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MartinlfFebruary 28th, 2007, 12:30 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
This is a follow up from the Mutillidae thread, but it really calls for its own post as it covers a number of topics from previous threads. Saturday olives were hatching again, so I gave them another try. I stuck with the unithread leader, and it performed fine.

Fish liked the Gonzo style baetis emerger, the umbrella baetis (a big hit with a fish that had refused everything else drifted over it), and an RS2 style emerger. My USD baetis fared worse on this second spring creek than it had on the first, which is typical. The fish there are always pickier, and seem find its bigger CDC wing a turn off. They'll "bloop" it, but rarely take it confidently there.

The ligature knot worked as advertised. I did some nymphing after the hatch and when the fly (tied with an Orvis knot) became hopelessly snagged in deep water, a steady pull broke the tippet, not the tippet knot, and not the Orvis knot. Both knots tested at 100% the line strength. At least this time. Oh, landed three and missed a number of fish that spit out the fly with a sound like, "pa-toui." Another great/unskunked day on the stream, Roger.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TaxonFebruary 28th, 2007, 1:10 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Sounds like fun, Louis, wish I had been there.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
MartinlfFebruary 28th, 2007, 1:36 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
Roger, I'm on break next week and will be out at least 2 or 3 days . . . if the airlines get into a price war and run great fares?? Or, if not next week, do let me know if you're ever in PA, and we'll give those fish a lesson--or receive one. Cheers
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TaxonFebruary 28th, 2007, 9:07 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Thanks, Louis. If I ever make it out there, I'll be sure to look you up.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
MartinlfMarch 5th, 2007, 4:15 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
Well, Roger, you wouldn't have wanted to be out today. Or perhaps you would. With a Nor'easter blowing in and predicted wind gusts up to 40 mph I made sure no one knew I was heading out this morning lest they start the paperwork to get me committed. The temps were supposed to be in the upper 30's though, and that was enough to tempt me. Streams were up from last week's rain and snowmelt, and I headed to a little limestoner that usually clears pretty fast, intending to throw nymphs or streamers. I started off with a big Walt's Worm, and absolutely nobody was interested. Then noticing a few splashes, which I at first thought were twigs being blown in the water, I looked harder and saw a trout snout! And what do you think it was aimed at? You guessed it, baetis!! With snowflakes being driven into the water and the poor little bugs wind surfing along, the hatch was on. I'd never fished an olive hatch there before and wasn't sure there would be one, but I took three fiesty browns on my USD CDC baetis (the devil to get any kind of cast or drift, but the cloudy water and ruffled surface helped). Then I switched to tandem wet flies and hooked and lost another fish. The day ended with one more fish landed on a Gonzo scud. I was chilled to the bone when I finally got back to the car, but we're on spring break and I was determined to get out. Tomorrow with 25 degrees and high winds predicted I'll be tying or working on an article that should have been finished a while back. Wednesday the wind is supposed to die down and we'll just have snow flurries and below freezing temps, so, if the wind does calm down, I'll have another report that evening. Here baetis, here little baetis.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TroutnutMarch 5th, 2007, 4:22 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2592
If your weather was anything like it is up here in Ithaca, it takes some guts to go out fishing!

It got so windy at some point that little snowflakes started settling on my keyboard. I'm inside next to a closed window. Somehow the wind just pushed them through the cracks.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
MartinlfMarch 5th, 2007, 4:34 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
Guts?? --perhaps I'm just nuts!

After an hour or so I did wish I'd put another fleece on though; without my parka the wind would have cut me in half.

But those little trouts do warm the soul.

"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TaxonMarch 5th, 2007, 10:14 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Well, Roger, you wouldn't have wanted to be out today.


Youíre probably right about that, Louis. With maturity (euphemism for having gotten old), Iím much less inclined to venture out in cold windy weather. However, five trout is not bad; not bad at all.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
MartinlfMarch 6th, 2007, 5:19 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
Thanks for the encouragement. One footnote. I ditched the unithread leader thinking I'd be nymphing or streamering, and was glad for the weight and springiness of the nylon to pop those flies down on the surface before the wind could grab the leader too tightly. For the wet flies I used a good old fashioned blood knot when I tied a dropper in the tippet and followed up with seven turn clinch knots on the flies. The ligature is not a good knot for dropper lines: too much pressure on the tag end and it implodes.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TaxonMarch 6th, 2007, 12:04 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Louis-

You're welcome. Somewhat reluctant to admit it, but I must be evolution-challenged regarding knots, as I seem to still be using the same improved clinch knot my father taught me (for attaching hook to leader) some 60 years ago.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
MartinlfMarch 6th, 2007, 5:55 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
Roger,

An older cousin who also mentored me in catch and release long before it was popular also taught me the improved clinch, so I had sentimental reasons for favoring it and did so for many years. Art Scheck has convinced me that a 7-turn clinch is stronger than any improved clinch that can be tied--plus it can use less tippet.

You say improved clinch, I say . . .

Rats, there's no way to make the rhythm even close.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TaxonMarch 6th, 2007, 10:16 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Thanks, Louis. I'll give it a try, given there's nothing new to learn, just an extra loop or two, and no last step.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
MartinlfMarch 7th, 2007, 2:18 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
Air 25 degrees. Water 43 degrees. Snow. Baetis. Trout. Two on my USD CDC cripple, Four on a zelon winged USD baetis comparadun modeled on Gonzo's USD Trico (easier to keep dry, and some fish liked it better than my fly!). Several long line releases. Ice in the guides was the main bother; lots of layers kept me relatively warm. Ligature knots are getting easier to tie right, and when I snagged flies they always held, breaking the line at the fly knot (Orvis). No unithread leader today: it would freeze hard.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MartinlfMarch 9th, 2007, 2:18 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
The next day (March 8) was much the same, but colder that night, and warmer and brighter during the day (33-35 degrees). The hatch seemed to start later and last longer, but I'm not absolutely sure about this.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MartinlfMarch 11th, 2007, 9:26 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
Casey, where the devil are you? You're supposed to be letting me know how the VA baetis are coming along. :) This'll probably be my last baetis report unless something really unusual happens in coming weeks. I am looking forward to fishing this hatch on Southern and Central PA spring creeks in the area for at least two or three more weeks, whenever time affords a trip. I have one more creek to explore to see if it holds a fishable hatch, and an old favorite I haven't made it to yet, then I'll stay with known streams, trying to find new sections to fish. On Saturday I returned to the stream mentioned in the Mutillidae thread and finally found a spot to fish (everyone else in the state was there too). Fish in this stream, in the run I fished, at this time of day, under these weather conditions (cloudy) seemed to prefer my CDC USD cripple over Gonzo's USD Zelon mayfly pattern, much to my surprise. I caught one fish on the Zelon winged fly then fished and fished it over sporadically rising fish to no avail. Not knowing what to do for sure, but experiencing a lot of glare, I reverted to my old very visible standby just to see what would happen. The result was five more fish, including the biggest so far this year (not huge by any means--I'll leave it to your imagination since I don't often measure and am inclined to lie). The last four were from an eddy that I hadn't tried previously, so Gonzo's fly might have worked just fine there, but I've had fish refuse my CDC fly so disdainfully at times that I'd lost some confidence in it and was pleasantly surprised to find it working over these very pressured fish. It appears either to work well or not at all in this stream. Last year, a bit later in the season, fish in a more heavily fished area downstream actually laughed at the fly. What I'm trying to suggest is, carry several patterns for baetis. It seems that under different conditions one fly may produce better than another, and don't believe that you've ever found the magic bullet. At least for me such doesn't exist. Now I haven't tied and tried Gonzo's burned polywing dun, but will soon. If someone will break up this monologue with their baetis report, I might try to give a report on my experiences with the polywing later.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CaseyPMarch 11th, 2007, 9:48 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
Martin, beatis know better than to try to live in our inner suburb slough. in the last week i've been there twice and neither time did i see anything winged. add the construction project that has turned our happy hobos' jungle into a bike path and you will understand that bugs above water are not that common until mosquito time. yesterday there were two tremendous splashes within casting distance as the residents checked out who was up there, but i got only one nibble. serves me right for bothering them so successfully in January. BTW, have found the source of Herr Klinken's siliconized polypropylene yarn which will make it easier to tie those hammers smaller: www.nicheflytying.com send an e-mail and they'll send you a paper catalog.

switched to 5X for everything after we found out that fish can see it all anyway. (what was the name of that thread of the guy who put on a wet suit and took the underwater video?) a surgeon's knot and an Orvis fly knot got everything out of the trees.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
MartinlfMarch 12th, 2007, 11:27 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
Casey, thanks for giving a look. Procrastinating before I tackle the next chore at work I found this site. Most interesting to me was the neat photo of the emerging baetis. It looks a lot like the Little Lehigh Flyshop's RS2-type baetis emerger with a CDC shuck and short CDC wing.

baetis article
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MartinlfMarch 18th, 2007, 9:39 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
Looking back at the emerging baetis photo in the article above (to help in redesigning a fly pattern) I thought of a few developments that may interest those looking for baetis soon. I've had one more trip last week to the nearby spring creek with pretty much the same results as above. I mainly used a Gonzo style baetis emerger, which I note also looks a lot like the emerging bug in the photo.

A very experienced fisherman I was talking with yesterday in a fly shop suggested that pattern may not be the key to some of the refusals I describe in the threads above. He asked if I had changed my position, even slightly, after tying on a new fly. He suggested that sometimes even changing the angle of presentation slightly can change the drift enough to convince a fish. I'll consciously try this next time before changing flies, though in some cases, I'm pretty sure I did fish the same fly from different angles with no luck then got the fish to take after changing patterns. I'd be curious to see what others think about this.

Also, yesterday I fished a new spring creek several hours from home, being in the area on business. It had rained several days earlier, and snowed heavily the day before. The water was up a good bit and somewhat dingy, and the air was in the mid 20's. The water was probably in the low to mid 40's, though I didn't take a reading. Baetis were certainly on my mind when I drove over to the fly shop then headed to the stream, but after looking at the stream, the shop owner and I had determined that dry flies probably would not be the order of the day. I was advised to nymph deep and slow, and after watching a baetisless pool for about thirty minutes without any real hopes, I headed downstream to start dredging. For several hours I tried many flies without success, and smelling a skunk nearby and preparing myself for Taxon's wisdom, I finally tied on a very big Walt's Worm, and immediately was into fish. The final tally was three average browns and two big fat rainbows. I also rolled another bow, and lost one that came unbuttoned as I tried to net it. (I did see one or two baetis, but no rises.)

The moral of the story: if the water's high and the baetis aren't happening, you might try a big Walt's Worm on the bottom.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZOMarch 18th, 2007, 12:17 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Hi Louis,

Just wanted to let you know that I'm back home for a short while and that I'll email your college associate later today.

I agree with the advice about changing the angle of delivery. While I clearly believe in the potential significance of pattern over critical fish, it is hardly the only factor in refusals. When possible without spooking the fish, I often find that a downstream delivery of a dry is the best presentation for fussy fish--especially with small flies in flat water. Of course this angle complicates the hookset, and one should make sure that the fish has taken the fly under before setting. Anxious "snap sets" miss a lot of fish in this situation, and setting downstream and to the side is often best (using water tension to draw the fly into the corner of the fish's mouth).

As for pattern changes, observation of the rises is important, but even when the fish are clearly taking duns on the surface, I often find that a matching nymph presented slightly subsurface can turn the trick on fish that resist multiple dries. When a rising fish (especially an intermittently rising fish) ignores or refuses dries that are usually a good and reliable match for the hatching insect, I have often had solid takes on the first drift of the nymph. Such fish may be focusing their feeding mostly subsurface and merely intercepting duns when they are drawn toward the surface in pursuit of the nymphs, or the subsurface presentation may just overcome some of the telltale signals that allow the fish to resist surface flies. Subsurface emergers (such as soft hackles or "wet duns") can also be a good change when the species in question emerges in that manner. This happens (or can happen) with many more species than is generally recognized, but I'm not aware of this being recorded for baetids.

With regard to the Walt's Worm as a searching fly, I'm struck by how similar this pattern is to a favorite "old standby" of mine. I think your confidence in it as a great searching pattern is very well-founded.

Best,
Gonzo
MartinlfMarch 18th, 2007, 6:39 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
Gonzo, thanks for the suggestion on presenting a nymph just under the surface. I need to try this more, along with wet flies in the film, but had gotten locked into a dry fly or nothing mindset. This may have cost me some good fish that would have taken a fly just under the surface. I'll tuck these tips in the back of my mind for the next olive trip.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
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