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OldredbarnJanuary 12th, 2010, 8:19 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608

Great post, mister! What a story...There is a stretch of the Au Sable where I fish partially because Ernie has mentioned fishing there himself way back when. He was something else! He always looked rather dapper astream with his Norwegian sweaters and a hat with some feather in it. His short story, "Portrait of the Pere Marquette" I can read and re-read over and over again.

Now I have a bit of a neurotic streak in me and I'm trying to forget that you mentioned wearing a tie while fishing. I'm like those old stereotypical French-Canadian goalies who always take to the ice in a particular order every game or have an odd routine just prior to the puck being dropped...If you are not careful you may end up hearing about some old dude in Michigan fishing in a Tux!

I know this isn't fishing related but thanks to Jon for letting me know about the Stooges and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...I didn't actually see them at Goose know what they say, "If you remeber the 60's you weren't actually there", but I saw them at the Michigan Theater in 73 or 74. It was the second to the last Stooges concert before they broke up...The last concert there at the same place is the show where some bikers nearly killed Iggy and that show and the one I was at became "Metallic KO"...

The second band, on the night I saw them, was a band no one had heard of...I remember saying, "Hey this guy thinks he's Jagger!"...Someone called Aerosmith...

Anyway! I saw them a couple yeas back on TV when Madonna was inducted to the Hall...Her special guests were Iggy and the Stooges...

Back to fishing. We had a guest tyer last night at class and he demonstrated a couple different techniques for tying extended bodies. We used a needle and some silicone to create one abdomen and then some "renzetti" tool to create another with foam. It was the first time I tried either of these methods and, though mine looked like crap on one and on the other my Gray Drake was more the length of a Hex, I thought the abdomen created with silicone and dubbing pretty natural looking.

Jon, I'll bet that the Huron smallies wouldn't pass up either of them...

In another post Jon asked me what I've been tying lately...I have been working on some nymphs lately...I just finished up on my 8th dozen...I'm very much a dry fly guy...well...a Match-the-Hatch type guy. I have tied some so-called "Micro Nymphs" and a whole series of sizes of beadhead PTN's...I seldom throw streamers at trout...Don't get me wrong, I've been around awhile, and I have chased trout with just about everything, but I prefer flies...bugs.

On these PTN's I've tied a bunch in sizes from #10-#18's and have varied the color of the abdomen based on the real bug...Does this matter? I don't know really and other than smacking them, the trout aren't talking. So, darker dyed pheasant tail fibers for say the large and small Mahoganies, a dyed dark olive tail fibers for my Baetis vagans and maybe P. adoptiva, and a tan/yellowish/natural color for the Sulphers or even the March Browns.

Now...On these micro ones they call for something called a "hot spot" which you guys have no-doubt heard of. So on the micro ones I've dicovered and absolutely love UTC's Gel Spun thread. Mark...I love your use of embrodery thread for some of the bodies of your soft-hackles, but if you haven't already used it...look in to this thread. It doesn't have the problems associated with silk floss...It seems to hold together better and not fray or get caught on a piece of dry skin on your hand or a hang-nail.

These "hot-spots" are either a tag under the tail of some bright color like red or orange, or maybe a bright color to finish the fly just behind the bead-head...Sort of a collar. So, back to the match the hatch deal...On my bead-head PTN's I tie the fly with regular thread, but add some of this Gel Spun as a collar when I finish the fly...

This Gel Spun comes in some beautiful colors...Their olive is a lighter version of what we normally think of as olive and it matches nicely, in my humble opinion, some of the early sulphers like say invaria and their related Ephemerella cousins just as they hatch or emerge...I add these collars to my PTN's, depending on what I'm expecting to see, nice yellows, olives, red or brown just as a finishing touch...So, pheasant tail abdomen and a little color between the peacock thorax and the bead.

Gel Spun is a bit difficult to cut with scissors and not fray it so I use a single edged razor blade...Be careful here! This stuff makes wonderful bodies on caddis pupae as well...Great colors! I don't want to give away the farm here, if there are really any secrets anymore, but think Hans van Klinken's Klinkhammer with a body of this stuff...Can you say Wunderbar!?

Take Care!

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
TilmanJanuary 12th, 2010, 11:21 am

Posts: 37
Hey Spence.

Sounds interesting. But to get the full picture, i need to have a look at it. If you have any idea of how to take a photo of this thing and send me the photo, iīll upload it for you if you want to share that or iīll keep it secret, if you donīt want it to get public.

The stuff i used on the klinkhamer is a clear silicone and iīm not very proud of my colouring job, to be honest, though i get a nice greens and shades of brown with my marker pens. There are some precoloured materials around of which i have tried just two: The pink and the yellow/green thingy ...

My fly boxes are almost full, i am about two make some of those shrimps now, i have about 8 matching hooks left.

And you have reminded me of the freshwater shrimp i have tied in size 18 to 14, they are quite a sight to see (with a brass head, no kidding (and antennae !), so i will upload a photo after i have made a snapshot. Iīll be back soon ...

Wunderbar, Spence !

"Live and Learn" - Mr. Spock
OldredbarnJanuary 12th, 2010, 12:16 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608

Google...Micro Nymphs. The first two choices ( & will put you in the neighborhood (Nachbarschaft)...Especially the first one.

Do you know of this thread I'm speaking about...the UTC Gel Spun? If you do and it's available over there think of using it to wrap the body instead of your regular tying thread. Maybe it's easier there to find Gossamer silk or something like that...

Also, think it is. On the upper left side of the page check out the Para-Hackle Emerger...I'm still looking for the stretch material listed there, but the local craft store is gone...It is a material girls use to string small beads on for a wrist band or necklace...The harder you pull on this material, within limits, the thinner or fatter you can made your bodies.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
TilmanJanuary 19th, 2010, 11:46 am

Posts: 37
Hey Spence. Now i know, what you are talking about.

I have some UTC Gel spun here. I have used that as ribbing, but have seen some fliesībodies done with that material, too. We have a shop here, that sells that stuff, too, even as a half circle format.

Here it is:

But i have just googled for Stretch magic and have found that itīs not only less expensive, but it seems to be quite different to the UTC Gel Spun. The UTC stuff is relatively hard and not very "stretchy".

Iīll put that stuff (Stretch magic)on my shopping list, to get some tomorrow, when iīm in the nearest town.

Very nice tip from you, there, Spence. It is very much appreciated.

"Live and Learn" - Mr. Spock
OldredbarnJanuary 19th, 2010, 1:49 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608

Guten Tag! oder Abend!

I just went on that site and under the thread section, the last one actually, it lists GSP Ultra Fine...What's this? Is it a finer version of the Gel Spun by Wapsi? Looks interesting...

I played hookie yesterday and went to a hockey game...Canadian Junior A the league that the NHL drafts from when the boys are 18. It was against the local Plymouth Whalers and the Windsor Spitfires from across the Detroit River from here. The Spits, as we call them, won it all last year...Well they have a German goalie...His name is Philipp Grubauer von Rosenheim...Ever heard? Ich denke dass, Rosenheim in Bayern ist.

Take Care...


PS I'm not sure if I ever told you this but my wife and I had two boys live with us years back and we are still very much in touch with them. The oldest is a doctor in Berlin now at the Charite' Clinic and is moving to Ulm by March 1st. He is originaly from Ravensberg bei die Bodensee...I proposed to my wife at Titisee in der Schwartzwald...We spent a month in Deutschland in 1987...Was back in 1996, and 2006...
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
TilmanJanuary 20th, 2010, 1:00 pm

Posts: 37
Hey Spencer.

Rosenheim ist in Bayern, das ist richtig.

Ulm is not too far away from here, i have already suggested myself a trip there, trout fishing. They have a beautiful little river called "Die Blau" ("The Blue") there.
(And yes Spencer, you wrote in a Personal Message, that you have proposed to your wife in germany)
If the weather is ok and the put and take pond is not frozen over, i will get myself three trout farm rainbows on Sunday. Itīs rather sad, i know, but itīs the only chance to practice a little bit, right now.

I try to get into an angling club in the next village, i have already written them. It doesnīt come very cheap, but i can go there after work for an hour, because itīs just 5 minutes from here, so in the long run it will be somewhat less expensive, than driveng the 20 miles to the other club water i fish.
If they donīt take me, then i am really thinking about moving. If i could get a job in Canada or even Alaska, iīd give it a go, i think.

By the way, itīs 2200 now, CET. A friend of mine is in Canada this year and i remember correctly, then it is 8 hours later over here.

Take care,

"Live and Learn" - Mr. Spock
OldredbarnJanuary 21st, 2010, 9:48 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608

It depends on where in Canada your friend is. I think it's about 6 or 7 hours difference, depending on daylight savings time, when I talk with my friends in Deutschland. Where in Canada is your friend? We are lucky, here in Detroit, because we are just across the Detroit River from Windsor Ontario Canada. I grew up watching Canadian TV...Especially Hockey Night in Canada.

The joke about the proposal to meine Frau was...If she didn't say yes she would of had to find her own way back to Detroit...Ha, ha! One of these days in a private message I'll tell you some things about our trips to Germany.

I know what you mean about the stocked pond. We have a program here near Detroit where they stock hatchery brood stock in to the Huron River and a pond. Folks are permitted to fish, catch & release, from April 1st to the last Saturday in April which is our Opening Day here in Michigan. They are supposed to fish "flies-only" during this special season and then the locals yank them out on Opening Day and can keep them.

I like to fish the pond as a warm-up and to get any rust out of my casting arm from the winter months. I like the pond because I never get a chance to fish in a still-water situation for trout. In years past they stocked some nice Bows in there and they were real cruisers and I floated in a float-tube or "belly-boat" some folks call them.

There is little food in the pond that early in the year, but midges. It gives me a chance to fish with really small flies to rising trout. In the years when it was really good you would get a wonderful evening rise to these small bugs. The Bows would be motoring around the lake just below the surface...Their dorsal fins sometimes out of the water sucking in midge pupae like pigs!

It was funny to me to see the guys casting "lures" from shore at these rings on the water..."Hardware" guys we say over here...The lure would hit the water, ploop!, and sink right passed these trout totally un-noticed. I would be out on the pond with flies size 18 and smaller catching one after another...I would turn my belly boat so the boys on shore could get a good look...sometimes through their binoculars...He, he! Am I bad or what?

They used to let the locals start fishing at 12:01 of Opening Day...A minute past midnight! One time I was on the pond toward evening and looked up to see what looked like Woodstock with people all around the pond waiting for midnight. They were all staring at me from shore, "That flyfisherman's caught another one..."

After it got too dark out to see anymore I headed to shore...They gathered around me at the beach and one oldtimer asked me what I was catching them on...I said, "Midges" and held up my rod so he could see the fly I was using in the hook keeper. He squinted at it perplexed and said, "I use corn."

The sad thing about all this is that these trout have spent their whole lives in a cement hatchery and their fins are worn away to almost nubs. I sometimes don't know how they stay upright or swim around with them in such bad shape. I sometimes think I hear them say to me, as I let them go, "Would you please just put me out of my misery?! Please!"

Oh well!


I over experiment on the pond because it gives me a chance to...Years ago my friend and I were probably the first around here to use the Klinkhammer...My fathers side of the family is Dutch and my friend thought it was funny I was using it...A size 16 all black Klinkhammer was/is all you really need on this pond. We used to subscribe to Trout & Salmon from England and spotted it there first so long ago it was before I was really tying my own flies...I was in the float tube and my friend was standing on shore...You could actually hear the trout take my Klinkhammer and off he went...Pop! I lost my fly in his jaw...My friend yelled at me from shore, "Spence! Look at the end of your tippet...I want to know if he broke you off or your shitty knot came undone!" The end looked like a pigs tail and i knew I had screwed up and lost a good fish...He asked me what I had been using and I said it was the last Klinkhammer he had given me...He yelled, "Come here!" I paddled over to shore..."Open your hand damn it!" He gave me a half-a-dozen more and said, "Damn it Spence...You lose those and I'm going to start charging you for them!"

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
TilmanJanuary 21st, 2010, 11:22 am

Posts: 37
Iīm glad you tell me that iīm not alone in going to those trout ponds once in a while.
What is fairly new to me is to wait until striking. And i will have to experiment with the small flies (#18) as well.
The trout ponds near my hometown are really small, no need for a belly boat.
I really canīt wait to get to a small river or bigger brook with a fair chance for a bigger trout, which is a real problem over here.

There is a trout pond in france, 20 miles from here, where there are trout in fair sizes ( 3lbs plus), which i will visit one day in spring. At least you can release them there, itīs a fly only water and only barbless hooks allowed.

My friend lives in Vancouver. She wrote me an email a week ago, in which she wrote, that itīs about 8 hour later, than here.

We have some really small brooks around here, about 4 to 8 yards across.

I have started fishing on the rhine river, which is the biggest river over here, so iīm used to a serious river, not a small brook.

I started flytying without thinking about fishing them, if you can imagine that. But now i have to think about some trips in spring and summer to some waters, where i can actually fish them.
"Live and Learn" - Mr. Spock
OldredbarnJanuary 21st, 2010, 1:43 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608

What you should look in to doing is planning a vacation to visit your friend in western Canada while she's still there! There is some real fishing to be had over that way.

There are some folks out there that just tie flies and never actually fish them. Fly tying is a craft and fun, but in my mind, if you never get near a river and actually look at the bugs, you may end up with flies that are just a bit too much and end up looking great to the tyer but not the fish.

That's one of the cool things about Jason's site here and what attracted me to it at first. The photos of the insects on this site are fantastic and I wish he would hurry up, finish his studies in Alaska, and get back to those bugs in Midwest streams...Selfish aren't I.

The wierd thing Tilman is that I have never writen anything on any web blog anywhere, but when it comes to fly fishing stuff, I just can't shut up...It's funny just how much we all share in common in this sport. You are in Germany for christsakes! What a wonderful thing, eh!

You can learn a great deal here about fly fishing on this side of the Atlantic on this site. The boys from Penn State, when they are not being silly (he,he!), are worth a is Mark (Softhackle)...He's a very helpful resource. I guess there could be a small problem here since we tilt to the "old-school" camp and may have "old-school" ideas on a sport that's really evolving and as Thomas Jefferson once said, "The future belongs to the next generation" and old farts like us will one day fade away.

I was one year old when Ernie Schwiebert released, "Matching the Hatch" in 1955, but I guess that's where my heads still at...I'm a bug tosser. I like to imitate bugs, for trout, for the most part. Small-mouth bass for me are different. I primarily chase trout and have only showed up on the rivers here in Michigan known for Steelhead or Salmon when they are not around. I fish the Pere Marquette and Little Manistee for their resident trout...I hate crowds! Big fish have a tendency to draw crowds...

Maybe one day you can visit the States and get a chance to enjoy the fishing here...New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho etc...We promise you would be as busy as you want to be...There are some very beautiful places over here where trout live...In my humble opinion there is hardly anything as beautiful as a Michigan native Brook trout in the fall wearings its spawning colors. The trees are in fall colors as well and there are large flocks of Canadian Geese flying south...Can't beat it!

Take Care!


"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
TilmanJanuary 21st, 2010, 2:11 pm

Posts: 37
Oh, iīm not thinking of you guys as old farts. For me, there is a lot of experience in you guys, on which i can flourish and build that up. Thatīs my way of developing my other fishing as well.
I do listen to you guys and i keep those things in mind for the time, when iīm at a loss on the river (pond, etc.) and then i take up the hint and try that. Thatīs why i never keep my ears shut, when someone wants to share their experience. I know that i know a lot of stuff, but you never can know everything. Itīs a bit different in carp-fishing, because you rarely see the fish around your bait. You can only wait and see.
Itīs a whole īnother ocean, really :D

But even with carp fishing, there is quite a lot of stuff to know about carp and fishing for them, which is true for trout, too. There is that preoccupation, for example, feeding patterns, etc. That translates and this makes it easier for me to get to know trout better and quicker, because i at least know a bunch of theoretical stuff which can help at times.

Fly tying in itself is a great hobby for me. It takes my mind off of winter, at least. I do something practical, with my hands and i think about fishing.

I sure wish i can come over to North America or Canada or even Alaska one day.
I have even looked into some rules and regulations for migrating to Alaska, which seems to be easiest (maybe there are few people who want to go there). I would "only" need a job there, at least for summer. I could go to Florida in winter (Tarpon Fishing ....... )

Good Night, guys.

"Live and Learn" - Mr. Spock
TilmanJanuary 23rd, 2010, 3:04 am

Posts: 37
I have taken some pictures of my flyboxes: These are the flies i have kept, i put aside quite a few, which werenīt good enough, but those will be given away to a colleague of mine, who hasnīt got the knack for tying and is happy to get some free flies.
"Live and Learn" - Mr. Spock
TilmanFebruary 17th, 2010, 3:20 am

Posts: 37
Hey Spence, i finally got my hands on one of these Magic Stretch bands.
I havenīt t(r)ied them yet but i will add a photo when i have.

And i have finally managed to make a few movies with a colleague of mine and we will upload a few more. These will help us improve our casting technique as well as we get a little practice for our future filming projects (carp fishing it will be)
"Live and Learn" - Mr. Spock
OldredbarnFebruary 17th, 2010, 11:54 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Hey Tilman! Is that you in the vid? Man you have the fly boxes! You may need to be careful with all those weighted flies and not fall over when you are wading...You won't be able to get back up! Might drown. He, he!

How's things in Deutschland these days? It's still cold here and I can't wait till spring. We have a big Fly Fishing Expo here in a few weeks and that is usually our marker that spring is on it's way. Some years it's still cold during the Expo and other times it's nice out...We will see here in a few weeks.

I have been tying up quite a few nymphs lately. I am planning on giving them more of a shot when I fish. With trout over the years I have been pretty much a dry fly guy or emergers (damp flies). So, I'm filling in the holes in my fly boxes with nymphs...I've been working on Hare's Ear Nymphs of late.

I'm what they used to call a "Match the Hatch" type of angler. As my late friend Rusty Gates used to say about me, "Spence tosses bugs! He's a bug tosser." I like imitating aquatic insects primarily...Over my lifetime I have pretty much tried everything, but I like tying for hatches I expect to run in to.

Now with the small mouth bass it's a little different. I still like matching hatches and fishing dry flies, but sometimes you have to tap a smallie on the nose to get his attention. One of these days I may get the camera out and show you some of my flies, but I'm a bit "old-school" and, for some reason, keep my fly boxes to myself.

I really like that Hans Weilenmann's Flytier's Page...I kind of look over what guys are doing out there and I have , like most other tyers, my own tastes. I look at some flies there and know I'll never use them, but there are some really interesting ideas there as well.

When I first started tying there was nothing like that out there. Now's there's YouTube with High-Def close-ups with step by step instructions. Even Hans van Klinken is a star out there in the virtual world. I first found out about him and his flies through a subscription to Trout and Salmon way back when.

I remember, though I can't place the year, when I was fishing one evening on the Mainstream of the Au Sable and just killing them on a size 16 Green-bodied Klinkhammer...There were egg laying caddis everywhere...

This guy came down to a small dock and was watching me as I came downstream. It was a guy by the name of Dick Probst and he owned a fly shop here in the state and was writing/working on a book about caddis with Carl Richards. I remember asking him if he'd ever heard of the Klinkhammer Special and he said no...I thought that was pretty cool since I was in on something one of the "pros" didn't know about...Now, thanks to the internet, there are very few "secrets"...

You may have heard of the saying by the American artist Andy Warhol that went something like, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." The internet appeals to this desire for "fame" and evidence of it is everywhere on the net. Just visit YouTube and marvel at the things the "great-ape" comes up with as entertainment!

In our fly tying community there are the "posers" and the real deal and unfortunately there is no one to discriminate between the two out here in hyper-space...I have seen some really wonderful stuff on the web and some guys I'd avoid.

I have hung with guys over the years who came up with some really innovative patterns only to find them the following year being sold or discribed in magazines or books under someone else's name with no credit to the originator. These guys are reluctant to pass anything on these days...And this was prior to the internet...

Anyway! I'm an old grump and no-doubt living somewhat in the past, but to me "knowledge" comes astream and doing the work and study it takes to work all this stuff out. That's part of the fun of it to me.

I heard some coach at the Olympics talking about guys who show up to try some winter sport somewhere and said they should be able to manage this hill because they were a level 10 on their gameboy or some other video game! Some guys tie as a craft or hobby and never actually fish their flies. All those years of snagging bugs and writing all that shit down in my journal was for naught...All I need to do now is dial in to Jason's web page and BAM! there's a close up of E dorothea...It's almost like cheating! I have even joked with Jason that I want him to get back here from Alaska and take some more photos of some of the bugs he's missed...

I guess I should of sent you a private email, but hey!!! I guess I'm still looking for my 15 minutes, hey!

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
TilmanFebruary 17th, 2010, 12:46 pm

Posts: 37
Weather is still below zero over here, but not very much. I hope it will thaw soon so i can get to the lake for a session of carp fishing (or even roach ...) It was the coldest winter since measured with a thermometer in Germany.

But we were fortunate compared to Russia. They had almost constantly a temperature of about 45°Celsius (below zero !!!)

Yes, thatīs me in the video. I will tell you when i have uploaded a few more (hopefully next week, if the weather permits it).
I hope to get some critique about my casting technique. I know that i have to work on it.

And yes, those are my flyboxes and the flies are all tied by me. (Donīt be too unforgiving, it is still only a year since i started tying - I have put quite a few hours into it, though)

As with so called "secrets" ... I have kept quite a few things to myself and normally choose only a few people which i let into them, but i am not very tight with the flies and fishing them, maybe because i am not very experienced and donīt have too many secrets to share (or not)

For me the internet is a lot of knowledge spread over an indescribable amount of space. I look things up in the internet which would be almost impossible to find in a book (and i would have to buy the book ... ((I DO read a lot, still, real books, that is) My colleague uploaded the little videos for me to see, so he did not have to give them to me. That is convenience nowadays ... Itīs an enormous tool. I can show you a video of me and we live approximately 8000 miles apart. I think that this is awesome, too, but i am quite used to that technology, although it is still quite young. I started using the internet in 94 or so ...

And even though the internet is fairly anonymous i still can see who is just telling tall stories and who is talking the truth (most of the times).

Enough said (for now) !

Ps: I thought it was Einstein who said that thing about the 15 minutes ... but i am not sure and donīt want to google it ;-)

About my "style" of presentation:

I donīt have a style (yet) and maybe if i have the opportunity to get to fish a natural water on a regular basis i will have to look more into natural imitations and matching the hatch.

I very much like Oliver Edwards flies and nymphs, but i donīt have to tie them all the time to get my kicks. Sometimes itīs as much fun to tie a simple thingy.
"Live and Learn" - Mr. Spock

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