Saturday, April 19, 2008

Here is something fun to do when you want to kill some time:

Have a blast!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hot Spot Nymph

Now with the ever popular Mustard Caddis out of the way, how about the next best fly since chocolate cake?

The fly almost all anglers in South Africa would have begun fishing the Vaalriver for the small mouth yellowfish for, will probably be the Hot Spot Nymph, or some variation of it, since it just works. This being a very simple fly you will be surprised just how often you use similar patterns for other flies.
This is a fly well worth mastering, and like said, the techniques used in this fly is reproduced on countless similar flies.

Category: SM Yellowfish

Imitates: Have no idea (Attractor fly)

The one I'm showing is the very basic, "down to earth" simple version that you would find on the shelf tied by all the major companies who sell flies. It is largely based on the PTN with only slight modification.
Michael (a friend) has a more advanced version on his site over here that I've also used with great success!

Hook - #12-16 Nymph hook
Thread - Brown 6/0
Weight - Optional brass, tungsten bead
Thorax - Orange dubbing (could also be yellow, green and even red)
Tail - Pheasant tail (center quill)
Extra - Copper wire

Step 1

Prepare your hook (#16) and tie in the copper wire.

Step 2

Tie in a few barbs (usually between 5-10, depending on the size of the hook) of pheasant tail to form the tail.


Move the thread all the way to the where the thorax should start, about 1/3 from the eye of the hook.

Step 4

Wind the rest of the barbs round the hook, making sure you take note of the direction you wind it. Tie it down and trim the extra.

Step 5

Now wind the copper wire in the opposite direction that you used for the barbs, reason being this will secure the structure of the fly and tie down the barbs more thoroughly. Tie it down and trim the extra bits.

Step 6

Tie in some more barbs, about 10 stands will do nicely to form the wing case.

Step 7

Spin a thin noodle of orange dubbing for the thorax.

Step 8

All done! Take care to leave some space just behind the eye of the hook to tie in the final materials.

Step 9

Bend over the barbs to form wing case and tie it off.

Step 10

Trim off all the excess and whip finish. Done!

Mustard Caddis

Okay, time for some fishing! Been a while since I last did a piece on fishing...

Here you will find some original patterns that work very well on our South African rivers, and I mostly target small mouth yellowfish (Labeobarbus Aeneus) and its close related cousins in the "yellowfish" group, the large mouth yellowfish (Labeobarbus Kimberleyensis)

As you will see when trying to do a bit of research on these fish, there is not much in the line of academic studies that has been done on them, however, there are some legends in the fishing community here that have dissected their lifestyle in order to understand what flies they will take...

Now on with the show:

This is probably one of the most useful flies and best taker on the Vaalriver, but at the same time it is almost impossible to give a tying sequence of this fly since there are so many variations out there, each angler with his own secret recipe to entice the fish!

What I'm trying to do with the flies I post is to make them as simple as possible, getting the novice to go "That doesn't seem hard at all!" and go buy a vice and start tying. Every single fly out there can be made very complicated with added bling, but I aim to keep it as simple as possible for the novice.

Once you mastered a fly you will find yourself changing it to your needs, so with that taken care of, lets begin?

Category: Smallmouth Yellowfish
Imitates: Allow me to quote someone:
"The Mustard Caddis is, I believe, a Horst Filter pattern. While imitations of caddis larvae are "ten a penny", what sets this one apart from the rest, and is undoubtedly one of its fish-catching secrets, is the colour." - Ian Couryer

Hook - #12-16 Scud hook
Thread - Brown 6/0
Weight - Optional brass, tungsten bead, lead wraps
Body - Mustard Chenille (small or medium)
Head/Thorax - Any dark coloured dubbing, in this case dark brown
Extra - Mono filament (0.20 mm at the thickest), Ginger Scud Back

Step 1

Prepare your hook and tie in the mono filament. Do this properly all along the length of the hook shank since the nature of the line makes it very easy to slip out, and since this holds your material in place, your whole fly will come undone. Give it a tug to see if it is tied in securely.
Most other people will use copper wire instead of the line, it's up to you. I have tied them both ways and had equal success on both, I just fancy the mono filament more. Use a line of suitable diameter to fit the hook size.

Step 2

Tie in the Scud Back and center it properly.

Step 3

Tie in the chenille. Strip the fibers from the tip of the chenille and tie down the bare, stripped piece. This will help in preventing a lump forming from overlapping chenille.

Step 4

In neat touching turns, wind the chenille tightly on the shank. We do not want a bulky, fat fly, so wind it nice and tight on the hook.

Step 5

Bring the Scud Back over and tie it down. Be careful, the Scud Back is made from elastic plastic, so make sure you tie it in properly or it will pull out. You will get it after a few practice turns! If you struggle to keep it in place then whip finish it into place once, that should hold it down.

Step 6

Wind the mono filament (copper wire) in the opposite direction to which you wound the chenille. This will tie it down nicely. Make sure to create neat little segments to imitate the segments on a caddis larvae. Tie the line down and trim excess.

Step 7

Spin a thin noodle of the dubbing for the collar and whip finish.

Step 8

All done!

Like I said in the beginning, this is as simple as it gets! Here is a secret weapon of mine, the body tied with dubbing!

Happy fishing!