Tuesday, February 13, 2018

F3t- Doing Good Things!

As you probably already know, each year we pick a charity and the proceeds from the Fly Fishing Film Tour go to benefit. Together, with the support of our great friends and customers, we have done some great for our community and looking forward to helping again in 2018.

We just recently received this note from last year's recipient. Jess Westbrook and the Mayfly Project:




Dear Mad River Outfitters,

Thank you for your generous 2017 contribution of 5,163.00 to The Mayfly Project. 

No goods or services were provided in exchange for this contribution – other than the joy of helping children in the foster care system learn the valuable and therapeutic art of fly fishing. 

TheMayfly Project is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, EIN 47-5685618, so your contribution is tax deductible!In 2017, The Mayfly Project mentored 59 foster children in six different states. Because of your generous support these 59 children learned how to put together a rod and reel, cast,mend, and catch fish on a fly rod. In addition, we were able to take these children on a full-day fishing trip where each child received everything he or she would need to continue to fish: a rod, reel, line, tippet, leader, flies, fly boxes, etc. They also received packs, t-shirts, hats, water bottles, fly line bracelets, and rod covers. You made this possible! 

Our goal for 2018 is to mentor 75 children and to expand to Montana, West Virginia, Washington and Oregon!!! We are also introducing a new conservation section in our mentoring program that we are really excited about!We cannot express how much we appreciate your support. Again, The Mayfly Project would not be possible without donors like you. 

Thank you and please check out our new and updated website at: www.themayflyproject.com

Tight Lines!

Jess Westbrook and The Mayfly Project Team





This year we have selected the Ohio Children's Hunger Alliance as our benefactor. Here is what they had to say when they found out:

Brian,

That is so wonderful!  Thank you again so much for choosing CHA as a partner for your event. We’re very excited!

Your contribution will provide approximately 10,000 healthy meals and snacks to food insecure kids in Ohio, which is amazing!

I’m really looking forward to the event. I’ll touch base with you closer to the event just to check in, get more details about timing and such, etc.

Thank you so much,

Adrienne
Children's Hunger Alliance


The Fly Fishing Film Tour

Columbus, Ohio

Thursday, March 8th

Gateway Film Center









Mad River Outfitters/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools
813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
614-451-0363





Friday, January 26, 2018

Fishing Reports- 1/26/18


* Please remember to call us for more up-to-date or detailed information! These reports are not meant to be your one and only, daily source of information. They are typically general, even seasonal type reports and we currently don't have a set schedule as to when we update. Please, just because we don't update as often as we like, it doesn't mean that we don't care.

There are many different approaches you should take in order to get a good game plan for a trip or a day of fishing. Also remember that things change and these reports are what we know at the time of posting only. Keep in mind that we do express opinions and personal preferences from time-to-time which may be different from yours or what you may read elsewhere. Thanks for checking and don't forget to call us if you need any further information or a more up-to-date report. 614-451-0363

Thanks as always for reading our reports friends. As the weather gets more conducive we should be reporting more regularly....but we need your HELP!

Send any and all reports to admin@madriveroutfitters and we'll do our best to get them up.



Jaunuary 2018 Peacock Bass Trip- Brazil


The 2018 Peacock Bass Group pictured here with host Brian Flechsig, Guides and Camp host Alejandro Caures. The group landed 1284 peacock bass during the week and had a blast as always. They were right on the equator on a river called the Xeuiriuni. Tons of footage and photos to come.......


Shane Chamberlin from Robinson Creek, Kentucky with the fish of the trip. Just over 19lbs on the Boga!


2019 Peacock Bass in Brazil

January 12th- 19th

host Ryan Ratliff




Next Up!- Andros Island Bonefish!



February 17th- 24th

host Pat Kelly


Should be posting reports as they come in from Andros. Stay tuned......

 

Now back to reality.......

Our 1st report of 2018 as pretty much everything has been locked up.....but things are chaning a bit here for the better.

Wow what a crazy winter it has been so far.  Everything started out low then it seems like overnight rains came that turned directly into over a month of arctic conditions.  The past month has been a crazy roller coaster of temps too.  We have had everything from -6 to pushing 60 and heavy snow to heavy rain.  We are all dealing with cabin fever and hoping for stable weather...but it is still winter in Ohio!  These past few warm ups have been welcome though.  Fishing is still limited to Trout and Steelhead for the most part but if you do happen to find good water locally let us know!



Mad River


There were a couple times that the lower river had slush and even reports of a few spots of anchor ice forming, but the Mad as usual, produced through the cold. The river is dropping from the snow melt and looks to be a decent weekend. 
Those nymphing have been the most successful.  Double nymph rigs with a heavy tungsten beaded fly and then a smaller unweighted nymph is our usual setup.  We start with a black Double Stone, Cranefly larva, or jig nymph and then follow that with a small soft hackle like the Purple Haze or a Peasant Tail, Prince, or Hares Ear.     This rig does not differ too much from other times of the year just make sure you are dropping down in size for your flies.  Fishing this rig with a long slow drift has been a must.  For those giving the tight line nymphing techniques a try they have found it much easier to deal with the cold air temps.  With only leader material out of the rod ice in your guides is not much of a problem.  Also make sure to always have one black pattern on your rig in the 10-14 range.  This is the time of the year we start seeing our Little Black Stones/Winter Stones.

Streamers have also been a choice for those finding those small windows of ideal conditions.  It seems that all of us streamer junkies have been itching to get out.  Individuals who have kept an eye out for dropping flows after some rain have been rewarded.  Mini Dungeons, full sized Dungeons, Bottom Up, Cougars, and other have been very productive.  This past week has also produced some nice fish on streamers and will continue into the weekend. 
 
Seasonal Tactics:
Nymphing is the key this time of the year.  For this we like to fish long rods, indicators, and two flies.  The Rio Indicator leaders really help you cast these rigs.  The main go to nymphing sticks are the Sage ESN, Redington Hydrogen, TFO BVK and the new Pieroway Renegade 9'6" 5wt to name a few.  Tight line, High Stick, or Euro style tactics are also very productive. Grab a Euro Nymph and Euro Nymph line for that style or the Trout/Steelhead line for indicator/bobber fishing.  If you want to build your own leaders then add some Amnesia, Maxima Chameleon, Rio Two Tone Indicator tippet and a pack of tippet rings to your cart.  Don't forget the Fluorocarbon tippet also.

Flies to have right now are nymphs like Double Stones, Cranefly Larva, Guides Choice Hares Ear, Trophy Nymphs, Psycho Prince and your typical trout nymphs like the Prince, Copper John, and Hares Ear.  As we move further into winter conditions have some Phlamin Pheasants, Steelhead Candy, Formerly Known as Prince, and Shop Dips to name a few.

Streamer fishing into the winter will consist of timing flows that are on the fall.  This window is very small, but well worth the wait.  Without the crops in the fields look for the water to take a bit longer to clear out, but that just means a few more hours for us streamer junkies.  When the conditions hover around freezing ice in the guides is just something that we deal with.  Stanley's Ice off Paste helps along with tapping the grip of the rod to shake off the excess water. 

Rigs for streamer fishing consist of 6-8wts and a sink tip line.  Fill your fly boxes with a vast array of fly colors and designs.  Galloup's Dungeons, Bottoms Up, and Articulated Fatheads flies are a good start.  Also take a look at Kelly Galloup's book Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout to help you sort things out.  As always shoot us a call if you want a guided streamer trip.  We run these all winter and typically produce some of our biggest fish of the year. 

Adding some spey casts to your arsenal can help keep the ice in the guides to a minimum.  This is specifically helpful when nymphing.  The 9'6" 5wt or 10'6" 6wt Pieroway Renegade combined with the appropriate SA Anadro or Spey Lite Scandi are the top choices.  Also bring along your tenkara rods as this is a great option for the winter.  Combine these with the 4.5 Tenkara USA Level line and a yarn indicator if needed and your set.  
Forecast:  
Weather next week will bring us more below freezing temps.  As of right now everything looks like it will be hit or miss for decent weather.  Winter in Ohio means diversity and keeping your tactics flexible will be the best bet.  Continue with the nymph rig and focus on your black Double Stones, Copper Johns, and especially Wiggle Stones.  Make sure your rigs are fished close to the bottom with long slow drifts.  Having a dropper of a Squirmy Wormy, Purple Haze, or Shop Dip will be a good start.  If streamers are your game focus on flies with a jigging swimming motion close to structure.  The flies to have are Bottom Ups, Dungeons, Legals, and sculpin patterns.
  


Clearfork River


Clearfork Map


The upper river is currently high and off color.  If you are local keep an eye on the conditions as there will be some good streamer water later into the weekend and early next week.  Nymphing too will be a good choice as long as you know the river well and target undercuts and other structure.  If you are nymphing keep an eye out for Winter Stones.  These aquatic nymphs climb out on the banks to split their exoskeletons and emerge as adults. The nymph stage is the most productive pattern to match here.  The upper river is mostly private so make sure you are following all of the state’s regulations for obtaining access permission.  Just entering at the bridges like on the Mad does not make it okay. 

The lower river has also been producing.  A mixed bag is always possible down there.  This time of the year Saugeye have a tendency to stack up below the dams across the state.  Here they are gorging themselves on dead or crippled shad that pass through the dam.  Fishing shad streamers or the above nymph rigs have been producing. 
 
Seasonal Tactics:
Like on the Mad, nymphing is the key this time of the year.  For this we like to fish long rods, indicators, and two flies.  The Rio Indicator leaders really help you cast these rigs.  The main go to nymphing sticks are the Sage ESN, Redington Hydrogen, TFO BVK and the new Pieroway Renegade 9'6" 5wt to name a few.  Tight line, High Stick, or Euro style tactics are also very productive. Grab a Euro Nymph and Euro Nymph line for that style or the Trout/Steelhead line for indicator/bobber fishing.  If you want to build your own leaders then add some Amnesia, Maxima Chameleon, Rio Two Tone Indicator tippet and a pack of tippet rings to your cart.  Don't forget the Fluorocarbon tippet also.

Flies to have right now are nymphs like Double Stones, Cranefly Larva, Guides Choice Hares Ear, Trophy Nymphs, Psycho Prince and your typical trout nymphs like the Prince, Copper John, and Hares Ear.  As we move further into winter conditions have some Phlamin Pheasants, Steelhead Candy, Formerly Known as Prince, and Shop Dips to name a few.

Streamer fishing into the winter will consist of timing flows that are on the fall.  This window is very small, but well worth the wait.  Without the crops in the fields look for the water to take a bit longer to clear out, but that just means a few more hours for us streamer junkies.  When the conditions hover around freezing ice in the guides is just something that we deal with.  Stanley's Ice off Paste helps along with tapping the grip of the rod to shake off the excess water. 

Rigs for streamer fishing consist of 6-8wts and a sink tip line.  We have some of the new Kelly Galloup's AirFlo lines in the shop that will be perfect for this type of fishing.  These are what we have been waiting for a long time!  Fill your fly boxes with a vast array of fly colors and designs.  Galloup's Dungeons, Bottoms Up, and Articulated Fatheads flies are a good start.  Also take a look at Kelly Galloup's book Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout to help you sort things out.  As always shoot us a call if you want a guided streamer trip.  We run these all winter and typically produce some of our biggest fish of the year. 

Adding some spey casts to your arsenal can help keep the ice in the guides to a minimum.  This is specifically helpful when nymphing.  The 9'6" 5wt or 10'6" 6wt Pieroway Renegade combined with the appropriate SA Anadro or Spey Lite Scandi are the top choices.  Also bring along your tenkara rods as this is a great option for the winter.  Combine these with the 4.5 Tenkara USA Level line and a yarn indicator if needed and your set. 
 
Forecast: 
This weekend looks like a slight chance of rain that might keep the upper river high.  Check the flows and keep the lower as your backup plan.  Next week looks like the typical Ohio winter weather.  Keep some Ice off Paste on hand and your tactics diverse.  Look for the stream to be slushy as we get further into the week.


Clear Creek

Clear Creek Map


Flows are currently high and off color.  Before the big melt last weekend the fishing was decent with most fish being taken on the usual caddis nymphs and small Pheasant Tails.  We have not been able to get much access into the park with the weather. 
 
Seasonal Tactics:
Rigs for nymphing will consist of 3-5wt 9-10' + rods.  These rods provide great control, feel, and reach.  Although this creek is not very big a long rod allows for the best presentation and longer drifts.  Use a Rio Indicator Leader when float/bobber/indicator fishing or a Rio Euro Nymph leader when using Tightline tactics.  Streamer rods for this situation will be fast 4wts or 5-6wts.  An aggressive Scientific Anglers MPX, Wulff Ambush or Rio Grand a 9' leader and a weighted streamer will set you on the right path.  As for Tenkara we really like the TFO Cutthroat, Tenkara USA Rhodo, Amago or Iwana for this creek.  Match those rods with either the Level Line 3.5/2.5 or the Tapered Nylon leader by Tenkara USA and you are ready to go.  If you want to use a small yarn indicator then bump your line up to the 4.5 Level Line or a Furled Mono that matches the rod length or slightly longer. 

Flies to have going into winter will be nymphs like Double Stones, Cranefly Larva, Guides Choice Hares Ear, Trophy Nymphs, Psycho Prince and your typical trout nymphs like the Prince, Copper John, and Hares Ear.  Streamer fishing will require Mini Dungeons, Barely Legals, Wooly Buggers, Autumn Splendor, Clousers, Trick or Treats, Orange Blossoms, Cougars, Wooly Sculpins, Cactus Wooly, and Near Nuff Sculpin to name a few. 
Forecast: 
Looking into next week there will be a small window of ice free guides, but as long as we do not get too much rain the creek should be back to normal by early-week.  Focus on nymphing black Double Stones, Copper Johns, and Wiggle Stones as your main flies and either a Soft Hackle or Purple Haze as your dropper.  Keep a few caddis nymphs and Squirmy Wormy patterns on hand just as another options. 




Erie Steelhead

Gauge Links and Maps


The past few days have been the first good shots at open water and good conditions.  Those that have dropped everything and headed up have been finding some fish despite the muddy water.  Most people have been fishing bobbers/floats/indicators and egg patterns like Scrambled Eggs and Crystal Meth.  For those that prefer to swing they have found a few grabby fish, but until now most of the fresh fish have not been able to head upstream.
 
Seasonal Tactics:
You will want to be prepared for just about any situation this time of the year as the weather can change very quickly.  Ideal conditions for us are flows with stain that keeps the fish comfortably on the feed and move.  The typical Indicator rig for us is either an Air Lock or Thingamabobber float on a custom build leader tied to our 7-8wt Scientific Anglers Anadro or Rio Trout Steelhead line.  These lines offer you the best line control and short roll casting ease. 

Our go to rods are 10' single handers or a switch rod in the 6-8wt range.  On this rig we will usually fish tandem fly rigs of two eggs, an egg and a nymph or a Wooly Bugger and an egg. Actual patterns for this type of fishing will include various colors of Wooly Buggers, Glo Bugs, Crystal Meth and Scrambled Egg also in various colors, Bloody Mary nymphs, Steelhead Candy, Chicken Littles, Steelhead and Wiggle Stones.  Do not overlook having a box of Trout Beads and Daiichi X510s or Tiemco 105s especially for those low clear flows.  Tippet sizes will range from 0x-3x fluorocarbon. 

The typical rig for swinging flies will consist of a switch rod in the 10'6"-11'9" 6-8wt range.  The new Jerry French Pieroway Renegade rods are the big talk in the shop as they are effortless to cast and light weight making them a dream to fish all day.  We have a great assortment of rods in the shop to meet your specific needs so make sure to stop by or shoot us a call.  Matching your switch rod with the right line can be intimidating if you do not have the proper guidance so make sure to also give us a call for advice!  For swinging either a Skagit or Scandi line with a Rio or SA sink tip that meets your needs will get the job done.  Add a short piece of 12-20lb tippet and a Flow Ryder, A.I Intruder or others and you will be ready to find those "grabby" fish fresh out of the "Big Lake." 

As conditions hover around or below the freezing point learning some spey casts with mid to long belly lines keep the ice in the guides to a minimum.  These casts can be done with any fishing tactic not just swinging.  The most versatile lines for this are the Rio Switch and SA Anadro lines. Keep in mind that swinging flies can be done at any flow or condition, but a couple grabs will be a great day this time of the year. 

Forecast:
As we go into the weekend and even early next week look for great steelhead conditions.  There is some usual snow with mixed rain forecasted.  With the ice jams cleared out of the lower rivers fresh fish are able to head into the systems.  Keep an eye on the flows and air temps as things look like they might start getting slushy by mid-week.  If you head up north have a good supply of split shot, egg patterns in various colors, Crystal Buggers, and Wiggle Stones.  As long as you are prepared for some slush and icy guides you should be able to fish somewhere next week. 



We are continuing to book guide trips daily so make sure to contact us with a couple of your date options! We have a few tricks up our sleeve and are still getting folks into fish despite the tough conditions.


Click Here to check out the details and pricing on our Steelhead Alley Guide Service



Mad River Outfitters/Mad River Travel/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools

Fly Shop, Guides, Trips, Classes, Schools and more!

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214

614-451-0363

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Fly Tying- "The Peacock Punisher"



"The Peacock Punisher"

Over the years I have played around and fished with countless different fly designs for Peacock Bass. I have settled on this and only a few others. There are a few characteristics that I look for in a Peacock Bass fly. First and foremost it has to be durable. Flies that cannot hold up simply don’t have a place in my box...if you run out flies in the jungle you can’t take a ride to the local fly shop and buy more. Secondly a fly needs to be easily cast all day. You can count on putting in ten hour days on these trips and if your fly casts like a waterlogged chicken you simply will not be on your A game throughout the course of the day. Last but certainly not least is it has to have mojo. The more stimulating your fly is the more confident and engaged you will be on each and every cast. It is a lot harder to space out while fishing in one of the most humid climates on earth if you think your fly looks amazing, often times I catch myself talking out loud to the fly while fishing. 


Brian Flechsig is heading up our January trip to the Amazon. The group leaves tomorrow, January 11th, for what will most definitely be an awesome week of fishing. I am looking forward to the pictures and stories that will follow upon the group’s return!    

Pat Kelly- January 2018


“Peacock Punisher”- Recipe

Thread: 100 Denier GSP- Click Here
First Shank: Flymen Fishing Co. Articulated Fish Spine 25mm- Click Here
Second Shank: Flymen Fishing Co. Articulated Shank 20mm- Click Here
Hook: Gamakatsu SL12S 4/0- Click Here
Flash: Mirage Flashabou- Fl. Yellow- Click Here
Flash: Holographic Flashabou- Red- Click Here
Flash: UV Pearl Polar Chenille- Click Here
Eyes: Flymen Fishing Co. Living Eyes 10mm (color of choice)- Click Here
Articulation Point: Flymen Fishing Co. Articulated Shank 35mm- Click Here
Tail: Strung Rooster Saddles- Yellow- Click Here
Body: Yellow Bucktail, Red Bucktail- Click Here
Cement: Brushable Zap-A-Gap- Click Here
Epoxy: Loon UV Resin Thick- Click Here





1. Secure 25mm Fish Spine in vise and lay a foundation of thread from the eye all the way back to the bend. 





2. Tie in UV Polar Chenille- Pearl and wrap to the mid-way point of the shank.





3. Select four Rooster Saddles approximately 5inches in length and tie in on the near and far side then top and bottom of the shank. By tying these feathers in the round you should have 360 degree coverage of the shank. This will give you a nice round and full profile. 
*You may be asking yourself what the purpose of UV Polar Chenille is if your just going to cover it all up with the saddles…this material serves as a prop for the feathers, giving you a nice 3D shape. It also ensures maximum movement out of the feathers because they can not mat together when being stripped through the water.





       4. At this stage of the fly we will introduce our first hollow tie of Yellow Bucktail.  Try and     aim for about a 45 degree angle in your bucktail before completing this step.





       5. Cut full length piece of Mirage Flashabou- Fl. Yellow. Before tying in you will want to   pull a few strands so that the fibers vary in length. Tie in your flashabou so that approximately 60 percent of the total length is extending back toward the fly and the remaining 40 percent is extending out in front of the eye. Once that is in place fold the remaining 40 percent back over itself and secure. This will allow you to begin introducing taper and shape to your fly. 





6. Connect both shanks and secure into the vice. Just as in steps 1 and 2 secure UV Polar Chenille and wrap to the mid-way point and tie off. 





7. Tie in a bundle of Yellow Bucktail that is slightly more dense than the one on our first station on the previous shank. When executing this hollow tie you want the angle of the bucktail to be a little taller than on the first. Again by doing this we are forming taper and shape to the fly. When finished whip finish and cut thread. *Always be aware and thinking about the taper and shape of your fly throughout the entire tying process this will make for a fly that looks and swims more naturally.





8. Secure hook in vise and lay a foundation of thread from the eye back to just into the bend of the hook. Take the 35mm Articulated Shank and with a pair of side cutters remove the equivalent of about three eye widths from the shank. You want the shank to be roughly the same length as the shank of the Gamakatsu SL12S 4/0. Now once you are finished thread the back two sections onto the 35mm Articulated Shank and lay it along the side of the hook shank. Begin at the back of the hook with very tight side by side wraps all the way up to the eye. At this point I like to apply a coating of UV Resin along the shank. Once cured lay down a coat of Hard as Hull head cement. These two steps ensure that the articulation point cannot be ripped out or compromised in any way by the fish. 





9. Tie in UV Polar Chenille- pearl and wrap a 1/3 of the way up the hook shank and secure. 





10. Now you are ready for the last hollow tie of yellow bucktail. This time slightly more hair than the last. Next you will hollow tie two cones of red bucktail. Each cone consisting of slightly more hair and a slightly steeper angle than the previous tie. *You will notice that throughout the course of tying this pattern I have increased the amount or density of bucktail in each hollow tie as I move toward the front of the fly. By doing this I have constructed a fly that progressively becomes more dense toward the head. This is a very over looked and often not mentioned detail. By tying a fly that is significantly denser at the head it will create a greater diversion of water, one of the keys for getting a fly to dart and kick side to side or jack knifing on the pause.





11. To finish the fly we will fold a bundle of Holographic Flashabou- Red around your thread and secure on top of the hook shank. Take your thumb and distribute these fibers around the hook and secure. 





12. This step is completely optional. I like to finish the fly off with yellow tying thread for no other reason than to accent the yellow body of the fly. (Without this step fish will not eat your fly).




13. Take a pair of Flymen Fishing Co. Living eyes in 10mm and attach to each side of the head. Fill in the gaps between the eyes on top and bottom with a thick UV Resin. Finish by laying a nice even coat of the same UV resin all around the eyes ensuring they are completely covered up and protected. To remove the tacky finish left behind by the UV resin wipe down with some rubbing alcohol and then coat with Hard as Hull head cement.

So there you have it! If you find yourself chasing after Peacock Bass, this is a fly you NEED to have!


Watch the video!








Mad River Outfitters hosted trips to Brazil for Peacock Bass!

Unique floating cabin system and exclusive virgin waters!

January 12th- 19th, 2019 with host Ryan Ratliff

January 11th- 18th, 2020 with host Pat Kelly

CLICK HERE for details, pricing and photos





Mad River Outfitters/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools

Fly Shop, Fly Fishing Guides, Hosted Fly Fishing Travel, Schools, Classes and more!

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214

614-451-0363






Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018 Fly Fishing Film Tour


Thursday, March 8th 2018

Gateway Film Center
1550 N. High St.
Columbus, Ohio 43201

Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and show starts at 7:00

Tickets: $15.00 in the shop or online  (show will sell out so no plans to have at the venue)


Proceeds will go to benefit:



Click Here for more details and to purchase tickets


Mad River Outfitters/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools
813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214

614-451-0363



Saturday, December 30, 2017

Fly Tying- The Hollow Fly- "Sexy Shad"




Hollow Fly- "Sexy Shad"


Most who know me can attest to my obsession and addiction to Hollow Tying and Hollow Flies. The way a properly constructed hollow moves through the water is nothing less than seductive.  There is so much movement and life in the fly whether at rest or swimming through the water. We as fly tyers and fishermen owe a great debt of gratitude to Bob Popovics whose fertile mind spawned this and many other techniques that have changed the way most us approach fly tying. If you look at any Musky, Pike or Smallmouth fly created over the last decade chances are you will see Bob’s influence peeking through somewhere.
 

For those who are not familiar with hollow flies hopefully will walk away from this tutorial with a more open mind and will see the endless opportunities this technique can be used for regardless of what species you target. Hollow tying is also not limited by just using bucktail, it can be executed with countless other materials whether it be natural or synthetic.     

Pat Kelly - December 2017 


 

“The Sexy Shad” Hollow Fly- Recipe

Hook: Partridge Predator 2/0- Click Here
Thread: UTC 140- White- Click Here
Tail: White Bucktail- Click Here
Tail Flash Material: Lateral Scale- Click Here
Hollow Ties #1-3: White Bucktail- Click Here
Body Flash Material: EP Sparkle Holographic Silver- Click Here
Chocklett’s Body Tubing: ¼” Clear- Click Here
Hollow Tie #4: Fl. Yellow Bucktail- Click Here
Hollow Tie #5: Fl. Blue Bucktail- Click Here
Eyes: Pro Sport Fisher Tab Eye- 10mm or Pro Sport Fisher Pro Jungle Cock Large- Blue or Red- Click Here
(We'll add the PSF Tab Eyes here  once they are on the website)

Cement: Brushable Zap-A-Gap- Click Here




 
1. Secure hook in the vise. Lay a foundation of thread from the hook eye all the way back to just beyond the barb, then advance thread to just in front of the barb as this will be our initial tie in point.





2. Tie in your first bundle of white bucktail. This tail section should be approximately 3-4 times the length of your hook shank. After the hair has been cut off the hide hold the tips between your thumb and forefinger and preen out the shortest fibers and discard them. Once complete lay bucktail on top of half of the hook shank and secure with 3-4 locking wraps. *Be aware of how much hair isn’t used in the tail. Less is more anytime you are tying hollow fleye’s. If you think you have the right amount use half of that! 

 



3. Select a liberal amount of Lateral Scale and tie it in reverse so that the longest fibers are facing forward to the eye of the hook. 




Once secure fold the flash back on top of itself and distribute 180 degrees around the bucktail and finish with 3-4 locking wraps. Apply brushable Zap-A-Gap to thread wraps. When finished I like to cut my flash so that it extends about a ½” beyond the tail. 





 
4. At this point we are ready for our first hollow tie. Select a bundle of hair that is a little less than was used in the tail. Before tying in be sure to preen out the shortest fibers like we did with previous step. Take the time to measure this bundle of hair against the previous one before tying in. You want this section to be about 75% the length of the tail. Now with your material hand lay your bucktail in reverse on top of the hook and trap with three loose thread wraps. Before securing the hair you want to take your thumb and forefinger and distribute the hair evenly 360 degrees around the hook. 




Once the bucktail is evenly distributed pull tight on the thread locking the bucktail in place. 




Once secured you will want to pull the fibers backwards toward the rear of the fly and advance your thread in front of the bucktail and begin building your thread dam.


 


5. Continue building up your thread dam until you have achieved a fairly flat angle to your hair. That larger your thread dam the flatter the hair will want to lay. At this point in we do not need much height as we are still building the rear portion of the fly.

 



6. At this point in the pattern I like to add some flash to the body. My preferred material is EP Sparkle because it has good length, is very light and blends well into the bucktail. Take a generous clump and center tie it on top of the hook shank. Fold back over itself and distribute evenly around the fly. Finish off by applying a little brushable Zap to lock everything in place.
 




7. Now at this stage of the fly we will begin to build up the profile by starting to form the back and shoulders of the fly. Repeat the same process as we did in the last step. Only difference being in the angle of your bucktail. Make your thread dam a little smaller so that the bucktail wing sits up a little taller as seen in the picture above.
 




8. After this stage is complete I like to incorporate Chocklett’s Body Tubing so that the fly will push more water causing a much more dramatic side to side swimming motion. This stage is optional. I recommend tying this pattern both with and without this addition as the action is very different in each variation.
 


9.    From this point on we will be tying in two more hollow ties. First one being with Fl. Yellow Bucktail and the last one with Fl. Blue Bucktail. At this point you have a finished product.  

 



10. Once you are finished with the last two hollow ties you have the option of adding eyes. I prefer to use either Pro Sport Fisher Pro Jungle Cock Eyes in Large or the Pro Sport Fisher 3D Tab Eyes, which is what you see on the photo above. This is a new product and will be available for purchase in the store soon.  After you are finished tying in your eyes whip finish and add a coat of brushable Zap-A-Gap and let dry. I typically will run the fly under some hot water for about thirty seconds then hang upright in my vise to dry. This will tame all the stray hairs and allow the fly to take on that beautiful fusiform shape and taper.


I generally fish this fly on a 6-8wt rod with some sort of an intermediate or sinking tip fly line with a 3-6ft leader. Due to the buoyant properties of bucktail fishing this fly on a floating line just doesn’t do it justice. Now with the solstice behind us we are gaining daylight everyday and Smallmouth season will be here before you know it! Once water temps consistently hit the 45 degree mark fish will start taking flies regularly. Early season fishing will generally produce the biggest fish of the year so fill your box with some Hollow Fleye’s and be ready…won’t be long!       



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Ed. Note:

For those un-familiar, Pat Kelly strongly feels that these two books are two of the most influential of all-time in world of baitfish fly tying. He's a Bob Popovics "groupie".




Click Here to check out "Pop Fleyes"




Click Here to check out "Fleye Design"









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