Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saturday at Schultzy's

Until Friday I did not have a single mount of a fish that I have brought to hand.  After landing the 23.5" brown in Wyoming I decided that enough was enough, and I could not be happier with how it turned out!  If you would like to get one of your own I do still have a couple spots open for the July 2013 return to the Bighorns....

Saturday morning I got up and hit the road to get over to Schultz Outfitters.  I knew I was going to be in the area and the Michigan game was the late game, so I had a few hours to burn. Tying flies at the shop seemed like the perfect way to spend the day.  I got there at ten and there were a few people that were waiting for the doors to open.  I quickly got set up and started tying some flies and telling stories.

Here is a shot that Schultzy took part way through the day.  There was a good crew of guys that hung out for the day and we had some more people come and go throughout.  We ended up doing some Red Rockets and Double Decievers as well as playing around wih some pattern ideas for Shimmer Fringe.  At three I got out and hit 94 headed east...and made it to Gilberts Lodge missingonly the first set of downs.  Back home now and planning what needs tied this week...

-mike schmidt

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wearable art at it's finest

Finally I can get rid of that old piece of rope I have been using to hold up my pants...the new gear has arrived.  From now on I will be styling with this rad buckle thanks to artist/blacksmith Wes Groot at Cityboy Forge.  To use a random term I heard somewhere along the way, I have been desirous of owning a piece of Wes' work since being made aware of it quite a while ago.  Holding off on purchasing something I really want is not a strong suit for me, but I decided that this would be a commemoration and self-reward for meeting some goals with Anglers Choice Flies.  Goals met...buckle now in hand!

I had my eye on a buckle on the Cityboy Forge site from the first time I checked it out.  It was similar to what I ended up with but with different materials.  To more resemble the brown trout that I love to harass with big flies I asked Wes if he could change it just a bit for me.  After a few back and forth emails I settled on the trout in copper on an un-treated steel background.  He said no problem at all, and a few weeks later it has arrived...and I could not be more stoked about how it turned out.  Being sized just smaller than a standard business card it is of a size that is big enough to be noticed, but not so big that it seems completely out of place in daily life

As part of the process you can customize the back of the buckle as well, so I took full advantage of that.  In addition to the forge information, signature, and serial number I decided to impart a bit of practical knowledge for anyone who may happen across this at a later unfortunate time...or hopefully never.

I can not stress how easy it was to work with Wes and how pleased I am with the results.  I expect that this thing will wear like steel since, is.  Check out some of Wes' other work at

-mike schmidt

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A few of Lynch's DDs out the door

Last week I heard from a few guys that are customers of Tommy Lynch.  Tommy is a guide in Michigan that shares a common sickness of throwing big flies for big trout, and introduces many of his customers to his approach through his Fish Whisperer Fly Fishing Guide service.  These particular guys were sent my way to get a few of Tommys vaunted DD fly.  This is a fly that Tommy designed to be very castable, have erratic and unpredictable motion in the water, and entice big fish out of their hidey holes.  This nasty articulated fly includes a glass rattle, big schlappen tail, and a wedge cut head.  Hopefully these particulare ones will be lodged in fish mouths in the very near future!

-mike schmidt

Friday, September 7, 2012

Marabou veiling technique

One of the things that I like to demonstrate at fly shows are the tricks that make my life as a tier easier, and my flies more durable when faced with an angry fish.  I always aim for my flies to have inherent movement, so one of my favorite materials is marabou.  Unfortunately marabou, while full of movement, tends to be brittle.  Of course I can not do anything about the feather fibers I can eliminate the part that is most likely to get broken and cause the fly to unravel...the stem.  When utilizing marabou for veiling I do not use the standard technique of palmering the feather, but rather a technique more similar to spinning deerhair.  The following is a step by step of how I create the marabou veiling on patterns like the Red Rocket and Red October.

STEP 1:  With a full marabou plume in hand, come down the center stem until the feather fibers are the length that is acceptable to you.

STEP 2:  At that point clip out just the center stem, leaving the rest of the feather intact, and remove the tip of the feather.

STEP 3:  Stroke the feather together as a flattened bunch and lay it down on the top of the hook shank.  Slide your index finger down the far side of the hook shank to help spread the feather down the far side of the shank.

STEP 4:  Loosely wrap your thread up over the top of the shank and then as you come around use the thread tension to 'pull' the feather the rest of the way around the shank and back up  the near side.  This is very similar to what happens  when loosely spinning deerhair.

STEP 5:  Give yourself some secure wraps behund the head to hold everything in place.

STEP 6:  Using your scissors, trim out the fibers hanging out over the eye.  The closer you can get behind the eye the cleaner the end result will be.

STEP 7:  Finish off the thread head by wrapping down the exposed butt ends and whip finish.

-mike schmidt

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wyoming Hopper Trip...want to come along...?

If you have followed along here, then just over a month ago you saw a three day recap from what I can only describe as an epic trip to the shadow of the Bighorns.  Want to go back with me next year…?

Yup, that’s right…I’m heading back July 20th, 21st, and 22nd.  The trip will be right smack dab in the middle of another righteous hopper season and I have a couple spots open for people to come along!   We will fly in to Billings on July 19th and fly back out on July 23rd with three long days of hucking foam bugs to willing and vicious finned predators packed in the middle.  With multiple watersheds available to us, we will experience new water and scenery each day of the trip.  We will be hitting private water and fishing to fish that see only a handful of people a year, so they act like a wild fish should.  See food…Eat food.

This years’ trip was among the best few days I have ever spent chasing trout and I expect next year to be just as gnarly.  If you are interested in coming along then give me a call on my cell, 614.638.6727, so I can give you the details and hopefully get you on board!

-mike schmidt

Monday, September 3, 2012

Loonnggg weekend

Well, the long holiday weekend has come and gone, and here I sit having not gotten out on the water.  This week was the start of college football...which is to say it was like Christmas to many of us.  I however am a Michigan fan so unfortunately the outcome could have been slightly better, and by slightly I mean just a little, and by just a little I mean a hell of a lot.  I swore that I would not let football affect my mood, but after that disaster I needed to distract myself so I put my time in to knocking out some more flies and the pile grew pretty big by the end of tonight.  There are a few packages going out in the morning to find fish around the counrty and north of the border.  Maybe this week the boys will take care of business against Air Force and I will get into some fish!

I know it seems early...but show season is right around the corner.  The calendar for me still has a few holes but it is starting to shape up nicely.  The first thing I have coming up is actually next month, October 13th is the Grand Opening of the Orvis Cincinnati store and I will be in house tying up some streamers for the festivities from 11-3.  Hopefully a few of you will be around and can drop in and hang out for a bit.

Here is how the rest of the calendar is looking right now:
-Orvis Cincinnati Grand Opening, Cincinnati OH 10/13/2012
-International Fly Tying Symposium, Somerset NJ 11/17/2012 - 11/18/2012
-Indiana on the Fly, Indianapolis IN 01/05/2013
-The Fly Fishing Show, Somerset NJ 01/25/2013 - 01/27/2013
-Buckeye United Fly Show, Cincinnati OH 02/02/2013
-The Fly Fishing Show, Lancaster PA 03/02/2013 - 03/03/2013
-Swedish International Fly Fair, Jonkoping Sweden April 2013

-mike schmidt