As I put together the blog today, Barry and Cathy are on their way to Estancia de los Rios, Chile, with a group of 8 guests. I'm envious of them being in summer weather while it's freezing here at home, and it's hard for me to imagine a 360,000 acre ranch with a river, a spring creek, and lakes. It sounds beautiful and I hope to have a report from them for next week's blog. Brooke.
As we continue to update flies on the store, we will be writing about some of the patterns and perhaps telling a story about a particular pattern. All of the flies listed are patterns we use and believe in. We'd love to hear from you and get your thoughts as well. Today, Barry writes about the Ug Nymphs:
Ug nymphs, flexi-legs, rubber-legged, whatever you want to call them – these big flexi legged variegated chenille body nymphs catch fish. I wrote a few years back about an Argentine guide who relied on legged nymphs so much that he thought of them as a secret fly on his local river. He refused to show them to anyone that he thought of as competition. It took a week of prodding but he finally relented and handed me three of his favorite colors.
If you have never tried these nymphs, your first impression may be how simple but yet how buggy they look. Think of them as a great stonefly nymph imitation or any large nymph that is very much alive in the water. I get to spend a lot of time on the water with clients and I've learned to think out of the box when it comes to fly patterns. This past season I was standing next to a good friend who I fish with each year. The water was gin clear and we could see a number of fish anchored on the bottom. After drifting a number of small nymphs and caddis larva by, without any notice from the fish, I cut back the 6x RIO leader and attached a size 6 Ug nymph.
I looked at my friend and he laughed and asked if I was trying to scare them to death. I asked him not to be too quick to pass judgment. I know the fish in this pool have college degrees, but I also know the Ug. I watched his first cast unfold and followed the Ug nymph as it quickly sank to the bottom. I immediately yelled for him to strike as I watched a good rainbow engulf the Ug. My friend mumbled, “Absolutely amazing,” as we released the fish. The Ug nymphs have saved more than one day on the stream and I always carry a selection of colors and sizes in my fly box. You might want to as well. Link to our store Here
Story Contest Entries
We have a couple more story entries to share with you this week. Peter Nilsen reflects on an Opening Day many years ago, and Mike Norton fondly recalls taking his 10 year old son fishing on the West Branch of the Ausable. Both are wonderful stories. Thank you Mike & Peter. Enjoy.
My most memorable fly fishing experience was when I took my 10 year old son to West Branch Ausable in NY. We met a few friends of mine there , stayed at KOA, went to friends fly shop to get him waders and off we went. Down on the river with his new rod he won at TU Banquet all excited ready to get going. Now trying to explain how to do things he replies that he already knows how to fly fish...Oh yeah lets see a cast. He gets in water and bang beautiful cast about 25 feet. Tim my friend who is a guide looks at me and says where did he learn that, must have been from playing with practice rods at home. Tyler is my son name , he made me proud that day and he even caught couple rainbow. We still had 2 more days of fishing so we meet up with more friends and they also took a liking to Tyler and his skills encouraging him to keep going. As our last day comes he is crying that he wants to stay and fish more but we have a long drive, make a deal with him we fished again that day just he and I for few hours then went to my friends shop to return the waders. Tyler then proceeds to tell all of my friends there at the shop how he out fished his Dad and he was a better flyfisherman than him, right Dad I caught more fish than you. Yes he did and I could not have been more happier and my buddies all got to rub it in for a while.The smile on Tyler's face was worth every single second and everyone has that memory to share for the rest of there life. I remember it like yesterday and so does Tyler...even throws out every now and then hey dad remember when I caught more fish than you the first time I flyfished. We continue to make memories together.
It was the start of the 1952 fishing season, cold and raw – the dayI dreamed about all winter, and the first time using my new fly rod, bought with Christmas tips from my paper route. I tossed out a ratty, old streamer, then danced around to keep warm.
The line move, I set the hook, an enormous ‘largemouth’ vaulted out of the water and dove for the bottom, only to pull out.
“Oh, no, had to be a 10 pounder,” I yelled! That fish wasn’t hooked, but I was. 65 years later I’m still hooked, still casting a fly rod for that special fish.