Archive for August 18th, 2012


Confused Rufus Pattern & Toxic Waste

I combined the tail of a Minnow Bugger and the Marabou wing of a Rufus Fly. Normally, the marabou wing is situated so the fly will ride point up. So, the wing is tied on the underside of the shank, ‘beard’ style. This reportedly causes the hook to rotate over and present the hook, point up. The slow descent of the fly through the water column should have the marabou wing fluttering upward until the presentation propels the fly forward. All these stillwater ‘bugger’ patterns are tiresome to some, but I find them more tiresome to the arm. I believe the pattern is named for the Rufus Woods Reservoir (Upper Columbia River) Washington State          SwittersB

Speaking of Washington State, while doing a little research on the excellent fishing at Rufus Woods, I came upon a site, The Spokesman, that reports on local fishing in Central/Eastern Washington. They posted a very interesting clip of a 1947 newsreel about Lake Lenore and the dumping of WWII materials into the lake. Zero comments on the blog, but given what a fishery it has become, I wonder what the fishery’s biologist considered when they started developing Lenore?  The Rufus Fly & Chemical Dumping…what a diverse post this was.


Bull Thistle: So Invasively Appealing


Eurasian Bull Thistle, an invasive ‘weed’ now happily anchored in all 50 states, Europe, Africa, and Asia. I took this photo while camping at Walton Lake in Central Oregon.

The ‘weed’ is believed to have arrived in Colonial times. By the late 1800’s it had moved across the U.S. With some reputed medicinal purposes, it still is viewed as a nuisance. A somewhat attractive nuisance…as many nuisances are. I enjoy some macro work when in the field although I do not spend nearly enough time with the details of the shot. I am more the see it…shoot it photographer. 



Stillwater Pattern: Chomper

Last week, I was extolling the virtues of Ostrich Herl as a fly tying material. Tim Rolson, of South Africa, remarked that the Chomper was a worthy pattern, that incorporated the Ostrich Herl. Tim mentioned that the Chomper pattern was less recognized in the U.S. A little research showed that a UK fly fisher, Richard Walker, is noted with developing the pattern.

So, this morning to the vise I went. I tied two Chomper flies. Neither one was satisfying. But, both would probably catch fish. But some observations are in order from my tying effort. I will use the two pictures to elaborate.

This first effort on a size 14 nymph style hook, had the raffia back strap and the olive Ostrich Herl body. The thread was 8/0. I have never been a big fan of Raffia, especially now that synthetic materials make a more durable part and they do not necessitate the addition of some adhesive. In this instance, I selected 5 herls. I tied them in ahead of the already secured raffia at the bend. Once wound forward, I secured the herls. A rather plump body resulted. I pulled the raffia over the top and secured it. The piece of raffia was too large. The resultant thread head was too large because of the bulky raffia and 5 herls. Then I added a coating of glue over the top of the raffia. In the process, I had some end up on the ostrich. A rather sloppy, little pudge ball.

With this Chomper, I used less raffia and only 3 Osrich Herls. The fly presents a more slender, less bulky fly. The herl has room to move. But, again, I was messy in the application of the head cement over the raffia.

The point of the fly is to showcase the merits of Ostrich Herl as a lively material that attracts attention. That is a given, I believe. Beyond that I would use a different material besides raffia for the backstrap. Any of the newer, synthetic materials used for Czech Nymphs and Scuds would suffice. I intend to tie up a dozen more in olive and in black and substitute for the raffia synthetic or feather fibers even with no lacquer). Sizes 14 will work and I may opt for 14/0 thread in olive as well. Thanks Tim for the suggestion re the Chomper. Photo’s a bit blurry. Oops!

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August 2012

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