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Everything posted by TableGrouch

  1. I'm getting ready to tie some no hackle PMDs and always have trouble with the duck quill wings splitting when I tie them in. I've always tied them with the quill untreated (au natural) but have heard it can help to treat them with a spray fixative first. Has anyone tried this? I'm a little hesitant as I think it might hamper the appearance of the fly. I'm open to any suggestions & tips. Typically I'm only tying #18-22, so rather small. Thanks.
  2. Thanks for all the input! Some really thoughtful suggestions. It is appreciated. I like fishing tandem rigs and will add some emergers and floating nymphs to tag onto my sulphur dun arsenal. I particularly like the suggestion of a hip flask and am certain that will be useful!
  3. Ran into a Sulfur emergence on one of my favorite streams last year in mid-May and came away a bit frustrated by the end result. Fish were actively feeding and I managed plenty of inspection rises yet very few takes. So I'm back at the bench getting ready (and hoping) for another go at them this year. I'd like some opinions on tying a parachute pattern to match the hatch. The subimago has an opaque dark dun wing but the legs are yellow. (Abdomen from the underside is yellow/burnt orange, thorax much darker coloration with some deep gray tones.) I'm going with a parachute as I like the low profile for emerging insects. I'm likely overanalyzing this, but my question, when wrapping the hackle should I be concerned more about wing color or leg color to match the hatch? I'm tempted to use a dark dun and a light ginger hackle and wrap both (similar to an Adams).
  4. I came up with a slant wing pattern for a crippled caddis (stuck in the shuck). Some of the streams I fish have prolific early season hatches of little black sedges. The trout can get quite selective when a heavy hatch is on and this pattern seems to fish quite well for me versus an emerger or an adult. The idea is to give them an easy target for a meal. I wanted the fly to sit low on the water, so rather than modifying your typical elk hair adult pattern I went with a parachute. The slant post seemed a better match for the profile of a caddis wing which folds well back over the body of the fly. I even go so far as to bend the deer hair down and back a bit after I've wrapped the hackle, and will finish with a touch of zap-a-gap at the base of the post. I also add in some sparse antron to the pattern as a trailing shuck. It fishes. Tandem with an emerger and you'll cover all your bases.
  5. Lucian - Your fly "fishes!" I've been tearing quite a few up releasing trout with hemostats, so I made a slight modification to help with durability. I've been twisting the ribbing with a fine silver wire before wrapping the rib. Thanks. Nice tie!
  6. TG- I live close by the Yellow Breeches and saw that stuff so often when I moved here that I've pretty much stopped fishing it. All that BS is not worth catching a few small stocked trout to me. Bryon, you need to be worried about the idiots who have NOT obtained a carry permit. JS - You've got some nice water around your end of the state, just a bit too much of a haul for me for most day trips. I'm at the other end of the state and get to deal with all the lovely weather fun on the freestone streams. I'm enjoying all this miserable June rain immensely, can't wait for July temps to simmer the soup we've been stewing and pretty much end the season. BA - Lived in MI for 20 years, never encountered the same level of ignorance on those rivers trout fishing as in PA (although steelheading could get a little too cozy at times). I think JS might have hit on at least a part of the problem, and that is the PA stocking program. IMHO there is way to much emphasis on the put and take aspect versus conserve and manage. I enjoy fishing some larger (relative) water at times, and it seems that PA is too eager to stock these types of streams regardless of their natural capacity to carry trout and support natural reproduction. They'll set a mile or two aside for special regs, but I really think they need to set 10-15 miles aside, if not the entire stream. Leave the trucks back at the hatchery. All the emphasis on "wild" is on much smaller streams. Following the great white fleet of trucks comes the crowds, and not necessarily the type of angler who's going to tip his cap and keep walking. Usually at this point in the season they're pretty much gone and you can find some good fishing. Wasn't the case on my last outing.
  7. I haven't been on lately as it is the heart of trout season, but I was looking for a pattern I saw awhile ago and noticed this thread. I have to comment. I believe respect for another's privacy and space on the water has deteriorated greatly, and I don't think it is just that I'm getting a little older. I primarily fish PA trout streams and I'm encountering more and more situations where etiquette simply doesn't exist. I appreciate those who have the patience to educate a younger fisherman, and try myself, but the vast majority of what I've seen in the past several years is other adult anglers. This past week I was fishing Yellow Breeches, a fairly popular and well known limestone in SE PA. It was a weekday evening, plenty of open water. In the first hour I was on the water I had two anglers step in the water 20 ft. ahead of me while I played a fish, one crossing to the other side. They completely cut me off from the run I was fishing - at least 50-100 yards of open water either direction. I had to walk behind the one to simply get up the bank to leave. He never said a word. I find an open pool upstream, I haven't made two casts another angler walks up the far bank, stops directly across from me and starts dragging a spinner through my drift. The stream isn't 20 yards across. What really frosted me was he wanted to strike up a friendly conversation about what I was using. Again, I simply left without acknowledging him. Eventually I found some empty water and had an excellent evening over a sulphur emergence, lasted well into dark. . These aren't isolated instances. They're just very fresh. Somewhere early along the line I understood that if you're across the stream from another angler you leave their water alone. It is fine to stop and chat, but don't fish their run if you want any respect. Same is true of fishing behind someone. Jump them, but leave their pool and run alone and move on to the next section of stream leaving plenty of water behind you for them. I think it is pretty clear I'm P****ed by the time I've left the water, but short of a confrontation I don't know what's to be said that is going to help anyone. I tend to go nonlinear pretty quickly and find I'm personally in a better mood 20 minutes later if I just get out of there.
  8. Thanks much Shoebop. That is the kind of stuff I need. My box is pretty drab with just a hint of flash or color in most the nymphs. P.S. Very nice ties (and family!).
  9. I've done a fair amount of steelhead fishing on Great Lakes tribs, but always dead drifting nymphs and egg patterns. I'm making a trip soon, and intend to make my first effort swinging with a switch rod on one of the larger rivers. I'm looking for some suggestions for patterns that would be more effective fished this way than my usual assortment of stones, hexes and eggs. What would be a favorite pattern or two for you to fish this way. All ideas are appreciated (especially with a picture or recipe). Thanks.
  10. I don't think you need abandon the fly rod for the sake of water temperature. I saw nymphs mentioned in one post and that would be my answer in cold water, get 'em down and fish 'em slow. If you compound the problem with high 'muddy' water it gets tougher. Again, the fish will be holding on the bottom and trying to find pockets or breaks where they don't have to fight the flow. Again, get it down. A bugger is always a good streamer option. I've also had some good success with a gizzly minnow pattern I've been tying with a UV grey dub for the body when the bugger didn't seem to be getting it done. Last, as far as combat fishing on opening day. Good luck with that. I find no joy in fishing those conditions or that way. Guys who typically fly fish and don spinning rods? I don't know any.
  11. I fish a variety of streams and rivers, almost exclusively for trout. I find that sooner or later I need some of the smaller size hackle; dun for BWO, grizzly for gnats ... and I like to tie Adams down to size 20. Unless you're certain of what you need, I'd start with a neck. As many have said, the 14 thru 18 size hackle are the first to go. Once I've tied through a section of any neck I'll then buy a saddle in the hackle size I've depleted.
  12. I take my Adam's down to size 20, but have to agree with PHG that if you can match size and color on your specific river you're ahead of the game. I've had better luck with the Adams over some BWO activity, if the hatch is light and the fish aren't too picky. Think it would be tougher with the PMD as the colors are further apart. You pretty much have all the info you need to get on the water. I wouldn't tie a boat load of anything until you've seen what your local bugs look like. I'll throw this out last (and again), pay more attention to what you are seeing on your water than fly names. Many fly names are classic and the patterns and names evolved long ago, crossed the Atlantic, and ended up catching fish here over a hatch they never knew. I think March Brown is one example. Also, from region to region mayflies also aren't the same; Eastern Green Drakes and Western.
  13. Nice ties. Hit 'em on the nose and they should eat. I fished the N. lower rivers for years. Would agree that some more natural hex nymphs and a black stone are good additions. I liked just a little color. Also preferred to 'spot' my egg patterns, chartreuse with a red spot was one of my favorite combos, especially for off color flows. Here's a quick snap of some that worked for me; 2XL #6 for the larger hex, #10 for the stone.
  14. I haven't made up my mind what to do with this, so I'll likely just leave it sit for awhile, if I do anything at all. Like Mike suggested above, my season is about to really gear up so it is time to get on the water. My primary objective would be to find out the amount of time members are fishing and for what species, but I think there need to be some additional questions. For example, I fish almost exclusively for trout 350 hours a year, live in the NE, am still working full time and it is all recreational fishing. I'd like to know how that compares to anglers in a similar situation. Guides' hours spent with clients wouldn't really compare, and someone retired with unlimited time to fish also doesn't directly compare. So I could see gathering the data and then segmenting it into different comparison groups for all the participants. Would like to make it broad enough to interest most members, but starts to get harder when you include overseas members and salt water. Could be fair amount of effort, and frankly, not worth it if there wasn't enough interest. So before taking it on I was looking for some feedback from others who have run polls. I've looked at some that are quite simple, and others appear more comprehensive. Are the polls closed after a certain period of time and results published?
  15. I rarely tie anything larger than a size 10, and work down to size 26. I only whip finish heads. I never use glue on them. I used to use head cement more, especially on larger flies up to size 4 when I was fishing more steelhead. I liked it for the glossy finish. For some body construction, especially posts on parachutes I like a drop of Zap-a-Gap, but apply it after construction on the top of the hackle wrap. Just a teenie bit on a pin point. I use kip hair posts and kind of press it into the base of the hackle wrap. Seems to hold it all together well and at whatever position I set the final adjustment. Like others, I don't like the thinner Zap-a-Gap as it will wick too much (which can really muck up a nice tie when you apply it late in construction).
  16. Sounds nice. I target trout almost exclusively, about 95% of the time. Give it a try. The other 5% is steelhead minus the occasional outing for bass or carp (don't scoff - pretty challenging).
  17. FlaFly, In case you hadn't noticed, I'm the analytic type. We seem to have a pretty healthy number of dedicated fly fishermen here. I'm wondering what they fish for, professional (guide) or recreational, retired or otherwise free to unlimited time on the water versus employed, and then how much time they actually spend fishing. All the other problems I admit are mine. What do you fish for? Not thinking many trout in your waters.
  18. New to the site and I'm interested in how the polls work, and if I were to do one, some suggestions on how to do it right. I've searched on this topic and can't seem to find anything that is really helpful. I spend 300 - 400 hours a year recreational fly fishing for trout. I expect it will only get worse with age unless I die soon. My wife thinks I'm seriously ill. If I added in hours spent on the bench, plus reading fly tying and trout fishing books or material, then hours spent obsessing over all this in general she 'might' have a point. If ever a control group existed that could help me validate the past 50 years of my life, this might be it. All suggestions are welcome.
  19. Good stuff. Going to try Kimo's suggestion. Been cursing over some size 20 parachute Adams for a couple evenings now and was attributing it to the progression of age. The double hackle has been killing me. I've always used the shrinkwrap on one jaw and it helps, but doesn't always seal the deal.
  20. Over'your'waders, I hardly think so. Thank you for digging and posting that paper and article. Some really interesting research, at least what I could follow without getting in too deep for my waders. As was noted earlier in the thread, I also had checked NOAA and although I did find their statement I could not find any whitepapers or research posted there in support of it. Possibly my search skills aren't so hot, but it wasn't at all evident how they had reached their conclusion.
  21. This physics tutorial has a link to a video of polarization and the application to color perception, see the second "Watch It" with the hot air balloon. It also has some discussion of the sources of polarization. Those in nature are primarily resultant from light passing (or reflecting) through or off different mediums, like air to water which has a refractive index @1.33 times that of air. http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/light/Lesson-1/Polarization I like troutguy's take on all this. End of day I'm looking for some take away to enhance my fly tying or fishing. I believe trout see color, but differently, and it is towards the bottom of my priority list in order of importance for most of my fishing - which is not say it doesn't make a difference. I'm sure I'm somehow 'wrong' again, and will just wade back to the shallows where it is safe for Beginners. Maybe find some more productive water downstream and let the experts work this stretch. At least I've graduated from bait fisherman status. Tight lines.
  22. I can see I'll catch no trout on shabby imitations fishing these waters. Some pretty deft observations. I'm not the expert, but doing my best to represent what I've found. I quoted my original post with the reference. I'll give the book another plug. There's an entire chapter (23 pages) devoted to trout vision with some great slant tank photography. There's extensive discussion of the trout eye versus human in regards to how the eye focuses light. The difference appears to be in our cornea and the attached muscles, and how they focus light on the lens, as well as differences in the lens itself. Paraphrasing, we have a shaped cornea that begins to focus the light as it passes into the eye, and more muscle control over the shape of the lens itself. Trout can't do this. Light passes through the cornea to the lens unfocused so this "bigger job requires a thicker, rounder, and more powerful lens." The entire lens is pulled backward or relaxed forward to control focus. Conclusion; trout are nearsighted and when their eyes are relaxed they are focused on near objects, and can focus on "objects only one or two inches from their noses." (Haven't we all witnessed that?) What strikes me as really interesting is that the author states that trout have a tremendous "depth of field." When they focus on an "object about two feet away, everything from two feet to infinity is simultaneously in focus." He does qualify that in regards to the fact that trout are in water, so typically infinity is about twenty feet away. Not so much detail in regards to UV and polarized light, so the observation regarding polarized light not being wavelength specific may be correct. But, there is clear discussion regarding trout seeing color, however what they see may be different from what we see, specifically in regards to how UV and polarized light are received by receptors in their eyes (which we don't have). Agreed on colors at night. Pitch black out and I'm just listening for that big slurp in front of me and hoping that hex pattern just went down (yet alone what color it was). The text is pointing out that trout adapt more slowly to the changing light conditions and have less effective color recognition than we do at those times, or at other times of their day. I'm always trying to walk away from some of these books with something I can use at the bench or apply on the water. For me, evening is falling and the trout are sipping something. My #18 Adams looks like a balloon on the water. I find a very small red ant on my waders, about size 22. All I got in my box is a #16 red ant; but I have size 22 spent tricos and some Griffith's gnats. First thing I'm tying on is the size 22 spent wing, or maybe trying to sink that gnat pattern a little.
  23. One last factoid of relevance. Trout have no eyelids (duh) and their pupils are fixed at a single size. Eyes wide open! Result, while our eyes can more quickly adjust to light, trout can't. They have rods in greater numbers than us (low light sensitivity) and cones in lesser numbers (wavelength perception of colors). During daylight conditions all the rods are at the back of the eye near the retina and the cones are near the front. In reaction to changing light their eyes can only adapt more slowly (one or more hours) by migrating the position of the rods and cones. So as dusk falls or daylight approaches their color vision isn't so hot. The cones are either retreating to the back of eye as the rods come forward, or migrating to the front of the eye from the back as day breaks.
  24. What I'm reading cites overlaps in rainbow trout receptors in the red-blue-green wavelengths, similar to our eyes with some differences in how the receptors react at specific wavelengths. One difference that is fascinating to me, and has implications for fly tying, is that early in a trout's life and after sexual maturity a fourth type of receptor is present that is responsive to UV and polarized light. We don't see either of these wavelengths. A 20 inch trout looking at a red bug in sunlight sees 'some color' that includes UV and polarized light. I tie a red bug with a color that I think is identical, but I don't really see what the trout does. I don't know if the material I'm tying with has the same light absorption characteristics in the UV range as the real bug in the trout's eyes. So, back to presentation, size and profile. Worry about color last and hope he takes.
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