Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Reliable Caddis Emerger

I have a few caddis emerger patterns that I've used throughout the years and they range from soft hackle styles to my wet fly version on the Moby Dick but this fly deserves some attention. Back cast 20 years ago to an evening on the Deerfield where the Cold River empties into the Deerfield. I'm fishing this pool with an old Millers friend, Rick Flamatti, and he is nailing one trout after another. He says he has a caddis emerger on and so do I BUT the results were night and day. My fly catches one, his fly catches many more. Finally he shows me the pattern and since that night I've kept a few, in different colors, with me. It looks very much like Tom Ames Caddis Emerger which it probably is but this fly predates his book and I thank Rick for it.

Tie it like this:

Hook - size 12-14 scud hook (wet or dry fly hooks work too)
Body - fuzzy gray or fuzzy tan depending on what's hatching
Hackle - dark partridge tied sparse behind the head
Head - I like ostrich either in in black or dark brown. Just two or three turns.

This fly works great just under the surface in choppy water.

It's a great fly and we should be using it in about three months which right now seems like years away!!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunday Morning On The Upper Swift

Maybe that week in Jamaica has made me soft. I kind of liked the sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80's. Maybe that's why I slept in and then went out for a leisurely breakfast instead of hitting the Swift at 8am. I did hit the Swift at 10am to check out the Y Pool area. I didn't have the time to fish due to some obligations. Just enough time to take some photos. There were some fish caught in the 45 minutes that I was there above the Y and at the Y. I was asked what I was doing out of uniform. I had to ask myself that when I saw that repeat riser!!!

I hope to get out later this week. Until then.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Quill Bodies And a Word On Wings

I almost went to the Swift this past Sunday morning but decided that it would be more fun to drink coffee and tie flies instead. It also gave me a chance to work up some quill bodies. These were in my arsenal 30 years ago but were gradually replaced by dubbed bodies and not because fur bodies were any better. They were just easier to deal with. Quills, on the other hand, had to be prepared and conditioned. This was something that I never liked to do and when it was time to tie some up I usually just grabbed a hackle feather, stripped the fibers off it and then broke it in two when I tried to wind it on the hook. But when things went right you had a beautiful fly body!!! I realize now that getting that result was worth the prep work.

Good, old, cheap, Chinese and Indian necks are the best source for quills. Rip a couple of dozen hackle feathers off the neck and begin to strip off the fibers. DON'T SOAK THEM IN A BLEACH SOLUTION to remove the fibers Bleach will weaken the stem. Take a dozen stripped stems of one color and fasten them together with a paper clip and dump the bundle into a glass of warm water for a few hours. After soaking take out the quill bundle and put it in a zip lock bag. They'll stay soft and pliable for a long time.

The above photos show (poorly) some dun variants with their signature bodies. In the group are a couple of quill bodied comparaduns with CDC instead of deer hair. Can't wait to use them!!

Wings - I'm reading a 100 year old classic, The Dry Fly And Fast Water by George LaBranche where the author examines the value of wings on hackled flies. This is an age old question. My feelings are: 1. Wings on hackled dry flies are for the fisherman, not the trout. 2. Hackle imitates the silky, gossamer quality of a mayflies wings much better than woodduck, mallard, hackle tips, etc. In fact, hackle is perfect for imitating spinner wings and is much better than those dreadful, water absorbing, leader twisting hackle tips!!!

If there is one feather that matches the qualities and likeness of mayfly wings it's CDC. They're light, come in all the right colors and float like a cork. All my BWO's are tied with it.

There's a big storm coming tomorrow night. There's only a month of this winter left (hopefully).

Maybe I'll hit the Swift Saturday morning (maybe).