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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:11 pm • # 1 
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In a moment of true brilliance this past Wednesday, I left my warmwater fly box sitting on my tailgate as I headed home after a morning of being skunked. By the time I realized my mistake the following morning and made my way back, the box was gone.

While I'm upset over the loss (200+ flies mainly tied over the past six months), I'm also looking at it as an opportunity. With cooler months ahead (at least by Louisiana standards), I should have plenty of time to begin rebuilding an improved warmwater box before next spring rolls around.

With that in mind, I thought I'd reach out to the folks here for pattern suggestions. If you were building a warmwater box for targeting bass and panfish, what patterns would you consider must adds?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Chris


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:26 pm • # 2 
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my favorites are small poppers and short san juan worms. green is working good for me but that's the only color I have at the moment. also white maggots work really well.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:39 pm • # 3 
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Location: Rusagonis, New Brunswick, Canada
Chris: What an opportunity! Summer 2019 I lost my box of warmwater flies across the road from my house, likely in the stream but potentially in the woods between me and the stream. Looked for it every time I went down there, and even had my name/number on the box, but it is gone. In filling its replacement box, the contents are remarkably different. It no longer contains flies I never tied on or had no confidence in, and now contains more sizes/colours in fewer patterns. I think you'll find this a blessing of sorts.

My humble suggestions:
muddlers with yellow calftail underwing and red throat hackle;
weighted wooly buggers with orange marabou tail, black body, black schlappen palmered hackle, and crystal flash rib;
MMMinnows;
crayfish patterns;
natural or chartreuse deer hair buck bugs with white calftail tail and grizzly hackle palmered;
anything with rubber legs.
brent


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 6:07 pm • # 4 
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Gurglers, poppers, wooly buggers, Clousers, etc. Another streamer that I have had success with is the Thunder Chicken. After touting this fly on the Fiberglass Flyrodders Forum, several members over there also had good luck with this fly. It was originally tied for steelhead, but in smaller sizes I have also found it good for sunfish. I have even caught crappy on it. The only commercial source for this fly is the Big Y Fly Company. Unfortunately, the only tying instructions available for this fly anywhere are just a list of the materials and instruction on how to tie it. There are no illustrations and there are no YouTube videos. It has been a real killer on bass.

Larry


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:56 pm • # 5 
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What size flies are you looking to tie? Are we talking full size 2/0 bass flies or more like size 6 bass flies?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:47 am • # 6 
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Buggers.
Briminators
Bluegill Bullies
Pine squirrel zonkers
Foamy bugs/ gurglers


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:09 am • # 7 
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Yes! Briminators! I forgot all about those!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 11:47 am • # 8 
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Thank you guys!! Lots of great options on the list including a few I haven't previously tried. A few of the recommendations like the Briminator and muddler have long been on my to-do list, so now may be the time.

lka wrote:
What size flies are you looking to tie? Are we talking full size 2/0 bass flies or more like size 6 bass flies?


This was my "catch all" box for local warmwater. It included everything from heavier largemouth streamers (Size 1 or 1/0) down to some size 18 Elk Hair Caddis patterns that ocassionally found their way onto my tippet when fishing smaller local streams for sunfish.

The patterns I know I'll be tying again include Crease Flies for spotted bass, some larger profile streamers for largemouth, smaller terrestrials and buggy nymphs for sunfish, and some "fluff butt" style crappie flies. Beyond these, there will be a lot of space for expanding my selection and introducing myself to new patterns.

Canoeman1947 wrote:
Another streamer that I have had success with is the Thunder Chicken.

What size do you recommend tying the Thunder Chicken in? Looks like an interesting pattern.

Thank you again everyone!

Chris


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:00 pm • # 9 
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Location: Idaho
My favorite larger flies, in decreasing size:

Bob Popovics' "Jiggy Fly" -- Bendback variant. I have caught so many **** fish on these. Long slim profile, pretty weedless, heavy jig action. I tie them in both #2 or #2/0 and I vary the cone weight (brass, lead, tungsten). I prefer the action of bucktail especially for the top wing, but I use longer synthetics a lot too. The synthetic version is basically indestructable, casts better, sinks better. Bucktail has better action and is a bit more weedless.

Tim Flagler's "Dumb Bunny" -- Excellent zonker derivative. Great bass fly, easy to tie, cheap materials. I tie it exactly like he does, on the same Do-It hooks in the video (#6 and #2). I love these hooks and they're a bargain, but FYI they run big and are probably 2 sizes bigger than their rating in terms of gape.

Clouser's "Suspender" / Joe Bruce's "Bullethead Darter" -- pretty much the same fly with the tail tied a bit differently. Unlike the above these are very close to weightless. They flatten down to nothing when casting but flare out in the water and have great motion just sitting there. I fish em slow over shallow flats or weed beds. PM me if you want a PDF of instructions for the darter, can be hard to find on the internet and there is no SBS that I could find. Feel free to make one :) There is a ton of info on fishing the darter for bass, snakehead and chain pickerel on Joe Bruce's website.

Joe Cornwall's "Mixed Media" -- best crayfish fly out there. I tie it exactly like he does. There are a lot of big bass in our local stocked trout reservoirs and they are old and smart and picky. I spent an hour trying to catch one 5 lb'er in about 2 ft of water under a dock one evening. She rejected everything I tried to trick her with. Had to add more tippet I made so many fly changes. Finally ate a mixed media :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:01 pm • # 10 
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lka wrote:
Clouser's "Suspender" / Joe Bruce's "Bullethead Darter"


Appreciate all the recommendations, Ika. These in particular caught my attention though as I book marked The Suspender when I picked up a copy of Clouser's book this spring, but had completely forgotten I wanted to give the pattern a try! Guess the time has come.

Chris


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 12:06 am • # 11 
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For bass, I would tie the Thunder Chicken in sizes 2 to 6. A friend tied some up for me in size 8 that worked good on sunfish. I have had my best results in still water by stripping it in slow, but in moving water swinging it in the current works pretty well.

Larry


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:50 pm • # 12 
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You're welcome!

As an aside, a tutorial on tying the thunder chicken would be a valuable addition to the literature. I've looked at pictures at it a few times over the years and even with a materials list and brief instructions it is hard to see how that mess is supposed to fit together. It looks like a Cyndi Lauper outfit, though a fishy one...

Edit: Image


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:26 pm • # 13 
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lka wrote:
You're welcome!

As an aside, a tutorial on tying the thunder chicken would be a valuable addition to the literature. I've looked at pictures at it a few times over the years and even with a materials list and brief instructions it is hard to see how that mess is supposed to fit together. It looks like a Cyndi Lauper outfit, though a fishy one...

Edit:


I'd be running from that if I were a fish.

Haven't found a good recipe for the Thunder Chicken yet, but I did try my hand at the Bullethead Darter. It'll take a few repetitions to work out the finer points, but seems like an interesting pattern.

Image

Chris


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:38 am • # 14 
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This one saved the day on my last trip. It wasn't a stellar day, but my luck changed when I tied it on. The bluegill killer. Takes about a minute to tie...

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:16 pm • # 15 
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That Bullethead Darter reminded me a lot of the Thunder Creek streamer series, which were tied with bucktail and prominent eyes. So if you used epoxy or something similar to make a good base, you could paint on eyes or glue on holographic eyes and make the pattern more interesting.

Regarding the Thunder Chicken, if it does look like Cyndi Lauper in that photo, it might be just the ticket for suicidal sharks.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:28 pm • # 16 
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PampasPete wrote:
That Bullethead Darter reminded me a lot of the Thunder Creek streamer series, which were tied with bucktail and prominent eyes. So if you used epoxy or something similar to make a good base, you could paint on eyes or glue on holographic eyes and make the pattern more interesting.


Great minds think alike, Pete. As soon as I posted the photo of my first attempt at this pattern, I decided I needed to build up an epoxy head and add some eyes. Haven't gotten to it yet, but it's at the top of my to-do list when I get back to tying Sunday morning.

Chris


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:44 pm • # 17 
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I always enjoyed #10 Bombers for 'gills. Bass seem to like them twitched around too in larger sizes (#4, 2-3xl for example). Rubber legs are a good thing to include on non-steelhead Bombers. Not everyone likes flaring deer hair though, so...


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 12:08 am • # 18 
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Chris_in_Louisiana wrote:
PampasPete wrote:
That Bullethead Darter reminded me a lot of the Thunder Creek streamer series, which were tied with bucktail and prominent eyes. So if you used epoxy or something similar to make a good base, you could paint on eyes or glue on holographic eyes and make the pattern more interesting.


Great minds think alike, Pete. As soon as I posted the photo of my first attempt at this pattern, I decided I needed to build up an epoxy head and add some eyes. Haven't gotten to it yet, but it's at the top of my to-do list when I get back to tying Sunday morning.

Chris


Looks great. What material did you use, looks like some kind of synthetic?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:10 am • # 19 
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Two patterns that have worked very well in my area of South Texas have been the Llano Bug and the Triangle Bug. Both patterns use sheets of craft foam and can be modified to no end. The Half Drowned Hopper has also worked wonderfully well (thank you for that tutorial!).


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:36 am • # 20 
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lka wrote:
Looks great. What material did you use, looks like some kind of synthetic?


Ika,

All materials used were actually from an order I placed with Fly Tyer's Dungeon sometime earlier this summer.

I believe this lot ran me about $35 shipped.
Image

Specific materials utilized for this tie were:

Water Silk (Peacock), Congo Hair (Label says "Letumgo Light Purple" though it looks more yellow to my eyes), and Northern Lights (Turquoise/Blue) for the flash.

Chris


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