I fish frenchies a lot, and have had much success on them throughout the year. Especially in winter. I tie them on jig hooks with slotted tungsten beads, and on regular nymph hooks with brass, but then a skunked afternoon led me to a little change in their appearance and action.
While out on the river one afternoon catching nothing, I hooked that “favorite fly” of mine on the hook keeper and took a break. I flipped over a few rocks to find some rather large stoneflies and mayflies, A lot larger than the ones I had found that morning. As usual, they were all sporting the always fashionable; “dyed brown pheasant tail” colors that never seem to go out of style in the underwater world of trout town 😂
So After a little more riverside searching, I decided that my favorite “generic fly” probably just needed a little more movement.
Or I just suck today..
Eh, Probably both.
“Operator error” as I like to call it
But what the hell, I had some time.
So Why not just go back and upgrade the frenchie we all love so much?!
After sitting behind my vise and trying to cut off the end of a few hooks In a caffeine fueled midnight frenzy, I remembered something..
And thought “What am I doing? Ruining my hooks. I don’t need to because I had a pack of those “things” somewhere!
So I went through one of the boxes on the tying shelf with all the sculpin heads, eyes, Pyrex streamer rattles and dug out a pack of those “things”
I had found them!
Those “Things” I now remembered were the Flymen Fishing Company Wiggle Shanks that I had picked up at a show!
And (just like many many fly tying materials that we accumulate due to the lack of self control) had been forgotten about.
After much aggravation I figured out the best way for me to tie on them, which at first can be a little tricky until you get the hang of it. (A step by step can be found here)
I went back out the next day, and when I found the same large inhabitants under those stream side rocks , I tied one on and did quite well.
Did extremely well in fact.
But hey maybe it wasn’t the fly.
Maybe it was the weather.. Maybe it was luck..
Then again Maybe it was the 3 cups of coffee I had consumed that let me think that I was fishing like a professional with those ridiculous blind casts 😂 all while daydreaming of making a bacon egg and cheese when I got back since I had skipped breakfast.
Or maybe it really was that wiggle frenchie, fished on a dead drift, being twitched on the line every foot or so?
Whatever it was, it was worth a shot to upgrade one of the staples in our fly boxes.