Saturday, December 18, 2010

27 in 27, Days 18-20: Platte River Special, Pale Morning Dun, BWO

Oy Vey!

I think that's an expression commonly used to convey exasperation or stress.  I'm not really feeling either at this point, but I've fallen behind in this 27 in 27 thing, at least in terms of posting the results.

The rookie's tying obsession continues unabated, however, and tonight I'll play a little catch up and post not only the three flies to correspond with the past three days, but also post some pictures of tangible results of today's flies - at least two of them.

The Platte River Special was a request from Doc.  I tried to oblige.  He's caught trout on them.  I haven't.  I'm not much with a streamer yet.  I've tried ripping a few, but I'm not sure I have a clue on the technique.  It's not really a complicated fly - just takes a big hook - but mine are ugly, as usual.  Doc must be rolling his eyes at this one:

A year ago, I'd have told you I was a nympher.  Can't say that today.  March/April 2010 converted me to dries.  A skinny stretch of water flowing into a deep hole under a rural bridge COMPLETELY changed my mind. 

On a day in late March, 2010, I reached frantically for my cell phone.  "Doc, you gotta get down here!  They're going nuts on this little BWO!"  Ten minutes later, Doc's standing on the bank behind me in street clothes.  His approach was stealthy, or else I was just too busy landing uncharacteristically big trout on a stretch of water we'd fished before.

Moments earlier, a guy named Bob was about 20 yards upstream from me.  Bob had been hooking up on virtually every cast for the past hour, and he wasn't landing normal 12 inch Poudre rainbows.  Bob was nailing big fish.  I wouldn't call them "pigs" (is that the term?), but they qualified at least as "piglets."  Bob was a true gentleman fly fisher.  I'd arrived at the river just behind him, wandered down to the spot we were now completely killing, and he'd invited me to join him.  "Come on in, friend," Bob called out.  "You got a little BWO?"

I had some BWOs, but they were too big.  "Go smaller," Bob advised.  "20."

I tied on a 20.


Bob left, with a friendly "have fun."  Cool guy.  Really cool guy.  Hope he shows up on the Poudre sometime again.

With Bob gone, I had a stretch of the Poudre to myself for an afternoon of what I can only describe as world-class dry fly fishing.  Doc arrived without his rod or boots.  He's caught enough trout over the years to simply enjoy watching.  As he wandered down the city-supplied bike path, I was playing one of the biggest trout I've caught on the Poudre.  Doc showed up just in time to snap a sweet photo of the fish, and an unflattering photo of his son, without so much as a curse word for having left his gear at his house.  That's Doc.  Just loving the moment, as always.

Anyway, I caught it on what I believe to be one of the two absolute key dry flies on the Poudre, the BWO.  Basic knowledge for anyone who's fished the Poudre, I guess.  BWO and Caddis hatches are common on my home waters.  Here's my version.  The pros over at St. Pete's tie it with CDC for the wings - and they flat out work - but I don't have the patience or skill for the oily little CDC fibers yet.


Today's last fly, in my opinion, is a dry fly fisherman's dream - the Pale Morning Dun.  It's so easy to keep track of on the water it almost makes dry fly fishing easy.  It's a big white target.  If you're awake, you'll see it floating  in whitewater.  And damn, I caught a beauty with it:

Hands down, prettiest fish I've ever caught.  You gotta have one of these in your box if you're fishing the Poudre.

Way too much info. from an amateur fly tier.  Goes to show you how fun this obsession of ours can be!

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