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Flymen Blog

Fly Tying Kit Tutorial: Fish-Skull Skulpin Bunny

The Ultimate Go-To Trout and Bass Pattern With Irresistible Natural Movement

Learn to tie the Skulpin Bunny in today's fly tying tutorial video using the NEW Skulpin Bunny Fly Tying Kit.

This versatile fly has proven itself on rivers worldwide as a fish magnet. Designed to be fished on the river bottom, the Skulpin Bunny can be dead-drifted or slowly stripped to imitate a sculpin and swims in the hook-up position to avoid snagging.

The Skulpin Bunny swims hook up to avoid snagging on the bottom, shown here swimming in the NEW Fly Tester.

The Skulpin Bunny Fly Tying Kit contains everything you need to tie 6 Skulpin Bunny flies, including step-by-step tying instructions, to make it easy for you to get your hands on the various needed fly tying materials all in one place.

Fly Recipe

Podcast: Blane Chocklett – All Things Game Changer

Get an Inside Look on Fly Tying and Fly Fishing With Blane Chocklett

In this episode of The Articulate Fly Podcast with Marvin Cash, Blane Chocklett shares how he developed the Game Changer fly platform and the journey of writing his new book, Game Changer: Tying Flies that Look & Swim Like the Real Thing. 

Through his over twenty years in the fly fishing world, Blane has continuously pushed to innovate and improve his fly designs, resulting in the Game Changer style of fly design, which has gained a major following among fly anglers for its lifelike realism and productivity in the water.

This is his story.

If you'd like to listen on an app such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify, you can do so through The Articulate Fly.

Learn more about Blane's new book and reserve your copy.

Fly Tying Tutorial: Tradd Little's Neon Caddis

A Good Caddis Pupa Should Be a Staple in Every Trout Angler’s Fly Box

I like Caddis Pupae that are easy to tie, have vibrant colors, and are super quick to drop to the bottom. Tradd Little's Neon Caddis covers all of these bases, and then some.

Tied with a Nymph-Head Evolution tungsten beadhead and the perfectly shaped Kona USP Scud/Pupa hook, this little Caddis Pupa will be all you need.

Fly Tying Tutorial: The Nymph-Head Heavy Metal Perdigon

The Perdigon Has Taken the Euro-Style Fishing World by Storm. 

This simple yet very fishy fly has everything that fast-water fly anglers are looking for... An endless choice of colors, instant sinkability, and 1000% bulletproof.

Fish the Heavy Metal Perdigon on its own, under a dry fly, or with a team of other nymphs – just fish it!

Fly Recipe

  • Hook: Kona Barbless Jig Hook (BJH), size #10 used in video (sizes can range from #10 - #16)
  • Head: Nymph-Head Heavy Metal tungsten bead, size 4.0 mm (5/32") used in video (adjust size to match hook)
  • Tail: CDL, Mallard, or any barred feathers.
  • Rib: UTC Ultra-Wire
  • Body: Flashabou
  • Hot-Spot: Orange Thread
  • Wing Case: Loon UV Fly Finish BLACK
  • Body Coating: Coat the whole fly in Loon UV Thin

Fly Tying Video: The Deer Hair Hot Spot Caddis

This Nymph Is a Great Little Caddis Pupa – With Some Added Flair

Hot spots on nymphs are a great way to not only get the attention of the fish you're targeting, but in certain fishing circumstances they can help you track your fly easier by sight. Most hot spots are made with dubbing that is a different color than the body of the fly, but this fly sets itself apart by using brightly colored deer hair tied on top of the hook as the hot spot.

This technique helps the fly stay upright in the water while the fly gets deep in the water column from the weight of the Nymph-Head Evolution tungsten beadhead.

Recipe

Fly Tying Tutorial: Chase Howard's Extended Body Drake

Learn To Tie Chase Howard’s Extended Body Drake, a Nymph With Movement That Is Out of This World

Dead drifting this fly into a swing works flawlessly as the Nymph-Head Evolution tungsten beadhead will get the fly deep quick, and as the fly swings, the Wiggle-Tail Shank offers tons of extra movement.

The weight of the bead isn't a compromise for realism as the Evolution Mayfly Swimmer & Burrower tungsten beadhead is molded after the common mayfly swimmer and burrower head profile – oval, elongated, and gracefully curved at the front but flattened at the back near the thorax with prominent, egg-shaped eyes.

We hope you enjoy tying and fishing this fly!

Fly Recipe

Rear

Front

3 Simple Tactics for Fly Fishing Pocket Water

Pocket Water Can Be Some of the Most Exhilarating Waters to Fish

What makes a pocket water fishery are the boulders that block the general flow of the river, forming hydro-breaks where fish lie in wait in the darkness, ready to dart at a moment's notice for food.

As a trout guide, I can’t see myself guiding or fishing anywhere else during the peak season but on my home river in the Adirondacks, the West Branch of the Ausable. Here are some tactics I've picked up from guiding and fishing these waters that may help you next time you're on the water.

Small Stream Fly Fishing Tactics

Fly fishing small streams for wild trout is without question my favorite piscatorial endeavor.

Aside from the lack of crowds, the gorgeous surroundings, and the all-too-eager trout, small streams offer endless learning opportunities. The lessons garnered from creeks, streams, and brooks can be applied to all aspects of trout fishing.

The following are a few of the tactics I have learned from my experience on smaller waters that I fish frequently both on my own and when guiding clients as well.

The Art of Stripping Streamers: Fly Fishing Tactics

You have the fishing reports, a spanking new streamer outfit, and a leave pass to go chase some predators.

Your fly boxes are crammed full after hours watching videos while tying at the vise — heck, you probably know more about Brian Wise’s hands at this stage than his wife does.

Flies, lines, and water are all essential tools, but it's not going to work out if you can’t make those bugs swim.

When the Flymen crew asked me to work up another streamer piece for the blog I went back to my 2016 article, “Beyond Banging The Banks”. What we didn’t cover was how to make that fly swim when it hits the water. Consider this Chapter 2.

Trout Fly Fishing: 3 Bad Habits to Break

As a trout guide I like to think that there are no mistakes in fly fishing, rather there are learning opportunities — lots and lots of learning opportunities.

With each client I try to place an emphasis on proving yourself wrong, and by that I mean, take some rule/tactic/method and try to disprove it. After all, how many times have you done what was considered to be wrong and yet still caught a fish?

Habits on the other hand, are another story. Unlike mistakes, habits — especially a certain few — can be detrimental to catching trout. I'm going to address three of the worst habits I see on the water and how you can go about improving your habits to catch more trout.

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.

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.

This Will Change the Way You Fly Fish Pressured Waters

Fly fishing today has anglers targeting an array of species in pretty much every fishable location on the planet.

Generally speaking, due to the rise of social media and the seemingly insatiable need to snap that “epic fish pic,” there are not too many streams or locations that are secret fishing spots anymore.

There are probably many anglers who have stepped foot in the same run you fish regularly. If you are fortunate enough to fish a river system that doesn’t have much pressure, well, congratulations and please take me there.

The local waters where I live in Pennsylvania can be inundated with anglers just about every other day.

In cases like that, as an angler you have three choices you can make:

  1. Put your walking shoes on, find open water, and fish anyway.
  2. Go home and tie more flies waiting for a day where you have the stream to yourself (you’ll be waiting for a while).
  3. Alter your fishing approach, think outside of the box, and fish your fly with confidence behind people who just fished a run.

In my personal experience, finding open water and fishing usually works and is good for a fish here and there. To maximize your success, try altering your fishing tactics with an unconventional approach that most anglers wouldn’t use.

Believe it or not, this is actually extremely easy to do because most guys are using a Woolly Bugger/standard streamer, or tandem nymph rig. Fly fishing is entirely centralized on observation. Reading water, insect identification, flow rates/visibility, the list is endless. Take a minute, observe other anglers, and BE DIFFERENT.

How to tackle big water fly fishing

Something about pulling a fish out of a big body of water makes you feel heroic.

Walking up to a big body of water, so big that your cast doesn’t even cover a fraction of the water, can be daunting and even downright discouraging.

You almost feel nervous to make your first cast. Where do I start? How do I tackle this water without a boat?

But when everything comes together and you hook into that fish, you feel like you won the lottery!

Here are a few things to help make swinging your fly rod feel a little more like fishing and a little less like… flailing.

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