Best of North Country Spiders: Greensleeves

As you can see, currentseams is on a North Country Spiders kick. The goal here is to show you some of my favorite classic Yorkshire soft hackles, including the recipe, brief tying directions, and match the hatch notes.  I have to confess that I haven’t fished Greensleeves as much as I would like. I tend to tie it smaller, say 14-18. It makes a fine BWO emerger, as well as caddis (and even microcaddis is you wanted to cross the size 20 and smaller Rubicon). It certainly works nicely as the top dropper on your nymph setup.

Greensleeves North Country Spider

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Hook: Wet or dry fly, 14-20
Body: Green silk (this is Pearsall’s Gossamer Highland Green)
Hackle: Hen pheasant neck or inside of a woodcock wing (this is woodcock)

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Tying notes: This is a fairly straightforward tie. While not as fragile as starling, woodcock isn’t as robust as partridge, so don’t pull too hard as you’re winding. You can find a general North Country spider video tutorial here.

My Favorite North Country Spiders: the Winter Brown

Best is relative, but if I were compiling a list of the best North Country spiders, the Winter Brown would be near the top. While legacy fishers of this fly may have intended it to represent a stone fly, the Winter Brown is for my purposes a caddis imitation (and the trout have agreed on occasions too numerous to mention). Much to like here, including a not-so-common hackle feather and the delectable secret sauce that is peacock herl.

The Winter Brown

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Hook: Wet or dry fly, 12-16
Silk: Orange
Head: Peacock herl
Hackle: Woodcock under covert

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Tying notes: The head is tied in first (I tied this fly “wrong” for years). Two or three close wraps are all you need. Next, attach the hackle, then wind it rearward, secure, and clip. Stroke the hackle fibers toward the head (this makes it easier for you to construct the body), then wind the body with two layers of silk. Tie off just behind the hackle, and stroke the fibers back to their natural position. You can find a general North Country spider video tutorial here.

Farmington River Quasi-Report 1/29/19: Shooting in the cold

This seemed like it would be the best day in the foreseeable future to a) shoot some photos for my upcoming Farmington River feature in Eastern Fly Fishing, and b) sneak in a few casts before Arctic winter sets in. So. It was cold. Ice-in-the-eyelets cold, from 11:30am-2:30pm. Water was a low (the new normal!) 680cfs in the permanent TMA. Streamers was the method in the first two hero pools. Not a touch. Went to the nymphing well and did likewise. In the meantime, took many dozens of still life shots and river scenes. Ran into Farmy guide Steve Hogan (who I’ve never met — nice to meet you, Steve!) and got a rack of shots of him nymphing. Mission completed, I drove home.

It’s now 10:35pm and I’m pleased to inform my readers that I am finally warm.

No two winter fishing days are alike. 

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Thank you, Edison. See you next year.

Another great experience at the Fly Fishing Show. Thanks to everyone who took the time to come see my Seminar, Wet Flies 2.0. By my count it was one of the largest audiences of the day. If you were there, I truly appreciate it. Before my gig I had the chance to walk the show floor.

One of my best sources for flatwing saddles is Bill Keough’s booth. He’s got some higher quality saddles in packages, but if you know what you’re looking for and you have the time, a rummage through his bargain bins can uncover treasure. I managed to escape with three grizzly saddles — coming to a flatwing soon.

billk

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The luck of this guy! Someone gifted Joe Cordeiro two original RLS saddles. Wow. Thanks for the water and the snack, fellow flatwinger.

joec~

Anyone who can rock sandals on a cold January day is my hero. If you haven’t read George’s new nymphing book, you should.

georged

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BobPop was nice to me, showed interest, and offered encouragement when I was a nobody. He’s on the A-list of cool dudes. Here’s a prototype he told me is over 50 years old. I’m glad I’m not the only tying nerd who saves works-in-progress.

bobpop

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“I swear, it was this big!” I don’t know too many people who love fishing more than me, but Hank Hewitt might be one of them. He certainly loves talking more than me. Great to see the Block Island Fishworks crew (Hank, Eliott, and Chris). If you’re looking for deep domain knowledge of Block, you want a charter with these guys.

hankh

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Next up:  the CFFA Expo, Saturday, February 2 at Maneely’s in South Windsor. I will be presenting Wet Flies 101, starting at 9:30am. I will also be on tier’s row, but I have a coaching commitment in the afternoon, so I’ll only be there until 12:30pm.

Come one, come all to “Wet Flies 2.0” Friday 1/25 3:15pm at the Fly Fishing Show, Edison, NJ

Looking forward to a good crowd for tomorrow’s seminar at the Fly Fishing Show in Edison, NJ, and you can help make it happen. Wet Flies 2.0 is an extension of my intro wet fly program. We’ll go a little deeper into the ancient, traditional art of fooling fish with soft hackles and other magical creations. Lots of new stuff to learn and discover. Catch Room, 3:15pm. And be sure to come say hello.

Wet flies have been fooling trout for centuries…and the Salmo aren’t getting any smarter.

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Steve Culton Fly Tying Weekend at Legends, March 22-23-24: Wet Flies for the Farmington

My friend Sal is hosting a series of fly tying/fishing weekends this winter at his lodge Legends, and I’ll be the featured presenter on March 23.  In Sal’s words, “Escape the craziness of winter and social media and join us for an exciting weekend of tying, fishing (weather permitting), and telling stories over dinner with legends and soon-to-be legends who share your passion for fly fishing.”

All weekends include tying class, lodging Friday and Saturday night, continental breakfast Saturday and Sunday and a delicious family style dinner Saturday evening all for just $295.00 single occupancy.

Please bring your favorite vise and tools, all materials will be supplied. If you are in need of a tying kit, just let us know ahead of time. If Mother Nature makes roads impassible, the weekend will be cancelled with full refund.”

Here are a few more details: On my weekend, I will be there Saturday only. Sal says, “Steve will be teaching his Wet Flies for the Farmington. Steve’s class will be a combination of tying instruction and suggestions on how to improve your fly fishing experience using wet flies. If time permits he will also share a few go-to patterns for stripers.”

My plan is to present parts of my Wet Flies 101 and 2.0 courses, reinforced with tying and classroom fishing instruction. It should be a lot of fun.

Now: you cannot book this event through me. You have to do it through Legends. Reservations can be made by calling 203-650-8767 or emailing  legendsbnb@hotmail.com.

Coming to a vise near you.

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Matt Supinski at FRAA Wednesday, January 23, 7pm

Come see my friend Matt Supinski speak at the FRAA meeting tomorrow night, Wednesday January 23, 7pm, at the Farmington Senior Center, 321 New Britain Avenue, Unionville, CT. His presentation is Into the Mind of a Brown Trout, and it dovetails nicely with his new book, The Brown Trout Atlantic Salmon Nexus. Matt is a fun and engaging speaker, not to mention he knows how to fly fish — and then some! The meeting is FREE and open to everyone.

The official event poster.

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