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Weedless Flies for the Leafy Season
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2006/9/9 17:32
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Throwing big streamers in the fall as long been a favorite technique of mine this time of year for both trout and smallmouth bass, especially on bigger rivers. Of course, a windy day in late Oct to mid Nov can choke a river channel with leaves making fishing all but impossible. Although not a full proof solution, to some degree, you can make these days fishable with weedless flies that pull thru the leaves without snagging 'em. My preferred weed guard is a loop of monofilament tied at the eye of the hook and angled back. A steeper angle works best but make sure that the guard sits high enough to cover the hook point. In my experience, mono loops work best with long shank hooks. For a typical #2 long shank, what I use the most for big streamers, I like 50lb test. Experiment with different weights of line for different stiffness. I'll use 20lb line for smaller loop flies such as the crab fly shown in the photo. When you tie the loop, make sure it is large enough to cover the point but not so large that it catches the point when depressed. Tie on one end of the mono, then form a loop, pinch it a bit to measure the length and make sure it clears the hook point, then tie down the other end and trim the excess. Make sure you leave a bit more space at the eye when you tie the fly as the loop guard will be the last tying step and #50 mono is bulky.
For shorter shank hooks you can also try mono prongs instead of loops. These certainly work better with stiffer mono - the marabou nymph on the upper right is tied with mono prongs. Prongs allow for longer guards that won't catch on the hook point but are harder to tie and don't seem to hold their shape as well. Sometimes it helps to store flies with mono weed guards in compartment boxes rather than foam as the latter can result in a flattened weed guard if stored too long with the guard depressed in a closed foam box.
Have some weedless streamers in the next month. Although their hooking ability is reduced (only a small bit) it's a lot less aggravating than stripping back a fly fouled with leaves every cast.

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Posted on: 2010/10/19 8:56


Re: Weedless Flies for the Leafy Season

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2009/10/15 12:02
From Dispositionally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
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Good stuff, David..

I was interested to see the length of your mono loops. They appear to be significantly shorter than I ones I used to put on my big largemouth bunny bugger/streamers back when I was experimenting with them a lot in the lakes of NW PA In most cases, the loop on my flies when depressed with your thumb would just barely clear the hook point and sometimes they wouldn't quite clear it.

Of course, the purpose of the loop was somewhat different. it wasn't to protect against leaves, but rather to keep the fly from hanging up in weed beds. They were modestly successful, working at least as well as the old wire guards you'd see on Johnson Minnows and the like. And the fish being sought was also of a somewhat more forging variety in terms of loop construction. Largemouth usually engulfed the entire fly and I can't say I ever missed a strike or lost a fish due to having a longer loop.

For what its worth, I made most of my loops out of 40 lb. hard Mason. It seemed to be just the ticket. Very stiff.

Posted on: 2010/10/19 14:11


Re: Weedless Flies for the Leafy Season

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2009/2/6 18:59
From pittsburgh
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here is the weed guard i use and its easy sometimes u use a double 20 bl mono instead of 50 lb works out wellfor me

Posted on: 2010/10/19 18:47


Re: Weedless Flies for the Leafy Season

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
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Fishi..........very nice job on those Clousers buddy , i'm impressed and a little jealous , i thought mine were nice but those are great. One question though , does the deer hair get fouled up in the mono loops? or am i just being too picky? Those are great lookin!!!!

Posted on: 2010/10/21 10:05


Re: Weedless Flies for the Leafy Season
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Quote:

osprey wrote:
Fishi..........very nice job on those Clousers buddy , i'm impressed and a little jealous , i thought mine were nice but those are great. One question though , does the deer hair get fouled up in the mono loops? or am i just being too picky? Those are great lookin!!!!


Thanks. These particular Clousers are tied with various synthetic materials rather than the traditional deer hair. I like large streamers with long flowing wings and most deer hair is a bit too short for my taste. There are so many synthetic materials available now with flashy stuff built in that I mostly use this now for large streamers. For smaller streamers, esp for trout, I still prefer marabou or rabbit fur strips. I don't have much trouble with the wings on these synthetic Clousers fouling the weed guards. To some degree, the weed guards keep the wings from fouling around the hook bend as often happens with long winged streamers.

Posted on: 2010/10/21 22:56


Re: Weedless Flies for the Leafy Season

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
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FishI..........Man the brown hair on the top of those clousers in your pics sure looks like natural deer hair , bucktail , for that matter so does the white hair on the belly , would you care to share the name of the synthetic material , if not i understand , if so THANKS in advance.

Posted on: 2010/10/29 11:15


Re: Weedless Flies for the Leafy Season
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Osprey,
Those Clousers, which I tied for smallies and stripers, utilize a synthetic hair called "Steve Farrar's SF Flash Blend" in brown. This is the stuff that looks like deer hair. The copper colored tinsel I mixed in is "Flashabou," and the green tail is "Hareline Dubbin Inc, Baitfish Emulator Flash, Olive." The white underbelly is a faux fur that I don't know the origin - I think it was a piece of a fake fur coat or something - any soft white fur would work. The pink throat is tyed with a clump of McFly Foam.

Posted on: 2010/10/29 21:49


Re: Weedless Flies for the Leafy Season

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2010/10/12 11:06
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How do you secure the loop to the eye?

Posted on: 2010/11/6 20:12


Re: Weedless Flies for the Leafy Season
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From Gettysburg
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Quote:

kfly wrote:
How do you secure the loop to the eye?


When you're done tying the fly, tie in a straight length of mono right at the head of the fly. Then bend the mono into a loop making sure it won't catch on the hook point, and tie down the other end thus creating the "loop."

Posted on: 2010/11/6 22:28






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