I was in the my local Cabelas shop the other day. I was poking around the fly fishing section and aside from the usual lines, leaders, and fly tying materials a new product caught my eye. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past six or 8 months you must have seen the phenomenon that is sweeping the fly fishing industry. (that last sentence got your attention didn't it)? Now, having worked in the outdoor sales industry off and on for the past 3 decades I have come to be aware of the "latest and greatest" Often times these products touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread wind up on the discount rack before they fade off into obscurity.
The product I am speaking of are the new Tacky Fly Boxes www.tackyflyfishing.com. These boxes are taking the industry by storm, and for good reason. These boxes have all of the features a fly fisherman is looking for in a premium fly box. Best of all they don't carry a premium price tag. As I looked at the box I got an idea. I have been wanting to add a "winter" box to my arsenal for a while now. I was looking for a small box I could fill with smaller Nymph patterns we typically use during the winter months.
Measuring 5" X 3" X 1/2" the Tacky Day Pack The perfect size for a project like this. Here are some features of this box.
Small, light, sleek, compact
Clear lid for visible access to flies
New bi-directional slit design holds up to 180 flies
Latch-less magnetic closure system
Long lasting durability
Extremely durable poly-carbonate box
Double sided lanyard hook system
New hinge stop
The next time you are in your local fly shop give these boxes a look, you will be glad you did.
The first pattern I decided to fill my new Tacky box with is the Al's Rat. The Rat is a great pattern I have been using for several years now. Here is the recipe...
Hook: TMC 3761 #18
Abdomen: UTC Watery Olive or Brown Olive tying thread.
Thorax: Senyo's laser dub, color to match
Each color will get a full row as I go through quite a few of these each winter.
The second fly I tied for my winter box is a micro Pheasant Tail. I truly believe you can't have too many Pheasant Tails. My standard Nymph box is stuffed full of PT's in sizes from 12 to 16 and colors ranging from black to tan. My PFN is a version of a Pheasant Tail with a hot orange thorax I have been doing well since I designed the pattern. (For a step by step of the PFN click here). For the winter box I used the same base design as the PFN only I left the black wing case off. This fly is tied on a #18 hook. When tying smaller flies some things just are not necessary to make an effective pattern. Here is the recipe for my micro hot spot PT...
Hook: TMC 2499SP-BL
Bead: Copper Tungsten
Tail: Coq De Leon light
Abdomen: Spirit River UV PT
Rib: Copper Brassie wire
Thorax: Senyo's Laser Dub; orange
These also will get a full row as many of these will be donated to the riverbed this winter.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I fill this box with some of my favorite winter patterns. Some are old classics, some are newer designs, all have proven themselves. In the meantime check out some of the great products from Tacky Fly Fishing. To visit their website here. If you are a Facebook type of person check out their page here and give them a "like" while you are there. You will be glad you did. Till next time...
If you are interested in any custom fly orders please use the links at the bottom of this page to contact me.
It has been a couple of weeks since my last post. Both myself and my computer caught a virus and we were both down for a while. Well, we are back up and running and I thought I would share a step by step of one of my Nymph patterns, the PFN. The idea of Pheasant Tail Nymphs with a "hot" thorax is by no means a new concept. Although the color combo of this fly happens to be the same combination of my favorite hockey team, The Philadelphia Flyers (PFN = Philadelphia Flyers Nymph) the choice of colors goes much deeper than that. Everybody has their favorite color for trout. Read any Charlie Meck book and you will quickly realize Mr Meck is quite fond of blue. Well, I feel the same way about orange. Trout seem to key in on orange and that is why I chose Senyo's laser dub in orange for the thorax of this fly. The black wing case was chosen to make the wing case "pop" against the thorax and to simulate the darkening of the nymphs wing case prior to it emerging. At home on a wild river and deadly on stocked fish (especially Rainbows) this nymph is sure to become a go to.
Hook; TMC 5262 #14
Bead; 1/8 inch gold Brass or Tungsten
Thread; Brown flat waxed 140 denure
Tail; Medium Speckled Coq de Leon
Wire; Brassie Uni Wire, Hot Orange
Abdomen; Natural Pheasant Tail
Thorax; Senyo's Laser Dub, Orange
Wing Case; Black Scud Back or Thin Skin
Bead the hook and place the hook in the vise.
Tough to see here, but select a small clump of Coq de Leon fibers and tie in the tail as long as the hook shank.
Tie in a length of Uni Wire on the near side of the hook shank. The reason I tie it on the near side is when you counter wrap the wire the first wrap will be pulling up on the bottom of the hook shank. This way you can pull the wire tight and not worry about moving the tails with the tension of the wire.
Tie in a clump of natural Pheasant tail and wrap forward. be sure to cover at least 2/3 of the hook shank. Taper the abdomen small to large as you move up the hook.
Counter wrap the wire forward through the abdomen.
Tie in the Scud back for the wing case. You can substitute Thin Skin or Ploy Yarn for this step. Be sure the wing case is centered on top of the hook and is tied back far enough to create a smooth transition from the abdomen to the thorax.
Dub a "buggy" thorax with Orange Senyo's Laser Dub
Fold the wing case forward, tie off and clip the excess. See how the Black "pops" against the Orange.
This is something I have started doing recently. I dubbed a little Brown Hares Ear Plus to take up the space between the top of the thorax and the bead. I really don't think this has anything to do with how the fly fishes, I just think it looks better.
Next time you are at the bench tie a few of these up. Better yet, take your "confidence color" and incorporate it into your favorite Nymph pattern. You may just come up with the new "hot" fly!