Sunday, May 29, 2011
I have been following a couple of fly fishing blogs for the past two years. I love "The Trout Underground" by Tom Chandler over on the Upper Sacramento River. He is the best all around and most interesting blog, covering the most niches of fly fishing. He also draws from some other great blogs such as "Moldy Chum" and "Singlebarbed", two that I recommend. I like Singlebarbed because he ties and ties and has a new pattern up on his blog at least four times per week. However, this post is about Switters B, a huge fly tyer and innovator. I have been trying to find the materials to tie his fly, "The Orb".
Evidently, the author at Switters B was swimming subsurface in a lake when he saw a callibaetis hatch emerging. He stated that the emerging nymphs appeared to Glow when near the surface. He then created "The Orb", a size 14 nymph that has a large clear plastic bead, under wrapped with tinsel, at the head of the fly. I have been trying for a year to find the floating plastic beads he uses. Recently, I came across 1000 4-mm plastic beads on ebay and bought them. Unfortunately, they don't fit on a size 14 hook, but a size 10. I also picked up 6/0 clear glass beads and 5-mm plastic pearl beads from Michael's, and am having trouble getting them on the hooks.
I finally used my barb-mashing pliers to bend out a 2x short curved nymph hook, size 14 -- got a 4-mm bead on it, and put gray ostrich herl for the tail, the abdomen, and the thorax. My first attempt ended up with too large a thorax, but thought I'd put it up in this post. I'm looking forward to tying this pattern and giving it a thorough test this summer, as requested to all by Switters B. I'm sure I'll get this pattern figured out, and it gives me a use for the small left over tips from tying the ostrich callibaetis in the previous post.
My apologies for the blurry photographs. I'll edit these posts and get better pictures up asap.
I am trying to become a "professional" fly tyer, starting with inroads at my local fly shop and the marina a Pine Cove on Lewiston Lake. I have 6 patterns in the shop at Lewiston Lake, and have an order for 4 dozen flies at the Eureka Fly Shop. I know Mike is being nice to me and throwing me a little work. Mike is a world class tyer who ties up most of the flies in his shop. As a high school student he shocked the world at fly shows with his skill.
As I'm filling my order, I also want tie some flies that will help me out at Lewiston Lake. There is a callibaetis hatch on the lake that I have never fished. Now that I have figured out midges and leeches on the lake, I think it is time to learn how to fish the callibaetis hatches (which I hear are FUN). Searching for patterns online, I didn't want to tie something really complicated so I settled on a mix between Rickard's Callibaetis and Mercer's Poxyback Callibaetis. I tied up a couple flies with mallard wood duck tails, gray ostrich body ribbed with gold wire, thick ostrich thorax with turkey shell and mallard wood duck legs. It was a pain and takes me twice as long as a "normal" wet pattern.
I tied up a half dozen and took them in to Mike. I told Mike that I was trying to find an easy pattern to tie as the ones I was making took too much time. He looked at them and said "These are Perfect. I want them. Tie me up 4 dozen!!!". Aaarrrgggghhh -- I've doubled by career orders but have a fly that takes me 5 to 6 minutes to tie. I have to laugh, though, that I've come up with something that Mike likes -- and another order. Now, to tie, tie, and tie.
I've tied about 2 dozen of these flies, and all came out as seconds that I'll personally fish with. The mallard wood duck feathers are hard to work with for the legs of the fly -- not at easy as partridge because the tips of the wood duck feathers are separated and not "full" like partridge. However, I think I've figured out a method for tying in the legs and should get production rates of 12 to 15 per hour (I hope).
Now, only two more weeks of school and then I'm at Lewiston Lake for the summer ( 4 days per week) and I'll see if this pattern is something I have to tie dozens of -- I hope!!