The Indestructible Prince Nymph

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This nice Rogue River winter steelhead took a size 8 Brown Fork Tail (Prince) Nymph under murky, high, February water conditions.

img_8274 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.img_8248 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.img_8250 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.img_8253 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.img_8258 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.img_8260 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.img_8264 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.img_8266 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.img_8270 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.img_8273 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.

January Reflecting

Considering all the snow, ice, rain and high water of early January this year it is good to reflect back on the warm days and hot fish of summer on the Rogue River, Oregon. Early morning wet wading. Oh what a treat. It will be a while until we can do this again. In the meantime keep an eye on the weather and river flow. Winter steelhead fishing is next on the Rogue agenda, and with the high water flows, fish could be trickling in sooner than expected.

A diminutive Brown Fork Tail Prince Nymph working well. I like the pattern with a slight, yellow-brown tail. Today I was using  the pattern on the size 10 hook.

Three Minutes to Land a December Rogue River Steelhead

Found this fresh fall steelhead in a good high water run on the upper Rogue River. Recent showers have swollen the flow of the river, but the water remains clear. The fly was one of my new stonefly nymph patterns, the “au natural Carpetbagger Nymph.”

Rogue River December Steelhead, Al’s Special Gold Brooch Fly Pin

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December 2nd Rogue River chrome and Cabela’s Spey rod. Rio heads and sink tips.

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Hooked up in the high, grey water of December. December steelhead on my mind.

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Al’s Special gold brooch fly pin. Al Knudson was an early pioneering fly tier of the early 19th Century. He was one of the first to use large flies for winter steelhead. Knudson’s streamer patterns are little remembered today, but surely would fish just as well now as they did in the old days.

Rogue River at 2040 CFS (Liking it!) 11/02/16

The water is very clear right now. That was the first thing I noticed, lots of good flow and gin clear. It didn’t take long to find a nice sized cutthroat trout with the Midnight Rainbow Carpetbagger Stonefly Nymph. The first steelhead came to a Brown Fork Tail Prince Nymph. He was a little further downriver in the run. Finally just before the sunset I was able to cast at the “sweet spot” as it became vacant. I was soon on to a nice steelhead. I played the fish well and was giving it a different angle of the rod when the hook came out. No matter, I made a cast to the middle of the run, and on that very next cast I was hooked to an even better steelhead. The buck fought well, lighting up the water with some spectacular runs and leaps. Finally I was able to control those and some other stubborn antics. I tailed the fish and admired the white, crimson and green of his thick sides. Like I said the Rogue River was up and I was, “Liking it!”

Tough Bite after the Flooding

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.