I met Mark Fisher for the first time down at the Miami Boat show when he was working the AEON booth next to the Bohemain. We started talking about fly fishing and stripping baskets and told me that he was working on a custom stripping basket for the March Merkin silent auction. It is a 120 degree dual rail system that is attached to the casting platform so it is snag free. The basket can be replaced with any other type of stripping basket like the pop up leaf bins or protrim. You can push it around with your feet so you never have to take your eyes off the fish. Overall a well thought out design.
The new Beavertail Rail Fly Tamer was built out of one necessity and that
was Line management. All of us, I don’t care who you are have been in the
situation where you need to make a cast and cant because your line is
wrapped around something on the boat or it laying in the water and it takes
too many false cast to pull it off the water and the result is no cast, no
fish, no fun.
Well, with that one single thing in mind the Beavertail Rail Fly Tamer was
created, with most of the credit going to Rob Kramarz of
www.chaostheorycharters.com in Key West. He is a extraordinary guide in the
Keys with Tarpon and Permit being his specialty, with that said he knows the
importance of Line management. Without it, it’s the difference between and
fish of a lifetime and total frustration.
The Rail system is set up like a roller coaster, with wheels that hook under
and over the 1″ aluminum rail. This lets the fly tamer move effortlessly by
using your foot to move it right to left. We did this so that you never
take your eye off the fish when casting. The system can use any kind of
tamer from collapsible to rigid, big or small, just simply attach it to the
pre-drilled holes in the roller plate and your done. The height of the
plate is pre determined to go over your feet on the casting platform. This
will let you move it effortlessly and not be a obtrusive while fishing. I
guess they say ingenuity comes from necessity. The Beavertail gang of
Tarpon maniacs will give this a thorough testing this spring and I am
looking forward to any and all feedback.
Mark L Fisher
The boat is going to be at Miami Boat Show on Febuary 17-21. I will be in the booth Thursday and Friday. But for right now it’s all hands on deck at the shop getting the boat ready. There are days that feel like you are not going to have everything done, days that make you feel like you are way ahead, and sometimes you want to take a break at look at the work of art that is being created.
DT Special and Supreme Bendback
Schminnow, BSF (Borski Shrimp Fly/ Big Snook Fly), Backcountry Baitfish
And the Chartreuse Toad
There was a local Redfish Tourney going on. Made for some unique fishing. On a flat the size of a football field there were no less than 6 boats at any time. One would leave, and as soon as they were gone another one would show. We got buzzed by a Jet Ski within 100ft. Also had some guide boats running there motor around and stacking up. We lucked out and managed to get on the fish even with the extra pressure. With the Fall Mullet run starting the Reds are cruising around with them. Makes for easy fishing because mullet are much easier to find!
The South Shore fared well during this winter. In the past couple weeks I am seeing up to 100 Snook on the flats.
A couple of the Redfish.
My big fish of the day 11lbs
It’s that time of year again. The mullet run is starting, and for us on the west coast that means fish are on the move. The big Redfish start to move back onto the cooler flats and chase the mullet. And the smaller fish start to school up. It’s a big difference from what I have been doing lately with only chasing the Snook on the Docks.
We did manage one big red on a DOA paddle tail in the Key Lime color. The fish was PISSED! It ate so angry all we could do is laugh like school kids. Erik being a new Papa simply explained that it was good Karma because he changed the baby’s diaper before he left this morning. I would have to agree!
Ran the boat again today with Capt. Colby Hane. Got some shots with two people running the boat in some chop!
This is a series of shots in order. 4 consecutive frames!
And the most important part of testing. Epic water color too!
And for the people that know where this is….
Today I got a chance to run the Bohemian 17 for the first time. We borrowed a motor. Wasn’t the best one on the block but it was the best deal for what we needed. We wanted to see if the hull was going to do anything weird once the power was on it. It’s really interesting seeing a completely new hull design come onto the market and testing it.
The motor we got was a 1988 Mariner 60. It came with the stock aluminum prop 10 ¾ x 15 w/ 0 cup. It was a mechanical steer so we rigged a side console. We had 100lbs of sand in the front still where the gas tank would go. It also had what we needed to make the motor run, batter, 4 gallons of gas. Also had me and another 200lb person. It ran ok, but once we started doing speed runs it would over heat and power down. We didn’t get all the runs in that I wanted but I did get to run it through the paces. We did get enough runs in to get some stats and a short performance report.
I started out running the boat with me and one other 200lb person. With no trim tabs on a skiff I was kind of timid about throwing the throttle all the way down. I trimmed the motor all the way down and rolled onto the throttle. It popped up on plane with no real issues. I slowed back down and threw the throttle down and she popped up in a boat length and a half. Not bad for a stock prop. This being an older 2 stroke motor it was very happy in the higher RPM’s. Once up and running I had Dave slide more to the middle of the hull and the boat leveled out nice. Cruse speed at 3800 to 4200rpm was 25.5 and 29 mph. Not bad for a 17 ft skiff. At 5k she was doing 36mph. That’s amazing because the other skiffs I have been in before maxed out at this speed. I put the throttle down and trimmed the motor up just a hair. She gets on the running pad like a dream. She felt like a ballerina tip toeing on the top of the chop. Anyone that runs a V bottom boat with a running pad knows what I am talking about. The prop spun up to 5600 and we got 42.6mph. There was no hull “sticking” that is typical with flat bottom boats. You just simply trim it up a hair and you’re on the pad. The prop was pretty close to where it should be for 2 people. The problem was when running the boat you would trim up the motor and it would not porpoise. You could trim the motor all the way up until it completely blew out and you would have to back off the throttle to make it hook up again.
We ran the beach from Longboat Pass to Big Pass. The boat was great on the beach in the rollers. It was very predictable in the pass with a strong outgoing tide. The boat rode the waves like a bay boat, nice and wide.
I had a quick chance to run the boat by myself. The motor kept on over heating and shutting down. I went to run it real quick to see if it would do the same for me before I started taking running shots of the boat. Running the motor by myself it was noticeably different. The motor wanted to spin right to 6k without hesitation. This is a good sign the prop was not the right size. I trimmed it up to make a speed pass and it revved to 6k again. My GPS did not show that I was going any faster so I trimmed it up a hair and the prop blew out again. I ran it back to the beach and set up for my shots.
It is a weekday so there was not that much boat traffic. I ran some figure 8’s to get a feel of the handling. The boat turned flat and was predictable in the turn. The hull did not want to skip or spin out. The air coming from the step hull was not an issue. The V bottom really holds it in place.
Here are a couple pictures from today.
In fly tying one of the first patterns most people learn is the Seaducer. It’s fairly simple, quick to tie, lightweight, easy to cast, and very productive. I got an phone call a couple of weeks ago from a fellow fly fisherman saying that they have been having great success on the fly pattern but they were snagging a lot of loose grass even with a double post weedguard. It seems every year at this time there is a lot of floating debris in the water. You lead the fish a little bit and by the time you strip the fly in front of the fish it is jammed up with grass.
It’s one of the most frustration situations in Fly Fishing is knowing that your fish will eat a fly, but you can’t make the presentation. You don’t want to leave your fish and go somewhere else. So you pound away at them until you give up all together. So the question is how do you make your fly even more weedless? Enter the Double Loop Weedguard. It can be added to most inshore patterns and it does not affect the presentation or motion of the fly pattern.
Thread: Brown Flat Wax
Hook: Gama SC15 #1
Tail: Barred Hackle
Flash: Copper/Tan Krystal Flash
Body: Barred hackle
Eyes: Small Beadchain (1-2ft of water)
Weedguard: 30lb Mason Mono (Double Loop)
Step 1: Start your thread in the middle of the shank. Wrap it back to just beyond the bend of the hook. Work your thread back to just before the bend of the hook. This provides a secure foundation for your weedguard.
Step 10: Move the mono around until you get it in the position that you would like. You need to make sure you loops are large enough to cover the point of your hook. Trim the ends of your mono. Pull the loops until the end of the mono is at your thread. Tie in using a couple more turns and whip finish.
We put a full Plywood deck in w/ Gunnels and supports before she was pulled from the mold. We brought along 500lbs of wet sand bags to put on the hull to simulate the added weight. 150lbs on the bow for Tank and Gas, 100lbs in the cockpit for liner and console weight, and 250lbs at the stern for motor. Put two full grown men (200lbs) on the boat. Robert took a pencil and marked the water line. Back at the shop we got the draft numbers. 7 1/8″! I got a chance to run around the gunnels and was surprised at how stable it is. It is truly something you will have to see to believe!
Here are some pics!
From the mold
Floating w/ 500lbs of sand
Robert marking the first water line
Floating w/ two people
Ok, I will come clean. I hate spoon flies. I said it.
Fly Fishing with Spoon flies is really a Love-hate relationship. I can make a case for either side. I caught my first Redfish on a Dupre Spoon fly. They have great movement in the water and they are flashy. BUT they cast like a train reck! They are very prone to those nasty wind knots in your leader because they don’t turn over well (if at all in the wind). And because they don’t turn over well your accuracy is almost gone. By the end of the day you are really happy with the fly or super frustrated.
One day I was over in Orlando and found this sweet little fly that looked like it would solve my Spoon Fly Frustration. The EP Sparkle Toad. I bought a couple and threw them around with much success. I went online to buy some more and couldn’t find them! So it was time to start making my own. It’s a toad fly so the pattern is simple, but the materials make it difficult. Tying with EP Sparkle is on par with glitter, so you have been warned. But like glitter there is a learning curve on using it. The more you use it the less you have in material loss.
How to tie the EP Sparkle Toad
Thread: Tan/Brown Flat Wax Nylon
Hook: SC15 #1
Eyes: Medium Beadchain
Body: EP Sparkle
Tail: Tan Marabou
Weedguard: 30lb Mason Hard Mono (optional)
Throw it at fish in the same situations that you would throw the Spoon Fly! This Redfish pushed the fly all the way to the surface in a foot and a half with his bow wake until he got it in his mouth! I swear my heart stopped!