Flies - Tied Locally by Mike Rice at Mud Dog Flies
Mud Dog Saltwater Flies is a small, home based business I operate around my "real" day job and my "Dad" duties. The idea to start this business came to me one day while walking with my dog, Jack, along the bank of a local river. I had fished the river earlier that day and had been into a pack of breaking schoolies stripers and watched in dismay as my fly exploded and disintegrated as fish hit it. Two more of the same pattern recently purchase from a large retailer did the same thing. Sitting on the bank of the river that day I decided that I would start tying my own flies and tie them so that they would not only catch fish, but also endure repeated hook ups. Recalling similar tales from friends and other anglers of flies that just didn't hold up, I reckoned there might be a place I the tackle industry for a small company that produced a quality fly for a reasonable price that would last longer than one day of fishing. Looking up out of deep thought, I saw Jack standing in front of me covered with mud and the name of the business was created.
Most of my patterns are tied from beginning to end; very few patterns are tied in stages. I think tying this way allows for a more continuous and standard process typical to each pattern and results in a better finished product. All wraps are glued during the construction of each phase and all head are epoxied for durability. Materials are hand selected from various sources and only used if they meet my standards. For example, the hackle used in the Maxi Deceiver is obtained from a vendor who hand selects it before it is brought in to his shop. I then go through his stock and hand select the hackle that I want. Even after being picked through twice, there is still some that is discarded during the tying process because it doesn't meet my standard. After the flies are tied, each one is given a final check and if it is not a fly of a quality that I would fish, I throw it out. Each fly is sent out in a plastic bag to protect it during delivery and to provide the end user with a nicely packaged fly.