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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fall Callibaetis

Going Deep Dish Again... 


callibaetis nymph fall brook trout patternOn a recent fall Brook trout outing on one of my favorite Brookie lakes, I was faced with a situation where the fish were in a bit of a funk when it came to the normal stillwater patterns. I could see the fish holding in 6 to 10 feet of water, occasionally nabbing a snack, but otherwise, not moving too much. We tried a few different patterns (scuds, leeches, damsels, etc) with relatively little success. On this specific lake, as with many bodies of water, the Callibaetis population is quite strong. I typically see stronger emergences in the late spring and summer, but the nymphs are available year-round and the bugs are there. The lesson in all this is don't discount a given insect in times where you're not seeing it normally hatch.




callibaetis nymph fall brook trout pattern
Deep Dish Callibaetis
Given this, I dug out a Deep Dish callibaetis and sent it to the depths to tangle with a trout. 5 casts later and 4 fish to net, I think I figured out what the fish were keying on. Thankfully, their focus lasted for a couple of hours, before turning to something meatier (Chimera as shown here), so it was nice to see this little pattern doing well once again.

Now that we've been fishing the Deep Dish for a few months now and having heard from a few tyers out there that have also experienced some good results, it's a staple to my stillwater box and has also served as a great prospecting fly both on rivers and lakes. Give it a try... and don't discount the great Callibaetis insects at any time of the year.


callibaetis nymph fall brook trout pattern
Brookie on a Deep Dish Callibaetis


callibaetis nymph fall brook trout pattern
Fall fishing and Callibaetis



Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Diving Sparrow

The Allen J100 BL - Jig Style


diving sparrow fly pattern jig hook
The Diving Sparrow

In the past few weeks, I've been messing around with a few different styles of small nymphs tied on the Allen J100BL. I like the hooks for their sharpness and, of course, the fact that the hook rides point-up (as I've verified in testing). The other little facet of this pattern is that it will drop (i.e. dive) pretty fast in even fast water. 






We took it out for a spin the other day and it did very well nymphing up a few nice little brown trout.
Brown trout that inhaled a Diving Sparrow
The fly is pretty fun to tie and has a few little unique features with the wing-case and the biot side-panels.

The Diving Sparrow

Underbody: .025 Lead Free Wire
Thread: UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier, Hot Orange
Bead: 2.3 mm Tungsten
Tail: Brown Goose Biots
Body: Arizona Synthetic Dubbing, Dark Hare's Ear with Goose Biots extended
Ribbing: UTC Ultrawire, Small, Red
Thorax: Arizona Synthetic Dubbing, Golden Olive
Wing Case: Black Thin Skin with Clear Cure Goo Hydro
Legs: Brown Goose Biots

3 Hackle Colors to Rule Them All

Hackle is expensive.  Purchase wisely.


The Fly Tying Tri-Fecta


Biot Adams with only grizzly hackle
13 years ago, I sat mumbling in Spanish at a call center wishing I could be out throwing banjo minnows at my beloved bass when a colleague of mine started unboxing a fly tying kit from his backpack.  "If we have to sit here tied to our phones all day, I might as well be productive," he said.  One thing led to another, and I ended up tying my first fly that day.  I remember it well.  It was a red, blue, and yellow wooly bugger.  That turned into almost an every day thing, and it was a great way to pass the time while we waited for our phone calls (I HATE call centers).  That is how I got introduced to the art of tying flies.
Grizzly Hackle
The thing I remember most about those days tying in the call center was the fact that we never had the right hackle for the job, and we would end up cutting the webby, schlappen-like hackle to get it to fit.  Now... these were some of the rattiest flies I can remember, but the fact was; we tied them, and they were cool to us.  After burning through all of my co-worker's materials, I told him that I would make a trip to the fly shop to replenish the goods, and I was specifically on a mission to find good dry fly hackle that would turn our ratty dry flies into masterpieces.  I was wrong.  I was wrong, not because of the quality of the flies that we would be able to produce, but because of the price of the hackle.  I remember thinking "$60 for a chicken pelt???!!!"  There had to be a better way...  Well, there isn't.  I was also wrong because I was completely overwhelmed with the huge selection of colors that were available.  After a near panic attack,  I ended up buying a dun colored Metz #2 cape that did the trick for a little while.   If I knew what I know now, I would have gone about it a whole different way.

In this post, I don't want to talk about the price of hackle or the brands that you should look for, but the colors of hackle that a new (or experienced) tyer can focus their tying around.  In my opinion, there really isn't a need to have every color of hackle known to man, even though I'm a full fledged Hackle-O-Holic and I have more "chicken feathers" than I'll ever use in a lifetime.

3 colors to rule them all

Dun Hackle

  1. Grizzly.  Grizzly hackle is among the most fishy materials that you could ever think of binding to a hook.  It's mottled coloration can be used on almost any hatching mayfly imitation, and can be substituted for almost any other color of hackle on any pattern.  Yes, it will make the fly look a bit different, but the fish don't seem to mind.  I have grizzly hackle in capes, saddles, large, small, midge, etc., you get the point?  This should be the first color that a new tyer gets.  
  2. Dun. Dun, or some variation of it makes a great color to imitate most mayfly wings and legs.  My favorite color is Whiting's medium dun, and I tie everything from green drakes to PMDs with it.  It's also a very versatile color that easily blends with a variety of other colors.  I have good cream
    Brown Hackle
    colored hackle, but it sits on the bench because I typically sub it out for a light dun color. 
  3. Brown. Brown has a great dark contrast without being too dark (black), and my favorite shade to work with is a nice deep coachman brown.  I don't really tie with it for hatch matching bugs (maybe except for large stoneflies), but it's a go-to for attractors.  It's also a staple for tying the Parachute Adams, which just happens to be the most effective fly on the planet.  Part of the Parachute Adams' effectiveness comes from blending both brown and grizzly hackles, which I also highly recommend trying with other patterns.
I remember tying my first batch of Parachute Adams with grizzly hackle because I didn't have brown yet.  I was confident that they weren't going to work because I wasn't following the "rules," but guess what?  I must have found some really dumb trout because they worked.  Later that summer, I was tying drake patterns that called for grizzly barred olive hackle.  Guess what...  Grizzly worked again.
With these three colors of hackle, you should be able to cover a broad spectrum of patterns while saving a little bit of cash in your pocketbook.

~ Cheech















Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Lemon Lime Bugger

A Tribute to Dennis Brakke

For anyone that's been around the Rocky Mountain states for a while and fishes stillwaters, you've likely run into or heard about Dennis Brakke -- whether on the water, at his fly shop, The Fly Desk, or one of his books. Unfortunately, Dennis passed away from short but tough battle with cancer in 2009. He is missed.

For those of us who had the pleasure of knowing Dennis or who were able to spend time with him fishing or talking shop at the Fly Desk, he was a dedicated student of the sport. Whether it was specific materials (I spent a lot of time with him discussing hackle), techniques or patterns, he had things dialed in.

Dennis and another angler on Strawberry Reservoir, 2005


My first exposure to one of his patterns was the "Lemon Lime Bugger". I'd heard good things about a bugger tied in this specific color combination using a special chenille on the body. Dennis told me about several outings to a relatively unknown stillwater in Utah that consistently produced big Rainbows that would devour this bright pattern. I ended up tying up a bunch and headed off to fish. The fly did really well, definitely out-fishing my standard fare of Uncle Ken's Woolly bugs, and earned a spot in my bugger boxes.

Dennis Brakke's Lemon Lime Bugger


Cheech, too, had the pleasure of working with Dennis a lot. He recounts: "I remember the days of dreaming up flies...  Dennis always had the materials to make my flies work out, but more importantly, he always had the time to explain the properties and applications of those materials.  Many of my stillwater patterns are inspired by Dennis' hard work on the water.  He was a true ambassador to the sport, and definitely left a lasting impression on anglers in Utah.


So on a slowish day on the water this fall, I dug into my boxes looking for a pattern that the fish might be interested in. You see I tend to carry way more flies than I could ever need and I'm always tweaking and working on new patterns, so the flies in my boxes have a lot of competition for attention. As I opened and closed boxes and picked through rows and rows of flies, I caught a glimpse of a few trusty Lemon Limes peaking out at me, half buried by a bunch of overdressed leech patterns. One of my first thoughts was the sunrise outing (pictured above) on this same body of water over 8 years prior. Decision made, the Lemon Lime was soon tied and on its way to the water. On that first cast, as the fly slowly descended out of sight, this little Rainbow gobbled it up and reminded me that newer isn't always better and that fish can be like good friends: You don't always see them, but they're always there. 

Lemon Lime Bugger:
           High & Dry Grizzly Hackle Grizzly Dyed Golden Olive  -- Buy Here --

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fly Hack: The Spool Minder

A better way to tame your spools

Here's another one of those "ah ha!" type tips on how to store and manage your spools of wire, tinsel, floss, v-rib or anything else that comes on a spool. And yes, it involves a trip to the Craft Store....

I'm pretty sure once you create and use a few of these little doo-dads, you won't go back to the free-wheeling spools like you might have done in the past.






The video explains it nicely below, but all you need are some 1/4"  or 6 to 7mm craft beads, some 1/4" elastic and some super glue. I usually make a "template" piece of elastic and cut a bunch of them at once using this piece to measure against. Then you just glue and let them dry. Easy as can be...







Thursday, November 14, 2013

Scissors. In hand, or out of hand?

Attack of the killer scissors.


These look like harmless scissors.  They are really deadly weapons.


Several years ago I was tying flies at an expo and somebody mentioned that they thought it was interesting that I tied flies without holding my scissors in my hand the whole time.  It really struck me that I could save more time and tie faster if I just kept my scissors in my hand.  Also before I get too deep into this story, I feel like I need to explain some genetic Gigantor qualities challenges that I have before I tell you why I threw a perfectly fine pair of Dr. Slick scissors across my fly tying room.  I'm 6'5" and have hands that are tight in XXL gloves.  Yep.  I officially suffer from sausage fingers.
Dr. Slick Razor scissors are shaaaaaaaarp!
Anyway, I had just purchased a new pair of Dr. Slick scissors, and I was going to go home and get all efficient while tying flies.  I had an order of Grumpy Frumpies to tie, and the first thing I noticed with the scissors in hand was that I had to bend my wrist further than normal to get it into the hard-to-reach areas (I'll address that later).  Most of the fly went by just fine, but as I was attaching the rubber legs and coloring them with a sharpie, I realized that there were times when my beady little eyeballs perhaps got a little bit too close to the vise.  One last wrap of thread...  WHAP, I thought I had lost my eye.  I found out that Dr. Slick scissors make an excellent weapon if you were ever to need to gouge someone's eyes out during a home invasion.  I also found out, thankfully, that I was a bad aim.  I had effectively poked myself about an inch under my eye, and then I promptly wound up Nolan Ryan style and made a sizable dent in the opposing wall with those weapons of eye destruction.
I tried a few other times to tie with scissors in hand, but I realized that I'm much more efficient if I just drop them when I'm finished with them.  More importantly, I realized that there is no right or wrong way to do it, and that it's really determined on the comfort of the tyer.  From my experience, here is a list of pros and cons of tying with scissors in hand (and take it with a grain of salt because I write this from the standpoint of an anti-scissor-in-hand-ite).

PROS:

  1. It saves you time.  If saving .78 milliseconds in the process of tying a bug really gets you going...  By all means, grip those suckes.
  2. You look cool at the tying shows.  
  3. It trains your hands to do two things at once. Look mom! I'm holding a pair of razor sharp eye removers while I'm eating dinner! (Just put them down before using the restroom).
CONS:
  1. It's not ergonomic on the ol' wrists.  If you are holding the scissors deep in your palm (which you almost have to do if you want the use of the rest of your tangible digits) you have to bend your wrist much more to get the scissors into the "cut zone."  Yeah, I'm probably just a wuss.
  2. You may just jab your eye out.  I'll buy my kids a Red Ryder, but NEVER a pair of Dr. Slicks.
  3. You don't really save all that much time.
All this being said, it's important to realize that this is just my opinion, and there are people who truly have mastered the technique of palming scissors while tying.  I'm just bitter because I can't make it work.

I also asked Curtis because he is a former scissor holder.  He says that he gained more dexterity by not holding the scissors in his hand, and can get a better hold on difficult-to-manipulate materials.  Also, he points out that some of the scissors that are designed to be held in hand aren't necessarily the best for cutting.  Wiss quick-clips and the "sixth finger" may be good in theory, but they lack in having an open gap and sharpness when put beside other normal scissors.  Finally, Curtis said that efficiency can be regained if he strategically plans all of his cuts with the scissors.  This eliminates the need to pick them up more than needed.

~ Cheech     


Monday, November 11, 2013

5 Essential Rules for Tying Flies

 Really?  Rules?

Pink and White?  Thanks to a tip from a buddy, I modified the colors of this Cheech Leech.


3 sections to the Cheech Leech?  Yes Please.
I remember being excited to attend the annual outdoors expo in 2001 because there were always demo fly tyers showing off their new goods and skills.  I was just getting started with fly tying, and I loved to watch other people tie flies so I could see how they did it.  I was walking up one of the aisles, and I heard someone proclaim "You MUST add exactly 15 wraps of .015 lead wire to the hook shank or this fly won't ride correctly." and "If you add any more than 4 turns of hackle, this fly won't work." and "This fly, if tied correctly, is so effective that it's illegal in Oregon." (I think some of you might know of the guy I'm quoting here).  The point here is that this guy had rules for everything, including tying and fishing...  Really?  No doubt his flies were effective, but so were my rebel-tied flies with 17.25 turns of .010 lead, and 6 turns of hackle.  It was during my fly tying infancy that I learned these critical rules:

Rule 1: There are no rules.
Rule 2: There are no rules.
Rule 3: There are no rules.
Rule 4: There are no rules.
Rule 5: Please refer to rules 1 through 4.

I mean, just look at the definition of the word (according to the fancy interweb). 

"A set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity."

YUCK.

So there you have it.  I don't like rules when it comes to fishing and tying.  If any of you have watched our videos, hopefully by now you have caught on that we don't really say exactly how you have to do something.  Instead, we give guidelines, and even if we say that something is really important, it's still just our opinion and there are probably 48 better ways to do it.  Guidelines are critical when you are trying to recreate an exact replica of something like a Humpy or a Royal Coachman, and in my opinion, there are two masters of giving this kind of instruction.  Charlie Craven, and Davie McPhail.  Those guys are gooooood.  Me?  Not so much.

I will also say this about guidelines; take them for what they are and don't be afraid to experiment.  I always love it when I get done teaching a class, and someone asks me "Hey uhhhh, Cheech..  You think I could tie that Grumpy Frumpy in red?"  My answer is usually "Nope.  According to the Universal Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Codes and Regulations Handbook Unit 48 Section 246-45.7 , the Grumpy Frumpy can only be tied in yellow/red and peacock/lime.  Sorry."  I don't really respond like this, but I'm definitely thinking it!

I'm an artist at heart, and I'm always thinking creatively about how I can use certain materials.  Here are a few pointers to help you break out of the world of Hare's Ears and Pheasant Tails (both great patterns by the way).

The Low Fat Minnow with marabou, dubbing, and flash.
  1. Become familiar with the properties of different materials.  Try to envision how these materials will marry with the other materials on the hook, and how it will behave in the water.  Does it sink/float? Is it rigid/soft? etc.  A good example of this is the Low Fat Minnow. This fly looks so-so out of water, but it's dead sexy when it's wet.  Being familiar with the properties of each material will help you more than anything else when creating a new pattern.
  2. Don't be afraid to experiment with different colors.  What do you think was going through Andy Carlson's mind when he first tied the Purple Haze?  Thanks to his willingness to break the rules and tie a purple Parachute Adams, we have a very very effective dry fly.  One of my buddies gave me a crazy color list for the Grumpy Frumpy one time that I would have never tried on my own.  Thanks to his insight, we now have the cat puke color that catches fish all over the place.  Thanks Kev. (And no, you should never combine chartreuse, pale yellow, and cinnamon: Unit 567 Section 878-73).
  3. Don't be afraid to substitute materials.  When I worked in the fly shop, I would get a kick out of the guys who would come in and ask for Hareline Dubbing #18792347 Olive/Rust/
    Prince Nymph with dubbing instead or peacock herl.
    Dun. "The pattern just won't work if I don't have this exact color."  They would look at me like I was the devil as I tried to explain the concept of substituting a similar color for the one they were looking for.  My favorite fly hack is to use arctic fox instead of marabou for buggers.  Nothing new, but it adds a whole new element of durability to the pattern.  Other popular subs: Shaggy dubbing for Chenille on buggers. Palmer chenille instead of hackle.  Snowshoe rabbit for CDC.  CDC for poly yarn.  The list goes on and on.
  4. Test Test Test...  Once you settle on that whacked out color combo for your bugger or that new fangled streamer pattern, only tie up 3 or 4 of them before you go into full on production mode.  Test them to make sure they work before you tie up 78 of them and find out that not even bluegill will eat them.  I love to test my own flies, but the best
    The Bunny Emerger came after many trial and error sessions.
    way to find out if they work is to let other people fish them.  They will fish em' hard, and it's no skin off their backs if they snap it off on a tree, or to tell you that it sucks.  We tend to fish our own new stuff longer and harder to try to "make" them work.
Hope this rambling will lead to many new creations from the vise.  Just don't tell the tying police that i'm bashing their regulations handbook.

~Cheech



Friday, November 8, 2013

REVIEW: Synthetic Quill Body Wrap

Another way to get the segments

synthetic quill body wrap fly pattern
Soft Hackle tied with the Adams colored SQBW
I've always been a big fan of quill body patterns. Anything from stripped peacock to peccary -- I've used a lot of things out there. So I was understandably excited when I saw a new product from Hareline called "Synthetic Quill Body Wrap" (SQBW).


Per my normal sick material collecting tendencies, I ordered a couple of packages of each color. I tied up a few patterns and came to some conclusions about SQBW:


First off, it's very easy to tie with and get consistent segmentation. Not only that, it's much stronger than the natural materials out there, so it's nice to be able to give it a tug while you wrap it.

The "strips" are also equally consistent in color and size along the length so you can use one strip to tie a number of flies.

The strips are made of some type of paper-ish material and they are obviously printed on a printer. Granted these need to be color-fast in water, so that might explain the issue, but my one complaint is the quality of printing involved. You'll notice, especially on the soft hackle above, the color (as is the case with dot-matrix printers of old) is a result of a bunch of tiny dots printed close together to form, what appears to be, a solid color. These dots are fairly obvious when you look at an individual strip and especially on a smaller fly pattern. It's not a huge deal and I doubt the fish will care, but if you're looking for the solid and natural coloration from an animal quill, then the SQBW won't achieve that. Again, not a huge deal, but it's good to know.

Related to this, I also found that I like the body finish a lot more when I coat them with Clear Cure Goo Hyrdo. Of course, I do the same thing with any quill body pattern, so this isn't an issue for me.

All in all, I think the product is headed in the right direction and I'll definitely be using it to tie up some bugs here this winter.



synthetic quill body wrap fly pattern
Mayfly spinner tied with SQBW

Quill Body Baetis Recipe:
Hook: Allen D102BL #16
Thread: UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier, Olive
Tail: Lemon Woodduck
Body: Synthetic Quill Body Wrap (coated with Clear Cure Goo Hydro)
Thorax: Az. Synth Dubbing, Dark Olive
Wing Case: 1mm Rainy's Crosslink Foam
Wing: Spirit River UV2 CDC, Natural 





Thursday, November 7, 2013

"That Guy" with the "Secret Fly"

I'll show you my fly, but then I'll have to kill you


Uncle Ken's Secret Ninja Wooly Bug


I think in every industry or sport there is "That Guy."  In golf, it's the dude who always kicks his ball into the fairway and conveniently forgets what shot he's on and always ends up beating you by one.  In fishing, it's the guy who is adamant about counting fish and knowing who is in the lead, even though he disappears out of sight for an hour or so and comes back and says "All on top.  All over 20."  Then there is the guy who has that "secret" fly pattern that he won't share with anyone because it's so damn effective that it would ruin every fishery due to catching so many fish.  Many times, these "secret" flies are no secret at all like Uncle Ken's Peacock King, or Wooly Bug.  These "heroes" or "one uppers" exist in all facets of life, and I'm glad they do because they provide me much entertainment.  Here are some prime examples.

Uncle Ken's patented secret "Peacock King."  Griffith's What?

I was sitting at a fly tying expo last year when "that guy" walked up to me.  He was decked out in a casting shirt, zip-off wading pants, a lanyard around his neck, and a wading staff.  He was ready... to fish look at some flies.  He walked right over to me and asked "HEY, uhhh, do you know what it takes to patent a fly?"  I kind of went into what it would take to patent a fly, and the reasons why not many people try it.  He cut me off mid sentence, and told me that he had a secret fly that he had been tying and fishing that had produced "54 fish in the last 3 days," and that it needed a patent.  It was that point when I realized that he was "that guy."  I told him that he was lucky that he had such a great pattern, and talked to him for about 20 minutes.  He sat in front of me and watched me tie some of my original creations, and after each whip finish he would let me know that he ties something EXACTLY like it, and that he has boxes full.  You go girl.  That interaction made my day.

A few years back, I was working in a fishing shop while I was between jobs and I was constantly amazed at one of the shop owners.  Here was one of the best fly anglers-tyers that I have met and he would provide friendly service to everyone, even if they were there to teach him a "lesson."  He taught me a lot of patience, and how to deal with the constant one-uppers.  One day, one of our regular customers (an avid ice angler, and black-belt one-upper) who I was confident had never tied a fly before, sat at the back of the shop and chatted with me while I spun up some wooly buggers for the bins.  As I was wrapping some hackle on one of the buggers, he started to tell me how he had tied hundreds of dozens of flies for shops back in the day.  My response was "You know what?  I've been tying flies for a long time, but I always struggle when it comes to tying the wacky hackle technique.  What do you suggest?"  He assured me that I would get the hang of it once I had tied for a few more years, and that one day, I would be the master of the wacky hackle.  That interaction made my day.

The secret fly of River-X.  The Grumpy Frumpy
Working at the fly shop was a great experience, and one certain "interaction" has made me think back and laugh many times.  This guy was on a mission, and he was sure that he was going to stump yet another fly shop in his quest to find his "secret fly." I greeted him and asked if I could help, he got really close and whispered "uhh, well, it seems like no fly shop will be able to help me find what I want, but I guess I'll give you a try."  He said (still whispering) that he had been fishing what we will call River-X with a secret fly that he was only able to find in a shop in Vernal, UT.  Little did he know, Vernal is my home town, River-X is my favorite river, and there was also a really good chance that I had tied the actual "secret" fly with my own bare hands.  BUT, I couldn't just volunteer all of that information right off the bat because then I turn into "THAT GUY!!!"  But I digress...  I tried to get a description of the pattern, and he was saying stuff like "little hangy offy thingy in the back," and "some fluff coming off the front." Not helping.  Then he said "some guys call it the Frumpy Grumpy." Yahtzee!  He was fishing my fly, on my river even though he got the name backwards (no, I didn't correct him).  I told him that I knew River-X very well, and I that I just might have the fly he was speaking of (we had about 5 bazillion Frumpies).  He wasn't convinced until I led him to the bin.  He was utterly amazed/disappointed that he beheld his "secret" fly in a bin that was being sold to the masses!  To cap it off, I said "I know the guy who developed this pattern really well; in fact, I sleep in the same bed with him."  He looked at me like "What the $#&&* did you just say??"  It was great, and the rest of the shop enjoyed it as much as I did.  He laughed about it after I let him in on the joke, and left the shop with a fist full of Grumpy Frumpies.  That interaction made my day.

The funny thing about all this, is that we all have a little bit of "that-guy" in us.  

~Cheech

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Chimera Hunts

Fall Field Testing Update

Chimera in Black with Orange hot-spot
As we do from time to time, I'm revisiting a previous post with updated on-the-water results and photos. See the original story on the Chimera here.

If you're not into tying, you can buy them already made right here >>>>

So going back to the original idea on this pattern, I wanted to be able to tie a similar pattern in a lot of different sizes and colors to imitate a lot of different bugs. The idea is similar to a general attractor pattern, but with more specific trigger mechanisms drawn from the various bugs. Yeah, pie in the sky, I know. One "magical" pattern to catch fish under all conditions.  Not. It's more of an efficiency thing for tying purposes, but  as it turns out, this little pattern really keeps impressing the hell out of us.

Fall fishing backdrop, courtesy of awesome changing colors and lots of fish.

Pretty brook trout that inhaled a Chimera
My ugly mug and a pretty brookie
Anyway, I spent a good portion of the month of October up in the hills chasing Brook Trout. On the first lake on the first day of "fall fishing" up there, I focused on the Deep Dish Callibaetis, which did fairly well. So while I did fish other patterns, by far the majority of my success was with the Chimera. As Cheech will attest, I'm not the most active fly-changer when I'm on the water. But at times, the fishing was so fast and furious, I'd cut off my trusty Chimera and slap on a different pattern just to make sure it wasn't a fluke. Most of the time, however, the other patterns didn't last long as I'd need to switch back over to the Chimera to keep the same pace. Even fished side-by-side with other patterns in similar coloration, it far out-fished anything we threw. Plus, I always take it as a good sign on a pattern when Cheech finally gives in and agrees to use one of my flies when I'm out-fishing him 3 or 4 to 1. Boom Roasted!!






So yeah, it's been a fun fly to mess around with. Here's the recipe and tutorial:

Chimera:
Hook:  Mustad C49S #10 or better Partridge Czech Nymph  -- Buy It-- 
Thread: UTC Ultrathread, 70 Denier Black  -- Buy It --
Eyes: 50 lb Mono, Melted
Ribbing: UTC Ultrawire, Silver, SM -- Buy It --