Marbou leech March 23 2015, 1 Comment

Quick, easy, and stupidly effective, this is a stillwater staple.  Make sure you have a bunch of these in black, brown, olive, maroon, and even red before hitting your favourite lake this year!


Autumn Fishing Tactics September 02 2014, 1 Comment

As the seasons start to slide by and we head into Autumn, the trout start to change their feeding behaviour.  With winter looming, it's a race to pack on as much fat as possible.  It's at this exciting time of the year that trout can become less picky, and can often be taken in shallow water.


Often the ticket to success here is having a near enough is good enough type pattern.  Enter the woolly bugger.  Arguably the most famous pattern of all time, and for good reason.


Here we tie our version of the pattern, specially for fall fishing.  While not representing anything in particular, in the colours we've chosen, it could represent any of the following:

- Baitfish

- Leech

- Crayfish/shrimp

- Scud

- Damsel

- Dragon

- Chironomid Larva

- Boatman


So tie a few up, either weighted or un-weighted, and fish them around the weed beds on your favourite lake.  A floating line should suffice, and make sure to vary the retrieve until you figure out what works.


As always, we love to hear any feedback you may have on using flies or tips we post.  Please share your success (or failure) stories either at or on our Facebook page.

Big Fish Leech - Seal Bugger March 21 2014, 0 Comments

Big fish often take small flies.  It's true.  But sometimes to consistently target large fish, you need to upsize your fly.  Match the largest food items in a lake and your chances of catching the largest fish in the lake go up.


With that, we tied a bugger that combines different colours, uses a black and brown marabou tail for motion, pearl flash, black, brown and green seals fur with added sparkle for the body, a red wire rib, palmered hackle with a nice marabou head, and red thread head as a final hot spot.  This one is about 3".  It has a large profile, has incredible movement, and really disturbs the water when stripped.  Not the sexiest fly around, but then a big real leech is hardly sexy either...We suggest upsizing your tippet before tying one on!


Leeching off friends? March 10 2014, 0 Comments

We've been tying up some leeches.  Old patterns, new patterns, combinations of different patterns.  Generally, just stocking up for the season to come.  Every now and then, it doesn't hurt to try something different.  

If you've ever bought a partridge skin, or similar, you'll notice that some feathers have smaller fluffy feathers attached to their shaft.  These are known as aftershaft feathers, and you generally can't buy them on their own.  They're usually seen as throwaway, as they're often quite small, and hard to work with.  But if you take your time, you can tie the most incredible flies with them.  The leech pictured has the best movement of anything I've ever tied.  You just have to look at it, and it out leeches real leeches.  I wouldn't be surprised if this thing catches leeches as well...  In any case, it has amazing movement in the water and a great small profile.  


I use two or three small feathers for the tail and additional bulk to the body (use nice wide wraps of thread to secure), and then another 2-3 feathers to palmer a body.  Try some yourself - they're cheap, fairly quick, and will be one of the best patterns you've ever tried...



Aftershaft leech tied in natural partridge colour.  For scale, head to tail is less than 1 inch.



Next Season? December 21 2013, 0 Comments

Anyone cold?  The salmon are done.  Rivers are low, clear and in some cases, slushy.  Christmas is here.  Time to spend a few minutes, or hours, thinking about the next season.  Sure, winter steelhead will be up soon, but with snow in many parts of North America, I'd prefer to think about something a little warmer.  For me, it's getting ready for lake season.  We've been experimenting with some different patterns and tying up some go to patterns.  Check out our Youtube channel for some tying of go to lake patterns.  


The zebra midge (in different colours), chromie and simi-seal leech make up about 80% of what we fish on lakes.  Watch the videos and see how easy these patterns are to tie, then fish them and see how effective they are!

From everyone at Twigg & Barry, wishing you all the best for the festive season.

Down Time December 06 2013, 0 Comments

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, temperatures are dropping and many fisheries are coming to a close.  Work is often busy, and Christmas keeps us occupied, but when you do get a moment to spare on those cold wet days, how will you spend your downtime?  When you can't go fishing, but would like to.  Why not try tying up some new flies for a season to come?  


Sometimes the most effective flies are those that are just a little bit different.  Why not take some of your old patterns and try to tweak them a bit?  More than likely you'll have some failures, but sometimes you improve upon a fly and make it stand out from other flies, and hopefully the food.  


At the essence of a fly, for the most part, are the characteristics of whatever it is you're trying to imitate.  Stray too far from that food source and you'll likely have something that isn't too successful.  But if you get the basics down and tart it up, often you'll be quite successful.  When trying new things, consider the following:


- Can you take a drab colour and make it brighter?

- Can you adjust weight of the fly to make it sink faster or slower to increase it's time in a feeding zone? 

- Can you add a highlight, such as some flash, a bead, or a hot spot?  

- Can you change materials from an existing pattern to make the fly look better in the water?  Or faster to tie?

- Can you make certain features more or less prominent?  Better segmentation?  Bigger eyes?


I'll often start by changing just one variable and going from there.  Here are a few examples tied for next year's lake fishing.  


They're by no means pretty, but they represent a starting point for experimenting, because there's nothing quite as satisfying as fooling a fish on a fly that you've created!  


If you have any new flies you'd like to share, we'd love to see you post them to our Facebook page.