Archive for May 19th, 2012


Scream Time: Woolly Buggers…The Fish Can’t Help It

I know, I know. So original right? I have written about this so many times, I understand. But, with the stillwater fly fishing effort a float, I have to come back to two patterns that have phenomenal success. On a recent outing these two patterns accounted for 80% of all the fish caught and that was quite a few. And, one pattern in particular, Gaviglio’s Minnow Bugger racked up well over half of the 80% takers. 

This was my wife’s Minnow Bugger, minus the hackle, after releasing another fish. Several times the hits were so jarring, her tippet came away minus the Minnow Bugger. NO! I don’t have any financial~commercial interest in this pattern.

The Little Fort Leech (LFL) and the Minnow Bugger (MB) are straight up Woolly Bugger patterns with a few exceptions: The tails are either stacked with a hot spot of red (LFL) or stacked with two colors of equal length marabou (MB). Sparkle chenilles for the bodies and the rest is standard fare. That’s all I can say. Just so profoundly successful over all the other WB’s I concocted from basic drab colors to the provocative foozies…the Little Fort and Minnow Bugger patterns kicked some tail.

 The Gaviglio Minnow Bugger was placed in my palm just five years ago by Bob Gaviglio at the Sunriver Fly Shop. The Little Fort Leech was first found inside the Little Fort (B.C.) Fly Shop twenty + years ago. I have gone straight, basic black WB’s and they don’t match the LFL. The Minnow Bugger seems to outshine all shades of basic green and more. Ok, I promise I will never mention these two patterns again.

Another Dine and Dash Attempt after consuming the Minnow Bugger. What more can I say?


Last Light Heading In (Photography to Share)

This photograph captures one of my most enjoyable times. The last light on a lake or river. I was heading back across the lake. The sun was setting. It would be dark when I finally returned to the far side. The glimmer of light on the water’s surface is still inviting as I continue to see large fish slashing for a large Caddis coming off. Tempting to stay for a while longer, but I hate stumbling around in the dark too, putting away gear. 


The Damsel….On The Edge….And, The Lost Net

On a recent trip to a lake, the wind was relentless for hours on end. Anchoring up was the only option as kicking or rowing was too demanding and unproductive against the winds. So, I found a narrow strip of quiet water along a reed line near shore. And, here I caught fish and a net.

I anchored in this quiet strip along the reed line. In close to the reeds the water was maybe 3′ and as it moved out toward the black arrows it quickly dropped to 6 feet. Most of the fish were taken as the fly settled down the drop off rather up near the reeds. I wasn’t seeing any working fish near the surface.

I was using a Size 14 Georgi’s Damsel in a unique ginger color. I met Georgi Harley on a B.C. lake years ago and she introduced me to the ‘instar’ color option.

I worked the Damsel pattern parallel to the shore line. Not the optimum presentation path, but the best I could do under the circumstances. It was a successful plan. At one point, I caught something else though….a landing net.

I dredged this mucky mess up to my ‘toon’ and hoisted the smelly mess onto the apron. It was a perfect structure beneath the water for all manner of aquatic critters to find their little spot.

The picture really doesn’t do justice (sorry for the blurry focus) to the amount of activity that was taking place in the nooks and crevices of this lost landing net. Damsels, lots of grey-olive scuds and larva wiggling about. It was very revealing as to color and size of insects.

Once to shore, I took the landing net and hung it over a fence post. Someone, if not the original owner, will maybe cleanup it up and make use of it. Of particular interest was a discussion I had had with a man hunkered down in his truck waiting out the wind. He wondered aloud if there were scuds in the lake. I had no idea at the time. Now I do. Some stillwater fly fishers immediately put scuds at the top of their fly list. I have some mental block there and forget scuds. I really need to fix that oversight.


Every Day in May Challenge: More Fish Not For the Dish


‘More Fish’: Whether a ‘trophy’ fish or a little 5″ gem from a small stream pocket, I enjoy the beauty of fish that I catch or those that others around me catch. I haven’t killed a trout in years. I don’t particularly enjoy eating them. I do enjoy a bit of halibut, salmon, sturgeon or sea bass. But, for the most part, I stick with catch and release….careful release. I know some abhor the grip and grin pose. I confess I will hoist the fish here and there when it is a special gift. Over playing a big fish on too light of rod will put the fish at risk upon release. Getting the fish in for release in a timely manner gives far better odds the fish will survive.

I recently fished with my wife. As you can see, she already has mastered a key element in relaying fishing lore…..exaggeration.

Oh my….my wife hasn’t learned that her left forearm is blocking over half the length of the fish! Of course, she doesn’t care about such things and is just happy to bring the trout to hand.



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