Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New England...Streamers And.

The featherwing streamer fly may have not originated in New England but it is New England where it was nurtured and and refined. One area of New England, the State of Maine and the town of Rangeley have become one in the same when it comes to the streamer fly. Many patterns that were so beautifully crafted back in early 1900's are still being tied and fished today. There's a dedicated following and a group of tyers that keep these flies in the eyes of newly fly tyers, anglers, and historians.

I'm sure that every state that comprises the New England region has contributed to the history of the Rangeley-New England streamer.

"Orange" a simplistic feather wing streamer tied in the Rangeley style.

"Platte River Special"
"Platte River Special"...a fly tied in the Rangeley style....a western pattern that I converted at the request of a Colorado angler.

Another well known New Englander....clam chowder, this is Rhode Island style, my favorite.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Some "Not So" Forgotten Flies

Good morning. I started with a filling breakfast consisting of sausage and gravy over a biscuit.

Last week or so I was shown a photo of a soft-hackle salmon fly...that started a mini-obsession. Since that photo I have done some searching to find out if there were others out there, by others I mean soft-hackle salmon flies. I located a source of some interesting patterns, that source was my own desk. Back in 2001 Jeanette gave me a book for Christmas, the title of it was "Forgotten Flies", an awesome publication of 550 pages of some of the most beautiful flies ever. Glancing through I found some patterns that I liked and set out to tie them. The materials which I do not have for these patterns were substituted but the likeness was still there.

The hooks were not available to me, but thanks to an Ohio gentleman who sent me some of his stash, along with some frugal purchases made elsewhere I managed to put these irons in a vise and I created some beautiful patterns.

This fly is called "Green Body Pheasant"

This fly is called, "Squirrel and Pheasant"

"Yellow Body Pheasant"

"Blue Body Pheasant"

"Royal Pheasant"
The common theme to all of these flies is size 8 hooks, silk floss bodies and a collar of pheasant. While they are not small stream flies, they would be at home on larger rivers.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Some Firsts Of 2018

Changing weather, as iconic New England as brook trout. Well over the last couple of weeks we have been in a deep freeze, with a nor'easter thrown in. Air temps have had to struggle to hit 10 degrees. With weather like that stream fishing was out. Now for a change, a moderating trend in temps started Monday and which will end with today's high temp of 50+ degrees. This change took me to a stream on Tuesday where I would be able to work a fly or two and perhaps be rewarded with my first fish of 2018.

The day was cloudy and although gloomy the possibility of a peek of sun was there. The sounds of the woods were silent, only a bluejay could be heard, probably alerting every creature to my being there. I enjoy quiet out there but only from man made noise, the natural stuff is welcomed.

Sparse tracks going in. Perhaps a hiker.

The stream was flowing nicely, open water and breaking ice. Careful wading was a must. I had tied on one of the soft-hackle streamers I just finished tying. Working every possible section of stream I searched for a willing player.

After many casts I connected, a brook trout slammed the streamer. He was beautifully marked and strong. My first wild jewel of 2018 was at hand.

This run was on fire this day. I had numerous strikes here. They came from various places along it's length and it's shallows and depths.

My second brookie of the day/year came from the run above.

Last years nest, with an icy topping....it's lovely out there.

I did use several other flies today, but this is really all I needed.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Thanks Jack....More Soft-Hackle Flies

Over the years I have expressed my admiration of Jack Gartside. A true genius in the fly fishing world. Many of his patterns continue to put fish on the hook. In his book "Fly Patterns for the Adventurous Tyer" which features fresh water patterns from little bugs to large streamers. Many of Jack's patterns feature the use of ring neck pheasant. This bird has a multitude of feathers which can be used, I would say that all of the feathers can actually be used.

The flies tied below while not Gartside patterns do incorporate feathers from the pheasant. And as the book title say's "Adventurous Tyer"...so Jack here are some simple flies tied in the soft-hackle tradition.

The Pheasant Soft-Hackle Streamer 1
This streamer fly has a gold thread body. The wing is a fluffy pheasant marabou feather. The hackle collar is two pheasant shoulder feathers.

The Pheasant Soft-Hackle Streamer 2
This streamer features an orange thread body. The wing uses a fluffy pheasant marabou feather. The collar is two pheasant shoulder feathers, one light colored and one dark colored.

This simple caddis pattern uses a tan thread body. A peacock herl thorax. And a grizzly marabou pheasant feather.

Adventurous...I think so.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

A Special Letter From Falmouth

Red Brook I'll bet it looks different today.
Some weeks ago I did a post on two wonderful kids from Falmouth MA....the article authored by Lori Day appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of TROUT magazine. The story touched both Jeanette and I that I reached out to Sophie and Nate to try to convey our feelings on their awesome visit to Red Brook. I requested that Sophie sell me her special fly that she tied for her brother Nate to use at Red Brook. Her response was I'll tie you one but there will be "no charge"

Well the day after Christmas we received a letter from Nate and Sophie. Upon opening the letter I found several wonderful lines penned by both Nate and Sophie. These words touched both Jeanette and I..... "thank you" Nate and Sophie. And I really do like it Sophie, well done. Nate I'd be very happy to fish with you, when conditions warm and and the scenery is much greener.

The care in the packaging...it shipped just fine.

Hand tied by Sophie, age six. I would add that the fly is tied from recycled Easter basket grass.

"Sophie's Pink Shrimp"..I was going to fish this fly here locally but decided to wait until I get back to Red Brook....What do you say Nate?   Thank you both for the uplift.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

"Salars Nemesis"

Sylvester Nemes the soft hackled fly addict, who is responsible for many of us taking up fishing and fly tying the soft hackled fly. While the patterns in is books feature the flies of the English fly tyers of that early era when these flies dominated. Well while doing some research, by the way it's still on going, I reached out to two gentleman who I consider to be very knowledgeable when it comes to Sylvester Nemes and soft-hackled flies. It was Bill Shuck who sent me a photo of a fly that was originated by Nemes...Bill had tied the fly from a description given him. This fly is possibly the only fly that was created by Nemes.

Further information on the fly was given to me by Doug Duvall who has some first hand knowledge of Nemes and has been very helpful to me. It's known that Nemes visited Scotland in late 1996 and early 1997. Here he fished and wrote about it, later publishing it in his book Six Months In Scotland.

The fly that Sylvester Nemes created is..."Salars Nemesis"

"Salars Nemesis"....Created By Sylvester Nemes....Tied By Alan Petrucci
I tried my best to recreate Nemes fly to the best of my ability. My access to salmon fly hooks is one type and that's what I used.

The recipe is...Hook, a salmon fly Daiichi 2441 #8...Tail, Golden pheasant tippets...Body, Orange Silk...Rib, Flat silver tinsel...Thorax, Orange Dubbing...Hackle, Yellow Hen Saddle...Thread, Orange.

Here is the fly tied on a Tiemco TMC204R #8 hook.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

"First Day" 2018 A Tradition Continued

Hot coffee sitting on the computer table and my fingers fully thawed. It is now that I'll tell you about our annual tradition of fishing on New Years Day. We knew it was going to be cold but the reality hit when I stepped out of my car. That first breath was a shock. I believe the air temp at 10:30 am was 6 degrees, and by the end of the day it had reached a balmy 11. It may have been our worst day as far as catching went but it still was great to walk and fish and talk together on the first day of the year.

I stopped at a stream we fish before meeting Kirk and Mark. It was a beautiful winter sight.

You see that bent hemlock, there's Pete's pool. It was virtually iced over...Pete your brookies are safe until you go after them in the spring.

Some open water...I love to fish riffles and that I did. At one point I thought I had a strike but it was just the bottom.

Now folks I don't suggest doing this. Kirk in somewhat of a precarious position. He was snaking a fly down under the ice and hoping for a response.

It was about 12:30 when we called it a day...walked back to the parking lot and fired up the stoves. There was hot chicken soup and beef stew and lots of "Hot" coffee. A tradition started back in 2010 continued....thanks guys.