Fly Tying Tips

Foam Body Caddis – Dry Fly Tying Video

Mother’s day is just around the corner, and sure enough the rivers here in Utah are swarming with caddis. One great thing about caddis is their awesome abundance from now until late fall. Over the course of a year they make up a large portion of a trout’s diet. Caddis are very active bugs that can be identified by the splashy aggressive rise of a trout. A caddis hatch is one of my favorite times to throw a dry fly because of the aggressive nature exhibited by trout at this time. These little critters are not easy meals for trout, and after a few escape early on in the hatch it seems that the trout turn up their energy level and really get going after them. Not many casual sips during a caddis hatch!

Foam Body Caddis Dry Fly - Provo River Brown Trout

The tan foam and ginger hackle combination is my go to color variation. It has fished very well for me to both match the hatch, and as a searching pattern in the summer months.Foam Body Caddis Fly Pattern

The chartreuse foam body caddis is a great attractor or “searching pattern”. The profile of this fly with a little added color can also fish well during a hatch if the fish are not too highly pressured.

Foam Body Caddis Dry Fly

One great thing about caddis is their awesome abundance from now (late spring) until late fall. The foam body caddis is hands down my favorite caddis dry fly, followed closely by the classic Elk Hair Caddis. Give this pattern a shot in a variety of colors, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Recipe:

Tan Foam Body Caddis
Hook: Any dry fly hook size 14-18
Thread: Uni 8/0 Camel
Underbody: Tan Antron Dubbing
Foam: Tan 1mm X 1mm
Wing: Elk Hair
Legs: Ginger/Brown Hackle

Chartreuse Foam Body Caddis
Hook: Any dry fly hook size 14-18
Thread: Uni 8/0 Olive
Underbody: Dark Olive Antron Dubbing
Foam: Chartreuse 1mm X 1mm
Wing: Elk Hair
Legs: Black/Dark Grizzly

 

Polish Woven Nymph

After a couple of years of tying, I was drawn to learn how to weave.  It seemed easy enough…..until I tried!  It took me some time to learn, but now my box is full of these bugs!  They are a durable fly that catch fish!  They are built like a rock, so they sink fast.  The other reason I like these bugs is that there are an endless amount of variations to this fly.  It can be built like a caddis, stonefly, cranefly, or whatever else you can think of.  Please see the pics of some of our favorites variations!

A quick story on this fly, I had been tying this fly and trying it out for a year or so before I finally decided to really give the fly a try on my local river.  The day ended up with two 20″+ browns making their way into my net (along with many other fish!).  I have caught a lot of fish on this river, but nothing over 20″.  It was a memorable day, and I often start the day off with a version of this fly!! (see video below to see story and fish caught with woven nymphs!!)

 

 

Woven Polish Nymph Olive Hot Spot Polish Woven Nymph Provo River Woven Nymph Steelhead Woven Nymph

Review of the Renzetti 2000 Presentation

When I first got into tying, I was lucky enough to have a father in law with an old vise to lend me.  This was good for me as my wife didn’t want to spend the money.  She kept telling me over and over again that she didn’t believe that I would stick to tying flies…. I had to show her!!  After a few months of tying, I had proved that I would stick with it and I started looking around at vices.  I was drawn to a Regal stainless steel jaws vice, as it looked like a vice of high quality, and the price looked great as well!  I was intrigued by the rotary vices, but I was hesitant because of the prices.  I ended up with the regal vice, and I loved it.  In the meantime, Gilbert ended up finding a Renzetti rotary vice.  I always joked around that I didnt need or want the rotary, but I was jealous!

I finally convinced my wife that I “had to have” the rotary vice.  I sold my regal and wound up buying the Renzetti Presentation 2000.  It is a great vice, and I keep wondering to myself why I didnt make this decision years ago!  I have been able to tie flies faster, and I will only get better at utilizing the rotary feature.

There is one thing that I had to do to get this particular vice working for me.  It comes standard with a ratcheting feature.  I did not like this at all.  It makes it so you can only rotate your flies one way.  It was already driving me crazy after one fly!  Luckily, this can be reversed.  There is a small black nut located on the very end on the outside of the big silver knob (see #1 on picture).  After loosening this screw, simply tighten the big silver screw that it screwed into, and then tighten the little black screw back up and the ratcheting feature will be disabled.  This will then allow you rotate your vice in either direction.

Another nice feature with this vice is the ability to change the angle of the jaws.  This will allow you to quickly change the angle as you switch between different sized hooks and maintain a level hook while using the rotary feature (see #2 on picture below).

The Jaws hold hooks without slipping.  I have tied some flies on hooks ranging from sizes 6-22, with only a quick adjustment of the screw on the end of the jaws before using the cam to lock the hook into place and I have not had any problems.

ren. presentation 2000
ren. presentation 2000

 

Overall, I love this new vice.  It is easy to tell after using it that it is a high quality vice.  If you have’t tied with a rotary vice, I highly recommend it.  It has helped me tie flies faster, with a higher quality.  Being able to rotate the fly around as you tie allows you to see the fly at all angles to ensure a good tie.  You will not be disappointed if you upgrade to this vice!

I look forward to tying many heavy, tungsten beads euro nymphs that are sure to catch many a fish!!!

Derek Kohler – (aka fish catcher)

 

 

Find us on Facebook