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mannym

Winter go to smallie flies

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I am finally getting time on the fly bench. Wondering what everyone uses for winter time river smallies? 

I was going to start with the standard Clouser and meat whistle. 

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I've had luck with the foat-n-flies in Eric's post. Also, I have used the crappie candy fly tied on a jig hook similar to what Tom Loo's foxie is tied on. Use pull chain for the eyes at the 90 degree bend in the shank. Bend the hook eye slightly back toward the hook point and it will sit horizontally in the water under the float.

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Are we talking flies for "float and fly" fishing or flies to be cast with a fly rod?  Just curious, and I have nothing to add here since I'm a wuss sitting in my warm den with a cup of hot tea and tying flies for next summer.

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I have used the float-n-fly jig with fly and spin gear. For the fly rod I tie them on a less heavy jig. The crappie candy fly I have only used with a fly rod, but it should work fine with spin gear. I haven't fished other flies for bass in the winter months, only these two, and both have caught fish. Mostly in the winter I'm like Rob, in a cozy warm spot sipping coffee, tea, or hot cocoa.

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another option is to tie a balanced leech or minnow pattern  this is made for indicator fishing  phil rowling has several u tubes on tying and fishing them.    rich mc

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Although my goal is to catch on the fly, I expect to have a spin cast outfit handy for a float and fly rig.

Rich,  Yes, Indicator is a great idea. It is a similar presentation as the float and fly. 

 

I plan to hit the bench later today. I believe I have all the materials mentioned. Craft fur, jig hooks, pull chain eyes, etc. 

With any luck, I will have a few fly pictures to post this evening. 

Thanks Folks.   

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Manny,

You are right. This thread needs pictures. Here's one of the balance leeches that rich mentioned.

 

Balanced-Leech-2-For-Web.jpg

 

Here is a link to an article that shows how to use a straight pin to create that front extension/

http://www.flycraftangling.com/index.asp?p=145&szArticleButtonCommand=view&nArticleID=59

A while ago we had a similar discussion. From that one I recovered some of my pictures that were buried in mud by Photobucket. Bending a 90 deg jig hook back to form a 120 deg hook lets you tie one of Holschlag's Winter streamer. Eagle Claw Aberdeens are soft enough that you can bend the shank to the right angle. I used round nosed pliers to avoid a sharp bend that might break. 

25600608168_b809107be3_o.jpg

My "think out of the box" contribution to the discussion is the Wacky Fly. Here's a Hornberg Wacky.

39470573671_9b4c141053_o.jpg

 

 

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The Balanced Leech is well within my skillset It is on my list. I used my cabela's gift card to order more dubbing. I realized I only have four colors, none of which were black. To my order, I added:

 Mustad 3407 #4 hooks,

Umpqua U555 60 degree #6 jig hooks, 

 more beadheads, dumbell eyes, and a dubbing twister I long desired. 

 

And just like that, a $75 gift card was gone. 

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While waiting for Cabelas to ship my new materials, I gave it a shot using whatever I had at hand. 

I used: #8 jig hooks with either rabbit zonker or chenille for a body. Both had zonker tails. 

I didn't quite get them to land flat. But I see how easy it is to make the adjustment. 

I am going to try some minnow colors next. 

 

 

 

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This evening, I gave it another go. So far, none are perfectly horizontal. But I have been trying to avoid adding any more weight. Perhaps replacing the rabbit zonker body with dubbing will work for this size cone head. I may tie a few with Marabou to see how that goes. 

 

 

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Good start and good looking flies. Try hanging them in water to know for sure if they will stay horizontal. Some materials (e.i. Zonker strip) are buoyant in nature and will lift the tail up. 

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Have you ever heard the rule that for each 1 degree off of true horizontal that the hook shank is deflected, you reduce your chance of catching a fish by 10 per cent. I haven't either. By the time your float and fly is engaged in current and wave action, moments when your fly lies perfecttly horizontal will be rare indeed. Go fish.

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Thanks Tom.

Water helped, but not completely. Seems I am still a shade off. (Most people who know me, can confirm this, hehe)

I may try a few other patterns mentioned in this thread this evening. 

 

Hope everyone is staying warm. 

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1 minute ago, Mike G said:

Have you ever heard the rule that for each 1 degree off of true horizontal that the hook shank is deflected, you reduce your chance of catching a fish by 10 per cent. I haven't either. By the time your float and fly is engaged in current and wave action, moments when your fly lies perfecttly horizontal will be rare indeed. Go fish.

Now that is funny yet so true. I often ask myself if the art of fly tying is more for the guy at the bench than the fish. 

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In the spirit of my original comment, I can answer your question. "Neither." The purpose of the art of fly tying is to produce bugs that show well in the shop and fool fools like me into buying them. The guy at bench has to decide between tying scruffy things that fish eat and creating works of art that sell well anywhere in the country.

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A balanced Meat Whistle. 

 

20180105_130309.jpg

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The idea of a horizontal presentation is interesting.  This past November I spent a few days trout fishing with a friend of mine up north.  He is an excellent fisherman and kicked my booty in landing numbers of fish.  Where I used more standard fare such as scuds and nymphs, he used these small micro jigs that he tied up along with an indicator.  He feels the horizontal presentation offered by those size 12,  1/100 oz. micro jigs made all the difference.  I finally succumbed and started using a few that he had tied and lo and behold my catch rate increased.  Then it became only a challenge to see which color they preferred, and color did seem to make a distinct difference.  He swears by that same configuration for crappie as well and believe me, this fine fellow takes more than his share of those slabs.

Btw, l like that meat whistle 

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Rob, though I have a thing about throwing wets and streamers for southern Wisconsin trout, I have had some considerable luck with micro jigs under an indicator. The chubs like them too :D. My pref for streamers has nothing to do with numbers. Yellow seems to be a good bet for me. Was yellow working for you guys. I have somewhat limited experience with wild trout but for numbers the micro jig has produced fish.

Nice ties Manny! Are you planning on using these on some of the river pools near you if open water shows it's face?

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20 minutes ago, John Gillio said:

The chubs like them too :D. My pref for streamers has nothing to do with numbers. Yellow seems to be a good bet for me. Was yellow working for you guys. I have somewhat limited experience with wild

I should have known, Johnny G. the ole' Chub Master 

As to the favorite color, two really stood out and I shall take to the grave with me their identities.....errr that is unless you want to go up there with me sometime for a day or two  Ha 

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5 hours ago, Rob G said:

I should have known, Johnny G. the ole' Chub Master 

As to the favorite color, two really stood out and I shall take to the grave with me their identities.....errr that is unless you want to go up there with me sometime for a day or two  Ha 

That I would love to do.

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On 1/5/2018 at 5:05 PM, John Gillio said:

Rob, though I have a thing about throwing wets and streamers for southern Wisconsin trout, I have had some considerable luck with micro jigs under an indicator. The chubs like them too :D. My pref for streamers has nothing to do with numbers. Yellow seems to be a good bet for me. Was yellow working for you guys. I have somewhat limited experience with wild trout but for numbers the micro jig has produced fish.

Nice ties Manny! Are you planning on using these on some of the river pools near you if open water shows it's face?

Most definitely.I have 6-7 spots near me with deeper slack water. I also want to check that little stream across the big river. 

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Received my cabelas order and hit the bench right after dinner. 

I haven't dubbed much but happy with how it turned out. I.should ask a smallie for a second opinion. 

Hook- #6 60degree jig hook

Small brass bead 

6 wraps of .025 lead wire

Rabbit tail

Purple flash

Black ice dub

20180109_202115.jpg

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Right. Warm days for winter now. You should be field testing.
cleardot.gif

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