Tying Tuesday – You’ve Got A Head-Case

Well, I’d like to say that my break from the site was relaxing, and all I did was lay in a hammock and take random naps. But that just wouldn’t be true. In all honestly, the break from the site was more a necessity than a desire. I love writing and interacting with people through this thing, but life was a little too crazy over the last few months. The good thing is that the semester has started (and Texas Tech beat up SMU this weekend), and my life is starting to have more rhythm than it has had in the last six months or so. This month is going to be big for Stream2Stream. I hope you’ll stick around and see what we have in the pipeline!

This week’s Tying Tuesday is the Headcase Crayfish from Richard Strolis. This isn’t the first video from Richard that I’ve show-cased. I like his style. Big, meaty, but easy and fast to tie flies that catch big predators. Sign me up…

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Tying Tuesday – Is It Really Game Changing?

Ah the doldrums of summer in Texas. It’s hot (duh). Fairly dry (also duh). And I haven’t fished in nearly a month. It’s my own fault really. I live across the street from a pond that I KNOW has carp and some panfish in it (I’ve seen bait-fisherman catch fish out of it). Maybe this weekend I will grab a foam spider and see if I can join into the fervor of “The Year of the Bluegill.”

I think fly tying is at an interesting point it it’s development as a hobby. I have begun to think that fly-tying has morphed into its own entity that might exist separately from fly fishing all together. Oh sure, for most of us it is a utilitarian thing, but there are a select few who would rather tie flies all day than catch any fish. I’m not saying that’s completely normal, but they exist and that’s okay. I also think that social media is driving the bus on the development of new patterns, materials, and techniques. It’s hard to say “This is MY pattern” anymore when there are SO many competent tiers out there that are all working with the same stuff, in the same ways. I used to laugh when Dave would tell me that he doesn’t pay a lick of attention to what other dudes tie. But now…I see the appeal. Who cares what some random dude on Instagram is tying in Pennsylvania? Sure, I like to learn and see what is new and innovative, but I don’t think I’m going to worry too much if I have a fly that looks like something someone else ties. The OBVIOUS caveat here is that I absolutely refuse to copy flies from dudes that make their bones selling their flies. Richard Strolis and Mike Schmidt’s patterns are simply off the table for copying. Those dudes depend on their unique patterns to help pay the bills, and they are both SUPER nice dudes. You want to copy Blinky or another one of my patterns? Go for it. You want to copy the Headbanger Sculpin from Rich? You deserve a throat punch.

Okay, that’s enough of a rant. This week’s Tying Tuesday is the Game Changer that is being really pushed by the people over at Flymen Fishing Company. The fly utilizes their new Fish-Spine, which basically allows you to articulate your pattern at several points. Now, articulation is nothing new. Go search the “articulationnation” hashtag on Instagram and you will see that there are a lot of us that love tying these patterns. And honestly, having multiple articulation points isn’t necessarily new. The Ditch Pig and the Headbanger are some solid examples of flies that have two articulation points. But what I think really makes the Fish-Spine interesting is the fact that you have a BUNCH of articulation points in your fly. Allowing the fly to jump, jive, dance, and jig with every retrieve will create a representation that is more realistic, and honestly, more fun to fish. I don’t have any Fish-Spines yet, but they are on my next order for sure.

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100 Posts and 365 Days Later

A year ago today I finally made the jump. After being told that I should do it by Dave, Ian, and just about everyone else in the fly-fishing world, I started this little venture. It has morphed and changed over the last year into something slightly more significant that I thought it would be, but, in the interest of always progressing and pushing the sport, I’m not really satisfied to just keep doing what I’ve been doing.

So, what am I going to do this next year on this little site?

First, I am going to continue to do Tying Tuesday and Thursday Tunes. Unfortunately, in the craziness that was moving across the country Thursday Tunes kind of got the shaft. That is going to change starting next week. I have music to show you guys, and I’m excited to get back to that rhythm of posting cool music every week.

Second, I am going to do another 30 Days of Tying in November. Originally my plan was do it every November and April. But, I’m a professor, and April is basically a whirlwind during which nothing but grading and gnashing of teeth occurs. So, November it is. Similar to the format of last years, I have a list already prepared of 30 different patterns that I am going to tie over the course of the month. There are some other really cool things going on with 30 Days of Tying that I will announce once they get all firmed up and finalized. Don’t want to jump the Sharknado.

Third, I am going to do more product reviews. I have started working with three REALLY great, generous and quality companies. Over the coming months I will have reviews on everything from fly lines to waders to fly tying materials. I think the real difference between my reviews and some of what you might find here on the ol’ Interweb is that I am very clear from the beginning with a company that my review will be honest and that they might not love it. Thus far that hasn’t chased anyone away! I’m hoping to post one Straight Talk Saturday Review per month.

Fourth, I am going to start having a little more audience participation. I am asking several of my friends to write essays on “Why they fish.” It won’t be the Drake, but I am always fascinated by why people pursue this sport. I’m hoping to post one Why I Fish article per month.

Fifth, I am going to make more tying videos and be better about providing step-by-step recipes for my flies. Sure, Tall Pines Flies is a business. But, those of you that tie your own stuff probably would rather tie my patterns rather than pay me to tie them for you! So, look for more videos, and more in depth descriptions of my process for developing a fly!

I can’t believe it has been a year! Thank you for reading, interacting, and fishing with me. It’s truly been a fun ride!

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Thursday Tunes – We Came To Mourn You

I’ve been in a slump with music lately. It’s not a bad slump, I like the bands that I have on repeat (that’s why they’re on repeat…), but I haven’t really found a ton of new bands lately. Luckily the artists that I like have been pumping out some new tunes. This week’s Thursday Tunes is The Forgiven by David Ramirez. I can’t rave enough about this guy. Local(ish) dude to where I live now. Humble. Kind. Insanely talented. His new EP is amazing at every level. Lyrically complicated, musically innovative. Go check out The Rooster on Spotify or iTunes!


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Tying Tuesday – Depth Charge

I’m screwed. My table is all set up. My materials are all sorted and in the bins. And yet…I still haven’t put any iron in the vise and tied for my trip that I leave for this Saturday. The upside? The boxes and boxes of my stuff that my dad has stored away. So, there will be flies, but they won’t be fresh off the vise like normal.

Teaching summer school has actually been a lot more draining than I thought it would, but it ends tomorrow. Then I can really start getting used to living in Lubbock again. Who knows, maybe I’ll get crazy and tie some flies to celebrate tomorrow (hint: I will. I’m ashamed that I haven’t tied anything for tip. Gotta wash that shame off with some feathers and thread and UV epoxy).

This week’s Tying Tuesday is the J-Bomb from Wild Angling. I’ve posted Casper’s videos before. This dude is legit. Like, “Guides for big ‘bows in Alaska all summer” legit. He knows how to catch fish. I’m hoping to get a trip up to Colorado in late in July or early August so that I can throw some streamers for big boys. I’ll pack some of these boys away for when that day comes.


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Tying Tuesday – All Shucked Up

I know. It’s been a while. I would say I’m sorry, but honestly, life has been some crazy that something had to drop off the side for a bit. Sleep, eating, being a husband, and teaching are all non-negotiables, so being a hack blogger had to get the axe for a bit. In case you haven’t been following along, I graduated from Indiana University in May, defended my dissertation proposal while the movers were loading our house, drove to Texas with my best friend Nathan, unpacked all of said stuff on Saturday, and started my job as an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech on Monday. To say life has been crazy would be modest. It still hasn’t really hit me. I have reached the end. I got the dream job. I finished grad school (except for that pesky dissertation defense………). I’m a “real” adult. Don’t worry though, just because society thinks I’m grown up, you can fully expect me to keep trying to pull off ridiculously irresponsible fishing trips.

This week’s Tying Tuesday is the Shucked Up Emerger from Richard Strolis. Rich is a master of the triple articulated meat that you will usually find in my boxes. But, like me, he also realizes that there are just times where you can’t throw a lead-core 7 wt line for big browns. For me that realization is about to be a harsh one. I sent most of my small trout stuff off to my buddy last fall with the intention to re-tie all of it over the winter. I didn’t. And now I leave for New Mexico and beautiful waters of the Red River and the Cimarron in 3 weeks. I’m screwed. Oh well…hopefully those fish like Caddis and Buggers, cause that’s what they’re gonna see! If I can get my tying table back going, then I might have to give the Shucked Up a go. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Tying Tuesday – A Hot Mossy Mess

I’m not mad at the weather. I’m more mystified than anything. Just when the fishing picks back up, a cold front will come through and knock me back to the vise. Of course, it’s not that I have an abundance of fishing time right now anyway. We are getting super close to the move, I have to defend my dissertation proposal before I leave, and I have to prep to teach summer school. Not to sound all “woah is me” about it all. I love my life and I’m super excited about being back in Texas.

In the same theme as last week, I just can’t shake the vision of casting to Redfish down on the coast. If you haven’t been following Hardcore Fly Tying then you have been missing out. Aside from being one of the main guys behind Skinny Water Culture, he has also been tying a different pattern every day all year long. After 30 Days of Tying, I can sympathize with how much work he is putting in right now. It’s super impressive! The Mossy Mess is a sweet little fly that, while not complicated, is a cool mix of a few different flies. Now…back to that whole dissertation thing…


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Tying Tuesday – Put On Your Armor

“Redfish are in your future.” That is what everyone tells me when they hear that I am moving back to Texas. I usually politely chuckle and then the conversation moves on. It’s true, I probably will go down to the coast and try to chase some Red’s with Austin. But, that won’t be just a quick little trip. The coast is about 550 miles from Lubbock. For those of you who are counting, that’s 50 miles farther than Lubbock to the San Juan. It’s 100 miles more than Bloomington to the Pere Marquette (a drive that I have made so many times that I might be able to do it blindfolded).


I think people think of Redfish when they think of Texas. Which is fine (actually, I think that is great! The fishery is healthy and growing and people NEED to know about it). But, Texas is huge. Like, really huge. Almost too huge to really be able to put into words. So, yea, Redfish are probably in my future. But so are brown trout, large mouth bass and carp. I suppose the best part of living in the middle of nowhere is that you are centrally located between A LOT of cool water. I’ll take that as a bonus!

Tying Tuesday this week is the Armored Bait Fly by Joe Benton. Sure, it might be a while before I get to throw it to a tailing Redfish, but what is the point of having empty boxes? Might as well fill them with the hope of a future trip, rather than frantically trying to finish them off the night before I leave. Summer is here. Time to go fish!

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Tying Tuesday – Legs Legs Legs Legs Legs

I am still alive! I swear! I had to take a little break from the blog and from tying to get the semester finished up. On the plus side, I graduate this Friday. On the down side, my dissertation still isn’t finished, so it is a ceremony without much meaning to me. Sure, it is the finishing of 10 years of school. Sure, it will be awesome to see my parents and in-laws. But, it is more of a signal of all that I still have left to finish!

I think the time away from the blog was good for me though. I needed to collect my thoughts and get motivated to sit at the vise again for a reason other than an order through Tall Pines Flies. Now I’m motivated! Plus, the weather has finally changed and the fishing around Bloomington is starting to really pick up. The carp are spawning, the Wipers are running, and the Smallmouth seem to be eating everything in sight.

This week’s Tying Tuesday is the Legs For Days by Thomas Harvey as tied by Brian Wise. Thomas has some really awesome patterns. I think I would describe his patterns as “guide patterns.” They are quick and easy and effective. Perfect for guides. Also, I think I might have to use some of those weighted barbells to offer a weighted version of Blinky the Streamer…maybe…

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Introducing Tall Pines Flies

One of the unintended side-effects of 30 Days of Tying was that several people started asking me if I would sell them flies. I was flattered, but I would politely decline and send them off to buy flies from Mike Schmidt or Richard Strolis. But then I started developing and fishing my own patterns. The requests kept coming in, so I have finally caved in.

Today marks the official launch of something that I have been working on since early March. I am calling it Tall Pines Flies since the place where I have fished since I was kid is Tall Pine Resort in Red River, New Mexico (a way to pay homage, without pissing anyone off with name infringement!).


I am starting off slow. I don’t sell other people’s patterns. I don’t sell stuff that you could easily buy at your local shop. I sell custom patterns, most of which are big streamers. If you have something specific that you want, just let me know and we can work out something. I am excited about this, and if you are interested, please check out:



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