Al’s Trico – SBS

What kind of fly fishing blog would this be if I didn’t show a step-by-step of some of my favorite patterns?  Since my awesome girlfriend has been letting me borrow her camera lately, I’ve been experimenting with taking some pictures of my tying.  They still aren’t great shots, but for the flies in this tutorial being a size 24 (really small), I think they’ll do for now.

With the official start of summer having come and gone, I decided to tie a fly with some relevance to my upcoming fishing.  That being said, I’ll be tying the Al’s Trico…in honor of these reliable (and did I mention tiny?) mayflies that show up every summer.  The key to this fly is its simplicity.  Without tails or the traditional poly-yarn, spent wings, even the pickiest of trout have a hard time finding something wrong with this imitation.  Just thread, a pinch of dubbing, and hackle…that’s it!

Al’s Trico

Hook: #24 dry fly

Thread: 8/0 (or smaller) UNI thread – Substitute Lt. Cahill for female and Black for male versions

Thorax: Brown or dark olive dubbing

Hackle: White

Step 1 : Secure the hook in the vice and pinch down the barb if desired.

Step 2 : Begin wrapping the thread from about the mid-point of the hook.  This helps me build a slight taper when finishing the body later.  Wrap back to the edge of the barb.

Step 3 : Begin the thorax with a tiny pinch of dubbing and tie in the hackle.

Step 4 : Wrap the hackle to form the wing and tie off. With another pinch of dubbing, form the other side of the thorax (It should look slightly more even than in my pic).

Step 5 : Begin wrapping the thread towards the eye, using the base we made before to form a slight taper from the bend to the hook eye.

Step 6 : Once the body is complete, whip finish and dot with head cement.

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Meatbox Fly Swap – Part 2

My boogiemen are finished!  Just added the final drops of head cement this morning.  There are some seriously talented tyers on the paflyfish site; and after seeing a few pics of the other streamers, all I can say is that I’m super excited to get the flies back.  Anyway, here are the details on my fly, Kelly Galloup’s boogieman:

Thread: 8/0 UNI
Rear Hook – Size 8 streamer
Tail: White marabou
Body: White chenile
Hackle: White Strung Hackle
Wing: 2 Mallard flank feathers
Connection: Fireline and a red glass bead

Front Hook: Size 8 streamer
Tail: White marabou
Body: White chenile
Hackle: White Strung Hackle
Wing: 2 Mallard flank feathers
Head/Collar: White sculpin wool
Eyes: 1/80 oz. lead dumbell

The Arsenal

New Water

After four trips to Valley Creek with nothing to show but a wet cell phone (which somehow still works), I decided to check out a map and see where else I could access the stream.  Turns out,  fishable water extends far upstream of my usual spots.  Once I found a place to park, I made my way to the stream to check it out.  Sure enough, there were fish everywhere!  The creek was much tighter and tough to fish with my 8′ 5wt rod, but I managed to bring five fish to hand in about an hour and a half.  The fly that did the trick…#14 Walt’s Worm.  Once again I was reminded how beautiful every fish in this creek is.

First Fish of the Day

Another Colorful Brownie

The Hole

Can’t wait to get back and do some more exploring!

Happy Belated Fathers Day!

My dad and I ventured north to do a little fishing for fathers day.  We hit the usual spots along Hickory Run and enjoyed the nice weather.  I caught a few brookies but my dad didn’t have the same luck unfortunately.  Regardless, he loved getting away from the city.  Here are a couple pics…

A Few Days Off

I’m starting my new job on Monday; so I’ve had the past few days to myself to fish.  Yesterday I left the city to fish valley creek.  I fished for about two hours and saw a few fish rising.  I had a couple follows with my walt’s worm, but I wasn’t having much luck.  I was in the process of wading downstream when I saw a shadow sitting on the sandbar below me above a crystal clear pool.  In my head I think to myself how much of a long shot this would be to catch this fish.  But sure enough, as I dropped my nymph maybe 4 feet in front of my target, the shadow moved toward toward it.  As soon as the shadow stopped, I set the hook and the fish was on!  For a nine or ten inch fish, this thing was strong and acrobatic, jumping a foot or so out of the creek before breaking my heart and throwing the hook.   Adding to the frustration, my cell phone fell out of my chest pocket and into about 8 inches of water while ducking under a downed log.  So for (and I don’t know how) it’s still working, so hopefully it holds up for me.

Today, I stayed a little closer to home and hit my usual spot in Wissahickon Park.  The water is getting lower and warmer as summer rolls in, making trout less and less abundant.  I did find one willing to bite.

Luckily this creek is loaded with panfish and sallmouth bass, which are more than willing to bite.  I caught one little bass and a bunch of these colorful guys too.

Meatbox Fly Swap – Part 1

I must say I’m pretty excited to be participating in another fly swap on the PaFlyFish forum.  And the theme for this one…Meat Box!  Ok, Ok, I’m well aware of how funny that sounds; but this is about our favorite streamers… and articulated or not, they’ve got to be big.  I decided (along with a few other participants) on a Kelly Galloup pattern, the Boogieman.

Here’s my progress…

Pocono Trip Recap

Long story short, my trip to the Poconos couldn’t happen last weekend.  Luckily, I was able to head north yesterday with my buddy Eddy.  We hit a bunch of spots in Hickory Run State Park; and the action began immediately.  We each caught a handful of wild brook trout, and he fly of the day turned out to be the #14 olive hotspot micro-bugger.

Wild Brookies

I found a nice stocky too.

One of the locals.

After a while, we decided to change spots; so we hiked down hawk run and scaled the falls to get to mud run.

We hadn’t been fishing in mud run for five minutes until I saw something huge slash at Ed’s spinner on consecutive casts.  Ten minutes went by and suddenly Ed calls my name, and I see he his rod bent over by something huge on the other end.   I ran over to help land the fish…a nearly 20 inch brook trout.  But after a couple of serious runs through the hole, the brute snapped the 6lb test line like it was 8x tippet, and the battle was over in an instant.  Of course, I don’t expect anyone to believe how big the fish was; but we both saw this thing up close; and I know for a fact that I’ll be searching for him next time I return to this spot.

Some Led Zeppelin and and cool scenery helped ease the heartbreak on the ride home.