Category: Timelines


Armand’s Mummichog & MummiChucker

The two patterns presented here were created and tied by one of fly fishing’s true greats.

Armand J. Courchaine of Mansfield , MA.

Don’t recognize his name? For those that don’t I can only say they missed a truly special person. Armand was as intensely passionate about the sport as a fly fisher could be. Armand  was one of fly fishing’s all-time great  ambassadors. He was New England’s  version of the legendary fly fishing personality Lefty Kreh. Always friendly and cheerful Armand would help anyone who wanted to know about fly casting , fishing and tying.  His primary goal in  freely answering  their questions  and giving advice was to get them hooked on fly fishing hoping they would become as passionate about it and eventually pass on their knowledge just as he had done for so many years. In my sixty-five years of fly fishing I’ve never met anyone who has done more to bring people to the sport and help them along the way.

These patterns were included in a letter Armand sent me on April 8, 1995. The letter included their recipe along with how and why he used them.

Armand’s Mummichog:

P1030262

Hook: Size 1 or 1/0 Short Shank

Thread: Tan Kevlar

Tail: Two Mallard Breast Feathers

Body: Yellow Medium Chenille

Wing: Olive Bucktail (Sparse)

Head: Clipped Deer Body Hair (Leave fibers for Throat)

Optional– Some people use Magic Marker to add bands, Eyes are optional but I don’t use them.

Armand’s MummiChucker: (Name given by Jim Manning, Foxboro MA)

P1030261

Armand Courchaine’s Mummichucker

Hook: Size 1 or 1/0 short shank

Thread: Kevlar

Tail: Olive dyed Grizzly hen hackle

Body: Yellow Chenille

Ribbing: Fine Gold Oval tinsel or Fine gold wire

Wing: 2 Olive dyed grizzly hen feather back to back, tied Mutuka Style

Head: Clipped deer hair, leave a few fibers to and bottom

In his letter Armand noted: “Both flies deadly in waters where Herring Runs have diminished or tidal shoreline such as Cole’s, Lee’s, Assonet and Taunton rivers. Wherever I see Mummichogs dimpling the waters surface I like to drift the fly to them then twitch it to make the surface ripple. I believe the deer hair head pushes water. We’ve seen bass charge thru a pod of mummichogs to take this fly. Enough said.”

NOTE: Overall length of both patterns 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches

Striper Bonanza–Aug 11, 2020


A repeat of yesterday just a little further down the shoreline. Lasted all morning and we left them there
still feeding in early afternoon. Seemed to be more fish than yesterday.
At  any given time there were at least five separate schools of stripers. This is only one of them.
While I’ve seen many schools of feeding stripers over the years, I’ve never seen them so tightly packed.
Truely a once in a lifetime experience. Scenes like this are all along the Narragansett shoreline early this week.

The flies pictured  below were hastily tied the prior evening. I knew small was best however  I discovered  that these  flies were twice the size of the  baitfish in the area. The tiny bunker  I saw that were driven washed ashore  during the frenzy were about as long as the diameter of  a dime. or about the length of the body on my flies. Despite the difference they worked well.

  • The noise you hear is not from the wash of the waves but rather the sound of stripers breaking. Notice how sound level lessens when I pan away from the fish and increases as T pan back to them/

COVID-19 Fly Fishing Face Mask

Here’s a Ray’s Fly exclusive,  a  COVID-19 Face Mask for Fly Fishers!!.

FFers Mask–Front

Face Mask–Rear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mask has  pleated front to allow for expansion, The rear has an envelope flap to allow for insertion/removal of a filter made from Honeywell FPR 9 air filter material capable of filtering mold spores, bacteria, microscopic allergens, Virus Carriers and smoke, (also Black Gnats and No Seeums) . Beside the air filter there’s  room for a leader  and tippet material in the pocket. The deluxe model will a have a small wool patch on the front to tote a few must have patterns. More accessories are forth coming.

Order now :>) This mask will be priced similar to how high end fly rods are priced and then some .

If your willing to pay $900 for a rod that might help you catch a trout , how much is a mask that could save your life worth??   Plus it’s stylish!! I’m betting there’s a better chance of this mask helping me more than a  $900 rod would!! :>)

Keep safe –Keep well Ray Bondorew

Deluxe Model–Flies not included

 

COVID-19 Fly & Fishing

Today–>>March 26, 2020—-Earlier this afternoon I tied up this pattern before heading out to do some fishing for Native brook trout. It worked  and is a simple pattern consisting of a poly yarn body and legs and a CDC wing. Easy to the tie and catches fish! \

I enjoy solitude when fishing and practiced Social  Distancing by fishing a spot where I’d be at least 1/2 mile from the nearest human.

10 March, 2020 13:29

First Native Brookie of the season

One of two at this outing and at at a full 9″ +, he was about as big as they get in the little brook I was fishing

Lola-(12/01/07–12/17/19)

Lola–Absolute Beauty

The above photo was taken on Tuesday November 26, 2019 while my wife and I walked Lola off leash in some nearby woods From the happy look on her face  you’d never know  that four days earlier Lola was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Because of Lola’s age my wife and I elected to forgo chemotherapy. We chose she be on a daily regimen of prednisone. and were told that with this medication she would probably live an additional 2 to 4 months, without it less than a month. We knew the clock was ticking and we had best make the most of her final several months with us. However  we didn’t expect that in three weeks she would be gone. On the first Saturday in December she came with us to a nearby farm to help pick out a Christmas tree. This past Saturday and Sunday she began to drink little and eat even less. On Monday she showed no interest in food or water. This carried into Tuesday morning. and we sensed the end was near. We were at her side continuously  during her final hours as she lay in a helpless state on her bed.  With tear filled eyes we watched  when her body finally gave out. She died peacefully at home as we had hoped for and was all we could ask. Lola was a beautiful and sweet girl who added much to make our lives better. She will be sorely missed and surely never replaced for she was truly one of a kind.

Her Highness–Lola

Lola was a pedigree mutt. Border Collie, Great Pyrenees, and Siberian Huskie mix.  Dark markings of a Border Collie , Glacier eye  and Grey/Brown fur patches of a Husky,  and soft, double coated white fur of a Great Pyrenees.

Some call it work.

My little six horse Johnson still works as you can see

***Make every day Earth Day–>Pick up one piece of trash daily.

****Here’s some tying videos  produced last month for your viewing pleasure–No Oscars won here; There’s more videos on my YouTube Channel!

Ray’s Fly( How I tie my fly)

Palmered Marabou Body Saltwater Streamer Part 1

Palmered Marabou body Saltwater Streamer Part 2

Root beer Fly

Olive Golden Retriever

Simple Caddis Larva

The Stayner Ducktail

Mullet Fly  with Palmered Grey Marabou Body

Yellow Foam Popper for Smallmouths

Fly Rodding for Stripers along R.I. ‘s  rocky shoreline

TodayTuesday. March 26,  2019–><(((°>–-It’s the final week of the month. will March go out like lion or a lamb?  Right now ow it looks like it will go like lamb, a wet one that is.  Last week I posted two new videos.  one is on tying one of my favorite Smallmouth lures a yellow foam popper.  The other one contains some old video clips(1999) about fly rodding for Striped Bass along Rhode Island’s rocky coastline with my friend Al”The Guide.” Check’em out.

TodaySunday.March 6,  2019–><(((°>—Daylight savings time began today along with Snow ,sleet and rain.  The type of day to  stay home and  tie a few flies.  I decided to make another video this time  on tying a Mullet Fly with a grey marabou palmered body.  Losing an hours sleep when we changed the clocks last night showed its affect on me.  I wasn’t with it and the video shows in a number of miscues. Broken tying thread , unruly materials and disorganization were apparent. However that’s what happens sometimes and as long as Stripers approve of my fly that’s all that really matters.

Wednesday.March 6,  2019–><(((°>—Today temps remained below freezing once again.  I’ve had a fair number of visitors visit my Ray’s Fly blog  in search of info on the Staer Ducktail. because of this after walking Lola this afternoon I decided to  make a tying video on the Stayner Ducktail. This is a pattern I’ve been tying/fishing for 5 years after learning about on Hugh Kelly’s Puckerbrush Flies blog. It’s been a pretty productive pattern for me especially on Brook Trout..Click here for more info  on this pattern. Next video i ‘m planning is for saltwater  folks on tying a Palmered Marabou body Mullet Fly.  Hope to have this one up before weeks end

Today–Monday.March 4,  2019–><(((°>—-March came in like a lion. snowing on March 1st and just dumped a foot of fresh snow last night. Seems like winter finally arrived here in Southern New England in early February and is continuing into March. I guess ole Punxsutawney Phil was right on when he forecasted 6 more weeks of winter on Groundhog Day. I’m unsure if it will be a late Spring this year however I’m getting indications that point that way. For as long as I can remember Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds typically arrive in my backyard around President’s Day each year. Here it is the first week in March and I haven’t seen neither hide nor feather of them. Is it because of winter’s late arrival or a sign of a late spring?  Only time will tell.

Today–Monday..February 25, 2019-><(((°>—-Over the weekend I managed to post a YouTube video on tying a  Root Beer Fly I consider this pattern as perhaps the deadliest Smallmouth pattern I fish. It’s definitely a fly anyone fishing for smallies should carry. It also works for tidal water Stripers! Despite my exhaustive effort in producing my latest big budget videos none were nominated for an Oscar at last nights Hollywood gala event. However the night was not a total loss as it motivated me to produce two additional videos today. One on a simple & effective  Caddis Larva, the other video is on tying a Palmered Marabou Body saltwater streamer. For several years now I’ve been tying many of my saltwater streamers with a Palmered Marabou body. The palmered Marabou functions as the fly’s throat and under wing. Just add the topping and water. I love the way flies tied this way look when wet. They have a great shape and profile. I consider shape to be almost as important as size and color. Let say your’re fishing a fly with the right color and size and have caught a few fish on it. Suddenly the action stops and you notice the fly looks to be slightly fouled. You have the right color and size but don’t have the proper shape or at least the shape they’re looking for or are familiar with..—Ray

Today–Thursday..February 21, 2019-><(((°>—–Yesterday was a cold and cloudy winter day.  Temps were in the mid-20s and several inches of freshly fallen snow covered the ground.- a good day for a walk in the woods. With “Lola the Wonder Dog” in the truck I  went to spend some time ramblng along a local brook that I fish for native Brook trout… A short way in I decided to make a video of our trek along the brook.  Here’s the link for Lola and I winter’s walk. —-<°(((><

In the next few days I’ hoping to do several tying videos– so stay tuned here or visit my YouTube Channel.

Saturday..February 16, 2019–><(((°>–My tying hand continues to  s-l-o-w-l-y heal. While I continue to have some tingling and numbness I’m able to tie a few flies  and make  two videos.  I recently posted two YouTube videos One is entitled  Ray’s Fly 101(Basics) which is about the ins and outs of the Ray’s Fly construction and why certain materials were chosen. The other video called Simply Flies is about certain flies lying  about on my tying desk and  and my lighting  effecting their colors. Next week I plan on posting two more videos. One about the Root Beer Fly,  perhaps the deadliest Smallmouth pattern I fish. The other video will be about a truly simple Caddis Larva that you can put together with a minimum of fly tying materials and tools—<°(((><

Wednesday..January 23, 2019–><(((°> Yesterday I went in for carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand. Of course this is my casting and tying hand so I’m really hoping that tingling and numbness of my thumb, middle and index fingers will be soon be gone completely. The day before my surgery I made another trial tying video knowing that I wouldn’t be tying again for while. It’s a video of a pattern that I’ve had consistent success with for the past several years and I wanted to pass it on. It’s called the Olive Golden Retriever.

WET- Olive Golden Retriever

I highly recommend you tie or try this pattern band because not too many flies that I tie become a go to pattern. In fact I like this fly pattern well enough that when I go to a place I’ve never fished I’ll fish it first before before Black Wooly Bugger which I typically try. That’s saying something.--<°(((><

Today–Friday..January 18, 2019–><(((°> During the past week I’ve received several suggestions and comments about my prototype Rays Fly tying video. One of the comments said “Thanks Ray. Hope to see more videos. Have you used your fly in freshwater?”. I replied: “yes I’ve fished the Rays Fly in freshwater . It works well for large and smallmouth bass and of course pickerel I haven’ used it for trout or salmon but I I know it will work. I’ve tied it with both bucktail and Marabou and found that bucktail works best. if you tie some peacock herl in between the Olive and yellow and not on top it makes a good juvenile largemouth representation. Hope this helps.” I’ve tied a variation of the Ray’s Fly called the Harold”s Meadow.

Harold’s Meadow

The peacock Pearl is placed between the Olive and yellow bucktail and not on top. Here’s a link to this fly that I posted several years ago. This link tells about my Ray’s Fly along with the Harold’s Meadow picture and recipe.—<°(((><

Today–Friday..January 11, 201 9–><(((°> It’s the first full week of January and the start of the new year that’s said, I’d like to wish everyone a prosperous and fishy 2019.
For quite some time now I’ve been wanting to do a video on tying a Ray’s Fly however, I always seem to go off track and end up doing other things eventually forgetting about the video for a while. Last fall the desire to do the video returned and I thought that after the first of the year I’d sit down and just do it. Often times things are easier said than done especially when you lack motivation and it takes a certain something to trigger you. Last weekend I received an order for my book and a Ray’s Fly to accompany it. I thought this would be an ideal time to do a trial video as I now had to tie up the fly. Because I don’t have a big box of Ray’s Flies lying around I tie them as needed ,one at a time.This approach makes tying my Ray’s Fly more personal if you know what I mean. I went down to my fly tying desk and set up a tripod and Camera to do the recording. I tied the fly and recorded the process. Here’s my trial Ray’s Fly tying video.

After viewing it several things were quite evident and needed work. Especially the lighting to ensure the true colors were shown. To me that was most critical. I plan on doing several more videos after the adjustments and would like to have a good final copy by months end. If you have any suggestions after viewing it send them along I’d be glad to hear from you. In the same time frame I’m hoping to produce a video on a freshwater pattern that I’ve been using with great success for two years now. It’s becoming a favorite and sort of go to pattern. So check back in every now and then to keep up with what’s going on—<°(((><