February 27, 2017
Dredging Permit Granted!
I am pleased to report that last week the Blaine County Commissioners granted our application for a permit to continue our dredging project from where we left off last season down to the top of Beat #3. So, I feel that Members should expect the same degree of improvement in fishing Beat 6 to Beat #3 as they experienced last season from Beat #7 down to the island at Beat #6. This stretch should be uniformly deeper than in recent years and that great fishing and congregation of large trout along the east bank should return.
The Growing Snow Pack . . . .
Recent winter storms have grown our snow pack to 173 percent of normal for this time of year. I suspect that we should be in good shape even if we experience our customary warm spring rains. The one downside could be that area freestone streams like the Big Wood will get into fishing shape relatively late this spring such that Silver Creek may be the only show in town for the opening weeks of the season.
Triggers . . .
Down here in Las Vegas it is one of my “days off” . . . that is, from playing poker. If I was to play poker every day, I would soon grow weary of a past time which can get boring quickly. So, I limit my play to 3 sessions a week. Lately, there have been a number of activities which have turned my focus to fly design and the characteristics that make a pattern effective. One activity is perusing though fly shop catalogues for inspiration, and I am working on my annual order with Redding’s “The Fly Shop” which I feel offers the best selection of innovative and eclectic fly patterns. A second is tying and putting together my “Top Donor” fly selection for Members whose contributions go beyond the call of duty. Another is poring over the flies contained in Allen McGee’s new book, Fly Fishing Soft Hackles: Nymphs, Emergers and Dry Flies, and re-reading Rene Harrop’s Learning from the Water.
Lately, I have been giving more thought to what I feel is a critical element in the design of productive flies . . . the importance of a “trigger.” In my view, the common characteristic of most all effective patterns is the Trigger. Some of our most reliable flies feature materials which seem to trigger a response from trout; a classic example is the peacock herl and red floss body of the Royal Wulff, as are the partridge, grouse or quail feathers integral to soft hackled flies. A trigger may also be formed by exaggerating one aspect of a fly; examples include the extended body and split tail of the heritage pattern known as the Hatch Matcher and the oversized Zelon tail of my friend Tom Lampl’s Trico Hair Winged Dun. I have always felt that some spinner patterns are more effective than other spinner offerings if the thorax area is exaggerated, so I have incorporated that element into most of the spinner patterns that I have tied for this season’s Top Donor Selection; thus far, I have tied 6 dozen of each of 7 spinner patterns.
Doug Andres, Stream Keeper, Double R Ranch