Monday, November 25, 2013

Update In Life!

Well, guys, I apologize for not blogging for some time. Been busy setting up a website for my business, Stone's Flies, getting wedding plans taken care of as I get married in 24 days as of this post, been tying a LOT of flies, and have been fishing as much as I can! On a more solemn note, I lost one of my closest and best friends to cancer. He was only 25. So, that's taken a toll on me.... My fiancee and I have been accepted to lease an apartment here in town, which is great, but reality is REALLY sinking in! : (

So, here's a little preview of what's been happening in the fishing world:






Just some of what I've been doing. As far as my personal life more specifically, well, like I said, just getting wedding plans taken care of and working my tail off! Very tired as I work nights and am looking for a better job here, soon. Lord willing I'll be working in the IT department of a local school here in town. For now, it's just the waiting game unfortunately. : (

My beautiful soon-to-be-wife! 
So, this is but a brief glimpse of what has been happening in my life. If you want to check out my website to support my growing business, please check out www.stonesflies.com and if you would like, give my Facebook page a like, too! www.facebook.com/stonesflies

Tight lines everyone! When I get into my new apartment, I'll be able to record more videos and actually work on a lot more stuff with no racket! : ) Hope you all look forward to that! Take care and tight lines! : )

Monday, October 21, 2013

Confused About Flashy Chenille? Me Too!

So, ever since I went to Idaho and found an amazing crystal bugger pattern in olive, I've wanted to tie it up! So, what do I do? I order a bunch of material that looks like it is used in the process of making this fine specimen of a fly. Only problem is this: I get the material and they all look the same!

You've got your krystal flash chenille, cactus chenille, pearl chenille (which is NOT the color pearl), and estaz! So, I've dedicated this blogpost to sort out all the problems as I have had problems discovering what is what! I will be comparing each product side by side in great detail comparing the actual thread base and the length of the fibers and show you which material looks like in a simple Crystal Bugger example. I hope that makes sense! If not, just read on and, hopefully, it will! This is definitely NOT perfect! I know there will be flaws but I hope this helps you determine what you want to use this material for so you don't have to spend money on something that you cannot use or don't want to use and return.

5, yes, five different types of "chenille"! Lots to talk about! Yes, there are 6 packs of material but there's medium krystal flash and just krystal flash. Just to clarify.
 After comparing the fibers, here's something to keep in your mind when thinking about tying with this material: essentially medium krystal flash chenille and cactus chenille are the same. The only difference I see is the core is much more durable i.e. the fibers don't come out as easily with the cactus as they do with the krystal chenille. Also, comparing core thickness and fiber length, regular krystal flash and estaz.
Showing the different fiber characteristics with the names....

Close up of the fibers.....
So, let's start out with the first part of my research: flashiness. It sounds silly but flashiness is honestly a big thing in material here and it gets confusing especially when I was trying to determine how to tie a crystal bugger or some other flies for that matter! So, on a rough scale, I determined that estaz was the most flashy as it had larger sections of pearl flash intertwined in the makeup of the entire material. Cactus and krystal flash chenille seemed equally as flashy while the pearl chenille had more color fibers to it than flash i.e. the fiber color in contrast to the actual flashiness if that makes any sense. Finally, the ice chenille had no pearl fibers to emphasize the flashiness of the material itself. The material just acts as a reflector of light.

Second thing I researched was the fiber length of each piece of material. Estaz came in first with the length of all the fibers being the longest. With that being said, the ice chenille, cactus chenille, krystal flash/pearl chenille all matched in size. Theoretically, there really is no size difference between any of these materials and the size is so miniscule that it almost doesn't matter.

Third on the list of characteristics I was looking at was the actual fiber thickness NOT the core thickness which is what I'll get to next. The fiber thickness of each material was the same. There was no difference between the width of any of the fibers as I could tell. They all looked uniform.

Fourth, I looked at the actual core thickness or thread thickness that was used to make these materials. I found that estaz and cactus had the same thickness, which makes them the most durable, which I will get to in the final part of the comparison before they go on a hook. The ice chenille, pearl chenille/krystal flash chenille all came in at the same thickness which was less durable and thinner than the estaz and cactus.

Finally, I wanted to look at the durability of the material I was working with. I determined that the most tightly woven or wrapped material was the estaz as well as the cactus chenille although the estaz is just slightly more durable. I pulled on the fibers at the end of each material to see if I could pull the fibers out with ease. These were the toughest to get out and can really take a beating not just from fish but also from the elements. The ice and pearl/krystal flash chenille were very delicate and the fibers came out with ease.

This has just been talking about what the materials look like when they aren't on a hook! Let's compare them to each other while they're on a hook!

5 different materials. Using 3.2mm copper bead and #8 TMC 5262 hook.

Krystal flash medium bugger.

Cactus chenille medium bugger.
 Both the krystal flash and the cactus look similar on the hook so no real difference there. As far as in the water, they both look exactly the same as well. Personal opinion, I don't like it as far as a crystal bugger goes. Possibly will do well with other flies, though.
Estaz bugger.
 The estaz bugger looks bulky and full of clutter. It doesn't deserve to be on a streamer hook in my opinion as a stand alone bug. I'll stick with egg patterns with this one. Pretty flashy in the water, too. Not saying it WON'T work but for a crystal bugger, it's not my cup of tea.
Pearl chenille bugger.
 The original bugger! Using pearl chenille, it's my all time favorite looking fly as it looks good in the water but it's not too flashy but gives off just enough flash to attract the big ones.
Ice chenille medium bugger.
Finally, ice chenille has very little flash if none at all. I personally don't like the look of it as it looks sloppy and feels like it's missing something important. However, it's good to experiment and try new things and discover what looks good and what doesn't!

I hope this has been informative and not long winded. I put a lot of work into this but it's ultimately up to you as the individual to discover what materials are right for you! Experiment! Fly fishing is confusing but it's also fun! Just remember you can always return material you don't use. : ) Good thing!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mundane Minnow Fly Tying Tutorial

Here's yet another tutorial on how to tie a great smallie and pike fly! Super simple and extremely effective! Add some weight to it to let it sink faster in still or slow water or just let the current take it for a ride as it is just as effective!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Dirty Sexy Money Fly Tying Tutorial

It's what you have all been waiting for: the infamous tutorial to that infamous fly! Dirty Sexy Money! Okay, maybe you all haven't been waiting patiently for it....But here it is!


More to come! So, stay tuned!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's Dirty. It's Sexy. It's Money for the Smallies!

Just a quick update from today as I'm headed to Idaho for 8 days to fish Henry's Fork. Just so much to do and so little time! GAH! So, I decided to go fishing to prepare myself for the fishing trip ahead. Sounds great! : )

I went to Bass Pro and met a guy named Quinn who tied an awesome looking fly. He had no name for it but I bought a few that he tied and replicated them. After today, for the amount of big smallies I caught, I dubbed it Dirty Sexy Money.

The front is dirty, the middle is quite sexy, and that awesome hook that used to be red....well, that's the money right there! ; )
This is the pattern I tied. It's slightly different than the one he tied but nevertheless, worked amazingly.

Quick videos of the catches on this bad boy. A tutorial will come when I come back from Henry's Fork.




This last video isn't caught on the DSM. In fact, I snagged the smallie but its size blew me away for the river. Awesome catch!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Krazy Kraw Fly Pattern

A few months ago, I attempted to tie the Barry's Carp Bitter pattern with very little success. However, what came about with this pattern I attempted to tie was something brand new. After a few minor tweaks here and there, the Krazy Kraw was born.

Original Krazy Kraw on the left. Same pattern tied in black and then white. All very effective for bass and other predatory species.
Above, you can see that I added more to the arsenal. I may add more colors than just olive, black, and white. I bet orange would be very effective as well. Note I did NOT use large bead chain eyes on the white minnow type pattern as it would give the minnow a larger eye look as it would look weird. I may try large bead chain eyes in the future but I didn't have any on hand. Still, they all look super cool.

Below, you can find how to tie Stone's Krazy Kraw. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did making it. Tight lines!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Steelhead in Downtown Monroe!

I'm beginning to think that my titles on my blog are quite lame....oh well. At least it describes the post. With that aside, today was quite an awesome day or morning rather. I was supposed to work last night but was called off for half the night then went in around 2 to sit with a confused patient. I felt great this morning so I went out and fished for 2 hours. Never in my life did I think that I would snag a steelhead today much less catch a 14" smallie on a carp hybrid. 2 firsts.

The action was quite slow. Started out with a brown San Juan worm with no success. Switched to the hybrid and slammed a smallie. I was shocked.

Please note ahead of time, I'm sleep deprived and that means I'm super slap happy. It's almost embarrassing to hear myself laugh like I'm 12 but I guess it's a good thing as I was seriously that excited and shocked to see me catch a decent smallie on a carp fly. I know flies are interchangeable but it was just fun and exciting. Below is the semi-aftermath of the smallie catch.

I keep walking the dam and see carp milling around but they are having nothing to do with my fly. They're super scared as they know from last time that I caught them all. I saw them eating algae or possibly grabbing insects from the algae but I did see them feeding. I now know a longer, thinner leader with a unweighted fly such as a soft hackle is the ticket in the calm areas. It's all about learning in carp fishing.

So, the last cast of the day, I snag *something*. Previously, I saw something move and jump in the water and I had no clue what it was as the color was silver and couldn't wrap my head around the fact that it could be a steelhead. It was. I cast into the same pool hoping the carp will see and take my fly but to no avail. I lift my rod up and feel resistance. I wait. Then that resistance starts to flail and move all over the place. I then realize I snagged a fish. Okay, it's  happened before. I lead it into the rapids and it carries it down the river. The video below shows the rest. As you can see and hear, I'm in disbelief.

Never in my life would I have thought that I would have snagged a steelhead. In late August. In warm water (the water had to be 70+ degrees). Overall, awesome. It's a shame that I snagged it and it was beat up but nevertheless, there are stray steelies in our local waters!

Hands down, best catch on the fly thus far. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Never Give Up On Carp

9 1/2 lbs of carp goodness. All on my 4wt.
My cousin told me his favorite fish to catch was a pike because they fight so hard. I responded, "Yes, pike fight like a bulldog but carp fight like a train with no brakes. They don't stop even when they're tired." I then explained to him that I was actually quite discouraged about carp fishing as I wasn't hooking into any as they were so spooked. I then glanced up at Facebook and noticed a post from Big Bass Dreams. I don't remember liking the page but they posted a blog post entitled"Big Bass Dreams Turned Big Bass Reality." It was kind of catchy so I decided to read it. What I found was quite inspiring....

You see, Big Bass Dreams' writer, Oliver Ngy, was in a slump as he called it. He said he was frustrated because he wasn't catching the big bass out there. I was in the same boat and I quit carp fishing as I couldn't hook into a single carp and was getting discouraged and angry. When I read his post, he said that he didn't have any confidence in himself. I took that in my life as I needed to have confidence that I was going to catch a carp and land it! Well, I will tell you right now that I've never hooked up much less landed so many carp in my life. I HOOKED 24 carp. Not even kidding. I imagine they were the same carp but I still hooked them. I landed 6. This is not including the other menagerie of fish included in the mix like rock bass, smallmouth, and freshwater drum. 3 of the 6 carp I hooked and landed were just shy of 10 lbs. This may not seem like a feat but let me tell you this: I was catching all these fish on my 9' 4wt rod: the Redington Classic Trout. Oh, and I was battling severe rapids that these carp could swim AGAINST and swim perpendicular with the rapids in a straight line. I was about to be knocked over by the rapids and these carp took it like it was nothing! So, I hope you understand the feat that is at hand. Oh, and I was using a 6lb tippet as well. By the end of today, my entire leader is shot as it's been stretched hard.

Below is a short video of me fighting the first carp of the day. The funny/awful thing was that I foul hooked it. In the anus.....
For the next several hours I fished. And listened to jazz....I listened to jazz because it was the Monroe Jazz Festival. All these people were staring and cheering me on while I was catching these carp. It was a lot of fun to listen to jazz and fish. : ) Quite relaxing....

No words can describe the pain that fish felt. Imagine getting a giant pointy thing stuck in YOUR anus and being dragged around in rushing water! 
Below is a video of me catching, weighing, and releasing a decent carp. It was tough to control it as I was on my 4wt but  nevertheless, it was a blast.
After this video was taken, my GoPro died and I didn't have an extra battery that was charged. I swear I need to invest in another battery and have 3 batteries total as recording for every trip gets ridiculous as I don't have enough juice to record everything. Soon.

May not seem  like much but this picture makes me so happy.
At the end of the day, I had a number of carp among some other fish brought to my net, as I mentioned, including my first sheepshead on the fly, which was really exciting! Those who were at the jazz festival were watching me as I was bringing the carp to the net. They were all cheering me on and congratulating me as they saw me literally running down the river with  my fly rod in my hand. Looking back at it, I really shouldn't run down the river again....Too dangerous.... Oh well. I'll keep doing it until I break something...

Monday, August 5, 2013

River Raisin Smallie Fishing!

For the past week or so, I've been hitting the smallmouth in downtown Monroe pretty hard as the carp fishing has been quite discouraging. It's been excellent as I kind of stumbled upon it on accident. I asked a few people around town if anyone fished in downtown Monroe, Michigan and they all said yes but no one has recently taken anything significantly big out of there. Well, I headed down to the extremely shallow river last Tuesday eveningg and I then discovered how good of a fishing spot it was. Smallies everywhere.

Tuesday evening was a trial run. I caught quite a few smallies by just high stick nymphing it with my 8ft 4wt. They weren't big but they definitely were fun. Wednesday, I really took a stab at it and caught quite a few 12", 13" and 14" smallies, which is quite big for that part of the river, on my Redington CT 9' 4wt. However, the highlight of my trip was last night, Sunday, which I caught a 14" smallie but also a 21" northern pike! Best part was it was all on my 4wt!

Below is the video of me catching the nice 14" smallie from yesterday. Put up a decent fight but didn't have my hemostats outside of my pack unfortunately. He was released unharmed, which is good. : )

The last fish of the day was a beautiful 21" northern pike. I actually scared it and then saw it moving down stream and kind of lost hope. Then I saw it again facing upstream downstream. : ) I quickly took off my leech fly and tied on a heavy weighted Clouser Minnow in chartreuse and white. I jigged it in front of the pike and it lunged at it then casually bit it half way. I let it sit, and I lifted the rod and set the hook. The pike did the rest! : )
The video was quite difficult to shoot as my net was not cooperating with me which was extremely frustrating.....I did get it in and measure it though! Unfortunately, you cannot see me measuring it. Nevertheless, it was released unharmed and slowly swam away in defeat. Sad that its jaw was pretty beat up. Glad I could give it another chance to grow into an even bigger fish!

Now, all that is left is me catching a carp soon. I've been discouraged as my carp trips have failed. Miserably. In fact, I drove 45 minutes to Elmore, Ohio only to find that the river was blown out! Chocolate milk and very high and fast flowing river! : ( Oh well. It was good to go on an adventure! Until next time folks! Tight lines!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lake Hudson Carp Fishing!

Fun written all over it.


So, my friend Jay, who owns Jay's Flies on Facebook, and I went out to Lake Hudson this morning for a few hours to go carp fishing. I tied up quite a few prototype flies for today, got my gear all setup last night and got on the road around 7:30 this morning which was a lot later than I wanted.

So, Jay calls me and was wondering where I am as  he got there 20 minutes earlier than I did as he expected me to be there before him as I told him I would be leaving around 7 or so. After a phone call to clear things up, we finally meet, shoot the breeze while we set our gear up, and head on our way down to the beach. It's a gorgeous day out and there's no one out but one guy trolling for muskie with his boat. I'll spare you with the details as the first half of our time at the park was boring. We continued to chat and see a few carp but nothing came to the net much less get on our lines which is fine. I think the most exciting and heart stopping event was when Jay lost his fly box. He got it back, though, by the grace of God. It just fell out of his pocket. : )

So, we are walking back to where I caught my first carp ever on the fly to scout out the spot to see if there are carp over there again. The entire water level of the lake has been raised significantly from the last time I was there so there is but inches of shoreline around the lake instead of several feet which was very disappointing. So, going to my memorial spot was weird but I caught the carp in the exact spot I caught the last one believe it or not.

So, I start walking along the shore line seeing some carp possibly 5 or 6 lbs not that big. I am waiting for Jay as he was dropping unnecessary gear off at the truck. When he came back, we start pressing on. I stop as I see a massive carp literally a foot away from me. I drop my fly down and let it sink and now the carp is literally right by my foot. At this point, my heart is coming out of my chest, my palms are even more sweaty and I am shaking in excitement as the biggest carp I have ever seen is now about to be hooked on my line. What I didn't realize was that the leader was wrapped around the end of the tip section of the rod and when I set the hook, the carp ran into deeper water and took the tip section with him! I was scared that the rod broke but thankfully it did not. : )

The video above shows the fight. Personal best. Came in at 11 lbs and 26" despite the video saying 25".

We kept walking and I let Jay take point. We saw other carp and cast to them but sadly no other carp came to the net. I did have a 10" bass take my bloody leech but that was it for the fish. Overall, a great day despite us both being tired and Jay being extra tired as he has carpal tunnel. In the end, we all learned something and I gave Jay some of my flies. It was a much needed trip despite just 2 fish coming to the net.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day Carp!

Took this screen from the GoPro vid I took....Absolutely love this shot.
Today, I had one thing on my mind....carp. My fiancee is in the UP until late Friday and I needed to get out! I've been very frustrated the past few times I've gone carping as every time I've been skunked. I've SEEN the carp but no takers or they get spooked too easily. I went back to my favorite spot for carp, Metzger's Marsh. I really took a gamble today because I had some REALLY wacky looking flies in my box.

I headed out with little food in my stomach and very little sleep but I guess I'm used to both, which is a bad thing....Really have to change that bad habit even though I know better. For the first hour and a half almost two hours, I saw carp but hooked nothing but weeds. Now, I'll say this that Metzger's Marsh is a very unique fishery as there is, at least right now, a lot of aquatic plant growth everywhere which makes it a perfect habitat for carp to feed and sleep. I was literally stepping on, creeping up to, and dropping the fly upon the carp. It breaks every law of the 10 Commandments of Carping but that's what makes it amazing and unique. Your heart literally goes a million miles an hour because you're literally 3 feet away from a 10lb carp and you drop the fly on its nose, watch it go for the fly and set the hook. Fight is on!

After a lot of problems with the wind, I finally spot a target that I think is worthy of my goofy looking fly. It looked like a Halloween fly as it had a black tail, an orange dubbed body and 4 centipede legs coming out of the side with silver bead chain eyes on the front of the hook. So, like a wooly bugger a brand new fly tier would do. I was so embarrassed but guess what? It worked! In fact, the biggest carp I ever saw and actually crept up to took it. The problem? I didn't check my knot and set the drag a tad too tight so it took off and about 40 feet later, the fly broke off. I tied on an orange pan candy next which did the trick.
 
The  video above shows what kind of crazy conditions I was in. With the rain coming in, it, obviously, made the water even higher than normal. It was a blessing and a curse in that the water level was higher so the carp would congregate together as well as not notice me as quickly when I walked through the aquatic plants but since there was more water, the spots that used to be just up to my knees were now up to my mid thigh. Still made for a pleasant time. 

So, after some exploring and me spotting more carp, I finally found a group of active feeders. I was pumped! I walked through a bunch of top water algae, scared a few carp, which I thought was going to spook the feeders but thankfully didn't, and finally started to cast to some feeders. I saw a cruiser and cast to it but I thought I was casting to the head but in reality, it was the tail. It got spooked. Saw yet another cruiser and waited which felt like an eternity! I cast the fly right in front of it and watched it cruise right by it. I strip set the hook and the carp took off. Fish on! Video below is of the fight.

 
I was happy. Very happy. I hooked a carp, yet again, on one of my pan candy and I discovered the secret to carping in Metzger's Marsh: orange flies win the day! I walked back to the car exhausted, hungry, and very tired. Overall, a rough start but that's what learning is all about. To me, studying the water, the fish, hooking 2 carp, and landing 1 was great. It's always a learning experience anywhere I fish and Metzger's Marsh is a very odd fishery as it is difficult and yet easy as you can creep up to carp but they could be scared in an instant and that 15 minute slow stalk, keeping your eyes glued on that one spot that you last saw the carp can turn into a wasted time so to speak. Overall, I love it. I always go back because I know I get a challenge and reward out of every single trip to the marsh. 

What a great shot of the #10 orange pan candy in its mouth. Pan candy has proven to be a great fly for the pan fish and carp! How exciting!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Metzger's Marsh and Carp on the Fly

Good grief! The days are flying by! Despite my busy schedule, I *somehow* manage to fit in fly fishing. I'm kidding. I really replace my school work with fishing trips which I shouldn't do but I do! So, June 15, was one of those days.

My cousin came in to town because his girlfriend was doing a triathlon at Maumee Bay State Park on the 16th. So, my Dad, cousin, and I went to Metzger's Marsh to fish for carp. I thought it would be a good chance to show everyone the ropes about how to catch some golden bone! Of course things go a lot better in your head than they do in real time. First, there was a major delay in getting out to the swamp in the first place, I had very little sleep as I was tying about 40 flies for the swamp trip alone, and I was on call the previous night for work so it made life very interesting. In the end, everything went swimmingly up to the point where we were out on the water....

So, the first problem, which actually made things fun, was the mayflies. Mayfly season is right now and every mayfly and its mother are out. So, mayflies are everywhere. Hundreds of thousands of them are flying about, sticking to foliage and to us as we walk through the tall swamp grass.

Below is a short video of mayflies stuck to my body and backpack. It was nuts.
video
So, fast forwarding to the point where my everyone was out on the water, we all stalked carp for around 2 hours and I was the only one who caught a carp on the fly. It wasn't very big but at least it was something. I saw plenty of carp. We all did. The problem was, as I found out, we all were using too heavy of flies so they didn't sit on top of the muck which is what the carp wanted. I switched to my own variation of a Barry's Carp Bitter in olive which landed the one and only carp of the day.

What a nice fish to break in my Redington CPX 8wt.

Love this shot!
Overall, it didn't matter that we didn't catch more fish. We all had a nice time, it was beautiful outside, and no one was hurt. Life was good. Below is a short video of an okay release of the carp I caught.

video
My Dad left around noon and my cousin and I decided to stay for a little longer. We ended up stepping on carp and even netting some. It was pretty funny as the carp were just laying in the weeds or mud and sleeping and we'd put a fly up to their noses and they wouldn't move and then we'd net them but they always escaped before we could take any pictures. : )

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bowfin on the Fly!


#10 baby leech fly. Super simple and definitely works for bigger fish!

My summer class and my summer internship has sucked all possible time from me. So, to counteract this problem, I have scheduled myself around meeting with people for my internship by giving myself enough time to fish in between training for my internship and my meeting! GENIUS! Well, tonight was an excellent exception as my friend who I was to meet with regarding my internship asked if I came later so I decided to grab some flies and my 5wt rod and try to tackle some small carp or some bass at the Cedar Point Wildlife Refuge off of Yondota road in Oregon, Ohio.

I explored Maumee Bay State Park for a bit before hand and cast my rod but nothing was biting. Saw some splashes but nothing and the wind was coming at a bad angle that made casting awful but not impossible. I left the park and headed to the wildlife refuge and to my surprise saw some other cars. This place usually, or at least the times I have gone, has had no one present while I fished but since it literally just opened 3 days ago, I can see why people wanted to come. Well, it's quite a long way to get to the point where I can catch fish as I usually sight fish for carp on the bank as I can sneak up to the carp with ease because of the bank being quite high and the dam having a lot of cover. I stopped and chatted with a few bass fishermen that had some kids with them and continued on to talk to 2 other fishermen. As I was chatting with them, I saw something long looking like a bass to me at least swimming up to the surface. As it got closer, I noticed, to my surprise, it was a dogfish! I took my #10 baby leech off of my hook keeper and dropped the fly behind the bowfin and made it swim up to the fish. It took the fly no problem and I waited 2 seconds, which felt like an eternity, and then set the hook. It then began rolling and then dove into the weeds.

Would you kiss your mother with that mouth?
I asked one of the bass fisherman that was next to me how deep it was a few feet out. He said it was very deep and I then found out HOW deep it was. I took my wallet and other essentials out of my pocket as I didn't want to get them wet and had to meet with the client later. I got my net and for 5 minutes I fought the fish. It was buried deep into the weeds and that's when I found how deep I really had to go to get this fish. I took 3 steps and found I was in chest deep water not even 3 feet from shore. That's scary! I was thankful for the other guys there to save my sorry carcass in case I fell in. I kept scraping at the weeds underwater with my net to loosen the fish and the weeds and finally was able to pull the fish up enough to net it. I scrambled up to the bank and snapped a few shots and let it go. Too bad I didn't have my GoPro recording! I had it but never thought to even turn it on! All my concentration was on the fish. Oh well. Next time. : ) First bowfin on any rod to boot! : )
One of the bass fisherman was kind enough to snap a pic of me with my prize fish!

The fish came to be around 20" in length! Not bad for my first bowfin on the fly!

SMILE! :D




Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tying Stone's Pan Candy

Earlier this year, my good friend Jon and I did a fly swap. I sent him a ton of steelhead flies and he sent me some top notch bass and bluegill flies. One of the flies that was in the package was excellent for bluegill and bass. I loved it so much that I modified it, asked him if I could use it as my own fly and he said yes because of the modifications I had made. I asked around to other fly fishing pages on the web and on Facebook to make sure I was not stealing anyone's ideas and when everyone responded with "No" or "Go ahead and use it! Great pattern!", I asked for a name. My friend Jon gave me a list of names that he thought were great and on my Facebook page, everyone agreed that it should be called the Stone's Pan Hammer. However, after me experimenting with other colors, I thought the only appropriate name would be the Stone's Pan Candy. Thus, the fly was born.

Colors from left to right: green, olive, orange, yellow, black, and white.
Here are the instructions on how to tie the Stone's Pan Candy. I will show you how to tie the Pan Candy in the sour apple flavor.

TMC 2488 hook in either size 10 or 12. Note: this is what it has been tested on. It may work on a bigger size so tie as you see fit.

140 Denier thread. Match the appropriate color thread for the color fly i.e. olive colored fly uses olive colored thread, etc.

Some UTC Vinyl "D" Rib. Note: make SURE it is is D rib and NOT round ribbing! It will say round rib instead of vinyl rib.

Once again, ice dub in appropriate color of fly.

Krystal flash in appropriate color of fly.

Natural grizzly hackle.
3.0mm bead chain eyes. It took me FOREVER to cut all these up in twos. There are over 200 eyes in there. It's excellent. : )

First, start with a hook in the vise and make a thread wrap down the hook shank to provide for a base for the fly material as well as the eyes.


Just behind the eye of the hook, tie in the bead chain eyes making sure you leave enough room in the front for a whip finish.

Wrap thread down the shank and prepare for the tail. I take a full piece of krystal flash and cut it evenly to make two pieces. This piece is good for two flies. I then take one half and cut them evenly to make 2 pieces. Then I fold it over itself again, cut it to make 4 pieces, and finally fold it over again to make 8 pieces. I then tie that in leaving a tail a tad longer than the hook shank.

Spread back the hackle fibers so they stand up. Tie in the tip of the feather.

Grab your vinyl rib and snip it so it looks like this. If you tie left handed, snip the vinyl rib the other way. Tie it in so the tapered end is covered and take the thread to the eyes.

Wrap the vinyl rib around the shank like you would chenille for a wooly bugger. Make sure you leave a tad bit of room behind the eyes for your ice dub and hackle. Snip it and wrap more thread to cover the tag end.

Wind the hackle so the vein of the hackle is between the grooves of the vinyl rib and wrap until you are behind the eyes. Tie the hackle with a few wraps behind the tag end and then a few in front to secure it. Snip it flush. 

Top view of how it should look after the hackle is snipped.

Finally, add some ice dubbin to your thread and wrap it 2 or 3 times behind the eyes and then make figure 8 wraps around the eyes until you see little to no thread in between wraps of dubbing. Don't make the ice dub look too bulky though. Just enough to cover the thread.


Finally, if there's a tad bit of ice dub on your thread still, do 2 wraps in front of the eyes to clear the thread to whip finish. Whip finish the fly three times or however many you feel is necessary. I always do it three times and wrap the thread 3 times for every whip finish. I feel it is secure without being bulky or hiding the eye of the hook.

Side view of the Pan Candy

Top view of the Pan Candy

Bottom view of the Pan Candy.
These are so fun and so easy to tie and extremely effective. I am debating on adding pink to the arsenal of flies. I may add more colors as long as there's ice dub, rib, and krystal flash to accommodate for the colors needed. Stay tuned! I'm quite proud of this fly as it really does work. Very well. So far, I've landed almost a dozen each of bass and bluegill with this fly and 1 22" carp with a #12 green Pan Candy. Please critique as you see fit. I hope the instructions are clear as I assume everyone doesn't need every single step to be photographed in incredible detail i.e. I left out me wrapping the ice dub behind, around, and in front of the eyes as well as me tying in the vinyl rib and wrapping it. Feel free to ask any questions! Tight lines!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Gold!

More carp on the fly action this afternoon after a great day at church! I got to my favorite carp spot on the Ottawa, the place I caught my last carp, at Harroun Community Park. As I was walking, I saw a gentleman spincast fishing for the suckers. Apparently he was eating them. I found the break through the trees where I go through to head down to the river and smelled something dead. Apparently somebody threw a carp on the bank. It was dead but it appeared to be freshly dead. I think they caught it and left it for dead, sadly. Was pretty upset about it but what can one do....

I fished for about 2 hours with a few interruptions. Saw plenty of suckers, about 8 or 10 carp (males swimming beside females to mate), and a few pike hugging the bottom where it was cooler water. Overall it was pretty slow but I got to test out my new Eagle Claw Featherlight that I converted into a switch rod! It was excellent as I was using a #12 fly and was able to whip that thing across the river with ease with just a flick of the handle. It really performed well with the two handles. It was really slow going. Started out with a #12 carp hybrid fly, snagged a carp by the tail or fin or something and didn't have the drag set low enough so I lost that 15 seconds into the fight.

It was really a game of chance here and I was losing. I kept tossing the fly to cruising carp, both male and female, whether they were loners or a pack of males following a female. In the end, I hooked into a nice female with a baby leech fly.

Once again, I apologize as I am unable to feature my Youtube videos directly into the blog post for some reason. Click here to see the underwater footage of the carp. It's pretty cool if I say so myself. : )

Edit: went back at 6 and fished for another hour and a half. Caught a 22" loner on an original fly of mine, the Pan Candy! Will be posting how to tie in the next few days. Click here to watch it! I even gave the carp a kiss. How sweet of me! : D

This female was 1/4" shy of 24"! Great fight especially on glass! Love this rod!

Kisses anyone?

My new girlfriend!