Yes! The Holiday Stocking tradition continues in Califon! When will it happen? All I can say is…soon. Sign up for our mailing list or pin our website to your favorites list and be among the first to know…
The report from this week is much the same as last week. I am getting whiplash from the weather. My only fish came on a zebra midge just after the sun went over a ridge on the South Branch on Friday afternoon. A slow walk of a bugger trailing the black zebra midge along the bottom of a pool brought the only strike I can prove that day - it was tough fishing and my confidence level was dwindling. I have been tying Perdigon nymphs recently and this was my first cross-over attempt. Since a zebra midge is rather hydro dynamic to begin with, it was not hard to image the pattern on a jig hook, (Tim Flager’s voice) in this case a size 18 Umpqua X series, and I used a Tungsten bead, as well as a few wraps of lead free wire, to make this “birdshot” Euro Nymph sink. Of course, the pattern tutorial was already available from Tightline’s productions. It isn’t the prettiest fly in my box; I am still working on getting the right taper down to the Coc-de-Leon tail, but they are fun and easy to produce. When I was researching Chironomidae last week, I learned that many of these itsy-bitsy worms are red and called “blood worms.” Accordingly, I tied a few Zebra-jig-Euro combos in red, too. I tried those this morning to no avail. The beads on these are rather funky and go against my usual strident, traditional aesthetic, but if you know how to fish these flies, they work!
Anglers have certainly noticed the warm and sunny days this month. There is some rain on the horizon tonight (I am writing this on Sunday) into Monday which could blow out the system for a spell. Of course, we like water and could use another flushing of the leaves, so the rain is welcome. The higher than average temperatures may be enticing bait fish to linger and feed for longer. Do not think the trout have not noticed! Guide, pro-tyer, and long time friend of the shop John Collins took his 3 weight micro spey rod for a ride and raised quite a few fish on a Firebelly Double Piney streamer. Looking past the storm early this week, there are more days in the mid forties and above ahead. Until the polar vortex pushes cold air to stay in our region, we may see trout behaving accordingly until the New Year.
Swing by on Friday evening for our first ever “Fly swap.” Tye or buy a dozen flies to swap with old and new friends while enjoying some cookies and cheer (BYO adult beverage) starting at 6:30. You can get a head start on your dozen to swap on Tuesday evening at our free fly tying nights - all experience levels welcome!
Remember, you do not have to wait for Bubba and her friends - fish can be found and fooled all Winter long. Be very careful wading and, hopefully, I will see you out there!