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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 …….. www.ramsayflies.com #regalvise #daiichihooks # flyfishermanmagazine https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2000/07/ken-miyata.html


It’s early August already, hotter than hell, and tough to find the motivation to do much writing lately. Standing in a stream and spending time in the mountains always triggers some inspiration to pound away on the computer keys, but there’s been very little of any of these activities of late. The trout waters in so many places are flowing warm and low, so here I sit dreaming of cool water, cool temperatures, cool places I love and cool friends I miss …. and tying Hendricksons. I know ….

I cleared off my tying desk yesterday and cleaned and re-organized everything; which is one of the truest signs of desperation and something I hadn’t done in years. I found some cool things long lost under the clippings, materials and tools that have accumulated there. I found a much loved and lost set of hackle pliers that I have missed dearly, a card from a friend with some wood duck feathers kindly tucked in it, samples from a hook manufacturer and some letters from fly customers I re-read before storing them properly. I cleaned the coaster my bourbon glass rests on, and as a grand finale and threw back just a little as a celebration of my accomplishment. It really won’t be long before the waters begin to cool down, the leaves start to change and the wild trout we love start to think of love and get dressed in their spawning colors. I dream about pitching a tent in a quiet place in the mountains, enjoying the warmth of a campfire and falling asleep listing to the stream singing softly in the night. Till then, I’ll keep spinning out next year’s flies and working thru the summertime blues. Till next week ……. www.ramsayflies.com #regalvise #daiichihooks #trouthuntercdc #naturespirit


This week’s picture is a scene that is taking place on many streams where rising water temperatures are sending trout to areas that offer a cold-water refuge and it’s not uncommon to see fish stacked up at the mouth of a cold water tributary. Water flows at a stream mouth are often low; preventing fish from moving into the tributaries until a storm brings up the water level enough for them to move. This is one of the most stressful periods of the year for our trout and they are more exposed to predators than they would normally be. Eagles, osprey, heron, kingfishers, otters, mink and other natural predators will capitalize on this time of vulnerability and availability of a food source. So will some anglers …..


Sadly some anglers will see a scene like this and see an opportunity to get a hero shot, rack up numbers and boast about how many fish they caught, while never realizing the stress they are putting on trout that are already stressed. Caught and released fish have a much lower level of survival in warmer water temperatures, and a trout released with good intention might not make it for long after it swims away. A true conservation minded angler will recognize this scene for what it is, whisper a little prayer for rain, hope that those fish survive to make more, and walk away. Move your fishing to warm water species or places that stay cold through the summer months instead. Our streams will flow cold again in the fall. We should value the fish more than our fishing, and if it looks like you are fishing in a barrel, you probably are ….. www.ramsayflies.com #ItsAboutTheFish


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© 2018 by Henry Ramsay