Posts Tagged ‘david hughes

04
Jul
11

Fly Fishing: Observe & Study

One of the enjoyable aspects of fly fishing (and also of fly tying) is the why of it all. This is then followed by the how, what, where, when of it all. You observe as you pass through the wild. You take it all in. Insects on the rocks, on the water, in the air, on the shore side bushes. Birds scurrying about and maybe the fish visibly feeding.

You observe what is going on and make a selection or many selections in attempting to solve this transitory puzzle. Maybe you are partially or totally successful; maybe you zero out. If so, only a few will really be certain of the why. The rest will ask why and launch into followup study.

This past week, I had occasion to work over a sporadic hatch of PMD’s and two types of Caddis. I worked the convergence of currents below an island. As I watched the slashing rises down stream, I noted the pattern of rises just inside a seam on the slightly faster water side.

I only saw a few insects alighting and steadily drifting toward shoreline vegetation. I put on an a PMD emerger, a PMD dry, a PMD floating nymph. Nada. But, a greenish yellow bodied, brown hackled wet fly sporadically took fish as it swung into the area of the seam. But, there were a lot of missed/hits and bumps. Why? I noticed drag. I noticed when I reached beyond with longer casts, I through quite a few upstream mends to avoid the drag. This resulted in the wet fly sinking more before it came around and started to rise….bang.

Now, I kind of new, by now the theoretical why of this…the fish turned off by drag; the rising fly simulating an upwardly emerging something. But, I wanted to study the why a bit more. I turned to David Hughes fine book: Matching Mayflies.

SwittersB

 I researched the why and reaffirmed and improved some of my correct but muddled thinking about how mayflies emerge toward the surface. This studying of the various ways mayflies emerge from the nymphal confines was beneficial as to how I would tie various patterns in the future and as to how I would present them.

Also, tucked in Hughes book was a bit about presentation in exactly the same kind of shoreline slack water/adjacent to faster water I had encountered that same day. The casts were perfect but the offered mends did little to get the fly down or avoid drag even while I missed fish after fish. Hughes offered up: present from farther upstream and inside more; reach cast with a wiggle stack.

So, my why’s from the stream were researched when I got home to research (or you could call a friend, talk to a fly shop). I developed some what, how, where, when info (I am the who) and am eager to get back out there and try it out. This is, as I say, one of the enjoyable parts of the sport. Observe and then ask why as you pass through. 

12
Dec
09

Fly Tying Casual Dress (Polly Rosborough Classic)

I did not recently tie these flies. They are part of a batch tied several years ago. I have always thought this Rosborough fly pattern to be his best creation. I have rarely deviated from the gray body, although you so easily could. I have used different body materials besides the called for Muskrat fur (and guard hairs). This is a good example of a ‘classic’ pattern (at least in the Western U.S.) that has evolved away from natural furs to synthetic components. The tail and dubbed/strung collar  are the guard hairs from a patch of Muskrat fur. Today, I would opt for the simpler brown hackle barbs of a hen feather for the tail and the collar. The body has been tied with the underfur dubbing of the Muskrat…even today one nice dubbing material. But, again, synthetics are available too..and, I have even used cat (Kudra the Cat) fur with good results, although it does not seem to have the density for larger flies. The very appealing Ostrich Herl at the thorax is a favorite of mine for a wound body (abdomen-gills or thorax-legs) as well as extended tails (The Orb). Research Polly Rosborough or better yet buy his simple little book Fuzzy Nymphs. Don’t discount the information as too simplistic or too old because of the older techniques shown. This Central Oregon legend was a bug stalker. He set the tone for the more sophisticated Rick Hafele and Dave Hughes. (The Complete Book of Western Hatches).


Thread: 6/0 to 8/0 black or red (if weighted shank)

Hook: Size 10-14  (2-3 xl), nymph hook

Tail: Muskrat fur guard hairs or brown hackle barbules

Abdomen: Dubbed Gray Muskrat or alternative synthetic dubbing

Thorax Collar: Muskrat Fur Guard hairs or brown hackle barbs inserted into dubbing loop and wound

Thorax between eye and collar: Black Ostrich Herl

01
Mar
09

fly fishing industry cutbacks and consolidations (Frank Amato & David Hughes)

Frank Amato

Frank Amato

I was reading the Editorial Page of the new Flyfishing & Tying Journal (Spring 2009). Frank Amato was discussing the hard times, the birth of a grandson and, oh by the way, David Hughes is not longer the Editor…it was brought in house (meaning the boss/family will do it) to save on costs and help the margin. Wow! Don’t get the above wrong…it was a respectful explanation, but you know times are hard when you have to reduce your stellar lineup. Hughes will still write a wrap up piece “Minor Notes”. 

Many of us are making similar and painful decisions; one wave, then another and we pray not another. I wish Amato the best in shoring up his enterprise, one of the few surviving industry mags that has not swapped ownership.    

Buy a copy of the magazine at your shop or bookstore or buy a book from Frank Amato Publications.  

 




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