Here at Home
Things are quiet here in the office at this time of year. Fishing has slowed down, but will pick up again in the fall, and Susie and I are busy getting caught up on projects that have been waiting for us. Barry & Cathy only have a couple more days on their hosted safari to Kenya & Tanzania. It sounds like the group is having an unbelievable time with excellent game viewing and beautiful weather. We'll hear all about when they get home next week, but in the meantime here are a few images that they were able to send to us here in the office. -Brooke.
Summer Tactics Part Two – Late Summer Dry Flies by Jim Kukorlo
My July blog article was basically on the different types of dry fly/hopper drop methods of fly fishing. If you read that blog you will already know that one of my favorite flies for summertime fishing is the crackleback dry fly. Cathy let the cat out of bag and she even attached a video showing you how to tie it.
It was created by Ed Story of Feathercraft in 1952 which also happens to be the year I was born. I tie it a little different than they do in the video. I add micro fiber tails to give the fly more stability and to help the fly float better. I also tie some with grizzly hackle which helps me see them better. Like everything else I do in fly fishing I tested the grizzly vs. the brown hackle and I don't believe I catch more fish with either, but I can see it better. I use light cream, olive, brown, orange and pheasant tail ice dubbing for the body but I favor the light cream.
I tie the crackleback in an assortment of hook sizes and fine more success with hook size 10s and 12s.
The crackleback can be fished as a dry fly or a wet fly and sometimes a trout will hit it just as it starts to sink just under the surface film.
A friend of mine told me he added a small bead head to sink it and fished it behind a hopper pattern and landed a 27” rainbow. Thanks Art. I did the same the other day but only landed a 22 inch rainbow.
Although I very seldom fish a dry fly when no fish are rising, I really do enjoy an early summer morning fishing a crackleback before the sun hits the water. I become a trout hunter looking for a rising trout or spotting fish high in the water, looking for something to eat.
Some days the crackleback just isn't what the trout are looking for. When that happens, Cathy’s beetles and super beetles are my go-to early morning flies. On days that the trout are very selective and don't seem to be interested in large flies, I will switch to smaller flies such as red and black ants, low profile beetles and even small soft hackle flies just under the surface film.
Let's talk about tactics.
Start early in the morning before the sun hits the water.
Check the water temperature. (I quit fishing when the water temperature is 70 or above)
Wear natural color clothing.
Keep out of the water as much as possible.
Keep a low profile.
Cast from a kneeling position. (If you’ve never done that, it's a good idea to practice in your yard)
Use longer leaders. I start with a 9 ft leader and add tippet to lengthen my leader to 14 or 16 feet.
If you are not used to fishing with longer leaders it can be difficult to turn a fly over. If the fly isn't turning over, cut back on the tippet. Taper your leader with small sections of tippet. I always start with a 9ft 4x leader. I will add a two foot piece of 4x tippet and then add two foot of 5x. If I go to a smaller fly I will add a foot of 5x.
Keep in mind the tippet size must match the size of the fly you are fishing. A large hopper pattern will need at least a 5 or 4x tippet. Using a size 10 or 12 crackleback you can use 5x. Small ants and beetles will require a 5, 6 or 7x tippet. If I'm fishing a 4x tippet I put line sink on my tippet a foot above my fly. Sinking that section of the leader will make the tippet harder for the trout to detect.
Summer is slowly coming to an end and early fall fishing is just around the corner. The crackleback will be my go to dry fly right into October. Tied with an orange body, it's a good imitation for the October Caddis. Check out the July blog video on how to tie the crackleback and get out and enjoy an early summer morning on the water.
Beyond the Bobber
Polished and refined are not words that anyone would use to describe the video clip below. Actually, it's a little rough around the edges, BUT, it is loaded with good tips and information about fishing with a strike indicator.....and somewhat entertaining. It's just a smidge over 3 minutes so take a look. Thanks to MidCurrent and Marshall Cutchin.
***Correction: The trip schedule on last week's blog should have read Suinda & Pira, January 11-21, 2020***