Largemouth Bass Lineup

Largemouth Bass Lineup

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Christmas in March! Look What Arrived Yesterday...

So it is apparently Christmas time in March.  I got home from work last night and had a book of goodies waiting for me from J. Stockard.  I ordered a whole bunch of stuff Sunday night and I got an email Monday morning saying it had shipped.  I can't say enough good things about this company.  I have been buying from them for over two years now without a problem.  If you are looking for fly tying materials at affordable prices, check them out.  So, on to the goodies....

I am pretty sure that I have a problem.  The River Damsel talked about having F.P.D. which stands for Fly Poler Disorder on her blog the other day.  I am guessing I have an undiagnosed case of F.T.D. which would be Fly Tyer Disorder.  Maybe it is a I Must Have Everything Related to Fly Tying Disorder instead?  Regardless of what I call it, I know I may have a problem and I just don't care!  At least I can justify my order by saying that the 300 popper bodies were for orders I need to fill.  Now how to justify the other $200.00 of the order to the wife............

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


For those that follow and belong to the fly tyer of the year entries are up and the voting has begun.  I entered stuff in three catagories.  You will probably know which stuff is mine given that I posted photos here of each.  Good luck everyone.

Aaaahhhh the life.....

of a commerical tyer that is.  Woke up again this morning and sat down to work on the 8 dozen poppers I need to tie up in the next two weeks.  These are the Perfect Popper bodies in size 8.  I put the thread on the hook, then put the bodies on the hook.  From there, I seal the gap at the bottom with usually two coats of Zap-A-Gap.  Next comes sanding.  I have 30 bodies sanded and ready for the pre sealer and 30 bodies getting the first coat of Zap-A-Gap.  It is a shame I have to go to work in a little bit.  I am on a roll and happy to be tying.  I cant wait to get these guys done and in the shop!

Tools of the trade:

Got to have the coffee to keep going!

Bodies sanded and awaiting Pre Sealer

Bodies drying from the Zap-A-Gap

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Monocacy Bumble Bee

Here is my Monocacy Bumble Bee in all its glory for those that haven't seen it before.

Giddy Like a Little School Boy

I have two fly shops within ten minutes of me.  I finally decided after much pushing from the wife to take my poppers to each shop yesterday to see if they would buy some.  I had already shown the owner of the Orvis store my poppers and he loved them.  Yesterday we struck a deal.  He loves them and in particular the yellow/black, Fish Foolin Frog, orange/black, and the purple and wedgewood one.  He ordered a dozen of each in sizes 8 and 10.  He also loved my Monocacy Bumble Bee.  He ordered a dozen of those.  I was giddy as a school boy about the whole thing.  Soon I will be able to walk into my local Orvis retailer and see my flies.  He said that they would put a sign up explaining that they were tied by me. 

As soon as we walked out, my wife decided we were going to hit the other store as well.  I took them in there and they also loved them.  In fact they liked them so much that the owner and a fellow co-worker put in personal orders with me for some.  They also want to buy some for the store.  I just need to come up with a price and figure out if we will sell them to him like at the Orvis place or on consignment. 

I know I have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks to fill these orders but man o man I am excited.  I am just thrilled to know that people love them and are excited to buy/sell them.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Off to Orvis

So last week when I went to the local Orvis Fly shop, the owner was blown away by my poppers (see the post a few below).  Anyways, they didnt have the legs I use for my Fish Foolin' Frog popper so I had to order some.  I am heading up there in a few and I am bringing the poppers and Road Kill Nymphs with me.  I am hoping the owner will ask to see them again.  If not, I am going to broach the subject of selling them.  If he doesn't or can't I still have one more fly shop in the area to try.  Wish me luck.

This Morning

After sleeping in until 11, I decided it was finally time to get up and get moving.  I am not a morning person and my job demands that I work nights hence the sleeping in.  Of course it could have been the beer and cigars last night as well but whatever.  Anyways, the girls went to the grocery store and the boys stayed home.  I played some Wii with my son and he was thrilled.  Now it is time to tie.  I have been working on some new patterns which I hope to unveil in the coming weeks so stay tuned.  This morning there was nothing new or fancy about the tying.  More of a getting back to basics.  I have been tying up some Monocacy Bumble Bees.  This is a great little pattern I developed last year.  I almost had to beat the fish off with a stick from it.  The thing works great.  I tie them in size 10.  I know, I know it really isn't a true bee pattern.  Some people on fly tying forum gave me some crap cause I called it a bee.  It is yellow and black and it does have stripes.  I was looking to tie something that was easy and that resembles a bee somewhat.  It also had to be somewhat durable.  For those that have fished for smallies and panfish before you know what I mean.  You need something that will take a beating and keep right now ticking so to speak.  Thats why I went with the foam Monocacy Bumble Bee.

Well here is the tyng area and me hard at work.  A finished Monocacy Bumble Bee sits in the vice. 

I try and tie upstairs where I can be with the rest of the family.  My wife got me the Oasis tying bench for Christmas two years ago and I love it.  I do have a man cave that is downstairs, tucked away but I tend to use it only when I am trying to hide from everyone.  I have been trying to convince the wife to let me take over the spare bedroom upstairs and turn it into a fly tying/library/man cave.  She wants another child and I say two is plenty so hence the reason why I havent gotten it yet. 

Here is a teaser photo of what is coming up in a few weeks.  I got these from Stippled Popper.  I cant wait to tie up some of these bad boys.  Right now I am working on patterns and color combos for them in my pea little brain.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Warmwater Fly Fishing Outing of the Season

A while back I had set a goal for myself this year.  I wanted to get out at least 100 times this year fly fishing.  I dont know if I will make it or not but I am more than willing to try.  Now my wife on the other hand isnt so happy and excited about this new goal of mine.  Oh well.  Anyways, yesterday was my first warmwater outing of the season.  For the past few days the temps here in Maryland have been in the mid 60s to low 70s.  Of course the day we choose to go out the temps drop to the low 50s and the wind gusts up to 30 mph.  FIGURES!  We gave it a whirl and I decided to attack the local ponds near my house.  There are two of them and both are relatively small but each has bluegill, warmouth, crappie, carp, and largemouth. 

At the first pond, I managed to catch 15 or so using a small size 16 black bead head birds nest nymph.  There wasnt any monsters landed today from this pond.  Here is one of the guys I caught there:

At the second pond we managed to get into some largemouth bass.  Now there is a little caveat to that statement.  For those that have been following for a while, know that Greg just started fly fishing last year.  Greg also still likes to do what I call is cheating!  He still uses his spinning rod.  Greg was using his spinning rod at both locations but at the second one he managed to catch a few largemouth.  Two of them were almost two pounds a piece.  Greg I know you are going to read this but you did cheat.  I managed to catch a few bluegills and one largemouth.  All of mine were caught on the orange Road Kill Nymph I just tied up.  Again, there is something to be said for catching fish on the flies you have tied yourself.  Here are some photos:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I was blown away today...

The wife and I ran up to the local Orvis fly shop today looking for legs.  I needed some more silli legs in yellow/gold/black for my Fish Foolin' Frog popper.  I was not going to have enough to complete the 15 I needed to send out.  So, knowing that we are going to a fly shop, the wife makes me bring along some poppers I have tied up lately.  She is pushing me to sell them.  I say pushing but it is in a good way but don't kid yourself, she doesn't want to go back to work full time so selling them could (a) help us out and (b) keep her a part time worker.  Anyways, after arriving and seeing some of their poppers, the wife decided not to show them to the owner who was there.  I couldnt find the legs I was looking for so I decided to ask.  In an effort to show my stuff at the same time I showed one of my Fish Foolin' Frog poppers as an example of what type of legs I was looking for.  The owner came over and went through my box of poppers.  The first words out of his mouth were "Where did you get these poppers from?"  I explained to him that I had made them and he was floored.  He kept saying over and over again how good they were.  I put them away and he asked me to get them out so he could see them again which I happily agreed to.  I need to go back to pick up the legs they ordered for me so I am hoping I can strike up a deal with him to sell them.  I will say though that I was blown away by what he said and very proud of my work.

Yellow and Black Popper mixed with my Tiger Popper

I tied up a bunch of these guys tonight in size 8.  I dont know what it is but the smallies love the yellow and black guy.  I have often wondered if it is due to the color combo matching a bee but I am not sure.  Whatever it is, they love it and I will keep making it.  I call the other guy my Tiger popper based upon the color combo and not because it has stripes.  It also produces.  I LOVE TOP WATER FLY FISHING!  I cant wait for Summer time!

Fish Foolin' Frog in Size 10

I love this pattern.  It has been a proven pattern for me.  It catches smallies, largemouth, panfish of every kind and every fall fish.  I tied up 15 of these bad boys.  Too bad I dont get to keep a single one.  I did tie up two with yellow and black barred legs and I will explain why in a bit.

Friday, March 11, 2011

How I Spent My Thursday

So it is rare for me to have a Thursday off but I did this week. I had planned to spend all day Thursday tying.  In reality, I spent all day Thursday painting and only painting.  Before I left, I had sealed 26 popper bodies.  Nine of them are size 8 and seventeen of them are size 10.  I am sending almost all of the size 10 bodies out for a swap I am in on fly tying forum.  They will be what I call my Fish Foolin' Frog Popper.  It is a great pattern and one that I have had a lot of success with over the last two or so years.  A lot of time and work goes into making one of these.  I put thread on the hook.  I then put the body on the hook.  Next comes the filling of the gap.  There is always a gap underneath where the popper sits on the hook.  This usually takes at least two days and two coats of Zap-A-Gap as well as sand paper.  Then I seal it with four coats of Delta Ceramcoat Pre Sealer.  Finally....time to paint.  Each body gets four coats of green paint.  Next comes the eyes.  For this popper the eyes are done in black, yellow, black.  Then the white is made around the mouth and underbelly.  Yellow spots are added to the back and sides along with black spots.  After everything dries, it is given four coats of Gloss Varnish also by Delta Ceramcoat.  After sitting four at least 24 hours, feathers and such can be added. 

Anyways, here is how I spent my Thursday:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Outdoor Blogger Network

After reading someone else's post about this network, I looked into it.  I just got picked up by the Outdoor Blogger Network yesterday.  I am happy and excited about this.  It is great to be able to branch out. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

First set of Flies sold

These are the flies I made at the request of a neighbor's wife.  These flies were for his 40th birthday.  Since we have fished a lot before, I knew what he needed and what he would like.  All of these flies are designed to be big producers on the Monocacy River here in Maryland where we fish.  I thought they looked pretty good.  He was really happy with them.  He also urged me to start selling my poppers.  Now he and the wife are trying to get me to sell them.  I am just afriad that my hobby, which is fun now, may turn out to be a part time job and I will grow to resent it.  Still trying to decide what to do.  I was thinking though if I sell them, to make some and put them in boxes like these.  Let me know what you all think.