Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Few Bucktail Jigs Tied Up For the Jig Boxes

As you all know, from my wooly bugger jig post, my jig box is a bit low on jigs.  As a result I've been spending a bit of time tying jigs for the fall bite. By fall bite I mean the smallmouth and walleye bite on the local rivers. As well I'm tying for white bass fishing on one of the area lakes. To start I'm painting my jig heads in two tones: chartreuse and white, pink and white, blue and white, yellow and brown. These colors have produced for me in the past so I want to build up the colors that I know will produce before I start being creative.

The pink/white and chartreuse/white color combos have both been very good white bass, striped bass and hybrid bass patterns in the past.  As a result I'm tying those patterns up in jig sizes ranging from 1/16 oz to 3/8 oz. The chartreuse and white color combination has also been a very good river smallmouth pattern as well, depending on the water clarity.  Both color patterns will be used for vertical jigging for white bass and hopefully a few walleye this fall on a couple of the nearby lakes.

As for the other three colors shown in the picture above they're general patterns that will catch anything swimming.  However the yellow and brown pattern works exceptionally well for smallmouth and walleye.  In fact the yellow and brown is probably the most effective pattern for multispecies angling I've tied. I've caught everything on that color patter from perch to pike and can't wait to get break it out for the fall bite.

Thanks for reading everyone and tight lines! Below are a few more pictures of the bucktail jigs I tied up last night.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Even My Job is Eager For Bow Season

Every now and then I go for walk around my job just to get away from my desk for a few minutes. My walk abouts usually include me perusing the kitchens on other floors just to see who has the better snacks. However today I went to a floor that I rarely go to, the camping themed floor, and to my surprise when I get to the kitchen I see this.  A beautiful fathead of a perfectly symmetrical ten point buck.  It's official, my job is ready for hunting season and it has infected me with buck fever.

I'll be grabbing this fathead for the mancave pretty soon because this one is too good to pass up. Hopefully I'll bag a deer this year that will be worthy of a custom fathead to go next to this one.

Thanks for reading and good luck out there this fall.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Daddy Daughter Time

Today has been a day spending with my family.  Some time wrestling with my son, chatting with my wife and watching television with my daughter.  While all of this has been quite enjoyable for me, the most enjoyable part of the day was when my daughter proclaimed that she was "bored".  To which I replied, "Do you want to paint some jigs with me?"   Which drew a smile and a nod from my little girl. To be honest I dont know who was happier to paint the jigs, she or I.  But I believe I won in the department of happiness as I love the fact that she's eager to learn and particpate in fly and jig tying with me.

With smiles she and I went to the task of painting about 12 walleye head jigs.  The first set was painted in two tones of olive green and black.  While the second group of walleye head jigs were in tones of yellow with brown.  Once finished my little girl was satisfied and ready to tie some bucktails.  However that lesson will come another time as tonight is reserved for dinner and some more family time.

Thanks for reading and tight lines everyone.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Tying a Bunny Bucktail Jig for the First Time

Lately I've been really taking some time to experiment and practice tying hair jigs.  I've been tying with different materials as well as different combinations of materials to see which give the best action and realism.  The bunny bucktail is one I tied for the first time this week and I'll definitely be tying more as well as putting together a tutorial post for you all.  So above is the first 1/4 oz bunny bucktail jig I've tied.

If you have any suggestions on color patterns you'd like to see in this patter please let me know.  Tight lines and thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Tied Up A Few Wooly Bugger Jigs For My Jig Box

I took a look in my tackle bag today so could do some organizing and cleaning.  However when I looked in it, I found that quite a few of my tackle boxes were unorganized and junky.  Not only that, but my jig box was looking quite empty at the moment. In fact I was completely out of wooly bugger jigs. Mostly because I had given several away when I was last out chasing smallmouth through the rocky shallows of a local river. As well the two I had left were attached to spinners making modified beetle spins.

So, I took to tying up a few bugger jigs in brown,  black and white. I ended up with four of each color in the box when done.  Which all will workout great for me when I'm out on some of the smaller rivers and streams around here.  The brown jigs will make great imitations of smaller crayfish.  The black jigs will imitate young crayfish as well as hellgrammites, which I still haven't come up with a better pattern for.  As for the white bugger jigs, I often attach those to single spinner blades making them into modified beetle spins.  These modified beetle spins do great for any minnow eating fish like bass, crappy and whtie bass.
In the coming days I'll be tying a few more colors and sharing them with you all.  So stay tuned and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Matching the Hatch: Wooly Bugger

Due to the simplicity and ease of use, the wooly bugger is probably the first fly every beginner learns to tie.    The wooly bugger is one of those flies that catches all fish, from bluegill to striped bass.  The bugger is also one of the most  versatile fly, for a variety of reasons.

Wooly buggers can be tied in a wide variety of sizes. I've tied them on hooks as small as #10 all the way up to 2/0 worm hooks.  Smaller sized buggers catch crappie and bluegill, while  larger ones are used for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and trout.

Wooly buggers can be any color you choose. They can be vibrant and fun colors such as orange, pink, or yellow. They can also be typical colors such as brown, green, or black.  No matter the color choice, there will be a fish willing to bite. I tend to use black and yellow in ponds and lakes near me as it's common to find leeches that have yellow stripes in this area.  As well for crappie buggers in sizes 6 to 10 tied with pink /green, green / white and all white work great.  If you're looking to match cinderworms in salt water tie them as large as possible, jointed with a pink chenille body, pink hackle and a shiny black dubbed head. (when the cinder worm hatch is taking place you'll need very little weight as the striper and any other game fish will be gorging on cinderworms higher in the water column.)

Another unique thing about tying wooly buggers is the ability to weight each fly differently. For a uniform fall, you can use lead wire or lead tape wrapped around the hook shank (the amount of lead is based on the rate of fall you want). For a jigging type of action, you can use barbell eyes tied just behind the hook eye or you can  choose not to weight the wooly buggers and fish the bugger close to the surface. However, if you opt to fish the buggers weightless, make sure to dip the bait in water before casting because weightless wooly buggers won't break the surface film of water on the first cast. You can also use sink tip or full sinking fly line when fishing wooly buggers, so you can get the bait to the desired depth.

Depending on what forage species you're trying to copy, you can can add eyes to wooly buggers. Gluing on 3d eyes or doll eyes, then using epoxy to create a head is a great option for mimicking bait fish. Another good option, that doesn't require the know how and mess of epoxying on eyes, is to use a product like Fish-Skull fish masks to add eyes to buggers.You can also add eyes by tying in barbell eyes or bead chain eyes, as mentioned above.

Matching the Hatch: Below is a list of the forage species that wooly buggers imitate.

Sculpins / gobies
Photo Credit: Roughfish

Photo Credit: Ispotnature

Photo Credit: Deapauw

Photo Credit: Whatsthatbug

Cinder Worms
Photo Credit: Capawock

1. Place hook in vice

2 Wrap the lead wire around the hook leaving room for the head and tail areas. (Remember the amount of lead you use determines the sink rate of the bait.)

3. Measure a piece of marabou for the tail, about the same length of the hook shank.

4. Tie in marabou down the hook shank so that the entire hook is covered with feathers. (Depending on if you're using bugger marabou or strung marabou you may the marabou may not tie up the entire hook.)

 5. Wrap thread back down the hook shank to the tie in point of the marabou.

6. Tie in chenille (3 or more inches based on hook size and the thickness of the chenille).

7. Tie in saddle hackle by its tip.

8. Tie in copper wire. (I did not use copper wire here)

9. Wrap thread to the hook eye.

10. Wrap chenille to the hook eye.
11. Using hackle pliers or hand wrap saddle hackle up the body
12. Wrap wire ribbing in the opposite direction of the hackle wraps around wiggling wire to weave it through hackle.

13. Wrap a head with thread and whip finish
14. Use a small amount of head cement to finish the head.  (Use the bodkin or a straightened paper clip to apply the head cement, making sure to get entire head of the fly has been saturated with the head cement.

Below is a youtube video that gives a clear tutorial of how to tie the wooly bugger fly.

Video Credit: Jim Misiura


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