This fly was created by Frank Hornberg of Wisconsin. It has a history that is somewhat conflicting and that can be said about many of these old patterns. The one fact that can't be disputed is that the Hornberg catches fish...big fish. Here in my Connecticut waters I have taken lots of trout, and bass on the Hornberg. Years ago before the time when I carried a digital camera photos were not taken and several big fish were not on film, but the memory of these is tucked into my minds journal. Two of these memories I'll share briefly with you.
While fishing the Rangeley River in and area known as the "Bathtub" I was working a big Hornberg through some heavy swirling waters. The fly was sucked under and pulled through a slack spot. Suddenly I saw the head of a big brook trout come up and suck the fly in. I could feel the weight of this fish as it headed for the bottom. I did my best to coax this fish to me but it would not go along with me. After several attempts at moving the trout he did just that and that was it. He came up and headed for heavy fast water and was last seen headed for Mooselookmeguntic Lake. Another time while fishing the Magalloway River I had a salmon slam the Horngerg as I stripped it back as a streamer. This fish estimated to be 20+ inches, I guess this from the number of times he jumped. These big fish know just where to go when in trouble and this one was no different.
In the first photo is a fly rod with a Hornberg.
|Hornbergs as dry flies|
There are many variations of the Hornberg and I have posted several here.
Hornberg to fished like a streamer
|Yellow Honbergs are very effective|
This Connecticut brook trout has a connection with the fly and fly rod in the first photo.
The Hornberg I used to take many trout. It should be in the fly box of every angler who will fish for trout and salmon in the fall, especially in New England.
Walt, a size 6 Hornberg. The soft hackle is a 14
You know my feelings on the Hornberg. I'll never forget catching a brookie on New Year's Day on the surface with one. :-)ReplyDelete
John I remember that day, the fly has a little magic.
Heck of a fly Alan. I remember as a youngster being given one by a fly shop owner, and not fishing it because "this doesn't look like a bug or a fish". Whoops :)! Fantastic pattern.ReplyDelete
Will your right, the fly looks like nothing, and a bit odd in its construction, but oh does it work.
Ahh! The Hornberg. I have a couple, and, as I recall, I hooked a grilse in a CT River tributary on one about four years ago. Didn't land him but he tore all over the place like a maniac.ReplyDelete
Yes the Hornberg is a wonderful salmon fly. Try it when you are seeking CT's broodstock.
Al and AT I recall that day also!!! AT loves that Hornberg. So did one large brook trout if I recall.
Pete it was as if it were yesterday. AT is one of many who favor this fly.
Interesting post, Alan. Although I've been aware of the Hornberg as a fly pattern, I had never fished one until my recent visit to Rangeley. I bought a few of them as dry flies and had immediate success with the pattern on the Kennebago and the Magalloway. In fact, I hooked and landed a nice salmon of 15 inches on a big #8 dry fly. Now I'm curious how well the pattern works in other areas of the country.ReplyDelete
Walt the fly shop on Main St. in Rangeley? You fished some familiar waters. I have logged many hours on both. Where on the Magalloway were you fishing? I tie Hornbergs to size 6. And they do indeed work on our waters.
Yes, the Sports Shop on Main Street, Rangeley. Nice folks there. We hit the Magalloway several miles below the dam. A good flow, but the water was too warm for brookies, much better for the landlockeds. Am looking forward to experimenting more with the Hornberg pattern.ReplyDelete
Walt, you'll find out the fly works in most streams. Good luck with it.Delete
One of flies my father-in-law (from Wyoming) told me about when I was much younger.ReplyDelete
Howard most old-timers knew the value of the Hornberg.
Exceptional work at the bench, thanks for shairing
Bill they are fine flies for those times when you need to show something different.
That great patterns very nice..ReplyDelete
Armando, the Hornberg is a great fly for trout. And in autumn it is tops.