Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Only Difference Between Men and Boys...

is the size of their toys.  OK, their fish.

1957, Haliburton, Ontario, smallmouth bass - 7 years old

The middle years seemed to be fishless, and haircuts were too expensive:

Ithaca, NY area, circa 1980:

Things started looking up as I enter the "Golden Years (LOL):

2011, Boiestown, New Brunswick, atlantic salmon - 61 years old

Time sure does fly when you're having fun.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Celtic Beauty - a new atlantic salmon fly proves its worth

Yesterday (July 8, 2011) was a very satisfying day for me.  My good friends Renate and Dan Bullock, principals and guides at Bullock's Lodge (formerly Tuckaway Cabins) called at noontime to let me know that fourteen salmon had been hooked that morning on the fly I developed earlier this year. They are located right on the Miramichi in Boiestown, New Brunswick.

An earlier post on this blog, "Converting a featherwing streamer to a hairwing salmon fly" documents the process of developing this fly.  Since I can't fish this summer, I sent Renate a batch of the fly, and she's been passing them out to her sports as the opportunity arose.  I guess yesterday the stars all lined up, and the fly did its thing.  It hooked two more fish last night.

The Celtic Beauty (click to enlarge, click again to really enlarge):

The recipe:
Tag:        Gold oval tinsel to suit hook size
Butt:       Dubbed black beaver underfur
Body:      Uni Bright Yellow floss
Rib:         Gold oval tinsel
Throat:   Hareline UV minnow belly flash under claret hen
Wing:      Dark green flash under deep green hair of choice (mine is Polar Bear)
Head:      Black

I named this fly for its rich Celtic colors, and for its roots in Carrie Stevens' Green Beauty streamer.

My thanks to Renate and Dan for getting this fly in the water in their pools!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Small Summer Bug for Small Summer Streams - Step by Step

This little fly, which I figure I derived some years ago from the Letort Cricket, is a small wonder, especially on small streams and creeks.  Brook trout, rainbows and browns all love it; it fairly dances on the surface, enticing them up from their holding spots for quick, delightful grabs.  It's easy to tie, and takes just a few materials.   It doesn't have a name...it's just a little green bug (click on the pics to supersize them - two clicks will fill your screen with fly!):

The materials list is short and its all olive.  I'm sure it would work in other colors, I've just never tied it other than olive.  If it ain't broke...

Thread: Olive thread du jour
Tail:      Olive bucktail
Body:    Olive whatever dubbing you got that floats
Wing:    Olive mottled turkey
Head:    Olive elk or deer (as fine as you can find)
Hook:   Mustad 94840 #10 (or whatever dry fly hook you like...as long as its small)

1.  Wrap the hook shank with thread:

2.  Tie in the bucktail, well, tail:

3.  Trim the bucktail tail:

4.  Form a dubbing loop and spin the dubbing (I stole some crochet hooks from my mother years ago for this purpose.  They work great.  Or you can spend 25 bucks for some widget that does all the work for you.)

5.  Wrap the body:

6.  Tie in the wing and trim to look cool:

7.  Spin the elk/deer/whoever head (hint hint: use two small batches and pack them together for a neat little head):

8.  Trim the head (another hint: steal somebody's good little scissors from their makeup bag for this job):

Now I strongly suggest, after tying a few of these up, that you hit the nearest cool little creek you know of and have a ball with 'em.   Lemme know how you do.