Bastian’s Floating Sulphur Emerger – Part II

This article is Part II of the Floating Sulphur Emerger pattern. This season on Spring Creek, using my Floating Caddis – “Sulphur” Emerger, I decided to try something new and different; that is; fishing with two dry flies at the same time, in a tandem dry fly rig. I had done that successfully out west in 2006 on the Madison, using my Floating Caddis Emerger trailed on 5x tippet behind a #10 Grizzly Wulff as an indicator fly. I did this so I could see the Emerger on the broken water, plus to provide better visibility and improved tracking of the smaller, flush-floating emerger at distances of forty to fifty-five feet that I was occasionally casting.

On Spring Creek this season, this is the data and fishing report from four trips made on the following dates: May 10th, 17th, 24th, and 30th. Each time I fished there I used two drys; the top pattern was a size #14 sulphur dun, either a Thorax Dun or Parachute Dun, and the point fly, trailed on only 12″ of 5x tippet, was always my Floating Sulphur Emerger. The idea of the short tippet between the two flies was so that I would hopefully not have the flies in drift lanes of different speeds. Generally this was a successful approach.

On the first trip, May 10th, I was with a friend, we started fishing about 10 AM. The trout did not come easily that day; by lunchtime at 2:00 PM (we had a late breakfast), I had landed nine trout on nymphs. My friend had less than half that number. During the fishing up to that time, we saw just two sulphur duns. We didn’t know it for a certainty, but that was due to change. We parked along the creek, had lunch, and I took a nap while my friend went fishing. About 3:30 PM I woke up and moved my lawn chair so I could look downstream to watch my friend fishing. I was relaxing, just enjoying the time to watch the stream and listen to the birds, which included a hermit thrush, towhee, northern oriole, and Carolina wren. Two of my friends that we had met earlier in the day drove past minutes apart in separate cars after their fishing, they stopped for a brief chat, and headed off. They were giving it up for the day. Big mistake on their part. Just after 4:00 PM I saw my friend take two trout about five minutes apart, and then I got the gumption to get up and walked over to the guardrails to look at the creek. There were sulphur duns in the air, not hundreds, but several could be seen at any time. Then I saw a rise. And then another. I quickly donned my vest, grabbed my rod, and climbed down over the bank. I crossed the stream to get the sun at my back, a personal preference whenever possible; besides, the section we were in fishes best from the west side anyway. It’s a good afternoon section to fish.

When I got to the other side, I made a few casts with a nymph, but the sight of several rises made me change over to a dry. It was then that I decided to use the previously mentioned Sulphur Dun / Emerger tandem rig. Within minutes after that, and I checked my watch for time reference; at precisely 4:35 PM it was as if someone turned on a switch. Within minutes there were trout rising all around me. I was in a pocket water – riffle stretch and every place that seemed it would hold a fish, did. I began to rise and hook trout, both fish I saw feeding and others that I did not. As far as which fly they took, the trout seemed to be divided between the dun and emerger by about three to one, favoring the dun. But certainly enough took the emerger that I kept it on. By the time 7:30 PM arrived, we had enjoyed three non-stop hours of actively rising trout, my friend hooked over twenty, and I was closer to three-dozen hookups. But it was the approach of an imminent thunderstorm that drove us off. We literally just made it to our vehicle and got out of our fishing gear and then the heavens opened up. It rained like the rain of Noah’s Ark all the way back to Jersey Shore where my car was parked. We probably drove and stayed right in the storm as it tracked southwest to northeast.

The fishing report from that evening was that I hooked close to three-dozen trout, and ten of them were landed on the Floating Sulphur Emerger. More trout whacked at that pattern, but of course I didn’t hook every fish. Sometimes they just miss the fly, and it’s not the angler’s fault. A couple times I saw my dun get pulled under, and struck, hooking a fish. Other times I saw a flash or swirl near the dun, and responded by lifting the rod tip. Again, hooking or “sticking” a fish that took the emerger. I kept floatant on both patterns and several times I saw the trout suck the emerger off the surface.

May 17th – a repeat of May 10th. I went to Spring Creek with two friends; Peter Rodgers and Peter Tonetti of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, had come to my home for a couple days of fly tying lessons, and we also did some fishing. They had never been to Spring Creek, and with the sulphurs on, I wanted to take them there. On the morning of this day, we tied sulphur thorax and parachute duns, spent-wing spinners, and also my Floating Caddis Emerger and Sulphur Emerger, with the idea that we would take the new patterns along to fish with. On this day, I added the new twist of a bright colored foam sight-indicator and started using the orange thread on the Floating Sulphur Emerger. We arrived about 4:15 PM. As soon as we got on the water, there were fish up. They were not real active yet, but I anticipated the increase of hatching and even spinners later on, and hopefully more trout rising as well. That happened, right on cue, as a matter of fact. Peter and Peter were very impressed. Peter T. said at the end of the evening, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many rising trout in one place in my life!” Both men became Spring Creek addicts and are anxious to return.

My personal report – I didn’t hook as many trout as the week prior, but there was a lesson-learned reason for that. I still did well, hooking close to twenty trout, but I made the mistake of tying on a spinner about 8:15 while the light was still good. Spinners were in the air and I just knew the trout would feed preferentially on the spinners. Besides, the duns and rising trout had tapered off by about 7:30. We still took trout by fishing the water, reasoning that the trout were still looking for duns. It worked. What happened that caught me off guard, and among the sudden increase of rising trout, sulphur spinners at eye level, so many that at times they distracted your line of sight to your floating flies, was that I did not see the sulphur duns hatching again. And I mean Gangbusters. For some reason only Mother Nature knows, the duns had all but stopped, but it was merely a break before a super-hatch to follow. Sulphur duns appeared to be literally flying from the water, and I finally realized the trout were taking duns, not spinners, at 8:30 as dusk fell, having cast my proven-by-fifteen-years-of-experience-on-Spring-Creek #14 Sulphur Spinner to more than three dozen rising fish, hooking only two, and being ignored by the rest. When I changed over earlier, I even thought of fishing a spinner and dun in tandem, but being cocky, I told myself, I won’t need to do that. “They’ll take the spinner,” I reasoned. Instead I caught fewer trout, but I learned to be careful about what I thought I knew about trout and bugs.

Here is the Floating Sulphur Emerger:

Bastian's Floating Sulphur emerger

Bastian’s Floating Mayfly (Sulphur) Emerger – Size #14 dry fly hook.

Bastian’s Floating Sulphur emerger

Hook: Any standard dry fly hook,#12 to#16.

Thread: Danville Flymaster 6/0 #7 Orange

Trailing Shuck: Clear Enrico’s Sea-Fibers

Ribbing: One strand Pearlescent Krystalflash

Overback: Tan closed-cell foam, cut into strip about 2 mm wide and thick

Body: Haretron #18 Ginger or Hareline #43 Ginger rabbit dubbing

Side Shuck: Same as trailing shuck, and tied in from the same piece

Hackle: One turn of a mottled brown hen back feather

Thorax: Haretron Dark Brown #16 dubbing

Head: Orange tying thread

Tying Instructions:

1) Start thread, wind to hook point, trim tag end. It is important to extend the body to a point just to the rear of the hook barb, going just a wee bit over the bend.

2) Attach trailing shuck

3) Attach ribbing

4) Attach foam overback with three wraps

5) Apply dubbing, dub body up to within double normal head space

6) Wind ribbing, 5 – 6 turns

7) Pull overback forward; secure with three wraps, stretch foam and trim butt end

8) Cut trailing shuck off at hook length, move to front of foam, tie it in top center, like a spent spinner wing. Pull fibers to side of hook, then using thread, wrap over the base of the fibers so they sweep back along sides. Length of side shuck extends to hook bend. At this stage, wrap thread to evenly taper the thorax section.

9) Attach hackle, tied in by butt end after fluff cut off. One wrap, one wrap only. OK, that reminds me of a line spoken by Captain Ramius in The Hunt for Red October –  using your best Sean Connery imitation, say, “One ping, Percilli. One ping only, please.”

Here is the new version with the Hi-Vis Sight indicator:

Bastian's Hi-Vis Mayfly (Sulphur) Emerger

Bastian’s Hi-Vis Mayfly (Sulphur) Emerger. This fly was fished, and before I photographed it, I had to fluff it up a bit. I know, it looks nothing like what you may think a sulphur emerger should or would look like. Try telling the trout that.

The tying instructions and components of this version are the same as the Floating Caddis / Mayfly Emerger above, except that the legs are two small, separate bunches, side-lashed, and there is the obvious addition of the bright foam indicator. A bit of the head dubbing is applied before adding the foam sight indicator,the remaining dubbing is applied after the foam is attached with two wraps. The indicator could also be yellow or orange.

More fish and fishing images from the May 10th to 30th Spring Creek fishing outings:

Trout aken on the new Hi-Vis Floating Sulphur Emerger

Brown trout taken on the new Hi-Vis Floating Sulphur Emerger, May 17th.

Another

Another trout on the Hi-Vis version.

Some trout took the dun in my tandem dry fly rig.

Some trout took the dun in my tandem dry fly rig. This one ate a #14 Sulphur Parachute.

Another

Another brown on the Floating Sulphur Emerger – I know you can’t see it, you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

Sulphur parachute Dun

Brown taken on a Sulphur Parachute Dun.

Brown

A nicer sized brown, he ate the dun pattern.

Upstream view of the Graystone section, great pocket water.

Upstream view of the Graystone section, great pocket water.

Another brown taken on the Floating Sulphur emerger.

Another brown taken on the Floating Sulphur Emerger.

Another

Another brown taken on the Floating Sulphur Emerger. You can see the dun pattern, the lead fly in the tandem rig, lying just under the trout’s jaw.

Peter Rodgers playing Spring Creek brown

Peter Rodgers playing a Spring Creek brown. You can see the trout – it’s airborne!

Peter nets another trout.

Peter nets another trout.

I took this trout last night.

I took this trout last night on the Floating Sulphur Emerger.

On May 24th I fished on Spring Creek with my friend from Delaware, Ohio, Eric Austin, and several of his buddies. We all had a good day, everyone caught fish. The weather that day was a little on the chilly side. I used my tandem rig and took about 15 trout.

Last night I went to Spring Creek again. I figured the warm weather would have a good spinner fall. It turned out there were very few duns hatching, from about 6:00 PM when I started. A few duns came off at dusk. There was a really good spinner fall, but they never showed up until about 8:30 PM as the light began to fade.

I started right off with my “usual” tandem dry fly rig. I fished about twenty-five minutes until I finally rose a trout to the Floating Emerger. He missed the fly. Up until 8:00 PM, I hooked just eight trout. The interesting aspect of last night’s fishing was, compared to all three previous outings, where I took 25% to 35% of the trout on the Floating Emerger, last night, of the first eight trout I hooked, seven were on the emerger. Near the end of the evening, I had lost the emerger on a branch on the opposite side, the result of an errant cast from trying to drift my rig over potential trout lies perilously close to the far bank. By then I had taken twelve trout, nine on the emerger.  That ratio speaks to the effectiveness and preference of the trout to this pattern. When I lost the emerger, I removed the connecting tippet and Thorax Dun and replaced it with a #14 Sulphur Comparadun. The Comparadun silhouette appears very similar to that of a spinner. About 8:40 spinners were about and the trout really began rising actively. I hooked another six or seven fish in short order and called it a night at 8:55 PM.

I suspect also, that this pattern, tied on a #10 – 2x-long hook, with brown foam, and dark brown dubbing, would be an Isonychia – aka Slate Drake Floating Emerger. And so on, with other mayflies. There are near limitless possibilities, and not enough time to tie and try them all. Not this season, anyway. If you tie and try this pattern, I’d wager you will be pleased with its effectiveness.

Bastian’s Floating Caddis “Sulphur” Emerger

Bastian’s Floating Caddis Emerger was originally presented here in January with my announcement that Orvis had added it to their 2013 print and on-line catalog as part of their series of New Patterns for 2013. As a caddis emerger, I can’t say enough good things about its effectiveness. It is effective as designed and intended to be dressed with floatant and fished as a dry fly-emerger, but is also catches trout underwater used with split-shot in a single or two-fly nymph rig. Bastian’s Floating Caddis Emerger can be purchased from Orvis or on a custom-order basis from me.

Last year I began to suspect that this pattern might serve double-duty, not only as originally intended as a floating caddis emerger, but also as a floating mayfly emerger, particularly for sulphurs. So one day last year, on May 13th, on Spring Creek in central  Pennsylvania, during sulphur time,  I tested my theory. The particular May day last season was on the eve of the On-The-Fly Event on Spruce Creek.

The only change in the pattern from Bastian’s Floating Caddis Emerger, normally in tan, olive, black, and buff, was the change of the body dubbing to ginger Haretron. I have also used regular Hareline #43 Ginger dubbing on the sulphur emerger. This season, just two weeks ago, I also changed the thread color to Danville’s No 7 Orange Flymaster 6/0 for my Floating Sulphur Emerger.

On that day last year, sulphur duns were hatching; I fished for one hour and twenty minutes. My time on the water that evening was from about 6:15 Pm until 7:35 PM. During that time, I fished the water, but mostly I sight-cast the Floating “Sulphur” Emerger to rising fish, and brought fourteen brown trout to hand. Here are photos of some of the trout duped by this pattern, every trout shown took the Floating Sulphur Emerger:

Spring Crek brown, the Floating Sulphur Emerger is visible in the fish's jaw

Spring Creek brown, the Floating Sulphur Emerger is visible in the fish’s jaw.

Brown trout about fourteen inches...

Brown trout about fourteen inches…

fish

Same trout as previous photo…

Another brown trout...

Another brown trout…

Another trout. Fourteen trout brought to hand in an hour and twentyt ,minutes is prety decent fishing.

Another trout. Fourteen trout brought to hand in an hour and twenty minutes is pretty active fishing. They were on the feed on emerging sulphur duns / nymphs. Most of the trout I saw feeding were taking sulphur duns, and I can’t recall a single feeding fish that refused to hit the floating emerger, at least not on that day.

Macro image of trout in previous photo.

Macro image of trout in previous photo.

 

Little trout are hungry too! It's great to catch these small stream-bred fish' it's a sign of a healthy fishery.

Little trout are hungry too! It’s great to catch these small stream-bred fish, it’s a sign of a healthy fishery. Little trout under catch-and-release regulations, while this section of Spring Creek is no-kill and does not not require barbless hooks, should be protected by pinching all your hook barbs down. It certainly makes for easier release of the fish of any size.

One of the nicest trout I landed that day.

Another of the nice trout I landed that day.

Same

Same trout as previous photo.

I will soon be making a follow-up post to this one, Part II of the Floating Sulphur Emerger, detailing the success of this pattern over four trips on Spring Creek this season. I’ll have tying info and pattern recipes there. Thanks for your interest, hope you enjoyed this article.

 

Carrie’s Ghost – Original Rangeley Style Streamer Pattern

Right on the heels of Carrie’s Killer, I present Carrie’s Ghost. Why not add another “Ghost” pattern to the nearly three-dozen already in existence? And especially one to honor the First Lady of Streamer Tying, Carrie G. Stevens. Part of my group of original Rangeley style streamer patterns, here is Carrie’s Ghost:

Carrie's Ghost - original streamer tied and photogrphed by Don Bastian.

Carrie’s Ghost – original Rangeley style streamer, created, tied, and photographed by Don Bastian. Hook is a size #2 – 8x long, Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style Streamer.

Carrie’s Ghost

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Ribbing: Flat silver tinsel

Body: Orange floss

Underwing: Four to six strands peacock herl, then a golden pheasant crest

Underbelly: White bucktail

Throat: Blue hackle fibers, then yellow hackle fibers

Wing: Two pink hackles flanked on each side by one light blue hackle and then one yellow hackle

Shoulder: Lemon wood duck breast

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Head: Black

Carrie's Ghost - a Don Bastian Rangeley style original streamer pattern.

Carrie’s Ghost – a Don Bastian Rangeley style original streamer pattern.

Carrie’s Killer – Original Rangeley Style Streamer Pattern

Last June, I conceived the idea of creating a few Rangeley style streamer patterns. The first fly was White Nose Pete: https://donbastianwetflies.com/2013/04/04/white-nose-pete/ then that was followed up with the creation of Wheeler’s Ghost: https://donbastianwetflies.com/2013/04/04/wheelers-ghost/

Those two patterns started me on a bent of creativity; the end result is thus far, thirty-five original streamer patterns, all themed on the Rangeley Lakes Region of Maine, and tied in traditional Carrie Stevens Rangeley streamer fly tying style. Two more additions added here today are Carrie’s Killer and Carrie’s Ghost, posted separately. I confess to heavily relying on the tying style and creativity of Carrie Stevens for inspiration in the development of these patterns; I utilize some of her components, methods, and uses of materials. For example, many of these patterns have peacock herl and / or bucktail bellies, some have golden pheasant or silver pheasant crest underwings, most have shoulders of various feathers, and some have two-color throats. These were components that Carrie Stevens used, in variety, on her patterns.

Here is Carrie’s Killer:

Carrie's Killer - original Rangeley style streamer patterns - created, tied, and photographed by Don Bastian.

Carrie’s Killer – original Rangeley style streamer pattern – created, tied, and photographed by Don Bastian. The hook is a size #1 – 8x long, Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style Streamer.

Carrie’s Killer

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Ribbing: Flat silver tinsel

Body: Black floss

Underbelly: White bucktail

Underwing: Four to six strands peacock herl, then a golden pheasant crest

Throat: Yellow hackle fibers, then claret hackle fibers

Wing: Two pink hackles flanked on each side by one yellow-dyed grizzly hackle, flanked on each side by one claret hackle

Shoulders: Silver pheasant body feathers

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Head: Black

These components are listed in the order in which I attach them to the hook. Tied in Rangeley style, the throat is the last component to be attached just prior to the mounting of the wings. My listing of components differs from that presented in the Hilyard’s Carrie Stevens book. As far as mounting the wings, I once did that together, but now I place one wing at a time, the far side first, then the near wing. The tapered, flattened with tweezers or pliers to tie in better without rolling or twisting, butt ends of the wing feather tips are placed on the side of the head, at a slight downward angle. I also add a good-sized pinch of schlappen fibers, of whatever color the inside of the wing is, on the top of the head just before mounting the wing. This is an abbreviation of the technique of layered schlappen on both top and bottom of the hook developed and used by streamer guru and original Rangeley style streamer expert, Mike Martinek, Jr., of Stoneham, Massachusetts.  Mike has a great video demonstrating his technique.  Here is the Amazon.com link to buy his DVD:  http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Maine-Streamers-Mike-Martinek/dp/1604900148/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369941739&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=classic+maine+sytreamers+martinek

Carrie's Killer

Carrie’s Killer – originated, tied, and photographed by Don Bastian

Parachute Adams

The Parachute Adams is a great variation of one of the greatest and most popular dry fly patterns ever created. I presently have a custom order for eight dozen trout flies for a client in eastern Pennsylvania, and the Parachute Adams, a dozen in size #12, was the first pattern on his list. The fellow has been buying flies from me every year, for at least ten years. It’s nice to have customers who give you repeat business! He fishes the Beaverkill and Delaware a lot, plus makes trips to Colorado.

The Parachute Adams is a great attractor pattern, it is also a good searching pattern, especially in broken water on big rivers and smaller freestone streams of both east and west. It is effective in sizes from #8 to #18 or even #20, though I personally prefer not to tie them smaller than a #16. An excellent variation of the Parachute Adams is to substitute olive dubbing for the usual gray body. As I tied these flies this morning, I was inspired to take some photo sequences, sort of a tying tutorial of sorts. And I also want to add a little fly tying diversification to the posts I make here. Keeping more on topic than stories and photos of white-tailed deer fawns, this dry fly pattern post is an effort in that direction. Also, be on the lookout soon, maybe even later today, for two of my original Rangeley style streamers, as promised: Carrie’s Killer and Carrie’s Ghost. (Hope you folks are not tiring of my spate of recent posts).

I still have seven more dozen flies to tie to finish this order – all drys – likely they’ll end up here too – plus I plan to knock off later this afternoon to head to Spring Creek near Bellefonte, because I figure this hot weather will produce a heavy sulphur spinner fall this evening. Among the tying and fishing yet to come today, I also need to squeeze in a little time with the mower on the yard. OK, tying the Parachute Adams:

#12 standard dry fly hook, the wing is attached but not yet posted around the base.

#12 standard dry fly hook, the wing is attached but not yet posted around the base. The wing is calf body hair – presently it’s kind of like a calf-hair Comparadun. The next step will be to post around the base of the hair fibers to gather the wing together.

I tie on a regal Stainless steel C-clamp vise. One advantage on the non-true rotary feature of the Regal vise is that when inverted, it presents the upright wing in this angle.

I tie on a Regal Stainless steel C-clamp vise. One advantage on the non-true rotary feature of the Regal vise is that when inverted, it presents the upright wing in this angle. This allows me to post the base of the wing while keeping my right arm and elbow comfortably and more naturally low at my side, instead of having to raise my elbow high if I had to post the base of the wing when in a vertical position. Calf body hair has no underfur and it is very slippery. What I call a Balanced Thread Wrap is required to post the base of the hair without having your thread slip off.

A Balanced Thread Wrap is when you balance the thread tension according to match the material being tied in, or wrapped around. In this case it is a taut, but not tight tension. You can also add a bit of head cement to the base of the wing before starting your wraps, this helps prevent the thread from slipping off.

Attach the hackles

Attaching the hackles: Once I get eight to twelve wraps around the base of the hair and have wound the thread to the base of the wing, I make one wrap over the hook shank – this helps prevent the thread from slipping off the wing during the next step – attaching the hackles. Take two previously prepared, clipped hackles and hold them with your right hand to the base of the post. Using your left hand for the bobbin, make a few balanced thread wraps over the hackle stem butts. Then wind back to the top (or bottom since this is inverted), of the wraps and grasp the wing post with my right hand then apply a few tight tension thread wraps to secure the thread around the hackle stems. Then switch the bobbin to your right hand and make a few more tight wraps. Return vise jaws to upright position and advance thread to hook point.

The hackle stem butts are comparable to a phrase associated with a Martini at this stage, shaken, not stirred, but in this case they should be clipped, not stripped. This leaves little butt ends of hackle barbs that help the thread bite into the feather stems more securely.

For production purposes, all 24 hackles for these flies were sizes, selected, and prepared in advance.

Vise jaws returned to upright position, ready to attach the tail fibers.

Vise jaws returned to upright position, ready to attach the tail fibers. Advance the thread to the hook point.

A mix of brown and grizzly spade hackle fibers (spade hackles comes from the outer edges of dry fly necks or capes.

A mix of brown and grizzly spade hackle fibers is used for the tail. Tail length should equal hook shank length, minus the eye. Spade hackles come from the outer edges of dry fly necks or capes, and is free of barbules or webbing. The fibers are attached at the hook point, then wound over the butt ends toward the wing post, then back to base of tail, with the end of the body vertically positioned slightly ahead of the hook barb.

Tail fibers wrapped over and secured, ready for dubbing.

Tail fibers wrapped over and secured, ready for application of dubbing. No need to make a solid winding of thread; tight, palmer wraps can be used to lock ‘er down. Saves time.

Hareline Dark Gray rabbit dubbing applied. Originally the Adams was tied with natural gray muskrat dubbing.

Note: you could wait until after the tail is attached to mount the hackles around the base of the wing post. But that means a forward advance of the thread, then back to the tail to apply the dubbing. Extra time. I always attach the hackles right after posting the wing. But in this case I forgot. Senior moment? Apologies for the less-than-sharp images, I hand held the camera and did all these images in “one take.”

Hareline Dark Gray rabbit dubbing applied. Originally the Adams was tied with matural gray muskrat fur.

Hareline Dark Gray rabbit dubbing applied. Originally the Adams was tied with natural gray muskrat fur.

The finished fly.

The finished Parachute Adams.

Very important tip here: From my fellow tier and friend, Tom Baltz of Mt. Holly Springs, Pennsylvania, for you right-handed tiers, wind the hackles counter-clockwise. This changes the angle of the barbs when wound to point away from you when you finish the thread wraps to lock the stem in after being wound. No more trapped hackle fibers! The tying thread can be wound almost normally, because the hackles fibers, now pointing away from the direction of your thread wraps, simply slide out of the way. Left-handed tiers, you would wind clockwise if you tie in normal left-handed fashion.

I still prefer to use a finishing technique that I perfected years back when I wound the hackles clockwise, and needed to get fibers out of the way to wind off the head. I use the little finger on my left hand to hold the tube of the bobbin. Holding the bobbin back out of the way, I load my Materelli whip finisher while having the use of my left thumb and all three remaining fingers to pull the hackle fibers out of the way. I then use the Matarelli, making 5 – 6 turns. Clip thread off, add a small drop of head cement for extra durability,  and you’re done.

A "studio shot" of the Parachute Adams.

A “studio shot” of the Parachute Adams.

Parachute Adams:

Hook: Standard dry fly hook, sizes #8 to #16

Thread: Danville Flymaster 6/0 #31 Gray or Uni-Thread 8/0 Gray , brown thread could also be used

Wing: White calf body hair

Hackle: Brown and grizzly mixed

Tail: Brown and grizzly mixed

Body: Dark gray rabbit or muskrat dubbing

Head: Gray

If you have never fished the Parachute Adams, I suggest it’s high-time you tie some and give them a try!

Stripers in Maine

My friend in York, Maine, Dave Lomasney, has been getting some stripers at the mouth of the York River, just as of last weekend. Dave is one of the contributing tiers for my book in progress, Favorite Fishing Flies – 1892. Dave has sent me some photos of fish and scenes where he’s fished, and I thought I would share them here. Other locations along the Maine coast are also producing stripers as well. Check local fly shops, that is your best bet, unless you have a personal contact who lives in the area. Check the guides listed here on my blog; Greg Bostater guides in the salt. I’m not sure if Todd Towle and Kevin McKay guide for stripers or not.

Edit June 1st: I contacted Kevin McKay; he does not guide in the salt. But he recommended Mark Drummond as one of the best. I trust Kevin’s judgement. Here is a link to Drummond Fly Charters: http://www.fishlikemad.com/

Fly Shops would include Eldredge Brothers in Cape Neddick, Maine. They are very near the town of York. Shop manager at Eldredge Brothers, Jim Bernstein, created the Guitar Minnow, the fly responsible for all these fish. Here is a video link to tying the bucktail version of thew Guitar Minnow:

http://dailyflytyer.com/2011/03/guitar-minnow-jim-bernstein/

And Dave sent this two-part link in a comment on tying the feather version of the Guitar Minnow; that is what Dave has been using to take these fish.

Part I:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckGi75lM-ag

Part II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B82iolPJWRQ

After sending this link, Dave said he got six more stripers there after I wrote this post.

Mouth of the York River, Maine.

Mouth of the York River, Maine. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Mouth of the York River, Maine. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Mouth of the York River, Maine. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Mouth of York River, Maine. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Mouth of York River, Maine. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Striper caught on Guitar Minnow at mouth of York River, fish caught and photo by Dave Lomasney.

Striper caught on Guitar Minnow at mouth of York River, fish caught and photo by Dave Lomasney.

Head macro of striper with Guitar Minnow, photo by Dave Lomasney.

Head macro of striper with Guitar Minnow, photo by Dave Lomasney.

Striper caught on Guitar Minnow. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Striper caught on Guitar Minnow. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Another bass eats the Guitar Minnow. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Another bass eats the Guitar Minnow. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Head macro of striper and Guitar Minnow, photo by Dave Lomasney.

Head macro of striper and Guitar Minnow, photo by Dave Lomasney.

Congrats to Dave on his good fishing! These bass were all between 26″ and 30″. Nice fish! Thanks Dave, for permission to post your report and photos.

Here are two more photos that Dave e-mailed me after his fishing on the evening of Wednesday May 29th:

At the mouth of the York River, Maine.

At the mouth of the York River, Maine.

Another 28" striper, victim of the feather version of Jim Bernstein's Guitar Minnow.

Another 28″ striper fell victim to Dav’e rod and the feather version of Jim Bernstein’s Guitar Minnow.

Dave Lomasney

Dave Lomasney of York, Maine, and a big striper from last season. This fish also ate the Guitar Minnow. I gotta tie some of them!

Don’s Delight – Carrie Stevens Pattern

Just so you all don’t think I’ve lost my marbles and turned this blog into Wild Kingdom – Cogan Station, with all the recent deer sightings and fawn births, I am posting the Don’s Delight, a Carrie Stevens pattern, as promised, “before too long,” from a few days ago when I posted the Don’s Special.

The Don’s Special was one of three streamer patterns that Carrie G. Stevens, of Upper Dam, Maine, created for George Donald Bartlett. Don Bartlett first visited Upper Dam in 1909 at the age of nine. He made annual trips there for thirty-six consecutive years until his untimely death in 1945 at the young age of forty-five. Don was from Willimantic, Connecticut, as were a couple other notable Carrie Stevens friends, customers, and guide clients of her husband, Wallace. These included Frank Bugbee, for whom Carrie never created a fly, but it was he who thought of the name, Gray Ghost, for Mrs. Stevens most famous fly, indeed, the most famous streamer ever created, bar none. The third individual was Alfred “Allie” French, for whom Carrie created the Allie’s Delight and Allie’s Favorite.

I mentioned not too long ago that among thirty-five Rangeley style streamer patterns I have recently created, one of my patterns, designed in honor of Frank Bugbee, is called Bugbee’s Ghost. I promise to tie Bugbee’s Ghost and get it on here “before too long.” As part of that collection, I have also tied my original patterns – Carrie’s Ghost and Carrie’s Killer. They have been sitting here for weeks, patiently waiting for their photo shoot.

On to the Don’s Delight:

Don's Delight - hook is a Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style sttreamer. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Don’s Delight – hook is a size #1 – 8x long, Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style streamer. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Two card-mounted Don's Delight streamers. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Two card-mounted Don’s Delight streamers. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

 

Don's Delight - tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Don’s Delight – size #1 – 8x long, tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Don’s Delight

Thread: Black or white Danville 3/0 Monocord or Uni-Thread 3/0, for under body build up on larger hook sizes, 6/0 can be used on smaller hooks

Hook: Any standard long-shank streamer hook, sizes #1 to #8, 6x to 10x long.

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: Red hackle fibers

Body: Flat silver tinsel

Throat: White hackle fibers

Wing: Four white hackles

Shoulder: Golden pheasant tippet

Cheek: Jungle cock

Head: Black with a red band, finished with Danville #100 Black and #56 Red Flymaster 6/0

The Don’s Delight, as a predominantly white streamer pattern, is an effective baitfish imitating fishing fly.

YThese are the three patterns Carrie Stevens created for Donald Bartlett: Top to bottom: G. Donald Bartlett, Don's Delight, and Don's Special

This photo presents the trio of patterns Carrie Stevens created for Donald Bartlett: Top to bottom: G. Donald Bartlett – #2 – 8x, Don’s Delight – #1 8x, and Don’s Special – #2 – 8x. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.