Sunday, January 27, 2013
This January And The Grouse And Orange
What a difference a year makes. Last January we had days in the 60's. This January we are in a deep freeze. My January started off with The flu that lingered for a week and a half. I did get to spend a week in Florida with it's 80 degree days which were perfect. And now back to the arctic where I've been hunkered down restocking my fly inventory. Today, the 27th, was my first fishing trip of 2013. It was 2 degrees at 7am and not much more at 10am when I quit. Two small 'bows were all that I got from the Swift. February will be better.
The Grouse and Orange - An ancient soft hackle fly that gets a modern makeover. Ditch the silk or floss for the body and go with orange kevlar. This glass thread gives a waxy shin to the body that the traditional materials don't.
Size 10 to 14 hooks (you can go smaller if you like)
rusty brown natural dubbing for the thorax
Grouse, chicken hen or any soft material for the hackle
Many times we have a grouse cape that has been picked clean of the popular size hackles and all we have left is an abundance of hackles that are to large to wind on the fly. Here's how to use these feathers.
Pluck a large feather from the cape. Strip of the fibers from one side of the feather and position them on top of the hook, concave side on top, and enough fibers extending in front of the hook eye to equal about 1/3 of the hook shank. Do this before you wrap the body. (don't use too many fibers, keep it sparse) Then wrap your thread loosely around the hook and fibers allowing the fibers to encircle the hook. Now wrap the body and thorax (covering the butt ends of the fibers)and tie back the hackle fibers.
With practice your flies will all have that "wrapped hackle" look and you will be using all those feathers.