Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Queen of the Waters

Queen of the Waters

Catskill Style

The "Queen of the Waters" as history has it, was originally tied in wet fly fashion by the brothers Professor John Wilson and Professor James Wilson. The pattern is said to have its roots in the "Professor" pattern as well and accepted history is that it was also the pattern (in wet) that Theodore Gordon caught his first fish on.

The Queen of the Waters has been tied in just about every style that fly tying has to offer. Due partly because it lends itself artistically in style, and also as a testament to that fact that it has continued to catch fish through generations.

Queen of the Waters
(As tied by Ray Bergman)
Courtesy of FlyAnglers OnLine

This pattern is my personal benchmark in tying Catskill style patterns. It is the most difficult of all the Catskills (for me) to tie correctly and consistently. Whenever I feel the need to tie in that style, I sit down at the vise and knock out a 1/2 dozen or so Queens. Once I get my proportions right, I know I am ready to move on.

But don't let history fool you into thinking this patterns effectiveness is lacking. It has proven itself on both western and eastern pocket water, bringing many of both Cascade Cutts and Northeastern Brookies to hand over the years. 

Give this pattern a try at the vise....then put it in your box.

Queen of the Waters Recipe

Hook: #10 Mustad 94831
Thread:  8/0 Tan Uni-thread
Tail:  Medium Pardo CDL
Abdomen:  Orange Floss
Rib:  Small Gold Tinsel
Body Hackle: Greenwell
Wing: Mallard Flank
Hackle:  Greenwell

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Quill Gordon (Slate Drake)

Quill Gordon

(Slate Drake)

The Quill Gordon is a pattern known by all with a history embedded deep within the roots of the Catskill history generations deep. Recently, many have walked past it in their tying lives however, thinking it's use is surpassed by more recent patterns. Sadly, it's effectiveness on the water as well as the style of tying is lost to those same people.

I have found the Catskill patterns to be both very effective over the years along with being a joy to tie. My favorite being this particular variation of the Quill Gordon when fishing over Pennsylvania's Slate Drake hatch. I hope it adds to your box as well.

Image Courtesy  of "Flyfishingconnection"
Isobychia (Eastern Slate Drake)

Quill Gordon Recipe

Hook:  #14 Standard Dry Fly
Thread:  8/0 Dark Brown
Tail:  Medium Pardo CDL
Abdomen:  Stripped Peacock Quill
Wing;  Mallard Flank
Hackle:  Golden Speckled Badger

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Following Storms

Slow night following the storms

 Hit a local pond last night that usually brings fish to the surface. But the water was up a bit from the storms of the past few days and a little cooler. I probably saw only 5-6 bass boils over a 3 hour period. I'm stubborn on warmwater and stuck with surface flies, and it proved my undoing for the evening. Patience paid off in the last 20 minutes of daylight at least, with 2 small bass and this one gill coming on a blonde Foam-butt Caddis. I took the pic of the gill because of the brilliant colors it was showing, but the flash killed the blues in the low light. All the fins and gill-plate were rimmed in a neon blue, and the breast and pectoral fin were a bright orange.  A beautiful fish.

Still, a good night on the water.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Damsel Project

The Damsel Project

In an effort to take advantage of a local water covered in Damsel and Dragonflies where the bass seam to focus hard on, this pattern is the result. Having not seen water as of yet, it has passed my tests of profile, durability, ease of tying and floatability. The true test will be water, and the opinions of the fish. Good or bad, I will report back to review how it does and any changes identified as being needed.

Below are pics of the floatability test. The pattern sat without floatant for 7 hours overnight.


Hook:  #8 Mustad C53S 
Thread:  6/0 Black
Tail/Head:  1/8" wide Black Razor Foam
Abdomen:  Blue Floss
Wing:  Grizzly Hackle Tips
Thorax:  Olive Ice-Dub
Hackle:  #6 Grizzly

Monday, July 13, 2015

Our Little Secret

Our Little Secret

This caddis pattern didn't come about by any original tying technique or claim to a newly discovered pattern. The Little Secret Caddis was nicknamed during a hatch when it was catching fish on a day when most weren't during the evening caddis hatch on the Tully. It's simply a pattern that works. But that's our little secret.  

OLS Recipe

Hook:  #16-18 Caddis Emerger
Thread:  8/0 Brown
Abdomen:  Caddis Green Turkey Biot
Wing:  Wood Duck Dyed CDC
Hackle:  Golden Badger