Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Kizzie's Mayfly Emerger

Kizzie's Mayfly Emerger
Kizzie's Mayfly Emerger

This is tied on a Partridge Klinkhamer Extreme 15BNX #14. Pearsall's primrose silk well waxed, a few pheasant tail barb tips as a tail, 5lb Mono coloured brown with a pentone pen as a rib, and a mid-dun genetic cock hackle tied as a reverse parachute.

The light dubbing is mostly my saluki bitch Kizzie's fur, mixed with a pinch of yellow and green seal's fur. I've used Kiz's fur for a few flies now, and it seems to work well -we've caught a lot of trout together! It is very soft to work with and easy to dub. She often sleeps under my fly tying desk when I am tying, so all I have to do is reach down and take a pinch. She doesn't seem to mind...


Have to see how the new pattern works.... hope it's not too good though - could easily end up with a bald saluki!

More flowers

The riverbank and the wetland area beside it is exploding into colour now....

Marsh Marigold:
Marsh Marigold

Red Campion
Red Campion

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Fishing in the rain

Not a title I was expecting to be writing under after the last few weeks - (months?) - but had a couple of interesting hours out on the river this afternoon, under dark skies and an almost constant drizzle.

After a prolonged dry spell, a lot of rain has suddenly come down in the last 36 hours or so, and the temperature has fallen markedly. I fish a small, rain fed stream, only a couple of miles from its source, so the level has come up quickly and the water coloured too.

I got into the river at just gone four, and on top of the drizzle there was a breeze coming down stream. No obvious signs of fish, and not much fly life about either. There was the ubiquitous midge, though not in numbers, and after I'd been in a few minutes, I did notice that there were a few upwings on the water, depositing eggs, but the fish weren't taking them. Sometimes, I don't think these trout read the rule books.

So, first off, went for a weighted PTN on the point, with one of my midge emerger patterns I am playing with at the moment, tied with the backing of my carpet as a pupal case, on a single dropper. 7X tippet, and the theory being that the bit of weight on the point would get the whole lot out there and give me a fighting chance of staying more or less in contact with the emerger.

Hatching Midge

As it happens, whether or not I stayed in contact with the fly didn't matter a jot, as for the first time this year, my scrap of carpet failed to bring up a fish.

I tried a couple more combinations to no effect, and I was beginning to think it was not going to be my lucky day.

But, before giving in, I decided to cheat and tie on a Gold Bead Hare's Ear. Sure enough, this started producing fish.

Working upstream, I reached a big river bend, where the flows and eddies can get really interesting. Took a couple more on the gold bead, but then fancied a change. I'd heard a couple of reckless takes, the kind where the fish splash back into the water, and on a whim, I thought I'd give a try to a crane fly pattern I was working on a couple of years ago now.

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It is a parachute pattern, and I put it out and started to twitch it about. And it brought up a trout! But I missed it. Seven or eight more casts about the bend and it brought up two more, both of which I missed. But hell, it was bringing them up, and just when I was thinking how I must be accurately mimicking the struggles of a crane fly caught in the surface film with mere flicks of my fingers, I noticed a mayfly drifting downstream, then skittering about as she deposited her eggs.

Ah, change of tactic required. But, I had no mayfly patterns with me. I did have some simple sedge though, and I've heard people say that they have successfully fished these for mayfly.


So, I thought I'd give it a go. Biggest I had it in was a #14, but truncated bodies never seem to put off a trout, and so it was in this case. Skittered the fly about, and BANG! The trout hit them hard. Caught three this way, but must have missed a dozen takes. At this spot, it is essentially fishing downstream and I always find it hard to time downstream dry takes successfully.

I think what was happening with the crane fly pattern, is that it was the movement acting as the trigger, rather than the form of the fly. I suspect the simple sedge was all the more effective, because it had at least a nod towards the silhouette of the mayfly, and combined with the movement the trout duly committed.

Not totally mad with the crane fly btw - they are about very early this year here, though I didn't see any today.

Moved upstream, and on another run it was back on with the gold head, and five fish from six casts then I stopped.

Further upstream and under dense tree cover now, what looked like a likely spot didn't produce a fish. The air was thick with small midge coming off the water though, so I guessed they must be feeding off the pupa and tied on the copper head pupa pattern, again tied from a bit of my carpet, that complements the emerger pattern.

Copper-head Olive Midge Pupa

It produced another couple of bright little trout, which was nice. Jury still out on this pattern though - not really fished it that much.

It was an enjoyable couple of hours. I could easily have gone on, working my way upstream, but it was six o clock by now, and the hounds were calling me. They need their fun too.