Nightmare Needlefish Fly: Catch More, Bigger Barracuda!

Where there’s bonefish there’s barracuda … and when the conditions aren’t ideal for bonefish you better have a rod loaded up with steal leader if you want to wrestle with these toothy critters. Most of the time it’s pretty windy so you’re going to need a little bigger rod than usual to launch this lengthy concoction out there as well! Although you can tie this fly in shorter sizes to make your life easier, I find that the longer it is the better! As for any Cuda lure goes… The key is the speed of the retrieve!  Wide open, as fast as you can go! I have caught a few on a rapid single handed strip, but the vast majority of the time I have the rod under my arm and I’m stripping with both hands. This hand over hand method is much faster and is typically what you need to trigger the strike on bigger fish.

Anytime you are heaving around a 2/0 hook in high wind you need to be acutely aware of your surroundings and take extra care…But you add an inverted stinger hook to the mix and your chances of empaling yourself, fishing buddy or guide goes up exponentially. Although this fly looks terrifying with the sinister wide gap hooks, I named this fly the Nightmare Needlefish when I was tying it, not fishing it.  After tying thousands of flies a year my habit is to stroke back fibers before applying more materials to the hook. I quickly discovered this propensity after burying the stinger hook in the outside of my left hand every time I tie these things! No matter how careful I am I always seem to find it at least once or twice…. So be careful! Read More

Fly Tying for Beginners: Learn how to get started tying saltwater flies

Having spent a fair amount of time behind the vise or around others tying, I believe that the reasons for tying fur and feathers onto a hook go much beyond catching fish, further than any who don’t tie could ever imagine. Whether it’s the camaraderie or the creativity, art, or simply a means to catch fish, people are passionate about tying flies for a lot of different reasons. For me, it’s all those reasons and more. Tying has become part of my daily routine, and teaching people, especially beginners how to tie flies is one of my favorite activities.

My passion is developing and tying flies, and I help fly tyers of any skill level learn how to develop and improve their own fly patterns. Not only do they learn to tie better flies, but best of all, they catch more fish too! Read More

Looking for a Clear Cure Goo Hydro Tack Free Alternative? This is the best available.

Clear Cure Goo Alternative

Clear Cure Goo is long gone, but some people are still asking about it and wonder what’s the best alternative. Here’s my choice as a fly designer and commercial fly tyer.

The numerous types of UV-cured acrylics on the market today provide a faster, easier, and cleaner alternative to epoxy.  There are countless varieties available with varying thicknesses, finishes, flexibility, and colors.   Read More

The American Museum of Fly Fishing welcomes Drew Chicone as an Ambassador

The American Museum of Fly Fishing announced today that Drew Chicone, Fly Designer, Author, Outdoor Writer, Materials Expert and creator of www.saltyflytying.com has joined its Ambassador Program.

MANCHESTER CENTER, Vt. – Oct. 4, 2017 – PRLog — About Drew Chicone:
Drew Chicone is an author, award-winning outdoor writer & fly designer, photographer, lecturer, and materials expert, whose passion for teaching the art of fly tying has inspired numerous how-to articles, books and detailed instructional guides. He has lived and breathed the sport since he was tall enough to sit at the vise, and his fly creations are well known and in high demand among saltwater anglers and guides across the globe.

How to Tie The Peppermint Punisher

A while back I tied up and posted a very simple and space baitfish pattern with snook and baby tarpon in mind. This popular little pattern got all kinds of interest and several of you wanted to know what it was called and how to tie it. Since I didn’t have a name for it, I left it up my FB and Instagram pals to pick one out. After 70+ creative recommendations I decided that Alex Beane’s nomination for  “The Peppermint Punisher ” fit the bill.  Here’s what you need to tie a few up for yourself.

Materials

Step 1:

Start the thread at the point of the hook and attach a pencil sized bunch of polar fiber.  Pick out the excessively long fibers so the tapered section is approximately 2 1/2 – 3 times the hook length. Read More

Fly Tying Tips

 

Fly Tying Tips for Feathers

Over the past few months, I’ve  given you Fly Tying Tips and Tricks from my latest eBook called Feathers- Tip’s, Trick’s, & Common Mistakes. Simply click the icon above if you’d like to download your free copy.

For more information on how  you can improve your own saltwater fly patterns check out my website www.saltyflytying.com or;

For a deep dive into the world of saltwater pattern development, check out Feather Brain

Thanks for reading!

~Drew

Fly Tying Tips – How to Select Feathers for Fly Tying

 Fly Tying Tips for Feathers

This is the eight installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

Feathers Will Curve to Follow the Contour of the Bird

 If you hold the cape in your hands skin down, you will notice that the feathers naturally curve to follow the bird’s body. Feathers around the sides of the cape will typically have more curvature than the ones in the middle of the cape and the majority will curve in one of two directions.

 

Feather Typically Have a Slight Curve In 2 Directions

Feathers from the far left side of the cape will curve or cup down and to the left and the opposite is true for the right side of the cape.  If you are marrying the two pairs of feathers, you want to pick feathers from the left side of the cape that curve to the left for your pair closest to you, and feathers from the right side of the cape that curve right for the far pair.  That way both pairs of feathers will curve slightly downward when married together.

 

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my fly tying tips, tricks & common mistakes.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew

 

 

Fly Tying Tips – How to Apply Feathers

Fly Tying Tips for Feathers 

This is the ninth installment of  Feathers – Tip’s, Trick’s & Common Mistakes, which can be downloaded FREE from www.saltyflytying.com

Married Hackles – Feather Curve Together

“Marrying the hackles” refers to placing the concave or undersides of the feathers together.  Another common term for this technique is “Praying Hands.”  When wet, all the feathers come together and look as one. This technique is often used on classic patterns such as Lefty’s Deceiver or Stu Apte’s Apte II.

 

Splayed Hackles – Feather Curve Apart

The opposite of praying hands is splayed hackle.  This means that the feathers are lined up at the tips and tied onto the hook so the convex sides of the feathers are facing each other.  When wet the 2 pairs of feathers separate and appear to “kick” when stripped. This technique is often used for crab claws or on Keys Style Tarpon Flies.

 

 

 

Tented Hackles – Feather Curve Together But Open At Bottom

Tented hackles are married hackles that are slightly opened at the bottom and touching at the top, to create tent shape.   This technique is often used to emulate the V shaped back of a baitfish. When wet, the two pairs of hackles swim as one, and create a wider more cylindrical-shaped profile.  Johnny King uses this technique when tying his Kinky Muddler patterns.

 

Download my free eBook by clicking the icon to your right to read the rest of my fly tying tips, tricks & common mistakes.

Keep Your Wraps Tight & Feathers Straight

-Drew