My Version of the Round Dinny

 

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I’ve been invited to demonstrate some fly tying for the CENLA (Central Louisiana) Fly Fishing Club in Alexandria at the end of the month and I’ve been thinking about what kind of flies I wanted to tie. I’ve tied simple foam spiders and other bream flies so I thought I’d do a more advanced session this time. I’m going to tie some Round Dinnys and probably some foam crease flies. To help with my tutorial, I’m going to present my recipe on this blog so tiers can use it to reference later.

First, I purchased some round cork balls on the internet. I think I got mine from Canada. 14mm-Cork-Balls.jpg

Here are the rest of the materials:

#10 kink hooks (http://www.jsflyfishing.com/mustad-signature-ck52s-fly-hook)
Marabou (http://www.jsflyfishing.com/hareline-extra-select-strung-marabou)
Black Whiting Farms Bugger Hackle (http://www.jsflyfishing.com/whiting-farms-bugger-pack)
Micro Rubber legs (I think I bought mine from Bass Pro)
Various colors of craft paint (Hobby Lobby is my friend 🙂 )

First, I cut a small slot in the cork with a hobby saw (again…Hobby Lobby is…)
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Then I used a thin super glue to set the #10 shank hook in the slot. I think I got my glue from a hobby store that sells radio control air planes.

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Then I use some Elmers wood filler to fill the slot and any other small imperfections in the cork.

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I then paint it with several coats of hobby craft paint and create the eyes. See this link to my friend, Ron Breaux’s tools for creating painted dots and eyes.(http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?showtopic=58016)

One it’s painted, I then put a coat of epoxy on it.

To tie the fly, simply start a thread base

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Add a small tuft of marabou (about a hook’s length)
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Add the legs:

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Tie in the hackle like this:

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At this point, I add a small amount of Sally Hansen’s or head cement to secure my legs and marabou.

Palmer it up (I use hackle pliers so I don’t break the hackle), whip finish, and add a couple drops of your choice of head cement. I use a bodkin to apply it. IMG_0656.JPG

You can get real creative with your choice of colors. I think the fish really don’t matter. The reason I use this chartreuse pattern is because I kept having fish hit my chartreuse VOSI (vertical oriented strike indicator). It’s a killer fly for all species of panfish and bass.

Happy Tying!

 

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Fishing with Glen, the Gobbule Getter :)

Each year, I try to make a trip to the frigid north (that’s anywhere north of Alexandria, LA for those of you not from Louisiana) and fish with a good friend and fly fishing buddy of mine, Glen Cormier. Most people just know him as “Catch Cormier.”  I may have posted this on an earlier post but it’s worth mentioning again that Catch first got me into the sport of kayak fishing.  I taught his daughter for four years at St. Michael High School and he would sometimes pick her up from after school band practice with one or two kayaks strapped to the top of his car. I was a bay boat fisherman at the time and I asked him what were the kayaks for. He told me that he fished out of them and I asked him where? He promptly replied, “just about anywhere I can.” After pestering Glen for some time about what kind of kayak to buy, he helped me pull the trigger on my first kayak, my Wilderness Tarpon. I used to call it Doc’s Yellow Submarine. It’s a great kayak that paddles very fast and tracks well.

Anyway, I kept trying to set up a trip to fish with Glen so I could pick his brain (he is a walking encyclopedia about fishing and you’ve probably seen me reference some of Cormier’s Laws about Fishing on this blog) but we couldn’t agree to a date until I decided to jump in and purchase a fly rod. I think it’s no coincidence that Glen finally made his calendar clear when I offered to fish with him and leave the “Commie” tackle back home. By the way, Commie tackle refers to anything NOT related to the fly rod. 🙂 Well, we’ve been fishing buddies since then.

As long as I’m explaining a few terms here, the word gobbule, as defined by Catch himself, means: Any sunfish.  The term sunfish is too passive for this hard-fighting members of the Centrachid family.

Last week, I ventured to Glen’s home in Boyce to fish the Kisatche lakes (Valentine, Cotille, and Kincaid). Since I was getting there the last week of June, our expectations weren’t very high for bass, but we hoped to get on some of the great bream or gobbule fishing those lakes have to offer. It took us a while to find them but when we did, we were rewarded with a bunch of these hard fighters
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Many of these fish would have been “frying pan” worthy, but we were just releasing them this week and thanking them for the fight. Speaking of fight, there were several bream that made Catch’s 6 wt. double over. You can only imagine how much fun it was to catch these “bream with an attitude” on a 3 wt!

Another thing that makes fishing with Glen is the scenery. Glen and his wife are now retired and they have some of the most picturesque waters and woods in their back yard.

Even in the extreme heat, I was able to land one nice bass on a crease fly popper. It’s the largest bass that I’ve caught in PUBLIC waters this year, which means that it is…well would have been eligible for the Massey’s CPR Tournament. Sad to say, that after I took this picture, it flopped back into the water.

 

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Nice bass on the crease fly

Here are a couple pictures from the rest of the trip
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Chinquapin!
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Glen used his son’s Jackson. It looks like we’re on Pro Staff for Team Jackson! 🙂

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School is Out. Guess What?

School has been out down here in south Louisiana since last Wednesday and I’ve taken advantage of the time to get on the water. My first excursion was a trip to Grand Isle with a good friend and colleague of mine. We were able to fish only one day  (Thursday morning) because the wind picked up Friday and made it just about impossible to fish from a kayak with a fly rod. I did manage to catch three pretty speckled trout on poppers by anchoring and casting with the wind to my back to a wind-driven point. I had numerous misses and even lost a real nice one at the net but was able to land this one before the wind just got impossible. I actually foul hooked her (look under the pectoral fin) so for a while there, I thought I had Moby Dick on the end of my fly rod!
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I came back home to spend time with family, as my daughter and her husband were coming to town for the Memorial Day weekend. The whole time, I kept a watchful eye on the winds and decided there would be a window of opportunity to get some trout fishing in the surf Tuesday. The CCA STAR Tournament began Saturday and I finally decided to enter the tournament and fish it in the fly division. I caught 8 speckled trout Tuesday morning but they lacked the size of the fish I caught the previous Thursday. I had two fish that were 15.5 inches so I entered my biggest and low and behold…Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 3.36.28 PM
I received a text from a former student of mine and I agreed to meet him early Wednesday morning to fish for a couple of hours in what has become my favorite fresh water hangout. It’s ashamed it’s a private lake but it has afforded me hours of chill time and I’ve caught 44 bass there the last two visits! I was able to sight cast for bass on crease fly poppers. I would see a wake and cast to it and then watch as the bass would explode on my popper. My largest of the morning was 2.87 pounds.
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I’m still fighting the pain of two broken wrists. I’ve had my left splint off for three weeks now but the right one is still bothering me. Here’s a copy of the X-ray:
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It doesn’t take a radiologist or a hand surgeon to see the crack on the radius bone. It will be seven weeks tomorrow and I still cannot land a fish without my wrist brace. The darned thing (the brace, not my hand) is beginning to stink now 🙂

Anyway, here’s another picture from yesterday’s bass fishing:

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My hand surgeon made me promise to keep some of the bass from the lake that were under 15 inches, so I kept these 8, filleted them and gave them to some of our custodial workers at school. They were thrilled!
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School is almost out. Time to fish!

With less than a week left, I’m getting the fever to really get on the water as much as I can before it gets too hot and uncomfortable. A couple of mornings ago, I walked on down to our neighborhood dam and was able to get one big bass to eat one of my baitfish shad flies. I didn’t have a ruler to measure the fish but I did have a digital scale and the fish weighed in at 3.83 lbs. That’s my fly rod personal best! FullSizeRender

I was also able to get down to another local lake with one of my students and we caught and released over 50 bass between the two of us. Talk about fun! These fish explode on poppers like crazy. In fact, I think they are some of the healthiest bass I’ve caught recently. They have a lot of fight in them and they just seem heavier than other fish I’ve caught that were the same size. I plan on putting together some video when I get off of school so I’ll be posting here soon. I’ll also have to tie a few more flies to replace the ones that have been lost to angry fish 🙂

 

Therapy…Just What the Doctor Ordered

 

The reason I haven’t posted anything on my fishing blog is because I haven’t been able to fish. I broke both of my wrists during a faculty/student dodge ball game three weeks ago and I’ve had splints on both wrists since then. I did manage a few casts from the bank last week that produced a couple bass so all was not lost. I figured the fish needed a reprieve 🙂

There is always a silver lining to every story and there are several with my wrists fractures. First of all, it’s forced several of my students to step up and cover for me at school. Second, and most importantly, I WILL NOT have to have surgery to repair the fracture. Third, my hand surgeon has a lake behind his house that is stocked with bass, bream, and hybrid striped bass! He told me I could fish as long as it didn’t hurt. In fact he said to “please come and take out as many under 15 inches that I can.” I told him I normally don’t keep bass but I may make an exception for him. Well, when I’m wearing those splints, I feel like I can do anything and so I made a morning trip Saturday.

When I arrived at 6:45 AM, the sun was just peeking up over the horizon. There was a slight fog hovering over the glass-slick lake. The sounds of birds, the croak of a couple bull frogs, and the dabble of ducks on the lake created a overture to my ears, something I hadn’t experienced in a while. I began working a fire-tiger popper against the bank and within five minutes, I have my first blowup. Of course I missed the fish as I tried to set the hook too soon. I still have to get used to these “paws.” Five minutes later, another blowup but this time it resulted in a hookup. This fish had shoulders on it and it got the best of me as it charged to the kayak, swam under it and then just got off. I guess I didn’t get a good hook set in it. My arms have suffered atrophy because I haven’t used them in three weeks.

Finally, I hooked a nice feisty fish and was able to land my first bass of the morning. I continued to work the bank and found a few patches where I would get strikes and then there would be a section of nothing. I fished for three hours and landed 8 nice bass (a few were over 15 inches).

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First bass of the morning

In the meantime, I probably lost the same amount, having one break the line right by the popper. I retied another popper, this time trying a frog pattern and after about ten minutes of patience was rewarded with the fish of the day. This hybrid striper weighed just under 3 pounds. When it exploded on my popper I could tell that it was either a five-pound bass or it was a hybrid. The thing was VERY angry and took off like a freight train, much to the dismay of my right wrist, which was hurting (it was the one with the largest fracture). I switched the rod to my left hand and vowed out loud that I wasn’t going to lose this fish. I have to admit that I was proud of myself for keeping pressure on it and not losing it.

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Fish of the day, my first hybrid caught on a popper

After that fish I did have another fish snap my tippet so I lost my frog popper. I tied on a new “shad” crease fly creation that I’ve been working on and was able to nearly sight-catch my final bass of the morning. I saw something crashing bait about 50 yards ahead of me and I snuck up on it. On my first cast, a 15-inch bass inhaled the fly. I still have to tweak it but I think I have a winner there.

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Another one eats my frog popper. 

I ended up keeping two bass to feed my son and myself. All in all it was a very therapeutic morning. My wrists fared well and I caught fish on poppers that I created myself. God is good!

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Spring Break Pond Hopping

Spring Break normally affords me several opportunities to get on the water. With a band trip to Disney schedule for the back half of the week, I made sure to get as much fishing in during the front part of my break as I could. I started with and after school/Good Friday trip to the lake behind a friend of mine’s house. The wind was a bit strong but I was determined to find some sacalait. I targeted the usual downed limbs and stumps and was able to land two nice ones on a fluff butt. FullSizeRender
On Good Friday, I was determined to catch a few more to fry for supper. I was able to catch one 14-inch sacalait and an 8 inch bream so Lisa and I had more fish than we really could eat. I caught and released dozens of small bream but wasn’t able to get one bass to play.

I woke up Easter Monday with the intention of trying to go down to Leeville for some speckled trout and redfish action. When I got up though, the wind was blowing just a little bit too hard for my taste, so I decided to hit the dam by my neighborhood lake to see if the bass wanted to play. After the heavy rains for Easter, there was a considerable waterfall by the dam. For about 20 minutes the bass action was crazy! It was like someone had thrown feed in the water. The “feed” was actually schools of tiny shad. I tied on a crease fly (Bill Laminack version) and was able to fool three hungry bass.

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This one was about 19 inches and was pretty close to three pounds!

Later that morning, I found myself up to my ears in work for school but I put everything down, decided not to answer any more emails or texts from band parents, and I went to my cousin’s house to fish their neighborhood pond. That pond has been “money” for me during past spring breaks. It was a very slow afternoon of fishing, but I did manage three bass, one sacalait, and about a half dozen nice bream.

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Shows pond bass

Tuesday morning, I decided to try a new fly that I had been working on. I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to “match the hatch” with these shad and I came up with this
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I had a hungry bass eat my new creation on about my fourth cast! I then hooked and lost a really nice one. The bite wasn’t as fierce as Monday’s (the water was only at a slight trickle) and I ended up breaking my fly off on the concrete dam itself. No worries, because I had the rest of the morning to explore the upper lake to see if the chinquapin bite had started. They weren’t plentiful but the six I did keep for supper were chunks. Three were over 9 inches and three were 10 inches plus! With the predicted rain for tonight and tomorrow, my spring break fishing is over for 2016. Time to take my band to Disneyworld for competition! Hmmm, maybe I can bring my fly rod! 🙂

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