Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Neighborhood Bruin

This fellow has made quite a stir around here of late and has even got his picture in the local rag. Below are some shots taken by a neighbor's friend ( I did not get the name or I would have given them credit) of the bear while he was taking a mid day snooze in a roadside tree. He has not caused any major problems, other than rooting through your garbage if you happen to leave it out unsecured.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, June 10, 2011

They are finally looking up!

Its been a difficult season this year.  On most days that I have had available to fish I was forced to deal with  high muddy water.  Lots of fish caught but all below the surface.  Things have finally settled down over the last few weeks and there has been some fine afternoon dry fly fishing.  There have been some great sulfur hatches but little in the was of surface feeding.  The late afternoon spinner falls are another matter all together.  Fish can be found boiling on the surface as clouds of spinners descend to the water, just as the last visible light slips below the horizon.  It becomes a game of feel and sound. There has been some great fishing just after dark.  Fishing in the dark presents challenges.  Since I try not to use a light on the water, re-tying flies to tippets can take forever,  There is enough fumbling with rod and reel going on, so no after dark photography for me, besides its a short lived game, so there is no time for pictures.

Luckily there have been a few that have been convinced to sip a dry fly while still light enough to enjoy seeing the take.  This guy fell for a carpenter ant at high noon...

This one on a sulphur emerger fished in the film.

Its been a long time coming...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Golden Stonefly Nymph

Golden Stone 

This pattern has been particularly effective over the last few weeks.  Many of our local streams have seen an emergence of large stone flies in late May. Trout have been keying in on these large nymphs as they move towards the shore to crawl onto to the bank in the evenings to molt into winged adult stoneflies. 

Pattern Recipe:
Hook: Tiemco 200R (size 8-10)
Bead: Tungsten brown or black (3/16" for size 8)
Thread: Danville 210 denier white
Underbody: 8 wraps .30 lead wire
Tail: Goose biots (golden yellow)
Abdomen: Tapered thread underbody tinted with olive brown on top and golden yellow on bottom, covered with yellow or clear vinyl d-rib (medium)
Rib: Medium black wire 
Thorax: Synthetic or natural dubbing in a golden stone color to match the natural
Wing case:  Two Pheasant "church window" feather cut with a wing burner.
Legs: Round rubber (solid or barred)

Tying Instructions:
Although this pattern calls for a lot of materials it is relatively easy to tie.  

Begin by mounting the bead and placing 8 wraps of the lead wire on the hook shank, pushing it up against the bead to hold it in place.  Place a drop of head cement or super glue over the lead wraps.  

Mount your thread behind the lead and wrap towards the bend of the hook, where you will tie in you split biot tail, wire ribbing and vinyl d-rib.  

Next build up a tapered thread body and cover the lead wire with thread wraps.  Once your underbody is formed, tint the thread with the markers, dark on top, light on the bottom.  

Form the abdomen by wrapping the d-rib forward with tight touching wraps stretching the material slightly as you wrap it.  Tie it off at the start of the lead wire. If you wrap it with the flat side of the material against the hook shank you will get a nice segmented appearance.

Next, wind the black wire rib forward allowing the wire to fill the grooves between the d-rib. 

For the thorax apply dubbing to the thread and dub half of the remaining space on the hook shank behind the bead.  

On top of the hook shank tie and the dubbing you just applied tie in one of the wing case feathers.  
Apply additional dubbing to the thread and dub right up to the bead.  

Next tie in the final wing case feather and tie in the rubber legs on each side of the fly.  Apply a small amount of dubbing to cover your thread wraps and whip finish and apply head cement if desired.

Golden Stone (alternate view)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Solving a Mystery

I spent a few hours on my favorite trout stream over the holiday weekend and had an excellent day of fishing.  I had the whole section of river to myself, which shocked me since it was a holiday weekend.  What made it even more enjoyable, was the fact that it was one of those rare occasions where you manage to figure out what your pea brained quarry is focused on and find that little piece of the puzzle that makes for a great day's fishing.

After spending the first few hours of the day picking off a fish or two.  I sat down on a mid stream rock and began to ponder all the reasons why the fishing was so slow.  I reckoned it could have something to do with the little bit of color that still lingered in the water from the high water event earlier in the week, or perhaps the fish were gorged on sulphur nymphs that have been coming off in huge numbers every afternoon.  As I sat on this rock and retied my leader and selected yet another set of flies to present to the fish I spied this fellow crawling up from the waters edge.

This was a good sized stone fly with bright yellow markings on its underside.  With no better choices to go with I selected a large golden stone fly nymph as my anchor fly and was rewarded with a fish on my first cast.

And so it began...for the rest of the afternoon fish after fish came to this fly including the big fish in the previous post.   Here's a few more quick shots of this fly in action.

The fly I fished was a one of a kind experiment.  It was a more detailed version of a soft hackle stone fly that I regularly use.  Instead of a soft hackle it has a traditional double wing case and some rubber legs added.  When that fly was eventually lost to a fish, my soft hackled golden stones produced well enough but not quite as good as the experimental version.  So its off to the vice to turn out some more of what is now a proven pattern instead of a experimental one.