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Brad’s Brat – Time Machine Fly Box

November 18th, 2013 · No Comments

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Continuing on with flies inspired by John P Newbury’s Time Machine Fly Box, here’s the Brad’s Brat. Now, I just love the name of this fly alone. I’m not sure what I like to say more – Green Butt Skunk or Brad’s Brat. I suppose I like the way Brad’s Brat just rolls so well, while I like the looks none steelhead anglers give me when I say Green Butt Skunk.

Anyways. The Brad’s Brat is another year-round PacNW Steelhead favorite. Swing it. Any time. It’s another that also has more variations rivers it’s been fished on. From what I understand, the original has a yellow yarn butt section, followed by a red yard forward body section. Over the years, that yellow butt section has turned orange, but the fly remains very productive. Materials vary, of course, and I don’t reckon many tie the original wool yarn patterns much anymore (and I’m sure I’m wrong, I just don’t see it). The wing and tail are also made of two colors, White and Orange. I’ve seen plenty of variation here too–some say the white is on top in the tail, and under on the wing. Others say the opposite. What I do know, is that the fly has been around since 1937, and was created by Eli Bradner for the Stillaguamish River in Washington. It has seen, I’m sure, every other river in the PacNW in the last 75+ years.

Here’s are a few of my Brad’s Brat Examples:

Brads Brat
This is what I’d consider a fairly traditional variation of the Brad’s Brat. While I don’t have yarns to work with. I did use tightly dubbed yellow butt section, followed by a red peacock hurl forward section. The tail is a bit different with just red saddle hackle barbs. Yellow hen makes up the collar under the white and orange bucktail wing.

brads brat
Again, I’d call this a traditional style variation. Yellow and Orange hackles provide the tail, orange floss for the butt, followed by red floss for the body. Orange saddle hackle came again in the collar under the with and orange bucktail wing.

brads brat
This one I’m not even sure about. Yes, it has the yellow butt section again, then there’s the big red hackle tips hanging behind it. The body section is red floss again, but this time with a red saddle palmered (poorly) over that. Brown hen was then over wrapped as a collar, and the bucktail wing remains the same.

Brads Brat
This, I think, is one of the coolest Brad’s Brats. At least it’s the coolest of what I’ve tied. Yellow and orange saddle hackle barbs for the tail section. The butt is UV Ice Dub, in Orange. The red body section is Red UV Polar Chenille, which mimics a good soft hackle. The collar is mallard flank and it’s topped, again, with the same white and orange bucktail wing. I tossed in a couple pieces of Pearl Krystal Flash into the wing too.

brads brat
Finally, this is something different. Red is a color I don’t pick out for a lot of materials. What you’ve seen in the previous pics is representative of all the red-colored material that I have on hand. Except for red beads, which came in for this final Brads Brat. The tail is back to red saddle hackle barbs. The butt is, again, Orange UV Ice Dub. The body is made up of five glass beads. Under those glass beads is a layer of silver holographic flashabou to help lend some brightness. The collar is red saddle hackle, while the wing is made up of a pair of White and Blaze Orange Marabou feathers. All in all, I like where this variation is going, and when I get around to picking up more material, I’ll be playing with it some more.

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Tying up flies – Time Machine Fly Box

November 17th, 2013 · 1 Comment

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I haven’t been fishing near as much as I’d like. It’s not lost though. When I haven’t been fishing, I have been tying flies. I’m hopeful I’ll be spending much of winter on the Sandy, floating on the kayak, stopping to put the spey rod together and throwing around big giant intruders and whatnot.

The fly tying I’ve been doing, however, hasn’t been big winter steelhead flies. Instead I’ve been inspired by John P. Newbury’s “Time Machine Fly Box” project over at www.flyfishnw.com. He started with a list of 12 essential classic steelhead flies and I decided to do the same. Now, John is an experienced and talented fly tier. My flies will look nothing like his. He is pretty awesome, and I definitely suggest opening his website in a new tab if you haven’t already. Even if you don’t fly fish, you will be amazed by why he does. I’ve only been doing this a little bit. I also have the unemployed-stay-at-home-dad income to deal with, so I’ve been using materials on hand, and running out of plenty of things as I go.

Anyways. I figure I’ll start highlighting some of these as I go.

I’m going to start off with my favorite: The Green Butt Skunk. This fly is extremely popular, year round. It catches fish. The Green Butt Skunk was originated by Dan Callahan on the North Umpqua River, and has gone on to win over every other river in the PacNW. It even made mention on the 90s TV show Twin Peaks.

green butt skunk - wood duck
This is a fairly traditional variation of the Green Butt Skunk. It has a red hackle tail, green chenille butt, black UV ice dub body, black saddle and mallard flank collar, and finished with a white bucktail wing. Somehow I managed to forget the ribbing on my wet Skunks.

green butt skunk - zonker
This is much like the previous version, but probably better suited for winter use. The only differences is the absence of the mallard collar and I went with a white rabbit strip wing. I think it looks great.

I like the pattern so much, I even tied up a couple good skating flies for next summer

green butt skuddler - grizzly wing
The first variation was the Green Butt Skuddler. It combines the Green Butt Skunk with a Muddler Minnow style head. It has a tinsel tag, red hackle tail, green floss butt, black UV dubbed body, black saddle collar, grizzly hackle tip wings, and black muddler-style deer hair head. I think it’ll be killer.

Green Butt Waker - skate fly
This wake-style fly should really wake up some steelhead when skating. I used a black deer hair tail, green floss butt, black floss body with ribbing, then a spot of red deer hair followed by a head of black deer hair. I’m really excited to give this a go after the spring thaw.

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The End of Sturgeon

October 19th, 2013 · 2 Comments

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a few years, then you know about the plight of the sturgeon. If you haven’t here’s the short story: Sturgeon quota numbers have been reduced by 30% every year, for the last several years. Their numbers are still declining rapidly. ODFW and WDFW have finally decided to close the sturgeon fisheries for a number of years in hopes that the Sturgeon population in the Columbia system will rebound.

Today is that last day. It’s a beautiful day too (at least, it will be). But THOUSANDS of people will be on the Willamette today, hoping to catch what many consider “their last sturgeon.” They are angry with the fisheries department and have no clue what is going on. Among them are probably a few dozen kayak fishermen competing in what I’ve heard is “the last sturgeon tourney” which was cobbled together and announced just last Thursday.

I’m at home, will probably be here all day. I pretty much gave up sturgeon fishing a long time ago, only going out once with my father for the first time we’ve fished together in a long time. I cannot condone the masses thronging to the river just to put one last major dent into a fishery that is already been through so much loss. I cannot understand it.

People will still be able to fish sturgeon. The tournaments can continue. The sturgeon, however, have been spared the dinner table. All sturgeon will have to return to the water. But since these folks can’t comprehend the importance, the necessity, of a catch and release sturgeon fishery, they will persist and fish all day, to take that last fish to the feast. No matter the harm.

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Back in the Saddle

August 25th, 2013 · 2 Comments

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Yeah, I know things have been pretty quiet on the blog. Back in June I ran a whitewater section of the Sandy River. The flows were very low, <800cfm as opposed to the 1800cfm I would normally consider for good fishing. This put the rocks just under the surface of the water. Long story short, I ended up tumbling through one of the rapid sets and breaking my tailbone. That made for a tough day on the water, and even tougher last couple months as I worked on recovering. You never know what all your tailbone does until it is broken. [caption id="attachment_1695" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Good to get back on the water again Good to get back on the water again[/caption]

Yesterday I finally made it back out to do a little fishing. I set for the Willamette to do a lil bass fishing. I kept telling myself I just needed to get out to see how my tailbone feels and that I didn’t need to worry about fishing. Who am I to kid around like that. Of course fish was important. As it would turn out, the Oregon BASS organization had their Willamette fishing tourney going on this weekend. From what I heard from one of the competitors, fishing was better on Friday, and even he was having problems yesterday. No doubt these bass were seeing a whole lot more pressure than normal.

I didn’t walk away empty handed though. I did manage to pick up a couple average Willy bronzebacks.

Average smallmouth for the area

Average smallmouth for the area. Starting to pick up some weight too,

I think this is the first bass I caught this whole year. Also the first time I've been bass fishing this year

I think this is the first bass I caught this whole year. Also the first time I’ve been bass fishing this year

It was good to get out and fish again, and spend some time on the kayak. In the end, my tailbone was really only able to tolerate about 4 hours on the kayak . Hey, it’s a start. I’m feeling it today too. Going to take awhile to get back into the swing of things, but it’ll happen soon.

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▶ 2013 Jackson Kayak Big Tuna Walkthrough – YouTube

August 19th, 2013 · No Comments

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▶ 2013 Jackson Kayak Big Tuna Walkthrough – YouTube.

from TheFishWisperer.ca

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