Last week I said that I was working on a new fly pattern to imitate the early black and brown stoneflies and provided some of my thoughts about an effective fly design. This past Saturday we launched the ship for a daylong float and I brought a few different prototype patterns to test if the stoneflies showed up and the trout started feeding on them. The middle of the day provided a short window of mating flight activity and an opportunity to see what the trout had to say on the matter. One pattern was nearly impossible to see on the water and was quickly replaced with another that I could see better and could be twitched if I wanted to move it. I’m glad to report that the second pattern was well received by its intended audience, and they took it without hesitation. I don’t want to say that the search for a good early stonefly pattern is over yet; because as we all know, the research is never ending. A pic from Saturday’s float with one of my fishy friends doing what he does. Till next time ……

A few weeks ago during an online presentation, someone asked me what new fly patterns I am working on. While I’m still testing and not ready to roll that pattern out, the one that I’m experimenting with now is an imitation of the early black and brown stoneflies. The early stones aren’t unique in appearance, but they are very distinct in their behavior which is an important factor in a good fly design. Due to the cold weather these insects emerge in, they have a difficult time drying their wings and getting airborne and off the water. As a result, you can find them fluttering and sputtering on the stream surface as they attempt to reach the nearest dry land. They seldom drift on the water with their wings neatly folded flat over their backs. Tying a fly that looks like an early stone isn’t a difficult thing to do but designing a fly that creates this illusion of movement or can be moved during the drift presents a unique challenge for a good fly design. There are a few prototypes that are ready to take a swim soon, and I’ll report back with my results sometime later. Till next time …..

When I think of the history of fly tying and the constant pursuit of more

effective fly patterns, I often think of it as the search for the silver bullet. If we could just tweak the pattern a bit, change the color, substitute this or add a little of that, we will discover that silver bullet fly and then just tie the hell out of them. If you look at an older manuscript like Bergman’s “Trout”, look at the fly bins in a shop or page through the catalogs of the major commercial fly suppliers you see it in a big way. The process often results in dozens of fly patterns that have the same form but look just slightly different from the other variations. The styles of flies change over the course of time, but the search for the ever-elusive silver bullet fly never finds its answer. I’m as guilty of this as many, and more than likely have more guilt than many others. When my friends and I fish together, there is often a time in the day when we take a break and look at what each other has been tying lately in our searches for the silver bullet. That’s really not a bad pursuit in life compared to other pursuits, and maybe if I just …….. Till next time …..