"The solution to any problem -- work, love, money, whatever -- is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be." --John Gierach
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Bugs from the Bench...."Copper Johns , Pheasant Tails and Midges...Micro-sized Flies
It's been too long since I've posted anything , but the truth is I just havn't been fishing in the past couple of weeks. Several projects around the house have taken the majority of my free time since getting back from my Iowa trip and when I'm not trying to scratch another item off of that never-ending chore list I've been preparing for the next adventure. This preparation includes trying to fill some empty spots in a few flyboxes and tying up a few specialty patterns for the waters we'll be fishing.
With our destination being one of the Gold Medal tailwaters in Colorado that's known for it's ultra-finicky residents I spent a few nights testing my nerves by attempting to tie some of my favorite nymph patterns on size #20 and 22 hooks. I'm not a great tyer under normal circumstances , but when I started trying to cram all of that material onto a size #22 hook I soon realized that I'd better have a stout drink on the bench next to me to help ease my frustration level. It took a few flies ending up in the trash fly bin before I created something I was able to live with and that the trout wouldn't snub their nose and laugh at. In the end I managed a few workable flies in a couple nights of tying but I have to tell you , unless it's a thread midge , from here on out I'm sticking to size #16 and bigger!
I do have to recommend the book in the first picture for anyone interested in tying small flies. While the book isn't a treasure trove of new patterns , Mr Engle explains the advantages of small flies and gives the reader numerous ideas and tips to make the process less frustrating. You can't read the book and not learn something as a fly tyer. I'm not gonna throw out any recipes for these ties , these are all standard flies that everyone already knows how to whip up , they're just a little smaller than usual. I just hope the fish approve of them on the upcoming trip , it'll make the four-letter word rants that spewed from my piehole while tying them seem worthwhile at that point!!
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Not bad at all- Those miracle midges bottom right are money- and the palomino midges look good too. Are those blue beads from Montana Fly Co.?ReplyDelete
Thanks Jason...the Miracle Midge is definitely one of my go-to flies when fish are munching on sub-surface midges. The Palomino Midge on the other hand has pretty much failed me on several occassions up until now. It looks good and I'm sure it works in certain situations but I just havn't seen it happen yet.Delete
I honestly don't know what brand the blue tungsten beads are , I take them out of the packages and put em in a plastic bead container when I buy them and my memory is pretty much shot these days!!
Quite an assortment. How you guys fished these micro flies is beyond me.ReplyDelete
It definitely takes a little patience for sure. I'd rather fish bigger flies (that I can actually see to tie on) but sometimes you have to give the fish what they want!!Delete
Nice job on the flies. I suffered from the same affliction. What really helped me is watch in-person demos at the local fly shop. I saw many ham-fisted professional tyers and made me realize that if they could do it, so could I. Sometimes there are little tricks. I also watch a lot of videos...a lot. I also took a year off before I tried the smaller stuff. When I went back from the vise, I had a new attitude of yes I can.ReplyDelete
Thanks Howard...I think the in-person demos would be a great benefit for sure , I just don't get that opportunity around here. Those little tricks you speak of make all the difference in the world , I picked up some pointers from Ed Engles book that were extremely helpful.Delete
You can do this to me on such a short notice. You know I can't stand you having bugs in the box that I don't have. I just hope you tied enough to give some away.ReplyDelete
On the way back home yesterday evening, I started thinking about the Frying Pan. I was doing 84 when I came to my senses!
I imagine I'll have an extra fly or two to trade with ya.Delete
Getting close now...let me know as soon as you find out what time you want to leave on Tuesday so I can let Ron know. I took half a day so I'll be ready to hit the road by early afternoon.
A fine assortment of Colorado fish killing bugs...after not fishing for a couple weeks, you certainly have found a good way to get back on the water...ReplyDelete
Sanders - I can only hope that the fish have the same opinion as you on my fly selection!Delete
Honestly the upcoming trip (next week actually)had more than a little to do with my lack of fishing. Although I had a couple of local opportunities here recently I decided to hold off and let the anticipation and excitement of a bigger trip build up. You know...quality over quantity type thinking.
We're going to be in your neck of the woods (your state at least) the 12th-18th on the Frying Pan. You have an open invitation to come sample some of that food you're always commenting on and drink a cold one with us around the campfire.
Wish I could...I'm outta action this week and weekend. Good luck, and have fun!Delete
Looks like you pulled it off in grand style. Beautiful ties. God bless Ed Engle. Good luck on your trip; sounds great. You got the flies; now it's up to you...ReplyDelete
Thanks Jim...I'm definitely looking forward to spending a few days on the water with a couple of good friends. The fish are just a bonus and with any luck we'll get into one or two.ReplyDelete
They look great man. I envy you being able to fish those waters. I wish I could. Looking forward to seeing what you catch with them on the trip. Good luck!ReplyDelete
Thanks , appreciate it. It's been two years since I was last able to get out to Colorado for a trip and needless to say I'm pretty excited. To stand knee deep in the Frying Pan river and watch the afternoon hatch of PMD's and Green Drakes coming off and then to see what seems like every fish in the river looking up is quite a sight for a Kansas boy like me!!Delete
Awesome selection! If you get a chance obtain "Midge Magic" by Don Holbrook. It revolutionized my midge imitations. You have the requisite skills BY FAR to tie his simple effective patterns.ReplyDelete
Thanks Gregg...I'll definitely check that book out , I always enjoy discovering new patterns and techniques for tying. I've also found that when the fish are keying on midges there are times when you better have JUST what they want or it can be fruitless. You can never have too many to choose from!Delete
Sweet Blog will definitely be checking back!ReplyDelete
Jeremy...Thanks for stopping by , glad you enjoyed the blog.Delete
Great looking flies, waaaaaay too small for my tying skills.
Enjoy Colorado. I hit the dream stream for my first time last September and had my best luck on #20 Copper Johns-(tied by someone else!) and tan or orange sj worms.
Looking forward to your next post.
Thanks Dave , they were a challenge for me too. I was able to catch some fish on my micro patterns while out there so it made tying them seem well worth the effort.Delete