Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Vise Time, Winter/Spring Guiding And A Swift Update

"The bulging rise is characteristic of midwater feeding. When emergers or pupae are ascending without urgency, fish will take them several inches beneath the surface without actually breaking through it, but causing the water to swell. such rises can be deceiving, as they reach the surface well downstream of the fish especially in more rapid currents". Thomas Ames, Jr. Hatch Guide for New England Streams

One thing that I've told basically everyone that I've guided is that if I couldn't fly fish any longer I would still tie flies. There is a great sense of accomplishment when one ties a fly correctly from a pattern or creates an offering using the correct techniques and avoids the usual pitfalls found at the bench. Those common pitfalls are hook eyes that are overcrowded, body material errors (too much dubbing or quill bodies wrapped unevenly) and way too much hackle. Those mistakes are the fly tiers version of baiting a hook! The less material the better. The accompanying size 20 emerger photo shows what I mean. Less is best!!!! 140 denier for the body, 3 turns of fine copper wire, 1 turn of peacock, 2 tags of flashabou and enough space to tie off without crowding the eye with tying material.

A word on hooks - the above fly was tied on a size 20 scud hook. The wide gap has better hooking qualities than your standard hook. My best source of these hooks is from FLYSHACK in Gloversville NY and their house brand is the SABER line of hooks. I have their scud hooks from size 8 through 24 and they are strong, sharp and are well formed but the best thing is they are incredibly inexpensive! To get the same size scud hook in a "name" brand (Tiemco, etc) you will pay about $8 for 25 hooks. How about $7 for 100 saber hooks. Welcome to no-brainer land!!!!! Saber hooks are the only hooks I've used for the last 8 years and I believe that all of their standard hooks are in the $7 for a 100 range. Check them out at the Incredible Shrinking Fly Show. They will be at the booth(s) with the most people.

BTW, I get no discounts, merchandise or commissions for this or any endorsement. If you see me mention something it's because I believe that it's a good value for YOU! In the words of Neil Young: "Ain't singing for Pepsi, ain't singing for Coke, don't sing for nobody, makes me look like a joke".

Same Fly, two styles:

To the right is a sample of a size 14 soft hackle (a "made up" pattern) and then it's version on a size 6 salmon hook. Soft hackles translate to salmon style easily and are fun to tie and would work for steelies as they do for Atlantic Salmon.

Swift Update/ Guiding Season: Well, here we are in mid January and fly fishers are still having double digit days by the Pipe and the Tree Pool. The throngs of bait tossers just never showed up or they just couldn't clean the place out. There are plenty of fish in that well worn section and there is fishing to be had at the Gauge and at the Bubbler Arm.

My guide calendar is picking up with Spring trips in the books and a record number of January/February trips booked too. Don't get left out. I'll be expanding guiding on the Ware River and the MB of the Westfield - two great rivers.

Book a trip and remember that I don't require a deposit!!!



Dave said...

I love the saber barbless dry fly hooks! Ive been fishing all dries and emergers on them all year. Looking forward to stocking back up in Marlboro. 7 bucks for 100, cant be beat.

WrongDay said...

I second the endorsement for FlyShack. Their beads are just as cheap as their hooks. They have a wide variety of colors and sizes, including slotted beads and jig hooks. Their customer service is second to none. I can place an order on their website and have it delivered to my house near Boston in two days at uninflated shipping prices.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Dave and WrongDay,

It's a small company that's really getting it done right!!


Anonymous said...

Not only is tying fun, it gives me great pleasure to see someone successful with a fly I tied and gave them! Appreciate your generosity with the patterns. thanks

The Eye on Harvard said...


I think I saw you heading towards the Y-pool friday with a client just past noon the last windy cold Friday. After those three 50 degree days, the fish didn't seem to be interested in my midge or SH offerings at the bubbler and the bridge. I did manage to pick up a bow opposite the TU diverters along the bank, but that was by hopping a bead head mop (with a collar and legs) along the bottom in front of them a few times. I'm guessing you have to drift whatever you are fishing right on their nose when they are holding in the cold/slow water or should I have waited until the afternoon once they warmed up a bit in the sun? Just curious if you were successful that afternoon and what caught their attention.


fischmeister57 said...

Concerning the price of hooks, they have indeed skyrocketed. At my local fly shop, TMC 2488's (I like the straight eye, especially for the smaller sizes) now cost $8.30 for 25! So, although I believe in supporting my local fly shop, I had to order these from E-bay to get a savings of $2.30 for 25 (actually $9.20 since I ordered a 100).

But I will have to look into that Flyshack and the Saber line of hooks. Thanks for the tip!


Millers River Flyfisher said...


WD40's in 16 and 18 took some fish below and above Rt9. Good to see you using the Mop!!!

Check out Flyshack!!!!