Monday, March 20, 2017

The partridge and orange

I had a request by one of the regular followers here to put up a video for tying the partridge and orange.  This classic north country spider was described by T. E Pritt's Yorkshire Trout flies (1895) but was probably known long before that.  All that history means that this fly has been tied many different ways over the years with lots of opinions around the silk used, the hook and it's finish, and the length of the body relative to the hook and yet it remains a very simple and effective fly even today. Rather than being a direct imitation of a specific insect, as in the English tradition of the time, this fly sits squarely in the Scottish tradition of impressionistic flies that highlight movement by the use of the softer partridge hackle.

 I've had the most success fishing a partridge and orange when tan-bodied caddis are on the water.  I also tied the partridge and green for when the green-bodied caddis hatch in late spring. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when working with Pearsall's silk.  The silk comes in tiny spools so you will need a very small bobbin to hold the silk.  The silk also doesn't react well with head cement so you will need some bee's wax or cobbler's wax to fishing off the head.  This fly is best tied sparse in my opinion.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thanks to the Connecticut Fly Fisherman's Association

I wanted to thank all the folks at the CFFA for hosting me last night at their monthly meeting. It was a real pleasure to talk with so many about the Adirondacks, it's uniqueness and it's history of abuse and recovery.




Saturday, March 4, 2017

Early dark stonefly dry fly

Hello everyone!  Here is a very simple dry fly pattern for the early dark stoneflies we are seeing around this time of year.  This fly has been very effective in the winter months on the small streams I've fished.  This a very straightforward fly to tie that uses peacock herl, gold wire and costal deer hair and that's it, nice and simple.



Just a reminder that if you are in the Hartford CT area, I will be presenting "A Fly Fisherman's guide to the Adirondacks at the Connecticut Fly Fisherman's Association's March meeting (this Wednesday).  The presentation will include some info and resources about fishing in the Adirondacks but also some of the unique history and geology of the Adirondacks with lots of pictures that you've seen here on the blog.  The meeting is open to the public so if you are in the area, I'd love to meet you and say hello!

March 8, 2017; 7-9PM
Veterans Memorial Clubhouse
100 Sunset Ridge
East Harford, CT

Monday, February 27, 2017

Run-off

It's no secret that the weather here in the northeast has been warm with rain and even a few thunderstorms. All this warmth and rain can mean only one thing up in the mountains, run-off.  It is really an awesome sight to see when a large volume of water is coming down the mountains.  In summer these high gradient streams are beautiful and refreshing but in spring they can be angry and a bit terrifying.

Here are a pair of pictures of the same run, one in summer and one taken this past weekend. The angles are different so it's a bit difficult to see that they are in fact the same run.  It is amazing to me that anything can survive the spring run-off in these mountain streams.  What the second picture can't do is convey the deafening sound of the water coming down the mountains.




Saturday, February 18, 2017

Dries in the snow?

The new 5' 2/3 weight
Today's forecast was for the temperatures to reach almost 50F. We've been very busy on a number of fronts at home but I was hopeful I could get out for a couple hours this afternoon. When I arrived about 1PM the air was quite warm.  The stream was up nicely with a good flow of water from the melting snow and I was thankful to have gaiters on since the snow still had some depth and was soft and wet.


I figured that fishing a dry was a pretty good option on a warm afternoon.  As the small elk hair caddis made it's way down through a soft run the first brook trout of the day agreed.  There was steady interest in the small caddis with a peacock herl body as small dark stoneflies hatched throughout the warmer part of the afternoon.  When the sun started to get lower in the sky and the temperature started to drop, things pretty much shut down.  On the hike back, I did switch to a silver doctor wet fly but there was no interest in it that I could detect.

The first brook trout of February to take a small dry

Today, was the first chance I've gotten to try out my new Hidden Water series fiberglass rod from Cane and Silk. In the run below, the small 5' 2/3 did a nice job of laying the fly right in the riffle at the head of the pool.  As the caddis drifted by the snow covered rock on the right, a decent brook trout came up and took the fly off the surface.  I am looking forward to fishing this little rod more on tiny streams to see just what it can do. It was really nice to be out again and enjoy a little small stream fishing on a warm February afternoon



Saturday, February 11, 2017

Parmachene Belle


Here's another married wing wet fly known as the Parmachene Belle just in time for Valentine's Day. I tied this one as close to the one pictured in Ray Bergman's Trout, plate #7.  In the tables in the back of the book Bergman lists the materials as scarlet and white tail; black ostrich tag, yellow wool body, silver tinsel, scarlet over white hackle, and a white wing with a scarlet stripe.  This one is tied on a Mustad 3399 #10 hook. Maybe if we get a break in the weather around here, I could get out and try a few of these! 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Silver Doctor


I really love classic Bergman style wet flies so when my friend Mike told me he had been fishing a small stream using a silver doctor, I decided to try tying a few.  I've done a couple married wing wet flies before but the silver doctor that I wanted to tie was going to be the most complex wing I have constructed.  With some coaching from my other friend Ben, I managed to get some wing sections that looked ok so today I tied up some bodies and mounted the wing on half a dozen.  My plan is to actually fish these so I wanted to have a few on hand.

Staging
There are a lot of variations of the silver doctor out there so I looked at quite a few before deciding on a combination of materials that I thought preserved the look of the classic salmon fly but in a Bergman style wet fly.  For this variation I used a wing of red, yellow, blue, and guinea hen wing sections.  I used a silver tip, red tag, golden pheasant tippet for the tail and silver tinsel with a silver wire rib for the body.  For the hackle I used a section of partridge under some blue saddle hackle and of course red thread for the head. I worked on getting a couple of wing sets together, then tied some bodies and mounted the wings.