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Monthly Archives: November 2012

November’s fly of the month is the fly I used last time out with success, though I have to admit, I think anything would have worked that weekend before Thanksgiving, fishing was insane. It wasn’t the fly I started out with on the day, that was another of Blake’s creations. I was having problems sticking fish with that first fly, you can see that in the video I just put up. I switched to the jack hammer minnow and proceeded to slay them though. It held up very well too, I didn’t have to tie on another fly the rest of the day. The sink rate on it is not too fast and not too slow, which is just right for those cruising reds. It’s got pretty good action underwater as well. So check it out, give it a shot, let us know what you think.

Materials:

– Hook as seen in the picture below

– Lead wire

– Bucktail

– Flash

– Saddle Hackle

– Marabou

– Zonker strip

– Peacock Herl

– Stick on eyes

– Epoxy

1. Insert hook in vise and wrap on a layer of lead. I like to use .015 lead wire so that I don’t build up the shank a whole lot. I also leave some open shank behind the eye and before the bend to tie in materials.

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2. Start thread behind the eye and wrap around the lead to secure it to the shank. In order to keep the thread from going between the lead wraps, I will start behind the eye of the hook with touching wraps till I get to the front of the lead. From here, I will bring the thread all the way to the back of the lead and make a few wraps behind the lead before bringing my thread back to the front of the lead. This way I have a thread on either side of the shank (running parallel to the hook shank) that will keep my thread from sinking in between the lead wraps. Then cover the lead with thread and coat with super glue for added durability.

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3. Tie in a small clump of buck tail. This will fill in the area of the shank that we left behind the lead and before the bend. Since its not a big tie in area, add a little super glue to make sure everything is locked in.

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4. Tie in a few strands of flash, your choice. I used chartreuse flashabou.

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5.  Select two matching saddle hackles and tie one on either side of the buck tail and flash. I like for them to extend past the buck tail. I normally want the flash to be the longest, but I under estimated the length of the flash.

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6. Put some marabou in a loop, spin it, and palmer it around the shank. I like for the marabou to extend a little less than half the length of the hackle.

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7. Put your choice of zonker in a loop, spin it, and palmer on to the shank. You can also tie in the zonker strip in and make a couple of wraps. I prefer the loop because I think the leather takes up too much space. Stop palmering the zonker with enough room to fit your eyes.

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8. Tie in a few pieces of peacock herl on the top. I normally tie more than I want because some will inevitably break after a fish or two.

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9. Tie in some red marabou for a throat. I will also use feather fibers for this as they are a little stronger. Either will work fine.

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10. Tie off thread. Add your eyes of choice. I like to life like eyes but any (or none) will do just fine. I colored the thread behind the eyes black because I thought it looked better. I normally put down a layer of super glue to hold the eyes securely in place for the epoxy.

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11. Layer with a coat of 5 minute epoxy (use 30 minute if you are doing these in batches. I can normally do two with 5 minute before it starts to set too much). Put in a dryer if you got one and let it spin till the epoxy sets.

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12. Finished fly. If I would have took my time a little more and let the epoxy settle before I put it on, that would have gotten rid of a lot of the bubbles in the head. That’s what I think anyway. But I don’t think the fish will care. Fly pushes a lot of water and has a big profile.

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Proof of Concept

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Read an interesting article from American Angler the other day about breaking rods. Thought it was fitting after breaking a rod while trying to net a red during Redfishfest. I high sticked (or is it high stuck) him and the rod snapped as soon as I moved my rod past vertical. The funny thing was that after watching the video from the day I was doing all the right things at first, then the fish made another run, and I moved the rod position to the front of my body to gain extra leverage. It was a bad idea and the rod broke. I made a little video about it below. Be sure check out the article from American Angler. A broken rod is usually your fault, as was the case for me.

http://www.americanangler.com/technique/busted

I haven’t been fishing since Fall N Tide in October, but I managed to make it out twice in the past 4 days for two of the most  productive days I’ve ever had catching redfish. The sightfishing was exceptional this past weekend.

I’ve been working a lot this past month, and when necessary, even on weekends, so I’ve had very little time to fish. When Thursday rolled around and I was free, I had to make that two hour run south to the marsh.  It was a chilly bluebird day, with winds steady from the N around 10 mph. Not ideal conditions, but doable for someone who hasn’t fished in awhile. I took my time getting down to my spot, arriving at about 11:00am. When I got there I found clear, low water, conditions that were near perfect for sightfishing. The wind was only thing keeping it from being perfect. The wind was helpful though. It puts a little chop on the water helping conceal me from the fish. It also pushes a lot of water out of the marsh, making our low tides lower, decreasing the amount of water a redfish can hold in and thus less water I have to cover to find them.

I was fishing a fairly new spot to me. I fished it once before and had luck, but I wanted to explore it even further while I had a chance. I made the right decision to fish this spot because the redfish were everywhere. Sometimes they were alone, other times they were in pairs, and still other times they were in pods – groups of 5 or more reds. These pods would porpoise out of the water, feeding on anything in their path. In some places their backs were out of the water as they munched on shrimp in the shallows and other places they were just floating, clear as day in water that had excellent clarity. Unfortunately I left the fly rod in the truck, thinking the wind would leave me frustrated, but there were so many fish I didn’t even notice the wind. The action was so nonstop that I hardly had time to break the camera out, in fact I didn’t even take one picture of a fish. I did film some video that I will need to edit. Most of the reds I caught I tagged, I had fish in the freezer and decided against keeping any more. Most were 25″ long, nice upper slots reds that had a lot of fight in them. When the water cools down like it has the fish seem to be energized, never quitting once they’ve been caught. I broke one rod trying to high stick a fish close to the boat, I got pretty good footage of that with the GoPro. Thursday was awesome, a great trip to have when you haven’t fished in a month.

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I thought I’d have to work Saturday (which is why I was able to take off Thursday), but that was pushed back to Sunday, so I had the option of fishing or heading out to tailgate for the last LSU home game. Unbeknownst to Blake, the decision was up to him. If he was in, than I would fish, if not, than it was out to tailgate. It was too hard to pass up a fishing trip for Blake, so we were heading down to the marsh that morning.

The conditions were very similar to Thursday, however the winds were higher. The hope was that with conditions being so similar, we would have a day much like Thursday. When we got to the flats we knew we hit it right again. In fact there were more fish Saturday than there were on Thursday. I’m not overstating it, the sightfishing was unreal. The word epic gets thrown around a lot, but this was an epic trip. I remember being in one pond that was about as big as my living room, there was a pod of reds in that pond with no less than 20 fish just cruising around. Everywhere we went the fish were there; bayous, ponds, bays, flats, it didn’t matter. The amount of shrimp was unreal too, they were popping out of the water without even being spooked by fish. These reds were gorging themselves and we just happened to be in the right place at the right time. This time I remembered to bring the fly rod, and using a fly that Blake had tied, wore them out. I filmed the morning portion of this trip and need to edit it down before I share, but there should be some good footage. Hard to imagine a day could top Thursday, but we had it on Saturday. There were a few times we doubled up, a few times I could have doubled up myself. I brought 14 tags with me on Saturday and used them all. First time I’ve ever tagged out. A lot more variation in size on Saturday than Thursday, but pretty much every fish was medium to upper slot sized, with a couple below and a couple above.

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