Monday, February 20, 2012

Another February outing

Pete (aka TROUTI) and I had the day off, so we arranged to meet up and see if we could fool some trout with the stonefly patterns I've been tying.  This afternoon was not as warm as expected and between the wind and the cold water we were chilled to the bone in a couple of hours.  Both Pete and I managed a pair of browns on a bead head black pheasant tail soft hackle.  I tried the black pheasant tail and starling as well as the 2 fly dry with no success but swinging the soft hackle produced once again for both of us.  There weren't a lot of stoneflies around and the rises were sporadic.  It's as if the fish knew where I was because as soon as I got into position the fish that rose in that area would stop and fish in the area I had just left would start rising again !

Here's the black PT soft hackle...
TMC 3761 #16
gun metal bead
black thread
pheasant tail fibers died black
X-small copper wire rib
Dark India hen back hackle

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February afternoon

I've been waiting for an afternoon to get out and try out some of the stonefly soft hackles I have been tying.  With temperatures predicted to be in the mid to upper 40's this afternoon seemed like a good opportunity.  When I arrived there was a rise here and there and an odd stonefly.  I decided I would swing a classic winged leadwing coachmen trailing and a gun metal beadhead black pheasant tail soft hackle.  I swung across where I saw the first rise and quickly picked up a little hold-over brown on the black pheasant tail soft hackle.  This afternoon the phesant tail was the fly of choice and even though there weren't a lot of stoneflies around I still managed to pick up a few.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Stoneflies part II

I was talking to a my friend Pete (aka TROUTI) who was out this week and he reported seeing some early stones coming off and fish interested in them.  Pete is a zen-master at fishing soft hackles so I tied a couple more early black stone soft hackles for us to test drive.  The third pattern is a black stone version of Rich Strolis' two fly dry.  Rich has an excellent video for tying this fly (click here) and I can't wait to give it a try as well.

Get out there an enjoy this spring like weather, the early blacks are definitely early this year !

 Pheasant Tail and Starling
Mustad R50-94840 #16
black 70 denier UTC thread 
black pheasant tail fiber (body)
X-Small copper wire rib
peacock Ice dub thorax
starling hackle (3turns)

 Starling and herl
Mustad R50-94840 #16
black 70 denier UTC thread
peacock hurl wound from head to tail and secured with fine gold wire wrapped forward
starling hackle (3 turns)

Strolis Two fly dry (black)
TMC 100 #16
black 70 denier UTC thread
black 2mm foam tied down in 4 sections and then folded over and tied again in 4 sections
white antron wing, with natural CDC over
black/dark brown hen hackle, clipped on the underside

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stoneflies and three classic wet flies

With the warmer weather we've had around New England this winter, we are starting to see the emergence of the small dark winter stones typical of late winter and early spring.  I prefer to fish small wets when these bugs are around since in my observation, trout prefer these flies with movement rather than dead drifted.  Here are my top three stonefly patterns, all classic wet flies.  Notice how all three patterns use peacock herl.

The Leadwing coachmen
Mustad 3399 #14
black thread
peacock herl body
fine gold wire rib
mottled brown India hen back hackle
slate grey mallard wings
Matt at Caddis Chronicles has an excellent instructional video for this one click here

The Picket Pin
Mustad 3399 #12
pheasant tail fibers for the tail
black thread
body of peacock herl
fine gold wire rib
brown hen hackle palmered from head to the tail and secured with the gold wire winding forward
squirrel tail wing
head of peacock herl

A variation of the Winter Brown (a classic North Country Spider)
Mustad 3399 #14
claret Pearsall's silk thread
thorax of peacock ice dub
a couple turns of woodcock wing
head of peacock herl