Let me start off by saying, I am no expert. As much as I enjoy fly tying, and as much as I am immersed in the learning and the teaching aspect of it; I am not afraid to say that I don’t know everything.
I don’t see the shame in it, because truthfully; I enjoy it. I have many questions that I sometimes forget to ask in my busy life, but to be able to stand there with that same person and learn side-by-side with them, to me isn’t a downside. Its an upside. Because now we both know the answer to a question, that five minutes ago neither of us didn’t.
I’m OK with all of this, and you should be too. But too often I find people would rather sacrifice the knowledge they could have acquired, by holding back a question in fear of sounding like a ‘beginner’ or an ‘idiot’ in front of others.
The bottom line is, “We all began as beginners”.
The Isonychia is a decent sized mayfly that can be so numerous at times, you simply aren’t sure where to cast. There have been plenty of times at dusk where I see more trout taking emergers than I do the mayflies that are aimlessly drifting on the surface, when the hatch is in full swing. Some trout will even come barreling our of the water to take them as they rise and swim through the water column.
Some of them do make it, and the evidence can be found strewn all around the river bank where they had once climbed up onto the rocks to finish their transformation.
The next time you’re in the middle of an Isonychia hatch; try to divert your eyes away from the far bank for a few seconds, and look down. Concentrate on what is right in front of you at your feet. If you stand still, gazing into the water as it swiftly passes, you will see the nymphs. They are almost breaking dancing as they head down river! Many of them do not make it to adulthood, they become stuck in the film.
That is where this pattern comes in handy, and its for two reasons. When dead drifted tied just the way it is, it gives a little movement. A little extra attention grabber as it passes the eye of a hungry trout. Then after the fish have destroyed it to the point that your CDC bubble is ruined? Let it sink and swing it! It will wiggle and thrash around with those broken CDC fibers and continue to work.
My husband loves fishing rusty spinners almost as much as ‘some’ people hate when I leave my dubbing box open..😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
So when I saw that the makers of Reel Wings had revamped a product that I once had trouble using, I just had to give them another go! I was immediately hooked. They give a lifelike appearance to wings like no other material can, and are a breeze to cast. So if you, like me, had been a little nervous in the past, fear no more!
Spinners are excellent flies to fish as it gets dark, but as always; adjust the size and tone of colors to suit your needs in your area.
Finally use the bodkin to position your eye over the area in which you want to place it. Slide it off the bodkin and repeat on the other side. Then push firmly on both together, basically just squeeze them at the same time to lock them down.
Spring has arrived in the Catskills, and that means the hatches are coming! This also means that many mayflies which are in the process of emerging.. just aren’t going to make it. They’ll either get stuck in that shuck and drown, or become picked off by a hungry trout. That’s why emerging flies are so effective when fished with a little movement, or even just a slight twitch in the line every so often.
The floating nymph has been around for quite a number of years, but I became aware of this specific pattern while reading through “The Dettes: A Catskill Legend” by Eric Leiser. Its an excellent book, loaded with history and trout patters. You can read more about my review of the book “here” and be sure to stop by to see Bryn and Joe at Dette Trout Flies and grab a copy the next time you’re in Roscoe!
These cold winter months have me longing for an afternoon of sitting in my boat, catching a bad tan and some smallmouth bass. A few weeks ago had I posted a step-by-step for The Smallmouth Sparkle Grub and today I’d like to share with you one more great smallmouth fly.
Crayfish change color throughout the year, and there is no shortage of reasoning behind this. For example: During a molt a crayfish will change colors, you can find them anywhere from the olive/brown camouflage with blue to a red/orange. Depending on your location the colors may vary again, on top of that it also depends on their vitamin intake, and what microscopic organisms they are ingesting. Darker color/muddy waters will also change this color as well, so tying them in assorted colors is a good choice.
This is why this pattern is so versatile, because all you need to do is change the colors and size to match them throughout the year. I will get into more detail on the life-cycle and habits of crayfish in a later post, but for now just know that this pattern is a must have for the summer months!
While we often find ourselves up late at night, coffee in hand, trying to create flies that imitate the exact naturals, so as to bring those picky trout to our nets. But we must not forget about another group of flies; flies that become such fun to tie and fish once they grace our memory with their existence again. Flies which merely suggest movement or a commotion on the waters surface, flies that only mimic the insects ‘footprint’ on the water but never really imitating the physical carbon copy of that food source.
We have seen this work time and time again with a Griffiths gnat, the Usual and a White Wulff, but they aren’t the only great attractor patterns. The Renegade is absolutely one of those! This fly was developed somewhere around the late 20s early 30s, and still catches trout today.
When I first started fishing The Renegade I didn’t know it had a name. It had actually found its way to me, during one of my first trips to the Catskills. I saw it hanging on a low tree branch on the bank of the Beaverkill, still attached to a few inches of sun-faded tippet. The hook was bent and had begun showing signs of rust around the eye. Yet at the time, I remember thinking.. “.. if they fished it here maybe it will work here?” (HA! If only that was true of every fly we tied on!) Nevertheless I took it home, dismantled it and tried my best to copy it on my vise.
That wet fly proved to be quite effective on many trips as I continued to tie and fish it.
If Monday’s just aren’t your thing, then maybe be a few of my favorite orange hotspot flies will help to get rid of that case of the Mondays.
I’m not sure exactly what it is about the color orange that seems to be so effective for so many of us, but time and time again it’s a color that I have found myself using quite often.On top of that, the more you look into the idea that trout can see color you’ll get many, many different answers. So many so, that you begin to wonder how anything works at all! With that being said, if the only thing they actually see is gray-scale, Then maybe to a trout The “Orange and black” above, that I tie and fish when October Caddis are out,looks like nothing more than a ton of legs, moving at a high rate of speed and making a commotion.
The first place I saw the sparkle grub pattern was in the book titled “Smallmouth Strategies for the Fly Rod” by Will Ryan. I read it cover to cover and to this day I still have it on my shelf for reference. There was a black and white sketch of it on one of the pages, and originally the fly had marabou and crystal flash for a tail. I fished it like that for a while but eventually changed that to rabbit and then down the road added rubber legs. Over the years I have seen it tied by others in this upgraded manner as well, so we all must be on to something good! This fly works incredibly well, and in all conditions. While I couldn’t possibly tell you what initially drew my eye to it, this version has been a staple in my fly box ever since. Feel free to change the colors in any way that you’d like, but I highly recommend tying some in the colors shown here. Over the years I have tried other variations but for me I have plenty of had days where this color is all they want.
There are certain flies that have a tendency to become overlooked for various reasons:
– they are considered “elementary”: ” a San Juan worm?!! Those are too simple to tie. No good for someone as advanced as me. ” 🙄
-they look ridiculous: “Really?? An egg pattern?! eww. I would never fish with that. Not happening”
– A Size 20?! Never! The fish will never see that little thing, why waste my time!”
But you see, that’s just the thing , they do work and trout do see them.
These “ridiculous” flies not only work, but they work very well in these current winter months in which we are in.
..And the sad little zebra midge.. half hidden in the slot of your fly box.. is no stranger to being passed on by..