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I’ve been mixing dubbing blends as long as I can remember. There’s not only an endless palette of color possibilities to match certain insects, but also an opportunity to create textures. I’ve nearly exhausted my supply of blends created by my old friend Jack Mickievicz and have recently attempted to duplicate some of his natural dubbing blends. I wish I could have asked him more questions over the years. Anyway, here’s a few recent recipes that really look great when touch dubbed on a silk thread base to tie nymphs and Yorkshire Spiders. Thanks Jack …..

Two trips to the Idaho Panhandle and the count is Bull Trout 2, Henry 0. While each trip has been a solid attempt with all the enthusiasm of a kid, it’s been a bull market. Thankfully those Westslope Cutthroat were willing to play the game and take my offerings of October Caddis and Mahogany Dun patterns, and we enjoyed some great days on a river I’ve grown to love for its character and mysterious deep green pools, rocky outcroppings and bright stream stones. I also had the chance to camp along the river and share it with two great friends. One thing this river has taught me is the value of fishing Yorkshire spider patterns, and two originals that enjoyed great success were the “Coot and Claret” and “Barrs Favorite” along with the traditional “Partridge and Orange”. More about those flies another time. An angler’s optimism burns eternal, and I look forward to taking another swing at these elusive fish sometime in the future. Anglers are like dreamers, and as John Lennon wrote “but I’m not the only one …”. Till then I’ll just keep dreaming, tying flies and smiling. Till next time ….

The turning of the season from summer to fall has renewed my focus back to trout fishing after a very hot and dry summer here in Pennsylvania. With stream conditions that haven’t been favorable for fishing, I’ve spent more time behind the vise this summer than I normally do, and the stock boxes are starting to fill again. The cool weather that has arrived has me thinking about an upcoming trip to the Idaho Panhandle, Westslope Cutthroat rising to hatches of October Caddis and some time spent sharing the water with a few great friends. One of the most recent patterns from my vise is a new pattern I’ve chosen to call “Barr’s Favorite” in honor one of those friends. This one imitates the October Caddis and uses the rare Pearsall Gossamer 6B Sherry Spinner silk thread, a thinly dubbed body of hare’s poll and an English Woodcock hackle. I’m thinking my fish friends might like this one too. I’ll report back when I return. Till then ……

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