Warren on Sep 3, 2007September 3rd, 2007, 7:13 am EDT
the trout here in the smokies love the little black salamanders. i find alot of them in the stomachs of the little native brookies we have around here. when ever im bait fishing(Lord, forgive me of my sins)i always look for a salamander to put on my hook because they do catch fish. im hoping to get away from that, but i havent succeeded in tying a fly that replicates one but i hope to figure it out or find an already existent pattern.
Shawnny3 on Sep 3, 2007September 3rd, 2007, 9:29 am EDT
I developed one for bass fishing awhile back, but I wasn't thrilled with its performance, so that's all I'll say about that ill-fated pattern. Probably the most important feature is the swimming motion, which would probably be best imitated with either maribou or zonker strips. My first inclination would be to try a single zonker strip, tied in at both head an bend on the top of the hook, with a small clump of trimmed maribou on either side of the hook at front and rear for legs that would pulse as you stripped it. If the body profile is not wide enough, perhaps spinning some maribou around the shank under the zonker strip or even tying it in lengthwise only on the sides might build it up enough (or you could just dub a body).
Another idea would be to use two zonker strips, tied again at the front and the bend, but on the sides of the hook to give the fly a flatter appearance. When done tying, get the thing wet and trim a little hair off in the right places to give the abdomen a little definition. Now for the part that may be either ingenious or stupid, depending on how well it works - trim one zonker strip short so the salamander only has one tail. I'm thinking that having a single tail that comes off the side of the hook might make the fly jitter side to side in the water and cause it to really wriggle. This principle might also apply well to other streamer patterns, especially ones imitating fish floating or swimming on their sides.
The zonker strips may be too bulky for what I presume is a pattern for small streams (maybe the above ideas would be better for a bass bug), but maribou can be used in similar ways to those I've described and its degree of bulk is easily managed. I would also bet that a lot of the techniques used for sculpin imitations could be altered slightly to make a pretty nice salamander. If I ever find cause to fish such a pattern, I might work at it a bit more, but I don't even have the time right now for all the flies I already have swirling around in my head (that feels more literal than figurative most of the time).
Warren on Sep 4, 2007September 4th, 2007, 7:39 am EDT
thanks Roger but i think that fly is a little big for the brookies im goin after. Shawn those seem like great ideas i tie one of each and see how they work in the bath tub and the hopefully take em to the stream next time i go.
Smallstream on Sep 4, 2007September 4th, 2007, 9:34 am EDT
Are you near the smokies, thats one of my favorite places, it seems that there is a real bad drought going on down there though, my parents just got back from there from a week vacation about a week and a half ago and they said the little river is sadly extremely low, lower than they have ever seen it actually. i hope conditions improve, but it is a beautiful place nevertheless.