Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cool New Products

This time of the year is one of my favorite times as a fly shop owner. It is the time of the year when new products are unveiled from manufacturers and distributors from around the world. Just as every year, there are quite a few items that stand alone in their respective categories- MooseKnuckle Lanyards, Sculpin Helmets, and the Buff Bugslinger UV Buff to name a few.

As a tier, I am most intrigued by the J:sonSweden System which was designed and developed by Claes Johansson from Sweden. Some may say that his system is crossing the line between tying flies and creating lures but Id have to say PHOOEY. Synthetic materials are synthetic materials and natural materials are natural materials. Fly tying is about creating so it shouldn't matter what we use as long as we sit at the tying bench and create with tying tools, thread and the necessary materials.

Once again, what is a purist? I guess I'm a purist in my own right but my school of purist thought is that anglers and tiers can do what they want if it gives them pleasure and remains within the bounds of the law. After all, we all participate in the wonderful world of fishing and tying because it makes up part of our soul. One technique isn't better than another. All that matters is that we all reach a sense of individual satisfaction and gratification, and we're all comfortable with the way we achieved those feelings.

The J:son System is really cool. Tiers can now create ultra realistic dry flies, emergers, pupae, nymphs and larva without having to spend a ton of time doing it.

The wing and wing pad burners are brilliantly designed from stainless steel and the detached body pins aren't too shabby either.

Click here to check out the J:son System in detail. 

Click here to find free step by steps. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Sight fishing to large trout (or any fish for that matter) is one of the situations that I live for. The video below is a moment that is now in my permanent memory bank. These are the moments that I reminisce on for a long time.

Note: I eventually landed the fish and she was around 24 inches in length. Sorry for the bad camera work. I was holding the camera with my left hand and the rod in my right hand. Time for a headcam!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Daily Fluff

I find myself sitting at the bench on a daily basis (sometimes for 2 hours, sometimes for 6 but Im usually somewhere in the vicinity). Here is my Daily Fluff for the day.

hook: Daiichi 1750
tail: Mottlebou
body: Mottlebou spun up in a dubbing loop and palmered
pec fins: Grouse Rump
wing: Grizzly Marabou (Golden)
head: Skulpin Skull

Note: I have been fortunate enough to field test the Skulpin Skulls before their unveiling this week at the AFFTA show.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dog Days Trout

This past Friday, I went to Little River (Virginia) for a morning of angling recon and had little idea of what to expect. We've had an extremely hot summer so I assumed water temps would be too warm for a productive day of fishing. Boy..... was I wrong. Morning air temps were in the low 60's and water temps followed suit. Typically, summer water temps and nighttime temps seem to correspond to one another in many of the mountain streams of Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina (other than the tailraces). Also, keep in mind, the stretch of water I was fishing is only 7 miles from where 3 aquifers emerge from the ground. As a result, water temps stay relatively cool in comparison to many of other streams in the area. This is one situation to focus on if you decide to go trout fishing during the "dog days" of summer. 

I started out with a deep nymphing rig and quickly changed to a giant hopper and nymph/squirmy dropper rig. The fishing was red hot from the start. Just like summers past, the fish rose to the surface (beginning around 10am), where they held and picked off mostly any terrestrial that came across their path. I have discovered that this conditioned response seems to coincide with the rising decibels of the daily song of hoppers, katydids and other singing terrestrials.

I flailed on several large fish but landed many others. All in all, it was a great day of angling. The Donkey Kong Hopper, Fat Albert, Hetero-genius Nymph and Squirmy Wormie were the flies of the day. Below is a short video of what went on throughout the morning.

Hint: Be sure to cast in (and follow) the shade/sun lines. Trout will use these lines as perceived cover and feel comfortable enough to use them as feeding lanes. Dont look for fish, look for tails, heads, and flash/movement. Often times, there is too much glare in these areas to spot fish effectively but that is definitely where the fish like to hold.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Featured Fly

Hise's Ooey Gooey Grub

Simply put, it's a grub (and a very easy one to tie). Ooey Gooey Grub™ follows the old adage, "simple yet effective." The previous 8 years, it has been one of the best selling patterns of all those created by those tiers that are part of the Orvis Fly Design Team. Created and tied by Dave Hise- 2005 Orvis Fly Tier of the Year, Orvis Fly Designer (since 1997), 2011 Orvis Endorsed Guide of the Year Runner-Up.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Nothing like a true ass beating early in the morn. Join Casters Fly Shop this fall as we travel to West Michigan for our bi-annual steelhead trip.


Fly of the Month

Hise's Hot Spot Hetero-genius™ 

The hetero-genius nymph pattern provides a realistic design with a hint of flash and color.

I have fished this nymph pattern, religiously, since the early 90's and it has fooled trout in streams throughout the world. Skeptics say it slays the "stockers", which is true. However, I've had a multitude of testimonials from anglers who have used it with great success in locales like New Zealand, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Argentina, Germany, California, Canada, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, you name it.

Why is it so productive? It is a great searching nymph but also shows characteristics of a multitude of mayfly and caddis species. The "hot spot" seems to be a trigger and there are a various theories of why that is. Consider this pattern the represent all nymph of all represent all nymphs. High stick nymph it or fish it under an indicator for the best results. Blue, yellow, chartreuse, hot orange, or hot pink hot spots have been the most productive; particularly hot orange and yellow.