Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012 Show Season has Begun

The holiday season has come and gone.  My 2012 show, seminar and workshop season has begun.  January is a busy month for me as I will be busy every weekend.  This past weekend I spent Saturday January 7th in Red Deer, Alberta with the Central Alberta Tying Club providing my annual fly tying session.  The Cental Alberta Tying Club has become a tradition for me and signifies the start of my annual show, seminar and workshop season.  

Stickin' Foam

For the past six years I have provided a one day tying seminar that included materials.  Previous seminars include stillwater patterns, streamers, nymphs, dry flies and last year Flies for Big Fish.  This year I was joined by 32 students as we had ‘Fun with Foam’. 

Floating Minnow

Hook:  Mustad R74-9672 #6-#12
Thread:  6/0 White
Tail:  Stillwater Solutions Grizzly Marbou, Natural, Olive or Brown
Underbody:  2mm Sheet Foam, White
Body:  SuperWeave Mylar, Medium

Over the course of the day students were introduced to a variety of foam and foam tying techniques.  Things began simple with the Sugar Cube, a variation of a Shipman’s Buzzer.  The Shipman’s Buzzer is an English pattern.  It is an excellent chironomid emerger designed to suspend in the surface film.  The original yarn breathers at the front and rear of the pattern are replaced with a loop of Ethafoam.  Electronics are typically packaged in Ethafoam and a new TV or Computer can provide a life time supply.  Right after Christmas there is usually lots of packing foam kicking around.

Sugar Cube
Hook:  Mustad R50-94840 #12-#16
Thread: 6/0 Colour to match body
Trailing Shuck: White Packing Foam or Sheet Foam
Rib: Pearlescent Crystal Flash
Body:  Stillwater Solutions Soft Blend Dubbing Maroon, Olive, Dark Summer Duck
Thorax: Stillwater Solutions Soft Blend Dubbing-Maroon, Olive, Dark Summer Duck
Suspender Bubble: White Packing Foam or Sheet Foam

Students were taught a variety of techniques including how to glue foam together, use foam cutters, tie extended bodies, make Booby eyes and glue dubbing to preformed foam bodies.  By day’s end we had tied nine patterns and students had a cross section of surface and subsurface flies to use as templates for their personal tying.  The Club Sandwich was popular with students as was the Ultimate Boatman, Extended Body Dun, the Floating Minnow and King’s Foam Dragon.

Club Sandwich
Hook:  Mustad S-80-3906 #4-#10
Thread:  6/0 Color to Compliment Foam Body
Body:  2mm Sheet Foam, Tan, Brown and Orange glued together and trimmed to shape
Legs:  Round Rubber Hackle, Knotted
Indicator: 2mm Sheet Foam, Hot Orange

Tying Note:  Check out Juan Ramirez’s Hopper Juan Blog for an excellent video tying tuturial detailing how to tie the Club Sandwich.

Although foam is a common ingredient in many dry and emerger patterns it really shines when used for subsurface patterns.  Foam provides not only function in regards to its natural buoyancy but form as well to suggest different features.  When it comes to subsurface patterns water boatman, backswimmers, baitfish and dragon fly nymphs are personal favorites. 

Matt King’s Foam Dragon was a featured fly in my latest book Stillwater Selections and is an excellent example of what can be done incorporating foam for subsurface patterns.  Matt figured out how to glue dubbing to a preformed foam body creating a realistic dubbed pattern you can work in and around structure and over weed beds with minimal risk of a hang-up

King's Foam Dragon

Hook: Mustad C49S #8-#10
Thread: 6/0, Black or Olive
Body:  Foam Body, Plump or Slim, Covered with Dubbing
Legs:  Stillwater Solutions Grizzly Marabou, Round Rubber Hackle Barred
Thorax: Dubbing
Wingcase: Thin Skin, Mottled Oak, Two Sections
Eyes: 1/8” Wide Strip of 2MM Black Sheet Foam

Plans are already in the works for 2013 and if my schedule allows there may even be a fall class.  Right now I am on my way to Boise for the Boise Valley Fly Fishers annual Fly Fishing Expo.  I will be presenting a number of seminars, providing a casting and retrieves demo on the casting pond and a stillwater tying demo.  This show is always well attended and I am looking forward to catching up with friends including Pete Erickson, Jeff Courier and Jack Dennis.  I wonder what stories Jeff will have from his recent trip to Brazil.  He always manages to have some escapade! 

The weather is also supposed to be good.  I hope to get a day or two in on the water.  I have my gear with me.  Not bad to be fishing in January.  I will post a complete show and hopefully a fishing report next week.  If you are in the Boise area this Friday and Saturday please drop by.

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