Do you love big bluegill?
Late winter 2017… Allen Morgan posted a snap of one his ties… a nymph based fly with a tungsten bead head… looks perfect for ice fishing as well as the standard method when presenting a weighted nymph on a fly rod. But what about long casting the tiny bait? This had me triggered so I contacted Allen immediately after seeing his post.
I am constantly fiddling and adjusting rods reels and lines to perform the long cast with the tiniest of presentations especially Micro-Jigs. I like the slick super lines GLISS and Nano that provide low friction casting thru the rod guides so I am able to cast them without the hassle of weighted bite indicators or bubbles/floats and still handle the battle of an occasional 6# class LMB or channel cat.
I have selected a line of rods from HellBent that offer the lightest load with the fastest tip… awesome rods for the purpose of Long-Casting the Micro jigs.
I have dropped down to 2# Nano Braid on one of my specialty rods to make the Long-Cast presentation effortless and luckily have not lost a fish on it yet.
Allen was kind enough to send me a sample of this fly and I was able to cast it easily with some of my set-ups. 20180615 was the best day I had long-casting that Micro-Jig/Fly with 2 Master Angler trophies in the boat! What a day that was. I lost the fly a few days later on a toothy pred. Guys, I tagged these fish along with many lunkers that day because I was long-casting the bait bare, not under a float. I was also using slip/float/fly/waxie methods at the time I was tagging these fish and not doing as well. Long casting just covers more water more efficiently.
One of the drawbacks of buying manufactured tungsten jigs is that you have no option of hook styles and sizes. Using different sized and weight beads on many different hooks sizes and styles offers a multitude of combinations that will fit a specific fishing method.
So yes I need to get on the band wagon so to speak and get involved with the beads on some of my own ties.
Some ties from Jim Cosgrove in The BBG DataBase of Tied Flys and Jigs
I do not have any slotted tungsten beads. I want to get some, but the funding isn't there right now. Have you heard of Lance Egan's Frenchie nymph? It's tied on a Hanak 400, in sizes 12 - 16. That hook is a 60-degree jig hook. With a slotted tungsten bead, you can create a "keel" that will make it ride inverted, hook point up. Really useful when nymph fishing in a rocky riffle, but would work perfectly vertical fishing the depths. The bulk hook company I buy from has a knock-off of that hook. I may have to get some, along with slotted tungsten beads, and see what I can come up with.
...Eagan's Frenchie Nymph
...what i really like about this style hook and overall design using as a swim jig is the attach point for the line is better than the typical ball jig for horizontal retrieve methods.
Ok Ken, they list these bead heads in millimeter sizes so how does that translate to us. 4 mm equals what?
Regarding your spider ties on normal jig heads have you done any on really small hooks like 1/32 oz. or 1/64 oz.?
I rarely use anything larger than 1/32 ounce and mostly 1/64 these days.
If you order beads from Wholesale Fly Company, the beads will be listed in both mm and fractions of an inch. As for actual weight, that's a guess. I typically wrap a little lead wire around the hook shank and shove that up under the bead, for added weight and to seat the bead firmly in place.
As far as lead jigs, I buy, paint, and tie primarily on 1/32nd down to 1/80th. I do have some bigger stuff that I use for bigger fish, but only do a few of those a year.
...Allen do you recall the size bead on the fly you sent me?
that lead wire wrap is a good tip.
Pretty sure it's a 5/32" bead. You can usually go up or down a bead size for each hook size. The only restriction really is the hook barb (which can be mashed), and how sharply the hook bends. Slotted beads make navigating the bend much easier.
Meant to say Spring Cricket jig, not spider!