Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Remember the story of the single fly box? Well after following a welcome tip-off from a visitor to this blog, I managed to secure another couple of those handy little Orvis fly boxes to add to that one I already own. It might not seem much of a thing to you fans of expensive Wheatley or C&F gear, but I've found it to be dead reliable over the years - robust and completely watertight - and I rued only buying the one before they were ostensibly discontinued a while back. Except Neil had noticed a few still being stocked by Orvis US and sold at a discount; needless to say I was on the case like a tramp on a bag of chips and a few days later this dyed in the wool One Fly Box man was spreading his meagre fly collection out into three boxes marked 'olives', 'small and black' and 'sedgy stuff'.
And then I discovered an imbalance. I guess I knew it existed, but like a bastard sibling, refused to acknowledge it openly. For a man who has attended a number of Stuart Crofts' excellent talks, I should have known better: my sedge imitating collection boiled down to a load of Moser's balloon caddis, a few cdc & elk, and a handful of my own 'Eden caddis emerger' and 'Matty's mess' patterns. There were a few other gaping holes too, which went a long way to illustrating just how reliant I have become upon a very small number of patterns. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, I'm not entirely sure.
So to the vice this weekend, and a quick retrograde action to beef up my caddis artillary. I began with a fly I use on stillwaters occasionally, but which - unbelievably - has yet to find its way into my river collection: Bob Wyatt's legendary deer hair emerger (DHE). I had all but forgotten about this fly until a friend loaned me Bob's tying DVD and I was instantly reminded of the beautiful form and poetic simplicity of his best known work. The DHE is everything a fly should be - straightforward to tie, robust, and correct in profile and attitude. I have been using the snowshoe hare version as an olive imitation for years now and have complete and utter faith in it. Why I haven't been carrying the DHE around with me at the same time, I really can't say. I have corrected this oversight now.
Hook: Varivas 2200 #14
Thread: Griffiths sheer 14/0 tan
Rib: as above
Dubbing: hares ear
Wing: fine coastal deer hair
Later on I got a bit more creative and after some fannying about, landed upon a blend of Weilenmann's cdc & elk and the aforementioned Matty's mess, with a bit of jungle cock thrown in for good measure. The jury is still out as to whether the latter adds to a fly in a river context. It certainly does on stillwater patterns as we have known for some time. Last year I developed an olive nymph which utilised this feature and has since proved to be very useful....although whether this is down to the JC is a moot point. I don't know to be honest, but I like the additional trigger and a natural caddis emerger is certainly not short of appendages that's for sure. This is definitely one for the 'work in progress' list - I like the look of it, but it needs to some time on the water to establish how it fishes and whether the trout like it more than other patterns I use. Either way, it was fun to put a couple of hours in at the vice and blow off a few 'bobbin hand' cobwebs......and remind myself how crap I am at stacking deer hair!
No Name Sedge
Hook: Varivas IWI T-2000 #14,12
Thread: UTC70 light olive
Abdomen: Hends body quill #33
Thorax: natural cdc dubbed using split thread method
Cheeks: jungle cock splits
Wing: fine coastal deer hair
Head: more cdc