Monday, December 3, 2012

Polish Quill Flies

With the 2012 season officially over I can concentrate on preparing for the next one.
This particular fly is a good start - an excellent Grayling catcher originaly coming from Poland. I was told it was first tied by folks fishing the fabled river San, where the Grayling grow fat and spoiled by the heavy Baetis hatches. As they age they develop discerning tastes, and the wise old lunkers require a special kind of fly and approach - an emerger of a very slim silouhette, gently fished from upstream so neither line nor leader ever crosses the cone of vision of the fish. The angler is granted just one pass.

The fly is a very simple one, but there are some aspects worth special attention:
  • The hook is of a slightly heavier gauge than most dry fly hooks of its size - this will help to sink the hook bend and "cock" the fly up like a true emerger. The CDC wing will keep the fly afloat, the coarse thorax will create footprint in surface film and the quill body will be sunk below.
  • The body of a peacock quill is tied over a layer of wet tying lacquer. This will make the fly slightly more durable (though still better suited for fishing for gentle Grayling than Trout with their spiky teeth). 
  • The thorax is made of my special homemade mix of Hare and Fox Squirrel hair. The squirrel is very spikey, and by itself rather coarse for smaller flies. Mixing it with hare much improves its appeal and ease of dubbing.

The tie:

#18 Dohiku dry fly hook
#70 UTC Ultra Thread, color Tan
Peacock quill dyed Olive
thorax of mixed Hare & Squirrel fur
CDC wing tied facing upwards

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Closing the 2012 Season

November 30th is the last day of the Czech trout fishing season. It is the last opportunity to wet a line in trout waters till April 16th 2013. Due to unfavorable weather forecast and work & family issues I have ended the season a few days earlier than officially required.

For the last fishing trip I selected the river Úpa. It is one of the lesser known Czech streams, but it supports a healthy population of my favorite fish species.

I wanted to avoid the most popular stretch of the water, which is known to hold a large population of Grayling - not only it contains such excellent spawning area that the fish have a tendency to overbreed and as result are somewhat stunted, but it runs next to a busy road. The car trafic in particular turns me down.

Instead I decided to fish a more scenic spot downstream, which I have not fished for several years. I have encountered some quality Grayling there in the past, but I have not fished it for a long time.

After fishing for some time I was surprised to catch ony smallish brown trout. I was not comfortable fishing for spawning fish, and so I was forced to change plans and turn my fishing trip into a hiking trip (in full wading gear). A few phone calls confirmed that a few dry summers and a some legally protected herons & cormorants had completely ruined this once great stretch of Grayling water.

So at the end this little brownie is likely to be my last salmonid fish of the 2012 fishing season.