Tuesday, January 25, 2011
DRY FLIES DRY FLIES DRY FLIES!!!!!
Backcast to 1971. The Squannacook River spills over the dam at Townsend Harbor and dances over riffles for a few hundred yards until it slows down to form a long slow pool before it hits a bank and takes a 90 degree right turn before entering a riffle flow again. I'm at the top of those last riffles when I see it - a rising trout right in the pool formed by the above mentioned bend. I've been fly fishing for a year, have caught a good amount of trout, many on my own primitive sunken offerings but NEVER have I caught one on a dry, my known or anyone else's. Now is my chance. Off goes the nymph and on goes my own hand tied, size 14 light cahill with a tail that's too short, wings that are too long and oversized hackle that was lathered on hiding most of the hook eye. But it's my dry fly and I'm in the classic position for an upstream approach. A few casts and that dry fly disappears and I bring a 12 inch brown to the net. That did it. I was hooked on the dry fly.
The next few years found me fishing Summer evenings on the Squannacock using dries exclusively. The habit continued on the Millers where I met the evening rise on the Upper Trestle Pool or the Kempfield with an upstream approach. In fact, I've never fished the Upper Trestle after 6pm without a dry offering on the end of a leader. The same can be said about the EB's Bliss Pool. I've also worked and I mean WORKED over the years to perfect my tying of dries. I guess that I'm hooked!!
Do I still fish subsurface flies? Of course but dries are more fun. Last winter I read the great early 20th century author George LaBranche's "The Dry Fly And Fast Water". LaBranche, ever the purist, didn't need rising trout to fish a dry. He worked likely looking water the same way that we do with subsurface flies and got them to rise. It works - believe me!
Maybe some season I'll take the plunge and right at hendrickson time I'll switch to dries for the rest of the season. No soft hackles, no possum nymphs, only flies that I can see. Or maybe I won't. All of these ideas sound good in the depths of January.
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 7:20 PM