Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fly of the Week: the Foam Hopper

With the dog days of Summer nearly upon us, I thought that it's only fitting to do a FotW on that Summer fly favorite, the foam hopper.

I found this video on YouTube that shows a foam hopper that is not only easy to tie, but also uses this cool little tool called a "Beaver Tail Foam cutter" that makes cutting the foam bodies almost remedial.

And if your interested in getting the foam cutter, down there it is on Amazon.

Tight lines!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Angling Across America

I think that it's safe to say that many people in the fly fishing world know of one Mr. Owl Jones and his escapades in fly fishing domination. Love him or hate him, you've heard of the SOB at least a few times.

Recently he's been planning a trip to fish cross country he's calling Angling Across America, which he's tying in with another trip to Montana on TU's dime (lucky bastard.)

But he needs our help. Fishing across the country ain't cheap or easy, so he's made a call out to anyone and everyone that can help, to do so. And while I think it is appropriate to feel blinding jealousy and rage (I mean seriously, who wouldn't love to spend a few weeks loafing about and trout bumming it up??? WITH TU paying for the very last leg of it!!! ) we can also live vicariously through him, and in order to do that we probably should help the guy out so that he can at least get there and milk it from TU.

So if your interested in finding out what he all needs, contact him at He's been working his tail off to get this ready so I'm not sure what all he needs, but even if it's a hollowed out log to crash in, I'm sure he'd be appreciative.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Natural Guides Fly Fishing App

I had such a good experience with the Freshwater Fly Fishing Tips from the Pros app that I wanted to see what other fly fishing apps are available for my iPad. I downloaded a bunch and will be reviewing them over the coming weeks. The first one that I wanted to review, mainly because it is such a small app is the Fly Fishing app by Natural Guides LLC.

As I had posted before, I won the FFFTP app in a contest by suggesting an app that would help to match the hatch. Well, the Fly Fishing app by Natural Guides stated that it shows the typical life cycle of the mostly widely known bugs (mayflys, caddis, stoneflies, etc) and says what flies would be a good imitation. That's almost spot on to what I had said. So I splurged the $0.99 and downloaded it.

Now I did look at the ratings and saw that people either loved it or hated it. The only written review is that it needed more flies. The app page stated that it only has 17 flies in the app so I already knew this.

When I opened it, the content opened in a screen that was the size of an iPhone. But you do have an option to make it larger for the iPad screen. A little annoying that it doesn't detect what I'm using, but OK.

Then I looked through the flies. With those 17 flies, you can theoretically fish almost every trout water in the country, just vary color and size. I also figured that it would give some generic suggestions for imitations, such as an elk hair caddis for an adult caddis, an Adam's for a mayfly adult, etc.

Yeah, not so much. I clicked on the Caddis fly (larva) tab. It opened to a window that tells me what kind of waters it is found in, (slow to fast moving) It describes the protective casing around the larva and that fish only feed on it when the casing comes off (interesting....) Suggests fishing after heavy rains and colors rang from white to green. (OK, good idea.) States that this fly can be fished all year long.

Now the clincher. What to use to match the hatch. "...match with a nymph patter."

A nymph pattern. A nymph pattern? Really, would never have guessed it...... And every other fly in this app is like that. Looking at an adult... match with a dry. And, to top it off, all of the pictures are illustrations. No nice clean pic of the caddis larva to help match it, you get a watercolor rendition of it. Same with the "suggested fly."

I can't even begin to describe the mixture of disappointment and humorous ridiculousness of it all.

I then decided to check a little deeper. The app was last update is June 15 2009. Kinda old in my opinion.

So what was my walk away? The app is cheap at $0.99, and if you have less than a year of fly fishing under your belt this might be a good resource for you in determining what flies to keep in your box, where to look and where to fish them. And it does come with a couple nuggets of gold that may make the price a minimal investment for even an semi-experienced angler.

But what really kills this for me is the lack or real life visuals of the bugs and the flies. Or hell, even actually naming a fly to go with. If I have to look up the name of an appropriate fly to fish a mayfly larva, I can look up all the other bits of info that this app presents just as easily.

So to call it, I say this app is a bust. Which is a shame because it has a lot of potential, the idea is good, it was just developed in a half ass way. Like I said, if your a noob then the $0.99 might be worth it to you, but once you can convincingly lie about how much you know about fly fishing, you've already moved past it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Must be Fly Friday

Got home today and lo and behold there was a small package waiting for me. I tear into it wondering what I bought now that I don't remember buying, and there is a nifty little box with some flies in it. I look at the return address and shake my head.....

And then it hit's me! I won flies a while back from OBN and hear they are in the, dubbing. It's a dozen+ flies from Montana Fly Co as well as a nice little Plano case.

There are some princes, some stones, some stimulators and two friggin sweet hopper patterns that I'm almost afraid to use they look so nice. And then there are some I'm really not sure what they are. Some types of emergers, a dry and what looks th be a G Gnat but has rubbery do-dads instead of hackle.

All are great quality and look like outstand (and creative) ties. I've never had a MFC fly in hand, but these are nice enough that I may be tempted to buy a few, which I never buy flies anymore. (Did I mention those hoppers are SWEET?)

The Plano case is nice, light, and small enough to fit in a back pocket. They sent 17 flies, but you could probably fit in two dozen before it starts getting cramped.

Between these flies and the one's from Brian Davis, I'm real tempted to through responsibility yo the wind and hit some water tonight. Hmmmm.......

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Fly of the Week and some Epic Failure

I have to apologize for being late with the fly of the week, but this week I wanted to try something different. I received a couple dozen flies from Brian Davis and thought that they were so stellar I would post them up as a fly of the week. I can't give out the recipes, but Brian said that if anyone is interested in buying some, they can contact him at and he'd hook them up. 

The flies are wonderfully tied and he gave a ton of color combo's. These look to me to have bass and panfish written all over them. 

Thanks again to Brian for the awesome flies. I'm already looking forward to giving them the old college try next week (sooner if I'm lucky.) If you haven't checked out his blog yet, you should. He has some great stories and a lot of fish porn over there. 

And here's the epic failure part..... I took a bunch of pics and thought that I'd put them in a nice little slideshow, using Flash. Well, apparently Blogger doesn't allow Flash files to be uploaded and to host it elsewhere slows down the whole process, so I'm just going to have to post a very boring series of pics. 

Wordpress is looking better and better......

Here you go. The flies are a lot better than my crappy pics suggest. I really need to break down and get a better camera. Or maybe clean my lens. Someday....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My top blogs, with a spin

A couple of bloggers have thrown out there top blogs in the past couple days, so I thought I'd add my .02 to this list. BUT........ I'm not going to mention any fly fishing blogs. And there's a reason for this, although probably a pretty lame one.

If you haven't noticed, I don't give shout outs to blogs. It's not that I don't read blogs; I have a follow list longer than my leg. And it's not that I'm a pompous jerk (well, maybe.....)

There is a lot of high quality content out there. I mean, top quality stuff. So to figure out who to mention...... I wouldn't know where to start. There's a lot of great blogs out there and I would hate to even look like I was placing one above another. So I will give this one shout out. Ready? "Look at my blog roll."

Those are the top of the top. I add people (and need to add more pronto) that do two things: have great content and update their blog regularly. I know of a lot more blogs, but they may only update every few weeks or so, so I haven't added them since they would never be on it anyway.

So take a minute and check the blog roll, and check it again every once in a while. Hopefully you'll find some good reads.

So for my blog list, I'm going to list some of my fav blogs that have pretty much nothing to do with fly fishing. I like to keep my interests varied, and these help me do it. So, in no particular order:

Lessons from a Sifu at Large- Sifu is the term for a teacher of the Chinese Martial Arts. I studied martial arts on and off for about 10 years, and his writings are insightful and entertaining.

Cappy and Pegody's World - This is a blog started by an older couple from Louisiana. I don't know why, but every time I read this blog, I get a smile on my face.

Flickr Blog - I'm not really sure what this one is, but I go here and nose through the photos. It's a blog on Flickr, but it looks like it's made up of a bunch of posts form various members..... kind of confusing but the photographs are stellar, so it get's a mention. Hopefully I'll figure it out and can pinpoint some of the posters, or something.

The Strength of Faith - I found this site via her husband, Bruce's blog. Sarah is an ordained minister, and this blog is just the whimsings (I think that's a word...) of her day to day as well as recipes, photography and I don't know what all. A lot of things. But it's all good.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Allen Xa rods are on their way

Allen Fly Company is finally done testing their rods and are getting to release them. First to be released is the all-purpose Xa.

According to their newsletter:

"Our rods are all finished testing and finally on the way! The Xa series will be the first to arrive in early August.

The Xa rod was specifically designed as an all purpose rod that outperforms anything else in its price range! The med-fast action is well suited to anything from fishing dry flies, streamers, and nymph setups.

The first run will include the following sizes:
Line Weight Model Sections
3 6'6" 3
3 7'6" 3
3 10' 4
4 8'6" 4
4 10' 4
5 8'6" 4
5 9' 4
5 10' 4
6 9' 4
Fighting butt models:
6 10' 4
7 9' 4
7 10' 4
8 9' 4
8 10' 4
9 9' 4

The retail price of this rod series will be $219. We are considering doing a pre-sale at $180 if there is enough interest. Contact Evan at with any questions about the rod series, or just to express your interest in any of these sizes to aid us in making enough. If you are interested in us offering a pre-order, send us those comments as well. Every bit of feedback helps!"

If their rods are on a par with their reels, I think we're all in for a real treat. And if they need someone to give one a test drive, it is my sworn duty to raise my hand and accept the challenge. In the name of science and all that.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Montana Fly Swag

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was part of a Focus Group for the Montana Fly Company. While we were blood sworn not to talk about the things that we were witness to, I can say that they are going to have some pretty cool offerings in the future, so keep an eye out.

The whole deal was run by Sammi from Outside Media, who did a great job of keeping everything on track and fun at the same time.

And as a thank you, MFC sent everyone some pretty cool swag. Everyone got different grab bags, since Tom from Dispatches from the Middle River, who was in my Focus Group, has some different items than what I have.

So I want to send out a big Thank You to Sammi, Outside Media, and MFC for letting me take part in the group as well as the cool goodies. Trust me, they will be well used.

The nippers have an eye spike on the bottom that I couldn't  get in the picture.

Plastic fly box with a river rock motif.

This bottle has the Elk Camo pattern. Someone from the group posted that they gave it a durability test and it passed with no dents or scuffs to the coating. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Call to all Fly Tiers

So I will have to admit, I'm starting to run out of ideas for the Fly of the Week. Coming up with a fly every week sounded like a great idea a year or so ago when I started this, but my mediocre skills can only go so far.

So I'm sending out a call to all the fly tiers out there and opening this up. Do you guys have some killer patterns that you don't mind sharing? If so, email me at flyfishinado(@) and send me a pic along with the pattern and I'll post it. Conversely, if you already have the pics and the recipe on your blog, I'll just put up a link to it.

I know I have some really talented tiers that (for some reason I really can't explain) read my ramblings on a regular basis, so I'm hoping that in the coming weeks we can showcase some great talent in fly tying.

Tight lines everyone, and thanks!

A little quiet lately...

I know it's been a little quiet lately around here. I've been busy with work, my last semester started this week and some other things that have been going on, so I took a little bit of a break from this here blog.

I plan on coming back full force starting this week, with some gear reviews, showing off some flies, and whatever else is sitting in that pile in the corner that holds all my "This would be great for the blog" things.

So stay tuned......

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fly of the Week: the Electric Minnow

I had found a streamer quite some time ago, and after re-finding it in my fishing vest, I sat down with it to play with the design. This streamer was little more than a hook with a wad of silver tinsel attached to it. After some thinking and a couple spins, I came up with the Electric Minnow.

the Electric Minnow
Hook: Size 8 nymph hook
Body: Gold Tinsel
Hackle: guinea hackle, attached via the pull-through method
Wing: holographic lite-bright.

Until next week... and I promise that fly with have 0% guinea hackle in it. Even I think it's getting ridiculous.

Tight lines.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Freshwater Flyfishing tips from the pro's iPad app: a review

I've spent the past weekend checking out the Freshwater Flyfishing Tips from the Pros app that I received from Howard over at Windknots and Tangled lines. I have to say, it's a nice little app.

The interface is very clean, but in a no frills kind of way, which makes it very easy to use. After the opening screen, there is a menu of vertical tabs that you scroll through. When you see a topic that strikes your fancy, you tap it. This opens up a sub screen which has the content of the subject. Also on many of the sub screens are galleries of some very beautiful photography or links to videos on YouTube demonstrating a technique.

I've viewed about half of the chapters so far, there has to be about 50 of them, and some of the subjects are geared toward the novice fly angler. But not all. The idea that the app presents to create sit bubbles around your nymph like a natural is worth the price of the app itself ($2.99 I believe.)

Other subjects touched on include picking rods, tipping guides and a few topics on kids and Flyfishing.

I will have to say that I wished that some of the videos were included in the app and not reliant on youtubes servers. I had a problem with my network this weekend and could read the content but not view the videos. My thinking is that if the videos were embedded then this app could become even more of a stream side companion.

Overall, I have to give this app a good ol' thumbs up. The content is short and sweet, there is info that will teach everyone something and the interface is pretty intuitive.

I'm also using another app BlogPress, to make this post. Supposedly this App links in with Blogger and let's me upload posts, albeit without any pics, which works for this posting. I would like to link to Howard's blog as well as the app, but I have no idea how I would do that. I'll just pop in later for that.

In the meantime, let's hope this works.......

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

National Fishing Week (or Get Your Brat Outta the House)

This week is National Fishing and Boating Week. It coincides with some states free fishing days and is a great excuse to get out. "Sorry hun, but I'm sure it's a national holiday..." Or you can do like I do and slip out before anyone else is up.

I wanted to take my daughters out this past weekend, but that didn't happen. So when I asked my youngest who's 3 (the older one's still being in school) if she wanted to go fishing, I wasn't expecting much. But not only did she say yes but she bugged me the entire time we were out doing errands.

We got back and I got everything ready. "Are you ready to go?"

"YEA!!" she yells, bursts out the screen door and is jumping up and down at the van before my second step. Now that's enthusiasm to make a Papa proud.

Friday, June 3, 2011

More things to do that I know what to do with

It appears that I have my work cut out for me. I downloaded the Freshwater Flyfishing Tips from the Pros app that I won from Windknots and Tangled lines, I have a couple dozen flies coming from Brian over at the Fishing Journal, and yesterday I received my Fishpond chest pack that I plan to review, along with a couple other products that I haven't done more than glance at.  And I want to take my kids fishing this weekend.

And yes, I know. I said I did not have an iPad or an iPod or any other iJunk. So how am I reviewing the app, you ask. Well, through serious pondering, zen-like meditation, praying and consulting the magic 8-ball, it became apparent that I was in dire need of an iPad. And by that I mean I wanted one.

It's more convenient for casual surfing the net (people still "surf the net", right???) I'm also a web designer, so having something that runs on iOS (the operating system of the iPhone and other what's-it's) is something very convenient to have.

I've had it about a week and, without getting all nerdy on you, it's pretty friggin sweet. The only thing that irritates me is that on the Blogger Dashboard, for some reason I can't scroll through my blogroll.

But anywho...... what was I talking about..... Oh, yea. Fishing.

So keep an eye open for a brief pause and then a flurry of activity here at Flyfishinado. So if you don't hear from me, have a good weekend, stay safe and cool (or wet or warm or whatever is your fancy) and I'll see ya next week.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fly of the Week: WBD

I almost didn't post this, thinking that today was Friday. Then I panicked a second thinking that I missed posting the FotW, then after about 30 seconds realized that today was indeed Wednesday. That's the kind of week it's been......