While I’m lucky to be working, it’s from home and I’m relegated to my fly tying desk that is now my office. I have had it set up for 4 yrs but as it’s in my mother in law I never used it much as it was more comfortable tying off the kitchen table. Now I’m in here working, sitting, and sometimes bored on team calls I’m finding more and more flies I’d tossed into drawers or nooks & crannies, many of them have some type of great memory. Given many of us are bored out of our gourds and we’re all denied the opportunity to go fishing during the best time of the yr and after sitting around dreaming of this time I thought I’d share. Going clockwise from the top.
The top fly, I do not know the name of pattern but stole/adapted it from something I saw in Patrick’s or somewhere. This fly caught me my first Fall Coho off Golden Gardens in the middle of Sept likely 14 +yrs ago. Like most of the fish caught then no photos, I do not think I even had a cell phone then. It was the runtiest Fall Coho I’ve ever caught. I hooked it, it swam past me onto the beach and lay there. I bonked it but it was like a kelt, big head and tail and a skinny body but it was Coho. The better part was Jim K, who I often met early am on N Seattle beaches before anyone really fished them, came over shook my hand and promptly offered me a dram from his hip flask. As a Scotsman I couldn’t say no, so took a belt said thanks and then Jim did the same and said, “bugger the queen”. While not a royalist it was odd to hear and then I noticed the whisky tasted odd. It turned out he had Canadian buddies who made hooch and this was their toast as colonials of the empire. Makes me think of Jim, a really nice guy and originator of a little bit of nothing (?), very sparse SRC fly that I believe is in Les J’s classic book.
Next a first stab of a reverse spider, fished in October 2 yrs ago on the Stilly to get my first river SRC in a long time. I posted on this and was also reminded of the 3” split in my waders as I jumped into the first pool. My buddy had noted the unseasonably high river likely had some snow melt from the upper watershed. The cold shock to my butt and legs allowed me to confirm his hypothesis. Still it caught the only fish of the day.
Bead head GRHE’s are awesome, adding pearl cactus chenille makes them even better. Used on numerous occasions, my fav for spotting fish in the shallows and letting hit with a plop, wait, and watch, twitch, boom fish!
Something I never fished but found on the Sky back in 2001 fishing for pinks, it’s odd and I kept it, who said blobs are new? Next, I love fishing dries for hatching midges, this was my first dry bomber imitation for Lone Lake, likely ~2007 when I got my first boat, an inflatable canoe. I was pretty much the only person there at the south end in the pouring rain but flat calm. The flies came off in droves, fish were looking up and this fly killed it, I’d never had swallows picking my fly off the water, they competed with the fish they were numerous. The sort of epic day you never forget, everything that is brilliant about fishing. One fish slurped it down, was hooked and then shot straight up 3' into the air like a missile.
SRC fishing is as complicated as you (or sometimes they) want to make it, but the tying doesn’t have to be. One of the first flies I tied when I get into SRC fishing at Carkeek in ~2003 and where I met Jim K above. A super simple tie and it works like a charm, good for pinks too but what small sparse fly isn’t. Finally, my own 'creation' that of course everyone has a tied a similar one of for SRCs. Is it a squid? Is it a sand lance? Is it a shrimp? Who knows? Who cares? The fish don’t. A white marabou tail, crystal flash wrapped body and under wing, then topped with strands of pearl mylar, now missing….I fished this very fly on a great trip with WFF’s very own Capt. Nick Clayton. It was a brilliant fly in the morning, my strip striking not so much but I managed SRCs, silvers and a black mouth. A brilliant day and one I aim to repeat again once we get out.
Anyway, it is great to rediscover these and think back on the memories they give me, it is amazing how much crap we accumulate as anglers or me at least, still I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What flies do you have lying around that give you a better slant on the day?