February 26, 2010

the Roughfisher Squirrel

Not my forte by any means, the Pink Squirrel is one of those patterns that may prove my nemesis. It is a painfully elementary pattern to tie, yet I still struggle with its simplicity. Nothing like a little humility to quaff an ego at the vise. Nothing wrong with a cold, hard bitch slap of the truth once in awhile to keep things real. It's those challenges that help keep me sharp.

Roughfisher Squirrels
The only way to confidently tie up a squirrel is to make it my own. A killer pattern local to the Driftless Area, I never really found much success fishing this fly "up north". Every instance that I've drifted this pattern in local creeks resulted in spooked fish. Since the prairie creeks and streams of the Northwoods vary greatly from the spring creeks of Southeastern Minnesota, the Pink Squirrel needs a little tweaking.

Roughfisher Squirrels
Roughfisher Squirrels
The genesis of the Pink Squirrel is allegedly due to the tendency of trout in the SE to strike at the brightly colored indicators. Leave it to a local angler to put that same brightly colored material on a fly and slay the trout. Pink, however, has never been a hot color in my experience. I've heard of anglers doing well with pink for smallmouth on the Otter Tail, but I've never shared those same successes. It's possible that warmwater fish may not defensively strike at strike indicators the way salmonids do. I do know that most any fish will feed on an orange scud though, even a pike. I modified the pink hotspot on the squirrel with some orange Angelina. In case the fish want a bit more girth, I tinkered with a few flies and added some glimmer flash chenille to the thorax, just behind the hotspot. In a feat of awesomeness, I crafted a peacock version, complete with peacock flash tail, peacock glimmer flash chenille thorax, and peacock Angelina hotspot.

peacock squirrel