Philosophical Change [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Philosophical Change

Sean Juan
04-01-2008, 12:51 PM
Lately, each year before the season starts I try to come up with a "philosophy" to try out. Those of you lucky enough to know and love me understand that I care less about catching fish and more about learning from them. I mix stuff up based on situations but sometimes you tend to seek out situations based on what you want to do...

So a brief recap - I keep notes like a good little nerd - thats not true I haven't been "little" since 3rd grade.

2006 - The year of the Realist - used primarily accurate sparce flies (Cyborgs, Deep Eels, Ray's Flies, and Flatwings) - probably caught the highest number of fish but the keeper to schoolie ratio was fairly poor. Also the bait situation was fairly poor especially in the fall - the only massive bait schools I list were small sandeels, juvie herring week, almost no mention of Peanut Bunker.

2007 - The year of Big Flies - Probably the best year ever in terms of actual poundage of fish landed especially last spring. Biggest runs of big bait I had ever seen. Primary flies were all 6/0 or better, Slammers, Bunker patterns - that old Giant Killer pattern - stuff like that. Also first year with the two-hander...the time to learn it was very well spent. The number of days skunked however was especially high - even in spots that were pretty much easy beans in pervious years. Most surprisingly the number of times I started with a large fly got skunked, and switched to a smaller accurate fly and caught fish was very low. Unless the big flies spooked the fish (a possibility) odds are pretty good I was just fishing in the wrong spots for most of July and August. The Fall saw a lot of bait, and again the big flies don't seem to have caught any less than the accurate ones. Bigger fish most of the year - this could have been due primarily to the bigger flies, or more likely the improved bait situation increased the average size of all fish.

2008 - The year of the Kraken!!!!

One thing I am going to try this year is to use far more squid flies - the plan is to use Big squid May + June, Tiny July, Medium August and big again come fall. Squid flies are one of those things I love to tie especially during a long boring winter but I have never given a fair shake. Not sure why really, just always gravitated towards baitfish patterns. This also means using - in many cases - far more colorful flies. Bright pink, orange, and chartruese. Looking at some squid flies its easier to see an attractor than a squid and as is the case with all flies its hard to know for certain what the fish see. It is also hard to determine what works "best" since in any given situation multiple flies will work. Also a lot of these flies will be pretty massive - the two-hander really openned some new possibilities for fly design for me at least. I have copied Capt Ray's Rattle squid to the best of my ability, copied Dble Hauls fancy pants squid, and I even made a tube fly yak hair squid along with some more modest cactus squid, squid-ceivers, and the good ol' Shady Lady. Should be interesting...

Dble Haul
04-01-2008, 01:19 PM
Fancy pants squid? Why I oughta.....

04-01-2008, 01:53 PM
Capt Ray's Rattle squid? Why I oughta.....


04-01-2008, 06:55 PM
Why I oartta....ROFL

I have copied Capt Ray's Rattle squid to the best of my ability, copied Dble Hauls fancy pants squid, and I even made a tube fly yak hair squid along with some more modest cactus squid, squid-ceivers, and the good ol' Shady Lady. Should be interesting...

Sean, I dun tied up some brite ornge skwidceivers just like ya tolt me ta do fer the sprang hoedown. Ah shur hope the dang things werk :hihi: :D

I am gonna try to get fancy & make up some of Capt'n Rays ultra cool mono loop eyes and tie some of his bunny squid deals as well. In my spare time of course:D

04-02-2008, 05:05 AM
Well. I'm going to have to see some of these beauties. The year of the squid.:hihi: FishHawk

Sean Juan
04-02-2008, 08:19 AM
Ask and you shall receive...

Ummmm "Could Kim Kardashian please bring me a roast beef sandwich, a root beer, and an apple pie...while wearing naught but a smile...."

Damn, probably went too far with the apple pie...

This is Squidy - named for the Kraken-like beast who is Captain McCallister's mortal foe, unless Baby on Board is playing on the radio. "Aaaarrrrr, I've nothing against you Squidy I just want the gold hidden in your belly, Arrrrrggh."

The Mantle is tied on a tube, with XL EZ body creating the shell or "pen" of the squid - look close I even included an ink vein. The veil is a mix of yak hair and Angel Hair. The Yak is pale orange the Angel hair a mix of Copper, Gold, Purple, and Root beer. Squid can change colors from nearly-invisible to rich burgundy. I have versions of this fly in white, pink, chartreuse but I like the orange best.

The over head shot gives a better idea of the 3-D nature of the fly.

The tentacles are just some saddle hackle, flash, and a little polar fiber. A Lot of squid patterns splay out the feathers, I try not to just because squid usually keep them together - but I like a little natural twist in the feather so saddles that the Deciever tier rejected have become the cornerstone of my Squidy. For such a large pattern the hook is a relatively small 3/0. I suspect that this fly will get whacked by smaller fish, but the hook ups will be hard to come by, a 30+" striper however has a huge mouth and I doubt that will be an issue, which is good since if I'm using a fly this big I want a bigger fish.

Please don't hurt me...

04-02-2008, 08:34 AM
That's a killer tie.

I did the cephalopod thing several years back, it works. The mid-late May foot-longs bring big stuff right to shore around 5pm. Had great luck on ocean-feeding coho salmon out in the pacific as well with small ones before that as well.

However... big slammer blues love big squid flies thus after my 'year of the squid' my philosophy shifted to those things that big stripers do that blues don't. I tend to hold those philosophies to this day.

Boat vs. shore always makes a difference in my thinking.

Lots to be gained from it though, and again that's a killer tie Sean.

The apple pie is a stretch but the smile works for sure :lildevl:

04-02-2008, 08:52 AM
What kind of missile launcher do use to launch this monster? :Eyecrazy:

04-02-2008, 11:04 AM
What kind of missile launcher do use to launch this monster? :Eyecrazy:

I was thinking exactly the same thing?

How do you cast that thing or is it a double handed chuck and duck?

Sean Juan
04-02-2008, 11:56 AM
The only moderately difficult part of the cast is the lift, all big flies cast better if they are out of the water when you start.

I do this by simply making a high roll cast - with a heavy sink line it may require two one to bring the line to the surface and a second to get it airborne.

Other than that it is simply a matter of starting the forward cast after the backcast has completely unfurled, that way you only have to deal with the fly's air resistance not a change of direction.

Air resistance is the issue, the fly is very light for its size. Biggest problem is that the fly rarely "turns over" could improve that by wrapping the tube with lead but I haven't yet because 1. I like the option of working the fly close to the surface with a quick retrieve and 2. not having the leader turn over isn't a big deal when blind casting to rips, surf or channels. Wasn't planning on using it to sight fish the flats but hey why not...

Been practicing and so far I've cast this on my two-hander with no issues at all, and can get a consistent 80' with a 9wt using a shooting head. Just so you know I have a lot of practice casting big flies. If you think this fly is big you ought to see my shad flies.

Juro, Thanks for the props.

I'm hoping...that the tube part of the fly will slide out of the way after a fish hits so that I can replace the tails after bluefish ecounters...more likely the tube will slide up the leader and get whacked by a couple dozen unhooked blues. Worth a laugh.

More importantly though you have given me something else to think about in order to narrow down feeding opportunities that big stripers take advantage of that smaller fish and bluefish do not. Makes me wonder if I finally need to grow up and learn how to fish crab patterns...

04-02-2008, 01:00 PM
Crab Fly? Why I oughta...
Great looking Squid fly but I know that you can rise to the challenge and tie up a Horse Shoe Crab pattern with a 7/0 trailing hook.... like something in the 16 to 18 inch range then you can really whack the $^$ out of Mark! or use it as an anchor for his boat!