Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sick Day

I've been fighting a cold for a few days now and my body finally just decided, no mas. I hate being sick but it forces me to sit down at the vice and tie some much-needed nymphs for the upcoming season. This little guys used to be the fly every guide had a thousand of going into the season. It's just a pink lightening bug but it's been replaced over the years by flies like the Czech nymph and fire-bead sow bugs.
It's interesting how flies become part of the lexicon for a particular river--bursting onto the scene as the next go-to bug only to burn out in a couple years stepping aside for the next latest greatest invention by one of the pros or more likely; someone from somewhere else brought their own little flare that somehow works better than the staple. Like I said, pink used to be in but now it's purple so I've tied a bunch of the same pattern substituting the color of dubbing, thread and wire. Does it represent something tastier to the trout or does it just look like food and it's something they haven't been stung by yet?
A couple years ago the little green machine made it's presence known in a big way. In fact, by about the end of July in 2014, every shop in Craig was sold out of them. I'm pretty stubborn and tend to stick with the flies I'm confident in, (plus, I tried the LGM and just about every hook straightened out on the first fish so I didn't feel it was worth messing with,) so it didn't really affect me but I know of  a lot of guys who were scrambling to find that skinny profiled little prick. The shops didn't make the same mistake the next season when they did their pre-season order and fortunately for them, fish still ate that bug. We shall see how much inventory they'll have to sit on this upcoming year if Mr. Trout decides to forgo the little green machine for something else.
That's always the concern for a guy like me tying bugs for the future. As much as I don't believe it comes down to the perfect bug as it does the perfect drift, I've also been amazed at how good a fly works one year and then how it just shuts off the next. The split case PMD is a perfect example of that.
I was struggling one day about 4 or 5 years ago and a guide I knew floated by and they were kind of crushing it. I'm not too proud so I asked him what he was getting them on and he gave me a couple of those split case flies. My day picked up pretty quick and we didn't do anything different except change that fly. I went back to the shop that night and of course, they were down to their last few so I bought them out. The next year, I loaded up and yep, fish wouldn't touch them.
Hoppers are big for this phenomenon of one day on, one day off since they see A LOT of them in the late summer as everyone dreams of that 2 footer coming up to suck one down. It's crazy how it can be one day pink and the next yellow and then onto purple and even from one stretch to the next, color can definitely matter. I used to swear by the fact that above Pelican Point on the Missouri, it was yellow but once you got down past Pelican, it was definitely pink. That theory has been shot to hell over and over again but the bottom line is having confidence that you know where the fish are so if they don't eat what you're giving them, change it up and if the fish gods smile down on you, don't question it. Just do it and be thankful.
Keep 'em where they live...

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