Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday (or, a good excuse to work on the fly box)

Few things enthuse me less than the Super Bowl.  Along with Valentine's Day, it falls increasingly into the category of "non-event" for me. The last one I really enjoyed - at least in terms of the actual game - was the Broncos/Packers game in the late 1990s, when I took pleasure in watching John Elway completely shut down all the obnoxious Packer fans with whom I was forced to endure a pre-game party.  I toyed with the idea of watching a bit of today's game, but I got no further than the National Anthem, which was butchered both musically and lyrically by Christina Aguilera (the twilight's last gleaming apparently occurs twice in her rendition).

Instead, I spent the day finishing up a birthday present for my sister - which required a little time at the workbench - and then got about the more serious business of filling up the fly boxes.  I've done quite a bit of tying in the past several months for other people, but my own stock has suffered.  Between Christmas and birthday presents for others and a few mini-boxes tied for some folks interested in getting started, I've ignored my own supply, which at current levels will be gone in a flash by mid-summer.

I managed to get about three dozen bugs whipped up over the course of a few hours.  That's a pretty good clip for me at this point in my "tying career," particularly since I chose a couple of patterns that are labor intensive for someone at my skill level.

My first focus was the RS2.  Since learning about it and beginning to fish it in earnest last year, I've become a big believer in its versatility and productivity.  From what I've read, it's particularly effective on Colorado tailwaters.  I haven't had a chance to do any field research on that yet, but I've had some good results on the Poudre - a freestone river - when fish are kissing the surface but not quite rolling dramatically over dries.  The tough part has been mastering the tie, particularly the split tail.  I also figured out that the dubbing I was using (i.e. ice dub or hare's ear) was turning out flies that were excessively furry.   Switching to some really fine dub, applied in very small quantities, made a world of difference.  This one turned out particularly well, at least by my standards:


With a few notable exceptions of huge rainbows taken on dry flies, most of the large (16 - 23 inch) trout I've taken on the Poudre in the last two seasons have come on variations of two classic nymphs:  The Prince Nymph and the Pheasant Tail.  Both have been highly effective during late June and all of July during the high water post run-off time frame.  I've found that the PT really draws the attention of the trout on the Poudre when it's adorned with some bells and whistles - beads, flashback, and red or green ribbing:

Flashback PT
Flashback PT

Finally, the weather over the past week has made it clear that we're nowhere near the end of winter here in Northern Colorado.  Even the lower Poudre in town became pretty well iced over this past week, thanks to a string of sub-zero days.  Just before this latest deep freeze, I was able to entice a few nice little fish with some small midges.  It was new ground for me, having done very little fishing with small midges.  Since two of my three fish of 2011 so far have come on Poison Tung patterns (blue, specifically), I finished up the day's work with a dozen - six blue and six black.  I think they're getting better. 

Poison Tung

So, with apologies to the Steelers, Packers, and football fans everywhere, I can't tell you what the score is here at halftime.  I can tell you, however, that the halftime show (which I admit to watching out of sheer curiosity), was completely incomprehensible and confusing.

I'll catch you on the open water!


Jim said...

It should come as no surprise to you that I'm disappointed in your lack of football enthusiasm, and I think you missed a darn good game! However, I must say that "I'm a fan" of the Flashback Pheasant Tail with red ribbing. Keep up the good work, John.

JEG said...

Sorry Jim. The NFL, NBA, and NHL have a hard time keeping my attention for more than 5 minutes anymore. Football season ends for me when the college season ends. In fact, Major League Baseball is all I watch at the pro level. Who'd have thought?

Thanks for the compliment on the PT. They're getting better, thanks to some tips I've gotten from some of the great fly tiers out there in cyberspace. It's amazing how much you can pick up just by studying their pages. And fortunately, Colorado is chock full of great fly tiers!

Dustin's Fly Box said...

That flashback looks great! I like your blog and started following

JEG said...

Thanks Dustin! I think you very well might be the first person to say that one of my flies looks "great!" I'm both shocked and flattered!

Now, I glanced at your blog - particularly some of the hopper patterns. They're nice and clean, unlike my recent butcheries with thread and foam going this way and that. I tried tying some hoppers and they turned out somewhere between pathetic and hilarious. I returned the favor you did me and put you on my blogroll so I can hopefully improve on them. I think we're going to have a huge hopper summer here in Northern Colorado.


Dustin's Fly Box said...

Thanks buddy! I live in vegas but used to live in last chance Idaho where we had the henry's fork just 15 minutes away. I really miss it :(