Posts Tagged ‘patterns


the rhythm…

“Time is the wave upon the shore. It takes some things away, but it brings other things.” Amy Neftzger, War of Words


Filtered Light

photography-Black and White-Noir-SwittersB-Grid pattern-Window


View Through: Vintage Glass Blocks

Glass blocks from the 1940’s. I shot up close to the blocks and received the kaleidoscope effect. 

photography-vintage-glass blocks-SwittersB


Unrequited Love: GRHE

Photography-Macro-Fly Tying-Hares Ear-SwittersBIn the day, the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear (GRHE) was a must have, go to nymph pattern for the fly fisher along with the Pheasant Tail Nymph (PTN). The two patterns covered the Clinger, Crawler, Swimmer, Burrower nymphs for mayflies. The gold bead head brightened up the pattern along the way, but one would be hard pressed to find this pattern today in most fly shops (or am I wrong?)

Synthetics (dubbings), wires and beads have allowed for smaller, denser patterns that are easier/faster to tie and seemingly as productive as the older fur/hair concoctions. I admit, I have not tied many of this pattern in the last ten or so years. I have about a couple dozen left, all on Mustad hooks of old.  Rabbit is still a part of many blended dubbings and worthy of use. So, is the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear. I bet many new tiers have not used gold tinsel in their tying.


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).


Trout Nut: An essential stocking stuffer!!!

Candy Canes LitesTrout Nut is an immensely valuable resource in your pursuit of knowledge about trout foods….insects. The site takes some familiarity, but in no time you will be enjoying the images, photography, gaining knowledge for fly fishing and fly tying. Create your Username/Password and enjoy. Valuable regardless of where you live in the world.

An Essential Trout Hunter’s Resource: Trout Nut


Outdoors: When is the best time to fish for trout?

Time is a precious commodity for many trying to get on the water to wet a line. Unless you are a fish bum or perhaps a retiree, with that window in life to fish when ever…where ever, life is too compacted with duties, obligations, honey do’s and just mental/physical fatigue to overly plan re the question: “When is the best time to fish for trout?”

Trout net Hands BuckyBarometric pressures trending up or down…moon phases and light…temperatures (water/air)…sunlight and cloud cover…time of day (dawn, dusk, midday) all enter the discussions as indicators of when, where and how to fish. I won’t refute any of those considerations. 

Fun MeterIn the end, I go when I can get there for as long as I can be there…then I consider the above within the window of time I have been allotted. Some of my initial considerations are do I know what insects and food sources are in the water I am standing beside, in or on this time of year? Do I know under what circumstances they will hatch, emerge, crawl, forage (temperature, light, location) this time of year? This requires some in advance studying.

If I have not been able to do the home work then I just relax, study, observe, experiment and have fun trying to solve the puzzle. On many camping trips (multi-day events) my first day is a wash. By the second or third day, I am most often dialed in to location, timing and the what/how.

Damsel Dry Inhaled SB

Otherwise, I am well armed (fly pattern options…don’t freak out), patient and observant and make the most of the moment. I accumulate knowledge over time for certain locations and then note if my observations lead to consistent results. We know enough that strategic certainty is sometimes elusive. So be it….. Sometimes my propensity toward OCD over planning and thinking robs me of the greater picture, the greater experiences. How about you? Trout Caught & Safely Released


Fly Fishing: Midge Hatches Year ’round

midge rustic SwittersB

Midge Emerger Pattern

Some good, basic information on Midge Fishing year around by Tom Rosenbauer @ Orvis. Trout sipping at a frequent pace just below the surface does increase ones opportunities for hookups.

Trout Brace Sb:B

Trout caught on Midge Emerger (Released)


Encore une fois s’il vous plaît …BailFly

Always a beautiful visit of exquisite tying and macro work by Mr. Bailly. Visit BailFly and enjoy the patterns and photography.

C. Bailly Photo


Beginning Fly Tying: Realities, Planning

As a beginning fly tier, I would suggest you assess yourself as follows and form a plan of action that reflects that assessment: am I organized-anal-precise or am I willy-nilly-messy? Yes, you could vacillate somewhere in between but I bet you will have a propensity toward one ‘extreme’ or the other in your hobbies, in life. 

Wet Fly Blue old Body SwittersB-3

The macro lens shows the slight mis-wraps on this size 18 wet fly. Not really visible to my normal eyesight, these mis-wraps are not really important to the fish in most waters, but to the precise tier they are annoying. I have accepted my less than perfect wraps of materials or tags of thread protruding at the head. Functional if not artistically perfect.

In would help you in planning how to store your materials and maintain their quality. It helps in developing a list of what patterns you want to tie up for an approaching season, trip or specific piece of water. Life can be chaotic and sometimes overwhelming. Having a plan, whether you are organized or disorganized is helpful in getting the most out of your fly tying and subsequent fishing experiences. What fly tying techniques do I want to improve upon (whip finisher, winding hackle, parachute posts, proportions, etc.); what patterns will I need through the season ahead? How do I manage my materials so the mice, cat or moths don’t wreak havoc? How do I create a nice tying environment so I enjoy the process year after year?  Know your tendencies and plan accordingly. 

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August 2020

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