We've been getting more than out fair share of rain here in the Pittsburgh area recently, and while I'm not opposed to donning the rain gear and mucking it for a day, it's to the point now that the only fishable water (for me), are the tiny headwaters. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, my ultralight rod fiasco (more on that in a later post) has me in search of bigger fish.
To that end, I've been tying some flies that are about as big as I typically tie, using synthetics that only see the light of day a few times a season usually. I'd like to catch a pike on the fly this year, and while it may not happen, I've got a few good spots to hit that might well produce. Yesterday, I turned out this crazy looking thing, and I plan to tie up a few more in this style before I put all those synthetics back in a box. All three shots here are the same fly, just a bit closer to the subject each time. Also sorry about the grain, I had the D80 cranked to ISO 1600 and didn't realize it. I promise to check from now on.
Tied with a combination of super hair, pseudo-marabou, flashabou, cashmere goat, wing-n-flash, krystal flash, and Senyo's laser dub.
I made the head by stacking short clumps of minnow blue pseudo-marabou, then stacking blue laser dub, then gray laser dub. After that, make sure you brush out the head with an old toothbrush to remove any loose fibers and to get all of that dubbing swept back. It looks really nice and neat by the time you're done.
I like the effect of this type of head, and while it maintains its bulk underwater, and pushes lots of water, a false cast lets it shed most of that water, and by extension, a lot of excess weight. In fact, that's one of my favorite things about this fly. While it'd ideally handled by a fast 6wt or a 7, I could easily lay it out to 40-50 feet with my 4wt LTX.
As long as my casting stayed disciplined, I could turn this thing over nicely with an Airflo sinking leader, but if my casts got sloppy, it was all over. Then again, throwing an 8" fly on a 4wt at all isn't really exactly using the right tool for the task.
I also tied a few bass flies. I guess they'd be sculpins...maybe they're what the Baby Sparkle Sculpin grows up into? Either way, here's a look at the first few prototypes. Though there's more field testing to be done, I like the looks of them, both in and out of water, and they're likely to become a permanent addition to my warmwater boxes.
Again, apologies for the high ISO...