Tucked away deep in my collection of clutter is a few Riker mount boxes of flies from an earlier time in my fly tying career. There was a time when classic and artistic Atlantic Salmon flies were an obsession of mine. For a fly tyer these fanciful creations represent the master’s game and is by far the deepest rabbit hole a tyer can go down. From collecting the classic materials and books from the Victorian period, to developing the techniques to properly prepare materials and assemble them is a list of pursuits within one. At a certain point I lost interest in this game; mostly due to the ethics of a few well-known individuals in the game more than anything else, and I closed the book on that life chapter. Shown here is a heavily dressed Jock Scott I dressed about 20 years ago; tied on a handmade 6/0 Harrison Bartleet iron by Ray Smith, using authentic Blue Chatterer, Indian Crow, Toucan, Bustard and the other specified materials called for in the original recipe. The fly has spent too many years pressed and flattened in a Riker box and I didn’t take the time to steam it back to shape before photographing it and tucking it away again. I’ll post more photos from that salmon fly collection soon. Maybe I’ll get a second wind one day and dig out all those pretty feathers. Who knows? Till then….. #Regalvise

Late summer / early fall is the time when flying ant swarms become a daily possibility on the water. Ant swarms never follow the logic of other insects whose hatches can be predicted and anticipated. While we can expect to see Slate Drakes, Baetis Olives and Tricos at predictable times of the day; fly ants just happen, and we can only hope for being in the right place at the right time when it does. Interestingly there’s another component to flying ant swarms: having the right pattern in your fly boxes to imitate them. Trout will quickly become highly selective to flying ants and feed on them exclusively. Without a good pattern to present you may as well tuck your rod under your arm and watch or head home. A mating swarm of flying ants will have a mixture of sizes within the group, so a perfect match of the size is seldom important. What is important? A pattern that sits tight and flush in the film and has that unique shape and light pattern that says “ant” to a trout. If you look at flying ants on the water, they seldom have that perfect position with the wings folded flat and neatly over the back like an ant at rest on dry land. Instead you see an insect with its wings in varying positions which is the result of trying to free itself from the tension of the water surface. The pattern shown here uses a wing of CDC to imitate this feature and has been money for me everywhere I’ve fished them. I tie these in a variety of colors including black, chocolate brown, red and cinnamon. Hit me up if you need a few and tie one on. You will be glad that you did. #regalvise #Daiichihooks #TroutHunterCDC

I’ve always been fond of ant patterns, having learned early on that trout are terribly fond of the real ones. Ant patterns and Pennsylvania fly fishing go together like peas and carrots, and the list of Keystone State writers and tiers that have influenced the ant imitations we fish is a lengthy one. An early influence for me was Ken Miyata who was a frequent contributor to Fly Fisherman Magazine up to his untimely death in a wading accident on the Big Horn River in 1983. Ken truly lived the trout bum life, and his Ph.D. in Zoology and extensive travel to the best streams in the country gave him both an enviable wealth of first-hand experience and knowledge to support his writing. In 1982 Miyata authored an article titled “Anting the Hatch” in which he described how selectively feeding trout will abandon that selective behavior if an ant becomes available to them. In the years since that article I’ve had the chance to test his theory on the subject. I have tested this more than a few times by fishing an ant pattern during mayfly hatches and spinner falls, purposely using ant pattern colors and sizes that were very different from the insects on the water at the time. Ken was onto something and I can say that his theory was spot on. The next time the Trico hatch is frustrating you, try mixing it up with an ant pattern, you might be surprised with the reaction it gets. It’s an effective change-up pitch in your fly presentation. Pictured this week is my favorite ant pattern, the Red-Headed Parachute Ant. I also tie this style ant in cinnamon, black, red and a carpenter ant version in a range of sizes. Tie up a few and tie them on. I’ve attached a link to an article about Ken Miyata for your enjoyment. Till next week …….. #regalvise #daiichihooks # flyfishermanmagazine

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