Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gino and Jon


Here are some great photos of my fellow Confluence guides Gino Bernero and Jon Hazlett.  There is a little matching game you can play with the sand images.  Enjoy!
Fall River Valley
Fall River
Guess which one is which!

Trinity River Spey Clinic
 

Trip Report: Tasmania 2002

By Andrew Harris
Here is a reprint of an article I wrote for the Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club's newsletter during the last week of my stay in Tasmania. If you are thinking about fishing Tassie, I'd be glad to help you plan your trip.
I am now in the final week of my month-long stay in Tasmania, the island state just south of mainland Australia.  I decided to come here after talking to a friend and several fishing clients who had been here.  They told me how they had stalked large brown trout in shallow, crystal-clear lakes and streams.  Sight-fishing is my favorite aspect of fly fishing, so I was intrigued.

I arrived in Tasmania with a single major misconception: I imagined that it would be warm here.  After all, it is part of Australia, and February in the southern hemisphere should be the equivalent of August at home in California.  I pictured myself blissfully wet-wading in my shorts and t-shirt under a hot sun.  In three weeks I've only witnessed three days where I felt comfortable wearing shorts and a t-shirt.  Wet-wading is almost entirely out of the question.  Most days I'm wearing thermal underwear and pants underneath my waders, and I've frequently wished for an additional layer!

The weather is not necessarily cold, it's just extremely volatile.  I've seen everything between 90 degrees and calm to 40 degrees and 40 knot winds.  The wind here is a fact of life.  This is Gore-Tex "WindStopper" country.  Not only is the wind frequently strong, but the direction of the wind greatly affects fishing strategy.  Northerlies bring warm air off the mainland; southerlies bring freezing air up from Antarctica.  Much attention is paid to the weather forecasts.  It's a far cry from summer in Northern California, where some years it seems like we hardly see a cloud between June and October.

The ever-changing weather has brought a number of perfect polaroiding days.  "Polaroiding" is the Aussie word for sight-fishing.  Polaroiding heaven lies in the heart of Tasmania, in an area referred to as the "Western Lakes."  The area includes over 3,000 lakes, interconnected by small streams.  In the winter the lakes and streams rise and flow together, allowing the wild brown trout to distribute themselves thoroughly.  Most of the lakes are shallow; some have significant weed growth.  All of them have big fish.  The average brown out of the Western Lakes would be between two and three pounds (Aussies measure fish in pounds, not inches!).  My best so far is seven pounds, and I have sighted fish up to ten pounds.

The best part about polaroiding the Western Lakes: the fish prefer dry flies!  Their preference for dries probably stems from the prolific hatches of mayflies, caddis, midges, and the presence of many beetles, cicadas, and other terrestrials.  The mayflies are the big hatch, though.  They have a mayfly very similar to our callibaetis.  The Tasmanian version is slightly larger (commonly a size 12 or even 10), a little darker in color, and they look very fat and healthy, if you can imagine a fat and healthy mayfly!  The locals call them highland duns.  Fish call them lunch.  My best fly has been a Quiggly-style mayfly cripple, size 12, with black possum tail for the wing.

To get a mental image of the Western Lakes, think of the High Sierra above the treeline, but much flatter and with more soil and scrub.  Where we'd have marmots in California, Tasmania has wallabies.  Wallabies are small kangaroos.  There are also wombats and Tasmanian devils around.  I've seen a few dead devils alongside the road.  They look like a black, medium-sized dog/pig hybrid with bad teeth.  Walking through the scrub is very difficult.  There are few proper trails like we have at home.  There are many lakes that you can drive to, and thousands more within reach of a day hike or overnight trip.

The fishing is slow and deliberate.  On the deeper lakes you search the edges; on shallow lakes you can wade right out.  Keeping the sun to your back, you walk slowly, searching for any sign of a fish.  Much like stalking bonefish on the saltwater flats, many times the fish sees you first and spooks.  But then you see one in front of you, and the game begins.  You have to strike a delicate balance between casting so close that you spook the fish and casting so far away that the fish won't move to your fly.  If the fish refuses your fly it's often best to switch before casting again.  Sometimes a fish will seemingly entertain you for ten minutes or so even though he knows you're there and won't eat anything you throw at him!  But many times, once you've made the right cast with the right fly, the fish will rise slowly and confidently and take your fly.  If you don't jump the gun and set the hook too soon, you're hooked into a beautiful wild brown.  Most of them will jump several times and pull line off your reel.  They are amazingly strong.

Some of the fattest, most beautiful fish I’ve seen in Tasmania have come from the rivers.  Although the rivers generally have a low gradient here, many of them are quite large.  Most of them are weedy, clear, and relatively flat, much like our western spring creeks.  The Tasmanian browns have a quirky tendency to eat insects flying above the surface of the water.  There are copious dragonflies, damselflies, and mayfly spinners hovering over the water, and at times there are multiple fish launching out of the water after them.  It’s quite a sight to see a five pound brown launch himself three feet into the air and land six feet from where he started!

I arrived in Tasmania with high expectations, and the fishing here has met or exceeded all of them.  Don't come to Tasmania to catch a lot of trout.  Come here for a chance to spot and cast to a large, wild brown.  And for Pete's sake, bring some warm clothes!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sage Spey Clinic on the Rogue with George Cook and The Ashland Fly Shop

Havin a good time on the Rogue spey style.

Will Johnson, the owner of The Ashland Fly Shop, rounded up 10 hungry Spey casters for a great class on the Upper Rogue.
George Cook, our NW Sage Rep, brought his "A Game" of instruction and humor. His knowledge of Spey casting, the history of it, and NW original cast, like the Snap-T, is unparalled.
I started the day with Spey basics. Then introduced the switch cast and single spey.
George did the Snap-T family of casts next. "You are the spey quarterback and you need to know when to audible", he says. You have to come to the Sandy River Spey Clave in May to hear the rest!

This is a spey rod and I am not afraid to use it!
George introduced the Double Spey before lunch. After the lunch coma, we switched to river right and reviewed all previous casts.
As the wind and rain moved in, Dax Messett (our celebrity guide guest) and I had a friendly casting competition. Without disclosing too much detail, let's just say it ended in a draw.
I did a quick Snake Roll demo next.
As the monsoon overtook us, we played a little game I like, the "what did I do wrong? game. I demonstrated some bad casting maneuvers and had the students indentify faults.
That didn't last too long (due to epic wetness and wind) and we called it a day.
Young Matt and I watching his D-Loop and Anchor. Important!
For more info on our upcoming classes and clinics, check out our website www.confluenceoutfitters.com
Come see George and I at the Sandy Spey Clave in May. We'll be in the Sage booth as well as doing river demos.
Hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to tie a bead fly

Here is the secret formula for tying a bead fly. No thread, vice, or tying material is needed...since it isn't actually a fly.


1. Stick some toothpicks in an apple


2. Swipe some nail polish off of your chick


3. Shove some beads in the toothpicks


4. Paint with secret polish color


5. Let dry...no need to whip finish, since it isn't a fly


6. Remove beads and toothpics. Eat apple.


7. Throw the bead on your leader under a bobber with some split shot, stick something in the hole to hold it in place 4 inches above a bare hook...maybe triple it up if you want the old chain link fence or something like that. Motor up runs in your "driftboat". Side drift, set the hook often...sometimes they even get hooked in the mouth vicinity.


8. Continue pounding run until the fish stop "eating" your bare hook under the bead "fly". Continue sidedrifting down to the next good run and set the hook often...you might snag one on the way downriver. Ask people in every other boat you see "how many they got" and feel good about yourself. The number of fish you hook will overpower the guilt that is billowing inside of your angling soul as you continue masquerading as a fly angler.


9. By the way, this method is illegal...so don't get caught!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Klamathon Spey Del Fuego

We had another stellar Spey clinic on the Klamath last weekend. Craig Nielson of Shasta Trout organized our second Klamathon Lodge Spey weekend with the help of Jeff Putnam and Chris King. We had eight tough dudes who stuck it out during some challenging high water conditions. Our hosts and lodge owners John and Robin kept us well fed and entertained all weekend.

We had a great time with our dudes. How can you not have fun with guys like Murph, Dave Med, Gene, Bob, Steve, and Larry? They cast their asses off for two days in high water and at times mach winds. I didnt' see anyone fall in or hear anyone complain. Only saw one rod break and one fly stuck in a jacket. Now that's a solid group!




Pictured is Chris King giving his talk on the rules of spey casting. Some rules can be broken and some can't, he says. If you don't believe him, just ask him! Chris did tell us that he is always right! (That was an inside joke.)

Our guys were super into it and asked a bunch of great questions. We did our best to answer them and gave our persectives. Made for some lively discussion.

Charles Gehr of Fly Water Travel gave a cool presentation on Spey Destinations Saturdays night. Murph is the only guys who fell asleep during it. 7/8 isn't bad.





Med's wife made the instructors custom Buffs. We rocked them.






















Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bugs of the Trinity River

I just spent a day on the Trinity with my brother-in-law Clint Mackey, host of Eagle Canyon Trophy Trout Lakes.  I was on a mission to photograph some of the big bugs that hatch this time of year.  Check out these photos!

 

Green Drake
 
Green Drake


Skwala stonefly


Bald Eagle (haven't seen a fish go for one of these yet)


And yes, there are still some steelhead around!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Trip Report: Los Roques, Venezuela

by Andrew Harris
In January 2005 my dad and I decided to take a vacation somewhere warm.  He wanted to do some scuba diving and I wanted to catch some bonefish.  We talked over the options with Brian Gies at Flywater Travel in Ashland, Oregon.  We ultimately decided to go to Los Roques, Venezuela.  It turned out to be a great decision.

We left Sacramento at on March 12, 2004.  After flying to Dallas, then Fort Lauderdale, we arrived in Caracas, Venezuela at .  Our transfer agent, Tony, met us at the airport and took us to our hotel.  The Caracas airport isn’t actually in Caracas.  It’s about 30 minutes away.  Given the recent political unrest in Caracas, we were glad not to be in the middle of it.  Tony picked us up the next morning and took us back to the airport, where we caught a flight to Los Roques.  As far as I could tell, my dad and I were the only norteamericanos on the flight.  There were some people from the Netherlands and Italy, but most people headed to Los Roques were Venezuelans on holiday.  After a quick 40 minute flight we landed at the airport at El Gran Roque, our island home for the next six days.  We were promptly greeted by Ramon, an employee of Sight Cast Outfitters.  Ramon showed us to our hotel (a five minute walk down the road).  Except for a few golf carts, there are no vehicles on El Gran Roque.  You can walk everywhere.

Ramon introduced me to my guide, who helped me rig up my rods and hustled me aboard the boat.  We drove almost 30 minutes to our first destination.  This would be one of our longest boat rides – most destinations are 15 to 25 minutes from the lodge.  We hopped out on a nice flat that surrounded a small island.  Many of the places we fished were similar: narrow flats sandwiched between the beach and the reef.  This particular flat was anywhere from 50 to 200 yards wide.  We stalked the flat, moving counter-clockwise around the island.  Within 20 minutes I spotted my first bonefish.  Throughout the rest of the trip, it would be rare to go more than 20-30 minutes without seeing a bonefish. 



Saturday, March 13, 2004
            Arrived in El Gran Roque around .  We were greeted by Ramon Paz, one of Cris Yrazabal’s employees.  He showed us to our room at Vistalmar Lodge.  Tari, my guide for the day, quickly found me to help me organize my gear, and to hurry.  We strung up my 8wt and 9wt and jumped in the boat with Ramon and William, the boat driver.  It was strange to be in a boat with three guys wearing identical Sight Cast Outfitter logo t-shirts.
            We drove about 30 minutes to our first spot.  Tari jumped out with me and we started stalking.  We were fishing the relatively narrow flats on the margins of a mangrove island.  Most of the spots we fished today were similar.  Intermittent (nearly constant) cloud cover made fish spotting muy dificile.  I spotted the first two bones, but they were close-in and spooked before I could cast.  Tari felt that this flat had already been fished, and his suspicions were confirmed when we saw another boat pull out.  We left and went to an island with a fishing village.  Apparently they weren’t fishing for bones, because bonefish were in abundance.  I saw something I had never seen before – bonefish trying to steal minnows from the beaks of pelicans.  My first hook-up came on a cast that landed one foot from the head of a pelican.  The 5 lb macabi, which looked like it was kissing the pelican, attacked my grey and white clouser minnow (meenow).  The fish ran over 100 yeards, tangling itself in 3 different anchor ropes.  Tari dove in to release the line from an anchor.  I landed the stocky fish, which turned out to be hooked in the side.
            We saw some tailing bones, but I cast to them, spooking unseen fish closer in.  We moved to another island, where I ate lunch and enjoyed a ½ hour siesta in a hammock.
            Tare woke me, saying he had spotted some fish.  We futilely chased more pelican-kissers, then found some tailing bones.  Unfortunately, some clueless Italiano turistas were blocking my backcast.  When they moved out of the way, they moved into the water, spooking the fish.
            Prior to that I landed a fish in a small bay, again on the clouser.  We changed flies 3 times.  This fish was hooked in the left eye.  Pobrecito macabi!
            I had all the “First Day” maladies.  Line tangling – over & over again.  Bad casting.  Trouble determining when the fish had eaten the fly.  These fish don’t simply charge the fly and turn as soon as they’ve sucked it down, like in Ascension Bay.  I also had the jitters, feeling under pressure to fool these 5 lb plus bones.  There were some hogs!
            After being foiled by the Italianos, we rounded the corner of the island and came out into a big, shallow bay.  I immediately spotted a tailing bone and spooked it with a bad cast.  I would have dozens of opportunities to cast to tailing and cruising bones in the next two hours.  We changed flies many times, and I finally landed a 7 lb bone on an olive bitter.
            I learned 3 more new things from Tari.  Tired of casting with the wind blowing into my right shoulder, I suggested we walk to the other side of the flat and come back, so I could cast more easily.  He said it wouldn’t work because we’d kick up mud, which would be carried by the current towards the fish.
            He also said sometimes, when the bones are eating minnows, you can see the bones more easily because the minnows move away from the bones, creating a clear spot around the fish.  30 minutes later I saw a case-in-point.  In the Bahamas, Florida, and Mexico, I had never seen bones so accustomed to eating minnows.
            Also, when a bonefish is chasing your fly and it stops, don’t move.  They’re more sensitive to sounds and vibrations when they’ve stopped.  Wait until the fish starts moving again to re-cast.

Sunday, March 14, 2004
            My alarm went off at .  A little too soon, but I had slept well.  I rigged my 10wt with wire & a barracuda fly, and added 10 lb tippet to the 8wt and 9wt.  After breakfast, Ramon introduced me to Ericario and Jesus, my guide and boat driver, respectively.  I would hear only 2 English words the rest of the day.  “Fish” and “strip.”
            The tide was high.  Our first spot was the narrow shallow edge of an island.  More pelican-kissers.  I tangled my line on my first cast, then draped the next one over the pelican’s back.  Luckily, the fly went over without snagging the bird.  And then a bonefish ate it.  He shook the fly on his 2nd run.  15 minutes later I landed a 4 lb bone on a long cast.  My guide was pleased.
            The Los Roques bones are well-fed.  They are short, stocky fish, and very strong.  Even the barracudas are fat.  Plenty to eat – the bonefish could definitely be picky.  Our next flat was loaded with cruising bones that would not eat my fly.  I must have had 2 dozen casts with 6 refusals.
            There are so many fish here that it’s easy to become complacent.  If you botch one cast, no worries.  There will be another fish.  Probably soon.  I had a couple fishless trudges of 45-60 minutes, but I always knew I would see another fish.  This feeling of faith and confidence is in stark contrast to my past bone-fishing experiences.  On my other trips, whenever I saw a fish, there was an intense pressure to hook it, for fear that I would not see another bonefish the entire trip.
            I quickly realized why Cris refers to Ericario as his best guide.  He knows how to position the angler so that the wind does not make casting difficult.  Yesterday, I fought the wind constantly.  There was only one spot today where the wind was on my right.  It was the spot where I hooked and immediately broke off a 20 lb plus tarpon.  Ericario rigged my 10wt rod with a black tarpon fly and carried it as we fished bones on a large inside flat.  Battling near-constant cloud cover, we hooked several more bones, including one around 8 lb that I broke off on the hookset.  Then we came to a dirty brown cove that was thigh deep.  Ericario handed me the canya diaz.  Pelicans were diving, and E. said his clients caught 3 tarpon here yesterday.  I started blind casting, but had no luck.  I thought I saw a tarpon against the mangroves, but it was 3 casts away.  We moved in closer and E. spotted one.  After a few casts (blind as far as I was concerned), a large wake appeared behind my fly and I felt a large tug.  I gave it the mean tarpon strip-strike, but the 20 lb test mono failed.  I was so excited about wade-fishing for tarpon that I wasn’t even bummed that I botched.  I’d fished tarpon before, but always from boats.  This was rad.  We spotted another one the same size.  After a few targeted casts, the big fish chased and swirled on the fly, but didn’t eat it.  My heart stopped.  We waited 20 minutes, but the fish never came back.  We polished off the day with 2 more bones.
            One noteworthy observance is the make-up of the fish population on the flats.  There are the usual boxfish, needles, snappers, and barracudas.  But I have yet tot see a shark or a ray, and I have only seen a handful of crabs.  But everywhere there are minnows.  I asked my friend Glenn before the trip, “What’s the worst thing to forget?”  Polarized sunglasses, maybe even an extra pair, he said.  Wrong answer.  The worst thing to forget is clouser minnows in grey & white.  My guide looked at my box full of beautiful crabs and shrimp in despair after I lost the last one.
            So now I tie flies…

Monday, March 15, 2004
            We started at this morning.  I hopped in the boat and we drove all of 100 yards and Jesus dropped anchor.  Ericario handed me the 10wt, newly rigged with 40 lb test and one of the 3 tarpon flies I made last night.  Since I forgot to bring tarpon hooks, I had to destroy some of my other tarpon flies to get hooks.  I probed the depths near the pelicans for 15 minutes.  I was about to ask if it was ever possible to see the tarpon when I saw 2 tarpon roll, both about 30 lbs.  Over the next hour we would see dozens of tarpon from 10 lbs to 100 lbs, but none that would eat my fly.  I practiced weaving my casts between flying and swimming pelicans.  I saw two of the biggest bones ever chasing one pelican.
            The sky was clear most of the morning, but I was beginning to wonder if the wind always blows here.  Since my arrival the wind had been in the 10-20mph range.  Today it was 15-20.  Not a big deal for a good caster.  If you approach from the right direction, the wind can help lengthen the cast and disguise the impact of the fly.  It doesn’t do much for accuracy, though.
            Accuracy would be the name of the game today.  Ericario and Jesus took me to the pancakes, very small islands that only rise above the surface at low tide.  Some had small mangroves, most did not.  Another new kind of water for me.
            The bones on the pancakes are very spooky, selective, and frequently move quickly.  We switched to 8 lb test tippet and to a mini-puff.  We fished about 10 pancakes.  They ranged in size from 100 to 500 yards in length.  Some had stupid fish, most had tough fish.  One had no fish.  Most provided at least a few good opportunities.  We fished 2 pancakes that were so loaded with bones I couldn’t believe my eyes.  One of them was fruitless, but the other, the last of the day, was very productive.  I hooked the 2nd 10# bonefish of my life.  It was in a school of maybe 50, happily tailing in 10” of water.  I didn’t see it, I was merely trying to pick one fish off the near edge of the school.  I sent my cast 10’ too far, landing it in the middle of the now-spooked school.  Their panic subsided quickly, and I hooked a strong fish.  It ran 100 yards, turned, and the line went totally slack.  I reeled in the backing then stripped in the fly line.  A very large barracuda had taken notice of the school, and many of the fish were coming toward us, out of the deep water to escape the predator.  One was a very large bone with a white scar on his back, probably from a past encounter with a barracuda.  As I continued to strip in my line, I realized that this was the fish I thought I had lost.  It ran off again, about 200 yards this time.  After several minutes my leader succumbed to the coral.  Not unlike my previous experience with a 10 lb bone in Florida.  Lesson learned.  Never stop reeling!
            I finished the day with about 10 hookups, not bad for the pancakes with a 20 mph wind.  I’m down to 2 fingers on my right hand that don’t have serious line cuts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
            Line cuts are worse – can barely write.
            Another epic day of fishing.  After 45 fruitless minutes of tarpon flailing, we drove across the pond.  We found a beach where a huge school of jacks were in a feeding frenzy.  I caught 2, one of which E. kept for food.  When the tide receded to E.’s satisfaction, we headed to the pancakes.
            I saw 2 rays.  Still no sharks and few crabs.  I ended up with 9 bones hooked.  I only landed 3-4.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
            Line cuts on 3 fingers.  Down to the pinky.  Writing is painful.
            Today I confirmed my suspicions that Los Roques is a “windy place.”  I can’t imagine the wind is any worse in Tierra del Fuego.  Thanks to good guiding by Ericario, I was always in position to cast with the wind, and I had perhaps my best day of saltwater fly fishing ever!  I also realized the value of the nine weight rod.  I brought 3 rods on this trip.  An 8 wt for bonefish, a 10wt for tarpon, and my new 9wt for permit.  Except for my first day, I’ve used the 9wt for the bones.
            After a jarring, wet boat ride, we arrived in a small lagoon, sheltered from the wind.  The water was a murky brown, and baby tarpon were rolling against the mangroves.  After 45 minutes and many fly changes, I hooked and landed a 5 lb tarpon.  I never realized how big the eyes of a small tarpon can be.  They don’t really grow into their eyes until they reach about 20 lbs.
            The tarpon became less active and we left after another half hour.  For the first time I fished bones from the front of the boat.  Jesus set us up on a long drift along the shoreline, and I hustled to cast to spotted fish as the boat overtook them.  I landed one nice bone, but the wind was pushing us very fast, so we left.
            Jesus took us to the area where I hooked the tarpon 3 days ago.  E. & I hopped out and walked to the entrance of the lagoon.  The water was deep, up to our waists in some areas.  I missed a good opportunity in one corner of the bay.  We trudged over to the other side, near the tarpon cove.  We spotted some more bones, and I hooked one after making several casts.  It felt very strong, and turned out to be about 8 lb, the biggest bonefish of the trip.  We then headed into the tarpon cover, and E. handed me the 10wt, rigged with 40 lb test tippet.  I had to cast backwards due to the direction of the wind, and E. wanted it close to the mangroves.  I had not made many casts when a wake appeared behind my fly.  E. had stressed the importance of strip-striking to drive the hook home, and not lifting the rod.  Since my index and middle fingers had deep line cuts, I switched the line to my ring finger, just in time for the grab.  The fish was overtaking the fly as he ate it, and it was hard to keep tension.  I stripped hard until I caught up with the fish.  E. yelled “Mas, mas!” so I gave the fish a couple more big strips.  Finally the 10 kg tarpon jumped, and we were both relieved when the hook held.  After a few minutes and a few more jumps, we got the beautiful fish to hand.  I took a couple great photos of E. with the fish.  He was very happy to land one – his clients before me had broken theirs off, 3 in one day.
            We made a few more casts into the tarpon cove, then switched to bones.  E. found a school in deeper water.  I couldn’t see them, but I caught 6 more bones before lunchtime.
            We met some of the other guides and guests for a magnificent fresh seafood lunch.  Raw oysters, lobster, and potatoes.  Afterwards we returned to the same spot.  The school was still there.  E. and I traded guide stories while I reeled in 7 more bonefish.

Thursday, March 18, 2004
            We headed out to the outer reef, a new spot for me.  Cris & my dad went along today.  We found the flats to be very deep.  Cris explained that the high winds had blown a lot of water into the archipelago.  I hooked 2 fish in the first spot.  Cris saw a permit and made a couple casts, but without luck.
            We moved on to another island with wadeable flats.  E. and I walked a couple minutes before we spotted a school of 5 large permit.  I’ve never seen a guide change flies so fast!  E. tied on a crab fly and cut the leader back to about 20 lb test.  Unlike my last permit opportunity in Mexico, I didn’t panic.  My first cast was good, and my 2nd cast was perfect.  The lead fish in the school looked at the fly and chased it, but wouldn’t eat.  The school swam off into the deep.  We waited 15 minutes, but they never returned.
            We saw no bones on that flat.  We moved on to another small island.  I hooked one more, then we moved on to the airport flats on El Gran Roque.  There were many large bones around.  They were very picky, and with the wind and waves we didn’t always see them soon enough.  I broke off several, including one at least 8 lbs.  We had no more grabs after I broke off my last clouser minnow.
            We called it a day after lunch; I was exhausted!

Trip Report: Belize Mothership Trip

Last year my fishing client Mike Bobbitt called me up and asked me if I would like to join him, his father John, and his brother Sean on a fly fishing trip to Belize. It would be a mothership trip departing from Belize City. Nine days of fly fishing. I asked for more details and did some research. The price was right, I had frequent flyer miles to cover the flight, and the company was good, so I decided to go for it!

On June 6th, 2004 we arrived in Belize City mid-afternoon after two remarkably short flights. Martin, owner and captain of the mothership Meca (named for Martin's wife), picked us up at the airport and drove us all of 15 minutes to the pier. Dean, our other guide, helped us load our bags into one of the skiffs and drove us out to the Meca. After an hour in Belize we were on our way out to our first anchorage, near Long Key.
We spent the first afternoon organizing our gear. I strung up my four Sage Rods: an 890 XP, 990 Xi2, 1090 RPLXi, and a demo 1290 Xi2. Carol, the third and final member of the Meca's crew, cooked us a wonderful dinner, and we hit the sack.

The next day we headed out to a shipping channel to dredge for tarpon. Dredging with a 12 weight fly rod and a fast sinking line is not fun. The guides seemed to believe in it, though. When the sun got high enough we moved out to an area where we could sight-fish for tarpon. Martin explained that the tarpon would be moving along a long sandy beach as they migrated south. Seeing the fish was not a problem. Unfortunately, we had near-gale-force winds that were driving large waves into the beach. Nevertheless, Martin saw a tarpon within a few minutes. Mike cast to it and immediately hooked up on the 80lb fish! The fish ran and jumped several times, but ultimately broke off when Mike ran out of backing. I felt really bad because he was using my rod. Be warned - a Ross Canyon Big Game 5 reel cannot hold enough backing to play fish this size!

That first hook-up was just a taste of what was to come in the next three days. We worked hard to spot fish and make good casts, but I averaged 2 hook-ups a day on tarpon ranging from 40 to 90 lbs. I jumped four of them. One broke me off on its third jump, and the rest through the hook on the first jump. There were also permit flats in the area, and Sean managed to hook one, but he broke it off.

On the afternoon of our third day we moved to Robinson Key, an area known for its excellent permit fishing. Day four was the worst day in terms of weather conditions. Lots of wind and no sun. The only way to spot permit in that kind of weather is if they're tailing. And few of them were. The next two days were even more frustrating because we had excellent conditions but very few fish to cast to. By the time we left Robinson Key, I think I had about 8 opportunities, including 4 times when I'm pretty sure the fish saw my fly. Mike landed a 5 lb permit, and we all hooked up on jacks.

After three days of total permit frustration, we moved to an area called Heusner. I liked this area the best. There were grassy flats where tarpon and permit would hang out, plus mangrove areas where you could cast to baby tarpon and snook. We even got a shot at some nice bonefish. Conditions were challenging, with light winds and no sun. I jumped a few baby tarpon and landed a 10 lb mangrove snapper.

For our last full day we moved back to Long Key. We got into a bunch of bonefish in the evening on very shallow flats. Belize bones are mostly 1-3 lbs, but they still pull hard and are a lot of fun to catch. We hit the sandy tarpon flat again. John hooked a big fish that jumped 7 times before throwing the hook.

On the morning of our last day we fished some bonefish flats close to the airport. The bonefishing was slow, but Martin and Dean found some baby tarpon. I finally landed a tarpon about 10 lbs. Mike and Sean hooked up, too. It was a great way to end the trip.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Trip Report: Tasmania Hosted Trip

By Andrew Harris

I first traveled to Tasmania, Australia in February 2002. I spent a whole month and enjoyed myself immensely. With the variety and quality of the fishing, the ease of travel, and friendly people, it was just a great destination. When I was contacted by Tasmanian fly fishing guide Daniel Hackett in the summer of 2005, it didn't take much to persuade me to plan my next trip.

Daniel and I put together an itinerary for a hosted trip for March 2006. We designed a five day, six night "Tasmania Sampler" package that would allow the guests to sample all the different kinds of trout fishing Tasmania has to offer. The guests would fish three days with Daniel at Riverfly Lodge, and then two days with fellow guide Neil Grose at Rainbow Lodge. We conducted the trip March 6-12, right in the middle of my two week stay on the island. I ended up bringing two clients, very nice gents named Ted and Gene, from California and Maine, respectively.

Some of the highlights of the trip:

Ted's three pound brown on the MacQuarie River, caught on a black spinner. The MacQuarie is a tailwater river that flows through farmland. Daniel guides the MacQuarie from his 14' raft.

The St. Patrick's River was a perfect place for Gene to try out his three weight rod. The St. Pats is a very scenic small stream that is full of wild browns.

I explored numerous small streams and hooked brown trout up to two pounds. On my best small stream day I landed about forty wild browns up to fourteen inches.

In the evenings we enjoyed delicious meals prepared by Cameron, the chef at Riverfly Lodge.

Excellent grasshopper fishing on the Esk and St. Patrick's Rivers for browns up to three pounds.

I successfully polaroided (sight-fished) several browns 2-4 pounds in the Nineteen Lagoons, all on dry flies.

I'm looking forward to my next trip to Tasmania. Stay tuned!

Trip Report: Long Island, Bahamas

In April 2006 Katie Mackey and I traveled to Long Island, the Bahamas, to fish for bonefish. We spent our first three nights at Stella Maris Resort at the north end of the island. Stella Maris is a very nice resort that caters to divers, fishermen, and families. We had a room with a great view of the Atlantic side of the island. The lodge had great food, with a different dinner menu every night.

On our first full day at Stella Maris Resort we fished with guide Docky Smith. He has a great reputation and we quickly discovered that he comes by it rightly. Docky is a total professional. He is a great communicator and was able to get Katie, a beginner at bonefishing, into quite a few bonefish. She hooked about ten and landed two. I did about the same. We mainly fished from the boat, but also spent some time wading. We thoroughly enjoyed our day with Docky. Docky also has a fly shop where you can get a wide variety of flies, quality fly fishing gear, and souvenirs.

After we left Stella Maris we rented a car and headed down to Clarence Town, at the south end of the island. We rented a lovely seaside cottage for four nights. With our car, we were easily able to explore the entire island. We visited many beaches, snorkeling spots, and roadside bonefish flats. I fished four spots on my own and did very well. Long Island has a variety of flats that can be accessed on foot, and I was very impressed with the fishing. We were fortunate to have excellent weather the entire trip. We were also consistently surprised to have beautiful beaches, flats, and sight-seeing spots all to ourselves.

We spent another day fishing with guide Colin Cartwright out of the town of Cartwrights, just south of Deadman's Cay. Colin worked very hard for us. We started out wading a huge flat that was loaded with bonefish. They were in small schools. I found them to be very spooky and picky, but hooked five or so by lunch time. Katie also had two hookups while wading, which was a first for her. After lunch we motored out to the ocean flats, where we found an abundance of small lemon sharks. Colin tied on a wire leader and a big fly and Katie cast to at least five different sharks. After about twenty minutes one of the sharks ate her fly. The 15 lb shark ran off her whole fly line and jumped clear out of the water. Katie lost the shark when it turned back towards the boat, but it was the most exciting hookup I've seen in a long time! We finished the day with some more wading, and a couple more fish for me.

Colin owns a small lodge that can sleep four. It's well appointed with a full kitchen and is right on the water where Colin keeps his boat. Just down the road is Colin's restaurant, called Ounce's Hot Spot. This place had the best food on the south end of Long Island. We particularly enjoyed the ribs and the cracked conch.

Katie and I really enjoyed Long Island and would like to go back again someday. If you're planning a trip I would be happy to talk to you about this destination.

A Tale of Two Trout Streams

Note: This article was originally published in the Winter 2000 issue of Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine.

The Middle Fork and North Fork Feather River, CA
A Tale of Two Trout Streams
by Andrew Harris & Mark Tompkins

Like twin sisters separated at birth and raised on opposite ends of the country, the Middle Fork and the North Fork of the Feather River exist in vastly different worlds.  Despite their geologic similarities and shared lifeblood, the two rivers could easily be mistaken as unrelated.  Ever since humans of European descent arrived in California to take a run at the “good life,” the two rivers have traveled very different paths.  The North Fork has been shackled by dams, while the Middle Fork runs free.  The North Fork has an all-weather highway and railroad twisting alongside its curves, while the Middle Fork is, for the most part, accessible only by foot.  Still, like twins, these two forks of the Feather River strive for the same goal: to grow robust populations of wild trout.  The Middle Fork is a phenomenal success in this pursuit.  The North Fork is struggling, but holds its own given the abuse it has absorbed over the years.

A River Under Siege
The North Fork of the Feather River was once an exceptional trout stream.  Beginning in the snowmelt and springs on the southeast slopes of Mount Lassen, the North Fork flowed clear and cold for over 70 miles before converging with the West Branch and the Middle and South Forks of the Feather River near Oroville.  The river supported a prolific population of native rainbow trout.  With no natural impediments to their migration, Chinook salmon and steelhead also ran right up to the base of Mt. Lassen.  The fishing was phenomenal back then, but as every California trout fisherman knows, not everyone looks at rivers as places to fish.

The completion of the Western Pacific Railroad through the canyon of the North Fork in 1909 signaled the beginning of the river’s demise.  The railroad suddenly made the river accessible, not only to the public, but also to the power companies.  The first hydropower project on the North Fork had already been completed in 1908 at Big Bend, on the lower part of the river.  With the completion of the railroad, the Great Western Power Company embarked on a plan to turn the entire river into a series of hydropower projects.  Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) later bought the Great Western Power Company and picked up where they left off.

Like most hydropower projects in the Sierra Nevada, the projects on the North Fork of the Feather River are bypass reach projects.  A diversion dam is built to divert water into a tunnel which feeds a powerhouse some miles downstream.  The river in between the dam and powerhouse is left with a very meager flow, since most of the water in the river is going through the tunnels to generate power.  To avoid losing any potential energy, another diversion dam is constructed immediately below the powerhouse and the cycle is repeated.  While the various hydropower projects were under construction from the twenties through the sixties, there were still gaps in between projects where the river contained its full natural flow, and frequently larger flows due to runoff that had been stored in reservoirs upstream.  Fishing remained excellent in these areas.  The fishing was so good in the twenties and thirties that the Western Pacific Railroad ran a “Fisherman’s Special” on their route between Oakland and Salt Lake City.  By the late sixties, however, the river had been entirely tamed by hydropower projects, leaving the sections of the river below Lake Almanor with little more than a trickle.  Suffice it to say, the “Fisherman’s Special” became a thing of the past.

There are now more than ten hydropower dams in the watershed, six of which are on the main stem of the North Fork.  Flows in the bypass reaches between dams range from 30 to 140 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the summer, less in winter.

Reason for Hope

The North Fork of the Feather River is a textbook case in how to spoil a trout fishery.  Water temperatures are artificially elevated by shallow upstream reservoirs.  Instream habitat is reduced due to extremely low flows.  Siltation is heavy due to poor road building practices in the headwaters of the East Branch of the North Fork.  Spawning gravels are trapped behind dams and washed out of the reaches between dams during high flows.  Access to spawning tributaries is blocked by dams.

Despite all these problems, self-sustaining populations of wild rainbow trout can be found from the headwaters down to the river’s confluence with Lake Oroville.  What’s really promising is that one of the many problems facing the river is about to be partially alleviated.  The Rock Creek and Cresta hydro projects on the North Fork are currently going through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing process.  PG&E has stalled the process for years by seeking interim one-year licenses, but the company is now in a hurry to complete the process because they want to sell the projects.  There will be higher flows in the North Fork, but the figures have not yet been set.  Furthermore, it remains to be seen whether whitewater rafting interests will secure higher weekend flows during the summer.  In any case, the base flows will be higher, and the trout fishery should improve.

Accessing the North Fork

The river can be divided into four distinct sections from an angler’s perspective: the headwaters, the Almanor Reach, the Belden Reach, and the Feather River Canyon.
The headwaters section is the river above Lake Almanor.  This area is a delightful playground of streams that come together to form the North Fork of the Feather River.  By the time it reaches Chester, where it flows into Lake Almanor, the river has a flow of approximately 150 cfs in the summer.  To protect spawning rainbows coming up from Lake Almanor, the river opens the Saturday before Memorial Day, about a month later than other rivers in the area.  The river stays nice and cold throughout the season, rarely rising above 60 degrees.  Fish are eager to take attractor dry flies such as humpies and royal wulffs, although nymphs work well and will frequently hook larger fish.  Most fish are 6-10 inches in length, but there is always the chance at a larger fish.  The tributary streams are all productive and worthy of attention.  The streams in this area are usually fishable by mid-June.  The area is well served by a variety of paved and dirt logging roads, and there are several campgrounds along the river.

The Almanor Reach is the section starting at Lake Almanor dam and terminating downstream at Belden Forebay.  The standard release from Lake Almanor is 30 cfs, a real pittance of water.  By the time it reaches Belden Forebay, there is about 50-75 cfs due to springs and small tributaries along the way.  The Almanor Reach is a beautiful yet moody little stream.  I have witnessed this stream fluctuate between excellent and “Are you sure there’s fish here?” within a matter of days.  Evening fishing is often excellent, with many 6-12” fish rising to dries.  Bright sunny days call for nymphs, which can be fished indicatorless on a short line in most situations.  This reach is usually fishable from the beginning of trout season to end.  However, after a really big winter, the river may be blown out until June.

The Almanor Reach can be accessed from Lake Almanor dam, Belden Forebay, or via dirt road to Seneca, a small outpost in the middle of this reach.  There is a good angler’s trail beginning at Belden Forebay.  To get to the beginning of this trail, you have to walk around the two massive powerhouses which dominate the upstream end of Belden Forebay.  Caribou #1, the oldest and most imposing powerhouse, was completed in 1921.  To get around this powerhouse and hike upstream, one must traverse a metal grate walkway attached to the exterior of the powerhouse.  This walkway is situated several feet above the massive outlet pipes, which can spill forth up to 2500 cfs on the command of their PG&E masters.  It’s quite an experience walking above these pipes when they’re open full-blast.  The trail allows access to about two miles of stream.

The Belden Reach is the section between Belden Forebay and the confluence of the North Fork with the East Branch of the North Fork at Highway 70.  This reach is accessed by
Caribou Road
, a paved road that goes alongside the river from Highway 70 to Belden Forebay.  There are three campgrounds in the downstream half of this reach.  Hatchery trout are planted in the vicinity of these campgrounds, so it would be wise to fish upstream from them.  Flows below Belden Forebay are in the 50-75cfs range.  This is a popular opening day spot since the early spring runoff is usually stored by the dams upstream.  The water is also warmer in this reach than upstream, frequently reaching the high 60s in the summer months.  Despite the higher temperatures, the fishery holds up pretty well throughout the season.  The banks of the river are lined with poison oak and blackberry bushes in this area, so it’s a good idea to hop in the river and fish straight upstream from the water.  Wet wading is the way to go in the summer months.  Just be sure to use felt-soled boots and a wading staff because the rocks are very slippery.
Although the trout are very numerous in the Belden Reach, the typical fish in this section is a 7-10” rainbow.  Brown trout are rare, as are larger rainbows.  Why aren’t there larger fish?  The flows are adequate, there seems to be plenty of food, and the fish have access to a spawning tributary.  The only reason I can come up with is excessive harvest of good-size fish.  There are no special regulations on the North Fork.  This part of the river gets a lot of attention from bait and lure fishermen, and it’s highly likely that most of the big fish are cropped off.

In these upper reaches of the North Fork, Bird’s Nests, Hare’s Ears, Princes, and Pheasant Tails in sizes 12-18 will produce fish reliably.  Black rubberleg stoneflies and golden stone patterns work very well in the spring months.  Dry fly selections can be equally basic.  Parachute mayfly patterns in various sizes will fool fish feeding on mayflies.  It’s a good idea to have large stonefly imitations on hand during the spring months and October Caddis imitations during the fall.  Attractor patterns such as humpies, elk hair caddis, stimulators, and royal wulffs will bring up fish occasionally.  When prospecting with dries, don’t be afraid to go big.  These fish are very fond of large dry flies, and don’t particularly care whether they’re floating or submerged.

Anglers in search of larger trout might do well to investigate the part of the North Fork known as the Feather River Canyon.  The Feather River Canyon is the part of the North Fork along Highway 70.  Highway 70 follows the North Fork for nearly thirty miles, providing excellent fishing access.  As you travel from Oroville to Quincy, the highway first comes down close to the river near the town of Pulga, which is right below Poe Dam.  The highway stays near the river all the way to Gansner Bar, which is the confluence of the North Fork Feather River and East Branch of the North Fork.  From that point, the highway follows the East Branch towards Quincy.  This part of the river is split up into three reaches by three power dams: Rock Creek, Cresta, and Poe.  The remains of a fourth dam, Big Bend dam, are at the very end of this section, where the river flows into Lake Oroville.  Lake Oroville, completed in 1967, drowned the Big Bend powerhouse, but the defunct dam has never been removed.  Of the three river reaches in the canyon, the lowest reach, below Poe Dam, is the least accessible and holds some of the biggest North Fork trout.  The best places to access the Poe reach are at Poe Powerhouse, Bardees Bar, and Pulga. 
Detlow Road
or
Big Bend Road
, which branch off Highway 70 about 7 miles west of the Pulga bridge, provide access to Poe Powerhouse and Bardees Bar.  4WD is required for the road to Bardees Bar.  There is a lot of frogwater near Pulga, but you will encounter better water by hiking up or downstream.  Access is much easier upstream in the Cresta and Rock Creek reaches.

The river is dominated by rainbow trout, which average nearly a foot in length.  A few brown trout are recruited from tributary streams each year, but they are few and far between.  As with most other west-slope Sierra rivers, the following rule of thumb applies to the North Fork:  as stream elevation decreases, the number of trout decreases, but the average size of the trout increases.  Squawfish, Hardheads and Sacramento Suckers are found throughout the system, but their numbers increase as you approach Lake Oroville.  If you’re going for larger trout in the lower reaches of the river, be prepared to hook into some of these alternative species. 

Fly selection is not usually a problem in this part of the river.  Dry flies usually work even in the middle of the hottest summer days.  Attractor patterns in sizes 10-14 work best.  When the fish won’t come up to a dry, Hare’s Ear, Bird’s Nest, Pheasant Tail, and Prince nymphs work very well in sizes 10-16.  There is a decent hatch of isonychia mayflies in September and October.  These are large (size 10), black, swimming mayflies that crawl out of the water to hatch.  They can be imitated with a large A.P. nymph.  Grasshopper patterns also work well in the late summer and fall.  On the North Fork, if you’re not catching fish, the problem usually has more to do with location than fly selection.  The North Fork suffers from high temperatures in the summer, so the fish bunch up near the heads of pools where there is more dissolved oxygen.  Unless you’re a squawfish aficionado, don’t waste time fishing the slow water.  Since the river also suffers from low flows, the whitewater sections are often separated by a short drive in the car.  On this river, constant movement usually equals success.

The North Fork of the Feather River fishes best in the spring and fall when water temperatures are in the 50s and low 60s.  The majority of the hatches also occur during the spring and fall.  Concentrate on the Headwaters and Almanor Reaches during the summer months.  Water temperatures stay lower in these parts of the river.  Water temps are frequently in the high 60s and low 70s in the Belden Reach and in the Feather River Canyon from July through September.  These temps are outside the favorable range for trout, so the fishing slows down quite a bit.  Look for whitewater and places where tributaries enter the stream to find higher concentrations of trout.
           
A River Untouched
Fortunately, when the North Fork slows down in the mid-summer months, excellent fishing can be found in the lower reaches of the Middle Fork of the Feather River.  The Middle Fork originates in the Sierra Valley Channels east of Portola.  It flows westward roughly following Highway 70 until the town of Sloat.  From Sloat down to the river’s confluence with Nelson Creek south of Quincy, the river is fairly easy to access on a variety of dirt and paved roads.  Nelson Creek serves as a useful but unofficial boundary between the upper and lower parts of the Middle Fork of the Feather River.

Fly fishing becomes productive in the lower Middle Fork around mid-June as the runoff begins to recede.  Once the runoff period is over, the fishing in this section is consistently good until the end of the season mid-November.  Fifteen to twenty fish days are average, and most fish fall in the eight to fourteen inch range.  Below Milsap Bar the average fish is about fourteen inches, but the numbers of fish aren’t as high.  Smaller fish will rise to dry flies, while most of the larger fish are taken on nymphs or streamers.  Hopper patterns will also bring up good fish, especially between July and October.  Hopper-dropper rigs are also very productive if you are getting refusals on the hopper.  Tie a dropper leader to the bend of the hook of the hopper and attach a small beadhead nymph 1-3’ below the hopper.  The nymph will often get the fish that refuse the hopper.

Dry fly fishing is great throughout the season on the Middle Fork.  There are usually several hatches going on at any given time, so the fish rarely feed selectively.  Yellow Humpies, Elk Hair Caddis, and other attractor patterns work well.  When the hatches slow down in the summer, the fish are usually very receptive to hopper patterns.  It is also common to see trout cruising the slower pools looking for terrestrials during the summer.  A well-placed ant or beetle on 6X tippet will usually bring these fish up.

When the fish won’t come up to the surface on the Middle Fork they can usually be easily taken with nymphs.  The river is well-suited to indicator nymphing, and there are some pocket water areas where indicatorless nymphing is effective.  Since the water is very clear on the Middle Fork, it is often practical to sight nymph.

A map of the Plumas National Forest is a necessity when fishing the Middle Fork, and it helps to have topographic maps for some of the hike-in fishing.  Be wary of poison oak and rattlesnakes in the Middle Fork canyon.  Carry plenty of water and bring a water filter, since the trails cover some very dry terrain.  Some of the popular trails include Nelson Point, Minerva Bar, Oddie Bar, No Ear Bar, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Hartman Bar Trail, Hanson Bar, and the Dome Trail.  These are all foot trails of one to two miles in length.  Most require four wheel drive to access the trailhead.  There are also three rough jeep trails: Cleghorn Bar, Little California, and Stag Point.  There is a bridge at Milsap Bar providing two wheel drive access to the river, although it is a little rough.  Since this area is easier to access, it gets a lot more fishing pressure and the quality of the fishing suffers accordingly.

The Upper Middle Fork is also much easier to access, and consequently much less pristine.  Parts of it run near Highway 70 between Quincy and Portola and are easily accessed by a variety of dirt and paved roads.  This part of the river fishes very well in the spring.  Depending on the amount of runoff, the upper Middle Fork can be fishable as early as Opening Day and as late the end of May.  The river fishes very well near Clio, Greaegle, Two Rivers, Cromberg, Sloat, and the Quincy-La Porte Road Bridge.  Look for moving water and structure.  As the water warms in June and July focus your attention on the Middle Fork below Nelson Creek.  It requires more physical exertion, but it’s well worth the effort.

A nine foot five weight rod is the best choice for fishing on the Middle Fork.  Attractor dry flies and nymphs will suffice most of the time.  A good dry fly selection would include yellow humpies, elk hair caddis, grasshoppers, stimulators in large sizes to imitate golden stones and salmonflies, parachute adams in various sizes, and some ants and beetles.  A good nymph box should include pheasant tails, black A.P.s, bird’s nests, hare’s ears, sparkle pupas, and some giant rubberleg stoneflies.  Streamers such as woolly buggers and sculpin patterns can also be productive when fished on sink-tip lines.  Waders are only necessary on the Middle Fork during the early spring and late fall.  From mid-June to September water temperatures are typically in the low 60s to low 70s, so wet wading is significantly more comfortable.

Conclusion

An outing to just the North Fork or just the Middle Fork of the Feather River will likely yield some fine rainbow trout and at least one good story.  But the full flavor of fishing the Feather River country comes from sampling both forks.  On the North Fork one finds an illustration of nature coming to terms with the presence of man.  Here, the decisions of humans in the form of dams and flow releases plainly influence the trout that not too long ago swarmed these waters.  And on the Middle Fork one finds not concrete and hydropower, but bears and wily old gold mixed in with the trout and their wild and scenic home.  Here, it is easy to forget the relentless tide of development that threatens rivers every day.  So spend a little time to get to know the trout of both forks of the Feather.  Like with twins, one gains a better appreciation for each by experiencing the other.   

Fly Recipes:

Beadhead Brown Bird’s Nest
Hook: TMC 3761, size 12
Thread: Black 6/0
Tail and Legs: Teal or wood duck feathers
Rib: Copper Wire
Dubbing: 50/50 mix of Hareline Dubbin chocolate brown size 24 and natural Australian opposum fur


Schroeder’s Parachute Hopper, Olive

Hook: TMC 5212, size 8
Thread: Olive 6/0
Parachute Post: White Calf Body
Rib: Dark Brown Floss
Abdomen: Medium olive Antron
Tentwing: Mottled oak turkey quill, tent style
Legs: Pheasant tail fibers, knotted
Hackle: Grizzly
Thorax: Medium olive Sparkle Blend


Yellow Humpy

Hook: TMC 100, size 12
Thread: Yellow 6/0
Wing: Elk
Tail: Elk
Back: Elk
Body: Yellow Thread
Hackle: Brown and Grizzly mixed