Thursday, July 23, 2015

Riff on the Landlocked Salmon Isonychia

Landlocked Salmon Isonychia tied by Mark Hagopian
     The Relentless One, SHJ New England Liason, Mark Hagopian, offers us this take on the Landlocked Salmon Isonychia pattern tied by William, of the FlySpoke blog. William’s version calls for a body of red thread, which might be okay if one has William’s particular (unspecified) brand of red thread, ensuring it will turn the right color when wet. Mark, wisely, to my thinking, substitutes Pearsol’s Claret Silk, a proven match for Isonychia, in tying this version. This one speaks to me in that way good patterns do. And even though Isonychia doesn’t occur in my home water, I’m going to tie some & add them to my box just so I can look at them. I like the way the silk is built up through the thorax area to create the classic Isonychia silhouette. And I see this design approach lending itself to simulating emergers, cripples & drowned adults of a number of medium sized mayflies.

Beautiful pattern , Mark. Thanks for sharing it.

Landlocked Salmon Isonychia

Hook: #10 Orvis Tactical Barbless

Thread: Pearsall’s Claret Silk

Tail: lemon wood duck – curved upward

Body: Pearsall’s Claret Silk – build up through the thorax area

Wing: lemon wood duck – curved upward

Hackle: partridge center feather – one turn ~ & finish.        

Friday, July 10, 2015

Apocalyptic Black Quill Flymph

     Some things are ever changing, while others remain, seeming always constant.

There is that which abides longer, though, in truth, all passes eventually. All.

Meantime, planet enfolding carbon particulate matter takes its toll on the Pacific Northwest, which went from a dry winter, skipping spring, moving straight into a summer of blazing, hubcap-bright 100-degree-plus days. The trout lakes of my region, usually fishing fairly well at the beginning of July, are as warm as bathwater, the heat-stressed trout trying to hold on, close-mouthed, a mystery at the deepest depths. Fish & Wildlife has already closed some of the popular summer steelhead & salmon streams, & there will be more closures, certainly. And if we don’t get the miracle of rain during July & August, normally our driest months, there is a chance that all the rivers will be closed by fall.

Barely into July, there are over a hundred fires burning in Washington State. Two hundred in British Columbia.  There is no escaping the smoke – the pink tinged light hinting of fire. Passing clouds emit no moisture, only lightning.

Wonkiest year I can remember – it’s like flyfishing on the verge of apocalypse.

Due to unusually high surface temperatures, the river’s black quill (leptophlebia) mayfly hatches, normally prolific through late-afternoon & evening, & all day on overcast days in this season, have boiled down to a short burst in the evening, right up against dark. Though compressed, the big mayflies & rising trout are a reassuring constant, a reminder of what should be. And there are some nice fish up & hunting for black quills in the near dark, taking both emergers & duns. I prefer the dry, but when it gets too dark to follow its drift I switch to the emerger, of which trout are more forgiving. I fish it drifted, swung & stripped, moving, on a tight line so that I might keep contact with it in the dark.

Black Quill Flymph

Hook: #12 TMC 200R (or standard #8)

Thread: rusty brown

Tailing: 3 or 4 pheasant tail swords

Ribbing: yellow floss, doubled & twisted, wound over the abdomen section

Abdomen: chestnut-brown rabbit (2/3) mixed with dyed red rabbit (1/3)

Thorax: black rabbit

Hackle: furnace hen – 3 turns wound over the thorax area ~ & finish.