Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Red Tagged PTN

Pheasant tail is a key material for nymph dressing, used at least since the times of Frank Sawyer, the father of modern nymph fishing. It goes well with a ribbing of thin wire, and can endure a little experimenting with other materials.

In this case I have added a copper toned beadhead - gold seemed too aggressive - and a tag of reddish tinsel to keep general color combination in red tones. It seemed to fit with the color of the pheasant herl body.

The tie:
#14 Dohiku 302 wet fly hook
3mm tungsten bead, copper
tan elastic tying thread
tails of reddish rooster hackle fibres
Hends Patina tinsel PAT-08
pheasant tail body
thin gold wire ribbing
collar of homemade dubbing mix of hare & Fox squirrel

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Decisions, decisions...

An airy redhead, or a down to the earth brunette? One of the more difficult choices...

A fiery redhead is fun to fish when times are good, and this pattern has brought me a number of fine browns and a lot of fun. But there are times when surface action simply cannot be had, no matter what the imitation.

In such situations a simple, drab gold ribbed hare with a darkish persuation often saves the day.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

On the wings of an Owl

I am a great fan of the Owl feather flies. The feathers of an owl are designed in a way to muff the sound of the approaching predator. They achieve this by very fine, velvety structure. This structure lends itself very well to fly dressing applications.

The fine structure shows the most in the tiniest flies. Here are a couple #20 owl feather flies, tied using Hanák 130BL hooks. They are displayed on an actual Eagle Owl feather. The feather has laid a while on my fly dressing table and I am afraid it got a tad dusty; the structure is still clearly visible though.

This pattern is best saved for grayling - the Lady of the Stream, being a creature of gentle disposition, shows great appreciation of fine and delicate flies. At the same time it has no pointy teeth to ruin your precious imitation. Brown trout, ugly beasts they are, will ruin the herl body in no time. They are better served by more robust patterns.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Red Coachman

I have recently found that the Czech internet has a formal "award" for the most sexist advert. One of this year's runners up was an ad for a Prague radio station which roughly translates "a rusty roof means a wet basement". It is supposed to degrade women in a particularly gratuitous way.

I have little understanding of gender politics, but I strongly approve of a red head on a wet fly. It lightens up the imitation, and provides a strong focal point for the fish.

The Usual

When times get rough
and strikes just can't be found
rabbit foot will bring 'em up
just keep it dry...

Like a bridge over troubled water, the Usual will soothe the mind of a unlucky angler, and produce results when other attempts for a dry fly action fail. The original dressing calls for a hot orange thread, but I found I like the purple one more and the fish don't seem to care.

With respectful apologies to Messrs. Simon & Garfunkel

The tie:
#18 Dohiku 301 hook
Danville's 6/0 flymaster thread, purple
Snowshoe hare tail, wing & dubbing