I recently went up to the Wisconsin Driftless Area and met up with authors Ed Engle (also a great fly tier) and Jason Randall. When the first thing those two say to you is “The fishing was great, you should have been here yesterday!”, you better be on your toes. But the fishing was very good and it was a fun trip.
Ed wrote an article about his trip for the Daily Camera and it can be read via the link below.
Why would someone want to keep playing around and modifying a successful pattern?
For myself, there are a number of reasons. One is that it is a good excuse to go fishing, the new pattern needs to be tested. Another is that I just think its fun. And lastly, you could come up with a pattern that catches more fish. My prime example of this is the Yellow Peril.
A friend asked me to tie up a bluegill fly that he had been given and was out of. The description was a brown biot tail, yellow body and a bead. Not a lot to go on, but I tied up a few flies for both of us and fished them. And we caught sunnies, lots of sunnies, but nothing else. That’s fine, but I wanted more, so I played around and added a red collar. And we caught sunnies, and crappies, and perch, and bass. That simple change had dramatic results.
The red collar also helped to name the fly. The yellow body and red band around it reminded me of the Stearman biplane that a friend has. It was a WWII naval trainer that was nicknamed the Yellow Peril because of the number of “incidents” that student pilots had in them.
So go ahead and tinker with your flies, you never know what will happen.
I will be at the Badger Fly Fishers Spring Opener in Madison, WI this Saturday (Feb 11th), hope to see you there.
Go to badgerflyfishers.com for additional information.
The show was outstanding as usual. The speakers and presentations were great.
There was the opportunity to talk to and learn from of some the best tiers out there. I hope you all took advantage of it, I know I did.
I enjoyed meeting and talking to everyone, from the experienced anglers down to the newbies and as shown below, some future anglers.
And congratulations to Jeff Walters on winning the drawing for the box of flies.
The next season of fishing shows is almost upon us.
I will the tying at two of the Fly Fishing Shows in 2017. I will be at the Denver show January 6-8th and at the Lancaster show March 4-5th.
Hope to see you there.
I was fishing the Driftless Area near Viroqua Wisconsin last week. It was a weekday and there were few people about, which is how I like it, quiet and peaceful.
If you are not familiar with the area, there are more than 200 miles in over 60 streams and coulees available to the public. Much of it is private land where the owner and the DNR have set up easements for access.
When I heard a group approaching from up the hill, I was a bit irritated at being horned in on. They weren’t rude, just insistent that they have this section of the stream. After consideration, I decided to try another area, after all, this was their home waters.
My warm water success so far this year has definately followed the K.I.S.S. method – Keep It Simple Stupid.
Walt’s Worm has out produced my traditional favorite, the Gold Ribbed Hares Ear, for bluegill. Tied with Arizona Synthetic Dubbing on an unweighted hook it’s about as simple as it gets.
A chartreuse Squirm n Jig has been well received by crappie and the occasional sunfish. Another jig fly I’ve been playing with has a slim profile of an ultra chenille tail and a body of polar chenille, once again chartruese is my preferred color. It too has worked well for me and a couple of my friends who have been trying it out,
Largemouth bass have begun to be more active in my home waters and so far they seem to prefer an estaz worm. Both 3 and 6 inches have done well. The worm is simple, slim and lightly weighted. A tungsten bead is used for weight but there is no collar or tail added, just the estaz body.
As you can see I like my warm water patterns to be very simple. I compare fly selection to deciding what to feed my nephews when they were little. Why feed them steak when they are just as happy eating hot dogs.
For many of us, especially those who started at an early age, the sunfish was our fishing world. It was often our first fish and our first love in the sport. Usually easy to catch with a worm and a bobber at the local pond, they fought harder than anything that small had a right to.
As we grew up and replaced our Zebco reels and Ted Williams Signature rods from the True Value hardware store with rods and reels from the fly shop, too many of us replaced the sunfish with the pursuit of other species. Nothing against the other species, but the sunfish deserves better.
Below is a link to an article by Dave and Emily Whitlock that first reminisces about fishing for sunnies and ends with how to fish for them. As a refresher or as an introduction to sunfish, it’s well worth the time to read.
I had a couple of VIPs stop by the booth for a visit at the show, Lefty Kreh and Ed Jaworowski. I would be hard pressed to name two people better at casting instruction.
As I can always use help with my casting, but were unable to convince them to come home with me, I picked up a copy of their DVD ‘The Complete Cast’. Finally there will be something worth watching on tv.