What’s New in the Tying Game?

If you’re like me, you spend an unhealthy amount of time looking at fly fishing gear. Though you may not need that new seal disc drag fly reel or the matching blue backing, you still look, nonetheless. Those of us who tie tend to fall into the same routine, clicking that “What’s New” category in fly tying, to see the latest and greatest in the fly tying world. We do this knowing we probably won’t deviate far from the pheasant tails, hares ears, caddis, and simulators that overflow our boxes. Yet, these days, it seems like there are new products to be excited about; and unlike rods, reels, waders, and boots, fly tying materials often don’t break the bank.

In the Spring issue, I reviewed some newly released fly tying products to see if they live up to the hype.  Following are a few patterns I tied up in the process.

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2020 IF4 Viewer’s Choice Winner | Travels with Charlie

We are thrilled to announce that “Travels With Charlie” from Todd Moen is the winning film of the 2020 IF4, based on votes cast by viewers across the world. “Travels With Charlie” follows Moen and his 11-year-old son, Charlie, as the duo embarks on Charlie’s first-ever destination fly-fishing trip – to Kimsquit Bay Lodge in British Columbia, where big rivers and big fish require Spey casts and a lot of patience

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IF4 Original | The Wanderer

Our world is constantly changing, moving from one beat to the next like a massive and unceasing machine. How do we find respite from the noise? Where do we go to escape? The Wanderer, the 2021 IF4 Original, takes us to an unspoiled, natural sanctuary in the heart of the Rocky Mountain West, full of high-mountain lakes, eager fish, and endless beauty. Take a breath, relax, and enjoy the solitude.

Be sure to get your tickets to your local IF4 viewing and check out the trailers for all the IF4 Official Selections!

IF4 Official Selection | Turbo Giants

Have you ever tried to stop a vehicle with a fly rod? That’s about what it feels like to challenge the giant trevally of the Seychelles. Getting them to eat a fly is only half the challenge. From there, it takes every ounce of energy and guile you can muster.

Intents Media grappled with these gargantuan brutes and lived to tell the tale in their latest film, and a 2021 IF4 Official Selection, Turbo Giants.

Grab your tickets at the IF4 website, and check out trailers for the rest of the selections!

IF4™ 2021 Film Trailer | Northbound

Welcome to the 2021 Virtual IF4! We’re extremely excited for the lineup of films this year, and will be rolling out trailers for each over the next few weeks. Our first trailer is for a film about the singular focus of one steelhead guide in British Columbia: Northbound, by Bouva Media.

Todd Scharf, a lifelong Spey fishing guide, relocates his business and family to the northern frontier of British Columbia to chase one of the most sought-after fish in the world: the steelhead. At an early age, Todd was obsessed with steelhead and could not veer away from the inevitable fact that hunting for them would be his lifelong career. He decided to move to Terrace, B.C., to chase the biggest and baddest salmonid species and open up a new door of adventure for his clients that he considers family. A decade later, he has settled into his new environment and understands the water he fishes better than anyone. The sacrifice he made to move up north has paid off as he is constantly finding new opportunities in the unknown waters of the remote northern frontier of British Columbia. Todd now wonders if the reason for moving north wasn’t a pull from the fish, but perhaps an escape from the craziness of the urban world.

Be sure to visit the IF4 website to purchase tickets to your local virtual screening and view trailers for all of the films!

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The Winter Collection: Secrets

Welcome back to the Winter Collection. Up next is one of our favorite episodes from Fly Fusion TV. Check out “Secrets” right here.

With over 7 billion people on the planet, it’s difficult to find places where the water runs cold and clear and where the human footprint is nearly non-existent. Jim, Derek, and Paula (Fly Fusion’s former social media editor) helicopter into one of these places, and what they find far exceeds their expectations. In fact, the fly fishing is so good they can’t help but keep it a secret.

The Humpy | Dana Harrison

The Humpy, an absolute true classic when it comes to dry flies and yet it strikes fear into our hearts when we think about tying it. The original method of tying the Humpy was unforgiving, as the same portion of Elk hair was used for both the hump and the wings. If you were off, even by a small amount, the proportion would be out of whack and you were left with another fly to give to a friend. I personally still tie it this way as I think it looks cleaner in the end, but I cut away some of the Elk hair for the hump. I find I want a lot of hair for the big wings, but then the hump ends up being too large.

There are other ways to tie this pattern as well which can be seen in the photo. The wings are actually Mallard flank and not Elk hair at all. This can be a great way to get some nicely coloured split wings while not having to battle the Elk hair. The hump and tail still remain true to the original though.

The Humpy should not be overlooked as it is one of the great Trout flies that exist today. The fly may not be as popular as some of the fancy patterns springing up these days and it certainly isn’t matching any hatches. All in all, it does have fish catching power and that is something some flies will never have.

Recipe: Humpy

Hook: TMC 100SP-BL

Thread: UTC 70

Tail: Nature’s Spirit Select Cow Elk

Body: Floss

Hump: Nature’s Spirit Select Cow Elk

Wings: Mallard Flank

Hackle: Whiting Farms Furnace Brown

All the Little Things | Jim McLennan

The Missouri River in Montana is a fine place to go for a serving of humble pie. The hatches are often heavy and the fish seem to appreciate them, frequently gathering in groups to feed daintily in the glassy currents. But the smooth surface of the water and the ever-present assembly of fly fishers make the trout – well – just plain hard to fool most of the time.

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