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I need 4th of July fly advise

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I have an opportunity to get to the boundary waters during the week of the 4th this year, and it looks like there will plenty of time toss some flies. I am planning on bringing an 8wt and chasing after some smallies and pike out of canoes and a small boat. I have tied up a few foam poppers and murdich minnows and had some luck in the past with smallies, largemouth and pike in other parts of the state.

I need some suggestions on what to bring for flies as I have never had the chance to fly fish the area (I was there about 15 years ago for walleye trip). Any suggestions for easy ties, as I am still pretty new to tying, that would fit the bill for early July boundary waters?

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Float a big (sz2 or so) white wollybugger over a rock ledge and I bet you'll catch pike and bass. Do it at night and you might hook into walleye.

Those things catch anything along with flies that are similar to them, the Tequily (sp?) being one.

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go check out the pike flies at thorne bros. they are pricey, but you can get some ideas and stock up on some tying materials.

I bought a couple pike flies there last year. I can't remember what they called it, but I got a red and white one with a splash of yellow and some flash tied on a hook with a weird bend towards the eye. Couldn't keep the pike off it and had several bonus walleyes on it too.

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Fourth of July?

Boundary Waters?

I issue you a challenge:

Use only flies in Red, White, and Blue.

you will need:

- crappie minnow to fathead sized streamer

- panfish-sized popper

- largemouth-sized popper

- crayfish/bottom crawling style streamer

You will have an excellent chance at catching any MN native species with those, and you'll be fashionable too :P

In all seriousness, I'd be happy with minnow streamers or woolly buggers in white, black, and olive.

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Another good one is the bunny strip fly.

1 - Just take a jig hook (no jig lead attached), tie in some lead dumbbell eyes.

2 - Take a long bunny strip and tie it in about 3/4 the way down the shank of the hook. Make sure to form a tail about 1.5X-2X the hook shank length. There should be excess material in front for wrapping.

3 - Then take this material in front and wrap it up the shank into and around the dumbbell eyes.

4 - Tie off and trim the bunny strip to your liking.

Takes about 2 mins to tie up, cost is pretty low, very easy to tie. If I can find a pic later I'll throw one up here. They are great flies.

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Thanks for the ideas! It looks like I will tying up a few more wooly buggers in white, maybe throw a bunch of feathers together and come up with a couple of pike flies and give the bunny strip a shot.

A few questions on the bunny strip fly (I have yet to tie with bunny strips). Can I tie these on the basic jig hooks that are sold to make molds or is it a specialty fly tying hook, also what sizes should I be looking at when tying these? Second question is, should I tie a loop of mono around the back of the hook to keep the bunny strip from fouling around the hook? Is the bunny strip wrapped around the shank or just laying flat on top of it? What size/weight of dumbell eyes would you suggest? Any color suggestions?

Sorry for all of the questions, I have never had any first hand lessons in tying. Just a "self-taught" newbie to tying (within the last 6 months), trying to figure out all of the ins and outs.

Thanks fellas!

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For the bunny strip flies, it's a good idea to wrap them around the shank. If you just lay them, they don't have much body.

I'd recommend tying a few different sizes, weights, and patterns and then test their action in water somehow. This winter I tested the action in the bathtub... amazing how much you can learn that way.

I use 3x-4x long streamer hooks and Gamakatsu B10s in sizes 2-2/0 for my pike n bass bunny strip flies.

I like mainbutter's idea with the red whte n blue theme. I may have to tie up some patriots this week smile

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You actually poke the hook through the strip and lay it so it lies fur up when the fly is fished. Then tie it in to secure it along with any flash you want and wrap it up the shank. The eyes I used were about 3/16 to 1/4". They are super easy and effective. I tie in weed gaurds for some without weight for bass.

I don't use mono loops as I haven't had an issues with the tails fowling. Try it out if you like though. Good luck and throw some pics up if you can!

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Thanks for all of the input guys! Unfortunately, I got incredibly busy this week with work and have not had a chance to sit down at the vise, not even for one. I was really hoping to tie up some freedom flies for the fourth, but you can't have it all!

I'll be throwing whatever I already have tied up and see how it goes...

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Naturboy
      Those were caught from a shallow lake (17’) in 9 feet of water at the bottom of the first shoreline break. I was using a UV buckshot and minnow head since the water was murky. The crappie is still swimming the walleye not so much. I didn’t get the exact location. Sorry  
    • Sunset Lodge
      Hello from the NW Angle!

      Minnesota fishing has been most productive in 20-24 feet of water.  Guests are bringing home their limits of Walleye and Sauger with the occasional Perch and Northern mixed in. Fish have been most active early and late in the day and the bite has been terrific. The use of electronics continues to be very beneficial with fish taking jigging spoons, jigg’n raps or rattle baits.  Snowmobile ttrails on the Minnesota side continue to be maintained and are in great shape. We are still making ice, with most spots at over 30 inches. 

      North and East of us in Canada, big Crappies are coming in on light tackle setups out of 30 feet. If you are looking for walleye, they are everywhere!

      Until next week, 

      Sunset Lodge
    • JBMasterAngler
      On the Bayfield side of the bay, the target depth is typically 10 to 40 ft. The basswood island area is where they go after lakers. There’s a plowed road that goes out there. As of last week the ice was about 20 inches in that area, might be thicker now. Check out the Bayfield webcam, you can see what kind of activity is going on.
    • Jarrid Houston
      Wanderer, stop in at the River Rock bait shop in Ashland and they will get you pointed in the right direction.  They are always pretty cool about that.  Fishing near Ashland off of 2nd landing can be good.  Don't need nothing more than regular walleye gear, and some tip-ups and really there is no rhyme or reason where a guy should set up shop. Its a pretty wide open water and the fish that live there are always on the move. For us, most often, the sit and wait pays off.  It has been slower as of late, but still some fish..  Good luck, JH
    • cat44
      Anybody know if there is a pressure ridge/ice heave out in front of the Warroad Access? I know ice conditions will change throughout the coming weeks. Looking forward to getting after some pike.  The last few years there has been a pressure ridge there, last year it went from Springsteel over to Swift. And we've been up there plenty of times when there hasn't been one at all. Just curious to find out what conditions are like in that bay. Thanks!
    • Hoyt4
      Most likely our last trip up this year unless we go up for crappies but i'm running out of weekends. We had another great trip this weekend the fish are so fat this year more than I remember in the past.  Got my old man out for a good walleye bite he had a blast and caught a ton of fish. One day they just attached the bait as it was coming down they would come up and smash. Next day you put in the bottom and not even see the lure on the vex bring up a tad and they would smack it. Fun and a lot of snow hitting yesterday when we left.
    • PRO-V
    • SaintPaulPaul
      Switch to regular Budweiser and they seem to just jump out of the hole. No, seriously the way I improved my landing success through the ice was to go to small treble hooks. One small one on a 6' leader, a weight and Colorado blade above the leader seems to work for me. If you are on the flag right away, you don't risk gut-hooking them. I also recycle my Power Pro musky line and put it on tip ups. Also, I should add that I always  have a jaw-spreader and 8" forceps for quick and easy hook removal.
    • Iowabrewcrew
      Funny...seems like when the Emerald run slowed down up there 4-5 years ago, the fishing followed suit!
    • anyfishwilldo
      they only ran for a couple days.  They have them on the canadian side but its illegal to transport live bait across the border
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