April 29, 2008
It has been ten days since I last held a buffalo in my hands. I am going through withdrawl.
I don't know how I lasted all winter. Visions of these magnificent fish haunted me through those long months; images of lost fish replayed over and over in my head. The feeling of a hook pulling through a lip and a suddenly limp rod, crushing your spirit.
I was not able to land one single buffalo on a fly last season. Many times I had a buffalo hooked, only to have the hook pull out or have the fish turn in to the current and break off. It was frustrating. I had caught a couple small ones on a jig and twister tail, but that was not the same. Fishing buffalo on the fly is a challenge. How do you get a fish that primarily feeds on zooplankton and filamentous algae to take a fly?
I spent some time this winter and developed a couple of fly patterns that I felt would be successful for taking buffalo. The first was my buffalo soljah pattern. It is a cross between a pheasant tail nymph and a large chironomid (midge) pattern. The red wire rib was a key component to this pattern. I also tied a variation of this pattern with green wire, and black hackled version with red wire. So far, I have caught buffalo this season on the original and black variation patterns. I also developed another interesting pattern this winter, my antron special nymph. While I was tying those buffalo soljahs, I was looking for a material that would be a lot more durable than pheasant tail fibers, yet would still hold shape and impart movement in the water. I came up with antron yarn. I experimented a bit and the special nymph was borne. The entire fly is made from antron yarn, save the bead head, mylar wingcase and wire rib. This fly has been very successful so far this winter and has been a great multi species fly.
I have had six bigmouth buffalo at hand so far this season in five outings. I really can't complain, after all, it is only April. However, the power of addiction is strong, and I am longing for more. I just can't keep these fish out of my thoughts.
And these visions of Buffalo that conquer my mind...
April 27, 2008
A winter staple in these parts, I typically smoke two or three batches of fish each winter. I was lazy this year and finally put my first batch of the season in the smoker on April 27, typically about 3 months later than usual. Never mind the fact that I had to shovel out nearly three feet of fresh snow from my back porch just to get the smoker out. Go figure.
Nothing beats fresh smoked trout and ciscos straight out of the smoker. A real treat. Since I had some space, I also threw in some country-style boneless pork ribs, to be enjoyed later.
April 25, 2008
April 23, 2008
I also have some cool chenille that is called glimmer chenille. It is peacock colored. I tied a real webby saddle hackle for the collar. It's almost like a wet fly. I fished this pattern this morning and caught plenty of white suckers on it. I tied it with wire instead of tinsel for more durability. I like it a lot.
April 22, 2008
April 20, 2008
April 17, 2008
It was a slow day today. The water was real cloudy due to the recent runoff and higher spring flows. I had to blind nymph making hookups a lot more difficult to detect. One carp, a bigmouth buffalo, a silver redhorse, two pike and a half dozen small channel cats. The pike hit a krystal chenille scud pattern and a san juan carp killer. Interesting to say the least, and certainly unexpected. Those channel cats certainly were feisty little devils, and hit the san juan carp killer.
The san juan carp killer was definitely the fly of the day. I'll need to tie up a bunch more though, as the glass beads are fragile and tend to fall off the hook after awhile. Maybe I'll need to try some plastic beads instead. I tried the clam fly today for little bit with no success. I will give it an honest try once the water clears up later this spring. The season is still young!
April 16, 2008
The walleye spawning station went in at work this week. Apparently the water temps will be warm enough for walleyes to start spawning by this weekend. Ok, well maybe not, but I did see a northern in the rapids at Dunton Locks yesterday, and apparently there were a few northerns and suckers that came into the net last night. Two white suckers. Now there's some hope that soon the suckers will be running.
I'll be there ready with nymphs in hand.
April 8, 2008
April 7, 2008
So much for spring....
April 3, 2008
April 2, 2008
My new Dyna-King Barracuda Trekker vise arrived yesterday, finally. It's a little different than my old HMH Silhouette, but very capable. I only got to tie a half dozen flies on it last night, but so far I am happy with it.
Now I can finish tying up a bunch more flies for the season before fishing picks up within the next few weeks.
hook: Size 6 Eagle Claw kahle or Mustad 37160
Slide between 1 to 3 beads on the hook shank; place hook in vise Tie in your thread towards the rear of the hook, just above the hook bend. Tie in a small pinch of marabou, and 4 or 5 strands of krystal flash. Tie in the micro chenille. Whip finish, tie off and trim. Push the beads back toward the rear of the hook. Reattach thread about a third of the hook shank back from the eye. Pull the micro chenille forward, and tie in to the hook shank. Make around 6 turns of thread in front of the micro chenille to make it stand up. Whip finish and tie off. Melt the tip of the micro chenille using a lighter or other heat source. Only a little heat is necessary to melt the micro chenille, be careful. Optional: Use a Sharpie, or waterproof marker to put a dot on the micro chenille above the hook eye (towards the "head").
This fly pattern was from a fly swap I participated in. The contributor (Marc) borrowed this pattern/fly from a trout guide that also loves to fly fish for carp. He says the hook is the key. He's tried to use scud hooks, but has had much better hook up ratio with these mustads. Also add between 1 to 3 beads depending how deep the fly will be fished. Leaving a space for the beads to slide around, and click together is another important aspect of the tie.