Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Couple Of North Country Spiders

"Dixon's Tangerine"
While going through Smiths book The North Country Fly I came across several interesting patterns, one of them is probably not well known to most of us but looks to be a fly that will get the job done. Again the simplicity of the pattern is key along with it's sparseness. The fly is called "Dixon's Tangerine".. and was first tied somewhere between the 1950's to the 1980's. The fly is tied with Red Pearsall's Silk..Thorax, Peacock Herl...Hackle, Brown Owl. I used Starling.

"July Dun"
This fly comes from the James Blades' list of flies circa 1890...again not a fly found in most fly shops. The pattern is called "July Dun"....White Pearsall's Silk...Thorax, Peacock Herl...Hackle Starling.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Summer Morning, Well Worth The Effort

Yesterday morning's forecast called for cloudy skies giving way to some breaks of sun. With that info I felt I had a few hours of good fishing and be back at home before eleven. As I was driving to the stream I felt pretty good about my chances of finding some willing natives. I geared up and was on the water in very short order. Fishing the little pockets I managed to bring several guys to the surface but without a hookup. About a half hour in the stream the sun broke out and the stream was lit up like a Broadway play. I continued to fish trying to find some shady areas but not a single taker.

I had a choice, leave and go home or fish and enjoy the beauty which abounds the streams this time of year....I chose the latter and what a beautiful choice it was.

Renewing, I wondered where these seeds would land.

I tell you I fished every likely looking spot. I came to this place, the water was flowing and causing a thin riffle. It then broke into a deep pool that had some pretty good sized sunken logs. There was some shade along with a slight whirlpool. I cast my fly and let it drift, it hung up slightly on the gravel of the riffle. I pulled it to free it and a brookie darted for the fly. No hookup.

The next drift found the fly moving toward the log jam. A lightning fast swirl and a solid hookup. The fish was so strong, wanting to get to the log jam and freedom. I was able to convince him to come my way and he finally did. I could not believe the size of this wild native. He was perfect. A couple of photos and off he went. We have another meeting planned for this Autumn.

This is a brook trout fly, a fly that will find and bring to hand. It's a pain to tie but well worth the effort.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A Story Of Summer, Parker, Mothergoose, And A Hermit

The Connecticut Coast
Summer has been in full swing in these parts. My fishing has been limited to a few hours in the morning and the times when I'm not about the streams our time is spent with Parker our grand-dog. Parker is here for a couple of weeks while his first family is away on vacation. But he's not missing them for his time here has been dog paradise. Walking , swimming and home cooked meals. Today we may even get in a hot dog roast along some waterway.

We have had an awful bout with gypsy moths. The eastern part of the state taking the brunt. Some of the trees have been totally defoliated and that is a problem especially for the brook trout who's streams have now lost there leaf cover. This may cause the streams to run warmer. I was encouraged when I saw this the other day. The trees are starting to regenerate. Young leaves have started to grow and show up on many of the trees. Thank you.

Mothergoose Liverwurst. Man do I have a history with this culinary delight. The original maker of Mothergoose which was Tobin Packing Co. went out of business years ago but sold their recipe to another company. The product is the same. Is this stuff good. Sliced and spread on crackers, or in a sandwich it is so good. My favorite is to take a thick slice of liverwurst, along with a equal slice of raw onion and place it on a piece of rye bread, or raisin bread which is the way my brother Richard ate it.

The North Pond Hermit....I picked up this book one night and read it cover to cover. It is well worth the read. Twenty seven years in the woods.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The "Tups Indispensable"

The Tups Indispensable. I'm not sure how many of you fish this fly, or how many of you know about it. I sure it is one of those flies that is not readily found in fly shops, but a few online shops may have them. The original pattern is a dry fly but variations of wet versions are about and this is what this post is about. The idea behind this fly is somewhat unique in that it's name and partial material item is out of the ordinary. Here it is credit "Alan Shepherd" Australia.

Austin was a tobacconist of Tiverton in Devon, South West England in 1900. As a side-line, he made and sold flies. Presumably Mr. Austin and daughter supplied various patterns of the day and materials to dress popular flies. His pattern, the Tups Indispensable, was effective when trout were taking pale midge or mayflies. Mr Austin sent a sample of dubbing with tying instructions on how to tie his unnamed fly pattern to Mr G.E.M. Skues. He informed Mr. Skues that he had the found it to be particularly successful in imitating female olive spinners. Mr. Skues followed the instructions and made the fly. He spent most of the following September testing the fly on his local water, the River Ichen. Skues was one of two people given the dressing secret by Mr Austin. He was so impressed that he published his findings calling the fly the 'Tups Indispensable.' The recipe for the pattern was kept secret and thus Mr Austin obtained a monopoly on selling the fly. The article by Skues, exalting the fly, was widely read and lots of orders were placed. The fly became so popular that Mr Austin became utterly sick of tying it. Why did Skues call it Tup's Indispensable? Well the 'Indispensable' part comes from the fact that it should not be left out of your fly-box, as it is such a good fish taker. The 'Tup's' part of the name refers to a Ram, a male sheep that is used for breeding. In Britain in those days, farmers used a sponge or rag soaked in dye tied to the under side of the Ram. In the morning, they would inspect their flock to see which females had dye stained on their backs from being 'tupped' by the Ram. The original material for this fly was urine and dye stained wool taken from a ram's testicles mixed with lemon coloured fur from a spaniel and a little yellow mohair, replaced later with crimson seal's fur. Mr. Austin and his daughter kept the dubbing materials secret; they had a monopoly on the supply of the correct dressing. Mr. Austin passed away in 1914 but it was not until 1934 that the secret ingredient, fur from a ram's testicle was revealed. It was kept a secret until after his daughter, who continued the business, had retired. In his Notes & Letters, Theodore Gordon had great praise for this fly. He particularly liked the 'Tups' dubbing which he had sent to him from England. He used this dubbing on other patterns. It can be fished dry when trout are feeding near the surface. It can also be useful in high summer when reduced water flow and high temperatures can make the trout very fussy. Tying Instructions Don't panic! We use modern materials that are the same colour but not as smelly. Hook: Size 16 up eye, dry fly hook. Thread: Yellow. Tail: Honey dun or light blue cock hackle fibres. Body: Mix white fur from a ram's testicle with lemon-coloured fur from a spaniel and cream seal's fur with a small amount of yellow mohair. Hackle: Light-blue cock hackle freckled thickly with gold. Using fur from the ram's testicle area wasn't even an original idea. The first use of this material goes to Alexander Mackintosh in the book The Driffield Angler, 1806. He suggests, "Take a little fine wool from the rams testicles, which is a beautiful dusty yellow." ~ Alan Shepherd

The Tups Indispensable Flymph. I prefer this version to the other one I tie which is below. This fly has great life like movement and has been a success on many outings.

The Tups soft-hackle. This is another variation and one that seemed to be less favored in the times I've fished it.

A result of the fish taking ability of the Tups Flymph. The fly when fished just below a riffle into some slack water can be deadly.