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iceman1985

Ice Flies


I was wondering if anyone knew anything about ice flies? Do they work? How to you rig them? What colors should I tie in what patterns? Oh, and if you guys have any patterns that you would like to share then I would be really happy because I have no idea where to start.

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


slipperybob

Re: Ice Flies


I just use the Cortland Ice Flies. Comes in a package with four flies in them. I've had relatively low success. Just lack of fishing skills with them.

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Just the leisure slip bobbering guy


Joel NelsonAdministrator

Re: Ice Flies


They work wonders, esp. when using neutrally bouyant wet-flies with some soft hackle on a dropper from your main line. Check each state you're fishing in, this isn't legal in MN rigged as a dropper from another lure.

Lot's of folks use prince nymphs, or other weighted bead-head flies, but in that situation, they're not much different from your basic ice jig.

The true value of a good wet fly through the ice in my mind lies in one of two approaches.

First is to very accurately mimic a type of larvae that's coming off the bottom when fish are extremely finicky and negative (see mayfly larvae below). Few other presentations appear as natural or mimic these larvae as well. In clear water when fish are purely sight feeding, this can be a good option for panfish.



The second is a soft hackle or other variant tied with the hackle completely whorled around the entire hook. These flies are weightless, and when quivered, esp. when tied on a dropper, simply look like a living breathing invertebrate.



It's amazing to me the number of ice fishing guys that completely ignore flies for ice fishing. That said, the best source is a buddy that will hand-tie them and head cement the hackle well. Bluegills will beat these things to death and after a fish or three most production flies will look like a bomb hit them. Buy some good head cement for a few bucks and reinforce those wraps on store-bought flies. Trout might care a bit more, but most panfish won't, and you'll catch more fish on a single fly.

Bait is fine provided it won't hinder the action. Here's where a good underwater camera is invaluable to seeing how fish study your presentation.

Awesome question Iceman!

Joel

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Joel Nelson - Ice Pro Staff
joel.nelson@in-depthoutdoors.com



iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


Joel, thank you so much. I couldn't ask for a better place to start. I am going to start tying my own and now I have a couple patterns to work with. I am think that I will post some photos to see what people think. Who knows, maybe I will even throw in there some of my own creations and see how they work this winter. Thanks again.

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


Fil

Re: Ice Flies


Very well responded to, for some other patterns look at Scud patterns. I dont have photos however, they are very common! Scud is a freshwater shrimp and found everywhere, they can even imitate a Caddis Puppa with a natural yellow/green coloration. Also, tie a midge larve in red... use ANY material for the body, a red floss with wire ribbing, flashabou ribbing etc with a tuff of deer hair frayed(not spun) at the head... tied on about a size 12-18. Real small. Whites will hammer these, even picked up some finicky eyes on em out west here! All the best.
That walleye was takin on an ice fly, simple pattern! Chironomid tied with red wire wrapped and peacock herl at the head. The 2nd is a Midge pattern, third is a scud pattern!

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online

Edited by Fil (11/19/10 05:08 AM)


Fishthumper

Re: Ice Flies


Quote:

Check each state you're fishing in, this isn't legal in MN rigged as a dropper from another lure.






Joel after contacting the Minnesota DNR yesterday I found out you can rig 2 lures ( A dropper ) on one line while ice fishing. Since you are allowed 2 lines they say 2 lures on 1 line is OK. The catch is that if you fish 2 lures tied to one line you can only fish one hole / rod. I would think that a ice fly as a dropper off of something like a Genz worm would work great. The active fish would hit the Genz worm while the inactive fish may take the fly. The weight of the Genz worm would help get the rig back down faster to fish in deeper water as well. I may have to pick up a few flies and give it a try.


Whiskerkev

Re: Ice Flies


I second the scud flies. There are gigantic gills on Mendota here and fishing with a camera, I've seen them come up on any jig worked anyway and leave it. Put a drop shotted olive green scud fly down and they sometimes eat that worked any which way. When they are feeding on one thing and nothing else matching that one thing can be the ticket to going home with a big old fish fry or nothing.

The Freshwater Shrimp

Edited by Whiskerkev (11/19/10 09:07 AM)


Fil

Re: Ice Flies


agreed. match the hatch, sometimes down sizing and getting really finicky and finesse fish whatever it is your after. Even a jigging spoon and a dropper fly produces more often than not, have 3 feet of line behind a jigging spoon so that fly floats down.
There are tons of nymphs active all winter long, anglers tend to forget that... I have seen nymphs half the size of my pinky finger swimming around after I stir the bottom of with a Shad Rap vertical jigging!

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online


iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


I love everything that is being said. I had some time last night, a couple hours actually, that allowed me to tie some flies. Let me know what you think. There are a few scuds, a couple caddis or bloodworms, a small nymph thing, and just a bunch of flasher flies that I tied and am going to try out when the ice gets good. Let me know what you think.

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


DSchuh

Re: Ice Flies


Those look great. I'll have to raid my fly box this winter. Rather have a big gill or trout tear them apart than lose more in the bushes next spring....


Would these work well under a Slip Dropper from CJ&S? Attract w/ the dropper and get a finicky fish to strike on the fly?


Fil

Re: Ice Flies


Green beadhead midge looks great, the larva lace flies look good to. on the hackle, id stay away from beads, takes away the slow fall....
but not to shabby my man!!! the scud/nymph is pretty deadly also. i may tie a few for you tonight

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online


mower

Re: Ice Flies


This is why I love IDO. I had never thought of using flies. Thanks guys.

iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


Quote:

Green beadhead midge looks great, the larva lace flies look good to. on the hackle, id stay away from beads, takes away the slow fall....
but not to shabby my man!!! the scud/nymph is pretty deadly also. i may tie a few for you tonight



Thanks msn. Appreciate the input. If you do tie some post them so I can get a better look at what you have actually caught fish on. I can mimick those. Thanks again.

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


Fil

Re: Ice Flies


10-4

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online


Fil

Re: Ice Flies


Here are a few....
The bead flies are a scud/puppa pattern I came up with, the small fly is a midge (chronomid), natural wet fly (coyote body hair) and a Montana Nymph.... Ill acually get to tying some but those are some left overs....

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online


Joel NelsonAdministrator

Re: Ice Flies


Quote:

Quote:

Check each state you're fishing in, this isn't legal in MN rigged as a dropper from another lure.






Joel after contacting the Minnesota DNR yesterday I found out you can rig 2 lures ( A dropper ) on one line while ice fishing. Since you are allowed 2 lines they say 2 lures on 1 line is OK. The catch is that if you fish 2 lures tied to one line you can only fish one hole / rod. I would think that a ice fly as a dropper off of something like a Genz worm would work great. The active fish would hit the Genz worm while the inactive fish may take the fly. The weight of the Genz worm would help get the rig back down faster to fish in deeper water as well. I may have to pick up a few flies and give it a try.




Thank you for this clarification, and that is definitely the way this should be enforced in MN. However, I've been questioned and issued a warning ticket by a CO many years ago now for doing this. I'm not sure how or if the law has been changed, but it's something to be aware of.

I had a few PM's about dropper loops and what they are, here's a link to an animated dropper loop example.

First, tie on a heavy jig with a small profile like the Diamond Jig below:



Then on the main-line, 4-12 inches above the diamond jig, tie that dropper loop with enough slack in the loop that you can clip one end to have enough line to tie on your fly. This one should be of the weightless variety. Experiment with dropper loop size, and ultimately the length of line between your main-line and your fly. I like flourocarbon line here, not just for it's transparency, but for its stiffness. It allows you to get further away from the mainline and still have great action. Too long and you're constantly tangled in your main-line. Too short and the presentation isn't subtle enough.

In terms of colors, browns, olives, greens have always worked well for me. Turkey breast feathers have been a true favorite whenever I can get someone to tie in some custom feathers. You don't get that green shimmer, buggy-type iridescence from much else.

Thanks to Iceman, Brandon, and others who have contributed so much to this post, you're both more talented tiers than myself and I look forward to seeing some fish you ice with your flies!!!

Joel

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Joel Nelson - Ice Pro Staff
joel.nelson@in-depthoutdoors.com



Fil

Re: Ice Flies


Thanks boss! I do alot of fly fishing... those are just some patterns for trout but will work on multi species. I have hooked up on some MONSTER Pike even with small small flies/hand tied jigs.
Best of luck ice

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online


iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


Thanks Joel. I just started tying this summer so that is a major compliment. Fil has been great in giving me pointers. That is why I love this place. My wife now thinks I am addicted, and she is probably right. Anyways, I am really looking forward to trying out these flies this winter and seeing if the attractor patterns work as well. I thought that maybe if nothing looked like it out there then they may get curious and bite. Who know. Thanks again for all the help guys.

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


Fil

Re: Ice Flies


Quote:

Thanks Joel. I just started tying this summer so that is a major compliment. Fil has been great in giving me pointers. That is why I love this place. My wife now thinks I am addicted, and she is probably right. Anyways, I am really looking forward to trying out these flies this winter and seeing if the attractor patterns work as well. I thought that maybe if nothing looked like it out there then they may get curious and bite. Who know. Thanks again for all the help guys.




Iceman. Add me as a friend, stay in touch. I do alot of fly fishing and know of some good sources to get patterns, new patterns and some stuff that you probably havent seen out east! When my website is launched I will have some information on there as well, love helping fellow anglers out any chance I can! and learning as well. I liked that nymph pattern. Gonna have to duplicate that with some minor tweaks. I havent been on a vice in over a year! and have mainly tied my Walleye/Pike flies.

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online


iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


Quote:

Quote:

Thanks Joel. I just started tying this summer so that is a major compliment. Fil has been great in giving me pointers. That is why I love this place. My wife now thinks I am addicted, and she is probably right. Anyways, I am really looking forward to trying out these flies this winter and seeing if the attractor patterns work as well. I thought that maybe if nothing looked like it out there then they may get curious and bite. Who know. Thanks again for all the help guys.




Iceman. Add me as a friend, stay in touch. I do alot of fly fishing and know of some good sources to get patterns, new patterns and some stuff that you probably havent seen out east! When my website is launched I will have some information on there as well, love helping fellow anglers out any chance I can! and learning as well. I liked that nymph pattern. Gonna have to duplicate that with some minor tweaks. I havent been on a vice in over a year! and have mainly tied my Walleye/Pike flies.




Thanks Fil. I am flattered about the nymph pattern. Just kinda made that up out of the blue. Now, I am sure that it is modeled off of some pattern but I have no idea what it would be. I will check you on facebook as well. Thanks again.

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


anybody tried out any ice flies yet this year? If you have what did you use?

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


Fil

Re: Ice Flies


no boss, havent got out and dont know when I will be here with work in the way! Being that ISSUE... lol

but I had a dream about a 5 lb Male Rainbow snatching up a hares ear!

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online


iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


I know what you mean. Work, just wish you could get paid to do what you want to do huh? I had a dream that we had ICE in Michigan. I also had a dream that I pulled a 11 inch bluegill through the ice. You know you got it bad when you dream about fishing. I am going to post some more photos of a couple more flies I have tied. Would love your opinion on them. Good luck on getting out soon.

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


Fil

Re: Ice Flies


wheres those flies boss???

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online


iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


Thought I would post some more flies that I tied and get some more feedback. Tell me what you think. I am really happy with the way the red Chromid came out! Anyways, like I said, let me know. Now I just hope that I can find some time to get out on the water to test them.

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


Fil

Re: Ice Flies


First and last ones are sick, those will catch some fish for sure. The others look like good open water patterns BUT never know sometimes

Awesome flies bud.

ya, im hitting the road north to the bush to do some work for a few days, then new years...
HOPING to get the lady and her little tykes out on the ice SOON!!

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online


mower

Re: Ice Flies


How much ya charging to make some flies? I really like the looks of the first and last one. But I'm betting on all of them will work.

iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


Thanks guys. That red bloodworm pattern really surprised me when I finished it and looked at it up close! I appreciate the input.

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


Dan Tessmann

Re: Ice Flies


Hey Zach!!! SSSSSHHHHHHHH! Very nice I must say. I wonder where a guy could get his hands some of those ? Every year we catch fish that spit up little grey almost see-through worms. They are about half inch at most i was wondering what they are? Nice job, Dan

ChrisWallace

Re: Ice Flies


Been having a lot of people asking me about what flies I am using under the ice. The size of them varies based on what I am fishing both species and weeds vs basin...

The natural, subdued colors work much better for gills vs something bright that a crappie would eat.

Bead heads help alot, you can also get spendy and do the tungsten bead head nymphs as well. They are not overly hard to make. Some flashabou, thread, head cement, hooks, goose biot, sow scud, dubbing and lead wire and you can make a whole mess of flies for cheap barring your time is not worth anything to you. Elk, deer hair and pheasant are also good options as well. Same with mallard flank.

Otherwise you can buy the bead head nymphs at the fly angler for I believe 2.25

Big baits typically mean bigger, aggressive fish. However these are not just a super negative bite presentation either.

Having a camera really helps to detect the size of the bugs in the area and semi sorta matching the hatch...When you have a camera down you can see alot of bugs and you can really imitate their actions.

How I rig mine is a a slender style jig or bead style jig with a plastic on the bottom and a foot above it, I put the fly.

One of my most effective ways is to pound the jig into the bottom or into a clump of weeds and letting the fly make a slow enticing fall into the bottom.

Another good tip is when you get a fish that wont quite finish on the plastic is to slowly lower the fly to its face. More often than not they suck that right in.

I tie my fly with a palomar knot and make sure I have a plenty long tag end to tie to my dropper.

One other tip to remember is to always make sure the hook point is facing up, will ensure much better hooksets.

Finally the last tip is when the fish eat the fly, they have small hooks, so rather than that hard hook set most of us are used to. A gradual and firm lift is the ticket to get the hook to catch and bury.

Just another tip to put more gills and crappies on the ice.

Here is a picture of some of my main go to patterns. You can see the size varies between them all.



56twister

Re: Ice Flies


Those sure are pretty Chris, but I got lost or maybe you didn't say. Did you tie these?


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If you don't stand behind our troops feel free to stand in front of them.


iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


Quote:

Did you tie these?




If he did those Copper John Nymphs Look amazing! I really like the Prince Nymph pattern as well. I just got done tying a few of those so I am glad to know that someone has already caught fish on the ice with them. Chris, what is the largest pattern with the rubber tarantula legs? that ones looks amazing!

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


Fil

Re: Ice Flies


who wants some orders?? lol

great looking flies, funny how a thread gains and looses and gains popularity again! I NEED to sit down and tie, I think tonight is a brewski / vice night

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online


iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


Thought I would give and update! Went out yesterday,(Sun) with my brother for the first time this year! I know, right? Anyways, we didn't catch anything of size at all. Biggest fish we caught was 6" gill. The news that I have though is the bloodworm pattern that I tied and posted in my last batch of photos is the @#%&! I caught close to twenty fish in a couple hours. Every fish but one was caught on that pattern. I had the fly about 10-12" above a bubble gum pink ratso on a dropper loop. Just used a square knot to attatch the fly to the loop.

I tried fishing the fly with no bait on it and with bait. Used a single red spike for 5 fish, then switch to just the fly itself. Then back to the fly with the spike. It didn't matter if I had the spike on or not, the fish would hit that above the ratso everytime. I was also useing 2# test line.

Like I said, the fish were small so no pictures, and I know I should have taken one of a fish with the fly in its' mouth but hindsight is 20/20.
Just thought I would give you an update. Hoping to get out and try a differnt pattern this next weekend. Good fishing and stay safe!

Zach

PS - my brother was useing everything that he had in his box to try and catch fish. We were only fishing a couple yards apart. I out-fished him 5-6 to 1. I didn't tell him untill we got back on shore what I had tied on above my ratso.

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


Fil

Re: Ice Flies


sorry i missed you messages lastnight, im out of town working and just left my computer on without signing out.
thats awesome man, im jealous, im fighting to even find a day to get on the ice.. its sick, making me mad. have gear to test, articles to write and no time to do ANY of it!!
try and get some pictures next time, blood worms are awesome patterns, most guys use them tied as a 'wire worm' with color coated wire wrapped around the hook with black heads as the collars etc etc. and dont even realize its a blood worm pattern lol

cheers bud!

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Brandon Heather
Brandon Outdoors Online


iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


Quote:

have gear to test, articles to write and no time to do ANY of it!!




Well I could always help you out with the gear testing part!

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


iceman1985

Re: Ice Flies


Thought that I would dig up this thread again and share a couple of new patterns that I have tied. They are all untested but I will be giving them a go and letting you all know how they work. The two really buggy looking things are variations of a pattern called the Cricket Nymph. The one with the rubber legs I call a Hot Legs Cricket Nymph and the other is actually tied so that it glows in the dark and I have no idea what to name that one so if you guys have any ideas feel free to take a shot. The three flies that are in the cork are all tied with a product called Squirmy Wormy. It is made by Spirit River. I love the stuff! When it gets in the water it moves like one of those giant dancing guys that are powered by a fan. Anyways, the two on the ends are glow and the one in the middle is non-glow. Let me know what you think and I do take orders for flies. If you are interested PM me.

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No day is wasted when it is on the water, frozen or not.


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