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Monthly Archives: October 2013

October’s fly of the month is Blake’s take on a bait that we don’t often talk about here, squid. We don’t talk about it much because we fish a lot of brackish water where you won’t find many squid, however, there’s no doubt in my mind that redfish like to eat squid and this may be the best time of year to throw this pattern, as we begin to target big bulls that are making their way inshore. It looked to be a good fly choice this past weekend for Blake as he and Barret had a pretty good day catching slot and bull reds.

Materials (in order of application):

  • Lead tape (same tape that was used here: Blake’s deceiver variant

  • Your favorite long shanked streamer hook

  • Bucktail

  • Ostrich herl

  • Flash

  • Saddle hackles

  • Flash chenille

  • Stick-on eyes

  • Pseudomarabou

Step 1. Cut a piece of lead tape so that it covers the shank of the hook. Leave yourself enough room at the bend to tie in the tailing materials and leave room at the front to finish off the fly. Cover the tape with a layer of thread.

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Step 2. Bring thread to a spot right before the bend of the hook. Tie in a small clump of bucktail.

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Step 3. Tie in a few ostrich herls over the top of the bucktail. I like this to extend farther than the bucktail.

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Step 4. Tie in a few pieces of flash either on top or on either side of the fly, your choice.

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Step 5. Find four somewhat small and webby saddles and tie them in, splayed out, with two on either side of the fly. I used some cheap saddles that I got from one of those Cabela’s feather grab bags. Tidy up the shank a little.

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Step 6. Tie in chenille at the back of the fly and palmer it forward. I like to coat the shank with super glue or SHAN before palmering the chenille to make the fly a little more durable. Tie the chenille down leaving some room at the eye.

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Step 7. Trim the chenille to a point at the front of the fly. This will help the veil lay back rather than splay out in a future step. Cut the back ends of the chenille body flat on either side to make a good base to glue the eyes.

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Step 8. Glue the eyes on the base that you made. I use the stick on eyes and glue them on using household goop. Notice the pointed end of the chenille at the front of the hook. I should have used some bigger diameter eyes for this fly because squid have huge eyes for their size, but I didn’t have any.

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Step 9. Tie in a clump of pseudo marabou at the eye. I do this by making a cylinder with the material, making a small hole in the middle of the cylinder, and pushing it over the front of the fly until the material is as far back as I want it. Take a few gathering wraps of thread , push the butt ends back and tie everything back on the shank.

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Step 10. You could leave the fly as it is in the previous pic, but I decided to trim the collar down. I just want it to show a little motion in the water.

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Finished Fly:

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Proof of concept:

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This past Saturday Amanda and I had a chance to check out BREC’s newest park, the Frenchtown Road Conservation Area, which is the biggest conservation area in the system at 495 acres. It encompasses most of the land between the Amite and Comite Rivers, south of the Illinois Central Railroad. Currently there are a little over three miles of hiking trails on the property through mostly bottomland hardwood forest.

These trails are just the beginning of the park’s intended development. I’m hopeful that established kayak/canoe launches are in the master plan, as it sits now the only river access that is available is via a 0.7 mile railroad trail to a beach on the Amite River at the park’s NE corner. Any new access to our area’s scenic rivers is a good thing, but it looks like I’ll have to invest in a cart before I can give this stretch of water a proper go. I did manage to get a few mid-hike casts off from the beach and was rewarded with a little spotted bass for my efforts.

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It was a nice day for a hike and I look forward to using this area more in the future. There was a little confusion on the trails though. Seems a nearby property owner was not too pleased at the location of the big loop trail in the park and “No Trespassing” signs were placed toward the end of the trail turning this loop into a long one way. According to the park’s facebook page it sounds like a bypass trail has been added and the area can be avoided. You’d think they would figure these things out before opening the park, but live and learn I guess.

I’m thrilled to be nominated in two categories of the 2013 Kayak Anglers Choice Awards. My video “Kayak Fly Fishing for Bull Redfish” is up for “Kayak Angling Online Video” of the year and this blog/myself have been nominated for “Kayak Angling Blog/Blogger” of the year. I’m very grateful to those who submitted the nominations. It’s an honor to see my work alongside that of the other nominees. It shows that I’m doing something right and motivates me to keep going, so thank you.

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