Office detox = a full fly box

Work has been hectic and I’ve been putting in a lot of extra time at the office. Free time has been in short supply, but I’ve still been squeezing in a little time at the vise. Tying a fly or two is a great way to get grounded and clear my mind after a stressful day. It keeps me sane.

Over the last week I’ve been building up a nice pile of Stuart Foxall’s Steelie Pot Bellied Pig, which is covered in detail here. It’s a fun pattern and looks killer. Rounding up boar bristles took some searching; they’re not off-the-shelf items at the local fly shops, but, as it typically does in these situations, ebay came through for me.

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I’ve made some slight variations from Stuart’s original… I substituted arctic fox tail for the bucktail, just because I had it handy and enjoy working with it, and I used silver wire instead of oval tinsel. I have plenty of wire and figured it would hold up better to a good brushing and, hopefully, a toothy mouth. These are tied on HMH poly tubes with Hareline 1/4″ tube cone heads. I’ve messed around varying the number of boar bristle from just a couple to a sizeable clump; in the end I think less is more.

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Looking forward to swinging them for some anadromous fish later this year. In the meantime, I might have to take them for a swim on the upper Kenai River for some winter/spring rainbows.

Coffee, Cheap Fox, and an Intruder

This morning I took advantage of a quiet house and sat down at the vise while enjoying my morning coffee. The dark, flavorful Rwandan bean (roasted by Sentinel Coffee down in Juneau – thanks Misty!) was a nice compliment to the darkness outside.

I spun up a variation of Travis Johnson’s Lady Gaga Intruder, a nicely constructed marabou intruder that I look forward to offering to some anadromous fish later this year. I’ve tied a few of these of late in both shank and tube versions – I decided to go with a stinger style for this session.

The other day I stopped by a local fur shop and found a “craft grade” white Arctic fox tail for five dollars. The tail was on the skinny side, but has plenty of thick, mid-length hair that, as I had suspected, turned out to be perfect for spinning a nice stiff butt or collar. Some gray guard hairs add just a touch of contrast.

All in all, I think the fly should fish.

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The results of a quick morning session at the vise.
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Looks fishy to me.
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$5 well spent.

Shank: #2 Maruto 2370 7x long streamer hook, cut off

Stinger Wire: 0.015 mm Beadalon 7 strand wire

Stinger Hook: #2 octopus

Eyes: MFC brass Sparkle Eyes

Thread: 6/0 Veevus black

Butt: white arctic fox, white marabou

Legs: barred white ostrich, 6 strands per side

Body: saltwater pearl Flashabou

Rib: medium silver French tinsel

Shoulder: blue Steely Coon

Collar: kingfisher blue marabou, dark blue marabou

Flash: 4 strands each copper and blue Flashabou on each side

Collar: black schlappen

Wings: grizzly hackle