Over the years, I have enjoyed tying many different flies and filling many fly boxes. Each year, I reorganize the flies into groups that make sense to me when I go fishing. I organize my boxes according to fishing location, grouping the flies that I know are effective at a particular location. New members often ask me the types of flies I use for a particular location. Ask a dozen members and you will get a dozen different answers with their recommended fly selections.
For those who are new to fly fishing, I recommend using a small assortment. Here are a few that I would consider. They are available at just about any fly shop and are easy to tie:
Cold water lakes:
Woolly Worms (black, olive, and dark brown) in #10,
Bead Head Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail in #12,
Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear in #12, Prince Nymph in #12,
Royal Coachman Dry in #14,
Elk Hair Caddis in #14,
and a standard Pheasant Tail Nymph in #16 (fished behind the Royal Coachman Dry or Elk Hair Caddis when fishing for rising trout).
Our basic fly tying classes start on September 1 and feature flies used on the San Juan River. These are very basic flies and are being taught in sizes that are at the larger end of the ranges used, so they will be a
little easier for you to tie. You can attend any or all the classes, as you like. Our instructors will be there to help you if you need help. The club supplies all the materials and has equipment for those in need. The complete schedule of classes is set forth above and on the website. The classes are held at the Sunnyslope Community Center from 7:00 to 8:45 PM. Please be a little early, as we start at 7:00 PM sharp. The club trip to the San Juan is October 15 to 19, so you will have plenty of time after the classes have ended to tie flies for the trip! If you have questions, give Ron a call at 602-867-8820.
Note: Our Fly Tiers Guild will not meet in September while we are teaching our basic fly tying classes. We will start up again in October. We have not yet selected the next date. Watch for updates in the next newsletter.
Basic Fly Tying Classes Begin September 1: The nine classes will feature flies that target tail waters, which would include places like Lees Ferry and the San Juan. These flies also are very effective in other moving waters as well as our lakes and ponds. Brian Mazoyer and his crew of instructors are ready to help you make your own flies that you can fish on the club trip to the San Juan in October. The club will supply all materials and tying equipment if you need it. See page 2 of this newsletter for a complete schedule of the classes, and call Ron at 602-867-8820 if you have questions.
Hook: Standard dry, size 12-22
Thread: Brown 6/0 or 8/0
Wing: White Antron or poly yarn
Tail: Dun hackle fibers or Microfibets
Abdomen: Olive, brown, or black dubbing
Thorax: Brown dubbing
1. Place the debarbed hook into the vise and start wrapping the thread just behind the eye, wrapping back towards the bend of the hook. Don’t trim the tag end of the threat yet.
2. Take a small clump of Antron and tie in the wings at the front of the hook, using figure eight wraps to secure so that the wings lie flat.
3. Now wrap the thread back to the bend of the hook, keeping the tag end of the thread on top of the hook.
4. At the bend of the hook, tie in several hackle fibers to form the tail. Bring the tag end of the thread between the fibers, splitting them, and tie off and cut the tag end of the thread.
5. Now dub a tapered body towards the wings.
6. Next use the brown dubbing to form the thorax.
7. Form a neat thread head. Whip finish and cut the thread.
Our class this month will feature the huge quantity of dubbing material donated to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and our club by Jason Jones. The class will show what dubbing is available, how to blend/mix it, and how to apply it to all types of fishing flies. You will have the opportunity to make your own blend and tie a simple leech pattern. Ron Robinson will supply the hooks. You need to bring your own tying equipment. We are using Jason’s donation to help generate funds for our local Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program and offer our members an opportunity to purchase unique, quality dubbing at a very low cost. We will be taking purchase orders at $5 per bag. The class will be held on August 16 from 7:00 to 8:45 PM at the Sunnyslope Community Center.
If you have questions, give Ron a call at 602-867-8820.
AFC Fly Tiers Guild Meets August 24: We have had a number of requests for a VERY informal get together to tie flies of our own liking and share techniques and materials used. Depending on the response, we will meet once a month at the Sunnyslope Community Center from 7:00 to 8:45 PM. The first meeting will be held August 24 with a theme of “rabbit”, which would include just about any type of fly, so bring materials for a favorite pattern and show us how you tie and fish it.
Hook: Standard wet, size 12-16
Thread: Black 6/0 or 8/0
Rib: Silver tinsel or wire
Body: Peacock herl
1. Place the debarbed hook into the vise. Attach the thread just behind the eye of the hook and start wrapping back towards the bend. After only a few wraps of thread, tie in the ribbing material and wrap back over it to the bend. Wrap the thread back towards the eye where the thread was started.
2. Tie in several strands of peacock herl by the tips. Take the peacock and wrap it around the thread several times to form a rope (this will help make the
peacock stronger). Take the peacock rope and wrap it around the shank of the hook towards the bend, then wrap it back to the tie-in point and tie off. Trim the excess peacock.
3. Now take the rib material and counter wrap in a spiral fashion, making only three or four turns, tie off, and trim.
4. Take a partridge feather and prepare it by trimming the end and removing the barbs from the top half of the feather. Tie in at the front of the body. Take hold of the feather and make only one or two wraps around the hook, tie off, and trim.
5. Use the thread to form a neat head. Whip finish and cut the thread. The fly is ready to fish.
Our education class this month will show you how to tie a deadly Balanced Leech.
Our guest instructor will be Mark Pearlstein. Mark has used Balanced Leeches with great success in the ponds and lakes of Oregon.
Balanced patterns are becoming very popular among still water anglers. Philip Rowley told us about the unique features of balanced patterns in his presentation to our club last year. The Balanced Leech (Minnow) is designed to fish under an indicator. The concept is to get larger flies to ride horizontally in the water
under an indicator and not up and down like a midge. This helps the fly imitate leeches and minnows swimming in the water. It is tied on a 60-degree jig hook and incorporates a straight pin or brad in which the bead is secured to balance the fly. Smaller size 8 flies are called balanced leeches and larger size 4 flies are referred to as Balanced Minnows.
Balanced patterns can be used on many different types of flies. We will tie a simple Simi Seal-type leech. You also could use a balanced technique on flies such as the Arizona Peacock Lady, Woolly Bugger, Woolly Worm, most any leech pattern, and quite a few of the popular wet fly patterns. In addition to showing you how to tie this style of fly, Mark will give tips on how the fly should be fished.
The club will supply all the materials you need. If you need tools or a vise, the club will have them
available. If you have questions, give Ron a call at 602-867-8820.