Ice Flies

  • Avatar of iceman1985 iceman1985 
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    #1301570

    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.

    avatar slipperybob 
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    Posts: 428
    #910792

    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.

    Avatar of Joel Nelson Joel Nelson 
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    Posts: 2,833
    #910793

    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

    Avatar of iceman1985 iceman1985 
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    Posts: 261
    #910802

    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.

    avatar fil 
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    Posts: 52
    #910812

    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!


    Avatar of fishthumper fishthumper 
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    Posts: 2,063
    #910840

    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.

    Avatar of Whiskerkev Whiskerkev 
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    Posts: 3,820
    #910866

    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

    avatar fil 
    Participant
    Posts: 52
    #910874

    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!

    Avatar of iceman1985 iceman1985 
    Participant
    Posts: 261
    #910959

    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.











    <img src="/wp-content/uploads/bbu

    avatar DSchuh 
    Participant
    Posts: 110
    #910972

    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?

    avatar fil 
    Participant
    Posts: 52
    #910982

    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

    avatar mower 
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    Posts: 451
    #910984

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

    Avatar of iceman1985 iceman1985 
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    Posts: 261
    #910999

    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.

    avatar fil 
    Participant
    Posts: 52
    #911014

    10-4

    avatar fil 
    Participant
    Posts: 52
    #911034

    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….

    Avatar of Joel Nelson Joel Nelson 
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    Posts: 2,833
    #911037

    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

    avatar fil 
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    Posts: 52
    #911039

    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

    Avatar of iceman1985 iceman1985 
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    Posts: 261
    #911066

    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.

    avatar fil 
    Participant
    Posts: 52
    #911109

    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.

    Avatar of iceman1985 iceman1985 
    Participant
    Posts: 261
    #911277

    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.

    Avatar of iceman1985 iceman1985 
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    Posts: 261
    #913208

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

    avatar fil 
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    Posts: 52
    #913268

    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!

    Avatar of iceman1985 iceman1985 
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    Posts: 261
    #913313

    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.

    avatar fil 
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    Posts: 52
    #914455

    wheres those flies boss???

    Avatar of iceman1985 iceman1985 
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    Posts: 261
    #920532

    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.




    avatar fil 
    Participant
    Posts: 52
    #920533

    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!!

    avatar mower 
    Participant
    Posts: 451
    #920665

    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.

    Avatar of iceman1985 iceman1985 
    Participant
    Posts: 261
    #920680

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

    Avatar of dan-tessmann dan-tessmann 
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    Posts: 664
    #920767

    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

    avatar chriswallace 
    Participant
    Posts: 275
    #920807

    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.

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