Back to the Bighorn
As you can imagine, our travel calendar was wiped clean for about four months and it is slow to get started again, but we are excited to be returning to Montana in August for our two special weeks on the Bighorn River.
This destination has remained our “best-seller” for more than 30 years. We have an excellent program with Kingfisher Lodge and their guides. It's an easy, relaxing week of good fishing – drifting everyday and getting out to wade favorite runs, riffles, and pools. The Bighorn is a favorite among beginners and experienced anglers and has been our favorite western river for many years.
If you're as tired of looking at the same four walls as we are, come along for a delightful change of scenery and some great fishing. We have space available on our first week, August 22-29, and would love to have you.
Check out the details and call us or Denise Schreiber at Frontiers (800-245-1950) for more information.
Jim's PT Nymphs
Our head guide, Jim Kukorlo, talks to us this week about his PT Nymphs and his own variations on the fly. We encourage you to ask Jim questions, comment, and give us your thoughts in our Comments section (accessible when the blog is viewed from a browser). We love hearing from you!
The pleasant tail nymph certainly is one of the best all-purpose and all-season nymphs. It just looks like a bug which makes it a great imitation for many different mayflies throughout the season. No fly box should be without pheasant tail nymphs from hook size 12 to size 22.
The original pattern calls for the complete fly to be tied using the fibers of a ring neck pheasant tail and ribbed in gold wire. (At least that has always been my understanding.) It's a tried and true pattern for sure and one that I have in my fly box plus several variations that I use throughout the season. And it's a pretty simple pattern to tie even for beginner fly tiers.
The thing I like most about the PT nymph is that you can fish it so many different ways. It's a great early season nymph when fishing with an indicator, or euro nymphing, and when tied with a tungsten bead the fly will get down quickly to where the trout are in high and fast water.
It's also one of my favorite flies to use when fishing a dry fly, using it as the trailing nymph. It was very effective during the second week of the Hendrickson hatch this past spring when fished as a dropper behind my dry fly. It resembles a Hendrickson nymph and some days I caught more fish on the pheasant tail nymph than I did on the dry fly. Because of it's streamline design it's a perfect pattern for BWO and midge nymphs too, and my midge box is full of these small nymphs in sizes 18 and down.
Fishing with fellow guide, Tom Harris, on Super Bowl Sunday several years ago there was a midge hatch going on and Tom and I were fishing size 20 pheasant tail nymphs and trailing a size 20 rainbow warrior nymph. When the sun was on the water we caught trout on the rainbow warrior and when the clouds blocked the sun we caught them on the pheasant tail nymph.
If you are a fly tier, this nymph works well by spicing it up with different variations from the original pattern. Sometimes a flash of purple, red or orange does the trick to get a trout's attention. I often substitute the pheasant tail thorax with hare’s ear dubbing and really like using black ice, peacock and pheasant tail ice dubbing for the thorax. The options seem limitless.
The pheasant tail nymph has been around for a long time and has stood the test of time as one of the best all-around, go-to nymphs out there. In the photo are some of the combinations I use and have had success with throughout the season.
BWOs & Sulphur Season
Wow! It's June already. Where did spring go? Here in northeastern Pennsylvania we have had a cool, wet spring which has been good for the gardens and very good for the streams. Fishing Creek is at a perfect level, cool nights and warm days have the BWO Cornuta and Sulphurs starting to show and fishing has been good! Another first for the season is crane flies. On warm sunny afternoons there has been some very good dry fly action with these flies and they are fun to fish. Check them all out in our online fly shop. Oh, the bass came from the pond, Bailey's first fish on a fly rod!
I'll drop in a couple photos from our guides this week and you can see for yourself.