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Monthly Archives: May 2012

These were a birthday gift from my parents in March, via an Amazon gift card (you can buy anything on Amazon, thanks Mom and Dad). I’ve been eyeing something new to replace my Bite Primal flats boots, which are pretty shot after a few years of use, and the Sling Kings looked like they would fit the bill.

I’ve worn them a few times while kayak fishing and now twice wading our local creeks. These are far more comfortable than the flats boots I was wearing. I think being a lower profile helps with the comfort. I was a little concerned with gravel and sand entering around the ankle and falling into the footbed, but so far it has not been a problem, even after submersing my foot in quicksand. The grip is fine for the streams I will be fishing, though I’m not sure it would be on rocky streams where felt is king. I’ve got separate boots for those. Fly line doesn’t get tangled on the straps, like other shoes I have, but if you step on line it may slip into the valleys of the grip pattern.

The one negative thing I have noticed is that the strap has come loose a few times, usually while walking back to the car, after a long day on the water. I guess the Velcro becomes saturated and doesn’t hold as well when wet. Another thing that may be negative to some, but it hasn’t been a problem for me, is that they are flat, like sandals, so if you need heel or arch support, you may want to look elsewhere. No issues in that department thus far.

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All in all I like the Tevas, I think they are a good choice for me or someone who wades Gulf coast streams like myself. I plan to edit this gear review as needed while I put these shoes through their paces.

My buddy Jay and I fished Sunday on a pond he has access to on some family property. The fishing was insane. This pond is loaded with LMB and bluegill. We probably landed close to 50 bass in a matter of hours. It really didn’t matter what we threw because it was going to get eaten regardless. Average size for most of the bass was around 1lb, but Jay caught a couple that were near 3lbs. I threw the fly rod for a little while and would land small bluegill on nearly every cast. Every once in a while a bass would chase the bluegill or smash the popper, but it was just easier to use the spinning rod. Jay caught a nice goggle-eye (warmouth) on a spinnerbait, one of the biggest I’ve seen. Apparently they were never stocked, so it is anyone’s guess how he made it in there. What a great way to spend a Sunday.

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Hit another creek Saturday, which may be my favorite creek to wade in Louisiana. Conditions were just as they were on Friday, though the water level in this creek was not as low as the other. Fishing was a little slower than on Friday and again none of the bass had any size to them, but the creek was as beautiful as ever. The bluegill were very active. I usually don’t catch too many on the creeks, but they were all over the place Saturday. I also caught one of the prettiest longears I’ve ever seen and a redspotted sunfish, don’t see those too often. Not too many longear caught overall which is strange for this creek. I also got a double on the popper-dropper Saturday, those are always fun. I might not have caught as many bass as on Friday, but I saw far more diversity, it was a great day. The Tevas are officially badass, I’ll post up a gear review soon. In all honesty, they are exactly what I wanted in a wading shoe for Louisiana creeks.

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Waded a creek today and caught a bunch of spotted bass. I haven’t hit the creeks in a long time, so it was nice to get out wading again. The weather was perfect, winds were light, highs around 90. Water levels are pretty low so the creek was very clear, the bass were looking up too. I threw a popper or slider the entire time and always had action. The strikes were very aggressive too. Nothing of size today, everything was under 1lb, but that didn’t matter much. The snakes are out, saw 3 today, 1 being a small copperhead that was swimming across the creek. Always got to watch out for snakes on these creeks. I finally got a chance to try out some new wading shoes, Teva Sling Kings. So far, so good. No problems with sand or gravel entering the footbed and they were comfortable the entire trip. Looking to get out again tomorrow and hit another creek. These wade trips are good prep for next weekend’s trout fishing.

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This month, Blake served up a pattern that we plan to throw at some trout in Georgia. Attractor patterns are our go-to on those bluelines that hold wild trout and the Madam X fits the bill. Though I think the Madam X is quite at home on the local bluegill pond as well. It’s a versatile pattern that deserves a home in anyone’s fly box. Here is Blake’s version:

Materials

– Hook: curved shank, I used a size 12 for the wild Georgia trout.

– Thread: color to match body

– Tail: Elk body hair

– Dubbing: Spectrablend dry fly dubbing. Match the hatch

– Underwing: Snowshoe hare’s foot, dun

– Collar/Head: Elk body hair

Step 1. Clamp hook in vise and start thread at a point behind the eye where you would like to tie down your bullet head. This will be where my body will stop and my head will begin.

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Step 2. Cut a clump of elk hair and measure it to half the thorax length and tie it in. Wrap the butts down to the index point.

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Step 3. Bring thread towards the bend to where the tail is tied in and dub a body forward to the index point. I used dry fly dubbing to match light cahills for this one, but I also use other dubbings as well. Try to match whatever insects the fish are eating. Being that this is a bushy attractor fly, you can get away with some less natural colors also.

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Step 4. The actual pattern didn’t call for an under wing, but I thought it would be better with one. I used a small about of snowshoe rabbit foot hair.

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Step 5. Cut a larger clump of elk for the head. The amount will vary with hook size. I measure it to be the total length of the hook. Spin it right behind the eye of the hook. The hair in the image is a little shorter than I would have liked, but the fish won’t care.

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Step  6. Once spun, cut off the butts and clean up the area between the elk tips and the under wing.

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Step 7. The original kit that I bought had these brass tubes in it that I assume are to be used to aid in making half hitches. I use the biggest one as a bullet head tool. Bring the thread to a point where you want to tie down the head, and push the tool over the eye of the hook forcing all the elk hair tips back. I then make a few wraps with the thread to cinch down the hair and make it flare. Remove the tool.

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Step 8. Tie in rubber legs on either side of the fly in the same spot where you tied in the head.

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Step 9. Whip finish the thread in between the rubber legs and turn the fly over in the vice. The last step is to trim the bottom of the collar to expose the dubbed body.

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Completed fly.

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