Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ian's Brass Ass

Ian's Brass Ass (Friend of the Fly Version) by Darren Dunbar

When I look at Ian's Brass Ass, I immediately think of two things: Buzzer's and Brassies. The orange cheeks resemble a Brit influenced "Buzzer" and the wrapped copper wire is synonymous with the all-to-popular "Brassie". I also wonder how exactly Ian came up with the "Brass Ass" name? Nevertheless, the fly continues to be one of Orvis's top selling flies.  According to the fly's orginator,"The Brass Ass was developed for fishing off the breakwalls along the Gt Lakes for steelhead in 1993". Ian considers the fly to be a searching pattern that will catch a dynamic range of fish. Personally, my favorite element of the Brass Ass is the epoxy thorax and illuminated cheeks.

I have heard that the original Brass Ass cheeks were merely comprised of slices of orange garbage bags. However, most contemporary Brass Ass cheeks now glow from the use of orange holographic tinsel. When tying smaller Brass Asses for trout (sz.16-18) you may consider using alternative materials, since the tinsel seems to be a bit large. The Brass Asses tied in the photos are comprised of died turkey plume fiber cheeks. Moreover, I substituted the epoxy coating with Loon UV Clear Fly Finish, a superb product.

TIP: The Brass Ass calls for the copper wire to be wrapped well down the hook bend. Before wrapping the copper wire, adjust the hook position so the eye is pointing towards the tying bench. This angle helps you initiate your copper wire touch - and - turns. Once you have completed the wraps of copper wire, re-adjust the hook, so that the eye is pointing at an a slight upward angle. This upward adjustment will eliminate your thread from sliding off the hook when building up your thorax and head.

Ian's Brass Ass (Friend of the Fly Version) by Darren Dunbar

Ian's Brass Ass Recipe (Friend of the Fly Version):
Hook: Curved Scud Sz. 16-18
Thread: Black UTC 70 Denier
Body: Copper Wire
Thorax: Black Thread
Cheeks: Turkey Plume Fibers
Coating: Loon UV Clear Fly Finish

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rock Star - Salmon Fly Nymph

"Rock Star" Salmon Fly Nymph by Darren Dunbar

I have noticed the presence of more and more Salmon Flies - both nymphs and adults - on the rivers. This is evidence that for many fly fishers of the Western U.S. it is close to go time as trout begin to key in on these gentle giants. The nymphs can be taken by trout anytime of the year, since they generally inhabit streams for around three years before transforming into the adult stage. These transformations makes for hot fishing during late spring and into early summer as migrating nymphs drift towards shore with the objective of trading their exoskeleton in for a new pair of fluttering wings.

The Rock Star is my replication of the Salmon Fly Nymph, which embodies similar characteristics, some flash, movement and in my opinion just the right amount of weight. I have to admit that throughout the production phase, I was a bit concerned about using the craft foam for the wing case and the fly's ability to sink. However, after some trial casting, I found that the fly sinks like a rock, largely due to the hook shank completely wrapped with non toxic lead. Regards ~ D2

"Rock Star" Salmon Fly Nymph by Darren Dunbar

"Rock Star" Salmon Fly Nymph Recipe

Hook: Sz. 6 - 8 3X Streamer / Nymph
Thread: Black UTC 120 Denier
Tail: Black Goose Biots
Abdomen: UTC Black HOLO Tinsel
Ribbing: Ultra Wire Black
Wing Case: Thin Adhesive Backed Craft Foam
Thorax: Black Chenille
Legs: Black Round Rubber
Eyes: Melted 25lb. Monofilament
Weight: Non Toxic Lead

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mother's Day Caddis Larva and Pupa Patterns

Many fly anglers would probably consider the Mother's Day Caddis hatch (Brachycentrus, a.k.a. grannom)  significant and the perhaps for many, the advent of the new fishing season. With careful consideration and observation of  pre-existing American Grannom patterns, it becomes quite apparent that the one major characteristic includes a glowing green body which varies from a lighter chartreuse to a darker blue green. While I do think adult caddis patterns are effective, I really wanted to create some productive flies that represented both the larvae and pupal stages of the grannom, which in my opinion are equally or even more successful.

The main elements of the Detached Body Caddis I created can be linked to Davie McPhail who provides a great You Tube tutorial on the fly. However, my suttle changes to the fly include a twisted DMC Floss body and different colored flash. The organza ribbon compliments the fly and has a way of replicating the amber glow effect that precedes a completed pupal emergence.

Detached Body Caddis  - Grannom by Darren Dunbar

Detached Body Caddis Recipe - Grannom Recipe
Hook: Scud Sz. 12 -14
Thread: UTC - 70 Black
Bead: Black Tungsten
Rib: Sz. Sm Copper Wire
Underbody: Black Holographic Tinsel
Ext. Body: Twisted DMC Floss #907
Hackle: Amber Colored Organza Ribbon
Antennae: Mallard Flank
Thorax: Peacock Ice Dub
Interestingly enough " the American Grannom, is the most common cased caddis larva found in trout stomach samples. That's because the larvae live in precarious positions and have a light, easily digestible case".  Here are a couple fast sinkers that should turn trout heads.

Peeking Caddis #1 - Grannom by Darren Dunbar
Peeking Caddis #1 -Grannom Recipe
Hook: Sz. 12 3xl nymph/hopper
Thread: UTC - 70 Brown
Extension: Twisted DMC Floss (touched with marker)
Hackle: Black Saddle Hackle
Casing: Two Strands of DMC Floss
Bead: Tungsten
Weight: Non Toxic Lead
Peeking Caddis #2  - Grannom by Darren Dunbar
 Peeking Caddis #2 Recipe
Hook:  Sz. 12 3xl nymph/hopper
Thread: UTC - 70 Brown
Head: Black 2.4mm Tungsten Bead (Superglued)
Body: Two 2mm green colored glass bead
Thorax: Black Hares Ear Dubbin
Casing: Twisted Brown, Cream & Olive DMC Floss
Weight: Non Toxic Lead