For many fly-hunterman, fly-tying is a serious hobby. Given that tying your flies provides so much satisfaction, why buy flies online?
For many fly-hunterman, fly-tying is a serious hobby. Not only is fly-tying economical, but it is also enjoyable. Nothing beats the thrill of mastering a new fly pattern or creating specialised flies for ones’ unique hunting situations.
Also, one cannot underestimate the sense of adventure that accompanies the fly-hunter on the prowl for the perfect materials, whether browsing the local fly shop, ransacking a craft store, or even salvaging road kill.
Obtain local fly patterns
The first reason is that as your fly hunting experience grows, your desire to test new and foreign waters increases. As a result, your need for localised patterns becomes more critical. Sure, you want to do the research and tie your variations of the Club Sandwich before you hit the Snake River for the first time, but there’s something to be said about hunting the tried and true local patterns on your initial outings to foreign waters. With that idea established, you can either buy these flies from a local shop or purchase them online. I recommend doing both.
Say you live in New Jersey and you’re planning your first trip to Colorado. You and your buddies expect to hit a few a rivers within ten days. Before you go, research on the internet – find out what’s hatching on these rivers when you plan to visit them, and what patterns work best. Then, based on your research, purchase enough flies online to cover you while hunting these waters. Now you have a safety net – you won’t have to worry about not having enough flies for the rivers you’ll hunt at the end of your trip.
Next, local research shops on the internet – find out who the proprietors are and when they are open for business. Now, this idea might seem obvious to many of you, but make it a point to stop at these shops before you hunt. When you arrive, ask them about recent hunting activity and what flies they would recommend. Tell them about your trip, let them know you found their site on the internet, and ask for their advice. Tell them what flies you already have and ask about what else you may need. If your budget allows, purchase as many of the flies they recommend.
Save time while supplementing your current collection
There comes a time in which your energy is better focused on hunting than tying flies. A typical North American fly-hunter and fly-tier spends the “off” months tying flies for the season ahead. Much hunterman focus the bulk of their tying efforts on the winter months to prepare for spring, summer, and fall hunting. If you are one of those anglers, who feel like they never have enough flies, purchasing your “basic” flies online can leave you time to focus on the more specialised, region-specific flies that you might not find on the web. For example, why not buy your attractor flies such as Adams or Stimulators, so that you can concentrate on the special mayfly flies that you know will require special attention to detail? The same idea applies to those “hard-to-tie” flies – if you dislike tying size 24 Tricos, why not buy those items online, so you have more time to crank out the flies you prefer to tie?
Also, consider how much your time is worth. Think about your fly-tying time as if you were a professional fly-tier. How much is an hour of your fly-tying time worth? If it takes you two hours to tie twelve sizes 26 BWO emergers, you might be better off spending $10 on a dozen of the same flight so that you can use those two hours to tie 18 Rusty Spinners.
No matter what you want to purchase, nothing beats the internet for window shopping. I have seen the same fly pattern tied three different ways on three different sites. This variety allows you to find the best design that matches your intended hunting location. For example, if you plan to hunt faster-moving water, your parachute patterns might need a bit more feather, or even a brighter post. On the other hand, if you plan to hunt tailwaters, your mayfly patterns might need to sit lower on the water. By the same token, if you intend to hunt mostly in the spring, your mayfly patterns might need to be a lighter colour than if you want to hunt in the fall.
By browsing different sites for the same patterns, you will be able to compare models and ascertain the right fly for you. The best way to do this is to open two or three browser windows at a time on your computer. Then go to different sites in each browser and compare the patterns you are interested.
Quite just, buying flies online can save you money. Not only can you find discounts for large orders, but the actual cost of individual flies can also be lower than if you purchased flies from some of the larger fly hunting retailers. The best online merchants often charge as little as 65 cents (sometimes, even 50 cents for fly patterns). One disadvantage is that you don’t get to inspect the flies before you purchase them, unlike in a store. I recommend buying a few different patterns your first time to be able to determine not only the quality of the flies but the consistency of the quality across different patterns. For example, an excellent initial purchase might include a stonefly nymph, a caddis pattern, a mayfly emerger, a mayfly dun, and an attractor pattern. This way you could check the various elements of typical flies such as tails, dubbing, hackle, deer-hair, and hook strength.
Types of websites
There are hundreds of websites that sell flies online. These sites get into two categories: companies that only sell flies, and take flight shop owners who run websites for his or her businesses.
Businesses whose only purpose is to sell flies online usually have a higher amount of flies available. One advantage these sites offer is that they are more likely to provide discounts on more significant purchases. Also, their websites tend to be more user-friendly (though not always). Many of these sites typically include advanced features that make selecting and purchasing flies easier on the user. The best of these sites allow you to set up personal accounts or use “shopping carts” to store your selections before purchasing. In this manner, the purchase experience is more convenient. Shopping carts tend to be “persistent” – in that a visitor may select items to the cart one day and return to the site at a later time to find that the shopping cart still contains the previous selections. This allows you to select items you are interested in, leave the site and do more research, then change or add to your collections later.
Fly shop websites, on the other hand, typically present the user with flies specifically relevant to the area that the take flight shop services. You have a better chance of purchasing flies that are most effective in the area you want to hunt if you are buying them from local take flight shops. Furthermore, you are assisting the local economy of the region in which you desire to hunt. Many take flight shop websites also include online hatch charts which can inform you of flies you most likely need.
The author’s experience
In the spring and summer I do a lot of hunting on the Delaware River in the Catskills Mountains of New York. Throughout the winter I’ll tie a decent amount of the flies I need. As spring methods, I have found that supplementing my collection with web-bought flies ensures that I am ready to meet the various hatches experienced in the spring. Any Delaware River takes flight hunterman will tell you that hatch-matching is a crucial part of success upon this river. In my own limited experience, I’ve encountered days where 4 or 5 different hatches occurred. Also, the traps differ from week to week. I’ve ensured a reasonable modicum of success by checking out local hatch charts in advance and then investing in a dozen flies from week to week.
- Hopefully, these pointers can help you raise the number of flies you possess and improve your fly-hunting experience.
- Did you listen to the main one about the man who went glaciers hunting and returned with 50 pounds? Of ice?
- Well, if you found yourself here you’re at least one step before this man, that is if you don’t intend to buy some ice.
- Ice hunting is indeed a straightforward sport but must be employed with some extreme care.
Everything you say?
Significantly before you attempt to capture any hunt on “hard” drinking water there a thing or two you ought to be concerned. First of all, be sure you include the proper outfit. Setting out from your home on a good sunny day is okay but once you approach your destination things would have significantly transformed or may change with no warning. This might also be considered a good time to check on the weather route or paper for the current weather forecast.
- Secondly, be sure you check the glaciers conditions wherever you decide to go, there are local glaciers hut providers or local people who are prepared to help to make your trip safe.
- A pal of mine explained once, “You can always remove it, but it’s very hard to place it on if you haven’t first got it!”
- My advice, buy a good floatation suit. These are warm, and if someone happens to break thru the glaciers, it’ll probably save your valuable life.
- A warm, dry group of gloves, ideally without fingers is crucial. In this manner, all the fingertips share the heat. A full face balaclava is also required as well as sun shades. A shawl can help but be cautionary of the automobile you are employing to get you out to your preferred spot truly. You do not want it to get tangled up in a string or track.
- Several levels of clothes are an advantage just for the blissful luxury of taking them off. Another good notion is to have a hunting pal truly. They aren’t only there to take pleasure from your day with you and help to make the hunting story a real tale, but if an emergency arises, they are the only support you’ve got.
- We still have a few small things to do before setting out. Make sure your transportation is trustworthy, a general maintenance check will do, tell someone where you’re going and how long you expect to be gone and finally, a simple thing just like a compass, and that means you don’t get lost.
- Okay, are we having fun yet? Now that we have got all the scary stuff done, its time to leave, right… WRONG!
- You forgot the gear.
- A general rule of thumb regarding gear is to choose the equipment you will need to match the hunt you are seeking (e.g. the more massive the chase, the heavier the tackle).
Of course, you won’t be able to get to them if you don’t have an opening. So depending on the ice and your budget or both, you are going to need a snow spud or hand\gas auger. You can purchase both but if you just happen to have a friend that welds you can get him to make the spud up for you out of a 6′ x 2″ piece of flat steel and round pub.
Don’t forget to weld a “T” on the top and grind the horizontal bar down to a chisel point.
If you are in good shape and have the time the hand drill is fantastic but if you want to hunt several places and don’t want to tire yourself out making holes get a gas auger. Look for an auger with at least a 6″ cut so that you can get the big ones thru the opening.
Next, you’ll need a snow skimmer. I suggest the aluminium one because if you are in a hut with a stove just warm it up a little and touch it to the opening and voila … instant skim! Also, connect a light chain or rope on it just in case it falls down the opportunity.
Well, you’re almost there. You can’t catch anything without some jigging pole. They come in all types, sizes and styles but look for one with which you will be comfortable with. This may take a few outings to discover, so see if you have a buddy who will give you his or hers. Another general rule of thumb, a light pole for perch and manhunt using 2 to 4 lb. Test, medium action for trout, walleye, white hunt, etc. and 6 to 10 lb. Test.
If you are enthusiastic, an have a second hole you can also use a tip-up. They range in price from several dollars to around twenty-five bucks. Well, this should get you started. The rest you can learn from patience and experience. Good Luck and Good Fishing!
P.S. One last thing… remember to take a light lunch with you, just in case they decide not to bite or your hunting technique is off for the day. I can remember a few times when we had to have “hunt lip soup”, it wasn’t very filling.
Well, seeing as you have made it this far. I guess an obvious question would be “When is the best time to go ice hunting ?” Everyone I know wants to get out there as soon as possible. It is probably because the hunting seems to be a little better or more likely they just want to be the first one to haul one out of the hole.
It is true that the hunt is relaxed and in the best feeding spots because they haven’t been hassled for several months. Trout in particular spawn in the fall and can be found in deep water at this time. You can see them on bars, shoals, rocks and fingers. Perch, pike and walleye tend to look for shallow, weedy lakes because the oxygen level tends to be a lot higher.
Once the little villages spring up, and the anglers take their toll the catches tend to decrease but don’t despair they are still out there. You just have to work a little harder.
So you need a few pointers because you’re just not catching your limit.
Well, what is it that you do in the summertime, whether you are hunting from shore or boat if you’re not getting the bites ?… You move.
I do it all the time; it’s not hard if you’ve got your sled and make sure you’ve got a power drill, you’ll need it. To be mobile you need to be prepared. This includes a portable shelter, flotation suit, auger, sledge or 4×4, hunt finder and GPS. Give yourself about 10 to 20 minutes per hole. That’s enough time to find your depth, scratch the bottom for debris, rocks, sand, etc., set up your hunt finder and locate hunt and at what intensity. It also allows you to try your technique to see if they are interested. If you happen to have the hydrographic map of the lake or hunted it before it helps. Try making calculated moves, such as holes, shoals and weed beds.
If you can afford it, grab yourself several rods and rig them up with different presentations. Not merely do you feel an instant change designer but it will save tying on different lures when the elements aren’t friendly.
Jigging is an art. Never to fast rather than to decrease, kind of the rhythm thing. Remember it is alright to jig hard initially, you want to catch the attention of them, have them interested. Once you have done that decelerate to a twitch by only using your wrist or trolling in one part of the opening to the other. On the other hand, you can boost the rod suggestion a few ins and lower. Mix up underneath a little.
Ensure that your rod is brief, stiff and with big eyelets. It’s hard to hunt in a hut that’s only 4 x 6 with a 3′ pole. You merely get one chance to create the hook, so if it goes, you do not want the mast to bend. Getting your line get freezing because of clogged eyelets seriously isn’t any fun.
No, I’m not looking to wake you up from your daydream, but sense favourite is not the only path to get hunt from the hole. If you start to see the slightest motion, either laterally or up or down, arranged your hook! Keep in mind, if you’re sending your lure down and it halts as well as your not where your suppose to be, you almost certainly have one at risk.
Now, if you would like to have them up the opening you have to connect them, so keep the hooks sharp. The simplest way to check is when you press the idea thru the minnow if the concept doesn’t go ahead smoothly either sharpen it or replace it. Talking about hooks, size is significant, small the bait small the hook. Also, if you’re using a massive catch on the small bait, you limit its movements and may even spook your game.
Timing the hook collection is crucial when working with minnow bait. It is well known that a lot of hunt assault from the medial side, so don’t make an effort to arrange the hook at the first indication of motion or tug. Permit the hunt time for you to swallow the minnow. Okay, and that means you lost your endurance got him and missed him. You shouldn’t be in a rush to improve your bait, place the line back in the hole. Keep in mind, he just lost supper, and if he’s starving, he’ll be back again. Wait a short while and unless you get a reply your welcome to change your bait.