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Anchor Flies

Joined:
2013/2/13 9:42
From Mercer, Pa
Posts: 10
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Looking for a suggestion for an anchor fly to fill out my tight-line lineup. I have a few different patterns that I tie really heavy in large sizes that are more on the 'natural' side- stones and crane fly larvae mostly.

I'm looking for more of an attractor pattern that is a more 'flashy' than impressionistic. I messed around with polish woven nymphs, but I found them too hard to tie with the rate I tend to lose my anchor nymphs.

Ideally looking for a large fly that is quick to tie and sinks fast.... plus is bright and attracts fish. Is that too much to ask? I'd love to hear all your thoughts.

PS- I already have some bright orange Mop Flies tied up... I guess I'll keep those in the "crane fly larvae" category

Posted on: 3/7 14:21


Re: Anchor Flies

Joined:
2010/3/29 6:56
From cambria county
Posts: 307
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Tie up some giant, peeping caddis patterns. Have worked for me. My best anchor fly this year has been my coyote nymph.

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jpg  big brown1.jpg (78.36 KB)
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Posted on: 3/7 14:25
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Re: Anchor Flies

Joined:
2013/2/13 9:42
From Mercer, Pa
Posts: 10
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mike, do you have a recipe you like and are willing to share? Thanks for the suggestion!

Posted on: 3/7 14:32


Re: Anchor Flies

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 920
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http://stevenojai.tripod.com/peekcad.htm

THIS IS PRETTY CLOSE TO THE ONE I LIKE JUST BECAUSE I HAVE USED IT FOR SO LONG. BASICALLY A HARE'S EAR VARIANT. KILLER IN WINTER.

Posted on: 3/7 14:46


Re: Anchor Flies

Joined:
2010/3/29 6:56
From cambria county
Posts: 307
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For the peeping caddis:

hook: 6-8 streamer hook
bead: 3.8mm tungsten bead
tail: ultra chenille, chartrues (may bump up to size medium or large)
soft hackle: mallard flank or Hungarian partridge
ribbing: oval French tinsel/gold
body: match to cases you see on stream, I use hares ear plus dubbing in chocolate brown, natural #1 and olive mostly


Posted on: 3/7 15:52
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Re: Anchor Flies

Joined:
2016/6/1 10:14
From Brickerville
Posts: 691
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Big blowtorch nymph or sexy walts worm come to mind along with pats rubber legs.

Posted on: 3/7 16:42


Re: Anchor Flies

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 424
Offline
The best "anchor" IMO is often good ol' split shot. Put it at the bottom of your rig and attach your flies to droppers above it. Unless you are trying to comply with competition rules or special regs, split shot is your best friend. You can adjust your weight easily and precisely, and you will lose far fewer flies (although you won't lose too many with a properly sized/weighted fly at the point position). With that in mind their are definitely times you would want to fish without shot, a couple examples as low water conditions or other skinny water situations....

Quote:

guppieguy wrote:
Looking for a suggestion for an anchor fly to fill out my tight-line lineup. I have a few different patterns that I tie really heavy in large sizes that are more on the 'natural' side- stones and crane fly larvae mostly.


Pretty much any normal pattern tied with a tungsten bead and/or a few wraps of lead wire will work well. Don't go nuts with the size though. You don't need something literally as big and heavy as a boat anchor. A 14 or 12 Copper John, for instance, is often plenty large and heavy enough when tied with a tungsten bead. Anything heavier and you may very well be working against getting good drifts. You don't want a fly so heavy that it settles on the bottom and stops your drift. You want to be able to lead your flies, not drag them along the bottom through the drift.

There are a ton of posts and how-to's floating around on-line that show some really extreme anchor flies. I've seen caddis larva tied with cone heads and nymphs tied with lead eyes. Their application is limited. If you have access to a copy of George Daniels "Dynamic Nymphing" pay attention to the section that shows pictures of his fly boxes. There are several pages showing their contents but only two of those pictures show heavy flies and anchor patterns. George even notes that the usefulness of heavy patterns is limited on streams in the eastern US. Rather, you will see several pages showing fly boxes filled with 12, 14, and 16 flies.

Unless you are imitating a large food item as with large stones and some cranefly larva, you want a fairly compact fly that will cut through the water quickly. I fish stone fly patterns like Pat's Rubber legs quite a bit nowadays, but IMO, they are not ideal for tight line fishing due to water resistance. When they aren't working I don't use them and stick with smaller flies. When I fish them I prefer to use flies that have been weighted modestly and run split shot at the bottom of my rig as I've already mentioned. I feel bigger flies fish better and more naturally when the weight needed to get down is not attached to the fly itself.

Quote:

I'm looking for more of an attractor pattern that is a more 'flashy' than impressionistic. I messed around with polish woven nymphs, but I found them too hard to tie with the rate I tend to lose my anchor nymphs.


If you are losing a ton of flies, please consider my comments on size and weight.
Otherwise, Copper Johns, Rainbow Warriors, Perdigons, Hammerheads, Dirty birds, etc. etc. etc.
For caddis larva style flies, any combination of bead, dubbed body, shell back, and rib will work. Incorporate flashy synthetics and the possibilities are endless here.

Quote:

Ideally looking for a large fly that is quick to tie and sinks fast.... plus is bright and attracts fish. Is that too much to ask? I'd love to hear all your thoughts.


Basic caddis larva are about as easy as it gets and can be really dressed up with synthetic materials. Green weenies are always an option too.

Quote:

PS- I already have some bright orange Mop Flies tied up... I guess I'll keep those in the "crane fly larvae" category


The problem with mop flies in this role is the same as with the Pat's rubber legs. The fly has a fair amount of water resistance so you need to add a bunch of weight to just counteract the resistance and get the fly down quick. If you wan't to imitate large larva, any of the patterns tied with compact bodies and vinyl shellback materials will provide better performance and you can do whatever flashy colors you like. I will reference Dynamic Nymphing again here. While you will see a lot of ice dub being used in that book and also a lot of hot spots and bright thread collars on flies, you won't see many large gaudy colored flies. Outside of a few green weenies and some pink worms, the colors used are primarily natural albeit very flashy and reflective. Bright colors being used as an accent or contrast rather than primary color.

Posted on: 3/7 20:33


Re: Anchor Flies
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 2877
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Quote:

guppieguy wrote:
Looking for a suggestion for an anchor fly to fill out my tight-line lineup. I have a few different patterns that I tie really heavy in large sizes that are more on the 'natural' side- stones and crane fly larvae mostly.

I'm looking for more of an attractor pattern that is a more 'flashy' than impressionistic. I messed around with polish woven nymphs, but I found them too hard to tie with the rate I tend to lose my anchor nymphs.

Ideally looking for a large fly that is quick to tie and sinks fast.... plus is bright and attracts fish. Is that too much to ask? I'd love to hear all your thoughts.

PS- I already have some bright orange Mop Flies tied up... I guess I'll keep those in the "crane fly larvae" category


A Vladi Worm fits the bill as you described for an anchor fly. It rides hook point up, and can tied in different sizes weights and colors. As well it is fairly east to tie.

Posted on: 3/8 7:18


Re: Anchor Flies

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:05
From Reedsville
Posts: 382
Offline
Poke the larva out of a stick-cased caddis and once the case is dry spray it with adhesive.

Bunch of lead on a hook and slid the case over the lead. Little white dubbing in front of the sticks and finish.

Posted on: 3/8 14:37
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Re: Anchor Flies

Joined:
2007/10/7 0:44
From philadelphia
Posts: 226
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Good old brassy is fast,cheap,and effective.

Posted on: 3/11 16:54


Re: Anchor Flies

Joined:
2007/5/11 21:03
From Media, PA
Posts: 137
Offline
I use a variation of a Z-wing Caddis Pupa most of the time. Last year I tied some up with Tungsten beads instead of brass and was able to forgo the slit shot in many places. I like to tight line though it isn't the only technique I use. BTW they are usually on a sz 14 caddis hook and I prefer the fast water.

Posted on: 3/11 23:43


Re: Anchor Flies

Joined:
2013/2/13 9:42
From Mercer, Pa
Posts: 10
Offline
Thanks for all the ideas- now I have a few new patterns to try out!

Posted on: 3/13 11:35


Re: Anchor Flies

Joined:
2013/1/27 10:24
From Sweet Valley
Posts: 165
Offline
A 5/32 tungsten bead is a little overkill for most fishing situations. Rarely I have found in Pennsylvania that a bead that heavy is required but I do use them sometimes out west in high gradient streams at higher flows.

I would suggest going 1/8th tungsten bead and some lead wraps on a size 12 peeking caddis for the anchor. If you need anything heavier just use a couple small microshot.

This will reduce your tying load as the 1/8th tung beaded anchor can be used in a large range of higher gradient streams of PA without being too heavy for a good portion of prime trout months.

The 5/32nd tung bead is truly an anchor - put one on last year on Penns in 1200 cfs in a waist high white water and got immediately stuck 3.5 feet down in a rock. They are just too heavy for my style of fishing.

Posted on: 3/13 11:55






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