I received this from Keith A. last night:
Want you to know that I just caught a monster brown, at the Delaware river, on one of the flies that you tied for me. Size 18. My guess is 24+”.
No, Keith. Thank you. And well done!
In proper nomenclature, these would be Pale Watery wingless wet variants. I think, however, that Keith would cast his vote in favor of calling it The Magic Fly.
Kevin and Aidan took my Wet Flies 101 class yesterday evening. The upper TMA was a perfect height, 375cfs, running crystal clear and 55 degrees. A little stream side classroom, then on the water at 5pm. The sulphurs made a showing along with some caddis, but there was nothing rising. We gave the spot 90 minutes, then decided to move. Right call. We found some river that was a good transition point between classic wet fly and classic dry fly water. It had bugs coming off and fish rising. Best of all, it was unoccupied(!?!). The hatch was strongest from 7pm to around 8:15. Plenty of size 16 sulphurs with the trout keyed on the emergers — I didn’t see a single dun taken off the surface. I rigged Kevin up with a Magic Fly for some wet-fished-as-dry action (we started off with an 18 but downsized to a 20) while Aidan stayed subsurface with the swung wet. Both guys did a great job targeting active feeders, and both connected with trout. Around 8pm I rigged Aidan for wet-fished-as-dry and he stuck several fish. Great job, gents. We won the hatch and weather lottery.
Kevin battling a wild brown who fell for a Pale Watery wingless wet.
A good number of trout were enjoying the sulphur hatch as much as we were.
Attentive anglers catch more fish. Aidan focusing on his drift, ready to strike.
After the gig, I took a break and waited for the dark of night. It was not a good night for me to forget my headlamp — it’s an adventure stumbling across a boulder-strewn riffle or trying to stay on the path through the woods in total darkness. Not quite on the darkness, really. The fireflies put on a spectacular light show. I’ve never seen so many, so active.
I fished from 9:45 to midnight, throwing big streamers in hopes of connecting with a big ol’ brown. Not tonight. I did get three bumps, but no hook sets. Oh. And a beaver stalked me in one of the pools I fished. That’s always fun. I was glad I didn’t hook him. Though if I did, it would serve him right.