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EP Style Minnows


Tim A
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I've been having some fun lately tying up some minnow patterns with Congo Hair / EP 3D fibers. They're a simple tie, but I put a twist on the EP high tie (hi-tie) style. I do the tail normal and begin a few hi-ties on the shank, then I switch to Jonny King's V-style (a la Kinky Muddler) for the remainder of the head. This makes a more 3-dimensional head that adds realism and pushes more water. I also like to blend the fibers to make custom colors. Angel hair and flashabou for flash. Eyes attached with Goop and coated with HAN.

 

These are on Gami SC15 hooks, mostly size 1 with one pictured on a 1/0. All are roughly 3" in length.

 

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Hopefully I can post some pics with these hanging from some smallies' lips soon...

 

-Tim A

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"Hopefully I can post some pics with these hanging from some smallies' lips soon..."

-Tim A

 

 

That shouldn't take long with those lovely flies. Just beautiful. If we ever get that live video thing going on this fall, maybe you can do a tutorial on your technique. Would love to get my EP's or Congo Hair flies to look half that nice.

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wonderful ties can we get you to show us how at the isa fly show in november? rich mc

 

I don't see a show on the calendar. Did I miss something?

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I don't see a show on the calendar. Did I miss something?

 

 

Darn you Rich, didn't you know we were trying to keep this a double top secret gathering, but noooooooo, you had to go and let the cat out of the bag. Now everybody will know about it.

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Thanks for the positive feedback guys. I'm also curious about the fly tying show details. I'd be glad to demonstrate these flies there and/or in a video.

 

Joseph--the weight of the hook alone is perfect to both keel the fly as well as allow it to perfectly suspend a little below the surface in slight current, or slowly sink when given slack or in stillwater. The material is soft & these are tied sparse. Of course, it helps to dip the fly in the water first like one would with a marabou fly to waterlog it so it doesn't float. But it does dry out after a few false casts (a nice feature on larger sizes). Tom L has also influenced me lately to fish double rigs, so I'm fishing these behind a weighted craw pattern or clouser whih pulls it down easily. But they are also nice on an intermediate or sink tip since they "behave" nicely.

 

To help with keeling, I like to tie & trim the fly up at an angle (tail not perfectly parallel w/ hook shank), which puts more material above the shank. The SC15 hook has a deep bend which makes it great for keeling. How one trims/shapes the head can also affect keel & sink rate.

 

Went to Kankakee today for a little bit & tossed one of these around behind a brown craw pattern. Got 7 small fish in 3 hours, but only 1 took the minnow. Seems they wanted crayfish.

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Does the lack of big fish in recent smb reports indicate that the bigger fish have become more stressed by stream conditions this summer?

 

Ron,

I can't speak for others but I have caught a greater number of high quality fish over the last 4 weeks than in a very long time. I'm talking bluebird days, not a cloud in the sky at high noon in 98 degrees. Almost invariably they have been stacked up in the deeper holes with so many other fish that when they come out after my fly in pairs or more, they have to hit it because they know if they don't their buddy will, so there has been very little rushing up and then following behind, or mouthing the tail of my fly for greater ID. No, they've just been inhaling it. I did notice that the one fish I photographed the other day, a 19.5", though I had him out of the water less than 30 seconds to photograph, it seemed like it took longer than usual to get it to swim away so no more pics for me.......uhmmm...... unless it's a personal best. Ha

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  • 2 months later...

I will be tying these minnows and variants (depends how bored I get ;) ) at the Fly Tying Show on Saturday morning. [i just got some more material in different colors, too.] Just a heads up if you were curious about the pattern. I'll be the one taking scissors to what looks like cat puke and then gluing eyes on it.

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I really like the EP patterns; another neat one is the floating minnow, which has foam disks in the head portion. I fished these with a sink tip on my floating line and they worked really well on the smallies.

 

Excellent ties Tim!

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Thanks, Steve. I appreciate the positive feedback. I agree the floating version is great, and using them as a buoyant subsurface fly with a sink-tip is a cool trick I hadn't thought of. Maybe I will bring some foam with me to the show and spin up a floating version. Thanks for the idea.

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Thanks, Mike. Yea, Jonny's flies are sweet. He has been a lot of help in my fly tying (I have semi-frequent correspondence with him online). I know these are relatively simple ties, but it's more about the trimming to get the profile you want. There are benefits to using his v-style ("kinky") in this pattern over the original EP style, such as making fatter heads which not only push water but gives more action to the thin tail and can make the fly dart side-to-side when stripped. Jonny uses SF Blend for his flies, but I use his method with various synthetic materials.

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Phil, the short answer is "yes." I have tied this as a bendback (with bent and non-bent shanks), which keeps the overall weight the same, but the material is basically all on the hook-point side of the shank, so it rides hook point up. You could also incorporate any sort of weighted dumbbell eyes either within the head or out front like a jig. I will try to play around with this idea tonight when I tie a few up. If you are fishing down low around a lot of snags, find a cheaper but strong-wire bronze hook as it's not worth loosing the Gamakatsu's. For the bendback-style, you could use a thinner-wire hook to help it stay upright.

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Phil, the short answer is "yes." I have tied this as a bendback (with bent and non-bent shanks), which keeps the overall weight the same, but the material is basically all on the hook-point side of the shank, so it rides hook point up. You could also incorporate any sort of weighted dumbbell eyes either within the head or out front like a jig. I will try to play around with this idea tonight when I tie a few up. If you are fishing down low around a lot of snags, find a cheaper but strong-wire bronze hook as it's not worth loosing the Gamakatsu's. For the bendback-style, you could use a thinner-wire hook to help it stay upright.

 

My two cents:

 

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The work horse Mustad 3366 fills that bill. It is light enough to bend to shape with a needlenose and costs $5-6 per hundred. I will have some size 1s at the show.

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My two cents:

 

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The work horse Mustad 3366 fills that bill. It is light enough to bend to shape with a needlenose and costs $5-6 per hundred. I will have some size 1s at the show.

 

Correction. You need a round nosed pliers to bend these. The 90 deg. edge of a standard pliers creats a sharp bend that may snap. Bend slowly. Lefty sez most bend back hooks have too much bend.

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You're right Mike, round nose pliers work very well for that task. And in case you don't want to go out and buy a set for such limited use, the next time you're in an optical having your eyeglasses adjusted, take in a bunch of hooks and ask to use their round nosed pliers which are readily available and used throughout the day. Now if only I knew of an optical lab that would be so fisherman friendly, hmmmm. : ) I'll try and remember to bring a couple pair of those to one of our Fly Tying gatherings in case people want to bend up some bendbacks.

 

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Rob,

 

Excellent tool, box hinge and all. Hobby Lobby and Michael's have relatively inexpensive round nosepliers, combo pliers, and sets that include round nose pliers for $6.00 to $8.00. Though they lack German Engineering, they should do the job.

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Combo

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