**** March Playmate of the Month is here!

*****Congratulations to  musher Jessie Holmes of Nenana , Alaska for his 7th place finish yesterday at the 2018 Iditarod Dog Sled Race  and also being awarded Rookie Musher of the Year.*****

Today–Sunday…March 18, 2018 –><(((°>  My Rabbit Strip wet fly earlier gave me ideas for other patterns. How about a Crawfish pattern using rabbit strip fur?(Crawbbit) I had some rabbit strips in orange and rusty brown so here is how I used them.  

                               Crawbbits?

 

They may need a little refinement but i’m certain they’ll work. The rabbit collar flowing over the darker body should   give the fly some transparency which s always a good thing when trying to suggest/represent  water creatures.

I had thought this past week  was a good time to tie up some Foam Wing Caddis, Hornbergs and Fran Betters’ “The Usual ” Dry  fly pattern. However my fly tying area has recently become infested with mice.

 

They’re all over my tying desk.  I know from past experience the best way to rid my basement of these rodents is to gather them up then take and toss them into a pond or river. Fish, especially big ones have a fondness for mice regardless of color and are willing to gulp them down. —<°)))><

Today-Wednesday…March 14, 2018 –><(((°>  While tying several Splinter Mouse patterns earlier this week I thought the rabbit fur trimmings would make  nice dubbing for a nymph or wet fly. body. The gray- brown fur had eye appeal and I envisioned tying a soft hackle style wet fly with  dubbed bunny fur body and a partridge hackle.

                 Ingredients& Ideas

I began thinking about that bunny pattern figuring forget the partridge hackle why not use a very thin strip cut from the original  bunny strip. I could wind it on like a wet fly hackle and tie in some of the some of the fur for the tail. A fly tied with only one piece of material. Once finished the fly would be aptly dubbed “The Rabbit Strip.”  

                  The Rabbit Strip Wet Fly

Thread: Tan

Hook:  Size 8 1x long wet fly (Mustad 3906B or equiv)

Tail:  Bunny Fur fibers

Body:  Natural Brown-Gray Bunny fur chopped and mixed    

Hackle: Thin Natural Brown-Gray Bunny strip wound on wet fly style

Rib:   Fine Gold wire(optional)

 

Things learned from tying this pattern are that it’s probably easier to cut some fur and spiral the hairs around the head for a collar then using a rabbit strip. Next, using a rabbit strip for the collar makes for a bulky looking head so only the thinnest strips will provide the desired look. Splitting a rabbit strip in half lengthwise can be is a tedious operation. Finally, this pattern is for standard size 10 or larger hook . The bunny strip hair is just too long for anything smaller and beside being more difficult to use and  the fly just doesn’t look good. I plan to tie a few on streamer fly hooks and see how it looks.  I’ll update this post with photos when I do.  I believe the finished fly looks good and I know it will surely catch fish. What ya think??<°)))><

 

Tuesday March 13, 2018-><(((°> Yesterday mornings  TV morning weatherman  told of a Nor’easter bringing 12-18”of  snow and blizzard like conditions for  today. This meant certain  preparations needed to made to be ready for the storm .I stacked the back porch full with firewood then went to pick up much needed  grocery items like potato chips, soda and coffee. Then I cleaned out the chimney for my wood stove. One last item needed completion to ensure i was ready–go fishing for an hour or so.  If the forecast panned out and a foot or more of snow was dumped on us I probably wouldn’t get out for at least a week.

Storms Final Preparation

So I headed to my local brook to try for a few native Brookies. I only managed one in a little more than a hour. Pushing  7+” he was a nice one for this brook. As I slipped him back in to the 43 deg water I knew my final preparation had been completed.

 

Sunday March 11, 2018->Today<(((°>   As mentioned yesterday I did make it to the New England Saltwater Fishing show in Providence, RI . Al “the Guide” and I wandered aimlessly about for over two hours. Fly fishing gear was at a very minimal however if you were looking for that perfect Cod, Tautog or Fluke rod you would have thought you had died and went to heaven. Despite all this I managed to pick up a handful of fly tying  stuff I just had to have.. Upon returning  home I managed to tie a few flies one of which was a Master Splinter Mouse. I used this pattern to catch the biggest smallie of my life last July.  That Bronzeback was nearly six pounds  so I’ll make sure  to tie a few more.  I think this upcoming week is a good time to tie up more Splinter Mice, Foam Wing Caddis, Hornbergs and Fran Betters’ “The Usual ” Dry  fly  pattern.  That will get me away from nymphs and such. I plan on posting photos of these creations as I go along next week. So come back frequently to check.for photos and updates

Today-Saturday March 9, 2018-><(((°> I’m becoming “tied out” because yesterday I didn’t feel much like tying and only concocted a hand full.  Several  Olive Golden Retrievers  and Stayner Ducktails were tied

               Olive Golden Retrievers

Recently my post on the Stayner Ducktail has had many views so I decided to whip up several. Also last year at the East Outlet of the Kennebec River it caught a few brookies for me when fishing was slow. Unfortunately I then gave it up  to the bottom only to find it was my last one.

                 The Stayner Ducktail

The Stayner Ducktail is one of those patterns to try when fishing is slow and you’re undecided on what to try next.  ” I wonder if this will work ?” is a question that this pattern has pleasantly answered for me on the many occasions.

Later today I’m off to the New England Saltwater Fishing show in Providence, RI . There’s little on fly fishing at this event but it keeps you abreast of what’s going on in the salty world.

 Today-March 9, 2018-><(((°> I thought we had turned a page  last week  when I managed to get out several times with  50-60 deg air temps.  Seems I was wrong as  it’s been low 40s for hi temps this week with a small snow storm thrown in. While I didn’t fish, time was spent  tying flies.  Fly tying has been a life long hobby that I’ve always enjoyed and recently I’ve been doing more of it.  Not that I need any flies but  I think  you can never have too many-right?  Nymphs, streamers and soft hackle wets were what I mainly tied.

                                                              Favorite Nymphs

Of course there’s more Golden Retrievers, Maple Syrups, caddis larvae and even a few dries tied for good measure.

                                                                            Potpourri

I ‘ll be tying even more patterns as next  weeks forecast is for more of the same.

March 1, 2018-><(((°> These cuties are two of three caught in a little over an hour late afternoon today . Had several other hits and dropped a few more. Don’t know why they turned on today. Weather? 60 deg , overcast, and falling barometer? Then again, I fished  a slightly different fly then earlier outings.

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20180301 152208

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fly pattern was a Size 12, Golden Retriever( Modified). I first tied & fished the Golden Retriever in mid-March of last year. It worked well the first time out. Despite it’s success early on  I seldom fished it throughout the year but when I did it usually worked catching brookies, landlocks and smallies on it.  This pattern very popular in the southern US. especially Virginia where  it originated. Here’ recipe for the original version.

The Golden Retriever –Originator Jim Finn

  • Hook: Size 10 or 12  3x long streamer hook
  • Bead: 5/32 Gold Bead
  • Tail: Tan   Marabou
  • Body: Peach Estaz regular
  • .Wire: 025 lead wire
  •  Thread: Red flat waxed nylon

Original Golden Retriever

The  front half of the hook  from the center to the bead is  wrapped with lead wire .  Once the tail s tied in the entire body  is then covered with tying thread to provide a solid base color. The Estaz is then wound forward  with enough spacing betweens wraps to allow the base color to show through.

Here’s the modified version I used . It was tied on a #12 2XL hook (Mustad 9671) using  an Olive Marabou tail , Olive Floss under body and Olive thread . I really like the way it looks when wet–Buggy!

DRY–Olive Golden Retriever –

 

WET- Olive Golden Retriever

 

I plan to tie several more Olive ones  and a few in  Brown . Perhaps one using peacock sword tail and herl underbody .Don’t want to get too carried away!

In like a Lion
Ray

 

Today-  February 27, 2018-><(((°> This handsome little guy was jealous that a red headed Falltish was posted on my Raysfly blog last week  so he hopped on my fly with hopes of having his picture being posted also.   Today’s water temp at my little brook 42.5 deg.

Today-  February 27, 2018-><(((°> Today’s Catch–No Brookie’s but he’s a native.

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