Monday, May 25, 2015

Best Crappie ever!

The really great part was catching it on one of my own flies, a black Wooly Bugger.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Featherwing Fathead streamer

I came up with this one last Summer after realizing that, at least in the Northeast, the Fathead minnow is sold in the majority of bait shops, and countless numbers of them are released as leftovers into waterways everywhere, on a regular basis. These fish survive and breed, and when you account for the many shiners and minnows which bear some resemblance to them, I figured coming up with a reasonable facsimile would be a proper waste of time.

Now I do realize that Art Flick beat me to this idea all the way back in the 50s, but with no insult intended toward a very effective streamer, I wanted to go beyond his bucktail creation; to put my own stamp on the water like any good fly tyer. So, posessing a great deal of Badger pattern hackle and seeign its resemblance to a dozen or more minnows, I came up with my Featherwing Fathead, which imitates/suggests far more that just the ubiquitous Fathead minnow, and from the very first day I tried it outperformed even my most hopeful expectations,

It can be tied with black or white thread, and though black looks most dramatic I have learned over the years that the black nose of a Fathead minnow indicates a male ready to spawn, and for whatever reason fish don't like them very much. Truly, if I got a pound of bait at the bait store and 3/4 was males ready to spawn, I would fight to return the 3/4 instead of even trying to use them.

Because my streamer suggests so many different species the black nose seems not to cause a problem, but for fishing I think it best to go with the white nose just to maximize your odds.

All photos are property of the Virtual Aquarium of Virginia Tech, except for the actual photo of the streamer itself, which I produced and placed within the set of photos to show the versatility of this fly. Visit their site; it's a tremendous body of work for which they deserve applause!

Mountain Redbelly Dace
Southern Redbelly Dace
Rosyside Dace
Longnose Dace
Blacknose Dace
Pearl Dace
River Chub
Fatlips Minnow
Stargazing Minnow
Tennessee Shiner
Saffron Shiner
Featherwing Fathead

Bridle Shiner
Swallowtail Shiner
Fathead Minnow


Hook; #10 streamer or larger
Thread; White or black 6/0
Wing; Badger rooster neck
Body; White floss
Rib; Silver holographic tinsel
Belly; White calftail/kiptail
Throat; Orange calftail/kiptail