Vise Squad! 11/22/16 “Leftovers”



This is one week when the term “leftovers” is a winner!

I’ve been doing the Vise Squad! Sixpacks for several years, and almost every session I prepare more than are needed, so I’ve accumulated a lot of extras.  For Vise Squad! this week I’m making links to the patterns for for which I have leftover kits. These are all patterns we’ve done since January, when I started including the videos.  

Vise Squad!   A casual, semi-social gathering of thirsty fly tyers. We meet every 2d and 4th Tuesday, at Big Beaver Brewery.  No charge, but you may want to purchase a beer, and the Bratwurst is highly recommended.  Bring your own stuff and tie what you want, or  order a convenient Vise Squad! Sixpack, a sample fly with all hooks and materials for you to tie a half-dozen of the featured fly

 You can enlarge the photos for a preview, and click on a link that goes back to the original Vise Squad! post, where you can find the video, downloadable tying instructions, and the Sixpack order form.  Here’s your chance to get any of the kits you missed, or pick one of your favorites to tie a few more! Some of these are limited in quantity, so use the form to reserve one or several!  If you aren’t attending this week, order anyway and choose the “hold it for me at the shop” option  (or the Home Delivery option, holiday priced at $50.00 plus mileage).  






Vise Squad! July 26, 2016




HOOK: Dai Riki 135 #14

THREAD:  8/0, black, or match the color of your head dubbing

ABDOMEN chartreuse or metallic green ultra wire, brassie size

COLLAR ostrich, olive

ANTENNA Krystal Flash, Lime Green

HEAD: Hare’s Ice Dubbing, Peacock or Caddis Green

Click Here for a large print copy of RoboPupa tying tips

 Here’s a nice caddis to use in your summertime Hopper/Dropper rigs. The wire body helps sink the fly without the need for tungsten or brass beads, and the wire and hare’s ice provide an ideal amount of “shine” rather than a loud flash.

 Green is a common caddisfly color for our rivers, but yellows, orange, and good old brass are also effective.

Get a kit, drop by for a beer, and tie a half-dozen.  You will be quickly armed with a good dropper fly, just in time for prime fishing on the Thompson and Poudre! These bugs will be around ’til the end of summer, so you may want to tie even more!

 badgeVise Squad!   A casual, semi-social gathering of thirsty fly tyers. We meet every 2d and 4th Tuesday, at Big Beaver Brewery.  No charge, but you may want to purchase a beer, and the Bratwurst is highly recommended.  Bring your own stuff and tie what you want, or  order a convenient Vise Squad! Sixpack, a sample fly with all hooks and materials for you to tie a half-dozen of the featured fly

Fly Drive Contest

WapsiLogo IMG_0536

 Our Pile of Flies grows larger every day!  Thanks to all of you who have donated flies for Project Healing Waters, or plan on doing so in the coming weeks.

The short video is of the pile as of today, 2/9/16.  Go to the Facebook page and enter a guess as to  the number of flies in this pile, and a second guess as your prediction of how many we will end up with when we wrap up the Fly Drive at our 2/23/16 Vise Squad! session.

Your prize will be a bag of Wapsi Tungsten Beads!  (Wapsi sent them to us by error, and told me to keep them and donate them to a worthy cause – perfect timing!  Thanks, Wapsi!)




Vise Squad! 2/9/16

Copper Ribbed RS-2

Copper Ribbed RS-2

Copper Ribbed RS-2   HOOK:  Dai Riki 310 #16   THREAD: 8/0 gray TAIL:  Coq de Leon tailing fibers    RIB:  Ultra wire, copper, small  (xsm for smaller sizes than #16)  ABDOMEN:  Superfine, Adams Gray  Wing post/bud:  Craft foam, 2mm x 2mm  (1.5 x 1.5 for #20 and smaller)


 Download recipe and tying tips

Last Vise Squad! session was a blast!  20 vises set up, and a pile of flies collected for Project Healing Waters Fly Drive!  Thanks to all of you who have been dropping off donations at Elkhorn the past weeks.  The plan is to keep collecting until our Vise Squad event on 2/23, at which session we will host representatives of the nearby chapters of Project Healing Waters and deliver our tokens of thanks for what they do for our veterans.

What to tie for the Fly Drive?  Same stuff you catch fish on!  

Vise Squad 2/9/16   

This week I’m tying the Copper Ribbed RS-2.  It’s hard to improve on the original, but over the past couple of seasons this variation has been a hot fly on the Thompson, especially in Blue Winged Olive season.  In addition to the ribbing, it incorporates a foam wing post that floats this nymph in the film, and helps spot this otherwise invisible fly.

I’ve been having fun recording short videos of the Vise Squad Sixpack patterns.  Check them out, along with a growing library of pattern videos.  You can subscribe, and get notified when new videos are posted.

If you want a kit, visit the form below!




Fly Drive – Project Healing Waters



Vise Squad

20 vises! Vise Squad 1/26/16

Rick at visesquad

Rick Takahashi

Keep them coming! Drop your flies off at Elkhorn!

Thanks to all of you who have donated flies for Project Healing Waters.  Our Vise Squad event was a good time, with 20 vises in operation and a many visitors.  Over 16 dozen flies were donated that evening!  And our drive will continue until the second Vise Squad event in February.

Our “Fly Drive” is a suggestion from from Israel Patterson, a veteran (and our demo tyer from 12/23) seeking to promote Project Healing Waters.  Your donated flies will be put top use by veterans participating in the group fishing trips organized by the Platte River Chapter, based in Cheyenne and serving veterans in Fort Collins and Loveland.  (On Tuesday we also were pleased to have John Birkenkotter as a guest – he’s the trip coordinator for the Denver chapter)

Between now and the end of our fly drive, we hope to host another couple of guest to tell us about this program, and the good work our flies will accomplish






Vise Squad! 11/24/15

Turkey Biots for Thanksgiving! This week’s featured fly is:  Iceberg PMD Emerger

Join us at the Big Beaver Brewery for an evening of fly tying.  It’s free, it’s casual, and all are welcome, from experts to beginners and even non-flytyers who just like to visit with other flyfishers.  Tie what you want, or follow along with the week’s featured fly.  You can even order a kit with all the materials to tie a half-dozen, plus a finished fly as a pattern! 


turkey_bg_06turkey dinner





Recipe Here

I wanted to pick a Thanksgiving theme fly for this session, and decided to work with turkey biots.  The Iceberg PMD Emerger is a personal pattern, modified from Larry Kingrey’s Iceberg Baetis, and I couldn’t get a  photo of the fly ready.  Instead I found a turkey-based image, and a “turkey baste” image, to represent what the fly looks like to the fish.

(I will get an image of the fly on the post later)

This pattern highlights the color contrast between the dark nymph and the pale emerging adult, with some crippled wing thrown in.  Turkey biots are much easier to work with than those evil goose biots, and give a great ribbed effect.  I think the little fuzzy ridges also help provide surface area for floatant if you choose to fish this in the film.

Be sure to click the recipe link.


Vise Squad! 3/24/15


I enjoyed wandering around and visiting the last couple of Vise Squad! sessions, but the guest hosts (Judson Knowles/Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail, and Zen Tenkara/Tenkara flies) were so awesome I’m worried about losing my spot on the letterhead!

So this week you get me again.

This week’s pattern is a thorax-style dry fly you can use for the blue-winged olive hatches that are just getting started, and in a month and a half start tying the same thing in Pale Morning Dun colors!

This style has a lot going for it – low profile, good floater, and easier to tie than a lot of dries because wrapping hackle directly into dubbing helps it stand up straight.

The materials are common and you may already have them, and you might want to try this style in a bigger size or other colors.  If you want a kit, it will include a gray-olive dubbing and medium dun hackle appropriate for the Dai Riki 310 straight eye hook, size 16.


Hope to see you at the Big Beaver for an evening of tying!


barr vis-a-dun

Barr Viz-a-Dun, tied by Charlie Craven

Click here for a preview of the materials and tying tips:Recipe VizaDun

Click  for a link to Charlie Craven’s tying instructions:  Charlie’s Flybox


Vise Squad! 1/13/15 Soft Hackle Golden Stone



Golden Stoneflies are one of my favorite flies to tie and fish.  You can go for big and wiggly like Pat’s Rubberlegs, or go Pro Stonefly and make ’em real.

This Vise Squad! session I’m going to tie a D-Rib Golden Stone Softhackle which features an easy tie, not too time or material consuming, part imitation and part suggestive.  I first saw something like this tied by Carl Pennington, and hopefully he will show us the right way when he’s our guest tyer later in our Elkhorn Saturday Tying Demo season.

I’ll have kits ready – I’ll probably have plenty, but use the form  or send me an Email to make sure I hold one for you. 


  Softhackle Stone

Bill of Materials:   Softhackle Golden Stone

Hook:    3xl,  (TMC 200R, or DaiRiki 285) 8, 10, 12 Bead:   gold or copper, 3/16 #8, 5/32 #10   Thread:    UTC140  Tan or Hopper Yellow  Tail:    Biots, tan, or pale yellow    Abdomen:   D-Rib Amber, Medium      Flash:   Spooled Mirage, Medium.     Thorax   Senyo Laser Dub Dark Tan  SoftHackle:   Whiting Brahma, pale yellow   Collar:  More dubbing    NOTE:  This pattern is not dependent on specific materials, and it’s appropriate for lots of substitutions in colors or shades of biots and dubbing, darker hen hackle, etc.  Even the D-rib color can be varied for light or dark bodied versions  



Hopper Juan or more

Hopper season is coming soon, and I frequently get asked about a good floating hopper that’s not too hard to tie.  It’s hard to beat foam, so this week I plan on tying some Hopper Juan foam hoppers, a pattern by Juan Ramirez of Colorado Springs.  The photo of the fly and the materials is from his website;

The materials for a tan over pink hopper are:
Dai Riki 700 or 710 hook, #8
UTC thread, 140 denier, tan or gray or  brown
Pre cut foam chernobyl ant bodies, medium
MFC rubber legs, speckled tan
MFC wing material
Krystal Flash, pearl
Deer Hair
Gator hair for hotspot.

Special tools – Hair Stacker.  You will need some super glue, any kind and just a little of it. I will bring some pre-cut foam, and a cutter so you can see how slick it works.