Santa’s Little Helper A Christmas theme Atlantic salmon fly pattern I came up with several years past. Though it’s never caught a salmon that I know of, I’m certainly sure it could. I just hope it fetches some Christmas Cheer. Santa’s Little Helper the December Fly of the Month.
I’ve been tying old classic fly patterns on decorative hook pins for Christmas. Here are a few of my favorites. The hat pin hooks are not easy to tie on. There is the difficulty of tying around the pin and it’s keeper. Number one is avoid the sharp point of the pin. Ouch! Almost any fly pattern can be tied on fly pin. I’m looking forward to trying a few new patterns this year!
I’m on a roll this past week and a half. Each of my last three fish has been a progressively larger than the prior. Todays steelhead went an estimated 30 inch’s long. I’d thought I would capture part of the battle on video. However the fish suddenly “came alive”, and was off on a determined run that eventually traveled 100 yards downriver. At the very onset of that run I knew I’d never land the fish near the camera, so as quick as possible I turned it off. The two capture photos were taken as fast with my phone camera before the grand native steelhead was quickly released back into the Rogue River of Oregon. The fly was my Brownbagger Carpetbagger Nymph with the orange bead head.
Landed three all on my Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph. One of the steelhead was my largest of the Fall so far. Hooked in a very difficult place, I had to deep wade down river to get to the filming spot. The fish ran way down stream almost to the spill over of the tail out. I was expecting a wild, native Rogue River steelhead. Surprise! She was a nice 26 inch hatchery hen.
No blast, but two for the cast yesterday morning. Well I did get a blast at a couple overhead passing geese very early morning. I have to rethink those shots. They were off. I think next time I should shoot for the head. Perhaps more for the front of the goose bill?
Arriving at my prime “duck pond” I found only a couple ring neck ducks. The river fog slowly disappeared as I watched them cavorting along the far bank. Waterfowl entertainment! I would say that the migration has slowly begun. Last week I did see a bunch of widgeon at another pond, and have noted more passing mallards while fly casting. In general, the weather has been more bluebird than duck weather.
From the early morning duck hunting I transitioned to steelhead fly fishing. I went to the spots that have been good recently. No immediate success, however I persisted and as the day warmed I found a fish in both spots. Happily no hatchery retread steelhead, just fresh arriving steelhead from the lower river. The first fish took a Pheasant Tail Nymph, and I had to wade precariously to a spot to land it. The second steelhead took a Yellow Fork Tail Prince Nymph. I could feel the first nibble of this fish to the fly and I missed the hook up. I cast again and hooked him on his
second bite! A beautiful small native steelhead. Half pounder size I would say. Funny how since the dam removals on the middle Rogue River I have been seeing more of these smallish steelhead in our catches on the upper Rogue River.
As the month of October rolls along the steelhead fly fishing gets better and better. Throw in a little early waterfowl hunting and you have a Rogue River treat that is hard to beat. The mallards fell during the dawning morning. Pretty sure they are local birds. There is not a lot of migration noted yet. The newly arrived hatchery steelhead is a sure sign that the Autumn run from the lower canyon is filtering in. Sure is fun to have a strong and pulling fish on the line again. An Agent Orange pattern accounted for the hookup in the bottom of a deep run during the warmth of early afternoon.