Welcome To Burnt Drags ! Your Place For The Latest In Fly Fishing And Tying ! Also Up To The Minute Stream Conditions And Fishing Reports..

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dog Day Fly Fishing

     Here are some helpful suggestions to fishing through the dog day's of late July and into August.Some of you may already know and some of you may not.If practicing C&R please be mindful of the water temps I will not fish once the water hits above 67 degrees.

    When the water warms up like this my tactics change due to the fact the trouts patterns change as well. When the water is cooler the fish are more active in the calm flat traditional dry fly water and spred out pretty much all over the stream but as the season wears on and the temps rise this all changes. The trout move to faster broken water where there is more oxygen and the broken water provides cover for them.Not only this but the hatches start to wane so what better place to be where the food is brought to the trout by the fast moving water in the form of nymphs and drown insects. The trout will choose a good lane and hang out there to ambush anything that comes their way. In the evening the trout will stay much in the same place as about the only hatch going on will be caddis at least in my area and they return to the riffle to drop their eggs so what better place to be than fishing here.

    Now that we have determined where the fish are, how are we going to fish for them. If you are looking to dry fly fish and there are no risers pick a likely looking piece of water approach it with care.I like to use a size 12or14 caddis pattern or adams parshute to do this because they float very well. Start fishing it from the edge nearest you placing each subsequent cast a little closer to the center. Fish in this manner until you have cast over every likely holding spot in the section of water you are fishing.Most takes occur on either side of the fast water and behind or ahead of large submerged rocks or at a sharp drop off. These are the soft spots in the fast water that trout like to lay and wait.If you like to shoot for risers then late evening and early morning are your best bet.

    When nymphing you will be looking for the same water as described above and fish it much the same way you would with a dry fly only subsurface. Be sure to fish the drop off especialy the trout tend to hold in the dark edge or deep side of the drop off just out of sight watching for any morsels going over their head. Fish the riffles carefully starting always closest to you and then working your way across the stream.

   Give it a try on your next outing you'll be surprised at what you find in the riffles shallow and deep.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fly Fishing Tattos

      While I admit I am not a big fan of needles ..... I have been contemplating a tattoo or two of a favorite fly that I tye. I went through my collection of fly photos and picked out a few that I would like to see drawn up. After picking the ones that looked good I went over to see my friend Chatz Kresge. He runs Freehanman tattoo shop near me and is a great artist. 
      I arrived at the shop pictures in hand and showed them to Chatz he said no problem and off to the drawing table he went.While waiting for him I took a look at all the pictures of other great work he has done. This instilled more of a desire to have a tattoo done by him.After about a half hour he emerged with a draft of my new tattoo. He captured the flow of the hackle and more importantly the point and bend of the Alec Jackson hook it was tied on. I told him I loved it .. So the next question was when will I be getting it done ? The answer was now as there is no time like the present.
      So off to the chair I went ... Chatz prepped the area where the tattoo was going and began to go to work. After about 45 minutes or so he was done and I have to say I was amazed at how it came out.I could put the actual fly next to it and you would be hard put to pick out the real one. Barring the fact that one of them was inked into my arm. What an awesome job he did and I must say it didn't hurt all that bad either.
     If you are contemplating getting a tattoo Chatz would be your man he is a fantastic artist and goes out of his way to make you feel comfortable while getting your new piece of art. You can visit his website at http://www.freehanman.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1 ... You won't be disappointed !

    Here is a picture of the actual fly that Chatz did for me so you can compare..
    Now to decide on the next one .......

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Lure Of Wild Trout


          I haven't been able to fish a lot lately but when I do get the chance I like to fish over wild trout. There is something to be said about the beauty of these creatures . From the bold red spots to the beautiful buttery yellow  color and lest we forget those full rudders.

      Being at the point in life where one fish is enough I went out in true fashion. One fly and only a few moments to fish I headed out.The water was a little high and slightly off color due to the recent storms.As I got close to the water I began to look about and take in all the splendor of spring.The smell of fresh blossoms in the air and the newly opened leaves giving their promise of the summer to come. 

      I settled into a likely looking spot below a riffle and stripped some line from the reel.Picked up the fly to see that it was attached securely and made my first cast . Close to the end of the swing I felt that familiar tug and was a bit late on the set, swing and a miss .... I continued with a few more cast in this spot with no more takes.


       Headed down stream a few paces to the next hole and put a well placed cast into the foam just where the water dumped in at the head of the pool. There was no tug just a complete stop in the line.. As the line came tight it became apparent there was a fish at the end.After a few good runs the heart pounding battle came to an end as this beautiful brown trout slipped into the net.A full 12" of mother natures beauty adorned with the largest bright red spots I'd have ever seen. 

   I don't know about you but it's moments like these how ever brief that keep me coming back again and again . If it's one fish or ten it's a good day in the old book. The hunt for wild trout continues....

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blue Winged Olive Step By Step


     Today we'll show you another one of my favorite ties.This one matches the hatch for the blue winged olives here in the Northeast or anywhere for that matter.This pattern can be tied in sizes 14 down to a 24  and works particularly well in a size 20.            

        The one I'm showing you today is tied on a size 20 TMC 100.
Place your hook in the vise and start the thread , We are using Uni olive 8/0 to avoid build up.

    Next pick two nice medium to dark dun cdc feathers and tie them in.These will be your wing post when finished.

A couple of firm wraps to hold in place and trim the waste.

   Now you are ready to stand the post up , take the cdc and pull it straight up . Make several wraps in front of it building a dam of thread up to hold it up.

       Now that the your post is standing upright we'll take several wraps around it to reinforce it.

    Continue with nice even wraps to the back of the hook. At this point I like to add a touch of head cement to stiffen the post up.

  Take a Coq de leon feather in the appropriate color and take a eight to ten long glassy fibers for your tail , measure up your tail it  should be about the length of the hook.

   Finish neatly tying in your tail and then we are ready to tie in the porcupine quill for the body.
  Now if you have porcupine quills choose one that will be the proper size to create your body . If you do not have porcupine you can use an stripped hackle quill dyed olive or dubbing.
  Tye in the quill by the tip then wrap up to the thorax and tye off.

   Ok looking pretty good .Now it's time to tye in the hackle to be wound around the post. This is a size 20 so we can safely use up to 1 1/2 times larger hackle then the hook calls for.

   Take the hackle cut off the webbed portion on the bottom and strip the base of the feather to prepare to tie in.

  Tie the hackle in and then secure it to the post taking a few wraps up and the back to the base of the post.

  Once you are done securing the hackle it is time to dub the thorax.For this fly I used Nature's Spirit BWO dubbing as it has a good color and texture to it.

  Now that the thorax is dubbed take your hackle pliers and wrap the hackle around the post 4 to 5 turns will be fine.

      Tie off the hackle behind the hook eye and trim waste.

  Finish the head with a couple of half hitches and a drop of head cement .And your ready to fish!

   Tye a few of these up for the olive hatches in your area you'll be glad you did.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Trout Fishing Old School..

   Paul called me today and said he would like to come up and fish. His first question was, how is the water ? I said a little high but we should have no problem finding fish.He said good I'll be up in an hour .

  So while I was waiting for him to arrive I went to my tying desk and picked up a half dozen Picket Pins I tied up last night.When Paul got here I went out and greeted him and gave him his flies for the day . I told him they are Picket Pins a fly that was developed back in 1915 by  Jack Boehme . The only difference between mine and Jacks is the wing, I used raccoon instead  of squirrel .This would be the fly of choice for the day as it was still pretty cold out and there were no hatches going on. 

    We got to our destination in no time. Put on the waders strung up the rods and headed off.The first pool we hit is a nice one with a deep cut on the far bank and some large rocks scattered a long the edges .

    Paul asked how to fish this fly because he had never fished it before . So I said to him we'll be doing the old wet fly swing across and down. I had him make a cast across stream throw a little up stream mend to get his fly down and then come tight to the fly and follow the drift.It wasn't long before he mastered the technique and had a fish on . Paul was well under way for the day with a nice rainbow to hand in the first 15 minutes of fishing.

  We fished all total and hour and a half or so moving from pool to pool with much the same results . Paul landed two more on our way down and I had a half dozen total to my credit all bows.

     And all caught on the Picket Pin a fly developed  96 years ago. I would say it works just as good now as it did then. 

     So the word for trout fishing this year is Old School . We are going to fish as many old patterns as we can this season.Meaning patterns that were introduced 50+ years ago and have since been forgotten or rarely fished.