Fly Patterns – Barbell Eyes on Top and Bottom of the Hook Shank.

Here is something for all you fly tiers out there.  Mary Ann and I were tying some streamer flies recently and she asked me about the impact of tying barbell eyes on the top vs. the bottom of the hook shank.  My comment was that I thought it was Bob Clouser with his Clouser Minnow patterns who emphasized the position of the barbell eyes:  1) Eyes on the top of the hook shank would make the fly turn over in the water, and 2) Eyes on the bottom of the hook shank and the fly would ride upright in the water.  So, we tried an experiment.  Mary Ann tied up two rabbit strip streamer flies on #8 2X long, down-eye hooks.  One fly with the blue body had the barbell eyes tied on the bottom of the hook shank…the second fly with a chartreuse body had the barbell eyes tied on the top of the hook shank.  Our next trip out on the river we shot underwater photos of each fly in the water.  Our findings…Bob Clouser was right.  So, if you really want your minnow streamer patterns to look realistic, it’s important to make sure where the barbell eyes are tied on the hook.  Check it out:

Barbell Eyes Ties on the Bottom of the Hook Shank - fly rides upright in the water.

Barbell Eyes Tied on the Bottom of the Hook Shank – Fly Rides Upright in the Water.

Barbell Eyes Tied on the Top of the Hook Shank

Barbell Eyes Tied on the Top of the Hook Shank – Fly turns Over in the Water.

Scenes From Yesterday on the Metolius River

Mary Ann and I got out again on the Metolius River yesterday for a couple of hours of afternoon fishing.  There was a great hatch of BWOs but fish weren’t coming up for the adults.  But, we did pick up a few rainbows on #18 BWO soft hackles.  Also saw quite a few winter stones climbing around on the snowy backs.  Here are a few photos from the day.

This little guy was checking out my bamboo rod.

This little guy was checking out my bamboo rod.

A great close-up photo of the BWOs that were hatching.  It looks like I should be tying these flies with orange thread for the correct head color.

A great close-up photo of the BWOs that were hatching. It looks like I should be tying these flies with brown thread for the correct head color.

A #14 winter stonefly crawling around on the snowbank.

A #14 winter stonefly crawling around on the snowbank.

Some fellow anglers on the river, but I suspect these guys were looking for salad rather than meat.  Four eating lunch...One watching out for them.

Some fellow anglers on the river, but I suspect these guys were looking for salad rather than meat. Four eating lunch…One watching out for them.

 

Another Beautiful Day Fly Fishing on the Metolius River.

It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday so Mary Ann and I got away from the house for a little fly fishing on the Metolius River.  We’re so lucky that this wonderful free flowing stream is open all year and only 30 minutes from our house.  With 4 inches of snow on the ground and 29 degrees, we fished the stretch known as the “water wheel area”.  Although there were a few BWOs and midges out on the water, we didn’t see any surface activity so it was a nymphing afternoon.  Here we are on the river, and a feisty native rainbow that Mary Ann landed on a stonefly nymph imitation.

Dave and Mary Ann on the Metolius River.

Dave and Mary Ann on the Metolius River.

The Metolius River in January

The Metolius River in January

A nice little native rainbow

A nice little native rainbow

 

My New Bamboo Rod Shop

1-4-2016 – I’ve been moving into my new rod building shop for the past 2 weeks.  It’s still a mess but I’m able to get most things done.  The first order of the day was to build a wall rack for my raw bamboo.  I’m pretty happy with how it came out.

My new rod building shop

My new rod building shop

Wall rack for raw bamboo

Wall rack for raw bamboo

 

12-13-2015 – WooHoo, the new rod shop has been completed and I start moving in tomorrow.  It looks a little empty right now but after I get things moved in this week, I’ll post more photos.  Here is what it looks like today:

My new bamboo rod shop

My new bamboo rod shop

My new bamboo rod shop

My new bamboo rod shop

My new bamboo rod shop

My new bamboo rod shop

11-23-2015 – Last week, all the sheet rock got hung in my new rod shop.  With the cold weather and snow we’re having, I’m not expecting any work to happen this week.  Next week, hoping for the final finish work on the walls, and possibly get the heating system installed.  Here are a few photos:

My new rod shop.

My new rod shop.

This is the "Clean and Dry" side of my shop. I'll be doing all rod wrapping and finishing in here.

This is the “Clean and Dry” side of my shop. I’ll be doing all rod wrapping and finishing in here.

The Varnishing/Dipping Room with 12' ceilings.

The Varnishing/Dipping Room with 12′ ceilings.

11-5-2015 – More work on the shop this past week.  The exterior walls were finished, the roof/shingles were completed, and the interior wall insulation was put in place.  This coming week, the sheet rock guys will start their work.  My garage is packed with stuff right now….can’t wait for the shop to get completed so I can move most of it in.

My New Rod Building Shop

My New Rod Building Shop

10-23-2015 – More progress on my rod shop this past week.  The roof has been covered (shingles to go on this week), the doors and windows were installed, and the exterior walls are getting finished.  Inside, more of the electrical work was completed.  The inside photo might not look like much yet but I’m petty excited with how it’s shaping up.  I’ll have one “Clean and Dry” side to the shop that is 16′ x 20′ for finish work and rod wrapping, which will include a dipping room…gotta make sure I have space for a beer fridge also!  The Dirtier side of the shop will house all the rest of my tools and operations, as well as Mary Ann’s Drift Boat.  The entire shop is fully insulated and will be climate controlled.

My Rod Shop

My Rod Shop

My Rod Shop showing the "Clean and Dry" area.

My Rod Shop

10-9-2015 – This past week the electrical was run in the shop and the skylights were installed.  And, the county finally approved the water and sewage lines so the trench could be filled in.  So, my driveway is getting back to normal.

My Rod Shop

My Rod Shop

9-27-2015 – Some good work went into the shop this week.  The roof trusses were delivered and I now have a roof on my shop.

The roof is now on.

The roof is now on.

9-15-2015 – The guys spent the day finishing up the back wall and getting most of the interior walls framed up.

The New Rod Shop

The New Rod Shop

9-14-2015 – Things are starting to take shape on the new shop.  The concrete is all in, the sewer and water lines are in, and the framing has started.

The new shop.

The new shop.

Well, after an 8 week delay in getting inspections and permits approved, we’re finally back on track with the construction of my new rod shop.  A concrete retaining wall was pored this past week.  The remaining concrete floor will get pored this week and the framing will start.

Constructing the concrete retaining wall.

Constructing the concrete retaining wall.

Things are pretty exciting here.  We broke ground this week on my new bamboo rod shop.  I’ve been stuck into several corners of the house/garage since we moved in here to Sisters, Oregon 8 months ago.  I’ve been able to build rods, but I always seem to be climbing over my tools and equipment to get things done.  So, it’s time for a new workshop.  We’re adding a 1200 square ft. expansion to the garage that will house my entire rod building operation, as well as our drift boat.  Our contractor started the excavation work this week, taking out a few trees and digging down for the new foundation.  Over the next several weeks, I’ll keep posting progress photos of my shop, so check back occasionally to see how things are going.  Here is what things look like now:

Starting the excavation work next to our current garage.

Starting the excavation work next to our current garage.

Trees are gone and dirt/rocks are being removed to make way for the foundation.

Trees are gone and dirt/rocks are being removed to make way for the foundation.

Christmas Day Fly Fishing on the Metolius River

What Fun!!!!Christmas day….27 degrees….beautiful sunny day….8 inches of snow….and Mary Ann and I went fly fishing on the Metolius River.  She used her 10′  6″  5 wt bamboo switch rod to swing streamers, and I used my 8′  3″  5 wt bamboo rod  to Euronymph small nymphs.  We tempted a few trout to our flies, and got one nice rainbow to the net.  Here are a few photos.

Fly Fishing the Metolius River on Christmas Day.

Fly Fishing the Metolius River on Christmas Day.

Mary Ann with her Switch Rod.

Mary Ann with her Switch Rod.

Concentrating on my nymphs.

Concentrating on my nymphs.

A beautiful 13" rainbow that took a #18 Red Serendipity.

A beautiful 14″ rainbow that took a #18 Red Serendipity.

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