Largemouth Bass Lineup

Largemouth Bass Lineup

Monday, April 30, 2012

We Got Mentioned Over At TFM

A few weeks back I sent Cameron over at The Fiberglass Manifesto some poppers, bees, panfish persuaders and gurglers to try out.  While I was away on my business trip we got a mention on his blog.  If you have a chance check it out here.  If you aren't a follower already of Cameron's blog sign up and sit back for some great reading.  This blog made me find and dig out my first fly rod which is fiberglass.  I can't wait to use it again.  I am also thinking about getting a nice 4/5 wt fiberglass rod to chase the panfish and smallies with because of this blog.  Just don't tell the wife or she will kill me for spending money on another rod......

Sunday, April 29, 2012

How We Spent Our Sunday Afternoon......

They say a picture is worth a thousand this case it is worth 100 poppers.

I still have this many to do...

The Wife Has Been Running The Factory

Hello All,

I have been away for the past week so sorry for not posting.  Work sent me out of the area on a business trip.  So, I was forced to leave the wife in charge.  I guess she did OK.  Everything was still here when I got back so I can't complain.  We have tons of stuff going on right now.  We will be doing a lot of posts and updates.  I will be leaving again to fish the Harman's North Fork Invitational in 18 days.  You can learn about it here.  I am excited about this competition.  While I was gone last week, we had a lot of orders roll in.  I will save that for another post.  We have a new popper to show off and we will be having another naming contest in the near future. In the meantime, I got this order in from J Stockard.......

 Always nice to get 150 size 8 popper bodies and about a dozen calf tails in the mail.  We need them though as we have between 300 and 400 flies to tie.  I might need to take some time off from my full time job if possible.  It is all good though and we are very happy about it.   Hopefully we get some photos from our customers showing their success with our flies.  Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sunday Fishing With New Friends

Last year while fishing a local lake, I met a nice couple who also enjoyed the dark side of fly fishing.  It is rare to find other fly fishermen on this lake let alone others who enjoy the dark side of fly fishing.  We struck up a conversation, pleasantries were exchanged as well as fish locations and what flies were working.  I gave them the address to the blog and we parted ways.  A month or so ago, while working my full time job, I ran into them again.  At first I must admit I didn't recognize them but after we started talking some, I remembered who they were.  Contact information was exchanged with the promise of getting together in an effort to chase some bass and panfish on the fly rod.  Well this past Sunday, 04/15/2012, we were finally able to get out for a few hours.  I took them to two ponds that I know of in the area.  One is fished only by me.  The other gets regular traffic and what some would consider heavy fishing pressure.  The fish seem to see a lot of worms and bobbers.

Sunday around here in Maryland the temps were in the low 80s.  It was a great day but would it be a great fishing day?  We had had some cool, read cold, evenings as of late with the temps dropping down into the low 40s.  The previous few days it had only been in the high 50s and 60s.  As we arrived at the first pond and descended down the hill, we all had high hopes.  We were generally excited.  The excitement of fishing new water coupled with the excitement of fishing with new friends.  I explained to them that the pond was rather small but held a lot of fish.  Upon arriving on the shore, we could see schools of bluegill and bass holding in the shallow end.  In fact we could see fish everywhere.  They were holding just underneath the surface warming up.  We started throwing flies and praying.  I was the first to hook up.  I managed to land two gills on a purple and black Road Kill.  After everyone lost interest in that guy, I switched to a Monocacy Bumble Bee.  Boy it was like crack.  I had to beat them off with a stick.  It was fun to cast, watch the fly land and see several wakes from fish charging the fly heading towards it all at once.  I was doing well with the Bee until some damn tree behind me ate it.  It was high enough that I couldn't get it out and so I had to switch.  While that was going on, the female half of the couple manged to get a few hookups with some gills.  The male half wasn't having any luck what so ever.  I switched to a chartreuse Panfish Persuader and again had some luck.  As always, I managed to miss more than I landed but that is half the fun isn't it?  The request was made to move to the other pond which we finally did.  As we struggled up the hill back towards the car, I explained that we might actually do worse at the other pond given the pressure it gets but then again I only managed 7 gills at this pond so who knew what the other one might yield.

We arrived at the other pond within minutes.  The only other fishermen there was a father and son combo dunking worms in search of panfish.  We stayed until dark and had a blast.  This pond turned out to be better than the one before which shocked me given the pressure it receives.  Of course we didn't land anything like Bill over at Fishing Through Life has been landing but a fish is a fish is a fish.  They all count in the end and most importantly we all had a good time (or so I hope).  I continued to use the chartreuse Panfish Persuader and it worked like crack.  Speaking of crack, I gave the male half a Panfish Persuader to try as well.  The first one is free.  He immediately started hooked up with bluegill.  I was kind enough to inform him that you can buy them from us a dozen for $10.  A real steal if you ask me.  Anyways, I digress.  We fished until dark and everyone caught fish.  Again, nothing huge but fun just the same.  I finished the day with 17 bluegill from the second pond to make it an even two dozen for the day with both ponds combined.  I had a great time and it was a pleasure to fish with new friends.  I look forward to going out again in the future with this couple to chase fish on the dark side of fly fishing.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Poppers A Plenty Shipping Out

Here is an order we recently did for a fellow blogger.  Three of every color combo of size 8 poppers we currently offer.  It took us a little longer than expected to ship due to family issues.  Getting old sucks!  Not only does it suck for you and your health but it sucks to see what age does to those closest to you.  Watching your father deteriorate at an alarming rate also sucks.  Having a wife step up to the plate and be the care giver is priceless.  Thanks dear for everything!  Well I is the order ready to ship.  We can't wait to see the fish these catch in CA.  Please send photos!  We, at J&M Flies, truly enjoy seeing how well people do with our poppers and what they catch.  It is a real pleasure.  To my fellow blogger....enjoy them and we hope they bring you lots of luck!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Customer Success Yet Again!

Not surprised though :)  Check out Bill's blog Fishing Through Life regarding his use and success with some of our poppers.  We sent Bill some Grey Ghosts and Fire Tigers last year.  Recently in his quest to reach 100 bluegills for the freezer, he headed out to a lake and tied on a Fire Tiger.  It worked really well.  Check out Bill's blog here.  It is so nice to see other people not only using our flies but also doing well with them.

The Fire Tiger Popper

A nice fat, plump gill!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How Our Poppers Are Made

Quite often we, at J&M Flies, are asked how we make our poppers.  I had planned to make a tutorial about it but I haven't gotten around to it yet.  It is in the works though.  All of our poppers are painted and tied by hand.  There is no factory except maybe the small one in my spare bedroom if you could count that.  There are only two people involved in the process.  Those two are J and M.  J, that's me, puts all the bodies together, does the eyes, all of the stippling and the tying of hackle, legs and calf tail.  M, AKA the wife, does all the prepping of the bodies, the sealing, base coats of paint and the varnish.  I do believe we make a good team and we have the process down to a science now.

I think it is important to point out, again, that all of our poppers are painted by hand.  This process certainly has its strengths and weaknesses.  Our weakness seems to be time.  Because there are only two of us, and because there are so many steps in the process, it can take a while to finish a batch for an order.  Our goal was to have bodies prepped and painted for when the orders come in.  We were able to do that for a while but so many orders have come in lately that we ran out of our stock.  Of course this isn't a bad thing necessarily!

As for our strengths, first and foremost would be that they are made by hand and here in the U.S.A.  Painted by hand also means that each and every popper is different from the one before as well as the one after.  Some may see this as a weakness but I firmly believe that this is a strength.  You are guaranteed to have a good quality popper that really can be one of a kind.  Well you may order 3 or 6 of the same color combo, the stippling will be different on each and every one.  With that being said, rest assured that you are still receiving high quality poppers.  Because it is only my wife and I creating them, we pay special attention to each and every one.  You won't get a fly with a clogged eye from us, and you won't get a fly that falls apart after three fish.  Our poppers are designed to catch both fish and fisherman. Oh and they are proven patterns as well! I won't sell you anything I don't already use in my fly box.

So as for being made by hand, these are the tools we use.  They were invented by a good friend down south who really is the master at stippling.  Some from the various forums out there know of whom I am speaking.  These tools are small brass dowel rods and sewing needles.

The stippling does take a long time.  It takes me several hours to do a dozen poppers.  Like I said earlier, I would like to and plan to do a tutorial in the future.  Right now though, here is a glimpse of what is takes just to do the last part of the eyes.  

And there you have it....a quick glimpse into how our poppers are made and why we think they are so wonderful!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Road Kills and Poppers A Plenty

For the past week or so we at J&M Flies have been quite busy.  We have had a number of orders come in for poppers and Road Kill Nymphs.  Some of the orders have been rather large and have taken us longer than normal to get out.  Sorry about that people. Trust me we are working on your items every single day and yes I mean every single day.  I dont mind though as I have enjoyed it and I know the wife has as well.  We haven't tied Road Kills in quite a while so it was fun to tie them again.  Like something new for us.  As for the poppers, we have been painting and tying multiples of every color combo we offer right now.  Take a look at the wheels and you will see multiple poppers in all the color combos in various stages of finish.  Pretty much everyone know has got varnish on them and we are just waiting for them to cure before adding hackle, calf tail and legs to them. That should be later in the week.  After that, they will be shipped out to their various destinations in order to land that lunker everyone hunts for.  Well at least I hope they land a lunker.  They do catch a lot of fish.
Here are photos of the wheels full of poppers

Sunrise Slammers 

Fish Foolin' Frog 

Safety Cone Slayers 

Teal Poppers 

More Fish Foolin' Frogs and Retro Lime-A-Poppers 

Fruit Cocktails 

Chilli Frogs 

Fire Tigers 

Teal poppers and Fire Tigers in size 10 that still need stippling 

Not to be out done by the poppers are the Road Kill Nymphs.  I use these flies for both bass and panfish. They rock!  These guys are white/black, light olive/black, dark olive/black, and purple/black.  I caught my largest largemouth to date on the fly rod last year on one of the white ones.  It went 20 inches and fought like the dickens.  I still have to tie up some in red, chartreuse and orange.  Drop us a line and order some up!  You won't be disappointed.

And the night would not be complete without a shot of my tying companion.....Scotty

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Totally Forgot About My Return To Pond X

I have been so busy with poppers that I forgot to post about my return to pond X.  On 03/28/2012, Greg and I were again in the neighborhood of pond X.  We managed to squeeze in a few hours of fishing it.  We were also in the company of two other gents that day.  They were slaying the bass.  Me....I struggled.  So did Greg.  I am pretty sure I have worn out my welcome there.  I only managed to land 7 largemouth and 5 bluegill.  Nothing too big in the way of size.  My biggest was 2 pounds 6 ounces.  It was probably a false weight given the spawning time.  I am guessing she was loaded down with eggs.  Regardless here is some fish porn from the trip:

Told you the fish were kind of sad.  I took some photos of the pond so everyone can see what a pain in the ass it would be and has been to fly fish from.  It is a hard pond to work but well worth it.