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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Lateral view of a Onocosmoecus (Limnephilidae) (Great Late-Summer Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen keys pretty easily to Onocosmoecus, and it closely resembles a specimen from Alaska which caddis expert Dave Ruiter recognized as this genus. As with that specimen, the only species in the genus documented in this area is Onocosmoecus unicolor, but Dave suggested for that specimen that there might be multiple not-yet-distinguished species under the unicolor umbrella and it would be best to stick with the genus-level ID. I'm doing the same for this one.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

OldHasBeen
OldHasBeen's profile picture
Simcoe County, Ontario

Posts: 10
OldHasBeen on Feb 3, 2018February 3rd, 2018, 8:53 am EST
Any tips on getting the hackles right on smaller"Soft Hackle" flys? What I am having problems with is finding feathers (ie: partridge) small enough for fly's #16 and smaller to wrap in the traditional manner. Thanks All
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 3, 2018February 3rd, 2018, 9:45 am EST
It is very rare that you will ever find any Hungarian partridge or American grouse feathers in sizes smaller than #14. If you do the stems are very often so fine and brittle that it is very hard to palmer a feather without the stem breaking. Once in awhile I will be able to get a turn or two without the stem breaking.

However I really don't think it is all that important to exactly match the barbule length to the hook size on soft hackle flies. If you look at good pictures of soft hackle flies you will often see that the hackle is maybe one, or two, sizes larger than what would be considered normal for that hook size. A little more barbule length will impart more action to the fly and the trout won't be rejecting your offering.

Sometimes I will use a very small #16 dun colored wet fly hackle and before wrapping it onto the hook shank I color some barring on it with a black indelible marking pen. It looks quite good and I doubt the trout can tell the difference.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
OldHasBeen
OldHasBeen's profile picture
Simcoe County, Ontario

Posts: 10
OldHasBeen on Feb 4, 2018February 4th, 2018, 9:19 am EST
Thank you for the tip.... I'll be sure to give that a try!!!
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Feb 6, 2018February 6th, 2018, 4:08 pm EST
Lloyd Gonzales actually spins partridge sort of like deer hair to size it. His book explains how. You'll find my review of the book on Amazon, along with several others by Troutnuts. https://www.amazon.com/Fly-Fishing-Pressured-Water-Lloyd-Gonzales-ebook/dp/B00511HF1A
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 6, 2018February 6th, 2018, 11:34 pm EST
Louis wrote;

actually spins partridge sort of like deer hair to size it.


That sounds like a neat idea maybe you can explain it to me someday so I don't have to buy the book.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PABrownie
PABrownie's profile picture
Gallitzin PA

Posts: 42
PABrownie on Feb 7, 2018February 7th, 2018, 3:41 am EST
I use this method demonstrated here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31DWumnrPIs
RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Feb 7, 2018February 7th, 2018, 4:47 am EST
>>I use this method demonstrated here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31DWumnrPIs>>

This is basically what I have always done. Tie oversize fibers in at desired length and facing forward, then use thread tension and hand manipulation to get as close to a 360 degree splay as I can and then fold back and finish. Actually, I often do it this way even when I have feathers with the right length fibers. Trying to wind a partridge, chukar or starling feather often overloads my already limited capacity for patience. This is easier and better for my nerves...

Thanks PABrownie!
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Feb 8, 2018February 8th, 2018, 5:12 am EST
Matt, it's on sale on Amazon for 15.00. A steal. But I'll be glad to show you if I get a chance. The YouTube videos show basically what he does.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 8, 2018February 8th, 2018, 11:03 am EST
Louis,

Thanks. I looked at the YouTube video and it is very well presented. I understood it easily and if I ever get the urge to tie again I will give it a try. Ever since I had my cataract surgery in April of 2017 I have not been able to tie flies without the aid of low magnification prescription glasses and those Flip Focal gadgets. It is annoying and I've only tied five dry flies and three streamers since my surgery. Sooner or later I need to come to terms with wearing the corrective lens or sell all my fly tying equipment and the roll top desk.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Feb 10, 2018February 10th, 2018, 3:49 pm EST
Matt, I tie with a lighted magnifier over the vise. I think I got it as an office supply store. Suspended from an arm with adjustments for height and angle, it has a circular fluorescent bulb and with the light and magnification, I tie tricos down to size 28 with ease. I couldn't tie without it for sure.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 11, 2018February 11th, 2018, 2:38 am EST
Louis,

Thanks for the tip. I have seen those circular lights with the magnifier in the center years ago when I was working and just forgot all about them until you mentioned it. I will look into that.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Feb 11, 2018February 11th, 2018, 7:03 am EST
Matt: If you want to try the magnifier lamp approach and not sink a lot of $ into it until you know if it suits you, you might try this one. It's pretty basic and you'll need a mounting arrangement that accepts a c-clamp. But, I've been tying with it for the past 15 years and through the 5X viewer, it makes tying a size #18 dry fly like hitching a boat to a dock. Makes me feel like I have the eyes of a 30 year old again and I'm only 8-10 years younger than you

$29.99 from the Cabela's Division of Bass Pro..

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Clamp-On-Magnifying-Lamp/1439363.uts?slotId=1
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 12, 2018February 12th, 2018, 12:23 pm EST
I read all of the reviews for the light you recommended. I see you have had yours for 15 years. More reviews were negative than positive. Most people complained about the flimsiness of the clamping mechanism. I think if I go with this design I will get the $69 model with the round light and magnifier.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Feb 17, 2018February 17th, 2018, 8:14 am EST
Matt, the clamp on mine did break for me and I fixed it with JB weld. That happened so long ago, I'd forgotten about it, but it was a pain at the time. I like the quality of magnification and light a lot in my unit, but the reviewers were right about clamps being a possible weak point. Do check the unit if you can; the quality of magnifiers and light varies.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 17, 2018February 17th, 2018, 11:44 am EST
Hi Louis,

Been thinking of fishing lately? We just got 3" of snow and just two days ago it was 70 degrees and I drove around with my window down.

I plan on fishing the Tully and the LJ most of April and not heading up to the cabin until the beginning of April. My wife and I just booked a week on the island of Antigua the 2nd week of April.

Who knows if we get some warm April days I may drive up to SC.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Feb 18, 2018February 18th, 2018, 1:47 pm EST
Sounds good, Matt. I'm still getting my students on task, but will get out in the next month or so. I wonder if the Tully will fish any better this year than last. Caddis were few and far between when I was over. I hear they're doing road work up toward SC; you might check on this before heading out.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 19, 2018February 19th, 2018, 10:42 am EST
Hi Louis,

and not heading up to the cabin until the beginning of April.


That should of read "and not heading up to the cabin until the beginning of May". I used to go up the 3rd weekend in April and while sometimes there were Hendrickson's for the most part the evenings were still quite cold and I had to use the heat. The next day the water wouldn't warm up enough to get the mayflies to emerge until 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

Now I find waiting until the beginning of May the fishing is better. Thanks for the heads up on the road construction going up to SC.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Joerobert
Joerobert's profile picture
Townsend, Tennessee

Posts: 4
Joerobert on Nov 5, 2018November 5th, 2018, 6:06 am EST
You could also use starling feathers. I have used them for small soft hackles with good results.
Joe

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