The Prince Nymph. Also know as the Brown Fork Tail. The most prolific steelhead catching fly of the past season. Fished on a dead drift. The weighted Prince. I like a brass bead and wrapped lead wire underneath. A drop or two of Zap-A-Gap will cement it in place. Two brown goose biots are wrapped on as a forked tail with red thread. An oval silver tinsel is attached to the far side to be wrapped as a rib. A length of strong, fine wire is attached to the near side. The thread is advanced to the front of the hook. 15 pieces of natural peacock herl are attached there at their fine tips. The thread is wrapped back to the base of the tail over the herl. At this point the red thread is wrapped around the full length of the peacock herl strands. The herl and the thread are twisted together to form a strong rope. Then the “rope” is wrapped to the front of the hook forming a tapered body. End the peacock herl body behind the brass bead head. Be sure to separate the extra herl from the thread. Clip the herl leaving a little free space behind the bead. Wind the oval silver tinsel forward over the body with 5 or 6 equal spaced wraps to the front. Counter wind the strong wire over the tinsel to the front. Bind down the tinsel and wire with several taunt wraps of the red thread. Trim the excess tinsel and wire ends. Attach a prepared brown feather hackle to the little space left between the body and the bead head. The fibers of the hackle can be folded to help slant rearward. The brown hackle is wrapped once or twice to sweep rearward as a collar. Two white goose biots are attached to the top just behind the bead as wings. To securely attach the wings, I like to fold/bend the cut ends rearward and cover them with the final wraps of thread. Build up a little red space with the tread behind the bead, whip finish and cut the thread. Several coats of cement (Sally Hansens or Zap-A-Gap) are applied to the thread. Notice the folded end of the white goose biot poking out at the base of the wing. A very attached wing that will not slip off.
More January reflecting. Thinking back on August when the Rogue River ran high but without the stain and cold of January runoff. Sure the river will continue it’s winter antics but the conditions overall are improving as we near February.
Here’s a lucky day during late August 2016 when a Hobo Spey and Midnight Rainbow Carpetbagger Stonefly Nymph were the successful flies to use.
The weekend rain put the Rogue River at a high flow for October. We waited a few days for the water level to drop. By Thursday the water was at an acceptable level and color for fly fishing. The bite was slow with even the trout reluctant to hit flies. The kind of day where any hookup is priceless and a reward.
Everyone has his or her own opinion of the weather. 70°F days on the Rogue River, this close to summer, make very enjoyable fishing conditions. Add an early summer steelhead and continuing cutthroat trout bite to make a near perfect flyfishing recipe.
This time of year makes for good wet fly fishing. The fish will look up and they will move to commit to a fly in the high water flow. I like a good dark pattern and the Silver Hilton and Blue and Purple (New Experimental long one!) in my flybox have brought action. The taking mood will disappear as summer wanes on and the heat rises, so taking advantage this week’s all day fishing has been fun. As proof, here are a couple of photos the mild weather have sent my way.
Winter steelhead season ended so quickly, it was as if it didn’t happen. There are many ways to celebrate Spring, and two that are very fun are bug hatches and wild mushrooms. You might think it might be hard to combine the two, but between the river and the high mountains there are many opportunities.
The morel hatch on the valley floor had to come to an end eventually. Prospecting for fishing location never does. I came across these past-prime valley floor morels while bushwhacking a new stretch of river. Mental note to return earlier next year for a chance at them while they are still fresh.
Since then the fishing and morel hunting has moved up into the higher elevations. With the opening of the general trout season many small waters are open to fishing. When they just happen to border with a morel area, so much the better.
Though these are low-key fishing adventures, they are memorable for the mountain solitude and scenery. If you, like me, savor the wild, there’s nothing like mountain redband trout and black morels in the Spring.