Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Low Light Caddis

    It’s been a fairly apocalyptic season. 

On the personal side, a hectic guiding schedule has kept me rowing & mostly fishing vicariously.  

In the broader picture, things started with a nearly record spate that put a damper on spring & early summer mayfly hatches. Then, beginning in June, the air temps soared to 100 degrees & have hovered in that range ever since. B.C. began to burn in June &, as of now, August, continues to burn. The smoke is barely tolerable along the U.S./Canada border & if it gets any worse we might be advised to evacuate. 

I’m seriously considering evacuating to GreenlandArctic char.  No trees to catch fire or foul your backcast.

Taking the month of August off. Finally getting to fish & that’s making me happy, even if the only productive time is generally only for that hour right up against dark. And by “productive” I don’t mean wide-open. I mean productive compared to nothing. One or two trout per night. Maybe a handful on a particularly good night. 

There’s not a lot showing up top, just a quick shooter of risers feeding on the short spritzes of caddis hatches beginning just before dark. Satisfying fishing just the same. The wild redband are summer-schooled & extra canny, presenting a difficult challenge calling for a 12’ leader, 3lb test tippet & a perfectly presented sedge emerger. This has given me the opportunity to play with some patterns that might be reliable in low light.

I’m fairly certain that size & profile are necessary constants, but is matching the natural’s coloration the best approach in low light? Well, to answer my own question (like a crazy man): yes & no. According to my own experience & observations, too fanciful or gaudy is not an entirely reliable approach, & neither is too drab. There’s a balance. And that seems to lie with designs that simulate the natural’s coloration in an exaggerated manner & in a way that incorporates light, or, more precisely, relying on material choices that gather & reflect light. Not only does such a design work better in low light, but also during heavy sedge hatches when the imitation must compete with a bazillion naturals. Oftentimes the pattern, I think, must stand out, yet in a way that is enticing without being overly intrusive. That’s where the creative fun arises to challenge the designer.

Here’s one that is turning the trick on some well-educated trout, late evenings:

Low Light Sedge

Hook: #12 Daiichi 1150

Thread: Camel UNI 8/0

Hackle: brahma hen, stripped on one side, 2 turns

Body: 4 strands of pearl midge flash, twisted to a rope – Over-body: Hareline Ice Dub UV Shrimp Pink (this stuff is enticingly ambiguous & doesn’t look actually pink but rather a tannish-salmon with lots of green, blue, & rootbeer highlights, for lack of a better description) tied in as a collar –  Thorax: pine squirrel dubbing mixed with a bit of mahogany or ginger antron

Topping: 2 gadwall flank fibers tied in prior to winding the hackle ~ & finish.  

4 comments:

  1. Gull. We need more flies with gull.

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  2. Have you been snooping around my fly tying bench? I'm a little spooked because I have all the ingredients for this bug right here in front of me. What are the chances, eh?

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  3. Bert, don't be spooked, good luck has just stung you. Universe is trying to tell you something. Try this one. Don't think you'll be disappointed.

    Steve

    ReplyDelete