Fooling around with some pheasant feathers last week I put together a couple of flies. Basically they are pretty much the same with the exception of their thorax and the feather used for the hackle. I tied "mama" using a hen pheasant feather and "papa" was tied using a rooster feather. Both bodies were Peasall's red silk, "mama" had a thorax of olive squirrel dubbing, and "papa" had a thorax of black squirrel.
A major feature of the rooster feather was the barring, it was more pronounced where as the hen feather more subdued. I fished both flies on a rising small stream last week and found some very interesting facts.
I tried to give each fly equal time and locations of the stream.
This day the edge went to "mama"....both flies took some beautiful brook trout.
The competition between "mama" and "papa" will continue.
Highs and lows, middle ground, turn down the heat, and lets work together. Now I know it sounds like a political speech but it's not. What I'm talking about is the condition of the small streams. 2014 and 2015 were brutal, water flows were almost non existent in some streams and the temps were at lethal numbers. I thought that these back to back years would have a permanent effect on the health of the stream and the populations of wild trout that live in them. A turn around in conditions starting in 2016 and continuing through 2017 have brought back our streams to very near ideal. And I'm glad to say that 2018 is being kind so far.
The streams I fish are flowing nicely. I have found that most of them have had decent spawning cycles the past years and lots of little brookies have been seen. A good mix of yearling and older fish is a great sign.
In the streams I frequent the water temps have not exceeded 62 degrees and most of them are below 60.
We have had rainfall when needed, last night there was an awesome turn on, the faucet ran for hours and will help maintain or bring up levels in the streams. Now I realize it is only mid July and things could change, but with a very hot summer so far and conditions like they are now I'm very positive about the future. Fingers crossed as always.
Deep into summer, the heat is on. There are some comforts though and I don't mean air conditioning. Local produce. This is why I love this time of year. Raisin cinnamon bread. Found this tasty loaf at one of the farm stands nearby. This can't be made commercially because it requires love. And I love it for breakfast.
Simple salad. Local pickling cukes, red radishes, and slivers of parmesan cheese with a touch of olive oil.
Roasted vegetables...pick what you like. Here is red and sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic. Toss in some fresh herbs salt and pepper and toss with olive oil. Bake until tender and enjoy with a crusty bread.....you like summer too.
A couple of hours spent on a stream in mid July was about as good as it gets. My outing started about 9am, brookies like to sleep in and I firmly believe this because of my experience over many years. The sun was out and it had been shinning for several hours but the air was still very cool. As I reached the easy part of the path that leads to the brook I saw several flowers coming into bloom, they are such wonderful sights.
The stream was at typical summer flows and the water a comfortable 60 degrees. Some of the fish were located in the shadows and some were in the sun. One day I might figure out why they do stuff like that.
The day was dedicated to fishing Tenkara style flies. While most of them were fished like soft-hackles some of them received a bit of Gink to make them skid on the surface. The brookies loved them fished either way.
This is the rod I fish most of the time. Here is a little story. I placed the rod down on the log so I could free up my hands so as to be able to best navigate my way around the fallen tree. Well I managed to get around it OK but when I reached around for my rod I grabbed some "big" thorns..ouch. I still have one in my thumb, it broke off and I'm trying to dig it out.
There is a lot of action in these flies. Folks try one or two of these and you will not believe the results.