Friday, May 21, 2010

Back from B.C.

Earlier this week I got back from two days fishing with B.C. Outdoors Sports Fishing Editor, Mike Mitchell.  Mike and I spent a day on Heffley and a day on White Lake near Kamloops.

Fishing on the first day at Heffley was pretty good. Our indicators spent more time underwater than above, especially as the day wore on.  Chironomids were on the menu.  A size 12 black and red Ice Cream Cone was particularly lethal.  Heffley has relatively clear water so it was common to see fish cruising below picking of emerging pupa as they staged above the bottom.

Ice Cream Cone (Black and Red)
Hook:     Mustad C49S #8-#14
Thread:   6/0 Black
Rib:        Fine Red Wire
Body:     Stillwater Solutions 1/8" Midge Flex, Black
Thorax:  Tying Thread
Bead:     Stillwater Solutions SuperWhite Bead

On this trip I also took my latest toy out with me in the form of a 75-300 lens.  It was nice to have the extension necessary.  I was able to get a few full frame shots of a local competitor!

Day two saw us on White Lake, located about 45 minutes east of town near the town of Sorrento.  White is a beautiful gin clear body of water.  You would think you are fishing in a glass of water.  Fish were on the shoals and tough to fool.  The deteriorating weather didn't help matters either.  I still managed to get a number of fish on small size #14 and #16 black and red and green and copper chironomid pupa.

Later in the afternoon Callibaetis duns began dotting the surface.  The regatta-like collection of duns brought fish to the surface and I managed a few fish on both nymphs and emerger style patterns such as the Stillwater Cruncher.

This pattern is my version of the Cruncher that is so popular in the U.K.  My version utilizes the Stillwater Solutions materials.  Light Olive and Olive Dun are my two favorite color schemes.  It is a great searching pattern and works well on a floating or Midge Tip line when fish are up near the surface. 

Stillwater Cruncher
 Hook:    Mustad R50-94840or R70-7957 #14-#10
Thread:  8/0 Olive
Tail:       Badger or Red Brown Saddle Fibers
Rib:       Pearl Mylar or Fine Copper Wire
Body:    Stillwater Solutions Bleached Pheasant Tail, Light Olive or Olive Dun
Thorax:  Peacock Herl
Hackle:  Badger or Red Brown Saddle

The shoals on White are large and my Outbound Hover line once again proved its worth again.  I really love this line for long presentations using a slow retrieve.  Every location we chose produced fish but you had to work for them.  Smaller realistic flies such as my Stillwater Callibaetis, fine tippet, 6X Flouro Flex Plus to be exact were necessary for success.

My Stillwater Callibaetis pattern works well when trout are focusing on Callibaetis nymphs.  It also works well in rivers and streams in smaller sizes too.  For lakes try a slow five turn handtwist with prolonged pauses.  Expect the take as the fly pauses and sinks.  This pattern is featured in my latest book Stillwater Selections and the Learning with the Pros Tying Stillwater Flies DVD I did with good friend Brian Chan.  Tying instructions can also be found in the Fly Patterns section on my website.

Stillwater Callibaetis
Hook:         Mustad S82-3906B
Thread:       8/0 Tan or Olive
Tail:            Stillwater Solutions Mottled Turkey Flats
Rib 1:         Fine Silver Wire
Rib #2:       One Strand of Pearlescent Crystal Flash
Body:         Stillwater Solutions Mottled Turkey Quill
Wingcase:  Stillwater Solutions Midge Braid, Brown
Thorax:      Stillwater Solutions Mottled Turkey Quill
Legs:         Stillwater Solutions Mottled Turkey Flats

Tying Note:  Tie this fly in a variety of colors.  Coat the finished wingcase with Tuffleye acrylic. 

Clear stillwaters are one of my favorite challenges.  They really test your skills as a fly fisher. I find their challenges and nuances addictive.  Almost to a fault!

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