Saturday, July 20, 2019

William "Bill" Shuck

Can someone be considered a friend even though you have never met them? Can he be a friend even though you have never shook hands? I have such a person that I consider my friend and that friend just left this world.

William "Bill" Shuck is a man that I met online several years ago. He commented many times on my blog as well as conversing with me via email. Bill was a very talented fly tyer and fly historian with a passion for soft-hackle flies and flymphs. The man was an encyclopedia when it came to these types of flies. So many times he would email me with his thoughts on a particular fly and most times those thoughts were right on. Having known Bill for those few short years gave me a lifetime of expertise from a gentleman who offered it so freely. Bill Shuck thanks for your friendship, you will be missed.

The flies shown all have special meaning. They were tied by Bill and sent to me with a bit of history behind them.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Muddy Waters

One morning last week or maybe it was the week before, I'm not sure for certain. We had a pretty heavy rainstorm in the early hours of that day. Now most folks know how fast a small stream can come up during such times and how they can come down quickly. So with that thought in mind I set out to fish a little stream that I just knew would benefit from a surge of rain. Fast and deep flows will move fish around and that thought was first in my mind. As I pulled into the cutoff to park my car I could hear the stream. The dirt pull-off was real muddy with a few big puddles. It looked like the rain had just stopped. I got geared up and headed to the stream where I saw a fast moving stream of "chocolate" milk. I was expecting the stream to be this bad, like I said they usually clear pretty fast, not so today. Well Alan make the best of it.

I tried several flies of various styles and colors with no interest shown. So an article I read a long time ago in either Outdoor Life or Field and Stream came to mind. The author talked of fishing a very off colored stream. As it began to clear ever so slightly he said "it's time to fish"..the fly he selected was a Leadwing Coachman. A dark fly. Looking into my box a did not have a Leadwing Coachman but I did have a black fly. I tied it on and cast it out. On my retrieve I took a hit. That was the start of a good day with that black fly.

Most takes were just as the fly was being lifted near the surface.

I was right on the rain moving fish around. Several were caught where I have not caught them before....It rained substantially yesterday afternoon and last night?

Monday, July 15, 2019

A morning in the woods....

This is a place where you can find most of what you have been searching for. Here is a place where you are not judged. All that you see is real. Where what is seen and done is not scripted, directed or produced for vast audiences. This is a world that is closer then one would imagine. So please join me on a day I would like to share with you.

The lush green of a July morning. This day it was wet from a overnight shower.

The stream is fast here and flows into a deep undercut. These are places where brook trout lie and will pounce on food as it swings by them.

Taking my offering without hesitation.

A Kingfisher sat in the tree observing my goings on. He must have approved for the usual chatter of this fisher did not occur while I fished the stream.

How it piles up. Cold water and a hot spot together.

Odd looking red bug, make a note not to eat it again.

A small stream anglers dream. I observed several brookies rising. They were just braking the surface.

I managed to fool one. They do make a fuss when hooked.

Another open but tight spot. Is there a trout in there.

Yes there was.

I know when I saw this I was in for a treat. Places like this hold bigger fish. Many casts were made here without a response. Just as I was about to give up a rise and a take.

Not the monster I assumed would be in there but a nice wild jewel still.

My walk back to the car was gentle. Lot's of fine memories today.

Friday, July 12, 2019

The "North Country Fly"...Midges

Within the pages of this book "The North Country Fly" are some of the most effective flies ever created. Reading through it I have found recipes of flies that are a century and a half old. These spiders were crafted from simple materials that were available in the day. Many of the materials are not available to us today for various reasons but the flies can still be tied using what we have at hand. In many of the recipes in the book the spiders are referred to as midges, which we all know to be very small flies. Back in the day when these flies were tied I not certain small hooks, say 18-22 were available. I have tied variants of these North Country Midge patterns for some time now and have fished them with success. I use 14 and 16 hooks, silk thread and starling hackle.

This is a recipe from 1890. This is a pattern that works for me.

Black Midge...purple silk body, black dubbed thorax and starling hackle.

This black midge is the same as the one above only it has a sparse dubbed body.

Brown Midge....brown silk body, brown dubbed thorax, and bleached starling hackle.

This is a variant of the one above but with the sparse dubbed body. These flies are deadly when fished slowly in pools as well as those soft seams at the end of a riffle.