This variation is using long plastic chenille. Note the red wool butt as you can't place the chenille any further than half way without crowding the maribou tail. Interestingly, I caught a large rainbow with this fly. There are sunfish in the lake and maybe this triggered the response.
Dazzle Dubbing Black and Red body with white Phentex shell back. This fly has been catching since the hatch right after our first frost. The phentex post aids in sighting and creating some noise when jerked.
I have great hopes for this fly as soon our lakes open. The body is a piece of plastic Q Tip handle. Should float like a cork! I'll make a larger version for Bass.
Water is still a bit warm for C&R so I'm not taking pictures of the fish. It is possible to encourage long line releases by not setting the hook and letting the line go slack. I managed that four times the other day but two had to be let off at the tube quickly.
This is my new version of the Orange Hammills. It allows an inline arrangement and less tangling. Worked well and caught fish. Orange certainly seems attractive especially to Brook Trout.
This a trout version of a new series of flies I am tying. I'm still working on the bass and pike types which have been very successful. Water is too warm for C&R on my trout ponds so I may have to wait but if we have a cool stretch before Fall, I'll be out trying it. Theory is that it must be attractive to see a minnow with a leech attached. Being a trout fly, I deliberately made it as slim as I could with only a bit of flash. They can be easily spooked.
I always start by making sure my favorite flies are well stocked in the boxes. If the flies from the past season are tattered, then they get dumped but some of them only need to be repaired.
The PT Nymph was again one of the best producers esp of brook trout. This one got a new tail, some added PT to the body, another round of herl and new shell back with legs.
This year I am adding a translucent back which should reflect some light. It is made from "UV Knot Sense"
I'm also stacking them loosely in a fly box I inherited from my long departed dad who is fully responsible for my addiction. It is a Cortland box and must be 60 years old or more. I find the tails get easily damaged any other way.
Of course Mayfly nymphs only have three tails but you are better off to start with five. There will be three soon enough!
I've been out fishing the warm water for a few weeks now. The water is too warm for safe C&R for trout. The cutoff for me is 70F. The thing about fishing for Bass and even Walleye in the early part of the season is that you can do the traditional kind of flyfishing by casting to shore and around structure with a dry line. They are also not so fussy about what fly you send to them as long as it is flashy. I often put 'failed' trout flies into my Bass Box but they have hooks that are too small. But they are good for smaller fry like Sunfish and Rock Bass, which, btw are delicious to eat.
By harvesting these 'scrap' fish, you give the more desirable fish the food that they would have taken out.
The Walleye and LM Bass above were caught on my favorite fly, the Mississippi Maiden shown below.
The red flash represents blood flowing from an injured minnow. Golden Olive Maribou tail with palmered green chenille body.
This is my best minnow imitation. It got the most large brookies in Algoma and my first large Splake. It is a remarkably simple fly. Dark rabbit strip on top, White rabbit strip on the bottom. A little trick showed to me by Phil Rowley was to puncture the strip and tread it onto the hook for the bottom strip. Phil glues his strips together but I don't. See the picture below and you will notice the thick copper wire that I tied on the underside which may give a little extra flash. I only tie it at the back and front. Being loose, it may also give more action.
Don't use too much flash for trout. It could scare them off. For bass put on as much as you want, LOL.
This is my newest bass fly and it works like a charm on both big Large Mouth and Small Mouth Bass (and anything else big enough to get it into its mouth.
Such fun to see a loud burble of water that this mouse causes when that take it in. They like it so much that it is often deep in the throat. Make sure you have some long nose pliers or hemostats.
A very east pattern to tie using thin strips of mink. You don't need expensive materials. I've been using scraps from a mink coat maker. The tail is the trick. It can be a scraggy piece with just a wisp of hair at the end.
Get the tail in. Thin strip of foam tied on. Wind a thin strip of mink. Then bring the foam over. Tie down, come back a bit and tie down again. Shape the "ears". Colour the foam as required. The ears make it easy to see where the fly is and creates a bit of noise moving the water when jerked. The hairs move all over the place driving the bass mad.