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Flymen Blog

The Articulate Fly Podcast: Henry Cowen on Striper Fishing

In this episode, Henry Cowen returns to update us on striper fishing on Lake Lanier and to tell us about his NEW book on freshwater striper fly fishing. In the second half of the interview, Dave Whitlock joins us. Dave wrote the foreward to Henry’s book and provided several illustrations.

We have limited SIGNED COPIES of Henry's book that you can order here.

Fly Tying Tutorial: The Polarceiver

Nick Groves' Polarceiver Fly Will Smash Smallmouth Bass and More...

Nick Groves' Polarceiver combines two of my favorite materials, Peacock Herl and Polar Chenille, into an easy-to-tie articulated streamer. 

Utilizing a Fish-Skull Fish-Spine for increased swim action and a Fish-Skull Baitfish Head to help the fly get deep and add a realistic head profile, the Polarceiver has quickly made its way to the top of my list for smallmouth bass fishing!

Podcast: Henry Cowen – Fly Fishing for Freshwater Striped Bass

The popularity of fishing for striped bass in freshwater has exploded as more and more fly anglers have experienced the excitement and intense fishing action that comes with it.

In this episode of The Articulate Fly Podcast with Marvin Cash, Henry Cowen shares his experiences growing up and fishing in New York City, his striper learning curve when he moved to the South and how the gear guys have influenced his fly angling.

Henry is best known for helping to popularize chasing freshwater stripers on the fly and is releasing a new book, Fly Fishing for Freshwater Striped Bass: A Complete Guide To Tackle, Tactics, and Finding Fish.

Available through Flymen, if you pre-order one of the first 250 copies of Henry's new book you will receive a SIGNED COPY from the author! This highly anticipated book has an expected release date to you of October 15!

Not only that, 10 of these pre-orders will win a fly personally tied by Henry Cowen with a personally signed card!

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

Jungle Tarpon Mayhem: Fly Fishing Costa Rica

If you're used to fly fishing for tarpon in the Florida Keys or other crystal clear flats, then muddy jungle rivers and blown out river mouths probably aren’t high on your list of destinations… but they should be.

The history of jungle tarpon fishing in Costa Rica goes back decades and all of the big name dudes that pioneered saltwater fly fishing experienced its glory.

While adequate scientific research hasn’t been conducted, the tarpon population that is found here is likely to be the largest concentration of adult tarpon on planet earth. Schools of hundreds if not thousands of fish packed outside the river mouth on the ocean side and often found crushing bait along the shores of the river as well.

Fly Tying: Sherwood's Micro Diver

Taking the Classic Deer Hair Diver to the Next Level

By integrating the new Fish-Skull Chocklett's Articulated Micro-Spine system into a well-established pattern, Braden Sherwood has designed a total winner – in fact, he won the recent Micro-Spine fly tying contest with this fly pattern.

The added movement and taper through the spines in this smaller diver pattern is fantastic.

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 Fishing for River Pike

River Pike: A Somewhat Predictable Creature

River pike are one of my favorite fish species to target on the fly, both fishing for them and guiding clients onto them, pike always give me an extra level of excitement. Rivers, compared to stillwater are more susceptible to changes. Water levels fluctuates faster and make the pike respond in different ways. When you drift down a river it’s a forever changing landscape. Behind each bend could be your new record pike waiting in ambush.

So, what are some helpful tips you can use for targeting river pike?

Fly Tying Tutorial: Adam Kornuth's Magic Mouse

It's Mousin' Time

If you want to see river monsters crush your fly on the surface and put up a good fight, give the Magic Mouse a go!

Finding the right combination of a realistic yet easy-to-tie mouse pattern is one of the hardest things to do in fly tying, but Adam Kornuth found the Holy Grail in his Magic Mouse.

With a Double Barrel slider head on a Senyos Articulated Shank for Steelhead and Salmon Flies, backed up by the ultra-sharp and durable Kona Universal Strong Streamer hook, The Magic Mouse has everything you need in a great mouse pattern while being simple to tie.

Why Is My Baitfish Pattern Swimming Wrong? Part 2

brita fordice fly tying

Do you ever have one of those days where you get onto the water, do everything “right," have what you think is the perfect fly, and still get no fish?

I have.

We’ve all been there. I spend hours researching a specific location, and designing the best baitfish for it. Then I’ll spend an hour the night before arranging my fly boxes. I pack up all my gear and leave before even the Starbucks opens in hopes of arriving to the location and being first on the water. Once I get there I get everything set up, get the fly tied on, and start fishing. And get absolutely nothing…

Obviously, I can’t help you with casting, weather, or the fact that the McGriddle you ate for breakfast is trying to eat your insides like a tapeworm. But I can help with fly selection. Over the years I have learned a few things about fly design that mean the difference between a fly that fish eat, and a fly they simply look at and turn away.

Below you can learn about a few of my findings over the years along with video demonstrations in the Fly Tester. Using the Fly Tester helps me observe the swimming action of my flies immediately after tying and improve them so I have confidence they will perform as intended.

Fly Tying Tutorial: Robin Phillips' Golden Nugget

The Golden Nugget is a modern medium-size baitfish imitation.

This pattern is easy to tie and highly effective on the water! Using the Fish-Skull Baitfish Skull to help with swimming action, profile, and depth, this versatile streamer fly pattern can be fished for most freshwater and saltwater applications.

You can find Robin Phillips on Instagram: @robin.phillips.flies

Fly Recipe

Flymen Sili-Leg Intruder: Fly Tying Tutorial

Want to Tie a Tough-As-Nails Steelhead Pattern?

The Flymen Sili-Leg Intruder is a completely synthetic Steelhead Intruder tied on the Fish-Skull Senyo's Articulated Shank for Steelhead and Salmon Flies. 

Intruder-style flies are designed to trigger aggressive strikes from steelhead by "intruding" on their territory and provoking an attack.

The movement of the bulletproof sili-leg skirt coupled with the the Kona Big Game Hunter stinger hook gives you an incredibly durable and deadly Intruder pattern.

Win a Fly Tester: VOTE Micro-Spine Fly Tying Contest

Vote on Your Favorite Fly for a Chance to Win Prizes From Some of Your Favorite Brands

12 Prizes = 12 Chances For You To Win!

Over the last 4 weeks, fly tyers around the world submitted flies to the #MicroSpineFlyTyingContest which we put on with some of your favorite brands to challenge fly tyers to push the limits of fly tying.

The Flymen team chose a winner each week, and now it's up to YOU to decide the final grand prize winners and have the chance to win the same 12 prizes that the finalists will win, PLUS a Redington Fly Rod! If you vote, you will be entered into a drawing to win the following prizes.

Fly Tying Tutorial: Flymen Fish-Skull Craw

Add This Craw Pattern to Your Fly Arsenal

The Flymen Fish-Skull Craw is a realistic, yet easy to tie crawfish pattern. The Fish-Skull Shrimp & Cray tail sends this fly straight to the bottom with an enticing swimming motion. The Flymen Fish-Skull Craw dominates warm and coldwater species!

Learn to tie the Flymen Fish-Skull Craw today!

Fly Recipe

Win a Fly Tester: Micro-Spine Fly Tying Contest

Fly Tyers, Thread Your Bobbins!

We've seen more and more photos on social media of amazing Articulated Micro-Spine flies tied by fly tyers like you.

The flies we've seen are just the tip of the iceberg, so we're holding a fly tying contest on Instagram to help you show off your patterns to the world and give you the chance to win grand prizes. We appreciate the contributions of Fly Fish Food, Redington, Flood Tide Co.Loon OutdoorsThe Fly Fishing ShowKona Fishing Products, and Hareline Dubbin to make this fly tying contest great for everyone who enters!

Cheech's Mohawk Sculpin: Fly Tying Tutorial

The Mohawk Sculpin, created by Cheech Pierce of Fly Fish Food, is a super fun and easy sculpin pattern to tie.

With its wide profile and short stature, the silhouette of the Mohawk Sculpin is a perfect match to the real thing and is sure to trigger predatory attacks.

The extra-heavy Fish-Skull Sculpin Helmet helps the Mohawk Sculpin drop like a rock to the bottom and this sculpin fly pattern even has a little extra "bling" from the new Hareline Magnum Bling Rabbit Strips.

Learn to tie Cheech's Mohawk Sculpin today!

Fly Recipe

Micro Feather Game Changer – Fly Tying Tutorial

The Micro Feather Game Changer is a snack-size articulated fly pattern that lands softly to avoid spooking fish, but still pushes enough water to get a predator's attention.

Imagine a fly that perfectly imitates a baitfish in your local waters, not only in profile but by swimming like a real fish and provoking the predatory instinct within your target fish... but you can still cast it with a 4wt to 6wt fly rod.

The Micro Feather Game Changer is fly a pattern developed by Blane Chocklett. This version is scaled down to about 3", and is a fantastic pattern for smaller water or picky fish.

The new Fish-Skull Chocklett's Articulated Micro-Spines open up a whole new world of possibilities for tying scaled-down Game Changer style flies.

Fly Tying Tutorial: Flymen Big Game Needlefish

The Flymen Big Game Needlefish puts a next-generation spin on a staple barracuda fly

This fly will move Barracuda in Belize, Pike in Canada, and sizing it up or down it will catch musky, smallmouth, and trout in your local fishery as well.

Fish-Skull Body Tubing creates the elongated body of a Needlefish, and a Big Game Articulated Shank adds extra swimming action to attract your target species. Super fun tie!

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 Tutorial: Fish-Skull Disco Deceiver

Paul Brown's Disco Deceiver is a big flashy streamer with TONS of swimming action.

For targeting everything from pike to brown trout in endless color combinations, the Disco Deceiver is a ton of fun to fish and tie. Combining Fish-Skull Articulated Fish-Spines in the middle of the fly's body gives it two extra break points for movement and a Fish-Skull Baitfish Head helps get this fly to the strike zone quickly.

Articulated Micro-Spine Bugger Changer: Fly Tying Tutorial

Taking the Iconic Woolly Bugger Fly to the Next Level

While the original Woolly Bugger gets its movement in the water from the undulation of its marabou and hackle body materials, the Bugger Changer combines this body material undulation with lifelike articulation, made possible at this micro scale with the new Fish-Skull Chocklett's Articulated Micro-Spine system.

In this Bugger Changer fly tying tutorial, Blane Chocklett walks you through how to tie this fly in detail, including tips and tricks on tying with the new Articulated Micro-Spine system.

Fly Recipe

  • Hook: Kona Big Game Hunter, size #6
  • Thread: 6/0
  • Tail: Mini Marabou, black + Hackle, Indian Hen Saddle
  • Shanks 1, 2, 3, and 4: Fish-Skull Articulated Micro-Spine, 8 mm
  • Body: H20 Streamer Brush
  • Body: Hackle, Indian Hen Saddle
  • Shank 5: Fish-Skull Articulated Fish-Spine, 15 mm
  • Eyes: Dumbell
  • Head: H20 Streamer Brush + Hackle, Indian Hen Saddle

About the NEW Articulated Micro-Spine

Tie realistic micro flies with true-to-life movement and take your trout and small fly fishing to the next level with Chocklett’s Articulated Micro-Spine.

Created in partnership with renowned fly tyer and fishing guide Blane Chocklett, the new Chocklett's Articulated Micro-Spine allows fly tyers to take the Game Changer style of fly tying to completely new territory. 

The sky is the limit for realistically imitating insects, small baitfish, crustaceans, and other aquatic critters with never-before-possible lifelike movement. The new triangular back-loop design reduces the gap between segments and makes it easier to fit in your fly tying vise jaws.

The system is comprised of 3 different shanks (8mm, 6mm and a 6mm long Tail Shank) which can be connected ("daisy chained") in a limitless number of different combinations to create virtually any highly articulated, small fly you desire.

Beyond the Gear: 3 Important Things to Teach Your Kids On Their First Fly Fishing Trip

How We Can All Contribute to the Next Generation of Fly Anglers

When we take our kids on their first fly fishing trip, we generally think about things like which areas to fish, what gear we need, and what weather conditions are best, but there are other important things we should be considering as well.

Here are 3 important things to teach your kids when bringing them out fly fishing for their first time...

Targeting Gator Seatrout: Fly Fishing Tips

This Often Overlooked Species Just Might Be the Challenge You've Been Seeking

Fly fishing in saltwater flats usually conjures up images of tarpon, bonefish, snook and permit; the "big four" so to speak in this realm of mangroves, grasses and sand. Then there are redfish and black drum. These two species are much more widespread and available, making them a viable target from Texas to the Carolinas. Again, these two fish are very popular among fly anglers and considered high on the list of angling achievements.

However, there is yet another species of the drum family that I consider even higher on the list than redfish and black: the spotted seatrout (cynoscion nebulosus). The spotted seatrout is perhaps one of the first fish that novice saltwater fly anglers target. The smaller versions of these fish are voracious feeders, attacking anything that gets near them, making them perfect for novice anglers.

Spotted seatrout are readily found from Maryland to Texas, in large groups, and it is not unusual once a single small trout is caught, to catch a dozen or more in the same area. Perhaps this is why many people forget about seatrout and don’t give them the respect they deserve, especially the large ones we call gator seatrout.

Fly Tying Tutorial: Heavy Metal Rubber Leg Copper John

The original Copper John is a staple in most fly boxes — the Heavy Metal Rubber Leg Copper John is a next-generation take on this classic fly pattern.

Using the Nymph-Head Heavy Metal tungsten beads that are 15% heavier than standard tungsten beads of the same size and come in a wide array of colors, the possibilities for this pattern are endless. You can fish it in a variety of ways, from fishing it as an anchor fly in a Euro setup to a regular attractor under an indicator, fish this fly DEEP — trust me, it will get there.

Fly Recipe

  • Hook: Kona Wet Fly Nymph size #10
  • Bead: Nymph-Head Heavy Metal tungsten bead size 5/32"
  • Wire: .025 Lead Wire
  • Tail: Sili-Legs
  • Body: Ultra Wire
  • Wing Case: UV Chewee Skin
  • Over Case: Flashabou
  • Thorax: Ice Dub 
  • Legs: Sili-Legs
  • Wing Case Gas Bubble: Loon UV Resin Thick

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, but in certain fishing circumstances they can help you track the 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

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