One thing that I've told basically everyone that I've guided is that if I couldn't fly fish any longer I would still tie flies. There is a great sense of accomplishment when one ties a fly correctly from a pattern or creates an offering using the correct techniques and avoids the usual pitfalls found at the bench. Those common pitfalls are hook eyes that are overcrowded, body material errors (too much dubbing or quill bodies wrapped unevenly) and way too much hackle. Those mistakes are the fly tiers version of baiting a hook! The less material the better. The accompanying size 20 emerger photo shows what I mean. Less is best!!!! 140 denier for the body, 3 turns of fine copper wire, 1 turn of peacock, 2 tags of flashabou and enough space to tie off without crowding the eye with tying material.
A word on hooks - the above fly was tied on a size 20 scud hook. The wide gap has better hooking qualities than your standard hook. My best source of these hooks is from FLYSHACK in Gloversville NY and their house brand is the SABER line of hooks. I have their scud hooks from size 8 through 24 and they are strong, sharp and are well formed but the best thing is they are incredibly inexpensive! To get the same size scud hook in a "name" brand (Tiemco, etc) you will pay about $8 for 25 hooks. How about $7 for 100 saber hooks. Welcome to no-brainer land!!!!! Saber hooks are the only hooks I've used for the last 8 years and I believe that all of their standard hooks are in the $7 for a 100 range. Check them out at the Incredible Shrinking Fly Show. They will be at the booth(s) with the most people.
BTW, I get no discounts, merchandise or commissions for this or any endorsement. If you see me mention something it's because I believe that it's a good value for YOU! In the words of Neil Young: "Ain't singing for Pepsi, ain't singing for Coke, don't sing for nobody, makes me look like a joke".
Same Fly, two styles:
To the right is a sample of a size 14 soft hackle (a "made up" pattern) and then it's version on a size 6 salmon hook. Soft hackles translate to salmon style easily and are fun to tie and would work for steelies as they do for Atlantic Salmon.
Swift Update/ Guiding Season: Well, here we are in mid January and fly fishers are still having double digit days by the Pipe and the Tree Pool. The throngs of bait tossers just never showed up or they just couldn't clean the place out. There are plenty of fish in that well worn section and there is fishing to be had at the Gauge and at the Bubbler Arm.
My guide calendar is picking up with Spring trips in the books and a record number of January/February trips booked too. Don't get left out. I'll be expanding guiding on the Ware River and the MB of the Westfield - two great rivers.
Book a trip and remember that I don't require a deposit!!!