Friday, January 24, 2014

Turkey Biot BWO

     I was both humbled & amused by Scott Sadil’s article in the Jan-Feb issue of California Fly Fisher magazine, featuring the Bird’s Bunny BWO, a soft-hackle pattern I tie for meeting Blue Winged Olives. Scott ties a perfect example of the Bunny. And, more important to the subject than fairly nailing my profile (glad he left it where he did), he makes a point of mentioning that there is no be-all-end-all pattern for meeting the spectrum of BWO hatches. No one sure thing. And it is helpful to anglers fishing over BWO's that Scott said that, as it is certainly true in my own experience. No matter where you fish, there are likely to occur at least a couple species of small mayflies referred to as Blue Winged Olive, & in a fairly broad range of sizes, from #14 to #24, & a variety of colorations. So, for that reason, it’s good to carry at least several versions & sizes representing BWO. The Bird’s Bunny, in a #16 or #18, is fairly reliable on my homewater & other places, yet not everywhere, nor in every situation that I’ve fished it. And, even on the same water, fishing over the same BWO species, I have noted a daily preference in what trout want – one day it’s the light colored pattern, & the next day it’s the dark one – even in the same (usually low) light conditions. Why? I don’t know, really. And also intriguing is that the trout will all be of one mind on the subject of preference, what they are going to like on a day. That is the way of trout, & whatever their reason, it’s a good idea to carry a variety of patterns to meet whatever is trending, or at least a dark & a light version in #18.  Here’s a version tied with turkey biot that is showing some promise. I like quill bodies, & really like the ease & result achieved with turkey biot:

Biot BWO

Hook: #14-#18 Daiichi 1150 (I like this hook for its up-eye, & because the wide gape puts more iron to big fish, while the short shank results in a smaller sized imitation than standard wetfly hooks. I tie a #20 on a #18. And remember: nymphs will be one size larger than the adults you are seeing, if it’s the nymph & not the drowned adult you are simulating.)

Thread: Gray or olive

Tail: Light honey-dun hen hackle fibers – four fibers, about the same length as the body

Abdomen: Olive turkey biot wound as a quill body – wind a thread underbody & apply a coat of thick head cement to the thread before winding the biot – I like Loon Hard Head for this

Thorax: A short thorax of light-medium gray rabbit or muskrat dubbing

Hackle: Light honey-dun hen – & finish~

Flyfish the upper Columbia - NE Washington with Steven Bird:  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Resolutions & Brown Hare’s Mask & Plover

Brown Hare's Mask & Plover tied by Steven Bird 

     Since the advent of this new year I’ve been considering some resolutions for 2014. Not many, the list is short. Actually, quite a bit shorter than it was at the beginning of the month directly following the hangover resulting from the New Year’s Eve celebration at Happy Jack’s Tavern. Nonetheless, I’m feeling squared away at this point, & those things remaining on the list of resolutions might represent the nuggets left in the pan after the overburden is washed away. Here they are:

1)    Fish the Brown Hare’s Mask & Plover more often. (Sure, the hackles are rare & difficult to obtain, I have a wing & a portion of hide given to me by Bert Brehm & those hackles are begging to be fished. Well, most of them. Maybe half of them.) 
2)    Write better.
3)    Learn people better.
4)    Wear clean clothes & look decent.
5)    Let go.
6)    Dance better.
7)    Take better care of teeth.
8)    Take better photos.
9)    Stay glad.

Of course I’m reserving the right to change my mind on any of it. Flexibility is a virtue, after all.

Brown Hare’s Mask & Plover

Hook: #12-#16 (flies in the photo are tied on #16 Daiichi 1150)

Thread: Yellow

Rib: Gold wire

Body: Dyed brown hare’s mask

Hackle: Golden Plover (English grouse or sharptail grouse are fair substitutes) 

 Flyfish NE Washington with Steven Bird: