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pattern archives         wm’s pattern of the month    

termite_1 copy“The Termite”

                 This is a salmon/steelhead pattern using some really demure yet beautiful colors…it imitates a small shrimp or bug…when I was making some pictures of this tie, I laid it on my firewood pile , a favorite background I use…I looked down and it looked like I had termites in the firewood for a second…what better name for it! except when I laid one of the doubles down on the kitchen counter, my wife said if she didnt know better she would have rolled up a magazine and whacked it…something about a cockroach…I will take that as a compliment sort of…but I like termite better…

termite_17 copy

                        Field testing “The Termite” for some bigger species……here I am using a bronze No.4 double with an “old school” braided loop I got from my friend Aaron @ AO Feather in St. Helens , Oregon…adding the loop made the pattern stretch out in a cool way, I just pinched down the eye and wrapped the loop material over it…below is the same hook, with the standard down turned eye…this pattern in the smaller singles (4-6)would be a great fly for trout too…

termite_4

                I love the earth tones…after learning to use a sein, flipping rocks or an occasional stomach pumps on trout & steelhead , something I did while guiding to help me figure out what the best pattern to pull out and use. I discovered just how different the colors that the ingested aquatic insects & baitfish were from many of the standard and accepted patterns we use all the time. Granted the sharp colors that really “pop” are meant many times to evoke aggressive behaviour…especially from steelhead  or salmon…termite_3 copy

                     The pic above and below show a few different ties of this, but give a better view of what a fish might see…the guinea hen tail offers some “natural” flash to this bug…also you can see here how the double hook opens up the pattern, compared to the single…with the eye like this the fly has a really good swimming motion…bumping up on the pull stroke of the retrieve, making for some really cool motion…the fly in the  pic above got a bit chewed up fishing…but still is in OK shape…

termite_13 copy

 

However on cloudy days or slightly off color water during run off etc, the more demure or darker colors seem to work best. On tailwaters when the dam would release water and raise the level, the water invariably would get a bit off color…time to switch to some darker or earth tone looking patterns…this applies to most all species…trout and salmon…

   The underside of this “bug” reveals a little different view( a double No.4  AO Feather house brand hook in bronze)…the guinea hen tail add’s a real touch for an extra attration…a fish viewing from unerneath will get a litle flash to catch their eye…a bit of contrast coupled with the silver wrap on the body does this too.

termite_7 copy

                Here is  the same pattern tied on a No.1 double…(on an AO house brand hook with a down  eye)…I added an extra sprig of the dyed flank underneath @ the eye here to beef up the throat area… this is a bigger bug for sure…requiring a heavier weight line to swing…I tied the tail down a bit more to get a little more “wiggle” between the wing and tail from it swimming…I use something I call a “cheater” wing…its one feather that is the wing, and also gets some barbs pulled down before a final tighten down to imitate some legs on the shrimp…

termite_6 copy

               The No.4 double is An AO Feather with a down eye…I tied the tail and wing tight…this down eye and tail wing configuration makes for some really interesting swimming characteristics…on a retrieve the bug jumps up in between strokes…diving a bit on the pull pressure…

Ttermite_5 copy                       This is a real simple bug to tie, there are a few details on the underside…the rest is basically tented wings and a tail. Depending on which feathers you pic from the Guine skin, you can get more or less pointed tails…it just depends on where it comes from…but I really don’t know which is which until I wax it up…       

termite_9 copy

          Heres a view showing a better view of the underbody…when wet & swimming a lot more is visible…

termite_14 copy 2

               The length of the fly increased a bit when I used the “old school” braided loop…it still maintained the dropped eye, but added about 1/4 -5/16″overall…allowing the use a that much larger wing feather…actually from this skin, just less wastes trimmed off…they were all pretty much the same length…longer than I needed…the SBS below will show more on that…I made a segment up just to show how to put on the loop…

termite_15copya

loop version cont’d… 

termite_20 copy

 day is done…pack up the gear and head home…and go tie a few more flys after supper!

          The fly is made from dyed mallard flank for the wings(its usually sold as a material as “golden Wood Duck etc), guinea hen(yard bird) for the tail and cream colored dubbing…I used some buffalo wool mixed with rabbit fur…the wire is just a silver colored one, .015 or similar…I tied the one in the above pic on a  No.1 Tiemco 7999 and used black floss & some “hard as hull” cement for the finished head…I also made some on Mustad doubles size 4. A little lower profile with some extra teeth! see that one below…the under side view is pretty cool !

materials list…

(2) dyed mallard flanks for the wings and throat…
cream colored buffalo wool  & rabbit fur for dubbing…
(1) guinea hen for tail…
black nylon thread

AO Feather double No.4 in Bronze
& No.1 AO double w/ down eye in black…
No.1 Tiemco 7999 single, black…

 

the SBS is is progress for the single 7999 tie…should be done soon…

 

here are some suppliers I use for my hooks and  other tying ingredients…also a few great resources for  materials…fur and feathers…

AO Feathers a place that has quality materials, and some hard to find items like double hooks and items used by those devoted to classic patterns… Many of the materials used in flies on this page were supplied by AO Feathers…they have many feathers needed for the most exact approach to classic patterns…a small family business.

Orvis an old standby, that has some very nice supplies and materials…just about everything, I have done business with them for many years…

J Stockard a company I have dealt with for a while…nice folks too…a small very down to earth,  family business.

 here are some links to sites that offer excellent SBS’s or youtubes…  a few folks  whom I consider master tyers ,and some step by steps to tie flies, from whom I have learned a lot of basic skills used on a daily basis now.…or  with you tube videos… also a few forums oriented to fly fishing and fly tying, great places to learn and meet some new folks.

Charlies Fly Box ,  Charlie Cravens siteArvada, Colorado…I sold a lot of his patterns in a shop I worked at in Colorado…he is not only creative, but also a super tyer, and a great guy…the original, Mr SBS himself…

Hans Stephenson from Dakota AnglerRapid City , South Dakota…Hans is a great tyer and has the youtube thing down very well…many new styles and materials…

Davie McPhail….an oustanding tyer from Scotland…all manner of trout and salmon flies…he has many youtubes done on all sorts of patterns…a real magician… 

Fly Anglers Online is a great resorce for tying tutorial’s for all manner of flies…trout to salmon…here is a very good link for tying Dee Style flies…

Spey Clave Forum…spey fishing and fly tying… excellent, friendly forum, devoted to spey gear and fishing…also an outstanding resource for patterns for steelhead and salmon…I have several friends here I swap materials and patterns with …a super place to find out “all things spey”…

Fly Fishing Forums North America/ well managed forum that has multiple categories…I like the Fly Tying section…

Salmon Fishing Forum, great resource for patterns and a little peak into angling in Ireland , Scotland the UK and European angling…a excellent  classic  fly  section, with some incredible tyers…a few who contributed to my site.

Colorado, Mountain Fishing Forum …small group I know in Colorado, some of my old acquaintances I fish with.

some interesting sites for tying knots…

Orvis Knots…some good tutorial’s for common fishing knots…

Grogs Fishing Knots… another really good surce for many knots…

 

 

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