Posts Tagged ‘flies’

20 Pounds Of Headsets Stapled To Our Chests

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011









Tinsel Flash – Marabou Action

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Oh yeah, there goes another packet of gold flashabou.  Pickerel: check.  Spring: pending.

All You Can Tie Materials Buffet

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Got a big order of Sucker Punch materials in the mail the other day…


As soon as I get done chasing birds I had better start tying!  There’ll be tailing fish in no time… February will be on us before we know it.  Not that you can’t catch em the rest of the year, but, by the time snipe season ends on February 14th I’ll be about ready to start the carp thing again.

Alligator Gar: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut?

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I went back to the site of Apex Trash.  I was hoping for another alligator gar– maybe even a bigger one.  When I got to the spot, there were gar rolling, and I couldn’t see them while they were near the surface long enough to be sure, but, I hoped they were all alligator gar.  After trying to hit them on the head mid-roll several times, I finally stuck one.  Well the fish was smaller than my first and I’ve already forgotten its weight, maybe 6 pounds.  As you can see looking down the barrel, it’s still got two rows of teeth and that made my day!


OK, two notches on the belt and I’m a PRO-GAR-MAN…  or something like that.  I kept firing off casts but the water was muddy so it was as much hope fishing as sight fishing.  I’d see a gar, flop a cast out, and hope I got the sink rate and direction right so I could guess how far to lead the gar so it would see the fly.  I hooked another fish but it turned out to be a 2 pound sandbass.  Not exactly what I was looking for. 

Back at the truck I ate lunch and broke out the travel fly tying kit– I needed something that would push LOTS of water, and on a sticky wire.  Hey, these tarpon hooks ought to do.


I knew by the time I got done lashing together every bit of feather and fur I had that the fly would want to float, so I gave it a serious dose of lead wraps hoping to counter the effect. 


There, that ought to do.  A Whistler with enough colors to clash like a tie dyed t-shirt.  The four or five chicken feathers up front ought to push a little water, too.  I just wished I’d thought to put a beer in my fly tying bench.


I tied a trio of these affronts to nature and put them in the fly dryer to air out the head cement while I cleaned up the bucktail and hackle clippings that had accumulated in my truck.


I fished another couple of hours.  It’s really a shame, I went fishin for gar– serious fish– and all I ended up catching with my fancy new flies was two pounds of green trash.


Bonefish Eat the Sucker Punch

Monday, August 3rd, 2009


¡Fabio, a la izquierda! I whispered not three minutes after we bailed off the panga so Pablo could pole the edge for Chad.  [Fabio, to the left!]

This was the first fish of the week, and it was almost too easy– the tailing pod of fish was roaming hungry and it was just a matter of quietly hurrying to cut them off.  A twitch on the Sucker Punch and the flat was burned.  Too bad the rest of the fish followed this little guy to the safety of deeper water.  We caught a lot of fish the rest of the week including this beauty that we could see coming from over a football field away in skinny water over white sand:


Yes, trash angler, bonefish do eat carp flies.  And you thought it was the other way around!

Circle of Life

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009


My father-in-law introduced me to wing shooting.  Since my own father didn’t hunt I never tried it when I was younger.  I have always been an outdoorsman, and always been surrounded by people that hunt but never thought I’d get involved in it.  A lot of  people that I took carp fishing would comment that stalking carp has a lot of parallels with the sport, so when my father-in-law invited me to walk with him during a Thanksgiving visit a few years ago I decided I’d at least go for the company.

That first walk we took behind his german shorthair was electric.  We never did flush a bird but when the dog pointed a meadowlark or got excited in the corn stalks I could feel the same excitement as spotting a tailing carp.  I signed on to that deal, immediately.  When I got back home I pestered him with questions over the phone and became the proud owner of a 20ga 870 Express.  It wasn’t a fancy shotgun, but, it went boom, and I prepared for my first hunting trip over the year by shooting some clays at the local gun range.

When the time came to return for a real hunt, I was pumped.  We hunted three days, and each experience added to the electricity.  The first day we raised a large covey of quail, and I shot one, all right, in my mind, but the safety I’d failed to disengage on the gun kept the bird safe.  My father-in-law asked “Why didn’t you shoot?”  Oh, I did, just a little problem with the trigger, that’s all. 

On the second day we flushed two hens early and when dad called out “hen!” I knew I wasn’t supposed to shoot but I was so confused: I thought only the roosters had the long tail.  I knew exactly what a pheasant tail looked like from fly tying, of course.  We drove on to an old honey hole of his and flushed a lot of birds, including about 6 or 7 roosters, but, they all flushed 70 or more yards in front of us or the dog.

Dad was a little frustrated with the weather, it was a little too warm and we were having a hard time getting close to a bird.  He wanted me to get some shots in at least, so we went slumming.  Anybody reading this who caught their first fish in life dead drifting a dry fly on a current seam with a cane rod can close their browser window at this point.  Since most of us caught our first fish under a bobber on a piece of worm, I’m not embarassed to say that I shot my first pheasant on a put-and-take preserve.

I hit three birds that day.  Dad and I shot almost simultaneously on the first two birds and both got a piece of them.  I was having a great time, and we were on our last pass knowing that there should be two more birds in the field unless they snuck off the edges while we weren’t looking.  The dog went on point and when the rooster flew dad’s gun jammed.  I shot and missed once, added some lead, missed again, swung way out in front of the bird and dropped it with the third shot.  It was a long shot by the time I connected and dad yelled out “yes!” and we high fived and went to retrieve my bird.

When I got back to Texas, I made the best meal I’ve ever cooked, pheasant breast with vanilla and pears.  The meal took 2 hours and 5 pans to cook and required two different sauces… a masterpiece.  A friend showed me how to preserve the skins for fly tying.  These two pictures are of carp flies I tied with the pheasant feathers. 

I have now caught carp on a fly tied from the feathers of a bird I’ve shot, tied to a home made leader, using a rod I built.  It’s a good feeling.  I haven’t yet eaten one of the carp from this little circle of life, but, I suppose there is always more time.


On the Catwalk

Thursday, June 4th, 2009



Zach is a fashion beast.  Oh, the fitover-style sunglasses are mine, to be sure– in case of polarization emergencies.  The baseball hat as well.  But only Zach can turn a borrowed hat and a spare t-shirt into serious flats stalking gear.

His fish was also sporting something from the Fall 2008 line:  the Carp Gagger fly.  It’s nothing much, really, and it did the trick.



Sucker Punch

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

The latest version of the Sucker Punch – The One True Carp Fly.



The new materials list is:


Rust thread.

Bead Chain Eyes – large (5/32″), black.

Centipede Legs – Montana Fly Company, Speckled Orange #801, size Mini #0.

Wapsi Life Cycle Peacock Dubbing, Crawdub Burnt Orange Dubbing.

Hot Orange Pheasant Rump.


Hooks are awfully personal, but, this one is tied on a #4 Mustad 3407 for bonefish*, skinny water reds, tailing black drum, and sheepshead.  For carp I usually use a #6 Mustad 3366.


Other color combinations I’m fishing are a shrimp pink (Softshell Crawdub, natural pheasant rump, and Speckled Tan legs) and a Texas Hill Country olive (Pale Olive Crawdub, olive pheasant rump, and Speckled Olive legs).




* ah, there I done did it… yeah, ok, so I might fish for a “gamefish” now and then.  But let’s be honest:  bonefish were thought of as trash for years, redfish are considered “saltwater carp” by many and I still sort of think of black drum and sheepshead as alternate species… if such a thing exists.