Saturday, March 7, 2015

More Palmers

I've been tying some more Palmer style flies today.  In the picture below you can see some of the larger black palmers with the red bucktail tail, some black palmer red tag wets, some brown palmer red tag wets and a bomber style dry fly.

A handful of wet and dry Palmers

I've had the idea of tying a black bomber swimming around for a while in my head.  When I started reading about the palmer style wet flies things started to come together.  I really like the heavily hackled bomber for fishing small, tumbly water and the white calf tail wing really helps keep track of the fly.  Combining these elements with a red bucktail tail and a peacock herl body resulted in a palmer style dry fly reminiscent of Fran Better's Ausable bomber.  I've a few for trying out in both brown and black hackle. (brown shown below).

Materal's list
TMC 100 #14 dry fly hook
black 8/0 Uni thread
stacked red bucktail for the tail
3 strands of peacock herl reinforced with thread for the body
White calf tail wing
brown or black saddle hackle palmered from rear to front

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Black Zulu

I've been intrigued with the name and history of the Adirondack pond fly I showed in the previous post.  I figured was probably and adaption of a similar classic wet fly so I turned to the plates of Ray Bergman's Trout and found a fly that looked very similar on plate #2 called the black palmer red tag.  The materials listed for this fly were a red wool tag, peacock herl body and black hackle palmered over the fly.  Here is my interpretation of the black palmer tied on a mustad S70-3399 #10.  You can see the similarity to the Adirondack fly which uses a longer streamer hook and a sparse red bucktail tail to create the illusion of a blood trail behind the leech.

The Black Palmer has an older relative from Scotland in the Black Zulu.  The Zulu is a classic loch fly which I found interesting in that the Adirondack variation is also used for still water fishing.  Below I've tied the Zulu on the mustad S70-3399 #10 with softer hen hackle  to give more movement to the hackle when fishing still waters as is typically the custom.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Adirondack Pond fly

A couple months ago, I had the pleasure of talking with Jim Abbott who is Adirondack guide.  Jim has a lot of experience fishing the Adirondack ponds for brook trout.  He brought along some pictures of some very impressive brook trout.  Hopefully we will have the chance to fish together.  This type of fishing requires a light weight, pack-able canoe and a level sinking line for trolling the flies.  The flies are lightly bounced off the bottom.  He showed me one of these flies which I took home and studied how to construct.  It appears to be a leech imitation with the red buck tail and a thick peacock herl body. I tried to find a name for this fly but could not.  If anyone is familiar with this fly and it's name please chime in on the comments section.

From handling the fly I could tell it is not weighted so I needed to solve how to build up the bulk of the body.  The solution I came up with was to use the buck tail tips to build up a tapered under body.

Underbody built up with the tips of the bucktail
Once the under body is built up, gold wire is added to rib the fly and 6 strands of peacock herl are tied in. A little trick I learned for reinforcing peacock herl bodies is the take thread and wrap it once around the herl strands counter clockwise.  Then wrap the herl clockwise around the shank of the hook.  This has the effect of twisting the thread and the herl together to give a more robust herl body. After the body is formed a black saddle is tied in at the head and palmered to the rear of the fly and then tied down with the wire which is wrapped over the hackle from rear to the hook eye to lock the hackle down.

The finished fly
I am going to tie a down sized version of this fly for small streams.  When things thaw out I will let you know how it works out.  Here are the materials I used in this fly:

Mustad R75-79580 size 8
Uni 6/0 black thread
small gold UTC ultrawire rib
dyed red buck tail
peacock herl (5-7 strands)
black saddle hackle