Posts Tagged ‘chironomids

07
Dec
11

Fly Tying: Griffith Gnat (Small, Palmered Midge)

A collage of Griffith Gnats that shows the typical pattern formation.

“The pattern is simple enough for the beginning tier: a size 16-18 fine wire hook; peacock herl, grizzly hackle suitable for a size 18 dry fly and 8/0 or 14/0 thread. The peacock and hackle stem are tied in at the rear and the peacock body is wrapped forward forming a full body and tied off. Then the hackle is palmered forward in wraps similar to a Woolly Worm/Woolly Bugger’s body formation; maybe a little closer wraps. The remaining hackle is clipped off and the thread head is formed. Use a floating line and keep the faith as you fish it in the film, amid the hatch. Don’t horse the fish. ”  (SB 7-14-2009)    

Yes, a scaled down version of a Woolly Worm, with a simple peacock herl body and a palmered, dry fly quality hackle (the hackle barbs should be equal to or only slightly greater than the width of the hook gape. The pattern makes for a very simple tie and a productive midge ‘cluster’ pattern for lakes or streams.

SwittersB & Fly Fishing

28
Jul
11

Fly Tying: Fore & Aft Patterns

I am by no means a fly pattern historian. I leave it to others to delve back through the annals of fly tying. The fore and aft style fly pattern is reputed to have originated in England over a century ago. Most patterns (save those with new synthetic materials) probably had multiple originators in the far corners of the fly tying/fishing world.

The fore and aft is often offered up as a midge cluster. Well, that seems fine for a very small pattern, say size 16 to 20, but my experience with say the Renegade pattern is it has done amazingly well in B.C. lakes as a Caddis pattern beneath the surface. I recall a small, remote lake near Wavy L. that to this day afforded some of the most amazing fly fishing I have ever experienced. The Renegade pattern was in tatters, with the tinsel and rear hackle trailing behind. There were no chironomid/midge in sight. Only, Caddis/Sedge were emerging and skittering. As tempting as it was to put on a large dry Caddis pattern, the sunken Renegade was intoxicating to the fish and to me. I will never forget the fly line zipping through the water as the Kamloops took the fly and jetted off across my path. 

Whether the body in tied thinly or rather plump, like the Renegade, experiment with the fore and aft hackling on a pattern. Try it as a searching pattern where exact dry fly /emerger pattern presentations are not called for. Lakes and busy surface streams would be good choices. The hackles can be the dry fly quality feather or even a softer hackles for a busier look. I have include a Renegade I tied and a Stick Fly (midge) pattern that shows Ostrich Herl for the hackle. 

04
Jun
11

Fly Tying & Fishing: Borger Brassie

It is a reality of fly tying and fishing that we tend to seek refinements ad nauseam for patterns. It cannot stand that a simple, effective pattern can just be, as is, without more color options, dubbing, beads, etc…. refinements from what if’s and what about’s.

Several years ago, I sat front row at a Fly Fishing Expo affair in Portland, Oregon. Gary Borger was a featured speaker in one of the little side theaters. My son and I sat excited to get some inside refinement to our fishing efforts and from a notable fly fisher to boot. Borger was, that day, crusty and authoritative. Boy, this was going to be good.

Authoritative about what? One of his go to patterns, a copper wire bodied fly with a red thread head and no beard as depicted in the pic here. That fly with a split shot a foot above the fly was the offering that day. Initially, I heard a man from behind mumble ‘you’re kidding me?’  But, Borger wasn’t kidding and he remarked at the simplicity of the whole fly, rigging, presentation. It struck me that day how confused I was. That was it?

Was that all there was? Really, if that was true then maybe the problem wasn’t the gear, the waters, the fly….maybe it was me over thinking, over planning, over “everything-ing…(my word, you can borrow it). I have not forgotten that simple approach that Borger offered that day. It still flies in the face of the difficulties I have catching Steelhead on big rivers (not smaller coastal rivers where pods stack up and one hander nymphing rigs connect with fish).

But, none the less, the point here is some patterns are simple and presentation is perhaps more critical than over tweaked fly patterns. The over tweaking is part of the creative bent most tiers enjoy and the fun of putting your personal touches on a pattern. If it works, all the better. The admonition to KISS is often good advice. I think it is a benchmark to keep an eye on when one ranges so far afield, that basics are forgotten and success is elusive. 

“This pattern is attributed to Gary Borger although it is an adaptation of a pattern originally tied for the South Platte in 1971 by Ed Marsh. Gary admits that this particular version came about by him not remembering the correct dressing as related to him earlier. Anyway he was fishing the Armstrong Spring Creek the next summer when he saw the little flies in his box and tied one on in desperation and the rest is well, history. He says it has taken trout feeding on midges in rivers and streams the world over as well as even fooling steelhead!

“It works because the wire body provides a strongly segmented appearance and because the bright copper produces an attention-getting flash. The copper colour also suggests a rusty brown larva and may hint at the red colour of a bloodworm. I’ve dressed this pattern in every imaginable shape and form; with a thorax, with a tail , with legs, with a sparkle yarn husk, with a wing, with a soft hackle, with a stiff hackle, and so on.

They all catch fish, but not anymore effective than the simple body and throat. So I’ve stayed with my original, mistaken design.” (Gary Borger, Designing Trout Flies, 1991, page 93).”           http://www.goulburnvlyflyfishing.com.au

02
Jun
11

Fly Tying & Fishing: Patterns in the Algae

I came upon a source (stillwater blog re chironomid presentation) this week and then lost it to credit here…the site mentioned fishing patterns (they were talking about chironomid pupa patterns) in the often frequent algae bloom on/in lakes. The writer mentioned something interesting: the algae will taint/tint/paint your chironomid patterns that have antron or similar wings, gills, filaments. The writer suggested that a white bead would be a better substitute for the oft used white synthetic elements that extend above the bead, over the eye or horizontally beneath a wingcase, out to the sides. Something to consider. The algae bloom often only extends 5-10′ beneath the surface. A pattern can be presented below the bloom. But, drawing the the pattern through the bloom will coat the pattern with a green film. So, a simpler pupa pattern that can be swished clean is a suggestion. For all the others?….might as well stay with olive as the color theme? Anyway, I thought it an interesting suggestion for later in the Summer on stillwaters with a bloom.

Frequent use of antron extending out over eye of hook

White Bead for Thorax region (SwittersB)

 

 

26
May
11

Fly Fishing Ponds in the Springtime


Tony Muncy

Flyfishing ponds, in the Spring, is a nice respite from the long Winter and the high runoffs of Springtime. The setting is more relaxed. The pace is, and should be, slower; a small puzzle to be solved. The smaller patterns of chironomids, dragons, damsels, scuds are perfect for subsurface presentations. Little poppers and emergers in the film can be productive in the evenings. This is 3 wt. time for smaller species, unless finessing larger bass or carp.

Many ponds are open year around. Weed growth can be a bit much in the Summer, but Spring and Fall pond fishing can be quite rewarding. Docks, rocks and shoreline structure often reinforce the fact that fish are holding to structure and close to the shoreline, as indicated in both of these pictures. Slow retrieves, almost vertical retrieves near structure, will produce fish.   

Tony has had his fair share of bigger fish, but you can see his, and Darly’s,  satisfaction with seducing these Crappie to the feathered creations.

Darly Reed with a nice Crappie (TMuncy)


24
Apr
11

Fly Tying: Reverse Hackling (Tenkara’s Sakasa-Kebari)

REVERSE HACKLING CONCEPT~TENKARA’S SAKASA-KEBARI

The ever creative Anthony Naples at Casting Around has had an infatuation the Tenkara fishing concept. One of the techniques in tying Tenkara flies is the wrapping the hackle wing so that it slopes forward over the eye (sakasa-kebari). In this piece, Anthony has combined the reverse hackle with that daunting tiny fly (let’s see how many flies we can put on a penny/dime?) style. This is an interesting concept for tiny flies in the film. Study the ideas and note that Anthony highligted another tier that has also combined the reverse hackling and small hooks. Also, explore Anthony’s site for beautiful fly fishing related art work.

Sakasa Kebari (Reverse Hackling) Anthony Naples

 

12
Apr
11

Stillwater Hatches (Brian Chan)

I have occassionally highlighted the well known Brian Chan. His knowledge is apparent, but I have an added touch to this: several times I have reached out to Brian and without hesitation he has provided precise information about how certain stillwater insects act subsurface and how the trout act early in the year. He did not know me from Earl….but, he graciously helped. A true gentleman.

Here I offer up some stillwater insect info from Brian Chan’s site Rise Form Ventures . There is a very good, basic over view of stillwater insects.

I like this picture. I took it outside wth the sunlight upon a suggestion by Tim Barker (Planet Trout)




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