May 4, 2017
May 4, 2017.
I’m not sure why, but some winters are dramatically more productive than others from the standpoint of my fly tying output. A comparison between this past winter and the prior winter is illustrative. Two winters ago I only tied one dozen flies, whereas this past winter I tied up scores of dozens. I’m not sure why this happened. If I knew the answer, I would hold the personal secret that would guarantee I would not “waste’ future winters. This year I spent two months in Las Vegas playing poker maybe an average of three days a week, with the remainder of my time devoted to tying flies, hitting out of the ordinary tourist spots and trying 8 Dim Sum restaurants.
While I am poised for the coming season on Silver Creek, it appears that I will have to miss Opening Day and will not arrive in Picabo until mid-June. One evening at a casino I walked too aggressively on my prosthetic leg causing a huge sore to develop, for the first time ever in seven years. For the past two months I have been visiting a “wound clinic” three days a week. The healing is progressing but painfully slowly, such that my target arrival date is June 15.
I found myself having a renewed interest in “spinner” patterns and tied 6 dozen of each of 9 patterns for this year’s “Top Donor’ appreciation selection, including: a #20 Male Trico Spinner (black body); a #18 Female Trico spinner (cream body); a #18 Blue Winged Olive Spinner (olive body); a #18 blue Winged Olive Spinner (gray body); a #16 Callibaetis Hatch Matcher; a #16 Hen Winged Spinner (for Callibaetis); a #18 Blue Winged Olive Hatch Matcher (gray body); a #16 “Tiger” Spinner (a new creation with a body made from the sulphur orange shade ofnew material called “Synthetic Quill Body Wrap.”
I then turned my attention to restocking my depleted inventory of Hatch Matchers, tying up 2 to 4 dozen each of my most productive and favorite patterns, including: #16 to 20 Callibaetis Hatch Matchers; #18 to 20 PMD Hatch Matchers; #16 to 20 Blue Winged Olive Hatch Matchers; and the #16 Purple Haze Hatch Matcher.
One of my favorite delicate spring creek mayfly imitations is a pattern I call the Pulled Down CDC Winged Parachute, featuring Micro Fibbet tailing, thread body, pulled down CDC feathers for wings and Whiting 100 parachute hackle. I tied up 2 to 4 dozen to address each of 3 mayflies we encounter on Silver Creek: #16 to 18 Blue Winged Olive; #16 to 18 PMD; and #16 Mahogany Dun.
Of course I replenished my soft hackle armory by tying up 8 dozen each of my #14 Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle and my #14 Who Knows Freaking Why Soft Hackle.
My future tying agenda, for the remaining weeks before my arrival in Picabo, includes: several Rene Harrop mayfly patterns; Sparkle Duns for Blue Winged Olive and Pale Morning Dun; Allen McGee’s “PMD Ascension Flymph;” Lampl’s Trico Killer; and some dry fly patterns from Allen McGee’s exciting new book on soft hackles, Fly Fishing Soft Hackles: Nymphs, Emergers, and Dry Flies.
I’ll be locked and loaded for this season, whenever it happens to start for me.
Doug Andres, Stream Keeper