Warning: this post is so long that it is capable of striking all but the most text-addicted reader as stupid long.
Ok, why post it in a world where people tend to prefer sound-bites and bottom lines?
It turns out that there are some five thousand or so folks subscribed to the Caddis Fly Shop YouTube channel. Many of these folks do not regularly visit the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog to see what’s up in the local region. There are a ton of readers who are not at all interested in fly tying themselves – people who tune in to the OFFB for conservation news or just the McKenzie River fishing reports, or are seeking tackle recommendations, travel destination stories, and whatever.
One funny thing about me – please don’t make a full list of personal quirks – is that I generally NEVER look at my videos on YouTube, and therefore usually do not see any comments our viewers have posted. Chris Daughters and Matt Stansberry pointed this out to me last week and prompted me to find these comments and respond to the viewers. I decided to limit my initial responses to the Saltwater Fly Tying series for now – and have collected them all here for the record.
Hoping to make this post easier to browse – I made the following list of general comment topic plus the title of the fly where the comment appeared, and numbered the sections. I hope this will allow you to see if you wish to plow though the entire post or if you wish only to scroll down to read a few sections. Your choice.
- Cure Goo and Fish Masks – how much is sufficient?
- The Nicholas Clouser style – not just a Clouser.
- Surf Perch fly.
- Surf Perch fly and spring Chinook fishing advice.
- Steve Farrar’s Blend materials, properties and recommendations.
- Applicability of big Salty flies to inland waters?
- Fishing USA saltwater flies in Europe inland waters?
- Comparing Simmer Fringe to Bucktail for a Striped Bass Clouser.
- Tying tube flies on shanks and shanked flies on tubes.
10. Is Hydro cure goo really tack free, and can I purchase these flies?
11. Consider fishing big saltwater flies in Idaho and other inland waters.
12. Comment on unscripted video narrative and Deceiver Fly discussion.
13. Swinging Saltwater Deceivers in rivers for salmon?
14. The best eyes on baitfish flies and speed tying.
15. Freaky Squeaky bobbins and down-sized saltwater flies for inland waters.
16. Thanks for the quality customer service.
17. General Cure goo thoughts and appreciation for customer service.
18. Thoughts on hooks and tube sizes for large saltwater flies + thanks for videos.
19. Thanks for your support – more saltwater fly videos to follow!
All of the saltwater series videos were shot in August 2013 and have been sitting in the proverbial film can, waiting for debut on the OFFB and posting on YouTube. I shot almost 60 of these and we have only posted the first twenty or so, meaning there are lots still ready to go. There will be some fun (my opinion) flies of traditional and modern influence to see in the weeks to follow – I sure hope you find some that you find interesting. Now that I know how to find the comments and respond, I will do so and eventually compose a summary like this here stupid long post.
Jay Nicholas (June 2014)
1 – Cure Goo and Fish Masks – how much is sufficient?
Using a Fish Mask to finish a coho bucktailing fly
Q: Jay, with all the Hydro you put in the mask, you could have just put the eyes on the old way and made the head with less Hydro.
A: Richard: True enough. That said, there is a fair amount of artistry involved in shaping a head with hydro, and the Fish Mask puts a big head with perfectly placed eyes onto the fly immediately and consistently, with Masks to fit every size hook I can imagine, short cutting the time and anguish/joy of learning how to shape pure hydro (or epoxy) heads on every different hook size. I found that it took me a fair effort to get my head-shaping skills in tune with different sized hooks, but the Fish Masks gave me instant results that were eye and fish pleasing. Anyway, these are all just different approaches we have at hand to have more fun and create flies to fill our boxes and the occasional fish mouth, right? Jay N.
Q: For me, I don’t quite see the merit in wasting all of that Goo. I’m sure the fly wouldn’t fall apart if you had just dabbed the Goo and then added the mask. I guess I know that I’m not that good of a fly fisher and I’m going to lose the damned fly before it even gets a chance to fall apart.
A: AJ: you are quite correct, I probably tend to use more of the Cure Goo than is necessary to keep the Fish Mask secure. I go back and forth between over-engineering my flies and just whipping them out because, a) i will loose it quickly, or b) the fish will chew it up and I have plenty to spare. Over time, i have become more and more attracted to flies that I call “working ties” – patterns that i can tie in five or less minutes, throw in the box, and get to fishing. I still tie more complicated patterns because of tradition and to share tying techniques. Sometimes, I go back to the complicated patterns because they look so good and there is a certain amount of nostalgia involved too. Anyway, a touch of Super glue and a little Cure Goo will indeed make your fly fish well enough and be strong enough. Jay N.
2 – The Nicholas Clouser style – not just a Clouser.
Subtle Saltwater Clouser Minnow w/ Fishient Fish Scale
Q: I was just wondering how Jay ties a Clouser minnow and gave a search and here’s one you just posted today.
A: Perfect Timing? Coincidence? Last fall I was motoring by a fellow on the Tillamook Bay, he stared at me and called out – “are you Jay Nicholas?” I turned off the motor and we began to talk. He told me he had just watched one of my Clouser YouTube videos the previous night and that it helped a lot. This was a fellow angler who almost exclusively fishes bait and spinners for salmon but had decided to consider a) fly fishing for kings, and b) tying his own flies. This is a very small world sometimes, really amazing. And yes, there are many different fly styles that I may refer collectively to as Clousers but they do fish a little differently so I think they all merit consideration at times. Hope the video helped. Jay N.
Q: I don’t think people give themselves enough credit. Just because a pattern has dumbbell eyes does not make it a Clouser minnow! While this is somewhat tied like a Clouser, Bob Clouser has very specific instructions on how he does his with regards to the proportions and materials which you don’t follow. Great baitfish imitation Jay but I don’t think you have to call every baitfish streamer a Clouser, (heck) call it a Nicholas!
A: AJ: Well, you are sure correct that dumbbells and a “basic Clouser style do not alone qualify as a Bob Clouser fly! I also have watched Bob’s Clouser video tutorials and yes, my style does differ from his. In fact, I refer to flies in my boxes generically as Clousers when they actually differ quite a lot in proportion, hooks, materials, and little details. Whether or not my family of Clousers produce any differently than an official Bob Clouser fly would is matter for debate over several brews of some sort. I have adapted my styles based on home water experience and how the fish take the various flies (or don’t take them) until I have confidence. It is funny how much confidence I can have in a 5″ fly one day and a 2” fly the next. I guess it goes to prove that I am as opinionated as any fly tier/angler and ultimately; we need to tie and fish the patterns that give us the most confidence. And yes, maybe I should trademark the flies and all that but for now, I’ll just call them Clousers – or maybe N-Clousers? Thanks for the kind words. Jay N.
3 – Surf Perch fly.
Anchovy Baitfish for Pacific Albacore
Q: Can you do a video on surf perch flies?
A: I’d love to if I had a favorite, but for now, I would suggest any small-sized version of any of these Saltwater fly styles, especially some with light eyes and inverted hook styles. Many of the Bonefish and Permit flies along with little short Clousers and Surf Candy style flies ought to work for surf perch, if the fish are there and in the mood. I’ll keep this in mind and let me know if you have any favorites you would like to see or have heard about. Thanks. Jay N.
4 – Perch fly.
Albacore Clouser Minnow
Q: Can u plz show me how to do a Perch fly?
A: Promise to do so as soon as I figure out what fly to shoot. My experience with surfI pperch is extremely limited so for now I just fish down-sized versions of Bonefish and Permit flies plus little Clouser and Surf Candy style flies. One of those days I might be lucky enough to figure out a favorite surf perch fly! And not get soaked in the surf at the same time, hopefully. Jay N.
Hello, first off I want to thank you and say I love the videos you guys have, very helpful and I hope to come down and visit the shop soon. This year I am hoping to target spring Chinook on the fly and I have quite a few questions and I was wondering if there is someone I could get in touch with to get a little more info on the subject. Thanks.
A: Nathan: Spring Chinook on the fly? Ridiculous. We all know that they only eat bait so fly fishing is silly. Or is it the other way around on some days? Yep, some days they really like eating flies. If you would like to chat sometime on this subject, please email your phone and convenient times I could call you – to the Caddis Fly Shop – and the Shop staff will forward your contact info to me. I’d be able to call and hopefully offer a few ideas and encouragement, anything short of divulging the holiest of the holy secret places and techniques, you know the drill, but these are spectacular fish to take on the fly and I’m quite sure you would be able to hit the water with added confidence after a short conversation. Best to you. Jay N.
5 – Steve Farrar’s Blend materials, properties and recommendations.
Open Water Chinook Clouser Minnow
Q: Jay, the SF material is really nice. Have you used it for fresh water fishing?
A: Yes. The only limitations I have found to the Steve Farrar’s Blend materials is fly length. The SF Blend and SF UV materials perform best for me in flies not shorter than about 2.5 inches long. three to six inch flies are amazing the way they flow, wiggle and flash. Longer flies usually require a stinger hook when fish strike short, but 3 & 4 inch flies seem to hook fine with a single hook at the head of the fly. Keep in mind, also, that different colors of the SF Blend have slightly different textures and so each color may perform differently. This is something you just have to get a feel for as you tie with different colors and develop your own ways of adapting proportions and such. But yes – the SF materials work well for any streamer – baitfish pattern in any waters – period. Best, Jay N.
Q: Steve Farrar SF Blend is my favorite synthetic material. Absolutely great stuff!! I also love these recent videos that you have been doing. Please make more!! Thank you!
A: Agreed, the SF is great stuff. Thanks for your kind note regarding the Saltwater-fly series. I actually shot all of these in August 2013, and we are just letting them drift onto the blogosphere a little at a time. There are close to 60 in the series so there are more to come! Stand by please. Thanks again, Jay N.
Q: Nice looking bug!
A: Thank you – it is fun to tie, looks great, and the fish eat it – a perfect combination. Best – Jay N.
6 – Applicability of big Salty flies to inland waters?
Coho Clouser with Steve Farrar’s Blend
Q: Really nice fly. If I ever decide to go salt water fishing (doubtful) I will definitely refer to these excellent videos. I don’t go in the Ocean because there are things in the ocean that do not know we are supposed to be the top of the food chain and will eat you given the chance. Lakes and rivers have much less chance of running into such a creature. All the best, Tight lines – Sean
A: Sean: thanks very much. Fly fishing in the ocean is a late-life move for me, and I encourage you to give it a try if you possibly can, just stay in the boat and don’t pelt the great whites get too close and you’ll be fine, at least in the Pacific Northwest I think. I hope! Even if you stick in the fresh, there are some of these so called Saltwater flies that fish very well in rivers and lakes as well, so don’t hesitate to fish them for anything from trout, steelhead, salmon, pike, bass, perch, musky, walleye, crappie and carp if that’s what is in your local waters! Best – Jay N.
A: Thank you, it is a lot of fun too. Best – Jay N.
Q: Tying this now!
A: Well, how did your fly turn out? Best – Jay N.
7 – Fishing USA saltwater flies in Europe inland waters?
Puget sound Baitfish
Q: Great,easy to create pattern. Should catch pike,perch,chub and zander over here in England with it.
A: NIck: thanks for your response. It is really cool to see people all over the world exploring and finding patterns to adapt to their home waters. One big revelation I had when I first really started digging into the world of saltwater fly tying and patterns is that there is so much applicability between fresh, salt, and estuary flies that it is sort of silly of us to get too hung up on where a particular fly was first or intended to fish. Flies that were mostly fished for East Coast USA Striped Bass are great salmon flies, and I’m quite sure many would be suitable for any freshwater predatory species. One of the really interesting situations is where big predators key in on small bait or food sources and get selective. Big baitfish style attractors can be sized up or down and colors shifted to match local preferences, but the selectivity is something that needs careful consideration because fish in all places and of all species can be really pesky at times. At other times, if a fly is 4 – 6 inches long (longer for some species) the color makes less difference than putting an action on the fly and finding receptive fish. I’d love to hear if your forays into your local waters with this west coast USA fly were met with any takers, and best wishes to you in the future. Jay N.
8 – Comparing Simmer Fringe to Bucktail for a Striped Bass Clouser.
Shimmer Fringe Clouser Minnow
Q: Great fly – I’d like to tie it for stripers for the east coast. How does the ice dub shimmer fringe compare to bucktail in the water? Do you get similar movement? It sort of looks like it would lose it’s profile when wet but I’ve never worked with it.
A: Great Question. No, the Shimmer Fringe is very different than buck tail so it takes some getting familiar with. Buck-tail is round and will hold its body, some hair better than other as you well know. Buck-tail can flare also, if you are working with hollow fibers versus other tail hair that is more dense and flares less. The Shimmer Fringe, in my opinion, is flat and wider than it is thick. In this sense i would compare it to Flashabou or mylar fibers, but it has a little more body than Flashabou, again my opinion, and holds profile better. Compared to buck tail hair, though, the Shimmer Fringe baitfish will be slimmer and sleeker, if that makes sense. One thing you could consider is adding a pinch of the Shimmer Fringe on top of your buck tail to add shine and flash. the color combinations are so versatile and again – I find the Shimmer Fringe holds profile better than Flashabou. I tie the Shimmer Fringe Clousers when I want a slimmer profile with a lot of reflection in specific color shades. Unlike buck tail, the Shimmer Fringe is more durable, and I find I can get more fish out of a Shimmer Fringe Clouser than I can with a pure buck tail clouser. Love to hear how you find it in your fishery; these things are very personal – but I’d bet the fly would produce quite well. Best – Jay N.
9 – Tying tube flies on shanks and shanked flies on tubes.
Coho Herring Bucktail Tube Fly
Q: Maybe a stupid question, but is there any reason any tube fly cannot be tied on a regular hook?
A: Jerry. As far as I’m concerned, the only “dumb” question is the one left un-asked. S Vernon already answered correctly and I’d like to add a few thoughts now. The Tube style is often a preferable choice if you are tying to protect the fly from repeated contact with fish that will chew up and ruin the fly. The fly rides up the leader and is relatively un-damaged by the fish chomping. Saltwater baitfish flies that are expected to last several seasons use are another good candidate for tying on tubes, because you can replace saltwater dulled hooks with fresh hooks each season, week, or day if you wish. Another reason to use tubes instead of shanks is the ability to use a short shank hook placed near the rear of the hook instead of a very long shank traditional hook. The conventional wisdom, and I agree on this topic, is that long shank hooks can sometimes be dislodged more easily because they offer so much leverage compared to a short shank hook. Obviously, a hook buried deep in a fish’s mouth will probably stay put no matter what the shank length is, but a fish hooked on the edge of the mouth could put a lot of leverage with head shaking on a long shank hook, yes? Just a few thoughts, and there are others, but for each tier, it is important to use a style you have confidence in, so if you prefer shanked hooks over tubes, go for it! Best – Jay N.
10 – Is Hydro cure goo really tack free, and can I purchase these flies?
Tube Fly for Saltwater Salmon Bucktailing: the BC Needlefish
Q: Can we purchase these from your shop? Couldn’t find the link at your website.
A: BB: feel free to shoot an email to the Caddis Fly Shop and see if one of our Custom tiers can throw a few together for you. We would be pleased to help if at all possible. Thanks – Jay N.
Q: Is the hydro really tack free?
A: Kim: of course there is personal subjectivity involved in all such matters, but in my experience, the hydro is in fact tack free. Really tack free. Let me know if you find otherwise. Thanks, Jay N.
11 – Consider fishing big saltwater flies in Idaho & inland waters.
Coho Salmon Bucktail Trolling Fly
Q: I am in Idaho and can’t really ever use your flies but I love watching you do these big guys! Keep it up Jay.
A: Tony: first thank you very much for your kind words, and yes these flies are fun to tie. That said, if you live in Idaho you just might be able to modify some of these Saltwater patterns to be just what the fish want over in your home waters. I have a friend who fishes Spring Creek with big streamers and catches monster Browns, unless he is totally pulling my leg. Other friends fish the Clearwater for steelhead and even chinook and use quite substantial intruder style flies that certainly could be in this size category. Just because we have been taught to tie freshwater salmon and steelhead flies with ostrich and marabou and rabbit does not rule out the possibility of using a saltwater traditional bait-fish fly with equal success or maybe even superior results. I know a fellow who didn’t know better fish a chartreuse and white Clouser for winter steelhead here in Oregon and – yes indeed, the steelhead ate his fly even after his companions chided him against his fly selection. Anyway, look around and don’t hesitate to have fun with some big or downsized saltwater flies over in the interior waters! Best – Jay N.
12 – Comment on Unscripted video narrative and Deceiver Fly discussion.
North Pacific Albacore Deceiver
Q: Jay, the salt water fly series is really great. Beautiful flies. As far as the word “um” there are two different types of people that use the word regularly, the first are people that use it as you do when they want to choose their words wisely and the other who have no substance in what they are saying and stalling for time.
A: Richard, thank you always for the benefit of the doubt. Fact is, I have difficulty at times tying a fly and talking at the same time. Story telling comes naturally, but then I realize that I’m not explaining some aspect of tying the silly fly and then there is the time pressure of not wanting to take too long and loose people’s attention, so yes, I am a frequent user of the ummm, what was I thinking, or what is the right word to use, or what not. So the Umms are here to stay because these videos are anything but scripted ha ha. Best to you Richard and thanks for sharing your flies also. Jay N.
Q: Nice fly, Jay. I tie & fish deceiver’s for bass & (mostly) Northerns. I haven’t used SF fibers, but I will now!). Thank you for a very nice demonstration.
A: Kevin: yes, the Deceiver style is just plain attractive target for predatory species in fresh and salt, all over the world. I have tied these with buck tail hair and various synthetics, but have come to settle on the Steve Farrar’s Blends as my current favorites. They add the flash, i like the color variance in many of the blends, and they combine a slinky movement with just enough body to keep the fly holding the proper baitfish shape. Bass and Pike got to love em, just guessing here, but they must. Best to you – Jay N.
13 – Swinging Saltwater Deceivers in rivers for salmon?
Saltwater Coho Salmon Deceiver
Q: Do you ever swing these in the river for salmon?
A: Yes absolutely, and with great success. Having now fished these flies but one full season, and starting to do so in freshwater on a whim, I am amazed that other fly anglers have been so fixated on the Intruder (like I was before I went over to the Salty Side in 2013). I am convinced that these flies are every bit as effective fishing salmon in rivers as the Intruder or leech style flies are at times. Not suggesting that anyone abandon all those beautiful Intruders and leech flies, because they all have their place, but the Deceiver has a legitimate place alongside the traditional salmon and steelhead flies in rivers too. Just my opinion, but based on a fair number of salmon, mostly kings, eating Deceivers out of the salt. And you should add a twitch and strip to the swing also, for added excitement. Best – Jay N.
14 – The best eyes on baitfish flies and speed tying.
Q: Jay, another beautiful fly. I agree with you, I use the holographic eyes to. There’s nothing like them to bring life to your fly.
A: We have so many good options for eyes on our flies these days that it is a little daunting to make a choice. I have heard many fly tyers state categorically about how important the eyes are, how a fly with only one eye will not catch fish, how yellow, or red, or some other color is the best under various circumstances and have come to believe that a lot of what I hear is folklore and personal opinion that defies objective verification. I tend to pick out eyes of a color and size that pleases me, and use them. I may tie two to four dozen flies with one color or style of eye, and then a different style or color will earn my attention, and I will tie the next several dozen with a different color, style, and size of eye. While I respect everyone’s opinions, I have come to believe that a) I like eyes but the fish may not be as picky as we are as tyer/anglers; b) color matters most to the angler; c) I doubt that a fish would fail to eat a one-eyed wounded bait fish (though it is possible); and finally d) the most important thing for the fly tyer to do is choose a style, color, and size they personally find pleasing, then fish with confidence! Jay N.
Q: I love watching you tie. It reminds me that is not a race.
A: Exactly. Tying flies is supposed to be fun. Keep in mind, however, that sometimes the people like me tying for these videos try to go fast rather than slow, in order to keep the overall time down, thinking that many viewers would prefer to watch a 5-7 minute video rather than a fifteen-minute video. The most important thing for each tier to achieve is to arrive at a pleasing effective fly and have fun in the process. Time only counts if you are trying to grind out fifteen or twenty dozen for a special order and your angler client is going to show up the next morning at 8 AM to get his or her flies before flying off to some exotic fishing destination. Take your time and your flies will be the best ever. Jay N.
15 – Freaky Squeaky bobbins and down-sized saltwater flies for inland waters.
Estuary Bend Back Minnow
Q: Jay, nice fly. Good idea using the hook as it’s own weed guard. I wonder how that would work in smaller form for lakes, rivers and steams? I’ll tie a few and try them this Spring in the Catskill Mountain waters. I’ll let you know how they work out. Best regards.
A: Thanks for thinking out of the box. My hunch is that this fly might not work as well with smaller flies unless the materials are extremely sparse. The fly’s effectiveness depends on the mass/weight of the hook acting as a keel to maintain the track of the fly in the water. With hooks in the size 4- 2 -1 range this works well, with a fine wire size 12 it might not work as well. All that being said, I have not tried down-sized flies of this style and would love to hear if they work for you. Best – Jay N.
Q: Jay, I love your videos even though I can’t use half of your flies on the South Fork of the Snake. One thing though, your squeaky bobbin is very distracting and probably doesn’t reflect well on the quality equipment that I know you guys sell. I’m not trying to be one of “those guys” on the net that have to find something wrong with everything, I thoroughly enjoy your videos but I know you guys have high quality bobbins no more than ten feet from where you are sitting! Keep ’em coming.
A: Tony: thanks for your good humor and the initiative to point out the squeak annoyance factor. If it grates on your nerves, it probably does on other viewers’ as well. And you are correct, I have access to all sorts of bobbins but find that these days I have just become more demanding in terms of pure functionality and am willing to dismiss the shriek of the beast when it happens. My bobbin options when I when I was tying as a teenager in 1964 included a) an awful bobbin made by Herter’s or b) about a yard of Nymo thread, run through a chunk of wax, with a wood clothespin and frequent half hitches to secure the thread. These days it is difficult to find a few bobbins that are not at least acceptable. Our choices of sizes and shapes and tension adjustments and added features (to assist dubbing for example), and even clutch bobbins are many and can be daunting. As I have aged, I find that I have become adaptable to the point that I can make most bobbins work well enough that they don’t slow me down, and I sometimes find myself tying with whatever happens to be laying around on my bench, even if it isn’t a favorite. Scissors and vise are different. I will not tolerate any vise that does not securely hold my hook – 100 % is the only performance standard. Same with scissors. When a pair of scissors requires me to struggle the slightest, they hit the scrap pile, retired forever. Sharper than sharp scissors are one of my must-have performance demands at the bench. Anyway, sorry to ramble on so, If I remember right, there are a ton of yet-to-be-posted videos that will still feature the shrieking bobbin. Can’t change that, but I will try to remember this in future videos and either choose a non squealer or hit the spool sockets with wax to suppress the annoyance feature. Thanks very much for your kind words and yes – I hope you find a few nuggets of use sprinkled about somewhere in these tutorials. I continually learn from the styles that other tyers use and think we can all learn from each other. Best to you – Jay N.
16 – Thanks for quality customer service.
Purple Rockfish Candy
Q: I don’t salt water fish but I am thoroughly enjoying watching you tie and learn/teach at the same time. I love your shop and trust the supplies I order online because I have never gotten a product of a quality I would not have chosen if I were in the store. I live in Maine, and there are not many surviving fly shops here. The recession hit hard, so only two within fifty miles and they survived only because they also stock hunting supplies, guns etc, so the fly materials are limited. I go as often as I can, but I shop you more often. All the best, and tell Chris I envy his fishing New Zealand.
A: First – thanks for your kind note and the feedback. Fact is that we do work diligently to provide the best of the best, there are times when the best of the best is not up to our personal standards, but we must live with it. Natural materials like marabou, saddle feathers, Schlappen, ostrich, bucktails, calf tails, and so forth, can vary a lot from packet to packet, pound to pound, and so on. Craft fur is always good, threads, tinsels, flash products, eyes, dumbells, cones, tubes, beads, and tools are all very consistent. Ten grade one rooster capes, a hundred ostrich plumes, and ten pounds of marabou are likely to exhibit a lot of variation from piece to piece. This is all a long way of saying that a) we are keen to provide you with the same first class materials we would reach for; b) there are times when the best available is a little short of what we would choose so we make do like everyone else; c) don’t hesitate to give us your feedback – positive or negative – and we will keep on striving to supply your needs and be responsive to your tying preferences. I have fun watching tyers sort through bucktails at the Shop. It is common to find ten different people looking for slightly different qualities in a Bucktail, depending on the style and size fly they will be tying. And thanks for allowing us to continually earn your loyalty; customer service is paramount to our staff and your feedback helps us stay sharp to meet your individual preferences as a tyer/angler. We may be across the country but we all love to create the flies and soak ‘em at every possible opportunity. Best to you – Jay N.
17 – General Cure Goo thoughts and appreciation for customer service.
Fly Tying Tips for using Clear Cure Goo
Q: Hey Jay, I love the stuff, use it from the syringe or from a dot on a piece of plastic if the flies are very small. (of course it is helpful that I have been a nurse, using syringes for 30+ years!) I haven’t tried any of the tack free, because my friend told me it really isn’t tack free and so I use hydro over the thick or thin. ETOH3 on flex.
All the best to you, thanks for sharing, and thanks for being the best online shop I have found on the Internet. I have ordered hackle, and know that because of the quality I get, someone has picked through it for me to send the best you have at the time. I find that kind of customer service priceless.
A: Thanks very much for the great feedback. And yes, some of the tack free is more tack free than other batches, and a quick coat of Hydro over tacky goo does the job nicely but I think if you tried the tack free now you would find it is pretty darn close to tack free and yes, we do sort and sometimes just won’t ship materials if we think they won’t fulfill your tying demands. Please keep the feedback flowing, it helps us stay sharp and our clients busy and satisfies at the bench. Best – Jay N.
Q: Thank you Jay for the tips.
A: Kim: you are most welcome. Don’t hesitate to email the shop or make a phone call if you ever have questions. We are here to serve and the only unfortunate question is the one that lays un-asked. Best – Jay N.
Q: Always better to unclog tip off of bottle or residue will contaminate the good stuff. Love your videos.
A: John: agreed, take off the cap and poke the clog out from the inside. I have been a bad boy on occasion and poked the clog into the bottle and eventually pay the price with a re-clog. I hereby resolve to do it right every time not just sometime. Mostly. Usually. Ok, 90%. Thanks for your feedback and support. Jay N.
18 – Thoughts on hooks and tube sizes for large saltwater flies + thanks for videos.
Introduction to Saltwater Fly Tying
Q: Jay, I see you’re branching out. Big fish require big hooks. What size tubes and hooks would you use? I imagine you would require metal tubes for large fish or would you still use large plastic tubes with stainless steel hooks?
A: One might think that these larger saltwater tubes require far larger tubes but in general, I tie on the same tubes I use for my typical freshwater flies. An exception – territory I have not ventured into yet – would be tying genuinely huge saltwater tubes for fish like marlin or mako sharks and the like. Those would probably involve shock tippets of a hundred or more pound-test and that material would not fit though the standard tube materials I use. So when I’m fishing twenty pound or lighter tippets, the small tubes work fine. If you will be fishing forty to sixty pound tippets you will indeed need larger tubes to fit. As far as metal tubes go, I have not used any of these for my saltwater flies, so I will either add a dumbbell to the plastic tube or just rely on the line sink to get down to whatever depth I am trying to fish. A fast sink fly line will take a neutral-buoyancy tube fly down 40-60 feet if the boat does not drift to fast, so I have not so far found it necessary to add much other than heavy dumbells to tubes I will fish at these depths or shallower. Here is an important point, though: I do need to use larger diameter hook guides with the larger saltwater hooks. So for example, I might tie a big salmon or ling cod tube fly on a normal size tube, I need to upsize the hook guide to accommodate the ring eye on a 2/0, 3/0, or 4/0 saltwater heavy wire hook. Many of the Saltwater flies do require larger hooks and I found myself regularly tying on 4/0 hooks when for decades I never considered the need to go larger than a #2 hook. Not all saltwater hooks are stainless steel, but many use a salt-resistant coating over non-stainless wire. There are many great Saltwater hook styles and you will find some that suit your preferences well. Just don’t tie on your bronze freshwater hooks or those Black finish salmon and steelhead hooks because they will not fare well in the salty brine. Hope this helps. Jay N.
Q: Jay I’ve missed your videos!
A: Thanks, thank you very much and hope you find some entertainment and a little useful information in this series. Best – Jay N.
Q: Jay, I’ve missed them too. You’re the reason I got into fly tying. I’m glad to see you’re back in the game. Enjoy life.
A: Really pleased that these videos offer useful information and encouragement to other tyers. These are non scripted, of that I’m certain it shows, and I never know exactly what might come out when I am rambling on about the fly and the technique and sometimes telling fishing stories and so forth, but gosh I’d better get back at it and shoot a few more! Thanks again for your kind encouragement. Jay N.