I am excited to announce a new fly pattern to be released by Montana Fly Company in 2021! The McCoy’s All Day Isonychia Spinner is very durable, has a very realistic profile, can be fished all day, and is a must have pattern for our Northern Michigan streams. This fly will be available in two sizes, #10 and #12, and will complete the Isonychia lineup in a series of foam based dry flies that I released through MFC in 2019.
The All Day Isonychia Spinner is a great searching pattern and is one of my go to favorites to target rising trout during an Isonychia Spinner fall. Make sure to check with your local fly shops for availability and I expect we will have a limited quantity available here online at Mangled Fly. Read more
https://i0.wp.com/mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/mccoys-all-day-spinner-isonychia.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1600900Ed McCoyhttps://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/mangled-fly-fishing.jpgEd McCoy2020-12-18 02:27:002020-12-18 10:50:34New Fly Release McCoy’s All Day Spinner
Our latest upload to our YouTube Channel is a super simple baitfish pattern that we call the Ice Dub Minnow. A favorite pattern to fish below Tippy Dam, but also works great below Hodenpyle Dam and in the backwaters for smallmouth bass on Tippy Pond. Of course these are only a few of our favorite spots, as it has worked really well for bluegills in the spring when they are shallow and pre-spawn.
If you honestly haven’t tried hunting big pre-spawn bluegills, and you want to test your skills this is a great activity during quarantine. No motor needed for this type of fishing. Get ready to be humbled by the big gills. Great casting practice before the big bugs start hatching on our trout rivers.
What also makes the Ice Dub Minnow so great is that you can easily teach it to kids and get them started in fly tying, but also it’s a great pattern to fish with kids, to get them a taste of fly fishing. As I mention in the video this minnow pattern really does fish well by itself, with a tiny split shot. I tend to like Sure Shot, but black bird shot will just work as well. Size No 4 or No 6, are both really small and easy to cast.
Let this fry pattern swing in the current with small twitches of the rod, and it will fish itself. Small minnows can’t swim very fast for very long, so they become easy meals for hungry trout. Fish this pattern in the shallows where small baitfish tend to hide. Good luck and Stay Safe.
I’m back on the vise, after 6 months of steelhead flies, back to the big flies that can be used for trout, smallmouth, pike and muskie. Had the last few days off and playing around with a few new patterns. Working on dialing the weight so that the patterns will swim correctly. While most of my water is still frozen (the northern Michigan inland lakes), getting a few patterns wet in the bath tub helps.
Picture above is the seeing eye rattle weight , curious what this guy does. While most patterns that incorporate rattles have them lying parallel to the shank, thought I would try a little perpendicular , allowing the rattles to tumble from side to side. Now will this cause the fly to walk the dog more?
Can’t really tell until you get out on the water and throw it with the sink tips and floating lines. But the creative juices are once again flowing, and for the guys who have been checking out the site. I’m sorry for the lack of content. Promise to kick it up a notch for a while. Thank you again.
https://i0.wp.com/mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/IMG_6400.jpg?fit=640%2C640&ssl=1640640Jon Rayhttps://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/mangled-fly-fishing.jpgJon Ray2018-04-24 13:08:432018-04-24 13:08:43Streamer season back to tying big flies
With it being streamer tying season we have a new video on our Vimeo page to share. Russ Maddin shares another streamer that is a must tie. Using Egg Yarn for the head gives this Maddin creation great action. Add a few of his techniques to your box and have a great trout season. Make sure to watch until the end, as Russ breaks down what line and leader setup to use when fishing this great fly.
https://i0.wp.com/mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/russ.jpg?fit=743%2C479&ssl=1479743Jon Rayhttps://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/mangled-fly-fishing.jpgJon Ray2018-02-07 14:23:062018-02-07 14:23:06Figure Eight Super Light Video
Ed McCoy is one of the best fly tiers and I’ve had the opportunity to spend many of sessions watching him master his craft. Erik Rambo captured this picture of Ed tying flies and as usual paying extra attention to the little details.
https://i0.wp.com/mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DSC08659.jpg?fit=640%2C427&ssl=1427640Jon Rayhttps://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/mangled-fly-fishing.jpgJon Ray2017-10-01 09:59:162017-10-01 09:59:16Fly Tying Details – Pic of the Day
Mangled Fly contributor Erik Rambo captures Ed McCoy tying big flies late at night. Something about the process of tying a new fly for the next day, that gives the angler more confidence. Taking what you have learned from the previous day and implementing that knowledge. Ed McCoy is a master at this craft.
https://i0.wp.com/mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/muskie-t-shirt.jpg?fit=720%2C446&ssl=1446720Jon Rayhttps://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/mangled-fly-fishing.jpgJon Ray2017-09-23 08:53:292017-09-23 08:53:29Tying Flies – Pic of the Day
Well, it’s that time of year again. I’ve inventoried my fly boxes and I am scrambling to fill my spring, summer & fall fly boxes for the upcoming seasons, as old man winter starts thinking about taking his nap, I hope! This winter has been full of tinkering with new materials and techniques for favorite fishing, steelhead on the swing. Per usual, I completely forgot to do what I always intend, which is to fill the holes in my boxes from a spring, summer and fall of fishing. Ugh, production tying. Not a fan.
The most enjoyable part of tying for me is the development stage or learning of new patterns. When I sit down to let my mind wander and relax into it’s artistic side & start free styling, my default is steelhead streamers. The array of colors and materials that one could imagine using and attracting this quarry is astounding. So I play with color combos and styles of flies deep into the night while sipping on something brown. Bourbon, rye and scotch being the likely suspects. Sometimes the next day I awake with a headache, grab some coffee and go critique my flies from the night before. The bigger the headache, the more likely it’s “WTF was I thinking!” Sometimes I impress myself and sometimes the razor comes out & the hook is shorn of the monstrosity.
Which begets a question that I hinted to in the title- what are my beverages for tying flies? Sure, whiskey has turned my brain and fingers into madness & what transpired on the vice was abominable, but some nights it’s more about the drink than the tying. Then there are the nights that a neat dram of whiskey is the perfect accompaniment, as a sip every so often soothes my soul and the whiskey’s temperature does not change & some of the resulting flies have found permanent places in my boxes.
So, here’s my guide to what to drink when tying flies. Yours may very as we all have preferences.
Production/Repetitive tying- I have three schools of thought here…
#1 Drink coffee to keep you rolling and the mind free from the numbing effects of doing a dozens of the same pattern. I know a few guides who really like tying production, as it gives them a “check out time” when they don’t have to think about what they are doing as they done the fly hundreds or thousands of times. Especially the dreaded egg patterns.
#2 Drink water- no better time to hydrate. Until it catches up with you and you spend more time in the bathroom than at the vice.
#3 Drink a low alcohol beer. Think macro brew or old world Pilsener. Pabst has been a fly tying staple for some for many years. Personally, I go with a craft “Session” beer. Short’s “Ale la Reverend” is my favorite when it’s available and Founders “All Day IPA” is good to go all year long and comes in 12 pack cans.
Dry Flies/Nymphs- kind of falls in to the same category as above. They are not my strong point, so I stick to H2O. Sometimes red wine is a good option. It’s a sipper, doesn’t loose it’s temperature and gets better as the air mixes in and it “opens up”.
Wet flies/Soft Hackles- tradition would call for a fine dram of Irish or Scotch as these patterns were originally from the British Isles. But be careful, as once you start working on the wet flies with tented or married wings, your fingers and mind need to be nimble. On the other hand, simple soft hackles like the Partridge and Red/Yellow/ Orange that work so well, can be done when a wee bit addled. The other traditional drink that I partake in if it’s summer and I am refilling the Wheatley box would be a tall Gin and Tonic. Nothing says summer like a G&T while tying wets/soft hackles!
Traditional Steelhead and Atlantic Flies- Once again a glass of whiskey does well and for me, it has to be a Single Malt Scotch, likely from Speyside and even more likely it’s Mortlach 15yr or Macallan 10yr Fine Oak. I savor this traditional beverage slowly, maybe only taking a sip as I put the hook in the vice and when I take the finished fly out. I need all my wits about me when trying some of these complicated beauties.
Streamers- Beer, beer and more beer! I love tying streamers and nothing goes better than beer. Likely something with a little kick, like a Stone IPA or a Ballast Point “Sculpin IPA”. Beer keeps my juices flowing and my thirst quenched. I tend to wet down and pull back materials on my streamers as they can get in the way of the next step. Usually all that is needed is a little saliva and beer aides in this process!
Freestyle/Creative Session- Bourbon…on the rocks. When I’m messing around testing new ideas or materials, bourbon fuels the fire! It is also my go to spirit, period. When I am creating new flies, my concern is not for the immediate finished product, as it’s very rare that something comes off the vice and doesn’t get tweaked and refined. Most of the time it’s put somewhere on the desk where I look at it and critique the shape, size & proportions of materials. Then I tie it a second time with my improvements. Then I repeat this a third time. But I stop there until I can see them all on or in the water. Some patterns of mine have looked great until water tested and afterwards, straight into the garbage or under the razor.
One last thought…when it comes time to clean up your tying area, as I know most of us let it go until we can’t stand it, I advise a strong cocktail to ease the pain! Maybe a Dark & Stormy, a Moscow Mule or a Manhattan. My desk is a mess right now and will be until I knock out all my spring & summer flies. Then it will get cleaned up and likely stay that way until after the summer, as I will be too busy fishing & not tying. Unless I blow through a certain pattern that is lighting them up, then it’s back to it and the dreaded production tying begins. Ugh, production tying…and you better bet there will be an adult beverage involved!
Downloaded the Midnight Creeper video, amazed myself that I could do it given my Luddite acumen with computers. In looking at the fly’s action in the water wonderfully illustrated from a below the water shot I figured there was no way an average fly tier like myself could possibly tie it. The rabbit strip legs move like a real frogs and the foam cap would be way too complex for me to cut out. However, in a very well filmed illustration it is really a fly that anyone with basic tying skills can readily do. Ed’s clear and stepwise tying prompted by Jon Ray’s questions, that often were the very ones I was thinking of, makes this a great video to watch if you want a killer fly for night time fishing. The one thing that can drive you a bit crazy is Ed wraps backwards around the hook. I tried tying the Midnight Creeper but on a large streamer hook because I don’t have a bass hook yet and got a great result if its action in my bathtub is any test. As I don’t have that neat cutter to use on the foam I free hand cut it out and got a passable result. Now if I can just get a chance to use it! – Doc
Ed McCoy and I (Jon Ray) will be tying some signature trout and steelhead patterns on Jan 28th at Schmohz Brewery , contact Brian at Nomad Anglers . To sign up for the seminar call the Grand Rapids location (616) 805-4393. This is a first come first serve and space is limited. Looking forward to the good night of tying and some new beer.
https://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/mangled-fly-fishing.jpg00Jon Rayhttps://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/mangled-fly-fishing.jpgJon Ray2014-01-16 12:54:512014-01-16 12:54:51Nomad Anglers and Schmohz Beer
So, what’s in my flask, you ask?
9 out of 10 times it’s something brown, especially now that it’s wicked cold here in the north. Lately, it’s been Irish, McFadden’s Irish Whiskey to be exact. This whiskey goes against my heartfelt belief that all southern Irish Whiskey is shite, but this ones lovely!!!
McFadden’s is from West Cork Distillers in Union Hall, West Cork, Ireland and is aged in Irish oak and sherry casks. With a high malt bill, it is truly malt driven, with nice biscuit aromas and none of the over powering sweetness of the ever popular and over rated Jameson. Put the Jamey in your soda or ginger ale where it belongs!
This is a handcrafted beverage that deserves to be drunk neat, as it’s complexity and depth will shine through this way. Now, that being said, the way I really have been enjoying it is in some fine Irish Black Tea(Barry’s, Bewley’s or if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, they have an awesome version too!) which makes for a nice warm up on a winters day of fishing. Brew up enough strong tea to fill your insulated thermos in the morning before you head out the door for your winter adventure…make sure to warm the thermos up with hot water before putting the tea in so that it stays nice and hot. When you are feeling a little cold or need some inspiration, pour an once or two in a your mug and top with steaming hot tea. Instant attitude changer! This hot drink is also great to have next to you as you work on filling your fly boxes for next summers trout fishing.
https://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/mangled-fly-fishing.jpg00Speybstrdhttps://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/mangled-fly-fishing.jpgSpeybstrd2013-12-06 17:25:302013-12-06 17:25:30What’s in my flask…