Monday, January 19, 2009

Stimulator Pattern

Here are a few pictures of a stimulator pattern that I tied up over the holidays. I first learned to tie this fly last summer, but I will be the first to admit that I still need a lot of practice on this pattern. I won't tell you how long it took me to get this one to look respectable ...

I've included a couple of features in this variation on the stimulator that I quite like. Before I put the wing on the fly, I like to tie in a few strands of flash. I like the way they add a little bit of sparkle to the fly; perhaps a bit of motion too as the fly drifts along. I also add a shield of calf hair in front of the wing. This adds a bit more white to the fly and makes it a bit easier to see on the water.

Hope you like my version of the stimulator. Here's the pattern that I used to tie this fly:

Hook: Daiichi 1270 (or TMC 200R)
Thread: 6/0 Rusty Dun UNI-Thread
Tail: Elk Hair
Body: Rusty Brown Ice Dub
Ribbing: Extra Fine Copper Wire
Body Hackle: Grizzly Hackle
Flash: Pearl Krystal Flash
Main Wing: Elk Hair
Over Wing: White Calf Hair
Thorax: Peacock Black Ice Dub
Thorax Hackle: Grizzly Hackle

I've tied variants of this stimulator pattern with a variety of colors - just have to use one's imagination. I'm sure you'll see some more stimulators posted in the future. They're a fun fly to tie.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A New Vise for 2009

I now have a new vise for 2009. Some have suggested that it's not a "vise" but rather a "vice". I say perhaps both are true.

I had been looking to get myself a new fly tying vise for Christmas, but just never quite got around to it. If you know me well at all, you'll know that I usually have to research, wait, research some more, wait again, and then finally make a big purchase. My search for a new vise fit this description completely. So even though I had found a good deal on a vise that I liked, I just couldn't quite make the buy. Oh well ...

However, when we were up in Utah visiting family last Christmas/New Years, I made a trip in to Cabelas. I was just going to look. Yeah, right! I found a great deal on an HMH Standard Vise, the more expensive brother to the vise I was orginally looking at. This vise normally sells for $240 to $280. Cabelas had one on sale for $99.88. I didn't let it sit on the shelf. I bought it and ran.

I've tied a couple of flies on it so far and I absolutely love it. It has a nice, solid pedestal base (no more having to clamp the vise to the table). The jaws are solid and easily hold the hook. Perhaps nicest of all is the rotary feature. I can turn the cam lever at the back of the vise and rotate the fly around. This is great for looking at the fly from all sides and makes it easy to wrap hackle on the fly. This is one awesome tool.

Well, now that I've got a new vise, I don't have too many excuses to keep me from tying up a lot of flies this year. I've set a fly tying goal for the new year, but more about that in a future post.