Sunday, December 30, 2012

Statistics and Blog Cross-Pollination

Check it out!

I'm fascinated by the statistics of this blog. It's very helpful for me to see what people search for and how they arrive here. Based on the number of page views, here are the top five individual* flies posted to this blog thus far:

1. Ghost Stonefly
2. Ally's Shrimp
3. H.M.'s Sunray Variant
4. Sugerman Shrimp
5. Ransome's Elver

*certain fly collections have more views

Of these five flies, #2-#4 have been very productive for me and have earned a permanent spot in my fly box. I first fished the Ghost Stone this season, but have yet to move a salmon with it. I have never fished Ransome's Elver and the one pictured is the only one I have ever tied. I probably would give it a shot if feathers from the Vulturine Guineafowl were more readily available.

While checking the stats this morning, I came across a site called, based in Lithuania. I noticed this blog is linked in one of their blog posts, so I clicked the link to check it out. Their post "The Heroes of Timan" (translated with help from Google) tells the story of their experience with the Sugerman Shrimp. It was a very good read! It seems like they had good luck with my favorite salmon fly. Besides that post, their whole website is a real treat. The photography is absolutely stunning and the flies are masterfully tied. I highly recommend visiting!

As always, please feel free to make requests directly to me. If possible, I'll try to help however I can. I've noticed some searches for Buck Bug how-to's, so I might try a step-by-step post or instructional video sometime in the future. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Temple Dogs and the Evolution of the Classic Atlantic Salmon Fly

The evolution of the classic salmon fly

Why I like fishing Temple Dog-style flies:

I.  The wings are incredibly soft and mobile. I tend to tie mine on the sparse side with relatively little flash. I think I get a lot more action out of the fly that way. Also, there is not a lot of material to get waterlogged and heavy (like bunny strips).

II.  These flies are hypnotic in the water. I am often transfixed by how they seem to flutter, dart and shimmer when swimming. I frequently find myself holding the fly in the current and watching how it moves.  How could a fish not be attracted to this?

III.  Big fly, small hook...sure beats using a fly tied on a size 2/0+ double.

Why I like tying Temple Dog-style flies:

     There is no better example of the classic Atlantic salmon fly's evolution than the Temple Dog style of tube flies. All the components of the classic salmon fly are present, only modernized in terms of both materials and construction.

     Instead of flat tinsels, we have braids. Instead of golden pheasant crest tails, we have Fluoro Fiber. Instead of seals fur or pigs wool, we have Ice Dub. The body construction is very similar to that of a classic salmon fly, however.

    The same goes for the wing. In my opinion, these flies are modern versions of the classic "built/mixed wing" salmon fly. Flash is tied within layers of a soft fur wing, then brushed to mix together. Material such as temple dog, finn raccoon and/or arctic fox have replaced stiff, lifeless (and expensive) feathers such as bustard and swan.

     There's a great trio album by jazz pianist Marcus Roberts called "Time and Circumstance." The track "Exploration" features drummer Jason Marsalis, one of my all time favorite soloists. In this particular solo, Marsalis plays a couple of classic New Orleans rhythms, then proceeds to rhythmically tweak them in a way that would make a traditional jazz musician's head spin. He has one foot in the past and one foot in the future. That's a combo which can't be beat. That's the Temple foot in the past and one foot in the future.