Spent alot of time on the water this summer. Saw amazing things and wanted to share a video. I remember watching this wondering what they were feasting on. I now believe it was midge flies. The picture was taken that same morning less than 50yds upstream. I tried counting all the strikes, I came up with something like 20. Just remembering the good times, thinking of the ones to come. Note: The video is not the best quality but in full screen you can see the strike ripples.
30 Oct 2008 / Stream Running
27 Oct 2008 / The Naturals
Note: This information is as region specific (S.E. MN) as I can tailor it to be. It may be relevant to Northern Parts of Iowa and Southwestern Wisconsin. Also, if I forgot something/made a mistake in my information PLEASE post with what needs to be changed. This is for my benifit as well as visitors to W.F.F.
Looking at the 1st nymphal category “The Crawlers” there are five Mayfly species that have direct relevance to myself as well as other S.E. MN anglers. The following is a list in order by approximate hatch dates with condensed versions of relevant information. Thank You Troutnut.com for the excellent pictures.
Dark Hendrickson (Ephemerella subvaria ) 12-14 Reddish brown to tan. April-May
Look for nymphs in the gravel and vegetation of slower meandering water. These nymphs tend to swim for a longer time and can be twitched upon retrieval. Hatching begins at 50-55 degrees. Hatches 2 points out the importance of poor weather slowing the duns down and providing for optimum fishing dun patterns.
Light Hendrickson (Ephemerella invaria) 12-16 Tan with olive and yellow cast. Late May-June
These nymphs tend to prefer medium-fast water and like subvaria the nymphs use the current to choose an optimum emergence site. So they make for good nymph fishing because they are movin’! Hatching occurs in water from 50-60 degrees. Hatches 2 makes a big point of noting the size and color differences by a hook size or more between invaria, rotunda and dorothea. Meaning to me that I should tie these slightly larger because I’m looking specifically at invaria.
Iron Blue Quill (Paraleptophlebia) 18-20 Dark gray with maroon cast. Late May-June
My book says that the hook size for a dry is supposed to be 16-18. The nymphs tend to prefer quieter water. The gills are much larger on these nymphs than those of ephemerella.
Sulfur (Ephemerella dorothea) 16-18 Orange to cream. Late May-Early July
So my research in telling me that dorothea has typical ephemerella features and will spend time finding a spot to emerge. The book really makes a big point to note that dorothea differs from invaria by a full hook size and color.
White-winged Blacks a.k.a. Trico’s (Tricorythodes) 20-24 Charcoal. July-Sept
I fished during trico action so I’ve seen these and they are small. The book and other info is right on for a 20-24 size hook. The nymphs thrive in streams with a p.h. of 7.5 and above. Nymphs live in the silt, sand and gravel in slow to medium current. As well as the aquatic plant life. Hatching between 52-56 degrees. Trico’s also have typically a very long period of emergence spanning over months.
Trying to keep this short but very useful. Hope my goal is accomplished. Also, I picked dun photos because I’m tying Compara-Dun Dries at the moment. Pictures coming soon.
26 Oct 2008 / The Naturals
Looking forward, knowing that the urge is always there, driving by streams because they are out of the way. I have been working on Midges for winter and will continue but in an effort to prepare for the prime season I have been reading up on the Mayfly and in specific the varieties that are of importance to my waters.
The task has been very interesting and makes me wish I had started trout hunting much earlier in the season last year. Seeing naturals will be the best way to talor my flies to what the trout here eat. With out that the best I can do is read. With a few hatch charts for this area I have picked the main species of mayfly in this area to research further.
Hatches 2 is going to be my primary source for specific size and color variations for the species I find in the hatch charts. Along with the specific species they break down into four main categories according to nymphal type.
1. The Crawlers
The Super Crawlers Family Emphemerellidae, The Feeble-Legged Crawlers Family Leptophlebiidae, The Tiny Crawlers Family Tricorythidae and Caenidae
2. The Clingers
The Fast Water Clingers Family Heptageniidae
3. The Burrowers
The Slit Dwelling Burrowers Families Ephemeridae, Potamanthidae and Polymitarcyidae
4. The Swimmers
The Darting Swimmers Families Baetidae, Siphloridae and Metretopodidae.
I like the descriptive terms the book uses to help you remember key information about the characteristics of the real life insect such as “silt dwelling” useful to know where and when you will find these insects on the stream. In posts over the next few weeks I will look at specific species of mayfly in these four categories. It is my hope that posting the important information for my area will help me make much better choices with regards to fly tying. This is how I will prepare for next season without having the experiences I will get next season.
24 Oct 2008 / Fly Tying
The Winona Fly Factory has been hard at work tying new and different flies for next season and this winter. Working on dry fly midges, white caddis, midge larva, deer emergers, ect. I will be posting those in the W.F.F. Flies page. This makes my winter tying total up to 18 dozen finished.
I wanted to play with soft hackles but I don’t have much in the way for stores to buy materials and they are costly but I do happen to have a dog that pheasant hunts and I used feathers from a pheasant half to tie different soft hackle patterns based on the information I’ve been reading at Whiskey Creek’s site (link below). As a result of my interest in playing I tied a few different flies that I have attempted to name and will try next season to see if any will catch a trout. We shall see, but fun to experiment! Name suggestions welcome, I don’t know if I like the ones I have.
I would like to note that the two streamer patterns are tied like salmon flies in that they are not much wider than the hook even with the feathers on top unlike the middle one which requires a front view to explain it a bit more.
Check the W.F.F. Page for images of the other new flies. Recipie requests are welcome always, leave a comment and I would be happy to give any information I can.
22 Oct 2008 / Fly Tying
Hook: Dai-Riki 135 #16
Thread: White 6/0
Abdomen: Lt. Dun CDC Wrapped Forward
Underwing: Final Wraps of CDC
Wing: Deer Hair Tied Short
Thorax: Olive Rabbit/Nymph Dubbing
Notes: No Additional Weight, Just the bead.
This is a pattern like many that I’ve been working on that I have not fished yet (I started fly fishing/tying this past June). It should be interesting to see next season how I do trying the variety of flies I’ve been working on. This pattern has a good detailed description of the CDC application on the link below Flytiers.
18 Oct 2008 / Everything Else...
Decided I needed to get something done. I did it as soon as I had my mind made. Part of me for the rest to see. Sorry for the glare, I’m still a bit sore.
Work done by Eric from Tatu Royal in Winona, MN. Completed 10/18/08
13 Oct 2008 / Fly Tying
Spent the evening after work tying Caddis flies with the deer hair from a section of hide that Liz and I cleaned and cured last week. The hair is excellent and for some reason is a better quality than the elk hair I bought the last time I was at the store. The elk at the store would stack but would have misshapen hair. I tied these flies with antenna made of lemon wood duck. I’m curious as to why these are not common on store bought caddis. Do they affect the way the fly casts? Do others not tie them on because it takes alittle longer? I personally like the antenna. I tied a dozen and a half tonight and I’ll try for the same tomorrow. That makes 12 1/2 of 50 Dozen.
12 Oct 2008 / Fly Tying
Weekend fly tying has brought me to a few different patterns. I worked with some new materials including CDC. I also got to use some of the deer hair that Liz and I cured from the hide I got a few days ago. The hide as a whole needs more time but I was able to use a small piece for a dozen or more flies.
I tied a dozen CDC and Deer Hair Emergers. I also tied a half dozen Soft Hackle Midge Emergers. The last one above is an IOBO pattern. This is supposed to be a great multi-fly pattern but has the downside of being entirely CDC which can only hand one good fish and then I will have to tie another one on until the latter dries fully.
I tied a scud pattern both with and without a bead head. I titled this the Page Scud due to the fact that I use a mix of Grey Rabbit dubbing and my cat Page’s fur. This mix gives the lighter grey a darker more natural color. I finished by tying a half dozen CDC and Deer Emergers using peacock herl to form the thorax rather than dubbing. That makes 11/50 dozen.
11 Oct 2008 / Stream Running
On July 21st I met my dad at 6:45am on my porch. Liz and the dog were still sleeping as Dad and I slipped off to the first of our stops. We went first to one of my favorite places that I refer to as Dinosaur Land. My father had never fished for trout before, frankly he spent most of his time fishing chasing lazy fat catfish. He brought a spinner rod and spent the morning trying to get a good cast in before putting the fish down. With small trout spinners there is little weight to cast. He started getting the hang of it as the morning progressed.
I nymped with a caddis larva most of the day. I only pulled out one fish all day. That was kind of a bummer but my dad got to see me catch a brown on the fly as it took my caterpillar. We spent the rest of the day working different spots but for the most part I wanted him to catch one so I let him fish and put most the fish down. Still had a great day and it was awesome to teach my dad what I’ve learned.
09 Oct 2008 / Everything Else...
I got a doe deer hide from a friend at work today and managed to read enough hopefully to clean and keep the hide so the hair is useable for fly tying. I know that the entire hide isn’t useful as it applies to fly tying however I do believe that I can use the better parts and perhaps dye the other parts different colors for new patterns. This is the first time I’ve done this so forgive my ignorance. I must admit that without Liz I would have been in the basement forever. She is amazing and is always so willing to help. Makes me realize how I need to help her.
Liz and I cut and scraped as much flesh and fat off the hide as we could. I don’t have the proper space to do this but we managed. We used non-iodized salt to cover the entire hide after we cleaned it to dry it out. It has a fan on it now and we will check up on it over the next few days to a week. We might have to scrape the old salt off and re-applying new. Can’t wait to tie flies with it. Do it yourself, or go home.