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> > "Tyer's Block"

FisherOfMenFebruary 26th, 2012, 10:26 am

Posts: 115
Hey guys I'm having a bit of "tyer's block". First off I don't know how to spell "tyer's".

I've gotten pretty decent at tying for being at it a few weeks, I guess. But now I'm trying to figure out what patterns to tie. I'm guessing I should go for a life-stage approach: I take the Hendrickson hatch, and tie several sizes of "H" nymphs, several sizes of "H" duns, and several "H" spinners. This will be fun, but I can't seem to get a simple answer as to what patterns to use. I research my hatch chart, and find that there are three different bugs with the same name, and many different patterns to use for each life stage and possible scenario.

Is there a website that lays this out in a very idiot-proof format? I haven't been slacking off in my research, but the more I research the more confused I get.

Could someone help me out and give me a list of their tried-and-true patterns? Here's some of the hatches in May I'm trying to cover:
Light Hendrickson
Dark Hendrickson
Quill Gordon
Grannom Caddis
Little Black Caddis
Tiny Blue Winged Olive

If you could point me in the right direction I'd be very grateful, just about a month until I need to start putting these flies into use!
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught." -Author Unknown

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke
Jmd123February 26th, 2012, 11:20 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
Hey man, throw a few attractors in there just for fun. I'm a big fan of the Wulff patterns myself. Also, got your Woolly Buggers together? They work well in spring too. Just my 2 cents...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
CaseyPFebruary 26th, 2012, 1:52 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
the more I research the more confused I get.

okay, deep breath...there are anglers who fish an Adams in three colors all season long and have good results! relax, tie up what you can manage, and enjoy the fishing. unless you're feeding your family, you're supposed to be getting away from pressure. when someone says, "You can..." they're not saying "You must..."

honestly, i only tie one nymph, a pheasant tail. i make it smaller and larger and some get dark scud-back wing cases. there's a Sparkle Dun that's simple: antron shuck, dubbed body, fine deer hair wing-ish thing stood up straight on the head end. spinners are not my forte--can't see them. anyone else? you can trim that deerhair thingy into spent wings if the body is sort of darkish. i've even had success fishing a trimmed parachute for a spinner.

for caddis...well usually i tie some simple elk-hair ones in different colors and sizes (esp. little dark ones) and add a few Red Asses (peacock herl with a red floss tag and a grey hackle.) you can really go to town with Peeking Caddis and all sorts of larvae; i just tie one cased larva made of pheasant tail fibers, a little bright green thread at the head end, and a black bead. size matters, i think--check this board!

and the magazine spells it Fly Tyer, so you're just right!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
JOHNWFebruary 26th, 2012, 3:16 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
I agree with Casey. Try to simplify as much as possible. For me it is parachutes or catskills for the first 3 hatches you listed ( only comparaduns if I can con someone to tie them for me) as well as the little BWO. That being said you could tie your adams in yellow, gray, and tan from #12-#20 and cover the entire mayfly season short of trico spinners.

For the Caddis a simple Elk Hair in varied size and shade as well as aCDC pattern tied the same as the elk hair.

All that being said I still manage to carry 7-8 boxes out on every trip.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
FisherOfMenFebruary 28th, 2012, 3:09 pm

Posts: 115
Ok, thanks guys. I guess I may have been getting a little carried away with worrying about a kazillion different patterns.
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught." -Author Unknown

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke
OldredbarnFebruary 28th, 2012, 4:30 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Ok, thanks guys. I guess I may have been getting a little carried away with worrying about a kazillion different patterns.

Not possible! ;)

All that being said I still manage to carry 7-8 boxes out on every trip.

John...We have been down this road before with me...:) If I have room I carry! :)

A while back I was emailing a tyer in Europe somewhere. He had this stonefly pattern I liked but there was a few things I asked him to explain. His english skills were next to nill and we went back and forth and it just kept getting worse. Finally he just sent me a jumbled message and a really nice picture of this woman fly fishing in a bikini...Her waders were down around her ankles and she was wearing a large/overpacked vest...I almost posted it here, but thought better of it, and I was going to tell everyone she was Spencer's Fly-Box Sherpa...:) It would of been a hoot!

Last night I was tying with a group of TU guys I've tied with since 1991...We are all pretty good friends and fish together when we can, but have made a point to tie together on Monday's for 10 weeks from Jan-early April...They know about my over-packed vest problem...The guy tying last night was showing us a couple woven fly patterns and he started the evening off with us all gathered around his table with the following remark, "I'm really reluctant to introduce yet another fly to Spence...This might be the one that finally tips him over for good..." :)

There are a couple new guys in the group this year and they are beginners...They kept interrupting him with questions...We don't normally have newbies around and everytime he answered them he was looking right at me for some reason..."There are some oldtimers here abouts that will inform you that there are 10 segments in what Spence calls the "ab-dough-men" and he could probably tell you exactly how many tails we should have here, but I've never met a trout that I thought could count. We are just adding some segmentation and strength to the fly here." :)

Once upon a time he and I were youngsters pretending to be trout-bums, now we both are gray-beards with a croutchty attitude...:)

He said to me last night that both he and I tie way more flies than we will ever use and that hasn't slowed us down one bit...He got in about 60 days of fishing last year which is good for a working man. I explained to the group that I have all these "experimental" flies that I've carried, for I don't know how long, just waiting for that once in a million moment where the situation calls for my experimental imitation...:)

My advice is quit worrying about it. If you enjoy tying you will tie. If you find yourself buried in flies start filling the boxes of your friends...If you are good at it they are probably hoping you will toss a few their way anyway. There used to be guys who would beg to peak in to my fly boxes just to see my mentors cast-offs...

"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
Jmd123February 28th, 2012, 6:08 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
I carry from two to an absolute maximum of four fly boxes, in an Orvis sling pack. And one of those fly boxes is full of bass poppers...

Guess I'm the "anti-Spence". I am thinking about unboxing the vise and materials though - spring isn't too far away, though these days I'm mostly fiddling with ice-fishing gear...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Pryal74February 29th, 2012, 1:46 am
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
What a great thread. I had/have the same problem. Filling boxes for the upcoming season I find myself re-reading the hatch charts and trying to fill my ten boxes the best I can to match.

It's just like CaseyP mentions... basic patterns work well. I used to ONLY use pheasant tail nymphs or hare's ears for nymphs and never had a problem getting takes.

I love the advice from everyone. Thanks for starting this post, you're helping more than just yourself =)
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing

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