7 Best of the Best Largemouth Bass Flies

If you’re anything like me, just hearing the words “bass fishing” evokes childhood memories of sweltering hot summers and brightly colored deer hair poppers. I can vividly remember riding my bike, fly rod clutched tightly across the handlebars, to Tony Specchio’s farm. My excitement grew with each carefully placed step as I traipsed across the “fragrant”cow pastures to fish my favorite pond. Like most “noobie” fly anglers, I cut my teeth catching largemouth bass.

“Count to one hundred, ” Dad used to say, “that’s how long you should wait before moving your popper.” As a youngster, it always felt like an eternity watching the concentric waves expand away from the fly as they disappeared into the glassy surface of the pond. After about thirty seconds, I just couldn’t take waiting anymore. I would bring my popper to life, awakening the pond with a loud Baaa-LOOUpe! A siren call to ready and waiting bass lurking in the cattails. To this day, I just don’t know what’s better, the violent explosion when the bass decides to eat, or the anticipation building up to the ambush. I guess it’s all part of the experience and what draws us all back to largemouth bass. Read More

By Far THE BEST Fly Tying Light Available!

After 30 plus years of tying flies, I find myself getting closer and closer to my work and I don’t mean in the Workaholic way. It could be the layout of the lighting in my fly tying room, or maybe I’m just getting old, and my eyes aren’t what they used to be, so finding the best fly tying lamp around was of the utmost importance.

Whatever the case, adequate illumination is a must when it comes to tying flies. Unless your fly tying space is lit up like the surgery unit of the ER, a good desk lamp or two is an absolute must. Read More

After 5 Years: My Best Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) Fly Fishing Gear Setup

As a fly designer and avid fly angler, I spend an extensive amount of time on the water analyzing fish, brainstorming, testing, and refining my flies. One of my favorite ways to get out there and chase fish is on my paddle board. I am literally on the water almost every day and here’s what I have found to be the best and most effective SUP fly fishing gear setup. After 5 years of testing, tweaking and tuning (which equates to over 1,000 days of SUP fly fishing) here’s how I like to rig my SUP.

Why Choose a Stand Up Paddle Board (S.U.P) for Fly Fishing

I think the easiest place to start is WHY I choose to fish off a stand up paddle board or a SUP as opposed to a canoe or kayak or skiff. It comes down to ease and convenience. A stand up paddle board, for me, is really easy when I’m by myself.  Read More

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.


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