Sunday, August 28, 2016

From The Neversink.........

Neversink River, NY
The sport of fly fishing is so rich in history that a mans time on earth won't allow him to even scratch the surface. I'm a person who loves history and I started digging a few weeks back into the history of the Neversink Skater. The skater was created by Edward Hewett in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The fly was tied to imitate butterflies which the brook trout would jump for. Some of the fish would clear the water for such a meal. The skater was tied on a 16 hook with oversize hackle. When I look at one it appeared to be a dandelion puff. I paid a visit to the Catskills to get some first hand information on Hewett's Skaters. I found someone who enlightened me and now I have a place to start. Well Hewett's skater led me to the limestone stream Letort in Pennsylvania. There was a fly tyer and angler by the name of Ed Shenk who also tied a variant of Hewett's skater, I believe he called it a spider. Shenk's spiders are responsible for taking some big browns, including an impressive one in Argentina. So armed with that knowledge and the Neversink history I tied up some of my own.



This is a Neversink Skater as tied by Harry Darbee according to Hewett's recipe.


Here are three of my "Skaters" the problem I had is the hackle is sized for number 12 flies.


I have since acquired some much larger hackle. This fly is tied with that hackle. A note, Ed Shenk suggested putting a tiny bit head cement on the hackle to make it stiff and skate across a pool much better.


The day I tried my skaters on a small stream the flies worked well with out the added cement. One particular brook trout shot clear out of the water and grabbed the fly on the way down, that's the honest truth.


Here are a few brook trout that found the skaters to be irresistible.






I'm going to continue to fish this fly but will also add various color hackle.



28 comments:

  1. Very similar to some traditional tenkara flies I was looking at the other day. Check out the first row:

    http://www.hi-ho.ne.jp/amago/b-streams/flytying/tenkara.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Johnson From Accounting
      Thanks
      I checked it out and they are indeed similar.
      Thanks for the link.

      Delete
  2. Great looking skaters! What a thrill it must have been to see the brook trout fly out of the water to grab it. Things like that one never forgets. Regards, Sam

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    Replies
    1. Parachute Adams
      Thanks
      Sam I've seen brookies do some strange things but this was the first airborne rise to my knowledge.

      Delete
  3. That brookie by the way is a dandy for around these parts! Beautifully colored to boot. One of the prettiest you'll ever see.

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    Replies
    1. Sam he was a fine specimen. Just when you think you have seen them all a beauty like that comes your way.

      Delete
  4. Thanks, Alan! I am always guaranteed to learn something new when I visit your blog........... Sure makes great use of oversized hackles on a dry fly neck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grandpa Mel
      Thanks
      Mel the natural world teaches us all everyday, and luckily some of us see that and gain.
      I use Whiting 100 packs and so far the largest I've seen them in is size 10....I'm looking though.

      Delete
  5. While I was fishing the Letort I met one of the "regulars" who used to fish with shenk and was using the skater, he didn't catch anything with it that day but I must say it was impressive to see it in action. It came alive!

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    1. Luke Bothell
      Thanks
      Luke that's great to hear that these older patterns are still being fished, and on the waters they were created for.

      Delete
  6. Have to put the skater on my "must try" list! Anything that causes brookies to go "Shark Week" on a fly has to be used :)

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    Replies
    1. Hibernation
      Thanks
      Will they pounced on that fly like it was the last thing to eat....there worth a try.

      Delete
  7. Alan - the second brook trout pictured looks very healthy and thick! Nice work finding a fish-able and cold stream in this drought!

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    Replies
    1. Mark Wittman
      Thanks
      Mark the feed in that stream, minnows, and brook trout seem to be the ticket. Cold water but we do need the rain.

      Delete
  8. You must have been "shadow casting" to get the fish to rise to your fly before it hit the water, eh? :)

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    1. Fading Angler
      Thanks
      Chris the trout rose to the fly which was sitting on the water, it's just that he missed it on the way up but nailed it coming down.

      Delete
  9. great pics and fishing again Alan, the brook trout look stunning.
    all the best
    George @ flee & Float

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    Replies
    1. George,
      Thanks
      George the brook trout are starting their autumn colors. It's only going to get better.

      Delete
  10. Similar to the Bivisible flies that I use all the time. These type of flies seem to be particularly effective around dusk.

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    Replies
    1. ben
      Thanks
      Ben yes it is similar to the Bivisible. That fly was also created by Ed Hewett.

      Delete
  11. There is nothing more fun in my neck of the woods than skating flies. This will be one that should work anywhere.

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    Replies
    1. Howard Levett
      Thanks
      Howard you use these flies in Colorado, that's great.
      They also tie a skater caddis that draws interest.

      Delete
  12. Awesome flies !! Love the colors on the second brookie. Fall is coming and the colors will become more pronounced.

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    Replies
    1. TROUTI
      Thanks
      Pete I love hearing that word Fall. This morning it feels wonderful.

      Delete
  13. Alan,

    Love the history of this fly and the lore of Hewett! Best I could find via internet search years ago is a David McPhail video of how he ties it...link below.

    https://youtu.be/jICZkWzhhFU

    I like your smaller hackle version a bit better personally. I fished with a buddy Sunday in the Catskills on some brook trout waters and he used a thread body stiff hackled fly majorly manipulated on the surface and the brookies were hammering his fly!

    It sure works!

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    Replies
    1. Adam
      Thanks
      Adam thanks for the link. Davie is one of the best fly tyers in the world although a bit tough to understand. We were in the Catskills Sunday, hiked a bit near the west branch Neversink. Brookies seem to like the skater, now I'll need to try it with wild browns.

      Delete
  14. There's water somewhere but not much here in Maine Brk Trt..

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    Replies
    1. penbayman
      Thanks
      Mike some areas are doing better than others, luckily I have a few waters left to fish. You guys are coming up on the last month of fishing, hope the streams fill for you.

      Delete