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Flymen Blog

Fly Fishing for Machaca: 5 Tips to Help You Catch This Piranha Relative

The Machaca Is One of the Baddest Freshwater Fish in Costa Rica, Hands Down. When I first started talking to my friends back in Florida about how awesome catching machaca on a fly was, most of them had no clue what I was talking about. So let me give you...

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How to Set up the Ultimate Fly Tying Den

Having a dedicated fly tying space is critical for taking your tying skills to the next level.

If you always have to set up and break down your fly tying area you are apt to tie less often. Setting up and breaking down will soon become an unpleasant chore. If there is any negativity associated with your tying sessions you will tie flies less often, guaranteed.

Fly Tying: Double Barrel Phelps Frog

Michael Phelps may have 23 gold medals, but the Phelps Frog is all about bronze... Bronzebacks that is! This leggy frog fly with serious swimming action is an absolute bass magnet. Learn to tie it today.  Fly Recipe Rear Hook Hook: Fusion Drop Shot, size #1 Body Filler: Chocklett's Game Changer Chenille Legs: Fish-Skull...

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Tricks of the Fly Tying Trade: 3 Everyday Objects to Boost Your Tying Productivity

As a Commercial Tyer, I Always Tie My Flies in Large Batches.

Efficiency is the name of the game here, and being that I produce over 50,000 flies per year, I've developed some methods to boost my fly output over time. Here are some simple tricks, some of which I've been using for well over a decade, that you can use to make your own fly tying quicker and easier.

Temperate Bass Flies: How to Diversify Your Fly Box

Over the last few years I've spent the majority of my fishing time chasing whites, hybrids, and the occasional striper around the Midwest.

While the Clouser Minnow is the staple fly for most temperate bass, sometimes you've got to shake things up a bit. The Clouser would be the equivalent of a Hare’s Ear nymph in the trout world; you can almost always get fish to eat it, but it may not be the most productive at that given time. Consider it like Sex Panther Cologne: “60% of the time it works every time." With that being said, I would never go on a white/hybrid bass fishing trip without a box of Clousers.

Fly tyers before us had to work hard to get the most out of their feathers and hair, but with new fly tying materials readily available in today's market we have the ability to alter the action and profile of the fly relatively easily.

Here are some things to consider to shake it up and get a more diversified bass fly box.

Two-Handed Fly Fishing For Bull Trout: Setup, Methods, Flies, Locations

As fly anglers, we find ourselves constantly pushing the limits of innovative techniques.

One such method, two-handed casting (better known as spey casting), has exploded in popularity in the last five years, though some would say ten years or so. For those who don’t know, spey casting is generally done to target anadromous fish with a much less-tiring casting stroke, capable of handling larger flies and sinking tips with relative ease.

Fly Fishing for Bluefish

Bluefish (love them or hate them) are a great saltwater species to target with a fly rod.

While they do not frequent as wide of a variety of habitats as striped bass do, they have their own eccentricities that make them unique. As an angler, playing upon these eccentricities is part of the strategy and fun.

Are You a 'One Trick Pony' Fly Angler? Here's Why You May Not Be Catching as Many Fish as You Could

Varying your technique and presentation to match the fishing conditions at hand is key to consistently catching fish.

The dictionary defines the phrase, “One trick pony” as “a person or thing with only one special feature, talent, or area of expertise."

I see fly anglers all the time who are one trick ponies — for example, only fishing with dry flies or dry and dropper rigs no matter what the stream conditions are. Even guys who nymph fish can get caught up in only euro nymphing or only indicator nymphing.

We've all been guilty, myself included, of sticking to a favorite technique or fly for too long when it’s not producing.

5 Proven Tips to Help You Tie More Flies

Fly tying season is upon us.

I don't know about you, but before I started tying flies full time I would get super excited at the beginning of fly tying season only to have my excitement fade into disappointment heading into spring when the fishing started to get going and I hadn't even tied 10% of the flies I planned on tying.

It doesn't have to be this way for you.

Designing Flies That Move Part 4: Throwing Loops To Jaws

While I’m always excited to catch any fish regardless of size, the level of excitement goes up exponentially when casting for predatory fish like musky and pike.

There is something seemingly primal about these fish — maybe it’s all their teeth in that crooked grin. There are a couple of puzzles to figure out when designing and tying big flies for big fish.

To get bigger fish interested in your flies, they have to be of sizable equity to the fish. In other words, you throw a big fly to a big fish because they need a bigger meal to sustain their weight. Smaller patterns will more often than not get the results that a larger fly will, especially in waters known to house bigger fish.

Big flies can often be mistaken for a lot of materials stacked onto a hook. The more materials you tie on a hook, the heavier it will be. With some musky flies being a foot long, you don’t want your arm to fall off halfway through a fishing trip. 

Back Bay short film

Protecting Your Home Waters Starts With You.

A Flymen short film featuring Lefty Kreh and Walt Cary chronicling the rise and fall of a legendary fishery in Coastal Virginia.

Share the Film With Your Fishing Buddies!

If you want to share this trailer with your friends on Facebook, use the Facebook video link.

Designing Flies That Move Part 3: The Usual Suspects

There Are a Few Categories of Flies You Should Have in Your Fly Box at All Times.

If you're going to lace up your wading boots and go fly fishing (especially in cold weather) you should have these types of flies in your fly box: a sculpin imitation, a baitfish pattern, a wide-bodied fly, and a wild-card pattern. The four flies in this part cover these categories.

Herbert Hoover once wrote, “Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.” The thing to take away from that quote is our forefathers did not have Articulated Shanks, Chocklett's Body Tubing, or Sculpin Helmets to tie with. So many great materials are available now to tie virtually any kind of fly pattern you can imagine.

When tying these flies, I chose materials that move and breathe well in the water (if you've never tied with black bear, it is a wonderful material and moves great in the water). Examine the water you'll be fishing for the native baitfish and tie these patterns in according colors.

Back Bay Film Trailer

Coming Soon: A Flymen Short Film Featuring Lefty Kreh and Walt Cary.

Back Bay recounts the tragic loss of a legendary fishery in Virginia and its stunning comeback. The short film will premiere January 13, 2018 at an official showing at the Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival (VFFWF) and will be released online.

To learn more about how to attend the Festival After-Party for the official viewing, visit the VFFWF After-Party page.

Share the Film Trailer With Your Fishing Buddies!

If you want to share this trailer with your friends on Facebook, use the Facebook video link.

Fly Design and Material Selection

One of the Most Fun Parts of Fly Fishing Is Designing and Tying Flies.

As a fly tying instructor, I often have clients who have designed and tied a new pattern, but there is some flaw in the design (e.g. the wrong hook, articulated when it is not needed, too big, or too small) or material selection.

These are integral parts of fly design. The large cunning fish you'll be targeting know how their food choices move and will shy away from flies that do not move naturally.

Designing Flies That Move Part 2: Creature Feature.

The basic principle of fly tying is to come up with a fly that imitates a fish’s choice food.

This gets a bit trickier, in my opinion, when you are imitating creatures other than insects.

A mayfly’s movement will change depending on what part of its lifecycle is occurring or if wind or weather is a factor in the hatch, whereas a creature like a frog, on the other hand, will desperately move all kinds of different ways when a hungry largemouth is chasing it. 

Designing Flies That Move Part 1: Pure Attraction.

Flies that do the shimmy are all the rage right now.

A lot of this is due to all the new materials and hardware now available for fly tyers. Ranges of articulated shank systems and heaps of new synthetic materials that easily shed water are changing the way we tie flies.

Articulation used to be a term for wire and beads joining two hooks in order to do the S-curve movement in the water.

Modern innovations in fly tying materials give you the ability to step beyond purely mimicking the appearance of a prey item – you can mimic its movements as well.

Introducing Your Kids to Fly Fishing: 4 Tips for Success

kids fly fishing

Fishing is a wonderful family activity and it provides a great way to bond with your children.

But while plenty of parents hand their child a spinning rod and head down to the local farm pond, relatively few try to teach their kids how to fly fish.

This is understandable, given the complexity of the activity, but unfortunate too. The truth is, most youngsters are perfectly capable of learning to whip a fly through the air. No, fly fishing isn’t an ideal pursuit for very young children, but most kids can learn to handle a fly rod by the time they are 10 to 12 years of age.

However, it's always important to have success while introducing children to any type of fishing, otherwise, they’ll get bored and lose interest.

And while it is slightly more complicated to do so when you are trying to teach them to fly fish, you can still set yourself up for success by keeping the following four considerations in mind.

How to take your spouse on a fly fishing vacation and stay happily married.

It's all about balance.

If you’re like us, you fish all the time.

When I say all the time, I mean literally every available moment of your free time is spent fishing or thinking about fishing in some way.

I have a tendency to be super focused on things that are of interest to me – the rest of the world disappears kind of focused. My wife contends that this leads to the detriment of our relationship from time to time. I can’t argue with that.

Over the years, I’ve been trying to create balance here by getting my wife involved in fishing. The experience has been great.

My wife and I have traveled to quite a few renowned fisheries around the U.S. and just recently, Canada. She’s indifferent to whether or not she catches fish (somehow, she always does). She claims she’s just happy to experience some of nature’s beauty and to see me happy. I’m happy to oblige her those opportunities.

What follows is how to execute a couple’s fly fishing vacation on a budget. If you put aside a small sum of money and go on this trip, you’ll come home closer to your significant other than when you left.

Fly fishing hacks: How to not forget anything on your next fishing trip

“Rod, reel, pack, waders, boots, lanyard. Oh yea, socks!”

I have repeated this mental check list at least 1,500 times over the last 10 years.

Being organized from the moment you leave the house to having an organizational system in place for when you’re on the water will keep you fishing more and spending less time looking for that stream thermometer you left at home anyway!

I started getting organized in my fishing habits after arriving at the South Holston River (a 2.5-hour drive for me) one winter day and realized that in my morning grog (or hangover if I’m being honest) I took off with no waders and no reel.

I vowed that would never happen again.

Here are my tricks for never again showing up at the river without a rod or boots or a reel or fly boxes – something that each of us has done, even if we’ll only admit to ourselves that we went on a hike that one day instead of fishing because we packed two left-foot boots!

The Lowdown On Fly Fishing For Late Summer Low Tide Redfish.

I’ve been lucky enough to target redfish on the fly in North Carolina for over ten years.

Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve picked up on a few things that I’d love to pass on to you.

Throughout the South you can target redfish year-round. Each season is different, so you need to switch up your tactics to stay successful.

When most fly anglers think of summer redfish, they envision flood tides and copper tails waving in the green Spartina grass. Me too. Tailing reds are a definite favorite of mine.

Unfortunately, the reality is that you only get a handful of tailing tides that fall during daylight hours each month.

Low tides, on the other hand, are available on a daily basis and can provide for some great fly fishing opportunities.

No way! How I won a free guided fly fishing trip.

 

My buddy Eric sends me all kinds of emails about fly fishing.

I look at them all at the end of my "work my ass off" day. They make me happy.

One from Flymen Fishing Co. had a cool new synthetic deer hair called Fish-Skull Faux Bucktail with great colors and a contest where you could vote on your favorite fly tied with it.

Finalists from the #FauxBucktailThrowdown2017 fly tying contest. Check out all the entrants here.

CLICK – my vote was cast.

A week later I got an email from Flymen Fishing Co. saying I had won the random drawing for a free guided fly fishing trip.

Yea, right. I deleted the email thinking it was a scam.

Make some noise! How to tie loud flies for esox fishing.

The Esox family has evolved over thousands of years to give us a top predator to chase on the fly.

These beasts' senses are tuned to the max.

One sense that is important for pikes/muskies is the lateral line, a system of tactile sense organs located in the head and along both sides of the body, used to detect movement and vibration in the surrounding water.

They use their lateral line in conjunction with their sight to give them a more accurate picture of what’s going on – how far away their prey is, how fast it's moving, and its size.

The lateral line is often forgotten by the fly angler. We tie pretty flies, but most of them have a very small footprint in the water. I'm not saying these don’t work, but why not maximize your chances of attracting more fish or perhaps bigger fish?

So how can you make a loud fly? 

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