Friday, March 13, 2015

Custom Shad Flies

Its that time of year again and I am happily getting loads of e-mails and phone calls for custom shad flies. While there are loads of patterns out there, I just want to share with you what I throw, and what my clients throw. These are patterns with nearly 20 years of design behind them and I make my living off of tying these flies and putting people on fish with these flies, so yea, trust me when I say these flies work.

Don't throw more than two flies at once but always throw a tandem rig. My suggestion is to toss a 1/32 shad jig with 20" of 8lb Berkley Vanish to a dropper fly. Dropper choices are damsel first, puff second, buster third, Clouser fourth. Tutorials should be on Youtube.

Here are the flies I have my clients throw. They are $2 each:

Shad jig

The Shad Puff. Three colors that vary by my mood and what has been working.

1" Calf Tail Clouser. This is more for the other species that are mixed in. Shad will tear it up too.
 Shad Buster. The color stands out.
 Snowhite Damsel. If you are not throwing this fly for every species of fish your pursue than there is something wrong with you.

If you want to know the theory and design behind these flies you will need to listen to my shad podcast, on Itunes.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders March 2015 Beer Tie | Clouser Deep Minnow

Beer Tie was created by TPFR member Dalton. He wanted the club to get together to tie flies and drink beer. What started as a small club five years ago has become a community of anglers. We are now hosting the beer tie at the second location, Whitlow's On Wilson. We outgrew the dark Irish pub.

I volunteer to teach a new fly pattern each month. The flies are based on what the fish are feeding on or will be feeding upon in the near future. Each pattern is rather easy (remember, we are at a bar which has dodgy light, people are drinking, the vises wobble on the tables, and we are also eating). I try to pick larger patterns as its hard for everyone to see their flies in the dark and hard for me to see what people are tying. 

This week's beer tie was a good one. Loads of people came out. TPFR is also partnering with Port City Brewing Company (take a left out of my street and drive about 4 miles and make a right and you are there). I chose to teach the Clouser Deep Minnow and Bob Clouser gave me one of his flies at Tie Fest for us to use as an example.

Beer tie is on the second Monday of each month. It is all ages. Monday is also half price burger night. Craft beers are $3 until 7pm. All tools and materials are provided at the teaching table at no cost to the tier. 

Here are some of the images. 

I get to Orvis early to pick out materials. Orvis is on the same block as Whitlow's.

  5 cases of Port City brews
 The Mike Dunlap TPFR logo popper. It was sad to see this go. I wanted it for myself. It went in the raffle
 This is a first time tier's creation. This is a very fish fly
 Most seats were filled

 Art from Orvis Tysons Corner @OrvisTysonsCorner demonstrated how to use a lighter to melt the waxed thread on the head of the Clouser. Very cool hack though it smelled nasty
 A blank hook. The other issue with the space is these are patio tables. This one where we tie is perforated. If you drop just about any hook, bead, dumbell eye etc it will go through the table
 Terry C helping out
 My stack of flies for the night. Teaching allows me to stock my guide boxes (last year when I taught the Clouser I went out the next morning and got a snakehead on my beer tie fly)
 Griz tied up his very very popular shad fly
 Art burning more stuff. Burnt deer hair is nasty

Want to make it to the next event? Click here

Want to start your own beer tie, let me know if you have any questions. Our club is based through the International Federation of Fly Fishers.

Want to tie the Clouser Deep Minnow, click below

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lefty Kreh's Tie Fest 2015

The day started off great. I picked up Justin around 0815 and we headed toward the Eastern shore. We had deep conversations such as what if Cracker Barrel had an all you can eat buffet- what would they have on the steam tables and what would  you go for first.

We arrived at the venue around 9:30 and started to set up. We ordered bloody Mary's and I started to tie flies.

The plan was to tie a bunch of flies, demonstrate some of my patterns, and walk around and get everyone on the podcast.

Not much later the wife texts me. She wants to know if I have her car keys. I look in my jacket and sure enough I do. It was her birthday too. So she was stuck at home with the pixie on her birthday. She was not happy, I was in trouble, and my day was rather ruined. I just didn't have it in me to tie a bunch of flies, walk around and podcast, and just enjoy the day.

This was one of the busiest Tie Fests I have seen. One of my favorite of the winter shows. If you have not been, you really do need to be there next year. Tiers came from all up and down the east coast and from as afar away as Lake Erie.

A spicy bloody to start the morning. I had about two sips before handing it over to Justin. I was about to drive home for the day to drop off the keys

 A blank Matzuo America wide gap worm hook size 1. Sharp, strong, sharp. My preferred hook for big bass and snakehead flies
 A copper reaper with Snow White (she spells it wrong)
 Smaller reapers. I need some size 2 hooks for these.
 Gutless frogs. I can't get enough. Fly purchasers can't get enough. Selling a lot of these. Playing around with leg placement
 Justin watching how to tie a tiny hellgrammite
 Mike Dunlap @chesapeaketjam (follow him)
 Look at these poppers
 Ivan from Urban Angler Va. He is a brilliant fly tier. Always great to see what he is up to

 This is a view during a slow time. The guest speakers filled rooms
 Richie Tillman tying up some awesome salty flies. Holt picked some up for the Frogman headquarters
 Morgan @tltlff with a freakishly big buck tail
 Mike Dunlap with his TPFR popper

Thats about it. I wanted to share more of the event and what was going on but I ended up leaving early to get home. A bottle of Woodford Reserve and a few dozen flowers helped ease the wife's anger.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lancaster Fly Fishing Show Pictures

What a busy show it was...

The drive up took about 4 hours due to traffic. I arrived to find I had an ENTIRE table to myself. I set up and headed to my room with a few whoopie pies from the front desk. I then met up with the lads from Hunter Banks Fly Shop and we went out for some Japanese/Thai food.

Then things started out with a bang at 0900 on Saturday when the doors opened. I had loads of people stopping by. Some picked up cards, some stared at me like WTF is this dude tying, some took pictures, and everyone was having fun. Tom next to me was super busy all day long.

Sunday started off super busy and then tapered off. I had a little time to podcast but every time I looked at my table someone was there so I had to run back. The snow turned to freezing rain as the show ended so I packed up as soon as possible to get out and minimize my driving home in the dark. I got home around 7:30 on Sunday and the ice coated my car all over. It was  not a pleasant drive back.

It was an awesome show. Can't wait to do it again next year.

The drive to Lancaster County. 

 Setting up at the show. Eerily quiet. Gives me a chance to see all the booths

 View from the hotel room. Our room did not get below 74 degrees all weekend despite turning down the thermostat. I as I always do- fill the recycling  can with ice and put beer in there. The ice was all melted by morning
 A cold Coors Banquet and some Seinfeld. One of my favorite episodes
 Off to Sakura. I punished some avocado rolls and then some Panang curry
 I stole some stickers from Allen as I went back to get my phone charger after dinner
Then we crashed the Pennsylvania Bar Association Luau party
 I didn't sleep much as my room was beyond hot. I awoke to a sunny day and a big breakfast. I had my plate of bacon after I ate breakfast
 Then the tying started. Here is my take on the Reaper fly. Tied on a Matzuo America size 1 offset worm hook
 Casting pond with Mike Mauri
 The crowd was packed
 Dangerous head wear in this crowd
 A bunch of guys saw my reapers and curly tails and custom ordered as many as I could tie before they came back. I was tying as quick as possible as I talked to everyone stopping by. It was so much fun
 I didn't have the proper material for chartreuse curly tails. I had to improvise with black/chart legs and taking white UV hackle and using a Copic pen to turn it chart
 Bob Clouser casting. You can see him at Tie Fest this weekend.
 My view of the show. No one across from me this year to scare
 More crowd shots
 A sample of the patterns I tied. gutless frogs were a big hit. I sold more of those than anything else. I thought the folks would be into shad flies but it was bass/snakehead fodder they purchased
 Tom and his Knotty Eggs

 Watch Tom's video below. Super easy fly and they look great.

 Tom Sadler showing Tenkara skills

 I wasn't sure what this stuff was at first. It looked like whats in a filter of a vacuum cleaner or an old air vent filter (which is dead skin cells)
 Next to it was the stuff in packaging
 And a very buggy looking fly
 My reaper in purple. Love this fly. Those hooks are samurai sword sharp
 Some intruders. Thankfully no one stole them this year
 David from Project Healing Waters and I headed out for dinner. I have a super bad fear of these grates and the only option to avoid was an icy patch of cement to the side. Not cool Lancaster, not cool
 Oh a pint and the price is so fantastic compared to local pubs
 It may look gross but the steak and cheese egg roll with chipotle ranch was awesome
 Then this strange commercial came on

 I call these the Cinderella stairs in the hotel. I hated them as my boots have no traction
 Crowd rolling in Sunday morning. I took this from the elevator
 Some beautiful streamer flies. Seriously, look at those

 Elongated Clouser flies
 Some more creative flies

 I then loaded up on Fly Shack hooks. Can't beat that price and they have no faults
 Tied up some Snowhite Hellgrammite. I decided to elongate the tail and I'm sticking with that for now

 Took a break to look out the window
 Back to Reapers
 I forgot legs on the Jumbo John
 Stopped off with Eunon  and Brad. Tom Tickler was the best fly name given by Eunon

 Tom's table
 My table
 The Whisky fairy dropped off some single malt while I was at the Fly Vines booth

This toddler had a vise on his stroller
 Who and what you missed if you didn't go

 Fly Vines Erin learning from that Simon who supports the other team from Liverpool
 Accidents on the drive home
 Frozen over Susquehanna
 Ice and slush in the Sheetz lot
 A big sandwich to energize my ride home
 Note the jack hole behind me who was tailgating with his lights off
 I could barely get up this section of sidewalk and then the stairs and more sidewalk due to ice

And I'm home and focusing on TieFest. See y'all this Saturday