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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Peacock King

Time to expand your cluster patterns.




I was about to tear into my burnt hot dog, Grandma's potato salad, and some pork and beans when I heard the shrill laugh of my half drunk Uncle Ken.  He was a lifetime oilfield roustabout who had lived in the same single wide trailer for his entire adult life.  He had a small patch of land with some sheep, dogs, chickens, and most importantly - a peacock.  Uncle Ken was the king of fishing the lakes up on diamond mountain (believe me, he told me) and his Zebco 33 / UglyStick combo was the best rig money could buy (he told me that too).  He knew that I liked to wave my fairy wand (fly rod), so he walked around the picnic table, uncomfortably too close, to tell me a "secret."  He told me that he had recently discovered a method that would catch fish on any lake, any time, and that he was going to let me in on the secret.  "It's a secret fly that nobody else knows and nobody else can tie.  I'm wondering if you could tie some up for me."  See, Uncle Ken had been collecting peacock feathers for years and to his knowledge, he was the first person ever to think of tying it on a hook.  He staggered over to his $60,000 truck and produced the typical 20 year old plano box that had more rust inside of it than I had ever seen.  He began to dig, and after a few minutes, he pulled out a box with the secret fly.  As he looked at me eyeball to eyeball, he whispered "It's called the Peacock King." He looked over his shoulder and then handed me the treasure.  I looked down to see a #8 Griffith's Gnat.  I assured him that it might be hard, but that I could probably figure it out.  Uncle Ken got his two dozen Peacock Kings out of that transaction, but I got a great story to tell for a lifetime, and now, out of principle, I call Griffith's Gnats Peacock Kings (I apologize Mr. Griffith).

This being said, I absolutely LOVE fishing midges in the wintertime, and there are times when a good midge cluster will out-fish most other things in my box.  It's also a great fly to use as an "indicator" in a double dry tandem rig where the smaller fly needs to be a #63 micro fluff midge.  I typically like to stick with #18 clusters, but I have had days when a #10 cluster cleaned house because the fish mistook it for 45,000 midges in a cluster.

I rarely fish the standard Griffith's Gnat anymore.  See below for Cheech's cluster.... situation.

 Orange Asher:

Hook: TMC 101 #18
Thread: UTC 70 denier burnt orange
Body: UTC holographic tinsel orange
Hackle: Grizz

I coat the body with Clear Cure Goo Hydro before wrapping the hackle.  Cure once the fly is complete.

 Three Bead Cluster:

Hook: TMC 101 #18
Beads: X-Small clear glass bead
Hackle: Grizz

Yes, Whip finish every section of hackle for a more durable fly.
 Purple Asher:

Hook: TMC 101 #18
Thread: Veevus 16/0 black
Body: UTC holographic tinsel Purple
Hackle: Grizz

I coat the body with Clear Cure Goo Hydro before wrapping the hackle.  Cure once the fly is complete.
Trailing Shuck Cluster:

Hook: TMC 101 #18
Thread: Veevus 16/0 black
Tail: Light dun antron
Body: Peacock herl
Hackle: Grizz


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