In-creasing your odds

I was recently featured in an article in the Louisiana Sportsman Magazine about the popularity of the crease fly. This fly has been my “GO-TO” fly the past year-and-a-half and I’ve caught over 100 bass on it in a year. The really cool part is, I don’t like spending money on a lot of flies. This fly is:

  • Durable – I haven’t kept count, but I’ve been able to catch 30 or so more bass on a single fly as long as a big one doesn’t break me off 🙂
  • Inexpensive to make – Hobby Lobby is my friend!
  • Quick and easy to make – Here goes

First, let me write this disclaimer. I did not invent this fly, so it’s not mine. I actually have to give most of the credit to Bill Laminack for showing me how he tied his and for turning me on to the beauty and simplicity of Lame

Materials list:

  • Gamakatsu B10S (stinger) hook in a size 2
    Thread (any color will do)
    The thin white craft foam with peel back sticky side (I measured mine and it was about 16th inch. It’s probably labeled in mm in the stores)
    The next size up craft foam (1/8 in)
    Craft fur (or buck tail)
    Pearl Lame (to imitate baitfish scales)
    Super glue (thin and gel)
    Mirage stick-on eyes (easy peel 7/72″)
    Permanent markers to color your fly
    Your finish of choice (Sally Hansens, epoxy, delta satin varnish)
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Step 1 – lay down a thread base, tie in a small amount of craft foam (or buck tail)  and secure with thin super glue. You don’t want the foam to spin around the hook when the big bass eat. If you don’t have thin super glue, you can use Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails.
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Step 2 – tie in about a 1/2 by 1/4 in piece of the thicker foam to the front of the hook. I believe this serves two purposes. It gives the finished foam more surface area to adhere to and it helps to make the front of the popper more buoyant. Whip finish and cut your thread. That’s all the tying you will need to do.IMG_0999
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Nothing Pretty Here. Doesn’t Need to Be!

Step 3 – I created a teardrop shaped templet out of card-stock to create the body of the foam fly. Trim the foam to the dimensions of the templet and remove the backing paper. Firmly adhere a piece of Lame and trim.
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Step 4 – fold the foam in have and cut a small piece off the tail to allow the tail material to pass freely.
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You Can See How This Material Imitates the Scale Pattern of Baitfish

Step 5 – carefully superglue the foam body over the hook to form your crease fly. It is important NOT to put too much glue or your foam will not stick and you will end up with a mess and probably glue your fingers to the fly. 🙂

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If you have trouble getting the foam to stick you can try using some mini clamps. (did I tell you that Harbor Freight is my friend too?)
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Step 6 – use a bodkin to apply stick on eyes, use a marker to color them up, and seal it with several coats of your favorite finishing product, being sure to coat it where the lame meets the foam.IMG_1008.JPG
IMG_1009.JPGI find that Sally Hansens is durable enough to do this with several applications but if you want to really break a record, by all means use epoxy, a very strong tippet, and this may be the last fly you’ll ever need.  AND you’ll catch hundreds of these. GOPR3548.jpg

IMG_1012.JPG           Here’s my saltwater version, jointed and measures 4 inches from tip to tail.

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DIY Fly Drying Wheel Tutorial

In my opinion, nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment of catching fish on flies that I make myself. My favorite flies for bass are poppers and my go-to fly for redfish has been my gold spoon flies. Both of these flies require time on a drying wheel to cure the epoxy correctly. These commercial drying wheels can be purchased from anywhere form $40 – $100. I was looking to make one on my own for about $15.

Here is how I did it:

First, I disassembled my broken dryer and took the wheel and foam (thin piece of plywood with foam glued on it so I could reuse it. Then I headed to the party store and purchased a disco ball for $15.

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The unit has a colored plastic piece that screws on to a round black base that is then attached to the bottom base that houses the motor. I then predrilled and screwed my old wheel to the round base and then screwed the bottom assembly to a piece of small plywood that I attached to a stand.

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You can see in this picture the small stand where I attached my plywood wheel (I even reused the screws that came with the rainbow light for this). I then predrilled holes on another piece of plywood and attached the base mount to it using the three screws from my old dryer. I made a quick stand for it and I was in business.IMG_3214
I even chose to keep the light which will come in handy when I’m not doing this in our kitchen (don’t tell my wife 🙂 ) You can see old drops of epoxy on the wheel from previous use. I hope this helps anyone considering making one of these. It was a lot easier to assemble than the first one I make years ago. Since it came with that plastic round base (the one that screwed to the plastic bulb assembly, it made the whole project so much easier.

School’s Out for Summer…

Now that school is out for summer, I hope to be able to sneak in a few more fishing trips between “honey-dos” and music camps. I fished Lakes Cotile and Valentine earlier this week with my friend “Catch” Cormier in hopes to land a real trophy bass on the fly rod. All I managed were a couple of sinks and some tiny bream.

This morning, I got up early and headed out to our neighborhood lakes. I caught 4 bass on a variety of flies. The largest came one a crappy candy while I was fishing for bream. The bream bite hasn’t begun yet and I just can’t figure it out. I’m planning on hitting some new spots to see if I can get a bass entry in the Massey’s Tournament.

I was the guest tier at the Kisatchie Fly Fishers Meeting this week. It was great meeting some new faces. I hope those guys are able to catch a lot of bream on the slow-sinking spiders I showed them. I was able to catch about a dozen small ones this morning on the spider, but I’m still waiting for the bull bream to start eating with reckless abandon. 🙂

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Black and Gold Charlie

This is my first fly tutorial. I found myself sitting at home, two days before Christmas, without a car (it was in the shop) with nothing to do. I couldn’t fish, my school work was completed…so, I decided to try to invent my own redfish fly.

First of all, it’s really a combination of a gold fly that Stephen Robert ties and a Charlie that Mike LaFleur ties. I have to give them credit for the inspiration.  Here’s the recipe:

First, I started with some gold ribbon from an old Christmas present saved from last year, thinking that it looked like it would make good fly-tying material.

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Attach a gold cone head to a size two hook with some gold metallic thread. (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago). I actually didn’t get a picture of that but here’s one with the gold thread on it. I tied this fly with gold hooks and stainless hooks. I figure the gold will get destroyed by a redfish before it rusts 🙂

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I then tied in a thread base down to a spot just past the bend of the hook and cinched down the end of some of the gold ribbon.

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Wrap the gold foil ribbon to the cone, tie it in, and then push the cone back down on the ribbon and tie a jam on the other end by the hook eye. Be sure to push the cone down over the gold foil far enough to leave a place to tie in the wing material.Image

Then tie in the wing material. Here I used a small dump of black craft fur. Be sure to flip the fly and tie it on the correct side.

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Finally, whip finish and coat with your favorite head cement (zap-a-gap, Sally’s, or whatever you use). The finished product:

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I can’t wait to get to the marsh to try these.