Archive for December 30th, 2013

30
Dec
13

Critter/Fly Pattern Replication: Smooth or Buggy…Why not both?

Golden Stonefly NymphWhen you pull underwater critters from their habitat (mayfly, caddis, stoneflies, scuds, dragons, midges) they, for the most part, are smooth looking and segmented. They often look like some creature from a science fiction scene…in a way, I guess they actually are.

I am not presenting this post as an end all recommendation on fly pattern design. My suggestion is to recognize the options of fly pattern design: exacting imitations or suggestive (scraggly) of life imitations. Have both and know how to present the options in the most appropriate manner. Where does that insect or critter reside subsurface and how does it move under control or out of control.

Nymph Buggy CleanHere you have the scraggly Gold Ribbed, Bead Head Hare’s Ear Nymph with the buggy, scraggly thorax. Also, the lower left pattern is a nymph pattern that is somewhat representative of a Caddis or Scud. Below right is the simple, streamlined, only so slightly scraggly Czech Nymph. All catch countless fish. Have both and again pay particular attention to where these insects live…how they move (dislodged and drifting, climbing/rising, crawling, swimming).

30
Dec
13

Art & Sketching: Chasin’ Tail

Chasin Tail ™ SwittersB

30
Dec
13

Nature: the breach & the chute

CAMP CREEK Breach TM SwittersThe log that had spanned the stream gave way, it was breached by the relentless current. The moss has had time to be well established on the section wedged in on the right.

Falls Nokia ™ SwittersB

A few weeks ago, the temps were in the teens and twenties and the waterfall was frozen, the ferns and trees on the rock face were covered in ice. The temps have moderated into the thirties and forties. The spray/mist off the plunge pool in quite invigorating. Images in the Cascades (Oregon) above the Columbia River Gorge by T. Muncy.

30
Dec
13

Design & Color: Using Basic Black……..

Black Gnat SwittersB

Basic Black: do you remember when every woman had the basic black skirt and slacks as a foundation to their wardrobe? Perhaps they still do…at least the skirt. Well such is the necessary fly fishing presentation of basic black. A black gnat tied small: size 18 hook, black 8/0 thread body, black dubbing ball for thorax and few turns of a small starling feather. You could add a tail of black hackle fibers if you wanted to lean towards a mayfly vs. the midge/chironomid/gnat imitations. Here, I used the 8/0 for the thread head and may, aesthetically, have done better to finish off the fly with a smaller 14/0 thread for the head. 

This small, simple pattern was suggested to me several years ago by a gnat fanatic fly fisher. He almost exclusively fishes “gnats” in black, brown, yellow, olive, tan….simply changing the thread color for the abdomen when tying the pattern. He does quite well in the reaches of the Western U.S. No bead head, no ribbing, no fuss. Mostly just basic black….and good presentations.




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