Air-head Pink Jujusoft

Each year I labor with this one simple question, Where do I start? I like to think I have a system worked out, but the truth is the system is evolving, and I like it that way. There is a basic foundation of thought at the beginning, how I finish is another matter. As I grow older I do seem to try and simplify my staple patterns so I can focus at cranking out some numbers because the size of your army can be important. This being said, experimenting with variations of the staples or just plain running outside the hamster wheel is what tying is all about for me. CREATIVITY!  Getting A Little Crazy!

Last year was the year of the glass bead for me. I had a ton of fun adding different glass beads to staple patterns. The addition of the bead really did not make the fly more difficult to tie but added a characteristic that I liked, and the fish seemed to like as well. I have to admit it. I am still looking for magic bullets when it comes to fly patterns. Yes, yes, I know it is all about presentation, but sometimes, sometimes, it isn’t. Sometimes the fish want “the” pattern and if you have it, the results are epic. I have seen it before on numerous occasions where it “is” the pattern that makes the difference and without it you watch the other angler who has the magic bullet pattern and ask for two of them. One to fish and one to copy. As a disclaimer, you fish that pattern over and over again and can’t buy a strike, finding out later that the other angler had eaten liverwurst for lunch and the remnants of his sandwich were rubbed into the fly.

Jujusoft start an finish

My first step is to see what is left over in my boxes from last year. Then I begin to knock off what I will use at the beginning of the season. Generally that means I am knocking out sub-surface stuff first like scuds, soft hackles, larva boys and girls and Midge larva. Scuds I tie in #12 and#14. I just don’t fish them smaller than that in the spring, give those trout some calories. I tie them in tan, olive, pink, orange and gray. 4 to 6 of each. I look at what worked last year, they will be the colors missing in the box. Sometimes I do some giant shrimp in #6 0r #8. I dig soft hackles. Mainly I tie 4 varieties and their variations. P.tail, hares ear, Partridge and orange and BWO. #16 and #18 are the rule and BWO’s in 20. I probably will do the most variation in soft hackles this year. I just use them a bunch. Concentrate on the earth-tone colors and add on from there. Try beads, brass, tungsten, glass. This will give you some weight variations for different water conditions. Put one crazy color of soft hackle into the mix. Fish it and then throw the rest of them out if they don’t work. This year I am working on the Air-head Juju soft. I am sure it will be a killer. The original idea in modern times came from Charlie Craven with his Jujumidge and Jujubaetis patterns which are all synthetic materials. Mine are a mix of natural and synthetic. Larva boy and girl speak for themselves and will hopefully be available on my shopping cart-if I ever get it up and running. Midge larva, I tie the zebras and some miracle midge larva patterns in red and black. I keep these simple  and in #18, #20 and#22.

Juju body fun #8 soft hackle

By beginning this way I maximize my effectiveness at tying what I will fish first and most for the rest of the year. I create a few new patterns and a bunch of effective old stand-bys. I also get the repetition on tying bodies in sizes 16 to 20. Since my next step is to move to the pure nymph patterns my flies begin to get more consistent. Cheers!

Jujubaetis tan