Five Hundred Faithful Followers. Let’s celebrate!

TGIF, fellow Currentseamsers. And thank you for being part of the Faithful Five Hundred! To celebrate, we’re doing our customary flies-tied-by-Steve giveaway. Here are the contest rules:

1) No purchase necessary.

2) You must be a follower of currentseams to enter. (If you’re not one already, you become a follower by clicking on the “Stay current with currentseams” button on the home page.)

3) To enter, leave a comment on this thread saying you wish to enter AND share with us the name of a favorite fly pattern. One entry per person. Deadline for entering is 11:59pm March 31, 2017 (no foolin’). Three winners will be chosen at random. The winners will be notified in the comments section of this thread or by email, and will be responsible for sending me their address so I can ship the flies out. Sorry, I can only ship to U.S. addresses.

4) All decisions by me are final.

Thanks again for reading and following currentseams.

A dozen classic North Country spiders — and they could be yours. One lucky winner will get to swim these in a river this spring. They’re tied on light wire hooks with Pearsall’s Gossamer silks. Left cork: Winter Brown, Black Magic. Right cork, clockwise from 3 o’clock: Orange Partridge, Snipe and Purple, Grey Partridge, Poult Bloa.

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Variations on a Dark Hendrickson theme

Some subsurface bugs for next month. The four with the wood duck wing are classic Dark Hendrickson wets. Clockwise, we have pairs of tungsten beadheads on a scud hook with the traditional tail, hackle, and body; black bead with Delaware River Club Spectrumized Hendrickson dubbing and a brown partridge hackle; and black bead with the traditional muskrat body and brown partridge hackle. I’ll fish the winged wets as the middle dropper and the beadheads on point. I can almost feel the frantic tugging right now.

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Tying video: Snipe and Purple North Country Spider

The Snipe and Purple (sometimes called the Dark Snipe) is a classic North Country spider. North Country spiders aren’t particularly hard to tie, but there are some techniques you can use to help create the classic umbrella shape of the hackle fibers and keep the body neat and trim. This Snipe and Purple is often referred to as a good match for the Iron Blue Dun. The Iron Blue is frequently mentioned in older texts, from numerous Yorkshire anglers to Pennsylvania’s  James Leisenring,  but you hardly ever hear about it today. I like the Snipe and Purple for small, dark stoneflies and especially midges. I also tie this fly on a 1x short, 2x stout hook, add a gold rib, and fish it for steelhead.

Flirting with 500 followers, spring appearances

We’re winding down the spring 2017 appearance schedule:

“The Little Things 2.0,” Thursday, March 16, Farmington Valley TU, Unionville, CT. Doors open at 6:30pm. Meeting is open to the public. For more information, visit the FVTU website.

“The Little Things,” Monday, April 3, FCFGPA. This is a members only gig.

“The Little Things,” Thursday, May 4, Housatonic Fly Fishermen’s Association, Wallingford, CT. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 65 North Main St, 7pm. Everyone welcome. For more information, visit the HFFA Facebook page.

Whew! Then we can all just go fishing.

On to the fantastic 500. One day we’re at 502 followers. The next, 499. So it goes in the razor-edge, cutthroat world of website subscribers won and lost. Once we stabilize over the 500 mark, we’ll have our usual currentseams follower appreciation giveaway. You, being a loyal reader, never let your subscription expire. Right?

Ooh. Ahh. Ohh. Striper swag from a previous giveaway.

Striper Soft-Hackles

Works-in-progress: Hendrickson spiders

I don’t usually share patterns in the development stage, but the energy of these flies and the promise of spring has me feeling reckless. I’ve been prototyping some Hendrickson spiders, playing around with different colored threads and silks, hackles, and tailing materials. The one constant is the body fur, a moderate dusting of muskrat over the waxed thread or silk. These will get a test run this spring, and I’ll let you know what I — and the trout — think.

A nod to the tradition of North Country spiders and legacy American patterns like the Dark Hendrickson winged wet.

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Impressions from a tying demo

Here are a few things from yesterday’s tying demo at the Compleat Angler that are top of mind with me this snowy afternoon:

Wet flies tied in the North Country style are admired both for their simplicity and bugginess. (And trout like them, too.) By the way, group, I was wrong about the Snipe and Purple: the feather in the hackle is not an under covert, it’s from the top of the wing. Nonetheless, I’ll fish that fly with its horrible botched head and catch a trout.

It’s amazing how you can change the energy of a fly simply by altering the color of the hackle. Two Partridge and Light Cahills, the same but different.

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The more I use the rotodubber, the more I like it for fur hackles. Like the NoCo spiders, people gravitate toward the Squirrel and Ginger, and with good reason. It’s one of my most consistent producers.

No two Usuals I tie seem to come out the same.

Confidence catches fish.

I really enjoy the questions and discussions during a demo, both fishing and tying related. I’m humbled — and grateful — that people take the time to come out and connect with me. Thanks to everyone who showed up, and thanks to the Compleat Angler for being such swell hosts.

By the way, I was impressed by the shop’s selection of hackles — and fly tying materials in general. Lots of wonderful wet fly capes in stock, and I left with a lovely Light Ginger hen neck. Check them out at 541 Post Road in Darien, CT.

Marabou adds a little magic to any fly. All that’s missing on this Deep Threat is the Ice Dub collar. Thanks for the photo, Mina.

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