Archive for January, 2013

It’s been a while since I have posted a fly tie… I have been tying a ton of flies, I just haven’t stopped to take pictures!

This is a fly that I found on the internet. I was looking for bass flies that I could fish through weed beds and leaves. The bass lake close to my will over grow with weeds in the summer, and all of the “weedless” flies I had were not weedless enough to make it through a lot of the water. They get snagged and lost.

This particularly fly is a “hook point up” floating fly. That means it (usually) always lands with its hook point in the air, due to its foam tail and wings. Most floating flies land with their hook point down in the water… the hook point is heavier than the rest of the fly, so as it falls in the air during it’s presentation, physics takes over and the hook point usually ends up down…

The physics of drag and wind resistance; as well as gravity pulling on the hook point while on the surface of the water… I am aware that objects in a vacuum fall at the same rate. Unfortunately, I don’t fish in a vacuum.

Who knew there would be a physics lesson in this post?

The foam wings help the fly fall upside down (by dry fly standards). Even if the hook point lands down, the wings will help the fly turn over as it is pulled on the water.

This is all useful so I can fish right over the heaviest weed beds without worrying about snags… where the biggest bass like to hang out waiting on something to ambush.

At least that is the hope. I haven’t got a chance to try them out yet… But they look pretty cool…

The website I found them on calls these flies “Gurglers”… Little E calls them “Bunny Ear” flies.

I like that better…


Hook: Mustad C52S BLN, Size 2
Thread: Black Ultra Thread, Size 140
Underbody: Pearl Chenille; Black
Body: 1/8th Green Foam
Tail: Rubber Leg Material
Eyes: “Googly” Eyes

Step 1: Start by tying thread on at the end of the hook.

Step 2: Tie on rubber leg material to form tail.

Step 3: Tie on chenille; used to form body in a future step.

Step 4: Cut a strip of foam about 1/8th to 1/4 of inch wide. Cut the strip down the middle about 2/3rds to 1 inch long to form the foam tail.

Flip the hook in the vise and place the bend of the hook between the foam tails and tie foam on underside of hook shank.

Step 5: Wrap thread forward to about 1 and 1/2 head space from end. Wrap chenille forward to form body, secure, and cut tag end off. Secure front of foam body on top of chenille.

Step 6: Fold tag end of foam back across body, leaving enough slack to form a head approximately the same size as the eyes. At this point I secure the thread with a couple of half-hitch finishing knots and remove the thread.

Step 7: Rotate fly 90 degrees in vise. Add a drop of super glue on side of head. Add googly eye. Flip fly and repeat.

Step 8: Add a drop of super glue on the half hitch knots to keep the foam from rotating on the fly.

Step 9: Take scissors and cut the foam wing down the middle almost to the crease formed by the thread. Remove from vise and go fishing!

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Today I got a chance to get back on the ice! I don’t know how many ice fishing trips are left this winter… Ice fishing season is notoriously short in Nebraska. We are on the very southern edge of where you can ice fish at here in the Cornhusker State. And that’s okay… I would prefer the weather to warm up so I could put a fly in the water.

But ice fishing is better then no fishing…

I had a great day on the ice today… I actually caught fish! Much better then my last ice fishing trip where I didn’t catch a thing. We went out on a private pond, so per personal policy I will not disclose where I was…

I ended the day with 7 bluegill, 3 crappies, and 1 largemouth bass… and I didn’t lose any gear. So I win, 11-0…

And it was nice to feel a fish yanking on the end of my line… Up to today I hadn’t landed a fish since November.

Not everyone understands why someone would willingly sit on top of a frozen lake in January, but enjoy the pictures…

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Congrats to Fredrik Loveus for correctly naming the fly in the last post… Not only did he correctly name the fly, but what this next post is about!

Tenkara Fly Fishing!

Tying the flies was my way of getting into the mood…

I have been reading up on Tenkara for a while now… and after finding a rod on sale, I jumped at the chance. Yesterday, it came in the mail… And of course, opening “surprises” is one of Little E’s favorite things to do!

And after the fun of opening the box wore off, then the next most important question was raised…

“What is it?”

Tenkara Fly Fishing

Tenkara is a traditional Japanese form of fly fishing. The TenkaraUSA company has recently introduced it to the US, and in the last three years Tenkara has become the hottest thing in fly fishing…

Tenkara is marketed as a “simplified” method of fly fishing. It uses a longer rod then standard fly rods, and most visibly noticeable is the lack of a fishing reel. Tenkara uses a fixed line system; where the line is attached to the end of the pole. In theory, the only thing you need to use to go fishing is the pole, line, and a fly… (Of course, I am sure I will find other “necessities” to bring with me to the water…)

The lack of a fishing reel seems to be what throws most people; from what I can tell in my research. In fact, it was the first thing that Little E noticed…

“Where the reel, daddy?”

“This fishy pole doesn’t need a reel”

“Oh…” At this point Little E ran down the hall, picked a fly reel off of the shelf in my office, and ran back exclaiming “Here is the reel daddy!”

At two years old, she’s already a little fisherman… and indoctrinated into the idea that a reel is required for a fishing pole…

Why I Bought A Tenkara Fly Fishing Pole

Beyond the fact that it just seems cool, that is…

I wanted to get a Tenkara rod for three main reasons…

1) Ease of use…

Taking little E fishing is fun, but can be interesting when she takes off in one direction at the lake, and I have to go after her. While fly fishing, typically I don’t have that much gear with me. However, trying to reel up my line while running after Little E is a dangerous proposition for both me and my gear…

With Tenkara, I will only need the rod, line, and a small box of flies (and therefore no reel or extra line at my feet)… meaning I am much more mobile for when I need to take off after Little E.

Not only that, but someday I plan to teach Little E to fly fish. Tenkara, being more of a stream lined style of fly fishing, will be a good introduction when she is ready as it is easier to learn how to cast.

2) A small fish/small stream rod…

Tenkara USA advertises their rods as ideal for small mountain streams. Here in Eastern Nebraska, we don’t have any mountains… but the few trouts streams we have tend to be small waters; with the exception of the tail water fisheries at Lake Ogallala.

This blog was created after a fishing trip to Verdigre Creek last July… That trip was frustrating for me because I had an impossible time getting my fly line into the water. With Tenkara, I am hoping for a more controlled, accurate cast needed for our small Nebraska trout streams…

In addition, I have always wanted a rod that I can throw in the car for quick fishing trips. Nebraska is full of small lakes all up and down I-80 that are full of fish. I bought a 3 weight fly rod at Cabela’s last winter for this purpose; but I still find that I need to drag along my vest and kick bag in the car to use it. The Tenkara compresses down to a small 20″ tube. Throw in one fly box, a spool of the Tenkara fly line, and a spool of tippet… and I now have a complete fishing set up that I can sneak into the car when my wife is not looking…

Makes for a great excuse to go fishing!

On these quick trips I often am just targeting bluegill or small bass; and I also hope for the Tenkara rod to enhance that experience!

3) Going Against The Grain…

I have alway been a bit of a rebel in my life… that continues to today. I love to fish, but I have rebelled against the greater Nebraska angling community by fly fishing… there are a few fly fisherman here, but not very many. I warm water fly fish first and foremost; which in a way is rebelling against the greater fly fishing “trout” community. Don’t get me wrong, I love fly fishing for trout… I just don’t have many places/opportunities nearby to do so. I spend the vast majority of my time chasing largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and crappies on the fly. I see Tenkara much in this same light… It is pushing a new frontier in the greater fly fishing community…

And I can’t wait to see what fellow Nebraskan anglers say when they see my Tenkara rod on the water… I will probably look like a spaceman!

Since I primarily warm water fish small lakes, in a way I will even be a rebel in the Tenkara community. I can’t wait to catch trout with it… but I plan to land a whole mess of warm water Nebraska game fish with it first!

That being said…

I by no means plan to give up “western” fly fishing. I see Tenkara as an excellent way to expand my fly fishing horizons. Since almost all of the material I have found on the web talks about Tenkara streaming in the mountains, I can’t wait to cast Tenkara line over Nebraska. I see this both as a new and challenging opportunity for me to push the envelope of my ability and Tenkara’s possibilities.

By Tenkara’s own admission the rod is not for big fish, like carp. That is okay. I have a brand new 8 weight St. Croix Imperial that has seen the water, but has yet to land a fish. I still plan on chasing plenty of big fish; so this won’t become a Tenkara exclusive blog…

But it will hopefully lead to some great challenges and great fun with bluegill… and maybe a small bass or two!

See you in my backyard figuring out a new casting stroke!


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Here is a post for my readers who actually fly fish…

Name this fly!

I wish I had a prize… I don’t. But if you can figure out what this fly is, you will figure out what will be my next post or so!

Ready… Set… Go!

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Wahoo’s Fish Tacos…

Quick post for the weekend…

If ever In downtown Lincoln, I recommend Wahoo’s Fish Tacos…

I have never eaten Wahoo before, but this place does it right! I ate at this restaurant for the first time this week. It definitely gets Flies Over’ Seal of Approval!

See you stuffing your face,


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Quick post for today… my friend over at Trout Passion has just put up a post on the fly swap that I am participating in. For my new readers; a lot of fly fisherman create their own flies by hand… and everyone does it a little bit differently. A “fly swap” is an opportunity to exchange some flies and get some creative ideas. They are pretty common in the fly fishing world.

The hook to this one? It is an international fly swap. I am the only American participating, so I am going to get a box full of European flies in the mail.

Pretty cool…

The picture above is one of the flies I submitted… size 10 Stimulator dry flies. Below the post is a second fly that I submitted… a size 10 clouser minnow; in a self-created pattern I call the “Calhoun Clouser” (because it is what I would expect to find swimming in the tanks at nearby Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant… he he).

Follow this link to see all the flies that were created from anglers all over Europe. I am pretty excited to get them back the mail!

And a big thanks to Trout Passion for putting this on! Enjoy your Nebraska hat!


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