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Fox Teardrop Fly SBS

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Quick instructions, but note not all fur is equal, so you must adjust to the fur in hand.

Protube with a drop weight to push the fur up. I will also use a combination of bullet and drop weights.

tube fly sbs 1

This was a beautiful *long* sunburst fox from FoxyTails, and wanted to use its long length. The fur was well combed out.

On top is 3 strands of orange krystal flash, and there is a gap on the under side.

tube fly sbs 2

A short Fiery Orange with yellow tips is reverse tied in on top, with butts cut in taper.

tube fly sbs 3

I found this fur to short and thin, so I have added a “bottom”.

tube fly sbs 5

And then tied in reverse at top and bottom more fiery orange. I trimmed the butts, but I left a substantial bulk head to head form the shape.

tube fly sbs 6

Now, I begin to use saliva to shape and inspect the form.

** remember after each section, whip finish and cement.

tube fly sbs 7

Now, I am adding the finish deep red for the head, and again in a reverse tie.

tube fly sbs 8

To help, I am using small hair clips to hold the hair and fur back.

tube fly sbs 9

Help set the shape with saliva, and again whipfinish and cement the head.

tube fly sbs 10

Add in Amherst Center Tail. Use the trick to slide in multiple fibers under one wrap, and re-position to keep the head size small.

tube fly sbs 11

Again, shape, secure, whip-finish and cement.

tube fly sbs 12

Final finish – add Jungle-Cock, trim and cement.

tube fly sbs 13


Written by raspberryfisher

2019/11/30 at 05:07

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Tube Flies

Algoma Brook Trout

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I did some hiking this summer and searched for brook trout. I did find some willing beautiful brook trout, but no large “coasters”.

algoma 1 brook trout

The fly of choice turned out to be a yellow-orange size 16 and 18 stimulator.
algoma 2 stimulator

I did swing some larger flies in the river and at the river’s entrance to Lake Superior, but found noting,

It was moody, cool, but very enjoyable. I would add, these river beds were much more “slippery” than the rivers I have encounter before.
algoma 3 river

I also used the opportunity to work on my digital photography. One of which is migrating to “Lightroom”, which is a primary cause in my delaying in posting.
algoma 4 falls

.algoma 6 rapids

I do prefer cloudy and rainy days for most water and forest images, so as to reduce the contrast.

There were bright days, with my image below of the sun setting on Old Woman River.  I saw some reasonable Brook Trout in a pool under trees along a bank (to the left of this picture (not in the frame)), but could not set a cast or swing to entice them out.
algoma 7 river

And yes, I landed (and released) an Atlantic Salmon.
.algoma 8 salmon


Written by raspberryfisher

2019/11/25 at 23:16

Posted in Fly-Fishing

Home Made Wading Staffs

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For wading (fly fishing), a wading staff is a great tool for safety and secure wading in a river, including verifying how deep that clear water pocket is or getting out from that boulder. After years of use, I thought I would post my recommendations.

The BIG ONE recommendation – Homemade is Best

We have 3 home-made staffs

  1. Ski-Pole – Decade + old are two converted *used* ski poles.  Light, easy to move, et cetera, with one downside – it is noisy as it makes contact with rock and vibrates in very fast water.  The modifications were simple, but valuable:
    * Cork Handle – comfortable. I glued on discs (as used in making rod) and turn the handle to shape.
    * Added a round ball to the top, then apply several coats of epoxy.
    * Added a metal eye to secure a landyard and for Judy a retractor
    Judy’s goto and we have 2.
    Oh yes, is it too noisy – is a ping worst than a wader moving through the wader?  This is a question that I do not believe anybody really knows the answer for.
  2. Ash Staff – Using a spokeshave and block plane, I created a taper in a oval shape (think of canoe paddles) to fit, and added a 1″ diameter by 6″ long copper pipe at the base to help keep the staff down.  The bottom meter has a poly-urethane varnish.
    When the staff rests behind me in the water, the tip (bottom) is on the rocks and the top handle does float in the water. The handle does get wet, but the unprotected (no varnish) ash is much more secure to grip, than if I finished it; and thus, I suggested an unfinished top handle is best.
    Heavier than the modified ski pole, but still comfortable to move in the water and like a baseball bat, you can use it like a club (if I ever need to).
    This is my (David’s) goto.
  3. Garden Staff – Using a replacement wood garden tool pole (like for a quality rake) available from a “real” hardware store. I added 13″ of 1″ copper tubing, with a corded handle with varnish finish from handle to copper.
    It is heavy and suitable for fast water.
    The corded handle is important, as I needed (wanted) a thicker handle for a secure grip. The tag ends are whip finish under (cheap para-cord from Home D* did not allow for  nice compressed core); and then further secured with the use of epoxy in the bottom and top 3 wraps. The epoxy was applied to the wood and between the wraps; and NOT on top of the cord.

When I started out fashioning my own staff, there was not a lot of information on selection of wood (other than finding a piece in the wood in the forest) or how much copper to use, so I had too experiment.  If necessary, you could use Home D to locate a piece of maple or oak, but my recommendation is find a piece of douglas fir, cherry or ash at a local mill (or equivalent) and shave to preference.  A garden tool staff is also fine, but not as comfortable, but much faster to make!
I know douglas fir is an unuusal recommendation, but it is a nice hard “software”, with strength and flex, and suitable for a larger staff.  If you planning for a narrow and thin staff, goto to ash.  Cherry would be okay, as would maple and oak.
Use 6 (minimum light) to 12″ (maximum) of copper pipe.

Lanyards and Retractors

I am happy with just a landyard and will clip the staff to my waders or fishing bag. The lengths are such that the staff can rest in the water behind me, as I fish. I make the lanyards from good cord and clips (either from a good outdoors store and-or from a nautical store (not Home D*).

The Home D* cord is ok, but the lower cost (life and strength) is seen if you goto to the core.

Judy uses a retractor to keep her staff connect to the wading belt. From good experience (and failures of others), I do recommend the Gear Keeper 12-oz and do buy a couple of spare quick connects to change tinngs around.

Folding Staffs

Large staffs are not practical for air-transport, and a folding staff is better than no staff, so if we are fishing in a remote location, we have our folding staffs.
Does not feel as secure as our standard staff, but we have never experience a failure.
We have 2x folstaffs, one which I hacked to put on a GoPro, which was just as easy and good as buying the hard-to fine, harder-to-order folstaff with the pre-mounted 1/4 socket for cameras.
I got on board at Day 1, for the limited production of folding staffs that are posted in SpeyPages from Herikileez. With the thicker walls and joints (relative to folstaff), these staff are strong and the staff will not fold onto itself. They suffer from the usual feature that are associated quick deploy folding staffs – some wooble.
Other considerations – folstaff has the cork handle (I prefer this) with a spike tip. The tip with Herikileez is effectively an industrial rubber foot – which is quieter, but can get stuck in-between rocks.  In the “right” conditions, any tip will be good or bad, so there is no universal answer.

A closer look with more notes:


Above are the 3 homemade staffs, working from the left is the spokeshave ash staff, then the garden staff with the corded handle (the darken end reflects the absorption of the epoxy) and last is the ski-pole.

preferred staff_DSC6237

The three staffs, full view, from the light ski-pole (Judy’s preferred), to the heavy staff (13″ 1″ tube, but suggest keep to 12″maximum) for fast water and last, my preferred ash staff, with the oval shape.

The copper pipe is a tight fit and then secured with epoxy.

foldable staffs_DSC6241

Last the travel staff.s, with the Herikileez with the form handle and ribber tip and the folstaff with the cork handle, camera top and spike tip.


Written by raspberryfisher

2019/08/05 at 20:40

Posted in Fly-Fishing

Lights on the water

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Bonefishing or tomorrow night, when I am on my local river fishing into the night for Smallmouth Bass, Judy and I rely on lights.  With time, we have collected a few, all that have proven to be useful.


The essential – the headlamp – and in this case a small Petzel Headlamp, which is the goto to change flies, to unhook fish and walk the trail back to the car, when the sun has set and stars can be seen!  This light has serve used for more than 10 years!

While the headlamp is great for the task, it is not the best when cleaning up in the back of the car or boat, breaking down rods, changing out of the waders, et cetera. Serving us for nearly ten years is

The work lantern – The Black Diamond Orbit Lantern (also flashlight) used when Judy and-or I are cleaning up, setting up, breaking down, et cetera.

Noting having the years of use, but newly added to the list:

Always there and quickly available – with a small clip, the Fenix CL09 Lantern that is always there on the exterior of my pack. It is a white lantern, a colour signal lantern and strobe that is always clipped on and never forgotten.

And the latest addition and untested:

Paddleboard Signal Lantern – the green dog night collar that I leave with the paddleboard on the flats. You may remember where you left you board, but it is nice to have the assurance of a signal to draw you back to your board.

Waterproof – oops-proof light – In use for the past 2 years, in Judy’s boat bag is a Diver’s (Scuba) Waterproof Underwater Kinetics Mini-Q40. Durable, reliable and no fear it gets wet in the boat et cetera the divers light.


Too many lights? Maybe, but each light is used and serves us well.



Written by raspberryfisher

2019/06/20 at 06:11

Posted in Fly-Fishing

Crazy Charlies – Mangrove Close-Ups

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Finishing off the photo-essay on my Mangrove Crazy Charlies for the Bahamas (Exuma), here are some close-up.


Written by raspberryfisher

2019/06/14 at 02:41

Crazy Charlies for the Mangroves

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As previously note, for the Exumas (Bahamas) much of the water requires light colour flies, until you get into the mangroves.  I have added a few tan flies into my goto box. Yet, I notice my guide prefers simple flies with no legs, extended such as Gotchas and Crazy Charlies.

So I have taken my recently dyed calf-tails, and created a spectrum of flies of Crazy Charles for Garth to have available for his preference.

crazy charlies_DSC5656

to th Mangroves IMG_3674

Sidebar, I prefer to hunt for fish with Judy as a team, but I really do believe in guides. So we typically do 2 days guiding and 4 days DIY.


Written by raspberryfisher

2019/06/13 at 03:08

Flats Fiend – Update

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My goto flies for the Bahamas

And colour focus is

  • White and * light * sand for the flats
  • A tan, hopefully with a red tint, for fishing in the mangroves

And yes, I have more than this in my box, but these are the default flies.

Flats Fiend

I just completed updating my supply box, finishing off with the Flats Fiend – covering the spectrum of colour and weights (bead-chain to heavy eyes).

flats fiend_DSC5571

Starting from white ….

Polar Bear

A complex shape, with movement when idle and with fibers that sparkle (light up in the water). See close-ups at the end.

polar bear ff_DSC5579

Craft Fur

With substantial prep, combing and stacking, you can create a nice complex shape. Though, it is “flat”, when sitting idle in the water, and thus needs to be stripped when sighted by the fish.

Wapsi has some new colours, and I am interested in adding Camel Tan.

craft fur_DSC5590

Red Fox

A short dense and complex hair that is excellent when idle.

red fox_DSC5594

Fly Fur

fly fur_DSC5604

A nice artificial hair, but is best suited for large flies.

EP 3D Fibers – Sand – an experiment

ep 3D fibers_DSC5620

Leave judgment, until I fish and observe the fly in motion.  I added some polar hair along the sides.

The Close-Ups

Polar Bear

Please note polar bear length varies greatly, and some old skins have many broken tips, so it suitability depends on the quality of the skin.

I like keeping in some of the fur and the translucent nature is well illustrated below.

polar bear_DSC5631

Craft Fur

Unlike natural hair, there is no taper.  The illusion of taper comes with the mix of fine to course hairs, with some twists. As such, preparation is critical with a willingness to cut-dispose much of the hairs is critical for a good look.

Use a comb!

craft fur_DSC5628

Red Fox Tail

Complexity of tone, shape with hairs that spiral is what this hair a great natural cover.

red fox_DSC5626

Fly Fur

Longer, more uniform with a greater twist than Craft Fur

fly fur closeup_DSC5625

EP 3D Fibers

A “high twist” and translucent material makes this an interesting fly to experiment with.

ep fivers closeup_DSC5623



Written by raspberryfisher

2019/05/27 at 02:40