Monday, January 25, 2010

Still more Flies

As you can see, I've been busy NOT FISHING!

Here's some more flies I tied over the weekend. I don't even know what to call most of these, but I'm sure others have tied similar stuff before. If anyone knows of the true name for any of these, I'd like to least maybe I can title my fly pictures correctly:

Miscellaneous nymph...

Size 10 Clouser Deep Minnow tied with craft fur:
A "modified" Cap Spider (small glass beadhead instead of a jighead):

A small size 10 crayfish pattern of my own design:

A dubbed-bodied pheasant-tail nymph.

A fairly simple rubber-legged nymph:

...and a Mohair Leech:


  1. I dig that size 10 crayfish...that sucker would get the carp to eat on the Big C!!

  2. Hello, John!
    I posted the recipe on FAOL. Might not be easy to find, though. Let me know if you need it, I'd be happy to send it your way!

  3. Not sure if that first post made it through. I am a warmwater fly fisher from Des Moines. My website is I'd like to interest you in the rivers I fish. Also try shortnose gar in Red Rock and Roberts Creek Lake as well as Blue Heron (Raccoon River Regional Park off Grand in W. Des Moines) they are a good shallow water sight fishing species when summer stratification sends other species deep. Lots of info about them on my website. The river sections I fish are those that lie within the North American Midcontinent Rift. favorites include the Iowa river from Alden to Eldora, the West Fork of the Des Moines from Rutland to Humbolt, the Middle Raccoon from Panora to Redfeild and many more. The karst area in the northeast corner of the state is also good flywater. The main species are carp, smallmouth bass, pike, catfish and drum. Walleye and suckers are not out of the question as you advance toward the Zen master level. Rivers are a wilder experience not necessarily as productive, but well worth the extra effort, trust me. Smaller rivers and headwaters can often be waded, but mostly I use a kayak, a canoe could take the whole family and a couple tents. Much more info on my website. I would like to know more details about the grass carp you caught, if you don't mind post them here and I'll check back in a week or so.

  4. I managed to land 2 grass carp on fly gear this year. One was caught at night, the hook just on the outside of the mouth...did it hit, or was it foul-hooked?
    I hooked several other grass carp this year, but only managed to land just one other. I could see a small pod of grass carp near the surface of the pond. I was helping the daughter of a co-worker with her fly-casting, and she'd gotten a tangle. I untangled the line, and made a few casts over by the pod of grass carp, using an unweighted #8 boa yarn leech in sort of a greenish color. The fly landed about 18" in front of one of the visible fish, but that fish didn't react. Discouraged, I began slowly working the fly back to me. I saw the line start to move away from me, and set the hook. A grass carp that was slightly deeper (an not visible until the hookset) had grabbed it, and was hooked in the top lip. It was a long battle. These are SMART fish! It avoided being netted more than a dozen times, before we were finally able to slip the net under it and land it. That's the story.
    The one I landed at night was hooked on a yellow unweighted boa yarn leech, and I also have hooked them on tan-colored boa yarn leeches.
    So far, no takes on Sister Carol's Grass Carp Fly. The grass carp on one pond seem to love freshly mowed grass that gets thrown onto the water. So, I've tied up a couple of #6 flies that resembe a Gartside Gurgler, but I tie on a number of peacock herls to it that I hope looks like strands of grass. I haven't had a chance to try these flies yet...they might be difficult to cast due to their aerodynamics. We shall see!
    A friend that fly-fishes at the DMACC Pond off Grand Ave in WDM, says he has had grass carp follow white woolly buggers back to shore.

  5. amdiment...I'd like to hear more about catching gar on flies around here! Its been on my "list of things to do" the last couple of years. I've tried Gray's Lake about 3 times for gar, but haven't really seen any good enough to sight-fish them. I've only fished there in the late evenings...probably NOT the best time of day for it. Years ago I fished with spinning gear for gar at Blue Heron, and caught some. I need to get my kayak out there sometime.
    Have you tried any flies that supposedly tangle in their teeth?

  6. Thanks for the grass carp info, I'm going to try it this summer. I forgot to mention when the best times are for river fishing, winter and spring when they are either frozen or flooded rivers are unsafe, then in June and July a lot of tubers (Wooo-hooo-oo drunk, but otherwise friendly folks that drift down on inflatables) are out there so I fish the smaller headwater sections, lowhead dams, or lengthy sections that are avoided by tubers in early summer. Then in late summer through fall it's all yours. Gar are a lot of fun. Occasionally gar will suspend out over open water especially later in the year as hatchling shad begin leaving the shallows. But in Spring or early summer they will be in very shallow water - flooded grass and brush, ditches and atop shallow shoreline shelves. Keep moving until you see one cast and retrieve in front of it, set the hook as soon as it strikes. They will hit streamers, poppers, deerhair chuggers (not necessarily divers)etc. I don't use teeth tangling flies I suppose they would work fine up to the point where you have to untangle them from a pissed off gar with sharp teeth. This is the same reason why I remove the barbs from my gar flies and carry leather gloves. Either way, you are going to have lots of long distance releases, you can land about 1 out of every 3 that strike by tying the fly on a tube. Thread the tube on the tippet followed by a couple plastic beads then tie on a small treble hook (barbs pinched down) with a couple feathers or pinches of streamer hair tied to the shank so they run back between the points and form a short tail behind the fly. (an undressed treble will create a tailing loop and snag the tippet every time) Gray's lake can be tough because of its bowl shape there was a large fully melanistic one in there a few years ago. i drew a strike from it several times and lost it each time. Shallow swampy areas at Blue Heron are better especially with the sun high over head and no wind.

  7. Thanks for the tips! Yes, that far...east(?) end of Blue Heron is shallow, and gar used to like that area. I need to get out there again, its been years!

    Have you tried the DM around the "Power Plant" upriver from the 65 Bypass? I'd seen some smallish gar up there, I think. I've also wondered if fly-fishing for gar below Red Rock would be any good?

  8. Gar in current tend to hold very tight to logs, etc., they prefer off current backwaters, swamps and calm areas of lakes. So you will find the greatest numbers in these areas. At Red Rock, Robert's Creek, or Rathbun check the backs of sheltered bays and flooded trees and brush in the far upper ends. If you go to and click on "e-fishing" then choose "fly fishing for shortnose gar" or "low-mileage fly fishing adventures" it goes through the whole thing step-by-step with many images of the kinds of places to look for gar, how they use them, and how to fish them. The pictures tell more than you would care to read if I wrote it all down here. But they do turn up in low numbers in the lower sectons of many rivers. If you go through "Interactive warmwater fly casting situations" (again in the fishing section of my website) the gar and goldeye shown there come from the Thompson Fk. of the Grand, the Talmage Hill area and the slow moving runs just upstream from the park in Davis City. The water is low and clear by midsummer. Access ranges from poor to dangerous so the fishing pressure is low setting up a unique small river/aggressive fish kind of experience.

  9. I have checked out your website. You've got some great tips/observations there, and the pictures are great too. Love the stories of your experiences.

    I'm impressed with what you've caught on flies. I need to fish the rivers more. I've caught white bass on flies out of Saylorville and even one out of Easter Lake, but none out of the river yet.

    Have you had any success catching buffalo on flies? There's some good-sized ones below Saylorville (and other places too). I just haven't spent much time fly-fishing rivers yet. I have a lot to learn!