Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Season's Highlight & Review (with just 1 click)

Hope everyone had good Christmas Day. Now we are ready for the year-end and -start.
Past couple of years, I have posted "Year reviews". I had chosen memorable pictures and wrote comments for each. That was quite a labor. The more I fish and guide, the more people and trout I come across. Hence there are countless memories and stories for this year. So for the first time ever, I used the slideshow at YouTube. Basically it's the same amount of labor for me (selecting pictures and adding comments) however this won't have readers scroll down all the way. Besides, now words are also "viewed", rather than "read" by readers and viewers as visual effects. Background music I found is "Trout Quintet" by The Mighty Franz Schubert. The theme and its length fit perfectly!!
Thank all of my friends and clients appearing as "guest-stars"!!

After I went through Carrie Stevens' patterns, I did come back to Atlantic Salmon Flies.
Here's Kate.

As far as I researched, composing wing is up to tyers' skills and interpretation (with listed materials and I have them all). I created 3-layer of gradation and maintained their "marriage"!!
This is definitely one of my best ties!!
On 28th, weather turned OK and I could hit DePuy's Spring Creek ( for the second time of this month. At this time of year in Paradise Valley, "good weather" usually refers "no brutal winds". It's cold of course!! This was really a nice rainbow!! I missed my best-at self-timered trophy shot to show its entire length but I could capture his slightly curved up jaw!
I'm not sure if I go or if I'm able to go fishing on 30th and/or 31st. If not, this nice brown is the last one for 2013. I gladly take it!!

Thank you for visiting my blog and joining YouTube channel!
Hopefully you all have had good fishing in 2013 and we all will have
Happy "Fishy" 2014!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fishing Report (in a while), More Flies, & Season's Greeting

It's been a serious winter so far. As of typing this, snow is falling like raindrops. As long as we don't get stuck or spun, and as long as air temps don't go 20 below 0 like a few weeks ago, this "Good Ol' Montana Winter" is welcome.

I could finally get out fishing for the first time in this month on 18th. After the cold front, it had been discouragingly windy. Though I love to spend at my tying bench, I needed time to relax fishing at DePuy's ( I picked up the day just right!! Wind was not bad all. With layer of clothes, I even felt sweaty. (And now it's all of snow again......)

Nice Rainbow!!
There are still good browns left in the creek!!
With the acquisition of the odd & unique Mustad hook (posted last), now I'm taking a little side-track from Atlantic Salmon flies and working on Carrie Stevens classic streamers. Of course I'm tying seriously. But also it's a good break from intense tying session of ASF and to use up some materials that I don't use for regular trout flies or ASF.

Allie's Favorite.
Colonel Bates with married wings. This is what I mean. Though I don't have yellow hackles, I could use goose shoulders that are used for Atlantic Salmon flies. Too short? Yes, I know. But if I had long barbs, I would save for 4/0 or larger ASF! This should still serve as wet-fly style wings.

Toppings............what really turns me on the most........
Especially the one like this........

Here's Rosy Dawn 2/0.
Then time has matured.
Thanks to my Master's critiques and advises and my own bloody and undaunted effort, I reached the first goal I had set before; I want to learn Atlantic Salmon flies and be good enough to show and present to people around me. I don't intend to invent "original" or "style", as in trout flies, but since there are lots of beautiful materials available, would be nice if I could create or dress up something. As I learn traditional patterns and learn techniques and methods through them, I started to draw and write down my idea on paper. It wouldn't come shortly. But I really liked the process and time to mature what was going on in my head.

Finally I sat on my bench with great concentration and willingness to make it right. This one for Parks' Fly Shop (, "Salmonfly on The Gardner".
Coupled/framed with "Sir Richard".

Unlike trout flies, it's hard to produce multi flies quickly (mostly because of motivation....). This is the only one ever tied. I don't have one myself but these pictures.I honestly like it!

For Montana Troutfitters in Bozeman (, here's another inspirational/interpretive tie.
Then last but not the least, here's "Merry X'mas" to every one who visits my blog!!
Hopefully I can get out fishing for 1 or 2 more days within this year.
Merry X'mas to all of blog readers, friends, clients, and family!!
Wish the same for trout and insects in many great waters!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Another Week of Flyz Only (Gladly) & More Gadgets

A brutal cold front was over. Then wind took over the control of human activities in Paradise Valley. Although the thermometers show much more friendly numbers, "how cold" is not much changed....... Hence, another week of no fishing..... And I'm not going to lie to you that I'm gladly to stay inside and work on flies. I have some commercial ties but also I'm much more and deeply into Atlantic Salmon flies.

I finally started using "blind-eye hook" and "silkworm gut". For most supplies, check with John with Feathers MC ( and he will get you loaded.

Harrison Bartleet 4/0 by Gaelic Supreme!!

For the first ever tie with the blind-eye hook, I chose the Durham Ranger. I'd say "not bad" for the starter!!

This last weekend, I worked on a couple of my own designs as season's greeting. To keep them secret until they receive, I just post "parts" for now (will post whole things in the next post!).

What's this?

How about this one? What's the theme here?

Recently I'm purchasing miscellaneous stuffs on E-bay. I found and purchased Spanish silk leaders. With these, I'm going to make "gut" for blind-eye hooks!!

A sexy pair of silk glove to work with fine Japanese silk.

This is a bargain material that came with the leader above. Yet this is very old and unique!
Funny looking hooks, huh!? Originally I decided to get these for practices/experiment ties but surely I tie something serious to match this hook.

Hopefully I can go fishing this week!
Everyone stay warm and enjoy the Holiday season!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Flyz Only

It's cold...............Daily high temp is -20F, yes!! 20 BELOW 0!!, need more explanations? I just keep burning my firewood and hope my truck will start and won't get stuck if I need to drive.

Apparently no fishing report. I doubt if there's anyone fishing right now. So all I can do is TIE FLYZ!!
I again did a tribute tying video for my tying hero, the late Jack Gartside ( December 7th is his birthday and 5th is the day to remember him. So I posted on 6th. Last year, I did the same with Sparrow. This year, I did with his another signature fly and my all time favorite, Soft Hackle Streamer!! I am also showing a variation with slightly different materials. Watch it!! till the video ends with "In My Life" sung by Johnny Cash. I just left my computer playing music randomly. At least to me, it's quite a coincidence that my PC picked up this poignant song. By the way, this is by far the best video I ever produced. I finally figured out the best angles of my camera and vise.

Atlantic Salmon Fly project is steadily going and I am steadily improved!! A new assignment from my Master is SILVER DOCTOR!! Not bad for the first one.

You know how to finish this wool-dubbed head? Well, there's a tricky trick. The more I tie and patterns I learn, the more I'm into this world!! It's just my kind!!

Last but not the least, I could finally snap a shot of someone who seems to reside under my "Antler factory" (just a regular storage unit). I hope she's surviving this frigid condition. But watch out, little bunny!! Your body is full of attractive fly tying materials, baby!!

I hope weather will slack a bit soon and get you some fishing report. Meanwhile, this is a matter of survival!! Hope everyone stays warm and gets fly tying running!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Continues Into December

Weather was decent through the Thanksgiving week. I've been working on whatever comes to mind. Basically the same routine with the same subjects! I'm very happy with this consistency!? let's look what I've been up to. 

Garry Snow Fly. This is really a simple pattern among "Built-wing" category. Yet its main wing is built with some careful & artistic touches! Apparently I screwed up the equal body dividing....

Jock Scott!!
Arguably this is one the most well-known traditional patterns. Also one of the most challenging and demanding patterns!! I know there are some improvements I need to work on, I'm gladly to do so, but honestly this is a little landmark for me. I didn't think I could get this far so quick. This pattern has so many elements, especially toward the end, that it requires great concentration one can summon as well as the best techniques one can possess!!
 On size 2/0 hook.

I also did a "family portrait" for a good friend of mine and his family..........

I scratched off one material from "hard-to-get-exotic" list. Blue/Red macaw tails were happily obtained from E-bay!!
Antler project is also keeping me busy. I just completed one for a good friend of mine who helped me find some sheds this spring. I'm getting "seasoned" about handling & understanding antlers!! This is a nice little tool rack (or caddie/caddy, whichever you prefer to call).

On the very top I wrote "weather was decent.......". What I actually mean by that is it wasn't really cold. But there were couple of very windy days, which are pretty norm in November around here. Saturday was warm and no wind. I took a little break from flies and antlers and hit my favorite DePuy's Spring Creek ( What a relief! How enjoyable!
This was enough.......
But then I caught really a nice one!! There seems more brown trout coming into the creek from Yellowstone River. Some are still aggressive!, just like this one!
Last but not the least, this is definitely a grand project for me. I'm working on both antler and Atlantic salmon flies with my very best. What to do with those beautifully tied flies? They deserve to have something to match them.
 Seemingly an unimpressive small elk shed is turning into my ASF rack!! This antler is pretty much ready but I have one more extra craft to go with! Don't know when to complete, but I keep you posted!
It sounds like very cold next week. I may not be able to go fishing. If that's the case, I just keep working on flies and antlers. Oh, I have articles due too.
Have a busy and wonderful December, everyone!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Flies & Antlers Then Fishing

It's been cold all week! Winds didn't help the situation. I just felt it was a bit colder for this time of year in Paradise Valley. Well, fortunately I have lots of things to do inside! Since the last post, I'm more deeply into and more dedicated to the world of Atlantic Salmon Flies. It's just something, which is somewhat beyond description for the space of blog post......... Just in a short (and cheap) expression, one could call it New Passion...... Let me show you my progress!

Durham Ranger

 Dusty Miller

 Lady Amherst


For some of you who haven't actually seen "Married Wings", here's a close up picture before mounting on the hook.
With these flies, I went fishing!!..........No just kidding.
I was busy with flies above then again weathers were discouraging. I couldn't get out to DePuy's ( for a week. Today, it was some of the greatest November afternoon I ever recall!! In terms of weather and fishing!! After spending hours at my tying bench, fishing the creek is truly relaxing and enjoyable. An OK rainbow to get started.
GOTCHA!! Another nicest brown during this fall!! Measured 23"!! You know browns and Atlantic salmons are closely related!? So tying Atlantic salmon flies help me understand and catch browns too!?..............maybe!
Steelhead too!?
Last but not the least, I'm working on my deer antler art projects. Here's my factory. Left one hanged on the wall is in a painting process and the other one on the right is in a finishing process. I will post about what these will be.

I think what I did this week would be typical of my life through this week........hence so would be my blog updates. I actually enjoy it!