It was a beautiful day here in New England. We just had a bout with summer and today was the refreshing change that will be with us for a few days.
On such a day we decided to take a woodland walk and enjoy the free natural show now showing. The walk had a beautiful little stream that wound its way through hardwood and hemlock woods. There were birds about as well as a few woodchucks that seemed to play hide and seek with us.
Several fields were in the mix and they offered flowers of various colors and sizes. One of the fields was quite large and for the eye to take in the beauty was difficult. This is a nice photo and is now my screen saver, but it was much more brilliant in person.
Near an old barn were these flowers swaying in the breeze. When I saw them I thought of a male brook trout in Autumn.
I plan to fish here come mid October. These are some of the flies that will attempt to persuade a brook trout or two. I'm like a kid and I can't wait.
There are many times when people who follow my blog will email me with their thoughts as well as a photo or two. Many of their outings as well as there locations are given to me and they are held in confidence. And there are those photos in which the angler does not mind sharing and gives me the O.K. to post on my blog. This is one of a host of photos that Michael Stephens has sent to me. The photo is absolutely gorgeous.
Mike is also a rod maker with many fine rods to his credit. I am trying now to decide just how I want mine built.
Wild brown trout. Photo Michael Stephens
The next few weeks are going to be hot, mid summer here. In these times some of the small streams need a break from fishing. While there are certain times when I'll pay them a visit as well as the cold tailwaters of the Farmington. I do have many summer activities that keep me busy as well as outdoors.
One such activity took place yesterday. Jeanette and I went blueberry picking for the first time this year.
On this farm the bluberries span as far as you can see.
Native Connecticut blueberries. These were sorted and debris removed. They were placed on cookie sheets and put into the freezer. Today they will be bagged and frozen. They will be wonderful eating come winter. A reminder of a hot July day.
Jeanette's blueberry muffins. Had one last night, and perhaps one for breakfast this A.M.
I have been asked many times "how do you tie those streamers", using so many feathers and keeping them together. Just in my last post I was asked do you glue them as Carrie Stevens did, and the answer is yes.
The style of building a streamer wing that I use is known as the Stevens Method. This method is described very well in the Hilyard book and is the best way of gaining control of so many feathers and being able to tie them to the hook in such a manner as to not have a huge head.
In photo 1 feathers are selected from saddles. One feather from the right and left side of the saddle, this way the natural shape of the feather will form to the hook.
The fluffy marabou is then stripped from the feathers and they are sized to the hook being used. In this case it's a Mustad 3665A size 4.
The glue used is really a head finish called Cellire, an English product. Others can be used such as Hansens Hard as Nails or your particular selection.
Only one small drop is needed to complete the process. Placed on a index card and applied with a bodkin.
A tiny bit is placed on the feather, one must be careful not to apply to much cement here causing it to run and make a total mess.
The second feather is placed on the cement containing feather and pressure is applied to set the cement.
Then a feather selected as the shoulder and prepared as the others. The feather used here is a Silver Pheasant. Cement is applied to the previous feathers and the shoulder feather is cemented.
We have now cemented two wing feathers and the shoulder feather.
A Jungle Cock cape is where we will select a feather for our cheek.
After choosing the right size JC nail I remove the fluff and apply just a small amount of cement to the back of the feather. This will enable the feather to fit tightly against the shoulder and make the fly more durable.
A complete featherwing assembly. This is one side of the streamer. When tied onto the hook along with the other completed wing you'll have tied a beautiful Rangeley streamer using Carrie Stevens method of wing construction.
A featherwing streamer that I believe will make a fine Autumn attractor especially for brook trout. The colors used in this fly have been associated with those brook trout favorites.
Hook, Mustad 3665A #4...Body, Orange Floss...Rib, Fine Copper Wire...Throat, Red Hackle tied in to point of hook, followed by Yellow Hackle one half the length of Red Hackle...Wing, 2 Yellow Saddle Hackles, 2 Silver Badger Saddle Hackles...Cheek, Jungle Cock.