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Rob G

Outside Inside

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What's happening outside today:

 

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What's happening inside today, a simple variation on the Slumpbuster, rabbit tied on top of shank Matuka style, shank rapped in pearl braid, and of course some white schlapen on the front for movement and because I've got a bunch. Nice minnow like profile and I'm sure will entice.

 

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Nice. Simple with good materials. It will work fast or dead still. Thanks for the flies for the Blowout,BTW. They will defintely catch fish & a few bucks for the event.

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Not a problem John, did you see the couple of hellgrammites that I sent you. We don't really see those down this way but I tied up a few for a friend up north and we cleaned up on those.

 

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Nice flies. See you've been playing with some bendback hooks also.

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I like the hellgies too. Did you just tie a bugger then trim it ?

 

John,

I did not use chenille for the body but rather I tightly dubbed the bodies, but.... chenille would work quite well. Also rather than using longer saddle hackle or schlappen to palmer the body as I would normally for a bugger, I used stiffer dry fly hackle which gave me the look I desired and then yea, gave the top and sides of the hellgie a trim and finished with turkey biots for those pinchers. Like I mentioned before, we don't see a lot Dobson flies down this way but up in northern WI, we dead drifted these bad boys and they caught a ton of smallies for us.

 

Oh, and Tom, these were standard 3 or 4 xl long hooks that I simple placed a bend in them using optical conical pliers in order to give them a more natural swimming like appearance, homemade bend back hooks you might say.

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Rob, what size hook did you use on the hellgrammites. They are fairly common in the Vermilion. I may give your pattern a try. I have only fished hellgrammite patterns a few times, having luck catching a few channel cats. I know the real thing works great for smallies and cats. Drifting a hellgrammite pattern through some of the deeper holes may just help me pull a bruiser out of it's lair.

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John,

I know they say the Hellgies can be found over 3" in length but the couple we found were smaller than that up there so I tied them on a size 4, 4xl streamer hook, likely a Mustad or Daiichi, what ever I had available. I weighted some of them with lead wire and others I did not weight and used a small split shot (which I HATE to cast). A lot of the time when we were dead drifting I did use a strike indicator which helped. Some feel if you don't weight the fly itself, it will more likely bobble along with the current more naturally like the real creature? I also tied them in a dark olive body with a darker black thorax and head. I'll see if I can find one of those, because they looked "cooler" but didn't fish any better than the all black.

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Thanks Rob. Those I've seen in the river have run 2"-3" in length. Many times when you disturb them they ball up and roll downstream. I haven't looked for them for some years now, but in the Vermilion I remember them as being the colors you described.

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Haven't had a chance to use the white version pictured above but I can now state for sure that the all black version of bunny and schlappen will do the job nicely in stained water. Caught 4 decent greenies this evening after work in the last 45 minutes before dark and this was the queen. Amazing what a simple 3 1/2" strip of rabbit can do in the water. Tryin' to keep up with Johnny G., which is impossible btw :)

 

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No John, these were from a strip pit lake around here. They warm up more quickly than the rivers and interestingly, greenies from our local rivers won't end up with a belly like this one and the colors and markings are much more subdued, a yucky mild olive at best with only a trace of the lateral line visible.

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I just wanted to mention that I've been playing around with some of the newer Micro cut rabbit zonker strips. The strips are cut thinner than the standard 1/8" and the backing hide also seems thinner which should lend itself to a more supple fly which might increase movement. They come in many of the usual colors and some barred variations are available as well called Micro Pulsator strips as shown below. Anyway, I think this could improve some of our bass flies, and I'll probably leave the standard wider strips for when tying for pike. If you have any experience with this scaled down version, would like to know what you think.

 

 

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Hey Johnnie G, just to let you know I haven't gone away entirely : )

No 20" but a solid 19" fell to Mr. Whitey above. Just about the time I'm getting a chance to get back out, we get 2" of rain yesterday. Oh well, the day started out slow but got much better as the hours wore on and the canoe hatch dried up. Btw, the state cancelled the contract with the local canoe outfitter so those hatches might be a thing of the past for a while.

 

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Hey Rob, that's a very nice smallie. Is it from one of the small streams on our side of the line, or is it from across the border? Nice to hear the fly is working well. I'll have to pick up some micro cut zonker strips and give them a try. Funny about those hatches, since the bridge is out there are fewer of them here too even though the water keeps jumping up. I get in a couple days every couple weeks just before it jumps again. I think I've only had four smallmouth outings all year. Once was a skunk. The others produced well but not much of size. That smallie of yours looks very healthy. He surely isn't missing the hatches. Hopefully the river will drop with the traffic and you can get after them with that new leach of yours and fish uninterrupted.

 

Nice to here you had a safe trip. When you left here with the bicycle group you got the attention of a local radio talk show host. A caller must have talked to some participants that had stopped at Casey's in Tonica. He said they were a friendly bunch, and the radio host reminded people throughout his morning show to drive safely and keep an eye out for cyclists. He was in awe of the miles you put on in a day.

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She's from a fork of the Vermilion River, IL side, won't say which of the three forks though, a girl's got to keep a few secrets : ) Only my third time out for smallies, my other two were pretty much busts. Landed about 20, one maybe 16", a few 14-15"ers and several small smallies. Started slowly but fished all day, darn near perfect conditions though breezy at times making it difficult to cast. It's a shame that the canoe outfitter is losing his contract after 13 years but selfishly, I won't miss having to share the waters as much. There will still be plenty of traffic with so many kayaks having been sold, darn, I wish Benjamin would never have gone into plastics. ha

 

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