Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Am I tying the right flies? Buying the right flies?

I seem to be doing more and more with attractor patterns recently.

Yes, the Navy Divers in my last post are clearly attractor patterns.

The JuJu Baetis that I've been tying are somewhat on the edge - a flashy version of the standard PT nymph.  Are they are an attractor or a good approximation of a baetis?  In some ways, the flashback puts them into attractor pattern for me, even though it's a pattern that works for me, especially in the fall in Vermont.

And, I find myself looking at other flies.  Should I be tying mop flies?  How about Neon Nightmares - the last fly from the Gink and Gasoline blog?  Girdle bugs?

And, my most recent fly purchases have been varieties of Prince nymphs - Batman Princes, Black Montana Princes, and Blue Montana Princes.  While the regular Prince works great in my home river, I find myself fishing the Batman Prince (or other similar attractor patterns) a lot in recent years.

There are times when I think the obsession with flies is just too much.  I should probably just cut down to some princes, some PTs, some hare's ears, some stones, and not much else for my nymphing.

And then, I have a day where I catch half a dozen fish on a Batman Prince or a Juju Baetis or a Copper John.  The "shiny" flies work.

A fly fishing blog recently posed the question about what matters most - location, fly selection, or fly presentation.

The first is obviously crucial.  I'm not going to catch trout in my bathtub.  So, I have to go where the fish are.  But, after that, which matters more - the choice of fly or how it's presented to the fish?

Ideally, we would always be presenting the proper fly to fish, in an appropriate manner.  But, if I catch fish on gaudy attractor patterns because I'm comfortable with how to fish those flies, is there something wrong with that?  Or, would I be better off just using a few key flies and honing my presentation there?

This is a serious question, asked by someone who currently owns close to 1500 flies.  I'm not unhappy with how my fishing tends to go, but I'm sure I can do better.  And, I'm not sure that my recent focus on attractor patterns feels like a step away from tradition.

After 40 years as a fly fisherman, I'm still learning all the time, and I honestly don't have the answers.  Maybe that's why I still fish with guides every chance I get.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Navy Divers

Here is what I did on Saturday.  The photo is a bit fuzzy because those are size 14 flies and my iPad camera (or its operator) sucks.

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These are tied on a jig hook, and I think they will be an excellent attractor nymph on my home river.  Because they float with the hook up, and they will get deep with the tungsten beads, I'm hoping they help with quick strikes as my trailing nymph in a multi-fly rig.  I also think they will do really well for fall brookies on the Magalloway in Maine.

Here is the info on how to tied them:

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Getting ready for the new season

I've been tying flies:

I've entered the Otter Creek Classic opening weekend fly fishing tournament.  I've bought tickets to the Fly Fishing Film Tour movie.  I have my ticket for my local Trout Unlimited regional banquet on the evening of opening day.

And, after tying all those woolly buggers, I was ready to move on to Pheasant Tail nymphs, when I discovered I was out of brown thread.  So, I ordered some new thread - brown, black, white, gray and olive, in 6/0 and 8/0.  While I was spending money, I also got some new leaders and tippet material, plus a few flies and a few other fly tying materials.

In the next few weeks, I need to tie PTs, Hare's ears, Prince nymphs, and purple juju baetis flies.  Other than those, I think I'm set for the new season.

Well, I'm going to buy a few Kelly Galloup streamers for opening weekend.  Those are flies I've still never tried to tie, and I'm not going to get to them this year.

I am having some surgery on 2/13.  Last winter, I had similar surgery on 3/6, and I wasn't 100% by opening day.  With surgery being earlier this winter, I'm hoping I'll feel OK by opening day.  Given that I have the film on Friday night, fishing Saturday, a banquet Saturday night, fishing on Sunday, and then the awards BBQ after the tournament on Sunday, I better be feeling good, or I'll never keep up.