Wednesday, August 28, 2013

BWCA Prep
 
Some related questions and discussion topics:
(1) Whitlock says go deer hair poppers, because bass hold on longer.  Holschlag says use dense foam, blockhead style.  Going both ways.  Would like your opinions.
(2) Clousers dominate.  I would like your thoughts on this fact. Do not disagree though.
(3) Compare/contrast Sally Hansen, Orvis head cement, epoxy, etc.  What is best for finishing clouser heads?
(4) Don't screw up the hook gaps on poppers.  I see commercial poppers with small hook gaps.  Pains me.
 
This will be shortest trip in history of BWCA paddling.  Monday-Thursday next week.  Gear is about ready.  Plenty of flies.
 



24 Comments:

Anonymous JRS said...

Nice looking bass flies. I know of a SMB guide who won't let you use deer hair bugs. Says the SMB take them too deep leading to high hooking mortality.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Wow. Interesting note there JRS. And fits with general suggestion that natural materials may be mouthed longer and/or swallowed more readily... ? Thanks.

Not something I have observed, but thus far I have used mostly foam. Years back I had a number of deer hair poppers and sliders/divers. They worked really well. I don't remember fish taking them really deep but it's a bit blurry by now.

4:33 PM  
Blogger voyageur pursuits said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:42 PM  
Blogger voyageur pursuits said...

Sorry, formatting issues forced me to re-post.

(1) I use deer hair when seeking nostalgia or when time (to tie) permits. I like to cast them with my grandpa’s Fenwick glass rod. I use foam because of cost and time (to tie) constraints. Have not personally noticed a difference in hook rate or depth -- if they want to eat it and are big enough to, you have a fair chance at hooking them. With this said, I err on the side of small foam so that it rides lower in the water and is less likely to be “waked” out of range of the fish. Even then, the big dogs suck rather than slash, so it doesn’t matter.

(2) Clousers do dominate and I have boxes of them. They also suck to cast and are arguably a bucktail jig. I bet you could fish them through the ice with good success. This reduces their appeal to me.

(3) I lose (and tie) Clousers fast enough that a durable head is not a major concern. For cementing thread wraps I use superglue. For deceivers, OTOH, that have nice holographic eyes, I use 2-part epoxy, or UV-cure goo if I have more money than time.

(4) Gamakatsu B10S. Also works well for Clousers and deceivers.

6:44 PM  
Blogger J and M Flies said...

In my opinion(1) and (4) go together. I am a big fan of both deer hair and hard foam poppers. For me personally I would fish either one of them. The wife and I own and operate J&M Flies where we specialize in hard foam poppers. Each has its own set of pros and cons I suppose. I would even throw in some cork to be a little old school. Great feeling throwing cork on glass rods kicking it old school. Regarding (4) Mustad makes two popper hooks the CK52S and the 33903. Apparently, they have decided to discontinue the CK52S. I do not like the 33903 for exactly the issue you mentioned. Take a look at the hook at some point. It has a much smaller hook gap. I don't understand it and refuse to use it.

It would appear that(2) and (3) also could be lumped together. I, like you, enjoy Clousers. I have had varying success on them. In fact I do better with them in lakes than I do in streams or rivers. I have never used Salley Hansen or other such products. I use super glue to keep the eyes on the Clousers and then we seal ours with the same gloss varnish we use on our poppers. I am still experimenting with this but so far the results are good. This varnish remains pliable and will bend some. It does not crack. I havent been sold on the CCG yet as I dont like how it remains sticky. Just me and this is just my two cents.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

A load of great notes and assertions. Thanks.

(1) I'm not overly adept with deer hair but it does provide significant enjoyment if you are afforded the time to work through it right. Nice canvas for creativity; really works of art. I've watched the guys at MWFF Expo realize abstract beauties with hollow hair from the belly of a deer. I too, like it; wish I did more with it; should.

(2) On the foam side of things - I do feel like there are times that a really good loud chug calls in fish. I think this is easier to execute with a foam, flat-faced popper. Especially in lakes, I've noticed over the years a pretty marked advantage at times provided by the clamor-call of poppers... they will catch fish in amongst the bait guys who are not covering as much water and not making as much noise. I saw one guy at the Expo who used a punched out disk of plastic to both (a) pack the hair while he was tying, and (b) provide that flat face on his deer hair poppers. I like that idea; will try it at some point.

(3)Good point on the clousers... "The original Clouser Deep Minnow evolved from traditional bucktail streamers and was created in 1987 by Bob Clouser, a Pennsylvania fly shop owner and guide. The original patterns were intended for smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna River. The name Clouser Deep Minnow was coined by Lefty Kreh, a noted Fly Fishing writer in a 1989 article in Fly Fisherman. Today, the Clouser Deep Minnow is widely used for many species of both fresh and saltwater game fish. Lefty Kreh claims to have caught over 87 species of game fish on Clouser Deep Minnow flies." - from Wikipedia.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

continued...

I screwed around with a lot of different patterns and line set ups in the BWCA. Sink tips, full sinking lines. In the end, the sucking factor was worse with the heavy lines, IMO. I don't mind casting the clousers. I sometimes use this hacker technique in which I let the fly hit the water once, maybe twice, water load, pick up and shoot all the remaining line. Maybe I've just gotten use to it.

And what other fly will get down as quickly? None of the fur stuff. I'm interested in thoughts/opinions re whether or not there may be other patterns for fishing 4-10 feet of water for SMB that are as effective as clousers (after the topwater action has closed).

Do you use standard, cheap superglue? Been meaning to look into that UV system.

Looks like I could get that B10S for approx twenty cents each. Good tip there; I haven't purchased for a long time; been riding the same stock for years; running out of popper hooks.

The Mustad hooks look good too; never used a kink shank. I note that the 33903 is a third of the price for a 100-pack.
http://www.jannsnetcraft.com/mustad-fly-tying-hooks/810334.aspx
Also note that it is stated above that the hook gap is too small. Curses, sins, curses. Don't do that.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

One other thing on "the sip" applied by bigger fish... took me back to a fish from 2009, my dad says biggest SMB he's seen in his 30 years in BWCA. I put it right around 21" which isn't world-epic but it was pretty damn big. Here is the text.

"Used the much-written-about approach of plopping, sitting, sitting, twitching, waiting, sitting. After a long spell of sitting, a mouth appeared at the water’s surface and sipped that popper. Much like a trout would sip a fly. Gently sipped it. I set the hook. Right now I distinctly remember wondering what size of fish had taken the popper. Kind of cool because on the crashing takes you get a glimpse at the outset. In this case though, no glance. "

11:25 PM  
Blogger Isaiah Miller said...

Like the blockheads they take a beating.

I've switched to finishing my flies with shoe goo or quick grip.

I've really done well with smallies on the St. Croix with bunny style flies and muddler stlye flies with rabbit strip wings in size 2 to 1/0.

Later, Ike

1:46 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Good note Ike; I will have to look into these various head-finishing approaches; including shoe goo.

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