I tied up some more freshwater mussel patterns this evening to field test tomorrow. I wanted to investigate the success the roughfisher death clam held last week. I don't believe the tough outing last Sunday was a fair representation of what this fly can do, even though it accounted for half of my four fish from the day. I tied up several different versions with varying color siphons, if that even makes a difference to the fish.
I tied up an obligatory roughfisher swimming nymph, as any rubber legged nymph will suffice. You just can't complain about having too many of these patterns stashed in your fly box.
In a take off my previous discussion regarding the effectiveness of the Clam Before The Storm pattern, and the rare occurrence of a live mussel found with its valves open, I did some experimenting. I had a bunch of furry foam left over from the failed pattern and still wanted to put it to use. The CBTS pattern had some good aspects to it that I wasn't ready to let go. I switched the dumb bell eyes out for a large 4mm or 6mm bead, with chenille threaded through the hole. I slipped the bead on to the hook shank. Instead of tying the foam on to the hook shank in the middle of the foam, leaving the ends to form the valves, I tied it in the opposite manner. I pierced a hole through the middle of the foam and threaded it on to the hook, pulling the chenille through the hole. I tied the tag ends of the foam on to the hook shank, around the bead. This effectively formed a pocket around the bead, and maintained the appearance of the clam having its valves shut with its siphon exposed.
We'll see how this pattern works in the field. It may be a complete bust like its predecessor, but at least I thoroughly exhausted all of the options and gave it a fair chance.
Wish me luck.