Monday, May 14, 2018

March Brown Emerger

March Brown Emerger

Hook;     3906B Mustad #12
Thread;    Camel 8/0
Tail;         Pheasant Tail Fibers
Rib;        Brown Thread
Abdomen;    March Brown Dubbing
Wing;    Gray Poly or Lt. Dun Z-Lon. Down wing.
Thorax;     March Brown Dubbing
Head;     Camel 8/0

 I very seldom buy flies. Instead, once I’m on a stream and get to hold or see a Mayfly or Caddis, I tie my imitation myself.
 I was fishing Kettle Creek one day and the trout weren’t coming up for my March Browns but I felt they were hitting emergers instead. I went to the Kettle Creek Tackle Shop to see what Phil had that would imitate a March Brown Emerger. Who else would know Kettle Creek better than Phil? I seen his imitation and bought a few to try out. Needless to say I hammered those trout which were taking emergers.
Here is my interpretation of the March Brown emerger.

1. Thread base hook shank to bend of hook.

2. Tail: Use about 4 strands of Pheasant tail fibers. Length of hook.

3. Rib; Tie in brown thread at bend of hook.

4. Abdomen; Dub abdomen with a shade of March Brown dubbing

5. Rib; Counter wrap brown thread leaving space to tie down wing behind hook as shown.

6. Wing. Tie in wing of either Gray Poly or Lt. Dun Z-Lon. I trim the wing to about half the tail length.

7. Thorax; Dub a thorax over the front part of the wing and thread wrap the head.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Give'm What They Want

Give’m What They Want

  As I was driving west, on the old country roads, I was hoping to get into a hatch of caddis on Oil Creek. Jeff had told me that all during the week there had been a heavy hatch of Grannoms at times and other caddis mixed in. Being a Saturday and promising of warm 70 degrees and sunshine, I figured the fly fishing only section in the park would be quite crowded. I decided to fish open regulation waters and turned down the dirt road towards the bridge. When I got to the bridge there were already plenty of vehicles in the small couple of parking areas. I pulled off the side of the road and proceeded to get my fishing gear on.
 Small cotton clouds slowly moved below the soft blue sky. Birds chirped as if the first day of warmer weather was upon us. In the distance geese were honking and the sound of a hawk was heard occasionally overlooking the forest and water for food. When I stepped off the bank, into the knee high water, I immediately felt the chill of the water around my legs.
 The water was lightly stained and a little higher than the weekend before. Looking into the depth to my boots I could see a couple of feet beneath me but I was sure the water was much darker below that depth. The promise of sunshine should clear the water up by noon for the first part but wasn’t sure how much the water level would drop. There were already a few caddis that dotted the air like lazy snowflakes on a crisp frosty winter morning.
 Looking downstream there were two guys, about knee deep, fly fishing towards the bank. Further down creek there were a few conventional rod fishermen fishing the faster wavy water. I could tell they were using conventional rods by the flick of their wrist when casting. Their yellow and white minnow bucket sat on the stony bank about a couple of feet from the water. It stood out like a freshly painted fire hydrant on a desolate street corner.
 The sun was still on the rise and cast a shadow of the bridge rails upon the water surface. The partially submerged boulder I fished near the past week was now covered with water but still made the surface water wave in the otherwise calmer, unencumbered wider section of the stream.
 For my first selection I decided on a UV sucker spawn for my top fly. I figured this would at least direct attention in the darker water to any curious trout. Getting their attention may bring them near and possibly see the more realistic nymph or offering I have as a dropper.
 For the first hour or so I fished and didn’t move too far from my location. I changed offerings often and occasionally got a trout to take. I had caught one on a San Juan worm and one trout on a sucker spawn. When the sun shown bright the caddis came over the water in a good heavy hatch. There wasn’t a trout to be seen rising to the caddis that dapped the water surface. During the hatch I used a wet fly and caught one rainbow that struck the Picket Pin like it would grab a Woolly Bugger. I stuck around for another half hour after the hatch was over and ended up hooking into a couple more rainbows on a streamer. From there I fished my way down creek to the faster water the other fishermen vacated. Without catching anything under the hot sun I returned to the truck and headed elsewhere.

 I followed the dirt road and when I turned the corner there wasn’t a vehicle in the small parking area. I know the sun was out and it was 70 some degrees but it’s still only the third weekend of trout season. I parked the truck and headed down the trail to the creek.
 The water had cleared up nicely but it was still high. I walked up creek to a section that usually hold trout and have seen trout rise on occasions. With the sun out though there wasn’t any hatch to speak of. I knotted on a Woolly Bugger and slowly waded and fished my way across creek. I wanted to get as close to the far side to fish as I could. The stream bed rocks moved beneath my boots as a slowly stepped my way. The water was still tinted enough that when the sun got covered by a cloud I was unable to see the bottom before me to tell how deep it was. I got to where I was a little bit beyond half way across the creek in thigh high water. My casts would have to be long to reach the boulders that lined the bank on the far side. Before I make those long casts though I would start with shorter casts and cover the area closer to me first.

 I cast out about 20 feet in front of me and let the bugger swing down creek. I just knew there had to be trout in this nice seam of water. After a couple casts without a strike I decided to keep adding weight to the leader until I either touch bottom or catch a trout. The line was almost pointing down stream when a trout hit the bugger hard. I pulled back on the line while pulling the rod tip back over my shoulder. The line straightened and the trout struggled and fought on the other end. I kept the rod tip down trying to keep the trout well below the surface. When he began to lose energy I forced him upstream beyond me. Once he was in front of me a lowered the net in the water and lowered the rod tip. The trout unknowingly backed up into the net and I scooped him up before he was aware of the trap.
 Now that I found the right amount of weight to go along with my Woolly Bugger and the right depth to get down to the trout I continued casting, swinging and stripping the bugger in the same fashion. Well, you would have thought I was handing out free corn dogs at a small town carnival. Trout were attacking my bugger one after another as if it was going to be the last big meal they would see in a while. I suppose because of the rain and higher water the past couple of days no other fishermen were able to reach the far side or near enough to where the trout were at. Maybe the trout were tired of the small morsels of bugs and food that drifted with the muddy water that they wanted some meat. Well the Woolly Buggers were the meat they were looking for, for the time being.

 The whole time I was casting and catching trout there were two geese that hung around. They’d swim a piece now and then but most of the time they scavenged along the shoreline.  At times they stood upon the boulders and watched me fish like spectators at sporting event.

  I’d switch off and throw a Triple Threat on occasion and on occasion a trout would smack that also.

After an hour or so my casting shoulder was beginning to get sore. I’ve been out since 8 am and the casting has taken its toll. I waded out of the water and headed to where I came to the creek earlier. I was surprised that there was no one fishing in the section of water just below the bike trail. There’s usually fish that hold in this section in between the shallow water below and the faster riffles ahead of this section. I just had to give it a try before heading to the truck. I drifted nymphs but if the trout didn’t take my offering within a few casts I’d clip them off and try another. When I dropped a bead head Hares Ear it grabbed some attention and I picked up a few more trout.

 I even caught a couple of trout on a pink sucker spawn before I called it quits. I caught a couple of chubs on the pink egg also.

 Back at the truck I opened a pint of Boddingtons Pub Ale. It wasn’t as cold as I would have liked but it was chilled enough, wet and had a smooth creamy beer taste as if it was just draught from the keg. By the time I got changed into street clothes the pint was empty. I took out an AVO Robusto; I received from a friend, and relaxed in the driver’s seat for the way home. 

 Another day in the books!