Largemouth Bass Lineup

Largemouth Bass Lineup

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Nothing To See Here Folks

Just a quick post today to share another Fire Tiger color combo with you all.  This one is a streamer that I have really enjoyed tying as of late.  It will be making its way across the pond as soon as I can finish a long overdue project.  Anyways, if you would like to read about the materials and the tying of this fly, you can find it here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Another Vintage Reel For The Collection

It's true, I not only collect vintage fly rods but I am also now collecting vintage reels.  If we can, let's keep that a secret between you and I please.  Melissa doesn't need to know about another thing I am collecting.  I've been keeping a list of reels I would like to add to my collection on my phone in the Notes.  Getting old stinks and this helps aid in my recollection of what I would like.

Recently, I was able to score a Berkley 520 Deluxe Single Action reel.  The Berkley 510 was on my list but this particular one caught my eye.  This reel was made with parts from Japan but assembled in the United States.  I was watching this item for a while on eBay.  It first went on sale at 25% off.  Within a week it was half off and I immediately hit the Buy It Now button.  The reel appeared to have been never used or at the very least lightly used.  It came with the original box and paperwork.  For less than $18 I felt as though I could not pass it up.

Upon receiving it, it certainly lived up to my expectations.  The box is beaten up, which I knew going into the purchase.  The outside of the box contains a price tag that reads Gibson's $5.97.  I, naturally, googled the name and learned that Gibson's was a department chain store company that seemed to be throughout the Midwest during the 60's, 70's and into the 80's.  I believe this reel dates around the late 60's or early 70's.  Disappointingly, I could not locate any year of manufacture or year of copyright on the box.  Inside the box, I found four different pieces of paperwork.  They are as follows: Reel Parts Catalog, Fishing Tips, a Berkley guarantee, and Tying Knots with Trilene. All of these are in really good condition without any torn or missing pages.

The reel looks like it just left the factory.  The decal is bright and clean on the back of the reel proudly showing the Berkley name in the red heart and the model number, 520.  A turn of the reel produced that fantastic click sound we all know and love.  Well, some of us anyways.  It has very little surface wear on it.

I am very pleased with this purchase which isn't what always happens.  While I am a collector of sorts, I also believe in still using these items.  I am hoping to pair this reel with one of my vintage 5wt rods such as a Cortland Pro Crest or Cortland FR-2000 that I use on a regular basis.  I will, as always, be keeping my eye out for more deals like this one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Fire Tiger Foam Diver

Just a quick post on a foam diver color combo I did.  I'm a big fan of the Fire Tiger color combo.  We have been doing foam divers for an order.  Love them.  Fished them twice this year with spectacular results.  These flies will be available when we eventually make it through our backlog.  Anyways, here is the Fire Tiger Diver color combo:

Hook: Gamakatsu B10S size 2
Thread: Flat waxed nylon
Tail: 20 pound mono loop
Tail: Hareline Dubbin Inc Micro Rabbit in Orange
Tail: Copper Flashabou
Marabou: Hareline Dubbin Inc Hot Orange
Palmer Chenille: Black
Marabou: Hareline Dubbin Inc Chartreuse
Eyes: Hareline 3/16" Oval Pupil 3D eyes Orange/Black Pupil
Finish it off with Loon Outdoors UV Clear Fly Finish flow
Dog hair not included.....golden retriever/yellow lab mix must be purchased separately

Friday, December 11, 2015

Yomogi in Action

I'm not much of a trout fisherman.  There....I said it.  I admit it fully...I would rather chase bass and panfish on the fly.  I love it.  I can't help myself.  Regardless of my addiction and professed love of warm water fish, I do occasionally attempt to catch trout.  My choices are somewhat limited where I live.  In order to chase browns or brookies, I have to travel some distance.  Pursuing pellet heads is closer to home but my least favorite thing to do.

I wanted to get out and give the Yomogi a whirl.  However, I was short on time so I decided to go to the local pellet head stream.  I was really on the fence as to whether or not I wanted to soil this marvelous new Yomogi I had in my possession with pellet heads but I also knew that I wanted to try it out.  So....short on time, I made up my mind on the pellet heads and headed out.

Upon arrival, I noticed that the stream was low and the water was clear.  I decided to pair the rod with a Cortland Crown II reel in the small size.  I have had this reel for probably twenty years.  I really dig it.  I also went with the Rio Products InTouch Rio Gold trout series fly line in a WF4F.  After selecting my fly and tying it on, I headed down to a pool below a bridge where the stockers like to hang out.

After watching the trout for a few moments, I carefully waded in and started casting.  Immediately, I noticed that the rod was soft but powerful.  I had no problem zipping line out.  It was smooth like butter.  A few drifts through the pool produced this little rainbow pellet head:

I was also able to land this guy a short time later:

I was truly amazed with this rod.  It is not only soft but also full flexing with power.  I had no problem delicately dropping dries or slinging some weighted streamers with it.  I could not recommend this rod enough.  It was a pure joy to fish with hidden power.  Well done Kazutomo Ijuin on creating such an awesome profile.  Splendid indeed!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Long Time Coming

First, I have to apologize to my good friend and master rod builder Zeb from Snowman Custom Rod Works.  This post has been a long time coming and I should have gotten to it sooner.

After casting Cameron's Epic 686 up at Beaver Island, I knew I wanted one.  I had been following the builds of Zeb for a while and decided to contact him and work out a build for an Epic 686.  Needless to say, I was not disappointed.  If you would like to read about it, you can here at Epic Build From An Epic Rod Builder.

Since I was not disappointed with what Zeb did with my Epic 686 I decided to contact him again to have an Ijuin Yomogi built.  I was looking at getting the 7'3" 4wt which comes as a three piece.  I already have a few rods in the lower line weights so I was hoping this would put another arrow in my quiver so to speak.  We worked out all the details which went something like this:

Zeb: What would you like? color? reel seat? etc.
Me: I don't care just make it look nice.

I have stated before that Zeb is an artist in his own right.  I never feel comfortable telling people who are true artists and craftsmen how to do their jobs.  I really just didn't care to dictate how it looked.  Based upon what I saw from my Epic as well as what I saw from his other builds, I knew it was going to be a stunning build.  As always, Zeb kept me informed as he went along with the build.  I allowed him free reign to choose everything.  I hope he enjoys the freedom, but maybe he likes to be told what to do...who knows?  Anyways, back in February Zeb was passing through the area and we were able to meet and greet.  At the time, he brought along my rod for me to see even though he was't done with it yet.  Talk about being a big tease!  It looked fabulous in the photos and even better in person.  Man I could not wait to get my hands on it.  Finally, Zeb was able to finish it and it shipped.  Without a doubt I am happy that I chose Zeb to build another rod for me.  It's a looker for sure!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Some Streamer Love

I've been doing some streamer tying as of late.  Working on stuff for largemouth.  I have come up with a few color combos that I feel will work quite nicely.  There really isn't much to this fly.  It is tied on a size 6 Mustad R73-9671 hook.  I have run a mono loop of 20 pound test fishing line off the back of the hook.  Next up, I used mirco rabbit strips since it is a size 6.  I did some with and some without Krystal flash.  I then added layers of marabou and Palmer chenille as I made my way up to the eye of the hook.  Last, but not least, I added in a small amount of red Ice Fur for a throat.  After measuring, I added a Fish Skull to the front of the fly.  Tie in a thread dam in front of the Fish Skull and seal it with some Loon Outdoors UV Clear Fly Finish Flow and you are ready for action.  A short water test showed that the materials compress nicely.  I'm excited about these guys and I can't wait to see what people catch with them.  I am hoping the largemouth tear them up but they are also small enough for my local smallies.  Going to be good times!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Tribute To France

I was recently on the Partridge Hook Forum on Facebook and read a post about the tragic events in Paris almost two weeks ago.  Mark Hamnett, Partridge Hooks, invited their friends and fellow tyers, no matter whose hook or whose vise they are tied on to tie their favorite fly in the colors of the French national flag which are red, white and blue.  Partridge Hooks is going to get them framed and send them to retailers in France in a show of solidarity.  Fly fishing and fly tying are truly international and there is a bond between us all regardless of who we are or where we live.  

Many probably do not know this, but I had the opportunity to visit France and in particular Paris last year.  It truly is a marvelous and spectacular city.  I loved every minute of it and I hope one day to be able to return.  Seeing the events unfold that Friday night really bothered me.  It was something I could connect with since I had been there.  Not only did it bother me because I had been there, but it bothered me to see innocent civilians lose their lives at the hands of terrorists.  Terrorism, regardless of the reason, has got to stop.  

As of late, we have been tying divers for orders.  I did well with divers over the summer when I was able to fish them.  I even managed to land a personal best largemouth on one.  Anyways, I felt the diver was a perfect fly to tie in the national colors of France.  

I used a Rainy's small diver head in white and tied it on a size 2 Gamakatsu B10S stinger hook.  Unfortunately, I did not have any Partridge Hooks.  At some point I would love to get my hands on some.  Starting from the back and working forward, I used Hareline Micro Rabbit in blue for the tail, I added Flashabou in Pearl, Red and Blue, I used Hareline marabou in blue with blue Palmer Chenille, white Hareline marabou with white Palmer Chenille and then red Hareline marabou with red Palmer Chenille.  Next, I used a blue and red Prismacolor marker to make the tricolor flag on the white diver head.  After it dried, I used an acrylic spray to seal it.  The lines aren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I am pleased with it.  It was finished with Hareline 3/16" Oval Pupil 3D eyes in pearl/black.  I hope it will bring some happiness to someone when they see it in a fly shop in France. One day maybe I will get there again to see it in person.  

Here are some in progress photos as well as the finished product.  Let me know what you think. Thanks.