Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB
Fly Fishing The Millers - With over 30 years of fly fishing this river I will claim more knowledge and fish caught than anyone. There are over 40 miles of river and I will take you to the best sections and if you want to sections that never see another angler. Don't be fooled by those who say the Millers is a Spring and Fall river. I'll show you how to have great Summer action. The "EB of the Westfield" - Wild and beautiful is the only way to describe this river. There's a lot of water here but I know where to go to catch trout. After a trip you will too!! Solitude and trout IS the EB. The Swift - 20 trout days are not uncommon on this river if you know what to do and use. I'll show the way and you catch the trout. RATES - Full Day (6 hours) = $150.00 for one, $225 for two (lunch included). Half Day (three hours) $90.00 for one, $155.00 for two. Beginners Class - 3 hours ffor $90.00, all use of rods lines, reels included.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Millers - My Next Favorite Spot _The Upper Trestle Pool

Asking beginners to comment about fly fishing or where to fly fish is like asking a 12 year old boy about women" My comment paraphrased from John Gierach



As I said in my Millers River Fly Fishing Guide the Upper Trestle Pool is MECCA for fly fishermen. I fished this pool for three straight seasons to the exclusion of almost all other places on this river. It has been that good. Now, did I exclude other sections? No, but when the flow was at 250cfs or below it was my place during that time the river flow behaved itself. During that time I had evening fishing that was as good as I could find anywhere. I'd start with a soft hackle while the sun was on the water then switch to a comaparadun (right size/color, hint size 14 in olive) and fish until I couldn't see a rise although soft hackles swung after hours did do well. (I was a working man with kids early on so after dark trips were at a premium). I would get there at 4:00 am in early July and find the pool alive with fish until 6:30 when it went dead for rising trout. It can be a trico dream if you hit it right, like 10:00 am in early August.

I've caught more trout on a dry here than any other section on this river.

Park are the railroad crossing at Wendell Depot and walk up the tracks (left) until you get to a trestle. Look upstream, cross the trestle and approach from the left side of the river. Order my FREE Guide to the Millers on this site if you need help.

Above the Upper Trestle are TWO GREAT pool/runs that nobody goes to. The path runs out before you see them. Fish them if the Upper Trestle is occupied (2 people are enough) They are great spots!!!

More interesting updates this weekend!

Ken

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Millers - My Three Favorite Spots, The First Spot

We ask a simple question
And that is all we wish
Are fishermen all liars
Or do only liars fish?
-William Sherwood Fox

I've gotten a lot of buzz lately concerning the Millers River and dozens of new requests for the Millers Guide. All of that gets me to thinking of my decades long love affair with this river AND the places that seem to come to mind first. So, starting from the top let's float downstream to a favorite spot.


South Royalston Pool - This section never even made it into my Millers Guide which basically started about a half mile downstream at the Trestle which is the start of the Bears Den C&R. The entire section from Pete & Henry's downstream to the end of the road is great water but very hard wading but it's the Pool at the end of the road that gets my attention.

Park your car, suit up and follow the path to the Pool. You can't miss it. At the head of the Pool you will see two sets of riffles on either side of a small island. This is a special spot because it is the place where I have caught the most 4 to 6 inch browns than any other spot on the river. (they don't stock 4 to 6 inch browns!).I like to cross over to the island (flow permitting) and work both sides.


Now, what about the Pool? When you first approach the section from the road side you will notice that the current has cut a deep channel along the bank which makes wading very dicey. The solution is to cross over at the above mentioned riffles to the other side of the river. Instead of being a ditch full of logs and boulders you will have a sandy bottom, easy wading and plenty of back casting room. NOTE: Crossing the river here is tough and I wouldn't do it with flows over 250 cfs. A wading staff is a must. You can solve this by walking down the railroad side of the river and then bushwacking your way to the river.

Three years ago I took a brown around 18 to 20 inches that was as dark as a Millers Smallie and had pectoral fins like a set of oars. A native?? I think so.

I seldom see anyone fishing this place except for a few spinning rods early in the season. This is strange because South Roaylston gets stocked a few times during the Spring. So while everyone is beating a path to Rezendes you may have this spot to yourself!

Next stop - Somewhere downstream and this week!

Ken

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Swift Update And This Blog And Happy Easter

Fly-fishing is solitary, contemplative, misanthropic, scientific in some hands, poetic in others and laced with conflicting aesthetic considerations. It is not even clear if catching fish is actually the point. JOHN GIERACH - DANCES WITH TROUT (1994)

Some readers of this blog will notice that I used this wonderful quote a few months back. It sets the tone for this post.

Wooley Bugger George drove down to the PIPE parking area in the pouring rain and said HI. He had been working the Y Pool with streamers during the week and had done well. "I hadn't seen much down here" he said and by the fact that there were only two other cars in the lot it would seem that his observations may be right. He left and I entered the river above the gauge at 8:00 am. A size 14 olive and partridge was on the business end.

One bow was taken in that wonderful spot and another was lost. I worked down to the flats where I had another take the SH but not as beautiful as the bow from last week. In the meantime the occupants of the two cars left when the rain picked up. One was a flyfisher and the other was lugging a joint compound bucket and a spinning rod.

I got down to the PIPE around 9:30 and kept the same fly on AND I WAS THE ONLY ONE THERE!!. I took about a half a dozen from the outflow to the deeper water. Frankly, I couldn't see any trout but they were there. Nice dark fish instead of the shiny stockers which was nice to see. Finally three bait boys showed up and I decided to call it a morning. A short lesson - there are trout there but you have to work for them. Work that soft hackle in the drift and.......

Well, here I go again, telling fellow fly fishers where I fish and having it read by those who can't stand me doing it even though they are frequent readers of this eight year old blog. One blogger, who had three different blogs, used to rant against me in comments and emails that I was giving away SECRET spots on the EB (a public CR section - is it a secret?? DUH). He used to write about rivers that he would NEVER mention. His blogs sank without a trace. Go figure.

Someone else last year met me on the Swift. He asked me how I was doing and I told him that I did very well and named the place where I fished. He tried to assure me that he wouldn't tell anyone BUT as a reader he should of known that I name all places and I did with that one. He doesn't like to name "places", just a "look at the fish I caught" photo.

I wrote the Fly Fishers Guide to the Millers River to share those great places on a river that I've experienced. It's available to everyone and will always be. Rivers become famous due to the stories of great fishing and legendary trout. Much of this has always been in print but which is read by those who would like to keep it under wraps. I keep nothing under wraps unless it's an unstocked brookie stream.

In conclusion - I still name the places where I go and catch trout and I still have plenty of room to fish even on the Swift!

Happy Easter!!

Ken



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Isonychia - A Mid Summer Hatch

We have to think seriously about conservation now, although it is chilling to realize there are catch and release fishermen alive today who don't know how to clean and fry a fish Jobn Gierach

Photo by Thomas Ames, Jr.

Years ago I was fishing the Miller's Upper Trestle Pool deep into a mid Summer evening enjoying the dry fly action that this pool is noted for. As the sun became a memory and the moon began to rise I began to notice a rather dark, large mayfly in the air and also on the water. A specimen flew in front of me and I grabbed it, mangling it in the process. Even with the wrecked sample I knew what it was - a Leadwing Coachman, AKA Isonychia!!

The late Bob Rouleau, a great fly tyer and friend of the Millers, said that the leadwing coachman was the go-to wet fly on the Millers back in the 1930's and 1940's. It was the wet fly that is important because of the way this fly hatches. It thinks its a stonefly or a damselfly because of it's habit of crawling out of the water onto rocks and such to hatch. It's not like other mayflies that ride the surface and fly away although it can occasionally be seen doing just that.

Thomas Ames says that this is a season long hatch but I've only seen them in mid and late summer at nightfall. The Millers has them BUT the EB is loaded with them as evidenced by the nymph casings found all over the river in late August.

You can fish a leadwing coachman if you want but I prefer a robust pheasant tail nymph fished with short, quick strips. This nymph likes to swim and swim quickly!!
photo by Thomas Ames, Jr.

Although this fly hatches on stream side rocks a grey bodied comparadun in a size 12 cast upstream in fading light will bring the fish up.

Ken




Sunday, March 20, 2016

Up And Down The Swift River

"Flyfishing does have its social aspects - on some of our crowded trout streams it can get too social - but esentially it's a solitary, contemplative sport. People are left alone with themselves in beautiful surroundings to try to accomplish something that seems to have genuine value"John Gierach


It was freezing on Friday morning with a days long northwest wind that was trying to create wind knots which are the sole creation of some bad casting. Few were at the PIPE parking lot which is a good thing because it meant that the bait boys would not be there and maybe a bad thing because the hatchery truck hadn't come down the chimney with gifts. Anyway, I started at the run above the gauge (I always tell you where I fish as usual) and ended at the Tree Pool.

I fished that run above the gauge hard and took two smallish bows - nothing like the bigger fish that I saw nymphing a week before. The rig was partridge and orange on top with a swift serendipity below. Each fly took a fish.

I made my way down to the wider section below with the good riffle at it's head (I need a name for this great spot. Any suggestions?) and took the most gorgeous rainbow I ever caught on this river. 16 inches and slim with a dark red stripe, green above and below with an almost yellow (brown trout like) under belly. He (always a "He") took the soft hackle and fought like hell. It ended up making my day and certainly wasn't just dumped into the river!

I could see nothing in the water from the Pipe to the Tree which may be way I saw no trout taken.

Sunday morning and it's time to explore. 10:00 am finds me in Bondsville below the lower dam (Yes, I tell you every time) ready to go. It's freezing again!!

First observation: There's nobody there not even a bait slinger. Second observation: There's next to no litter (bait containers, coffee cups). Conclusion: This place hasn't been stocked. Third observation/feeling: THIS IS GREAT! If I can catch trout here then maybe the are holdovers which would feel so much more rewarding than fishing over a pod of truck trout.

The first 15 minutes were a blank so now I know it's not been stocked. As I swung the flymph (still have them on the brain) towards the tail of the pool I get the TUG. A few minutes later a 14 inch brown came to the net. It was the color that caught me. Dark brown on top with sides that looked like butter that was in the saute pan a bit too long. Freshly stocked?? I don't think so.

More casts as I work downstream. It's after 10am on this first day of Spring but my guides are still icing up in this semi shaded area. Another cast into a calm area across the stream results in a second hit. A 12 inch brown that had been to the same makeup artist as the first came to the net.

What's the story here? Simple, there are holdovers in this river everywhere. They're not ganged up to be exploited but are spread around and you have to find them. Is the lower Swift brown trout land?? Go see for yourself? They will make your day.

I've gotten a lot of emails over the years thanking me for giving locations where I and my clients have done well on the rivers that we fish. I've never named an unstocked stream and never will BUT I will name spots on public water because it's YOUR water. I still fish a few hundred times a year and unless I find myself at the Y Pool (a good spot) or the PIPE we are usually alone. There are those who have read and commented and asked all kinds of questions on this blog about the spots that I fished AND then got mad that I named the spot again AFTER they fished it!!! (yes, it's true) The great rivers of the East, the Catskill Rivers and even our Farmington, have reams of published memories where pool are named. This adds to the legacy of flyfishing. I guess some people don't like that!!

Happy First Day Of Spring!!!

Ken

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tenkara Revisited and the Western Ma. Fly Fishers Expo

And never fall into that statistical macho trap that's so prevalent in fly fishing these days. If you keep score, you can be beaten, but if you refuse to compete you can leave the impression that you have long since risen above that kind of cramp. When someone says to you, "I caught forty-eight trout and ten of them were twenty inches or better. How'd you do?" say, "Yeah, we got some. Couple of nice ones too." John Gierach


When I first introduced myself to Tenkara (Japanese for "from heaven")a few years ago I was taken in by its pure simplicity and it's minimalist approach. Let's face it, the collecting of fly fishing weapons is not driven by necessity but by marketing and clever marketing at that. Owning rods from 0 to 6wt in every length to fish for TROUT is being over loaded. Tenkara wipes the slate clean. A rod, a line and a fly. Perfect!

Tenkara was developed for small streams. I consider the Swift a small stream as are most in this State. It is not your best choice for larger rivers (Millers, EB, Ware, Deerfield) but there are sections of these rivers that contain ample pocket water which is a collection of small streams within a larger stream. My wife has become pretty good at Tenkara pocket picking on the EB and she had never fly fished before!

Now it seems that the winds of marketing have swept over Tenkara Land. Where a 12 ft rod has been proven to be the only rod that you will ever need you are now given the choice of multiple lengths and weights. All of a sudden you can't fish a 15 ft mountain stream with that 12 ft rod. You need an eight footer or a ten footer or a six footer.......!!!

Resist the temptation at least for a few seasons. Nobody would suggest that break into fly fishing by purchasing rods from 2wt to 6wt at the start. Keep it simple. As a 5wt rod covers most situations a 12 ft trout action Tenkara rod will do the same. Buy a level line (hint: mono or floro with a diameter of .014 should do) the length of the rod, 4 ft of 5x leader and some soft hackles. You are equipped to handle all small streams and at least the first 20 ft of the larger rivers. This strategy has worked for me.

I also teach this form of fly fishing. It gives you a chance to "try it out" before you buy ANOTHER piece of fly fishing stuff!!

I belong to a GREAT group of hardcore fly fishers called the Western Mass. Fly Fishermen. This group will be having it's annual expo on Monday March 21 2016 at the Ludlow Elks on Chapin Street in Ludlow. The doors open at 6:30 and you will be greeted with product booths, great tying demos, a giant raffle and Dan Trela will be our speaker focusing on the Upper Connecticut River and Montana's Bighorn!

Tickets are only $7:00 at the door. I will see you there!!!

Ken

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Season Of Light, Evening Trips, The Millers Guide And Another Stonefly

"Fish sense, applied in the field, is what the old Zen masters would call Enlightenment: simply the ability to see what's right in front of you without having to sift through a lot of thoughts and theories and, yes, expensive fishing tackle."John Gierach


The first day of Spring on MY calendar was this past Sunday when we moved the clocks ahead and officially survived the Winter. It was an easy Winter and we deserved it after the previous year. Now we can take a balmy Spring day and fish past sundown (6:57 pm today) to what the weather boys call Civil Twilight which is at 7:25 today. What is Civil Twilight? Think of it as having enough light to see a size 14 light cahill dry at 30 feet!!

My evening trips are always a way to explore new water, solve the mystery of old water, brush up on technique or start from scratch. Contact me and we will set it up!

THE MILLERS FLY FISHING GUIDE!! I've been supplying this 40 page Millers River Guide for over seven years. It's the best and most complete guide to this river and I've sent out well over a thousand copies but demand continues. Just email me and I'll send you a FREE download!!

I've got flymphs and stoneflies on the brain and there's no cure except to be in the midst of a full blown hendrickson hatch which would be another nice problem to deal with. The stonefly above came to me when I was tying a pile of scuds and then loaded a nymph hook in the vise instead. I wanted to see a stone with a shell back. When dry it looks a bit too shiny but it looks great when its wet. The Swift bows like it too and large stones are a rare on that river.

Hook - size 12 nymph or wet fly

tail - pheasant tail fibers

body - synthetic dubbing of either olive or yellow

rib - ostrich herl (wrapped heavier by the thorax)

shell - I used plastic material from a sandwich bag

Head - small, olive plastic bead for looks. It has no weight and is not shiny but did has the look of a nymph's head.

Ken

Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Marginal" Rivers, A Word On The Swift, And Some Advice

"All of the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish" Harold Blaisdell, The Philosophical Fisherman


Backcast to when I was a starving college student four decades ago. I'm being dropped off at Phillips Brook, a small stream that runs from Ashburnham to Fitchburg on a very early Saturday morning. It has some natives and gets stocked in the spring but this is the 3rd week of June. "It's too low and warm and it's been fished out" said the local expert but I went anyway with my stout fiberglass rod,box of standard wets and no waders (starving college student,remember). I spent about 7 hours fishing that diminutive stream and took over two dozen trout, mostly bows but also some of those natives. I pulled that trick again for the next few years until moving out of the area and that trick was fishing a stream AFTER it's supposed to be fished out and doing well.


Now, back to the present. There is a stream that flows behind our house that has some native fish but mostly stocked trout. Fuller's book "Trout Streams of Southern New England" has this to say about the Mill River:"It's waters in Williamsburg flit nicely in an array of pools, riffles and easy rapids, but the stream does suffer from high summer temperatures". That statement is usually the kiss of death for a trout stream but it isn't so. I've caught trout there in the summer and know of others who have done the same. The DFW surveyed the river two Septembers ago and found trout and other cold water critters. The waters are not "warm" but actually surprisingly cool in the summer. One local college stated that the "cool" water during the summer extended much further downstream than thought (there goes conventional wisdom for you). In other words, this marginal river is not marginal at all.

These kind of streams are all over the State and you know where they are. They get hammered in the spring for the easy fish and then by Memorial Day they are vacant. Go early in the morning or at dusk to catch the trout that are there. Cool zones exist everywhere in a trout stream. Go find them!!
The Swift has fish. Not a lot but enough to make it interesting. The news of a 27 trout day by a local fish hawk didn't bring out the crowds which left the Gauge to Cady Lane with few fishermen yesterday. My guy did well and was the "top rod" for the 3 hours we were there.It was his first trip to the Swift too!! Scuds and a Swift Serendipity did the trick.

Advice- Please do not ask me if a certain stream has been stocked. I don't chase stocking trucks and you shouldn't either. Every stream will get its fish in the next two months so chill out and fish anyway and everywhere.

Advice - Take pride in your fly tying. This is the art form of our sport and should be treated as such. A well crafted fly is a pleasure to create and to look at and it will also catch trout. Resist the temptation to "dumb it down" by creating concoctions that can't represent anything found in the natural world. You can do better!

Ken



Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Leisenring And Hidy And The Flymph Patterns

"I differentiate between fishermen and anglers. All anglers are fishermen but not all fishermen are anglers. The fishermen hopes to catch fish while the angler seeks an intangible catch"O.W. Smith


The flymph can be considered the American Soft Hackle. It's also an off shoot of the classic wet fly. Jim Leisenring and Pete Hidy developed the pattern and the presentation style that goes along with it. This fly varies from the English soft hackle in the fact that the slim body is replaced with something more robust (buggy dubbing) to create a wider profile. Leisenring and Hidy also loved hen hackle more than their English counterparts. They used it everywhere!


This fly is also called the "wingless wet" because the creators ditched the lifeless, stiff wing of the traditional wet with NOTHING, just turns of hen hackle to match the emerging insect. And they meant "emerging" because this fly was created to imitate the rising insect form. It was either swung in the current and allowed to come to the surface at the end of the drift with the rod then being raised and lowered to mimic the rising insect again (the famous Leisenring Lift) or fished with a short line upstream while raising the rod as the fly sweeps back to you which, by the way, was Theodore Gordon's wet fly method.

Hook - 10 or 12 wet or dry hook

Tail (optional) - a few wisps of dun hen hackle fibers

Rib - ultra fine copper wire

body - hares ear, Australian possum or anything buggy

Hackle - dun hen hackle tied in at the thorax and wrapped forward. You want a "full" profile

If you feel that you can improve this pattern by putting a bead on it's head you are missing the point. Golf awaits you!
Olive and Brown Hen Flymph

BTW, my spy in Connecticut informed me that the Farmington is LOADED with fish as this State dumped god knows how many of their gorgeous browns into the river last week. The Up Country site backs this up. Everyone is catching fish. I'll wait a month or so to hit the Campground Pool and Spare Tire. Where are those pools?? Buy the Guide to the Farmington River sold at Up Country. It is money well spent!

Ken

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Outside The C&R Areas - Start Exploring The Road Less Traveled

"I fly fish not because I regard fly fishing as being terribly important, but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant and not nearly so much fun." John Volker

We know three things: that the sun rises in the east, sets in the west and if you want to create crowded conditions just make a section of a trout stream catch and release. It certainly doesn't have to be the best section of river but if you slap that label on it they will come. Let's look at the EB. The C&R section is great even if 80% of the anglers only work the first of the six miles available. With most people above the gate and with the summer swimmers it can get a little "close" on weekends. Why not head upstream and I mean upstream!! There are MILES of water on that branch that are basically untouched.

Some places have easy access. Some places require a a real hike. They are all worth it because there are plenty of fish there and you will have it to yourself.

The same with the Millers - I love the lower C&R but when I guide there I start below the C&R, work my way upstream to the lower end of the C&R and then go above the C&R, finally ending at the C&R. Why? Simply put the sections above and below, In my opinion, the C&R are more interesting and have LOTS of trout and hardly any other anglers.

Now, if you have been fishing the CR of the Swift for the past three months you get a pass. During the winter it can be the only game in town. But Spring is about here and there are miles of water that you have never fished. The Millers, the EB and the lower Swift are just some. FISH THEM!! The C&R sections will still be there!

Daylight Savings starts in a week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ken


Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Squannacook Note From Charlie And A Weekend Preview


"An undisturbed river is as perfect as we will ever know, every refractive slide of cold water is a glimpse of eternity" Thomas McGuane "Midstream" (1990)

As I stated back in November 2015 this site would be branching out with reports from other rivers from people who REALLY KNOW THESE RIVERS! Charlie Shaden Of Evening Sun Fly Shop gives an early season report on the Squannacook:

The Squannacook River is running high but clear and cold.Flows can be checked using the USGS site and following the baselines and info provided.Early season fishing on the Squann. can be very productive as the river holds over fish nicely due to its deep pools and extensive cover produced from the large and frequent downed tree structure which litter many parts of the river.Early season places to fish are everywhere but from the dam at Townsend Harbor downstream in the fast water provides a long stretch of fast pocket water to practice your nymphing skills.Also,behind the Dunkin Donuts on Rte.13 south is a nice early season place to find a secluded spot and work your way downstream to the deeper pools.Losing flies will happen on the Squannie but the river is a season long gem that deserves your attention.Stop in to the Evening Sun Fly Shop for a detailed map of the river that can be purchased if you desire.

Thank you for all your help.
Charlie


Charlie, with 40 plus years working these currents, knows it like nobody else. He gives special attention to TOWNSEND HARBOR and any Squannacook fly fisher above the casual angler level will know where he is talking about! I worked this stretch decades ago from the dam to two miles below and caught my first trout on a dry that I tied here. My favorite approach to the "Harbor" was to walk down the tracks 3/4 of a mile and take an old path down to the river and then fish upstream back to the dam.

My favorite start point off of Rt 13 is south of his mentioned spot at the bridge over the river. I always worked downstream. My best fishing was behind the Sterilite plant. Tough going but very rewarding! BTW, I don't get paid for this. Charlies a long time friend and we need him!!


THIS WEEKEND AND BEYOND

Play hooky NEXT WEEK!! Temperatures will be in the 60's (they say) and with no snow melt or rain we will have a jump start on smaller stream action. Don't start looking for stocking schedules and chasing trucks because that is weeks away. The Swift should have some surface action especially winter caddis at the Y Pool especially in the overflow arm. Action should start up Saturday and improve daily.

For "blue line" fans I recommend this: As many die hard wild trout fans know the DFW has been sampling and recording fish data in basically every stream that shows up on a map for YEARS. All of this is available online. Drive over an interesting unstocked brook and wonder what's in it? The DFW knows and you can too. Just Google: "water quality assessments Mass dep mass gov" and you will find the data for all watersheds in this state. Find your watershed, then find the name of the stream in that watershed and then start dreaming. It's all there: the number of species collected, the species collected and the numbers of each species collected. Most are unstocked streams that have native trout and sometimes in good numbers. I have the data downloaded for 5 watersheds and I've been studying it for years. Blue lines with good numbers get some of my fishing attention like the gem I found last August. Others I will let rest a year or two. Wild trout matter. To protect them you have to know where they are!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Fly For The Ware

The two best times to fish is when it's raining and when it ain't"Patrick F. McManus

Photo by Joel Bradshaw

The Ware, much like the Millers, has always had that retro feel to it. Both rivers have legacies going back to the first half of the 20th century where they were destinations for urban anglers and both rivers have well deserved reputations for large trout. Both watersheds are along the "road less traveled" so to speak. Urban sprawl certainly hasn't found a foothold along these watersheds and the small communities have economic problems. But their rivers fish well and I like the idea of casting a fly that someone 60 years ago would of recognized and fished. Something like a classic wet fly? Something like the noble Light Cahill!



Wet Flies that came out of the Catskill region were different than the gaudy brook trout flies of New England because of the brown trout and the Catskill tiers knowledge that it's better to play the imitation game than the attractor game if brown trout are your game. Somewhat drab flies that looked like insects were their creations.

Dan Cahill of Port Jervis New York, a brakeman on the Erie Railroad, gets the main credit for the Cahill design although he shares that credit with Theodore Gordon and Rube Cross. The fly has been around for over 100 years. It works!

hook - size 12 - 14

tail - ginger hackles barbs

body - tan natural dubbing

hackle - light ginger or dun colored hackle

wing - mallard

The fly in the photo has a wing of brown partridge hackle barbs (a bit too dark but ok). Thought that the partridge would move in the water better than mallard.

This fly, like most "good" wet flies presents a profile that is easily seen but is not to gaudy. Swing it like a soft hackle or cast it upstream and have it sink and come back to you. It works.

I mentioned above that three tiers have claim to this fly given the fact that all three had different versions of it. None of them called theirs a "variant", a total misuse of a fly pattern/style by the great Art Flick.

I can't wait to get this fly on the Ware or the Millers around mid May.

Only two months away!!

Ken