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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Yong Special

A Legendary Midge Pattern


In certain circles, it is rumored that anciently there was a fly pattern that possessed such magical fish-catching mojo that no fish could resist its siren-esque call. A fly with material so secretive that it was said there existed only one source of it hidden high in the Andes of Patagonia on the testicles of a golden Guanaco. A fly pattern so powerful that any angler who should possess it was assured of 100 fish days and to whom women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano.

100 fish days?! Nonsense, you say? Well, kidding aside, the Yong Special was a very highly hyped, highly effective and subsequently highly controversial pattern originated by Andy Kim, a popular guide on the San Juan River in New Mexico.

I know there's been a lot said, both good and bad, about Andy and his patterns but my experience comes first-hand from a few times I ran into him on the water. The first time I came across the famous "Yong", I was fishing the Green River in Utah about 20 years ago. As we meandered down the riverside trail back to our vehicle, I see this very animated guy landing a fish yelling "Another one on the Yong Special!!" (or something along those lines). We stood and watched as this fellow pulled fish after fish out of a very highly pressured stretch of water. His cohort, dressed in a long camouflage overcoat of some sort and who we later found out was aptly nick-named "Camo Man Jerry", would help him land the fish. We couldn't help but want to see this "Yong Special". Lucky for us, the next fish landed pushed upstream a ways and the Camo guy was nice enough to show us the pattern as he landed the fish.

It took a few days to track down some people who knew what the pattern was and we ended up trying to duplicate it with mixed success. We ran into Andy and his buddy a couple more times over the years there on the Green and eventually learned the "secret" of the pattern (although to this day you'll find some people that claim the "secret" still isn't published). Either way, the general consensus is that the thread is a sewing thread from Coats and Clark called "Summer Brown". I've tied enough of these over the years to say that it's pretty dang close, if not the same material and anyway, I don't think the fish will tell.

Long story short, this is a great little midge pattern, super-easy to tie and you'll enjoy the women of Capistrano to boot. Just be careful as you harvest from the Guanaco.

Yong Special

Hook: Daiichi 1110 #18 - #26 (I use a #22 in this video and the original pattern calls for a 1100, but I like the straight eye)
Thread: Coats and Clark Summer Brown, UNI 8/0 Black
Coated with Clear Cure Goo Hydro



12 comments:

  1. What type of Coats & Clark thread are you using? In the video it looked like you were using the "Dual Duty XP Heavy" but I didn't see that color listed on the C&C color swatch. I only saw summer brown listed on "Dual Duty XP General Purpose" or under some of their cotton threads.
    Also have you ever tried another color (like olive) with any success?

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    Replies
    1. Hey Josh, yeah, it's for sure the Summer Brown color, but ever since they switched over from the "old" numbering and coloring schema, it's not super-easy to find. So it's the Dual Duty XP General Purpose" in the 8360 color.

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    2. And yeah, I've fished it in olive, cream, darker brown and even yellow, all with good success.

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  2. How about in some larger sizes, say 16,18 etc.?

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    Replies
    1. Yeah for sure. I actually do really well on a size #16 on a very small stream high in the mountains. It's loaded with midge larva the same size and color.

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    2. Thanks, Curtis, appreciate the added information.

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  3. i used to tie and fish the crap out of this pattern during my san juan days. great producer!

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  4. The bobbins I have (DrSlick) are not wide enough to hold the coats and clark spools. What bobbins are you guys using?

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    Replies
    1. I think I've been using Griffin bobbins for those. They're generally a bit more flexible that the Slicks for that purpose.

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  5. There is so much thread on a sewing thread spool that I wind some on regular tying spools. Nice website here, btw.

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  6. I'm using a rubber iPod hackle plies to spin the thread... Works fine .....

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