Archive | August 2011

Hudson’s Mud Bugger

I have handed out quite a few of these flies over the past few months. So, I guess it’s time to share it with everyone else.

This is, without a doubt, my “go to” pattern for carp. This fly was tied with carp in mind, but it works great for other species too – largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout, catfish, walleye, and even bonefish. For the latter, I tie it in lighter colors and add some legs – Hudson’s Sand Bugger.

Update: Here’s a link to the Hudson’s Sand Bugger – and variations of this fly –

The pattern is easy to tie, and it slays carp. So, let’s get started…

Materials for Hudson’s Mud Bugger:

Hook: Gamakatsu SL45 #4-8
Thread: Danville 3/0, black
Eyes: Large bead chain, black
Tail: Turkey biot quills, green (also try brown or black)
Hackle: Whiting Bugger Pack, grizzly olive (also try grizzly brown or black)

Optional: .025 lead wire for extra weight and/or lead eyes


Step 1: Tie in the bead chain directly behind the hook eye leaving only enough room to whip finish at the end. I apply a spot of Zap-A-Gap to solidly anchor the eyes. This is a pretty durable fly, so let’s just make it bomb-proof.

Optional: If you plan to fish this in a river or deep, you’ll want to add 12-14 twists of 0.25 lead wire to the hook shank. Otherwise leave off the extra weight as the large bead chain is enough for most shallow still water applications. With or without the extra weight, this fly has a nice soft entry into the water.

Step 2: Wrap the thread a bit past the bend of the hook, and build a small thread ball. This helps keep the turkey biots splayed out for a consistent presentation.

Step 3: Clip two small sections from the turkey feather. Match them up evenly by the tips and tie onto either side of the hook just in front of the thread ball. The turkey feathers should extend outward past the tie in point approximately 3/4 to a full hook shank length.

Step 4: Pull two feathers from the Bugger Pack that has fibers approximately 1 1/2 to 2x the hook gap. Strip off the fuzzy fibers and tie in just in front of the turkey biots. Wrap the thread all the way up to the eye.

Optional: Experiment with using one feather or two. I definitely use two feathers on a size 4 or 6 hook, but I sometimes just use one feather on a size 8 hook. Your call.

Step 5: Palmer the hackle all the way (past the bead chain) up to the eye. I usually make a few wraps around the eyes if I have enough feather left. Anchor the feather down behind the eye and whip-finish.

Step 6: Now it’s time for a haircut. The head-stand effect of this fly is caused by the angle at which the hackle is trimmed. First run your fingers through the fly and get all the fibers sticking straight out. Take your scissors and start cutting as close as you can to the bead chain and eyes. You’ll want to angle your cut at an approximate 30-40 degree angle from the hook shank. After I’m done with the haircut, I’ll usually dab a bit of Hard as Hull head cement on the whip-finish.

That’s it.

What? You expected more?

Now tie them in different colors. The sky’s the limit. I found that olive green, brown, and black to be the most productive colors for carp. Legs are another addition that could be fun, but I’ve found I didn’t really need them.

If this fly works for you, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment.


If you want to see some Carp footage win its due with all the Tarpon, Trout and other highly targeted species, get over to The Drake Magazine page and VOTE for “Carpaholic”. Barry Renyold’s “Carpaholic” is up for People’s Choice Award in the 6th Annual Drake Flyfishing Video Awards

Visit The Drake Magazine to watch some more fish porn and cast your vote!

Scale Detail

There’s plenty enough time to sleep when you’re dead.

There’s plenty enough time to sleep when you’re dead. – Unknown

Gunbarrel Shed

Gunbarrel Shed, acrylic on canvas board, 11″ x 14″, 2010

Autumn’s Grand Finale

Autumn’s Grand Finale, acrylic on plywood, 24″ x 48″, 2010

The Latest Project – Bahamas Withdrawl

It’s been three months since our family vacation (and fly fishing trip) to Andros Island, Bahamas, and I’m feeling the need to preserve a few memories in paint. So, my latest painting project is a bonefish I caught on one of my guided days on Andros.

On one particular day, my guide (Frankie Neymour) had a few laughs watching me desperately trying to photograph several bonefish underwater and simultaneously attempting to land the damn things. Rod high in the air with one hand and my camera in the other, I would hang off the boat and  try to snap a few underwater pics just hoping one of them would turn out. I photographed many fish (or parts of fish) that week, but I choose the following two as a starting point for my painting.

We’ll see how it goes. Over the course of this project, I’ll update this post with a few photos along the way.

Bonefish Painting in-progress

Now, with a little more paint…

Update: Oct 11 – Sometimes things just don’t turn out like you envisioned.

After tinkering around with this painting for a few weeks in my spare time, I finally fucked it up. Oh well, I’ll just chalk it up to practice. Underwater paintings are hard as hell to do…at least for me.

All men dream, but not equally.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. – T.E. Lawrence

Hey, I’m back!

For some reason, I feel compelled to start blogging again. It’s been about three years since I’ve uttered more than a Facebook status update or a Tweet. Coincidentally, or not, three years ago I started graduate school, and I spent all of my free time thinking about project deadlines, mid-terms, finals, or the beer that would flow after those hideous events. Now that I’m free of graduate school, I’ll need something (other than a new job) to keep my brain from getting squishy again. Maybe the blog will help?

There will (hopefully) be a few distinctions between this one and my last attempt at blogging. For starters, I’ll try to actually write original posts and not just rehash garbage I found on the Internet – while I was supposed to be working. Rest assured, I’ll be writing my own “original” garbage instead. Second, while I’m a tech geek, I’ll refrain from boring anyone with a worthless story on the latest techie start-up or gotta-have gadget. Lastly, I’ll stick to a few select topics that I’m passionate about.

Here’s an idea of what to expect:

Running – Like many things in my life, it’s a topic that I’m obsessed with at times. It’s also something that I never get tired of talking about. So, be prepared.

Fly Fishing – Ever since my grandfather put a fishing rod in my hand, I’ve been smitten by fishing. Some twenty years ago I was introduced to fly fishing, and I’ve never turned back. I pursue all types of fish from saltwater to backwater, and I have a particular fondness for carp on the fly.

Climbing – I don’t do much of it now, but I still love to tie into the sharp end of a rope from time to time. I’ve had the opportunity to climb in many parts of the world, and I’ve made a lot of great friends along the way. I’m sure I’ll dig up a few stories from the “good old days.”

Skiing – From 70+ ski days when Anne and I used to live in the Vail Valley to the magic carpet with my three-year old, I loves the snow.

Hunting – I’ve never embraced the idea of trophy hunting, but I’ve grown up hunting all my life mainly for food. I’ve recently discovered pheasant and elk hunting. I’ll probably wax on about cool crisp mornings in the field and the love of a good bird dog.

Bucket List – Everyone has one or, at least, they should. I’ve always had a “bucket list” of things that I wanted to do before I die. As a have the opportunity to complete an item on the list, I usually add two more. Luckily, Anne has been the perfect companion through many of those adventures. I plan to dig up the original list (and subsequent revisions) and chronicle my adventures past. I better do it now before I forget the details in my old age. Hopefully, it will inspire others to get out and live life to the fullest.

Western Contemporary and Sporting Art – I’ve recently found that I love to paint and draw. Who knew that it was hiding deep down all these years. I’m not really that good (yet), and I’ve never had any formal training. So, we’ll see where this takes me over the next few years.

Adventures with Kids – For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a dad – yeah, it was on my “bucket list.” Now, I have two beautiful daughters, and I want to teach them everything I can and watch them grew to be strong, independent women. I’ll probably post quite often on our family adventures.

…and a few other topics that I can’t pigeonhole into a nice category.

I hope you’ll join me.

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