Fly Tying – Flymen Blog Post

Great write up by Gunnar Brammer on the Flymen Blog Post about fly tying and the 3 different ways that you can use articulation in your fly design for stripping streamers.  Flymen products have exploded onto the scene the last few years.  Flymen products are a staple of my fly tying room.  Articulated Shanks for steelhead, Fish- Skull Articulated Fish Spines , and Fish-Skull Body Tubing

Gunnar makes reference to Russ Maddin, and one of my personal favorite streamer patterns the Circus Peanut.  Check out the link to the detailed how-to-tie video we did with Russ Maddin.

In my mind, Maddin’s Circus Peanut best exemplifies my personal definition of an articulated jig fly. The rear hook and front hook are identical with the exception of the chenille-wrapped lead eyes. The fly swims, jigs, and is a fish-catching machine.

Circus Peanut with Russ Maddin from Mangled Fly Media on Vimeo.

The Circus Peanut has been a staple in the Russ Maddin fly box for years. The Circus Peanut orginated in Northern Michigan over a decade ago and is now fished all over the world. Many streamers by many famous fly tiers have followed this same template. Russ sits down with Jon Ray from Mangled Fly Media and shows his step-by-step process.
This video breaks down the Circus Peanut and gives you full access, into the mind of fly tier, fisherman , and river steward Russ Maddin. As he discusses his methods of tying, color matching, and setting up one of the best streamers of all time.
No matter your experience level you will learn something from this video. If your into streamer fishing no matter the species this is a must watch.

Sculpins, the Every Day Bait Fish

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This past year was one of a kind. The steelhead fishing lasted forever, the hatches were late but amazing at times, and this spring’s flooding has had an impact on the entire fishing season in my neck of the woods. Some food sources come and go in these conditions. However, one of the most induring and ubiquitous creatures in Michigan is the sculpin, and I have been in love with these guys for a long time. Sculpins produced many fish this year as they are very effective in high water.

I have spent a lot of time looking for sculpins in our rivers. These fish love flat rocks in light to moderate current. If your river has broken concrete or bridges with a concrete base, these are sculpin hideouts. When the water is low, sculpins will come into shore. They also move into shore in the dead of winter. During the cold water months, one of the few baitfish that is easy to find is the sculpin. Sculpins themselves are predators, and if you ever decide to keep one in an aquarium they may well eat your other fish. The most common sculpin, the mottled sculpin, is pretty hardy and can stand warmer temps than other species.

When you tie flies, it is helpful to understand what sculpins look like. For most of the year, the majority of them are a tan color, like this one:

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When they are breeding, the males can take on a black color. This is also true of gobies, which look like sculpins in many ways. If you tie a black sculpin in the spring it will imitate sculpins and gobies; it will catch big fish.

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Sometimes you find sculpins that are a mottled olive color. This seems to be more common in the winter.

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If you enjoyed this post, please visit my photo web site on smugmug.

Kevin Feenstra

Brown Trout Pics

underwater brown trout


Brown Trout – Pic of the Day

I enjoy the challenge of big brown trout during the day of the summer months.  This nice brown trout starts off my July just right.

Brook trout or a Great White?

The aggressive nature of a brook trout reminds me of a Great White Shark sometimes, now the size and teeth on the other hand.  Just a different view of a brook trout coming to the boat on a soft hackle tied by John Ingham.  Thank you John.

Patagonia Great Divider III – Product Review

Patagonia Great Divider

Patagonia Great Divider III

Time for a new boat bag and the Patagonia Great Divider was my choice after looking at the many options out there, it was a few simple things that sold me on the Patagonia bag.  First the 100% waterproof and fully-welded construction.  I found with my old  bag, that I would forget about the rain fly, and by the time I remember it was too late and my bag and the inside was soaked, leaders and flies now wet.  This is not good.  Problem solved now, as the Great Divider gear bag.  I also can’t tell you how many times rain flies turn into moldy rain flies if you don’t dry them out and store them correct.  Secondly the keep it simple lay out.  I don’t like search through endless pockets.  With a 4 panel divider system is’t nice to keep fly boxes separate from tippet.  But I can see everything in the bag at once and I know where it will be.

 

Thirdly the  transparent floating panel with hook-and-loop attachments and removable end pockets help organize small items.   Great place for car keys and cell phones.  Easy to find and protected.

Details

  • 100% waterproof, fully-welded construction with a single-side TPU coating
  • Main compartment is made of a pliable and resilient high-density foam that gives bag shape and protects contents
  • 100% waterproof TIZIP® zipper with waterproof materials and construction at main closure
  • Two interior zippered end pockets are transparent and removable
  • Strap attachments and seams are welded to eliminate leakage
  • Adjustable and removable padded shoulder strap; two grab handles
  • 11.75-oz 800-denier 100% nylon with a PU exterior coating and TPU interior coating

 

Great Speckled Olive caught in a Web

Siphloplecton basale Spinner other wise known for me as the Great Speckled Olive caught in a spiders web.  When you see this guy you know Sulhur’s are on the menu in a day or two.  Hatches are moving forward and temps are really improving.  Couple prime open dates in the first part of June.  June 6,7,9  shoot me an email or a text message if your interested.

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Rivers of Sand by Josh Greenberg

I was just giving a copy of a new book called “Rivers of Sand” by Josh Greenberg.  And I can’t wait to start reading this.  Pick up your copy at your Local Fly Shop.  If your local fly shop doesn’t have it contact Josh Greenberg at Gates AuSable Lodge, he will send you a copy.

Looks to be a great book that will help the reader understand the unique techniques needed to fish the waters of Michigan.  I look forward the read over the summer months.  Thank you Josh for giving Michigan some national coverage.  Some of the most alluring waters in America.

So true about Trout fishing

“Only an extraordinary person would purposely risk being outsmarted by a creature often less than twelve inches long, over and over again.”
~ Janna Bialek

Pic of the Day – Loving the Blues

Cool blues on the cheek of this dry fly eating Michigan Brown Trout.  Put down the streamer rods and broke out the Scott G2 once again to capture this resectable 16″+ Hendrickson sipper.  Also every day more and more impressed with the SA GPX Sharkwave taper.  Day in and day out putting it in new clients hand this line is amazing.

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