Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On Assignment

The thermometer on my deck reads 20 degrees. I,m getting dressed and will be out the door by 4:30. My destination will be a deer stand. The next several weeks will find me there from time to time. I will have lots of time to think and plan, and hopefully a deer will be harvested.



Monday, November 17, 2014

The "Smoky Mountain Fork Tail" Revisited.

I have received a few emails lately about a fly that I have had some success with. It's one of the flies I carry all of the time and will pull it out and fish it from time to time. The fly is known as the "Smoky Mountain Fork Tail". The pattern is a dry fly that has its following in the southern Appalachians. There is no known originator of the pattern, and is tied in many variations.

I first became aware of the "Fork Tail" from a poster I purchased years ago. The poster is called "Traditional Trout Flies of The Southern Appalachians". It's a full color poster with the patterns, their photos and recipes along with some of the history behind the fly. The "Fork Tail" became known to Ray Bergman back in the 1930's and gained national exposure.

Here is a little tutorial of how I tie this fly. The material list, Hook Mustad 9671 size 14...Tail goose biots...Body, I use opossum, but most any dry fly dubbing will work....Wing, goose biots...Hackle, Brown and grizzly, I use only brown.


Wrap a thread base to the rear and end it at about the hook point.


Select 4 goose biots.


Tie in 2 biots in a crossing pattern to form the tail. Trim butts and secure with thread.


Take dubbing and form a noodle and begin to wrap forward.


Tie in the other 2 biots crossing to form the wing.


Tie in a brown hackle and take several turns then secure and clip.


This is the finished fly. A top view and a profile. I tie this fly using olive and tan goose biots, but I have some yellow biots that I will soon experiment with. The dubbing I use is rust orange, and olive hares mask.


The Smoky Mountain Fork Tail. This southern trout fly works just fine on Connecticut trout as well.












Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Bum Foot, there's a good side to it.

Well life threw another curve ball at me that benched this angler for a spell. A week ago I had a scratch on my foot, no big thing right. I attempted to fix it and low and behold 7 days later I have a foot that's doubled in size coupled with a blue coloring that would make a small streams waters envious. To the point, I went to the doctor and was told don't try to treat everything yourself. Then I was given some prescriptions and directions and sent home to recover. No prolonged standing-walking for a week. Well we'll see. A couple of days now on the medicine and the foot has retreated some and feels better.

With this free time I have been able to rummage through the boxes and bags of materials and other items that have been purchased and seemingly forgotten about. One item I found was this nice leather Cortland streamer wallet. It's a bi-fold with heavy fleece lining. It has compartments on either side to hold leaders, or perhaps a license.

Then the find of the year. Two streamer saddles were spotted secured to a wall by a nail. I must have had these for some time. They are probably a purchase from a fly show because of the price on them.

This is one of the saddles. It's a beautiful golden badger, or furnace rooster saddle. The markings are great and the sheen to the feathers awesome.


The second saddle is this highlander green one. It to has a wonderful sheen to the feathers as well as a nice natural shape. The two of these should make for some nice streamers, which with my bum foot I have the time to tie them.

So from Connecticut, not on a small stream though, I'll get to it and continue my recovery.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Skunk, A Streamer, And...........

It's been awhile since my last post and I feel pretty good today so here it is. My last outing was Monday and the weather was still very nice, especially for November. They tell me it's going to get colder and some white stuff may coat the ground Friday or Saturday.

I reached the stream about 10 and found it to be almost perfect. With the sun working already for a few hours I knew the water temp had to be prime. I tied on a bomber and had the feeling it would be a great day on the dry. Two hours later all that was memorable was 1 rise to the dry, and 2 hookups on a wet fly that were very short lived. I fished many promising runs as well as those pools that hold some nice fish but they all came up empty.

So with dry and wet flies failing, I pulled out the meat flies, those pretty little streamers that can sometimes make an anglers day. Tied on a Mickey Finn and worked the water, 45 minutes later and several patterns and nothing. The time was getting on and I decided to work my way back to the car. I continued to fish streamers, but the thought in my mind was I am going to get skunked. Getting skunked is not a bad thing, we all experience it, besides it's not a skunk if you have a fish on and he gets off...is it?

I came upon this pool, it looked interesting. It had a swift run that flowed into a deep pool, and it also had a very nice undercut bank, a perfect ambush point for a brook trout. I crossed the stream to enable me to mak a good cast and allow the streamer to work those sweet spots. Several casts and nothing. I changed the streamer and said I'm going to fish this fly Maine style. Maine style is a method I picked up while fishing Upperdam, Maine. The method is to cast the streamer upstream and then strip it back to you downstream as fast as you can. The method was a killer on the landlock salmon and brook trout. So I cast the streamer upstream and stripped as fast as I could. I repeated it several times and suddenly I saw the swirl and soon felt the solid take of a trout. The fish was strong and he worked the pool as well as the rod. I had turned the brookie to me and was ready to lift him when he said NO. The fish ran again but the rod eventually won out. As I laid my hand under his belly I could not believe how big he was. As I turned to snap a photo I noticed the fly had come out. Just as the camera snapped the brook trout was making his escape. The master of the pool laid in the water briefly and darted away.


A beautiful brook trout anywhere, but for a small stream a trophy with out question.


My little streamer box. Can you tell what streamer the brook trout took?