Spring Creek – Again

I paid a short visit to Spring Creek last evening. After all I was in the area for something else, and figured while nearby, why not? Turns out my friend Bill Shuck, a regular www.flymphforum.com tier, mentioning to me in an e-mail yesterday about the “cold front” putting the trout and bugs and fishing “off,” was right. There wasn’t much happening.

The high temperature for the day was barely sixty-five degrees, and the sun never even poked its head out, not even for a minute. I thought the sulfurs would be hatching gangbusters and trout would be up everywhere, but only in my dreams. I had driven down to State College to attend a visitation session for Gloria Humphreys, the wife of one of Pennsylvania’s celebrated fly fishing authors, Joe Humphreys. They were professional and personal friends. Gloria passed away on May 20th.

So after paying my respects I drove to Spring Creek, found a spot, geared up, and tied on my usual two-dry-fly tandem rig, a Sulfur Poly-wing Parachute Dun and my Floating “Sulfur” Emerger – which as noted in the article and links from my previous post, started its life in 2006 as a Floating Caddis Emerger. Orvis added it to their fly catalog in 2013, and have continued it for this year as well. http://www.orvis.com/store/product.aspx?pf_id=7R6A[/

I discovered two years ago that the same pattern, augmented for size and dubbing color, also does a “spot-on” mimic for emerging mayflies. At least that is the conclusion I have drawn, after hooking well over one hundred trout on that fly last season and this season, all while fishing the “sulfur” hatch.

I walked downstream to a slower, deeper section of water and watched for rising fish. Nothing was happening, there were no rises. I gave it all of one minute, which on Spring Creek at this time if year and time of day, if they are rising, I would have seen a dozen or more trout up. So I walked upstream, knowing what my next course of action would be, but for confirmation, I said aloud to myself, “If there are no trout rising, I’m going to fish the riffs and pocket water. No sense of fishing a pool with no rises.” Yes, I do talk to myself, sometimes it is the only way I can get expert advice. 😉

I stepped into this spot:

I entered the water just below this spot, got some line iout, and when I was only about four feet from the bank, started feeding line downstream to a deeper section.

I entered the water just below this spot, got some line out, and when I was only about four feet from the bank, made a cast downstream and started feeding line to a deeper section. A trout rose to the Floating Sulfur Emerger on the first drift, but he missed the fly. I caught one trout in about eight inches of water maybe three feet from shore. When a lot of fishermen are about, they usually scatter the trout from these shallow sections…for a little while at least. Most anglers don’t bother with this water, they are “pool oriented.” Their mistake. The area between the two rocks, not twenty-five feet away, produced two hookups and three additional rises.

Next I worked my way up to the area in the above photo, standing in water about a foot deep, and by this time I had not moved more than fifteen feet from the bank. I blindly cast about to the pockets, seams, and into the riffles, relying on experience as to where might be a good spot for a trout to be. None of this water was more than a foot or so in depth. Right away I caught this fish:

This first trout took the Floating Sulfur Emerger.

This first trout took the Floating Sulfur Emerger. He hit the fly when it was about eight feet from my rod tip. You can see the front end of the fly in his mouth. I hooked two more right after this one on the same fly, but they wanted no part of having their picture taken, so they rather rudely excused themselves by making my line go limp.

I rose and missed more than a dozen trout in the course of the evening, and it is important here to note; why I chose to fish the shallower water, pockets, seams, and riffs. There were no trout rising in the pools. I did not want to waste my limited time by “looking for rising trout.” The fish in shallower water are generally always more prone to impulsive feeding when something presents itself, even on the surface. These fish are accustomed by now to looking for sulfur duns and spinners, and also Baetis, or BWO’s, so that was my logic behind the choice to fish dry flies in the shallow water. Plus, I could get close to the trout with out spooking them, able to make accurate presentations, short drifts through targeted zones, repetitive if necessary, all while making pretty short casts. Also a factor besides this, there were trees hugging both banks and extended limbs so I had to keep it short. Managing your drift is easier when casting to close range target areas; most of the time I had about six to ten feet of fly line beyond the rod tip. My leader was about eleven or twelve feet long, including the typical George Harvey front-section formula of about six feet of 3x, 4x, and 5x. In this type of water, and in most dry fly scenarios, one does not want the leader to straighten out, but rather remain somewhat coiled and snaked about on the water’s surface in S-curves. This promotes drag-free drifts. George Harvey’s leader designs are from the 1940’s, when gut leaders were still used, and his formulas predate the present “Czech”, “French,” “Euro,” whatever you choose to call it, leader designs, that are being touted these days as “new.” In fact, one of these days, I’ll write a piece on the reality of every single aspect of this “new” method of nymphing – rods, leaders, flies, technique, all being as old as the hills. It’s all hype and marketing.

I saw just a handful of trout rise, and I did not have a great evening on the water, but I had a good evening on the water. Most of the trout that rose took, or tried to take, the Floating Sulfur Emerger, but a number did come up after the dun as well. Another thing I noticed; there were more Baetis in the air than anything else. This is typical – chilly, all-cloudy day, that is what they like. I saw duns on the water and in the air, but perhaps Bill was correct; the cold front had put the trout “off.”

Here is a pic of the first trout to take the sulfur dun:

First trout of the evening on the Sulfur Poly-wing Thorax Dun.

First trout of the evening on the Sulfur Poly-wing Thorax Dun. This fly is a modified design of Vince Marinaro’s Thorax Dun; the poly-wing version was created by Barry Beck. I made further material composition modifications, particularly the use of the Sexi-Super-Dyna-Flexi Floss for the “quill body” abdomen, and I generally use poly yarn for the wings rather than the old “Poly-Fluff” or Hi-Vis” – now called E.P. Fibers he used to use.

Here is an upstream shot of the section I fished:

Section of riffles, pockets, seams 0- shallow, but the trout are here.

Section of Spring Creek riffles, pockets, seams – shallow, but the trout are here. Note the larger exposed and submerged boulders – structure – these create breaks in the stream flow, “seams” where currents of two different speed intersect – creating holding areas for trout, allowing them comfort while having the ease of opportunity to intercept drifting food items. Work these areas properly, either with a nymph or a dry fly, and it’s Game On!

Here is another important point I want to make: In the comment thread from the previous article, Bill Shuck mentioned about how more than once he had been on Spring Creek and spooked the largest trout in the stream just by stepping into the water, because sometimes big trout are near the bank, even in shallow water.” Most of us look for the trout where we expect them to be. Happened to me last night. We all probably spook more trout like this, because while we think we’re pretty good angler / predators, we really don’t pay attention enough of the time. If I had been looking, I would have seen a brown trout about nineteen inches long, up ahead of me, on the right, in just eight inches of water, so close to the bank that the long grass slightly overhung his position. When I was about twelve feet off, of course looking and casting out into the stream, his take-off made a resounding splash, a plume of silt, and a large wake as I watched him scoot off.

Right then, I gave myself a little more “expert” advice; by saying aloud, “Expletive. If I had been looking for that fish, I would have seen him first and been able to make a couple casts.” Here is one more pic of a trout that liked my Sulfur Dun:

Spring Creek 5-29-14 006Enjoyable evening on the water. I learned a few new things, got more affirmation of some of the things I already knew, even entertained myself by singing a little bit while fishing, and had a good time. This is about catching fish though. Don’t let anyone fool you by summing up a poor day or few hours on the water, saying, “It’s just good to get out.” That is, in fact, true. But realistically, how many of those people would continue to fish if they got skunked, again, and again, and again, and again…hardly any of us would go out if we couldn’t hook up now and then.

Hopefully you found a few informative and educational things here and among the other articles on my blog to help you get “tight lines” on future trips.

Big Pine Creek Stream Report

Some parts of central and south-central Pennsylvania got a lot of rain from Sunday evening, May 13th through yesterday, May 15th. However the north central and western north-central part of the state did not get as much rain, since this recent rain was mostly a southwest to north east moving system. For anyone who thought of making a weekend fishing trip to the Little Juniata or Penn’s Creek, those streams are going to be running pretty high, as in get your kayak and life vests out and leave the rods at home.

In fact, as an edit to this post just a half hour after I made it; I just checked flow data on Penn’s Creek. Here are the current flow stats:

Penn’s Creek spiked yesterday at almost 3000 cfs, and is currently running at 2000 cfs. No fishin’ there boys and girls. Maybe in a week, considering the mean flow on Penn’s Creek for May 16th is 619 cfs. The Green Drakes had started last week on Penn’s Creek at Glen Iron, but now all bets are off.

Except Big Pine Creek. The Green Drakes are starting there, and there’s over 50 miles of water from Waterville to Ansonia in some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire state of Pennsylvania. That is in  comparison to the ten miles that usually hosts the hundreds of anglers for the Drake Hatch on Penn’s Creek, where it can get so crowded you need a shoe horn to squeeze yourself into a fishing spot.

Even Spring Creek is running high – up and quite off color now, but that settles down in 12-18 hours; however…

There is some good news if you still want to fish! Here is the stream report by the Slate Run Tackle Shop for May 15-2012:

05-15-2012:  Pine is in great shape at this time. We missed most of the rain that went through in this last couple of days.  They are still predicting some thunder storms tomorrow. If we survive them, we are on our way to a great weekend of flies and fish. The size #14 olive has started to hatch, along with Gray Foxes, Sulphurs, Slate Drakes and a few Green Drakes. This next week will probably provide fishing to most of the Drakes. Luckily we only received .65 of and inch of rain in the last 11/2 days. Clarity is good. Level is above average, but very fishable.

Added by me:

Kettle Creek, Sinnemahoning, Young Woman’s Creek, Slate Run, Cedar Run, Little Pine Creek – there is fishing NOW and there will be (most likely) good fishing through this weekend, since the weather will be clear for the next several days. I’m fishing tomorrow…but then I have to work the weekend cutting firewood at the cabin, but looks like Sunday may be an all-day sucker for me as far as fishing goes…I’m now planning to be on Big Pine Creek…anyone care to join me? :mrgreen:

On Big Pine Creek – #12 cornuta BWO’s in the morning, Slate Drakes, Green Drakes, sulphurs – a mixed bag – there should be good dry fly fishing. It doesn’t get much better than that. 🙂

Check the Slate Run Tackle Shop link for more info: http://www.slaterun.com/

Thankfully Pennsylvania has a lot of good fishing! I decided to add a couple photos to this post:

An angler plays a trout in the Delayed Harvest Section of Big Pine Creek near Slate Run, Pennsylvania. The March Brown hatch on Pine Creek this year was the best since the 1970’s. Exceptional dry fly fishing on Big Pine Creek this season. Photo taken April 26th – Don Bastian.

Big Pine Creek, below the village of Waterville.

The gloom of late afternoon on Big Pine Creek. Don Bastian photo, April 26. This is a big beautiful valley, and when conditions are right, can provide great fishing. Conditions are currently right.

“Dang!” Use your Imagination…

If trout could talk, and I know I’m stretching my imagination – and yours – a bit perhaps, but use your imagination and please play along. This goes way back to the days of my youth (that phrase always reminds me of the song “Good Times, Bad Times” from Led Zeppelin I, but I promise not to digress anymore), when as a boy of seven or eight, my brother, Larry, and I were reading my dad’s copy of To Hell With Fishing, 1945, by Ed Zern and H. T. Webster. To Hell With Fishing was illustrated with cartoons by H. T. Webster, all good ones that spoof and poke fun at fly fishing and related situations and circumstances. I read that book and looked at the pictures so many times as a boy and a young man that now, fifty years later, from memory, I can still recall most of the cartoon subtitles: Life’s Darkest Moments, The Thrill That Comes Once in a Lifetime, How to Torture Your Wife, and How to Torture Your Husband. A number of Webster’s cartoons featured strip-style scenes with talking trout. If I can dig up my copy of that book, I’ll post the photo of my favorite series of a big brown, doing all the talking as he bragged to a little trout how many different flies he’d eaten and leaders he broke over the years in order to survive. That might convince you all that I do come by this stretch of imagination honestly. For further validation of my “honest imagination” I note that Ed Zern penned the famous quotation, “Fly fishermen are born honest, but they get over it.”

So, if trout could talk, I imagine that something like the word “dang,” might have been the first utterance by the pictured individuals who are part of the resident population of Pennsylvania’s Spring Creek. These ladies and gentlemen, after trying to eat my fly on Sunday, April 29th, were summarily brought to hand, against their will, much to their amazement, surprise, and chagrin. After posing for these photos, upon their release, (we are still in imagine mode now), they had to endure the certainty of humiliation as they swam back to their companions who no doubt ridiculed them for their fool-hardy behavior. The words spoken by these embarrassed individuals in self-defense to their family and friends no doubt varied, but again, using my imagination, must have gone something like this: “Dang. I could have sworn that was a real fly!”

“Dang. I could have sworn that was a real fly.” Spring Creek brown taken with the ever-dependable Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph, size #20. This was the only fish of nearly 40 that fell victim this day to “fake-food.” The rest were taken on drys.

“Of course I thought it was real. Why else would I have eaten this thing?” This was the first trout of about 20 that ate my original Floating Caddis Emerger, size #16. Sorry I can’t divulge the pattern because this week I am submitting it to Orvis for possible acceptance as one of their cataloged Contract Fly Patterns. Now, if I could only get some of these trout to participate in the Orvis Conferences on their new fly patterns for 2013…but then I’d probably have to pay their travel expenses to Manchester, Vermont; hotels, meals, entertainment, shuttle service…nah. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed. All you can see from here is that it’s a buggy-looking  fly – bedraggled, wet, matted, and disheveled. And it is effective. Very much so, after eight years of field-testing has proven.

“Looked real to me. Boy do I feel stupid.”

“But it moved, and twitched, and looked alive! I thought it was about to escape! So I ate it.”

“Did you see me? I was the first one to get there and eat this fly. I beat out two of my buddies, but look what happened. Boy, I feel really dumb.”

This rainbow is the only trout of that species that I have hooked thus far on five Spring Creek trips this year, of close to 100 others, all browns.

“I even posed for another photo…I guess the Fish God or whatever that thing was liked me. And I lived to tell you all about it! I still swear that fly was real. What, do you think I’m an idiot here?”

“But it looked just like all the other bugs I was eating! There was nothing wrong with them. Everybody makes mistakes…once in a while.”

About 2:30 PM I switched to a Sulphur Comparadun, size #14, since Sulphurs were starting to hatch and the trout fed on them. I took this fellow and a dozen-and-a-half more, all on that pattern before Truman and I headed home about five-thirty PM.

More to follow…

Sulphur – Parachute Emerger

Some years ago a fly tier named Tom Travis of Montana, created an excellent series of parachute emergers for Orvis covering a number of the major mayfly species. Back about 2004 or ’05 I had one of my customers request this pattern, and he gave me a printed copy of a magazine article with tying instructions and pattern recipes. I went ahead and started to tie some of these; March Browns, Sulphurs, and cornuta BWO’s. I made a few modifications, some immediately, and others along the way. This pattern is a very good one. Recently one of my customers had terrific success on Pennsylvania’s Spring Creek with my version of the Sulphur Para-emerger.

On my variation, the first thing I do is make the tail more realistic with the use of exactly two or three fibers, reasoning that more accurate imitation of the actual mayfly will trigger more strikes. Secondly, to make the pattern float better I increased the use of the foam from not only the post but also incorporated it into the wingcase as well. Third, I differentiate the abdomen and thorax with two different colors of dubbing, using the nymph color of the natural on the abdomen, and the mayfly dun color of the adult on the thorax. The fourth aspect I changed is to use a more natural color of foam for the post, which can also mimic the wing color of the natural dun. Travis’s patterns use white or bright colored foam for better visibility. This can be done if that is a consideration by the angler, as my friend in Canada, Rick Whorwood and I were discussing yesterday, in that the Lower Grand River is very wide in places, and casts with single-hand or spey rods of 70 feet or longer are possible. Check out Rick’s website:

http://www.flycastingschool.com/  You’ll also want to check out the two special guests he has booked for this fall; Tim Rajeff in September and April Vokey in October. Click on Guest Instructors on his site for more information.

My version of the Sulphur Para-emerger is pictured below:

Sulphur Para-emerger. This fly is designed to float as a dry fly while the abdomen suspends below the surface film. It is intended to mimic the mayfly nymph emerging at the surface, or perhaps a cripple. This design makes for a highly effective trout pattern. Trout feeding on duns will nearly always inhale this pattern. Note the picked dubbing in the thorax represents legs.

Sulphur Para-emerger

Hook: Size #12 and #14 – Tiemco 2488 or 2487 Scud Hook. This hook is a Montana Fly Company 7048 Light Wire Scud Hook, size #12. These scud hooks are 2x short shank, hence the #12. The 2x wide gape of these hooks increases hookups. The Orvis patterns are dressed on the 2488 straight-eye hook, which is probably the best choice.

Thread: Danville Flymaster 6/0 No. 7 Orange

Tail: Three barbs of lemon wood duck, divided with two wraps.

Rib: A single strand of Danville No. 47 Tobacco Brown rayon floss, twisted tight. Note its appearance is similar to wire. Twisted floss is very durable.

Abdomen: Hareline #43 Ginger rabbit dubbing.

Wingcase: Tan closed-cell foam, cut into strips about 3-/32″ wide.

Thorax: Sulphur Rabbit Dubbing, this is color No. 6, the brand sold by Fishing Creek Angler in Benton, PA. Check their link under Fly Shops. Hareline Nos. 27 or 28, Amber or Antique Gold, could be used. Or blend colors to get something close to this shade.

Post: Created from the same section of foam as the wingcase, tied in with three wraps, make some thread wraps and apply a bit more dubbing in front to elevate it, and then wrap tying thread around the foam post to create a base for attaching the hackle.

Hackle: Ginger. This is a Whiting Saddle; only three wraps are needed because of the high barb density.

Head: Orange, made from the tying thread.

On the wood duck tail, I use the barbs that have previously had the tips used for something else, such as the wings on Catskills dry fly patterns. Noted Catskill fly tier, Dave Brandt, from Oneonta, New York, sells what he markets as “Pre-Owned Wood Duck.” About 1996 or ’97, considering the expensive cost of wood duck flank feathers, I developed several different methods on a number of fly patterns to achieve total utilization of wood duck flank feathers and all the barbs, where little to none of the feather and barb stubs goes to waste. Like hog butchering where it is said, “They use everything except the squeal,” so I have done with the lemon and barred wood duck feather barbs. No wood duck feather is ever discarded until there is literally nothing left to use it on.

For now this is all I shall write on this post. I will add the tying instructions early next week, since my day is starting and time is getting away from me. I will add the second photo below, of a slightly different camera angle to reveal the three-barbed tail. Have a good weekend everyone!

Sulphur Para-emerger, Don Bastian version. Note the three-barbed tail. This requires a little more effort, but I believe it is worth it. My tri-focal lenses and 20/15 corrected vision helps a lot. The use of my fingers, and occasionally a bodkin allows me to divide these barbs with just 2 wraps of tying thread. Then the rib is attached and dubbing of the abdomen begins.

While this fly is technically classed as an emerger, standard dry fly tactics are employed when fishing it. Often to state one is “fishing an emerger,” it seems to default to the use of a sub-surface pattern. This is not always entirely true.

Sulphur Para-emerger Tying Instructions

Step 1: First I insert the scud hook into the vise with the hook point and eye pointing directly down. This places the heel of the bend facing up. I do this because it allows me to attach the tail and tie the abdomen well down the hook bend. I attach the tying thread at a position that would amount to being above the barb if the hook were normally placed in the jaws of your vise. Start tying thread and wind enough wraps to secure it to the hook.

Step 2: If you are going to use three barbs of lemon wood duck flank as I do, then your bodkin will be invaluable in selecting the barbs from the feather. Many of the pieces of lemon wood duck that I have are no longer on the stem, they are just barbs in groups of several to a couple dozen, all that remain after being used for tails on wet flies, wings on drys, legs on nymphs, or stripped off from flank feathers that were used for shoulders on patterns like Carrie Steven’s Green Beauty or the Larry. I keep these in a small zip-loc bag.

Take the three barbs and attach them to the hook. Use your bodkin and your fingers to splay them and then make two wraps on either side of the center barb. I generally clip the two side tails a tad shorter than the center barb. You could also save time by just tying in a small bunch of barbs. This is easier, but I believe it would result in the loss of trigger point No. 1 on this pattern, and by that I mean the realistic-looking three-fibered tail.

Step 3: Attach a single strand of Danville #47 Tobacco Brown floss for the rib. At this stage, change the placement of the hook in the vise to a more traditional horizontal position.

Step 4: Apply the abdominal dubbing to the thread, I use Ginger #43 Hareline Rabbit Dubbing. Using the photo as a guide dub slightly more than half the hook shank for the abdomen.

Step 5: Grasp the floss rib and (for right-handed tiers) twist the floss clockwise, just enough to gather it together so you can grasp the tip of it with your hackle pliers. Now you can really spin the floss; twist the rib clockwise several more times. This will insure that the floss increases in twist as it is wound. Left-handed tiers would need to twist the floss counter-clockwise to tighten it. Wind the ribbing, making at least six wraps.

Step 6: Tie in the closed-cell foam strip (previously prepared as per the recipe and material list above) at the base of the abdomen.

Step 7: Apply dubbing to the thorax area, winding it forward but staying back away from the hook eye about twice the hook eye diameter.

Step 8: Bring the foam wing case forward, secure it with a few wraps of tying thread. Make 10 – 12 wraps in front of the foam, standing it up to create the post. Make 10 – 12 thread wraps around the base of the foam post to create a band of thread for attaching the hackle.

Step 9: Apply a small amount of dubbing in front of the post.

Step 10: Attach the hackle to the base of the post, not to the hook shank. Wind the hackle counter-clockwise, making three or four wraps. Counter-clockwise winding is for right-handed tiers. A left-handed tier would need to wind clockwise. The reason you do this is that by winding counter-clockwise the hackle barbs will face away from the direction of thread wrapping, meaning the barbs will not get trapped by the thread, they will simply push out of the way as you complete the final thread wraps and whip finish. My friend Tom Baltz of Mt. Holly Springs, Pennsylvania, taught me this trick years ago. By the way, if anyone is looking for a good guide for the famous South-Central Pennsylvania streams such as the Letort Spring Run, Falling Spring, Yellow Breeches, Big Spring, send Tom and e-mail: baltzte@aol.com

I hope that my readers will tie and try this pattern. I’d love to hear success stories too! Set the hook!

First Trout of the Year on Drys – Spring Creek

The Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph strikes again, size #20. This was the first trout I brought to hand yesterday in Fisherman's Paradise, and I also missed a half-dozen other quick strikes on this go-to nymph pattern. Smaller trout have a tendency to hit-and-spit real fast, often before you can react. And I don't care how good your reflexes are. When the trout started rising, I did what any respectable angler would do and switched to a Sulphur dun dry fly pattern and got down to some serious fishing.

I drove to Spring Creek near State College, Pennsylvania, yesterday afternoon to meet up with three of my friends,  who had come up from Maryland the day before. I was to meet Jack, Frank, and Mike, but I was running about a half-hour late. They were not at the prearranged meeting place when I arrived, so I positioned myself along the road in a highly visible location and fished. In about 15 minutes they pulled up and stopped. I hollered, “Where were you? Having lunch?”

“Yeah,” came the reply. They had gone back to Maria’s at the Lamb Street bridge in nearby Bellefonte, the same place they had dinner the night before. Old farts curmudgeons  geezers  friends like to keep a routine. It was 2:45 PM. We quickly agreed to meet up at Fisherman’s Paradise, which was no more than a mile upstream from where I was fishing. It turned out that a major contributing factor to this plan of action was the fact that Frank, originally from New Jersey, (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and now from Florida, (not that there’s anything wrong with that either), basically wanted to fish like he does in Florida didn’t want to suit up in his waders. Too much of that Florida arm-chair boat fishing I guess. :mrgreen:  The Paradise is a No Wading Zone.

Fisherman’s Paradise was the first-ever Special Regulation, Catch-and-Release, Fly Fishing Only Project in the entire United States. It was started sometime in the 1940’s I believe. And Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Legend – Author – The Dean of Fly Fishing – George Harvey had something to do with it. There is easy access to the water, much of the bank in sections on one side or the other is mowed lawn, courtesy of the staff of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. We weren’t there 15 minutes when the trout started rising. Talk about perfect timing. In fact when I saw nearly a dozen risers in one area I reckoned (like Clint Eastwood, he does a lot of “reckoning” in his Westerns), that it was time to stop nymphing and go dry. I tied a #14 Sulphur Comparadun to my 5x tippet. The first trout succumbed to this fly after just a few casts. Here he is:

My first trout of the year on a dry. The fish took this #14 Comparadun pattern, visible in its jaw. I don't use or own Flurocarbon. The tippet is my favorite dry-nymphing soft mono material, Dai-Riki Velvet. The fly is a simple pattern: Yellow Microfibetts split tail; Wapsi Superfine Sulphur Orange Dubbing, and bleached deer hair for the wing. And Danville #7 Orange 3/0 Monocord thread. I initially posted that it was Danville 6/0 but then I remembered that I'd been using the monocord on Comparaduns size #14 and larger. Stronger thread, doesn't break when you flare the wing.

Freshly hatched sulphur dun. I'm only an amateur aquatic entomologist, but I'm pretty sure this is Ephemerella invaria.

Mike was standing right beside me as I had landed my third or fourth trout. We had been discussing the sulphurs versus the Pale Evening Duns, E. dorothea. Just as I released the fish I saw this fly flutter into some grass at arm’s length. I exclaimed to Mike, “There goes a sulphur dun!” Then I asked him, “Do you wanna see it?”

“Sure,” Mike replied. I looked in the grass and located this bug, carefully picking it up by the tips of its ethereal wings. We observed the Sulphur Dun in my hand, and then I decided to place it on my knee, thinking photograph. The the camera came out, the shot was quickly taken. But it is interesting to note, as I was preparing to shoot, since the breeze was at times a bit gusty, the dun instinctively positioned itself in an aerodynamic posture heading into the wind. I had to wait briefly for her to pose. It was probably a female.

Yes, this photographic evidence, seeing significant numbers of sulphur duns hatching, and taking trout that were seen rising and some that were not, by just fishing seams, edges, eddies, and runs, I took 15 or 16 trout, and rose another dozen or so in just over a couple hours. I didn’t move 100 yards left or right. It’s safe to say the sulphur hatch on Spring Creek has started. Normally on Spring Creek one can see scattered sulphur duns starting around April 23rd to the 25th, with the main hatch getting going around May 8 – 10, but this year, well most of us are aware of the unseasonably warm winter and lack of snow pack in the north east. This has the bugs ahead of schedule.

Another trout taken on the Comparadun. You can just see the tips of the deer hair wing in its mouth.

Jack was lacking some sulphurs of the right size and color; he’d been using a #16 more Pale Evening Dun pattern, which the trout were not having. I took one look at his fly and said,”That’s too small. Not the right color. Ya’ need more orange.” I gave him one of my #14 Comparaduns and a Poly-wing Thorax Dun, also had to give him a dab of floatant too. What’s up with a guy going fishing and leaving his floatant at home? Jack has like, 6 bottles of Loon Aquel (my favorite) floatant at home. Good place for that when trout are rising and you want to fish drys. He had his excuses…none valid. Soon Jack was into some trout too.

Another dry fly brown. I lost my Comparadun by decorating the trees, so I tied on a #14 Sulphur Parachute Dun. It worked.

I must have been feeling an unseasonal Christmas Spirit, because I also decorated a tree on the opposite bank with my Parachute pattern. So I tied on this #14 Sulphur Poly-wing Thorax Dun. It too, worked. I lost four or five flies, decorating the trees.

Another trout on the Poly-wing Thorax Dun. Here you can clearly see the split Microfibetts tail, and the same Wapsi Sulphur Orange Superfine Dubbed body.

The abdomen on the Poly-wing Thorax Dun above is “tightened up” by “reverse dubbing;” a technique I developed ten years or so ago whereby the body is ribbed with the tying thread direct from the bobbin, after the dubbing is wound from the thorax to the end of the body. Ideally running out of dubbing exactly as you get to the tail. This produces a segmented look, and as noted, a tight, clean body. Expert commercial fly tier and author of several books, A.K. Best, noted in one of his books, quoting from memory: “Mayflies don’t have buggy bodies. They have clean, smooth, waxy-looking bodies.” Hence my preference to make tight, clean, slim bodies on my mayfly dun and spinner patterns. It has ginger hackle, clipped on the bottom 1/2 way between the hook point and shank to ensure right-side up landings 90-plus percent of the time. And a wing of dun Hi-Vis – a.k.a. Enrico’s Sea Fiber’s – a.k.a Poly Fluff, which is all the same acrylic fiber, but confusing. It results in fly tying material independent marketing ideas which do little more than confuse, befuddle, and confound fly tiers.

I have had two big-fish-that-got-away stories two days straight. On Thursday afternoon, the day before this trip to Spring Creek, I drove up Big Pine Creek and fished the Delayed Harvest Section below Slate Run. In less than a half hour I hooked a brown about 20″ in length on a March Brown Parachute Extended Body Dun dry fly pattern – my own design – that I had the pleasure of watching – and hearing – him feed. Though I know better, in haste or neglect, or both, since trout were rising when I arrived, I left on the 5x tippet from who knows how long ago without replacing it. A couple years probably. When I hooked that big trout, I had him on for almost two minutes, he never surface, but kept digging the bottom, and the leader eventually broke about a foot from my 4x section.

Not seeing many rising trout in one section on Spring Creek yesterday, I started working the far bank with my sulphur dry. I was placing the dun eight to twelve inches from the far side, getting the desired two to perhaps five feet of drag-free drift. I had one of those little rises – slow, deliberate, and delicate, not more than a dimple, not a slash like smaller trout often make. When I set the hook I knew I had the trout of the day. About 17″, but again he got into the heavy current mid-stream and the hook pulled out. No matter…the cast, presentation, tended drift, and successful rise and hook up is the true measure of how well you’re doing on the water.

One other interesting and kind of humorous thing happened too. Some stranger walked up and was watching me. He also started talking, giving advice, almost immediately. Sort of an armchair expert I supposed. Some folks are like that you know. I talked to him, but remember I was fishing. When the trout are on I’m not going to stop fishing just to have a conversation with a stranger. It’s akin to walking and chewing gum simultaneously. I can talk and fish at the same time.

Jack was off to my right. About forty feet away. There were six or eight trout working in an area in front of me. There was a large slack water area immediately under the rod tip, and for some distance out, say twenty feet. I played around and punched various types of casts up and across the currents, mending downstream, and I rose four or five of the trout. Missed ’em all. Or they missed me either way. Observing this, the  “expert” said, “There’s only one style of fly that works here.”

I replied, “I’ve taken trout on three different types of patterns so far; Comparadun, Parachute, and Thorax Dun.” And then, with perfect timing to accentuate my remark, right on cue, I set the hook in a trout.

I barely had a bend in the rod when he said, “You gotta go way down on your tippet size.” I didn’t know what he meant by that size-wise because I didn’t ask.

“I’m using 5x,” I replied. In about four minutes I hooked another trout. He wandered off after I released that one. Good thing I didn’t tell him I was using a 7-weight floating, weight-forward line that I had fished with on Big Pine Creek the day before. He might have fallen ill. 😉 Point here is: Fly line weight was and at times is – irrelevant. I had thought about this as I prepared to fish, but my rod was still strung up from the day before. I didn’t see the need to de-string and re-string my equipment. Because my leader was so long the fly line weight was of no consequence to my presentations. I was not fishing smooth, shallow, glassy glides and pools in gin-clear water. Though if someone walked up with a freshly-made Martini I would have surely taken it. :mrgreen:

The heavier line actually allowed me to punch my casts more accurately and with more authority, despite the occasional gusts of wind. Jack had observed that, standing right beside me at one point (I had to give him a dab of floatant). We both saw a trout rise on the far side, near the opposite bank in shallow water, over fifty feet away. I stripped line out, threw the cast across current with a slight left curve / reach cast, the fly landed in perfect position, and it promptly rose the trout. He missed the fly though, or perhaps I missed him, but my point is that the presentation was right on. Jack said, “I’m impressed. All the way over there, first cast, and he took it.” It made me feel good to be back in the groove. But perhaps I was also a bit lucky too. I do love technical, tactical dry fly fishing. Where you have to constantly amend, adjust, and modify your casts, your position, angle of rod sweep, every aspect of presentation to obtain the “right drift.”

My leader was about 12 – 13 feet long, with almost six feet of 3x, 4x, 5x; the George Harvey concept of leader design. George’s basic leader design has in the last few years or so become christened as a “Czech Nymphing Leader.” I plan to expand on that topic and concept more in the future. The truth is, the only thing “new” about the Czech nymphing leader design is the name. George Harvey designed longer, more finely tapered leaders than what were commercially available, custom designing his leaders so far back in history that he constructed them with silk gut leader material, before monofilament was even invented. This was in the 1940’s, and the evidence on this is in George’s book, Techniques of Fly Tying and Fly Fishing, 1978 (I think). Also, his leader formulas, combined with his field research using Japanese beetles and 15″ sections of silk gut of all diameters, feeding gut-skewered beetles to rising trout that he had chummed up with a coffee can full of beetles, made him recognize that trout don’t care about tippet size, they care about drag-free drifts of what they eat. As his eyesight faded in his 80’s, George fished Tricos on 3x tippet because that’s what he could see to thread through the eye of the hook. His 3x tippet was about five feet long. And he used his slack-leader cast to present the fly. Enough digression, but this is relevant. My personal experience of the last 20 years bears out George’s research, though I do not rigidly adhere to his exact leader formulas, I do follow his basic leader design principles.

Green inch worm, a.k.a. Green Weenie. Yes, already, they come out when the leaves begin to sprout.

When I quit fishing, I was just getting into the Nymphmobile when I saw this guy on my car door. I placed him on the hood and took the photo. I know, it looks like Godzilla in a larval form, but it was only about 3/8 of an inch in length. Now and from here on through the rest of the spring, summer, and fall, this will be a go-to fly for any occasion when you don’t know what to use – well, you can always resort to a sinking inchworm pattern, a.k.a. Green Weenie. Or a floating version…in between the hatches when the trout may key on one bug, don’t forget these terrestrials. My biggest trout in Pennsylvania, a 26″ brown, was taken on a Green Weenie nymph. Sight-fished, too. That’s another story.

I will endeavor to post macro photos of the dry fly patterns here in the not-too-distant future, as well as posting a separate topic / essay on the Sinking Inchworm…

After the fishing the best part of the day was a late dinner of a grilled venison steak, rare, and a side of some penne pasta, sauteed baby bella mushrooms, and Alfredo sauce that I made myself. Well, OK, I lied a little. The Alfredo sauce came from a jar. Finished off with a neat nip of “Jack,” Special Reserve, Single Barrel, November 2011 Bourbon. Compliments of a friend. Yup. Life is good.

I hope to continue to write more of my fishing journal escapades like this in the current season, keeping in the theme of my planned expansion and diversification of topics, tying fishing related.

Opening Day on Spring Creek, Pennsylvania – Part II

Here is a photo to start this off – what it’s really all about:

I wanted to begin this post with this photo — more pics and text will follow throughout the day — right now I’m having coffee, breakfast, tending the wood stove fire to fend off the chill, and I gotta tie a few flies too. This was one of 27 trout I brought to hand yesterday.

It is now early afternoon on April 15th. Yesterday, breakfast was the first order of business. Almost. I arose at 5:05 AM, loaded my two small coolers with food and beverages, sat down and tied six flies that I thought I might need for the day, loaded the car with the few remaining necessities that had not been packed the night before, and drove the entire distance of 1/4 mile from my house to the bottom of St. Michaels Road. I parked my car and walked through the doors of the Quiggleville Comunity hall, one of the little villages in the Cogan Station mailing district, for the Annual Fishermen’s Breakfast. Quiggleville, a collection of about ten houses, is actually where I live, since Cogan Station is a pretty large, mostly rural mailing district. But I live outside of “town.”

...held annually at the Quiggleville Community Hall, PA, Rt. 973. Rumored to be one of the best Fishermen's Breakfasts in the area...

Quiggleville Community Hall

Not too crowded upon my arrival...

Inside the doors. My friend and some-time fishing companion, Joe "Ma" Radley is seated on the left in the yellowish jacket, wearing the olive green hat. There are plenty of "Ma" stories, but for another time. She's a real character...

For seven dollars, this breakfast is all-you-can-eat: Coffee, orange juice, home fries – hand-cut from real potatoes the day before by the friendly volunteers at “The Hall,” sausage, liverwurst, pancakes, and the lady line-cook will make your eggs – scrambled, sunny-side-up, or over easy, to order. Lots of locals come help, they donate stuff, and the sausage patties are made from bulk, hand-formed. Not pressed out in some big factory where who-knows-what can end up in the mix. Volunteers constantly mingle the tables serving refills on the coffee. This has been going at this location for 15 – 20 years.

They even decorate the tables with appropriate seasonal items. The forsythia and grape hyacinths off to the left are not made of plastic.

The view into the back of the "Nymphmobile" after we loaded TG's gear. When I saw how much stuff he was bringing I thought he was planning to fish for a week. Note the home-made multi-grain hamburger rolls on the lower left...card table, fishin' rods with a couple spares, the orange tin has about 12 different spices in it.

The rear of the Nymphmobile on location along Spring Creek Road in Centre County, PA, parked at the scene of the day's fishing / relaxing / eating / hanging-out-with-friends excursion.

About 8:20 AM, downstream view of where we were parked. Note the guardrails along the stream.

Upstream view from where we parked...besides one affable fellow we later learned was from Maryland, these two ducks were the only other visitors at this spot on our arrival. The water is pretty low, but it was running perfectly cold at 52 degrees F. This riffle is where the osprey make a kill.

Truman took this photo of me, my sixth or seventh trout and it wasn't even 9:15 AM.

This was my first Opening Day on Spring Creek since 2008, the result of the way my life ran the last few years…and this was my first Opening Day – period – in Pennsylvania since 2009 when TG & I met at Rose Vally Lake in Lycoming County  with our ultralight spinning gear and fished for bluegills and crappies. We sometimes did that to beat the “usual” Opening Day crowds. Spring Creek, open all year under no-kill restrictions, has been fished for a few months already and by Opening Day, most people that have been fishing Spring go elsewhere on the First Day, because they can. There were seven anglers in this entire stretch all day – five of them were part of our group.

Another brown that took my #20 Flashback Pheasant Tail nymph.

OK, here I have to announce: the six flies I tied at 5:20 AM in the morning, were San Juan Worms. Yup. Mr. Classic Wet Fly, as some may think, is also a nymph fishermen. And unlike some folks, I’m not ashamed to admit that part of my nymphing repertoire includes junk flies. I had lost my “junk fly” box last fall somewhere along a stream. It contained an assortment of flies sometimes known as “The Guides Revenge.” I’ve unashamedly shown it to folks over the years, always before opening the box, prefacing it with the statement, “No matter how bad or tough the fishing is, one of these flies will always get you a few trout.” And then I opened the lid to show a collection of flies that more closely resembled a bag of jelly beans – “Green Weenies,” (chartreuse sinking inchworm patterns), glo-bugs and egg patterns in an array of colors and sizes, and San Juan Worms of various persuasions. Trout eat worms every time they can; the red garden variety, night-crawlers, and aquatic worms, of which there are some in Spring Creek. Trout eat other fish eggs. Trout eat inchworms that fall into the streams from spring into fall. They even eat them in January and February when no terrestrial green inch worms are about.

Catching some trout off the bat is a good confidence-builder, and as I stated, four trout seasons came and went since I last fished Opening Day in Pennsylvania on Spring Creek with my friends. For sure, I needed a fix of catching some trout. I had a need to feel the sensation of success that comes after making a cast with a nymph rig. This can be described as intense concentration, nerves set on hair-trigger response, mending and tending my drift, eyes on the indicator, then a reaction almost as fast as a mousetrap-slamming-shut that is rewarded by sticking the hook into the jaw of a trout whose eating habits at the moment had a significant degree of association to the slightest alteration in the natural drift of my strike indicator. Fish on! It worked very well. Twice I hooked and brought to hand two trout on back-to-back casts. I tried hard to even out at ten trout on the wine-colored San Juan Worm, but I stalled at nine for some reason. About 10:30 AM I tied on the #20 Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph.

TG intently watches his drift...

A few seconds later...Fish on!

A spot that contains cover, holding areas, and feeding lies. Spring Creek is a limestone stream; note the different coloration in the water. The shallow area in the foreground is darker because you can easily see bottom. Any time the color shades to this lighter, milky-greenish shade, it is an indication of depth, however slight at times. This drop off would be over my hip boots. These are all holding areas for trout. The linear edge where the color changes is a mix of both depth and current change - this is a seam; a perfect lane to drift a nymph (or a dry fly) in. It is critical in most situations to set up your cast and tend your entire presentation with the objective of obtaining a drag-free drift through a specific target zone. I consider this area too small for a two-fly rig. I prefer to fish with a single nymph pattern when the water is low, primarily because I believe the effective nymph fisher needs to be constantly aware of the slightest changes in every individual fishing area that is targeted, and this must sometimes be considered for each and every cast. Constant fine-tuning of one's rig in the form of adjusting indicator placement, amount and location of split-shot, possibly lengthening or changing your tippet, and lastly, the fly choice, will produce greater fishing success.

Around ten AM I tied on a #20 Flashback Pheasant Tail nymph and took a trout within a couple minutes. I missed and hooked a few more during the remainder of the morning, but at 11:30 I headed back to the car to join TG for a beer. He had other ideas...like lunch.

Rick was reading the paper, and TG began unloading the "stuff" from the car so we could set up the gas grill.

Jeff Laws from Maryland adjusts his hat as he spins a yarn. The fellow in the background is Mark, also from Maryland. He was one of the two other anglers parked at this spot. Yes, that's a linen tablecloth. Albeit a cheap one.

When I mentioned to Mark that I had a close friend in Bel Air, he stated, “I play in a band in Bel Air a couple times a month.”

“Really?” I asked. “What instrument?”

“Dobro,” Mark replied.

“Do you do mostly bluegrass?” I queried.

“Yeah, ” Mark replied.

Mark had packed a ham and cheese sandwich for his lunch, but when we offered him something off the grill, at first he declined, but I think it was the aroma of the grilling mixed venison / beef hamburgers that got to him. You know how the aroma of grilled meat excites your taste buds. TG convinced him. “Are you sure?” he asked. “We got hot dogs, hamburgers, three kinds of cheese for cheeseburgers, steaks, pickles, macaroni salad, pretzels, chips, crackers…” Truman’s followup read like the menu from an outdoor picnic buffet.

“OK,” Mark gave in, “I’ll save my ham sandwich for dinner.” So I grilled him a burger, topped with pepper jack cheese, served on a toasted multi-grain roll that TG had made a couple days earlier. And boy are they ever good. We had a nice time – chatting, hanging out, sipping beer, relaxing, eating, listening to the birds, then all of a sudden another angler flew in.

Someone excitedly declared, “There’s an osprey! He just landed in that tree.” When I looked up, I had never seen an osprey so close. There were five of us sprawled about the parking lot, and this one apparently had little fear of humans. He was perched atop a large dead snag in a tree just fifty yards across the creek. He sat there for the best part of twenty minutes. He didn’t fly away as I expected he might as I advanced to rest my camera on the Fish Commission roofed bench / rules / regulations / stand for some pictures. I needed a rest since I did not bring my tripod. I zoomed in to 24x and shot away. Below are some of the photos I took:

Note the different head positions – the bird was surveying his surroundings, but mostly he was perched like this:

This osprey was primarily in this pose, head down, keen eyesight intently watching the riffle below his perch. Hunting...well, more appropriately, fishing. He remained here for the best part of twenty minutes.

One of the guys was watching when the bird made its move. “There he goes!” someone exclaimed. We all looked over in time to see the raptor drop from his perch, his wings swept back like an F-15 in a steep dive, and SPLASH! Right into the riffle. The bird remained on the water for almost ten seconds as we all watched, spellbound, as no one said a word. We wondered. Then the bird rose from the water clutching a fish. And of course, he had to fly right back by our position to show off his catch. It was a large sucker. We later surmised that the bird was arranging his grasp on the fish, adjusting his talons to get an aerodynamic start to his jumping off flight. (They are smart enough to point the head of the fish into the wind). A couple of us applauded his skill as he flew off.

Here is a link that my Canadian friend Rick Whorwood, sent me a few months ago. It contains incredible film footage of ospreys fishing.   http://www.arkive.org/osprey/pandion-haliaetus/video-00.html

After lunch we all resumed fishing. I walked up stream and took eight trout from one area, below some boulders and debris. Again, I was still fishing the #20 Flashback PT. In fact except for one five-minute period when I attempted to take a trout that had risen a few times on a #18 Baetis Dun pattern, which he ignored, I only fished two flies all day.

We caught a few little guys like this. Small trout are always a joy to see, they are evidence of Spring Creek's healthy natural brown trout reproduction. There is no (intentional) stocking in Spring Creek. Note the beautiful red spots, the red tip to the adipose fin, and the white edging on the anal fin.

Big brother of the fish in above photo.

Another on the Flashback PT. I'm not usually one to change flies if what I have on my tippet is catching trout.

About a fifteen incher...best fish of the day for me. Not huge, but sometimes size really doesn't matter.

Another image of the same trout. I took mostly macro images because it's hard to get good full-size photos when you're shooting pictures by yourself, with one hand. I found out too that most cameras are designed for right-hand operators.

My friend Dave Lomasney, from Maine, asked in a comment to this post if anything was hatchin’. I was getting to that in the More to follow segment.

I gotta go mow some more grass…(What I wrote Sunday evening at 6:15 PM).

OK, hatching activity, yes there was some, and a few trout rose, but it was sporadic and so did not convince me to switch over to drys. First off mid-morning, a tan caddis was hatching, and I only saw maybe two – three splashy rises. Not enough to tie on a dry. For me anyway. I know some that would have…we have a term for them…a couple of my friends are like that.

We saw a few of the usual #18 Baetis duns hatching, not many. By early afternoon the Baetis activity had intensified, still only a few trout rising here and there. Nothing steady. The BWO’s hatched all afternoon, just not in numbers significant enough to bring the trout up. My experience in this situation is, if you see a few BWO duns and a scattering of rising trout, there’s lots more fish working the nymphs.

By about 4:30 PM I started to see a few sulphur duns. Early for them…I’ve seen them sporadically start on Spring Creek in other years by about April 22 – 24, but it might last only 15 minutes a day. I suppose I saw about three dozen sulphur duns, not a hatch for sure, but it’s an early start. At this rate, considering the unseasonal weather and low water conditions we’re having, the Green Drakes will be coming off Penn’s Creek by May 20th. Of course, we’re talking the weather and it could all change next week.

In the early afternoon, I was fishing in the riffle about where the osprey made it’s kill, and after about 15 minutes, TG, who was still relaxing in a lawn chair (he had a good excuse – surgery five weeks ago, so he still needs to pace himself). He was only 75 feet away so why he called me on the walkie-talkie is beyond me, but I guess he wanted to whisper. He cued the mike and said, “Hey D! Don’t look now but you got company.”

I’m looking up and down stream, all around, thinking another fisherman was nearby. He started laughing. “Look up in the tree, moron.”

When I looked up, I saw that the osprey had returned. Now it was even closer to me than it had been at lunch. The bird was only about 75 feet away. I thought what are the chances, but it could happen, and said to him, “Hey if you really wanted to be entertained you should not have told me he was there, and just sat back and waited to see if that osprey would make a dive like, twenty feet away from where I’m standing. For sure, that would’ve made me come unglued.”

There he was again...later in the afternoon I was fishing farther upstream when all of a sudden I heard, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. I looked up to see him passing barely twenty feet over my head. This bird apparently has little fear of humans.

Lew (left) and Jeff fishing the afternoon session. They both landed a fair number of trout here, but these guys tend to nymph with more weight than I do, and they also take more suckers, considering their flies are running closer to the bottom where the suckers are. Jeff did take some trout on drys.

This was a great day, spent on the stream with good weather, good fishing, great food, and enjoying the fellowship of friends. We need to do this again…soon!

Tomorrow morning I’ll try to take a macro photo of the Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph and write the recipe and include them here too.

Monday, April 16, 2012: OK, I finally got around to tying a fresh nymph, took a few pictures and posted them here:

Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph, Size #18, 1x long nymph hook. Silhouette was more of a concern than lighting or trying to get the fly totally focused...

Head-on view...you can see the twist in the Krystalflash wingcase. I've never magnified one of these this much before...

I brought 18 trout to hand Saturday on this fly, though I was fishing a #20. This pattern is my favorite nymph for whenever and wherever Baetis and other BWO's species are present and active...which includes most trout streams.

Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph

Hook: Standard nymph hook, 1x long, size #14 to #22.

Thread: I normally use Uni-Thread 8/0 Dark Brown, but I was out of that and also out of Danville Flymaster 6/0 Dark Brown, so I used what was at hand, UTC 6/0 70 denier, brown. I really don’t care for the UTC thread. It has less twist than Danville, flattens out faster, but the individual strands are more delicate than Danville and it frays more easily. I make it work if I have to, but it’s the least favorite tying thread I use.

Tail: 5 (larger sizes) or 4 or 3 (smaller sizes) fibers of ringneck pheasant cock tail fibers.

Rib: Fine gold wire, counter wound

Abdomen: Formed from the same fibers of PT as used for the tail.

Wingcase: Pearlescent Krystalflash, this one used 10 strands. More or less depending on hook size.

Thorax: Peacock herl, usually two strands. If tied in properly the nap of the herl will face toward the tail. The herl fibers represent the legs very well; tying in legs of an additional material is unnecessary in sizes #16 and smaller.

Head: Formed from the tying thread, cemented.

This fly has been successful many places. My brother Larry, & his daughter, Emily caught trout in Maine’s Kennebec River near Bingham. I caught trout with it in Montana’s Ruby River. Spring Creek, as evidenced by my fishing last Saturday. Anytime there are BWO’s hatching, try this nymph.