Sunday, April 15, 2018

Pike/Musky Brushes

Bucktail, yak hair, flash products, and various synthetics including Kanekalon hair extensions, SF Blend, Wampa Hair from Lund's Fly Shop, Baitfish Blends and more from Fly Tier's Dungeon, and strung Fuzzy Fiber are the various materials that I've been incorporating in to the brushes I've started spinning.

When I happened upon the Stonfo Dubbing Brush Maker, it suited so closely what I'd been wanting in one of these devices that I quickly ordered it. My intentions was to make my own brushes to be used for heads on my musky flies. I was never very happy with commercially-made brushes -- they were too sparse and too expensive.

Having bought the brush maker to spin brushes for heads, I immediately delved into brushes to make complete musky flies (minus the feather tails).  Ha! That has been a walk on the pull-my-hair-out side.  There is a huge learning curve to spinning brushes using longer length material and there is no instruction manual for it. Strangely enough after my first 2 brushes showed potential, the next 2 brushes were wonderful successes! I thought I had it made.

For some reason, for many reasons, I had many brush failures after that.

The brushes in the foreground are ~8.5" long. 
But now, I'm getting my brushy act together and have spun numerous larger brushes successfully in a row.

The next step is to turn them into musky/pike flies just as I did to create those couple flies two months ago. I have also created a nice bath of brushes intended for use as musky fly heads. These are quick and easy (and probably why they are more fun) to make. I suspect there is also a learning curve to making brushes for heads, but I went crazy buying material to make brushes so I suspect success will be in my future... sooner or later!

Two brushes are spun at one time for musky fly heads.
My goal is to write spinning tips or another article for successfully making brushes to this post or a different post. I'd like to successfully transition some of these brushes to flies prior to taking on the task of helping others to spin brushes. But for now, I've got the book, The Weight of Night by Christine Carbo waiting to be read. The murder mystery, set in Glacier National Park, has been an excellent way to finish out the nights right before bed.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

BFF Fly Fishing Show Held on February 10 in Madison, WI

Click the link below for details about the Spring 2018 Fly Fishing Opener to be held this Saturday, February 10, in Madison, Wisconsin. Pat Ehlers will be the speaker at this year's annual show, held by the Badger Fly Fishers. From the presentations, to the vendors, bucket raffles, live auctions, and guest tiers, I've always found this to be a quality show with plenty of friendly people around to talk about fly fishing.

If you happen to be in the tying room and notice a gal with "tier" crossed off of her name badge, that will be me!  Instead of "Master Tier" (this was what was listed with our names a couple years ago when I tied there), I consider myself a "Master Trier!"  While there will certainly be some truly skilled tiers present, I want to show novice to moderately-skilled tiers that you don't have to be a pro to tie musky flies but learning a bit about why a fly swims the way it does can go a long way to catching these apex predators. I also hope to show others how I keep small mistakes from turning into big ones.. and how these mistakes have made me a better (but not master!) tier.