Monday, August 29, 2011

Salmon Fly Hooks...or when is a 10 an 8?

With, as usual, too much time on my hands, I began looking at my boxes...and boxes...and boxes of up-eye salmon fly hooks.  I'm tying small shrimps particularly at the moment, in anticipation of my September trip to the Miramichi, and was struck by the variance in actual hook size among manufacturers for the same numbered hook.   I thought this little photo might be instructive to some as they cast about (great pun, eh?) for the appropriate size hook for the fly they're tying.  Tomorrow when I'm bored some more, I'll see  how the larger sizes compare among manufacturers and report back.  Click on the pic to get the big picture.

And when is a #7 a #4?

And finally, my stash of #3 through #2/0's.  New York State Salmon River fisherman might be happy to note that all of these hooks appear to fall within the one-half inch maximum hook gape for flies used on that river.  And again, the grid is 1/4" squares, and you can click, then click again, to supersize the pic:


Friday, August 26, 2011

Ready to Ship

For a customer in downstate New York, Gray Ghosts and Deep Green Beauties from #1 to #8 hooks.  Fun to tie, fun to ship, hopefully fun to fish!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Long & Short of It - Deep Green Beauty wingsets

Those little size 6 and 8's are tough to make up for my old beat up fingers!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Miramichi's Tributaries - Beautiful Pools, Beautiful Places

At the Miramichi Salmon Association's "IceBreaker" fundraiser back in May, 2011, friends Allan Wilson, Stan Hunter, Vin Swayze and I went together to purchase a sightseeing trip hosted by donors Debbie and Dale Norton, owners of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the banks of the Little Southwest Miramichi in Sillikers, New Brunswick.  On August 17, 2011, we took to the roads of Northeast New Brunswick with Dale to see spots on the Northwest, the Sevogle and the Little Southwest that even Vin, with nearly 70 years on the Miramichi, had not seen.

First stop on our way to look at some of the Northwest's finest crown reserve camps and pools was at Syd Matchett's Trout Brook Fly Shop.  Beautiful flies, incredibly well-equipped with fly tying materials.

Syd (plaid shirt) and Dale at the counter:

Stan, Allan and Vin (l. to r.) check out the vast fly selection:

Syd's Trout Brook Fly Shop is probably the most well-stocked small fly shop I've ever been in. 

Our first look at a Crown Reserve salmon camp was the Cruickshank Camp.  Beautiful looking water.  With my hip still in recovery phase, though, I didn't make the steep 62-step descent to the pool's edge.  Looked nice from high above though.

The best I could capture with the camera was the fast run between pools (Trust me, its a long way down to that water):

Next stop was the Square Fork Camp, where the north and the south branches of the Sevogle smash into each other (that's the only way to put it.  This is no gentle y-shaped meeting of river branches) to form the main Sevogle.  It's an incredible pool, with a privately-leased camp hard by it.  The branches and the main channel have really cut through some rock over the years!

 Where the branches meet (head-on):

The South Branch as it enters the pool:

         And the North Branch (I've got to get there some early July to watch salmon jump those falls!)

                                        A beautiful stretch of river farther up the North Branch:

Conservation efforts are never very hard to find near New Brunswick's salmon rivers:

Let it never be said the New Brunswick does not have long, straight dirt roads!

We made a quick stop along one of these roads when we spotted a young bull moose just off the road.  We backtracked quickly, but he was gone.   However, I learned of a custom among New Brunswick moose hunters - at least in this area - where, even though its crown land, hunters "mark" their territory for the coming season's hunt with homemade signs, hoping to keep the "other guys" out.  These fellows got it right; their sign is 10 yards from where the bull had been standing!

Clear cuts are easier to find than moose:

The Miramichi's watershed is a magnificent place.  My thanks to Debbie and Dale for their gracious hospitality, and especially to Dale for putting up with the four of us for an entire day!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Floss Flavors

Being kind of a fly tying material junkie (gross understatement, that), I've gotten a fair smattering of flosses over the years.  There's been a lot of traffic to my post about the differences you see in floss when it gets wet, based on what you underlay the floss with, so I thought it would be fun to look at the color variations among several floss suppliers.  I must admit to being partial to Gordon Griffiths floss for my salmon flies, although I use Uni's bright yellow for the Celtic Beauty.   I didn't photograph any Japanese silk or even Pearsall's stuff; I don't have any to speak of, and I only use Pearsall's on soft hackles.   Please note there's no color correction involved here, but the colors in the pics give you an idea of the basic differences in color and the pics are close up enough so you can get an idea of texture variations.  Gordon Griffiths is a 2-strand floss; I separate the strands when I'm tying the butts on salmon flies.

So, the colors (click on the pics to enlarge.  Two click makes a REAL big pic):


"Burnt" Oranges:

"Hot" Oranges:



Hot Greens:

If a spool just says FLOSS or has no label, it's Gordon Griffiths floss.  There's a microbraid or two thrown in, since they make a pretty flashy butt.  I also included a couple heavy threads, too; several friends wrap their butts with it, rather than floss.  I can't believe that I didn't take the opportunity to say that I know people that don't floss their butts!

And don't forget, if you can't find the shade you want, you can blend flosses for flies like the Cutty Sark:

Happy flossing!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Logo!

Well, since I haven't worked doing renovations but 10 days since October of 2010 due to first shoulder and then hip surgery, I figure I better sell some flies.  To that end, my new logo, thanks to my old friend and art director from my AMFF days, John Price.  Thanks, John!

A New Shrimp Pattern for Atlantic Salmon

The Beauty Series continues with this new shrimp pattern that I look forward to trying out on the Miramichi this September.  It shares the color scheme of my Deep Green Beauty and the Celtic Beauty, essentially a bright yellow body, a deep green tail, and claret hackling.  Those two flies were successful beyond my dreams, so this shrimp pattern seems a logical extension of the color concept (click on pic to enlarge, click again to fill your screen with fly):

TAG:                             Oval gold tinsel to suit hook size
RIB:                              Same as tag
BODY:                          Uni Bright Yellow floss
CENTER HACKLE:   Claret cock saddle
WING:                          Deep Green hair of your choice, a few wisps of Peacock Angel Hair
                                       and 2 strands of pearl midge flash
FRONT HACKLE:      Claret cock saddle
EYES:                           Jungle cock
HEAD:                          Black

For quick reference, here's the shrimp's antecedents:

The Deep Green Beauty:

which begat the Celtic Beauty:

which begat all these Beauties:

And just for good measure, lots o' shrimps, ready for September!