I’ve flung them, swung them, and twitched them back. I’ve labored over exotic materials, rare colors, and exacting detail – and for all that labor I’ve got squat.
Now I’ve abandoned any pretense of tradition – any thoughts of skill or science, instead I’ll fin myself around the Pristine on a soft inflatable recliner and tow flies into the waiting maw of Them as Would be Fed.
… and if that don’t work, there’s always the California nouveau cuisine luncheon – featuring the caviar Velveeta sand. I’ll let the wind blow me out of visual range and add an obligatory marshmallow indicator.
Friday I’ll be headed North to try some of my favorite lake venues. Streams are shot, rivers are worse, and I’m tired of fishless fishing trips. Maybe a month of dry weather will restore some of the local water to a semblance of their former selves.
I’ve got the traditional lake fare covered. The Calibaetis mayflies – dry and wet, and the generalist flies that resemble most of the other fare. Float tubes and breeze means you’re going to hook as many fish with the fly being towed as being cast – and those searching patterns are lake fishing staples.
Modeled on the J.Fair Wiggle nymph, a proven lake pattern of long standing, featuring a wisp of marabou for a tail and some sparkle chenille with a hackle rib, it’s the fly of choice for twitching over weeds, or simply finning from one side of the impoundment to the other.
These are dressed very lightly compared to a traditional Wooly Bugger or Leech, using just 5-6 strands of marabou and a pencil thin body. I’ve always assumed it was a combination of damselfly and small baitfish – in between asking pals if they could spare another handful.
I tie them in Olive, Black, Peacock, Brown, and the tail is left intentionally long – so you’ll get the occasional short strike. Shortening the tails makes them less effective, so endure.
I use the bead version so I can merely lengthen the leader and fish them with a floating line. In between the morning, midday, evening, mayfly activity I’ll use the lull following to tow these over weedbeds.
The darker colors are perfect for deeper water and sinktip fishing. A slow retrieve to seduce those reticent fish that are busy digesting an early insect snack and don’t expect to see a steak this close to home.
Tags: J Fair Wiggle Nymph, fly fishing stillwater, Wooly Bugger, leech, Calibaetis, lake fishing, trout