If you couldn't tell by now, I spent the entire summer fishing streamers for bass, carp, and the like. And, without a doubt, the soft hackle streamer was one of my top 3 "go to" patterns. If simplicity = elegance, this fly turns some heads. What a fish killer! I especially like watching bass chase this pattern while swinging it throught the top 1/3 of the water column.
Tying instructions for the soft hackle streamer at Jack's Site
I was working on my other website this evening, the one for my high school math classes, when my wife told me the local family of deer were in our backyard. So, when forced to choose between work and taking a few pictures, I made the easy choice.
It might be difficult to tell from the pictures, but the fawn with spots is a button buck. This small family of deer allowed my wife and I to come within about thirty feet of them, and they stayed in one spot for a few minutes before slowly meandering to the neighbor's yard for some "greener grass".
Well I figured I'd give a peek into my all purpose nymph box. It is all purpose because it is the only one I carry. However, most of the time if I'm fishing a nymph I'm going after trout. I know, I know carp and bass eat nymphs too. But, I can't resist throwing meat to my favorite warmwater fish. I love watching carp get those "scared horse eyes" when they see a #4 long shank minnow float past them. They'll move a long distance to suck those babies in. (Some people don't believe me about this)
I haven't given much respect to the trout I like to catch yet. Honestly, I just don't get to fish for them very much any more. When I visit my parents in Central PA though it's game on, and usually Pheasant Tail on along with a big nasty nymph at the point.
I'm a big fan of simple when it comes to fishing, and when it comes to leaders, it doesn't get any more simple than the Ian Colin James formula. If you haven't seen it, here it is.
My personal leader is slightly more complicated. Basically, you take a three foot piece of 15 pound maxima chameleon and attach to it a 1 foot section of 15 lb yellow amnesia. Afterwards comes another 1 foot section of maxima followed by a 1 foot piece of red amnesia. The red amnesia is 10 or 12 lb test. The yellow and red amnesia serve as strike indicators. If I'm fishing in a stream that contains sewage after a heavy rain, I'll attach around 5 more feet of 6 lb Berkley Vanish before the fly. If there happen to be trout in the stream I'm fishing, I'll put on 3 feet of 6 lb Vanish followed by 2 or 3 feet of 4 lb Seaguar Abrazx. The Abrazx is .007" diameter making it 4X.
The Vanish is cheap at about $9 a spool, but the Seaguar runs about $20. Both are flourocarbon and are far cheaper than buying "tippet" material. Personally, I like the 4 lb Seaguar for everything including carp; however, the carp don't seem to mind the 6 lb Vanish, and at $9 a spool, I would rather use it.
The moral of the story is to keep it simple and save your money.
I have to say, until recently, I didn't give Ed Shenk's patterns much respect. The sculpin looked to realistic and ridgid for my tastes, I'm more of an impressionist, and the minnow looked too plain even for me. As you might be able to tell from my recent posts I was completely wrong about these two flys. They both slay fish. On the sculpin I have caught bass and carp. A few of the carp have gone three or more feet out of their way to eat it. I have yet to try it in trout infested waters, but I have no doubt they would find it tasty as well. On the minnow I have absolutely hammered smallmouth all summer long. It has also caught me some rubberlips and a trout. Ed Shenk is called the master for a reason.
Well I didn't have much luck today fishing. Two fish, and neither one was worth photographing. However, I did come across this buck walking downstream toward me. He saw me taking pictures and didn't get close enough for a good shot. He seemed to be a six or a small eight point.
I also happened upon this little toad that was kind enough to pause for a few pictures.
This Joe Cornwall fly has been a staple in my streamer box for the past two seasons. It has been a pretty good smallmouth fly, in fact the title picture for this blog contains one, and an excellent carp fly. This is my rendition of The Mixed Media.
The main ingredient is fox body fur. A tanned red fox can go for between $50 and $100. Luckily my dad obtained one for me from a friend at work. This fox seems to still have some life left in him!
What can I say...It is fun cutting deer hair with double edged razor blades. I've never been a huge fan of deer hair head flies because they are buoyant, but I've learned that if you put enough lead into the body they'll sink just enough. Fish them on a floating line in low water and hang on (that was cliche wasn't it?)!
And Murph has made a return appearance to the blog!