it may not seem high, but there is twice the normal amount of water in that pond

To say it’s been raining a lot would be a little obvious. Seems like we’re getting all the rain we never got last summer. At least the air temperature has been more spring-like as of late.
It’s tough to fish in 25 mile an hour winds and rain pouring down. I’ve been fishing regularly, but without much success. The water around here is usually muddy- now it’s more like a chocolate milkshake.
I’ve been spending a lot of time at the vice, filling my fly boxes with hooks and feathers and fur, dreaming of the fish they may someday catch. When there’s a break in the rain, I head out to field-test my creations. After all, there are no fish in the bathtub.
The other day I fished for just a few minutes. I used two flies: a dark fly and a light fly. I hit all the usual spots with my light fly, CB’s Punk Midge, but not so much as a bump. I tied on an identical fly that was tied all black, and immediately caught a couple fish.
Maybe color does matter.
Usually it seems we overthink our fancy lures and fly patterns- does it really matter what colors we use? Isn’t it more about the presentation and the action in the water?
Hare’s ear nymph with soft hackle

As with everything fishing, there’s probably more to it than that. Perhaps it’s a combination of everything, and the fact that we can never really figure it out keeps us coming back to the water’s edge.
I tie many flies. I have generous friends who provide me with a steady source of wide and varied furs and feathers, and I make frequent purchases of hooks, beads, and weighted wire. Sometimes I even buy flies, but I so thoroughly enjoy catching fish on things I made myself they are rarely used. Maybe it’s arrogant, but I catch plenty of fish on my own ties. I may not be saving any real money, but I feel like I am, and that makes me fish the flies with more confidence. Not to mention the flies you can make that you can’t buy; I’ve been experimenting with streamers that ride hook-up without the use of bulky dumbbell eyes. I tie a bunch of wire above (not around) the hook shank, and at least in my bathtub tests the fly performs as expected. This will help them catch more fish and fewer weeds.
Hook-up bucktail streamer

I certainly won’t spend $30 on a fancy fly box when I can make one for $5 out of a plastic “craft organizer” or hard-shelled wallet. I just need them to hold my flies.
I can go to the store and buy a rainbow of dyed animal furs, but why do that when I can dye the fur I already have with kool-aid? Amazingly, it works great, and the color does not come off in the water (or on my hands).
Hook-up kool-aid-dyed bucktail (Mickey Finn)

..And I highly doubt most fish can distinguish between “proper” hare or squirrel dubbing and dog fur on my buggy creations. My drawers are already overflowing with materials; besides hooks and weights, I’m set for quite some time.
All of this fly tying has me learning new techniques, esoteric fly-tying methods like polish woven nymphs. It took a few tries to get the hang of it, but I think they look pretty cool. I expect them to catch fish, just like the rest of my flies.
Polish woven nymph

So here I’ll sit until the rain stops and our waters go down- putting hooks into my vice, adding feathers and fur, dreaming of all the fish I’m going to catch with them.
more woven nymphs

 


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