs for crab patterns, but none of them are even remotely realistic for a pass crab, IMO. Most of them vaguely resemble some kind of smaller crab or some other critter....sort of...kind of....if at all.
I'm into realism when I tie specific patterns. Above is a golden stonefly pattern I developed years ago. It has 2 hooks and articulates at the center. It's a bit time consuming to tie, but the reward has been well worth it.
Matt that stone is awesome! Mono body? Backing for legs? Bent with a hot bodkin or a bit of cement at the corners?
Gotcha on the realism. There's a pattern that's awesome on beach front stripped bass up here, but it's the OPPOSITE of realistic... and it's the definition of a fly you "chuck and duck"... One double haul and pray it doesnt knock you unconscious as it shoots! BUFFY (AKA: Butt Ugly F***ing Fly) is awesome. I've always used the original buck tail version... I think there is a SBS on the eldredge Brothers Fly Shop page... It looks ridiculous - like a bad experiment in fur.. But it works.
I've tried some more realistic crab's in FL that were smaller... those worked. Even on Sheeps head... But I do enjoy impressionistic ties so I've never tried to get things as realistic as either your stone or crab. Those things are sweet!
"Matt that stone is awesome! Mono body? Backing for legs? Bent with a hot bodkin or a bit of cement at the corners?"
Exactly. The 2 strands of backing that form the tails and antennas are continuous thru the entire fly. That's what holds the two separate hooks together. When the fly gets wet, the back half wiggles in the currents, and it seems to drive trout nuts. It's out-fished any other stonefly nymph I've ever used.
I do a lot of impressionistic flies too, especially streamers, and agree they can be just as effective in certain situations.