It is February 22 and about -22 degrees below zero. A good time to tie flies I guess. When you first start tying it’s pretty fun. Ones new creations catching hungry trout is a blast. Usually the most banged up, ruffled looking flies catch the most fish.
Lately I’ve been cranking out some chubby chernobyles and some bullet head skwalas. We will soon need these in quantity and I’m running low so I’ll be going cross eyed here for a few days. Tying a funky fun dry fly is quite a bit more exciting than cranking out 20 dozen san juan worms. As a guide there are certain flies we need when trout aren’t really feeding. You put a little prince nymph or a SJ worm in front of a sleepy trout enough times they’ll usually eat it. Later in the day when the trout are feeding more happily we can hopefully get them on a dry fly or a streamer.
Some people get too fly specific. Here’s and example. I started the day off by throwing on this big stone fly even though there weren’t flies this big hatching. This big bug got two or three eats in the first 200 yards after launching the boat in kind of a weird spot. It was a sneaky spot that is hard to get your boat in and this part of the river doesn’t get a bunch of traffic. When trout are crushing a big bug right off the bat its usually because there was a hatch the night before and they are eating these things off memory, unless there are nocturnal stones or some weird caddis hatch. These particular fish haven’t been fished a bunch and were hungry. . Well I was excited so I put on one of my low pro, less puffy looking sneaky bug that usually gets crushed. I also was tired of watching the baby duck fly my guest was throwing.
My guy immediately complained and said don’t take that off its working awesome. I reassured him that the fly I was switching to would work better, and that I am not a fan of not catching trout and wouldn’t purposely switch if I didn’t think trout would crush this one. Well we now were in some non fishy water and this new fly didn’t get bit for a short while. My guy says “why don’t you put that other fly on?” I responded “just give it a bit this isn’t fishy water.” We floated a few more yards down the river my guy purposely throws the fly into a tree and snaps it off. He than says “that fly wasn’t working anyway”, and told me to put the first fly we used back on. I’m thinking back to last night when I sat up until 11pm tying these special bugs after a 12 hour guide day. My guy will have success and I didn’t appreciate him purposely loosing my fly. I back rowed to the tree that my fly was stuck in, dropped anchor. My guy asks “What are you doing, astonishingly?” I responded “climbing this flipping tree to get my fly back that I tied last night!” I scampered the tree, pulled my fly out, hopped back in the boat and tied this fly back on. “My guy kinda pouted and looked dismayed that I would put the fly back on that in his limited opinion, didn’t work. We floated a few more minutes to and undercut bank that recently had some big fish on it. My guy plunks the fly to the bank and BAM, a toad brownie about 21 inches crushed this fly. The rest of the morning big fish crushed my secret weapon that my guy tried to throw away, and my dude was all smiles!
I guess I didn’t prove any points by my rambling other than I don’t like loosing my flies that make me cross eyed tying! And maybe trust your guide every now and then.