Last month I received this article in the mail from NGTO member and long time supporter who we all know as "The Ole Man". Although he expressed that he is not a writer, I thought the article was darn good and since we just concluded our first fly-swap, this is a perfect time to print it. Enjoy....
TIE A FLASH-A-BUGGER Jan. 1999
Trout love the flashy lifestyle. They have pointed this out to me on several occasions over the years. I was standing in the Chattahoochee River a few years ago casting a streamer of my own making. It was something I just made up. I like innovations in fly tying. I'm never satisfied with just following the pattern to the letter. I also like to invent something that I think the fish might like. This streamer was a mylar tubing body with a white bucktail wing and some gray squirrel tail at the top of the wing. The body had some good flash to it. I was early on in my flytying and the construction wasn't real great, but I wanted to fish my own fly. I was standing on some submerged rocks, fishing alone. I was casting up river and swimming the streamer down and across and suspending it at the end momentarily because I had read that that's when many strikes occur. As I fished, I became careless with my surplus line in the water and soon noticed that it was tangled around my legs. My fly was in the water, so I just finished the drift and left the fly hanging downstream about thirty feet while I freed myself from the tangled line. Several minutes later I was free, and having spooled the surplus line, I tightened up my line to draw it in for another cast. Much to my surprise, I was into a fish. A good 14-inch rainbow had grabbed my streamer and hooked himself. Or maybe he was just hanging there watching it and when I moved it he grabbed it. I credited this fish to the flash on the streamer that he just couldn't take his eyes off of.
If you have ever stood on a creek bank and watched a pod of silverside minnows twist and turn in the current then you know what a fish sees all the time. Those little sparkles of light that dance in the water are almost mesmerizing, Often you don't see the minnows real well, but these little light emissions are unmistakable. This is an attractor to a predator fish and fishermen take advantage of that fact all the time.
On another day, I stood on a bank over the river that runs through the Cherokee Indian reservation in North Carolina. These are tribal waters and the Cherokees have their own fish hatchery. They stock the river and streams on tribal lands and charge a fee for a permit to fish there. I was watching some kids having a great time catching trout on a special fly. They were wrapping silver chewing gum wrappers around a hook, leaving a little tag end hanging off the back. They swung this out on cane poles with a split shot on the line and made a drift with it. They were taking advantage of the flash factor.
Beadhead flies have not been in fashion all that long. I don't have to think too far back to remember when the word beadhead wasn't even in the fishing vocabulary. The person that thought them up was after the flash factor in addition to adding weight to the fly.
Since fish have told us that they like flash, then we would be remiss if we didn't give them some. So I wanted to share this very easy way to add some flashy sides to your woolly buggers, assuming of course that you tie woolly buggers. If you don't, then tell your favorite flytier.
Tie in the woolly bugger marabou tail as usual. Tie in the palmering hackle as usual. Now, tie in on each side-parallel to the hook shank, a 1/16 " wide piece of holographic flat tinsel long enough to reach past the eye of the hook. Let these pieces hang down to the side for now. Now tie in your body material wrap forward and tie off at the head. This is most often chenille, but it doesn't have to be. It can be dubbing, yam, peacock herl crystal chenille, a marabou feather twisted into a rope or anything you want to try. Now pull the tinsel to the head parallel to the hookshank and tie down. Be sure you pull it tight along side the body before tying it down at the side of the eye. Do this on each side of the fly. Now palmer the hackle to the eye. Each time you cross the tinsel you are securing it against the side of the fly. Tie off the hackle, cement and you're finished. Try these out and let me know how they worked for you.
The Ole Man