Thursday, November 6, 2014

Camp Dog ~ Hairwing Wetfly

     Though there are some stand-out examples from the Northeast & upper Midwest, there is no doubt that hairwing flies have earned their place in the West, where they flourish & their development still ongoing. We see two distinct lines in the West: the Trude style of the Rocky Mountain region, tied with cock hackle, a sort of combination pattern fished both wet & dry; & the Western salmon/steelhead hairwing style, with roots in the Atlantic salmon traditions. But it is interesting, I think, that the style/approach hasn’t been widely applied to trout flies, & for no good reason, in my own experience. Probably due to trends. About the time quill-winged wets were vacating fly boxes in the 1960’s, they were replaced with wingless nymphs of all types, popularized by writers at that time. And now the bobber & bead-head trend. The style has not been abandoned altogether, but its development has been truncated somewhat in the trout fly department, most anglers busy concentrating on the presentation they know.

The Camp Dog & other hairwings posted here are swinging flies, & come into their own when that presentation is called for. Trout like the swing & dangle every bit as much as salmon & steelhead do. At times, it is all they want. These are perfect for delivery with two-handed trout rods on larger freestones; filling a niche where large streamers don’t fit the bill &, in my own experience, more often than not the more demure hairwing will out-fish a big streamer, while being more pleasant to cast.

I mean the Camp Dog as a lure. Combinations of copper, orange, red, yellow & black work as a trigger on my home water, as evidenced by the success of the Thomas Buoyant spoon here, in copper with red, yellow & black spots. No, it’s not the action. The same model & weight in another color doesn’t work nearly as well. I played with the colors, arriving at this version, which killed UC redband & cutthroat for us this Fall after October caddis faded. I hope somebody will try this one on sea-run cutts & give me a report.

Camp Dog

Hook: #8-#12 3x wetfly style (I tie these in mostly #8-#10, on TMC 200R or salmon/steelhead style hooks)

Thread: Orange UNI 8/0

Tail: Golden pheasant tippet

Body: Tag of orange tying thread; copper tinsel; a short thorax of red fur dubbing

Topping: Stacked: yellow calf tail; squirrel tail; red yak underfur (fox or calf tail may be substituted) -- apply a drop of Loon Hard Head or thick dope to the thread wraps holding the wing

Hackle: Natural black/bronze hen ~ & finish.



Flyfish NE Washington with Steven Bird: http://ucflyfishing.blogspot.com                     

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