Hippy Stomper – 11/18/2018

Hippy Stomper 11/18/2018 Photo Album

My history with the hippy stomper is well documented in my post of 01/13/2018. This report notes that I experienced a small degree of success during several fall outings in 2017, and these experiences convinced me to produce twenty-five in preparation for the 2018 season. This raises the obvious question, how did the hippy stomper perform during live field tests in 2018?

A size 12 peacock hippy stomper joined my stable of prime producers during the spring, summer and fall of the past year. As I suspected, it served as an effective option between the larger foam attractors such as the fat Albert and Chernobyl ant and the smaller Jake’s gulp beetle. The hippy stomper became my first fallback choice when finicky trout rejected the size 8 and 10 terrestrials on my dry/dropper presentations. Although the hippy stomper contains thinner foam and offers a smaller surface area than the larger foam flies, it possesses adequate buoyancy to support two size 14 beadhead nymphs. Jake’s gulp beetle struggles to support two medium size nymphs, and this capability is important, as I love the three fly dry/dropper approach. I believe that the weight of two beadheads places the nymphs within the feeding range of the trout on a more consistent basis.

Since my experience with the hippy stomper was minimal, I tied ten with red bodies, ten with peacock bodies and five with silver ice dub bodies last winter. I speculated on effective body colors based on a few successes in the fall time period. During 2018 I deployed the hippy stomper throughout the season, and I learned that the peacock body versions outpaced the others in terms of desirability to the wild trout. This translated to peacocks spending significantly more time on my line, and of course this resulted in the loss of peacock body flies in the heat of battle.

Fly ComponentMaterial
HookSize 12 standard dry fly hook
Thread Black 6/0
TailBlack deer hair
BodyTwo layers of foam; black 1.0 MM and dark green .5 MM
UnderbodyLigas peacock dubbing
LegsSmall Sililegs of preferred color
IndicatorWhite McFlylon poly yarn
HackleLarge grizzly hackle

In fact, I used my last hippy stomper during an October trip, and this required an in-season visit to my fly tying station. I generally try to avoid this circumstance, but the hippy stomper secured the status of required in my fly fishing arsenal. During the first in-season tying session I manufactured eleven using peacock dubbing, and these were immediately assigned active status. Once the weather cooled down at the end of October, my fishing outings became infrequent, and I added fourteen additional models to my storage container to reach a beginning inventory of twenty-five. I suspect the hippy stomper will continue to excel as the surface fly in a dry/dropper rig while serving as a superb fish attractor in solo dry fly mode.

I settled on the Anglers All tying demonstration on YouTube for my guidance on tying hippy stompers. I also discovered that Andrew Grillos is the designer of this relatively new fly, and I was already an enthusiastic adopter of his pool toy hopper pattern. I am very anxious to continue the hippy stomper experiment in 2019.

Prince Nymph – 11/17/2018

Prince Nymph 11/17/2018 Photo Album

In all likelihood the prince nymph is ranked among the top five nymphs by fly fishermen in the United States and perhaps only surpassed by the hares ear nymph and pheasant tail nymph. In my view the prince nymph lost a bit of its luster over the last three years, as I replaced it with the ultra zug bug, and the simplified version of the prince nymph proved to be very productive. Historically I found the goose biot wings on the classic prince nymph difficult to mount, and they were always the first component to fail during stream usage. The small slippery white biot wings inevitably became loose, and eventually I found myself fishing a peacock nymph with no wings. The white wings are probably the key triggering characteristic of a prince nymph, so fishing without them failed to take advantage of their attraction.

Mounting the brown biot tails was also a bit challenging, but I managed to master that step; although when I tied the ultra zug bug, I eliminated that complication as well. I simply tied in brown fibers from a pheasant feather as the tail, and the pattern design eliminated the white biot wings. The simple zug bug was very productive, and I valued it as one of my mainstay nymphs.

Fly ComponentMaterial
HookTiemco 2487 for size 16; Tiemco 5262 for size 12, 14
BeadGold sized to fit the hook
ThreadBlack 6/0
Tail2 brown goose biots curving away from each other
Wing2 white goose biots tied with the tips pointing forward over the bead and eye of the hook
RibFine gold or copper wire
Abdomen4 or 5 strands of peacock herl twisted with a section of thread
LegsTwo clumps of brown pheasant fibers tied on both sides of the thorax area
Wing PositionFold the white biot wings back over the body of the fly and tie down behind the bead with the tips split and forming a V
ThoraxPeacock ice dubbing over the thread wraps behind the bead.

But this piece is about the prince nymph, and I discovered two scenarios during the 2018 season, when the classic prince seemed to represent a favored food of Colorado trout. During the grannom caddis activity in April and May, a prince nymph in size 16 seemed to outperform the ultra zug bug, particularly when adult egg layers were active. Perhaps the natural iridescent peacock body or the white V-shaped wing explain this effectiveness, but in any event I like to carry a supply of the smaller prince nymphs in my fleece wallet.

During the 2018 season I also discovered that knotting a size 12 prince nymph to my line during green drake season produced some fairly consistent subsurface action. My total supply of these larger nymphs consisted of five, and I depleted them during fishing outings on the Cache la Poudre and South Boulder Creek during the time frame when green drakes were present. I suspect that better green drake nymph imitations exist, but field success counts a lot in my experience, so size 16 and 14 prince nymphs continued to earn slots in my fly containers.

Given the two situations outlined above, when prince nymphs provided a boost to my fly fishing fortunes, I decided to replenish my depleted supply. I remembered a series of tying tips in Fly Tyer Magazine that applied to tying prince nymphs, so I searched through my pile of old issues and found the piece that remained in my aging memory bank. One tip provided guidance to enable consistent mounting of the biot tails, so they split evenly and remain on the same plain. A second tip outlined the steps for locking down the white goose biot wings. I applied these recommendations and whipped out some quality prince nymphs in size 12, 14 and 16. I am fairly certain that the wing procedure greatly enhances the durability of a classic prince nymph.

My prince inventory now consists of five size 12’s, 15 size 14’s, and 20 size 16’s. I will no longer be reluctant to offer prince nymphs due to fears of depleting my supply. Hopefully these flies will continue to produce in the caddis and green drake situations as well as during general searching periods.

Light Gray Comparadun – 04/22/2018

Light Gray Comparadun 04/22/2018 Photo Album

The light gray comparadun was the first fly that sparked my love affair with the no hackle series designed by Caucci and Nastasi. If interested, you can read about my evolution from classic Catskill dry fly to comparadun proponent on my 02/21/2014 post.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ErWPvsY62yo/WrmoMkyB6OI/AAAAAAABbpI/h4u02rcNiGsenQGV5C_FADu3jG22v8kNQCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3260012.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6537441229280073393?locked=true#6537441268090398946″ caption=”Macro of a Pair of Size 16 Comparaduns” type=”image” alt=”P3260012.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

My 12/27/2015 update outlined the emergence of the cinnamon comparadun as a second favored comparadun option. Both flies performed especially well during pale morning dun hatches, but over the last two years I determined that the cinnamon version was somewhat more effective especially on certain river systems such as the Frying Pan River. Despite this slippage in ranking in my comparadun repertoire I continued to encounter situations, where the gray version was preferred by western trout. A solid example of this circumstance is available in my 06/23/2017 post that covered my day on the Yampa River. Experiences like this prompt me to continue tying light gray comparaduns in sizes 14 – 18.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ao39kU2htSY/WrmoMNTECVI/AAAAAAABbpI/V8emuM4_rsMaAzGAAi1-g7NNtaQhAz6kwCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3260011.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6537441229280073393?locked=true#6537441261786499410″ caption=”Total Output of Light Gray” type=”image” alt=”P3260011.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

I took stock of my light gray inventory and determined that I needed to increment my supply of size 18, 16, and 14. I recently completed this small tying effort with two size 18, six size16, and one size 14. I believe I am adequately prepared for pale morning dun hatches of all colors and all sizes. I cannot wait.


Cinnamon Comparadun – 04/14/2018

Cinnamon Comparadun 04/14/2018 Photo Album

If the reader is interested in understanding my evolution to comparaduns, then consider reading my post of Comparaduns – 02/21/2014. I just reexamined it myself, and I enjoyed refreshing my memory on this subject. For a great description of my adoption of the cinnamon comparadun as a must have fly, my posts of 02/01/2015 and 12/23/2015 are very informative. The 12/23/2015 text also highlights several key tying steps that produce quality imitations of natural mayflies. I will not attempt to reinvent the wheel in this post.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i7nFF17rWB4/WrBNzJ_2cUI/AAAAAAABbK0/Uh3IyJJcC3EBBRxhUW23PM7FHDCIaPIeQCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3190012.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6534808579904841633?locked=true#6534808600566985026″ caption=”A New Size 14 Cinnamon Comparadun on a Recovered Hook” type=”image” alt=”P3190012.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

During my trips to the Frying Pan River in 2017 I never encountered significant pale morning dun activity, and consequently the cinnamon comparadun was not a factor in my fishing success on that waterway. On June 23 on the Yampa River it played a key role that resulted in several fish, and it fooled a few fish on the Eagle River on 07/03/2017. During September and October the cinnamon comparadun demonstrated its fish attracting qualities on several occasions on South Boulder Creek, when I was surprised by late season mid-afternoon hatches.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-J3OETYB7bV0/WrBNzuyfe2I/AAAAAAABbK0/_z3VOWFpc2MWZCptAls6XfY8bNIKhsmrACCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3190013.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6534808579904841633?locked=true#6534808610443066210″ caption=”Three Size 16’s With Needed Materials” type=”image” alt=”P3190013.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-M6Hr0x38hDY/WrBNyd1hWYI/AAAAAAABbK0/pC6WynRjAYAvElWGFc3v_6IlJITxIO_JwCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3180010.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6534808579904841633?locked=true#6534808588712499586″ caption=”Damaged and Misfit Dry Flies to Be Recovered” type=”image” alt=”P3180010.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

As part of my winter fly tying process I focused on sorting through my many canisters of old unraveling and damaged flies. In the case of comparaduns I retrieved at least twenty-five bedraggled models, and I stripped them down to the bare hook. These hooks served as my supply to replenish comparaduns, and I recovered so many that a decent quantity of 18’s, 16’s and 14’s remain on the magnet that rests beneath my vise.

I tallied 33 size 18 cinnamon comparaduns in my storage boxes and concluded that additional quantities were not required. Size 18 matches 90% of the pale morning dun hatches that greet me in the west; however, occasionally a size 16 is in demand. I only counted seven size 16’s, so I manufactured an additional three to bring my total to ten. I hope to encounter more pale morning dun activity in 2018, and if my wish is fulfilled, I have adequate stocks of cinnamon imitations.


Harrop Hair Wing Green Drake – 04/13/2018

Harrop Hair Wing Green Drake 04/13/2018 Photo Album

A third key component of my western green drake arsenal is the Harrop hair wing green drake. The story of my introduction to and history with this fly is chronicled in my 12/29/2015 post. I invite you to check it out.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FycAIfl2XUE/Wq2GNrqGGGI/AAAAAAABbKc/WB_6vNnxzS8ufj6PkW7S–nZ6QfGM3mJQCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3110026.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6531355816984183457?locked=true#6534026204000163938″ caption=”Nice Hairwing GD” type=”image” alt=”P3110026.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

During the past summer my finest day of green drake action using the Harrop style dry fly occurred on the Arkansas River at Hayden Meadows on 07/26/2017. This was the second summer that I encountered the gray drake hatch on the upper river below Leadville, and once again I had a blast. When I found the appropriate water and placed the high floating drake imitation in the sweet spot, the trout moved several feet to crush the heavily hackled deer wing fake.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JPwOGzOQHsM/WqQJhxMCHwI/AAAAAAABbKc/QWU7Iy19lwsSpB00p9nY1L5Ph117CXPcQCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3080008.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6531355816984183457?locked=true#6531355835338202882″ caption=”A Pair Completed” type=”image” alt=”P3080008.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

Unfortunately I also experienced times when the trout rejected or ignored the bushy floater, and fortunately in these instances I had the parachute and comparadun styles to fall back on. Nevertheless I would not want to be on a stream during green and gray drake season without some Harrop versions in my fly box.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WDo-4ESXV-c/Wq2GPF0gdfI/AAAAAAABbKc/bG-qpmKlhe4Wp2vOSeoSCUbf6r0OHCNSwCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3110029.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6531355816984183457?locked=true#6534026228203025906″ caption=”Five Newly Minted Hair Wings” type=”image” alt=”P3110029.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

I counted seven size twelves in my inventory, and I deemed that quantity to be adequate for my upcoming needs. In size fourteen on the other hand I tabulated six, so I incremented my supply by four to attain a total of ten. Hopefully this will provide adequate coverage for those periods when the trout tune into the hackled hair wing facsimile of a western green drake.

Green Drake Comparadun – 04/13/2018

Green Drake Comparadun 04/13/2018 Photo Album

My previous post of 04/12/2018 on the parachute green drake contains links to reports on my history with flies that imitate the large western mayfly. It also included links to my recorded logs on several fun outings during 2017, when I encountered green drake hatches that provoked excellent surface action. During these memorable days on the streams, the parachute green drake and green drake comparadun were very effective. In my opinion the size 14 version is a more convincing imitation than size 12 a high percentage of the time. My 01/11/2016 post on the green drake comparadun details a few nuances, that I applied to my ties over the last two years. I feel certain that these small features are a critical part of my success with green drake comparaduns.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8eFlGQXBZG0/Wp3b9sLSzlI/AAAAAAABbKI/4gWq7CogsnU8IA3s9ZZuV5Wzbe1OSO23gCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3050005.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6529616853339688977?locked=true#6529616887634120274″ caption=”Nice Angled View” type=”image” alt=”P3050005.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JgV0aeH1N5Q/Wp3b-s-IzaI/AAAAAAABbKI/Pj31sDc2XEoCqZCxpxxDAof3DzJfXmP6wCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3050007.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6529616853339688977?locked=true#6529616905027243426″ caption=”Five Flies Plus Materials” type=”image” alt=”P3050007.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

I took stock of my green drake comparaduns recently, and I determined that my boxes contained two size twelves and seven size fourteens. I overwhelmingly use size fourteens in the comparadun style, so I occupied my stool at the vise and produced five new models to bring my inventory to twelve. I am already anxiously looking ahead to more productive interactions with green drakes during the summer of 2018.



Parachute Green Drake – 04/12/2018

Parachute Green Drake 04/12/2018 Photo Album

I began tying this fly in 2012 after some frustrating visits to the Frying Pan River. You can check out my 09/11/2012 post for a materials table, and I continued to adhere to this recipe in recent years. Another informative read can be found in my 02/13/2015 post, and here I cover all the various styles, sizes and body colors that I incorporate into my western green drake ties. Beware, as your head may spin. My 01/10/2016 log entry includes an explanation of a critical improvement, that I adopted when producing my parachute green drakes. If you are entering the green drake tying business, make sure you review that technique improvement.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HIB7unwHxuc/WpzK04_58MI/AAAAAAABbIw/S1CdxehTLRIE9eV_F6LXxv_t2T6YsfutQCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3040022.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6529316570568691873?locked=true#6529316569782808770″ caption=”A Nice Size 14 Version” type=”image” alt=”P3040022.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

I declared 2017 the year of the green drake. During 2016 I made a concerted effort to seek out green drake hatches in Colorado, and although I did experience a few successful days, I was disappointed in my results. In 2018 I set no such goals, and I stumbled into more green drake hatches than ever before. I met them on the Cache la Poudre, the Arkansas River, South Boulder Creek and the Frying Pan River. Some of the most memorable days were 7/26/2017 on the Arkansas, 8/8/2017 on South Boulder Creek, and 8/31/2017 on the Frying Pan River. The trout in South Boulder Creek continued to recognize the large mayflies as late as 9/19/2017. On most of these days the parachute style dry fly was a significant contributor to my success.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tyIIyZSyh7g/WpzK2Yh6vNI/AAAAAAABbIw/SJYP65_pzIYRod_hUDYRcuMeJp6t-pL3wCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3040025.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6529316570568691873?locked=true#6529316595426835666″ caption=”Two Refurbished and Three New” type=”image” alt=”P3040025.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

The links in the initial paragraph connect you with my excessive analysis regarding size, style and body color for imitating these large fish attracting mayflies, but I concluded during my 2017 wanderings, that size 14 was preferred over size 12 across most streams and during a large proportion of the season. When I counted my supply of ribbed parachutes, I discovered that I possessed six size 12’s and five size 14’s. Given my preference for size 14’s, I sat down at my tying station and cranked out an additional five to raise my total to ten. Hopefully this will satisfy my requirements during the upcoming 2018 green drake season.


Stimulators – 04/03/2018

Stimulators 04/03/2018 Photo Album

My post of 03/01/2017 does a nice job of bringing the readers of this blog up to date with my views on stimulators. Over the last three years I settled on three body colors for the bulk of my stimulator searching efforts. Gray and green are nice general earthy colors, that seem to perform year round on western streams. Stimulators with yellow bodies excel during the phase of the season when golden stoneflies and yellow sallies are prevalent. This suggests to me that the yellow version is a solid imitation of the abundant dapping and egg laying stonefly varieties.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SlqZtNdVq8k/WpbrNnLaxPI/AAAAAAABaqc/qs4BMOvujRsz6dWZ2IkFmbFEytzWaUt4gCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P2260032.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6527663282403332417?locked=true#6527663329007813874″ caption=”From the Side” type=”image” alt=”P2260032.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

Size 14 seems to be the best all purpose size for my prospecting needs. I suspect that it represents both caddis flies and stoneflies of intermediate size. In the case of yellow stoneflies I carry both size 14’s and 12’s, because golden stoneflies are larger than yellow sallies. This prepares me for scenarios, when one stonefly predominates.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-U5KEeVkK6EY/WpzIZYqyhvI/AAAAAAABaqc/EW2CwgkueA8KhNaDHTI-y5VALtiWc0u0QCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P3010001.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6527663282403332417?locked=true#6529313898224584434″ caption=”Gray Stimulators” type=”image” alt=”P3010001.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

I counted all my stimulators and determined that my boxes contained adequate quantities of yellow in the desired sizes of 12 and 14. I deployed gray the most, and the inventory revealed, that I possessed nine, so I gathered the requisite materials and produced an additional six. Seven olive versions occupied my boxes, and I decided to tie three more to increment my total stock to ten. Prior to tying the stimulators I sifted through the damaged and unraveling flies in my various cylinders, and I collected quite a pile on my tying counter. These flies provided more than enough hooks to complete my stimulator construction efforts for 2018.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-t4kO6UCC6yE/WpbrLP_XJsI/AAAAAAABaqc/_KjDBBeDxMEGe2998vCf22NFuf43ghPOQCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P2260028.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6527663282403332417?locked=true#6527663288423491266″ caption=”Misfit Flies to Be Converted into Stimulators” type=”image” alt=”P2260028.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]


Pool Toy Hopper – 03/04/2018

Pool Toy Hopper 03/04/2018 Photo Album

A pool toy or a fat Albert? I struggle with this question quite often. During 2017 I opted for the fat Albert early in the season and late, but leaned on the pool toy during the July and August time period. The comparison may not be valid, since I tend to tie fat Alberts with yellow bodies and pool toys with tan bodies. Also I construct fat Alberts on size 8 hooks, and my pool toys are built primarily on size 10 hooks. I point these differences out to suggest that other variables besides type of fly may factor into the effectiveness of these two large foam hopper imitations.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4KyEDpJ81lM/WpNZS9uG6yI/AAAAAAABYwQ/8jOvRJXMFTUJ1eW7kzc3ZuJYB6HVhBFIQCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P2240021.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6526658448729283441?locked=true#6526658467330452258″ caption=”Fine Looking Hopper” type=”image” alt=”P2240021.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

2017 was the second year that I fished a fat Albert extensively, and I was quite pleased with the results. In situations where I yearn for a large buoyant visible fly to support a pair of beadhead nymphs, the fat Albert is my preferred choice. The size 8 high floating attractor with dangling sexilegs is easy to track, and when combined with a beadhead hares ear nymph and salvation nymph provides hours of productive prospecting.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VunHFtW4Tgw/WpNZT3j9_tI/AAAAAAABYwQ/wdRaS9fNwUUrOdi6_8ww4hwITM_rdfeigCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P2240023.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6526658448729283441?locked=true#6526658482857180882″ caption=”Ready to Tempt Trout” type=”image” alt=”P2240023.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

Despite my recent preference for a fat Albert I am not inclined to abandon the pool toy. In situations where I attempt to match the grasshopper hatch, the pool toy is very effective. For this reason the pool toy occupies my line frequently during the months of July, August and the first half of September. My 1/31/2013 post chronicles my introduction to the pool toy and describes some of the questions that I confronted during my first attempts to replicate the Andrew Grillos pattern. My 02/11/2017 post describes the intrusion of the fat Albert as an alternative surface indicator fly in a dry/dropper configuration.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qEWr8u4E9a4/WpNZUvMgorI/AAAAAAABYwQ/j_NLEDvqdFoDvyJJ0cp6q3lXxDkzvHxKACCoYBhgL/s144-o/P2250025.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6526658448729283441?locked=true#6526658497791173298″ caption=”A Pair with Different Color Legs” type=”image” alt=”P2250025.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

I counted thirteen tan pool toys in my various fly bins, so I manned my tying bench and manufactured an additional seven to bring my total to twenty. Eight yellow versions occupied space as well, and I decided to increment that total to ten by tying two more. I feel that I possess an adequate supply of foam grasshopper patterns to entertain the trout population in 2018.


Fat Albert – 02/25/2018

Fat Albert 02/25/2018 Photo Album

Although the fat Albert is a decent fish attractor in its own right, it earns significant time on my line purely due to its visibility, buoyancy and durability. I particularly love the fat Albert as my lead surface fly, when I deploy a three fly dry/dropper arrangement. It is unsurpassed as a highly visible indicator fly that floats above the surface even with two size 14 beadhead nymphs dangling below. The yellow color combined with a white wing and its large size make the fat Albert easy to follow in riffles and difficult light situations. Often it is simply an indicator with a hook point, as I search the stream with a productive nymph combination.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EEehSuFMDJs/Wo-W3ofmmjI/AAAAAAABYb4/x4j4JqO4M1UG4O1LRLfsHsLNOLy3HLP1QCCoYBhgL/s144-o/P2220017.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6525600232647663457?locked=true#6525600267590081074″ caption=”Dangling Legs” type=”image” alt=”P2220017.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

There are incidents, however, where the fat Albert attracts the attention of opportunistic fish. One such memorable situation occurred, while I fished in Penns Creek on 6/1/2016. In this instance a brown trout crushed a yellow fat Albert likely mistaking it for a golden stonefly. I frequently deploy the yellow fat Albert during high run off conditions, as I edge fish, and I recall numerous instances where a large bank dweller ignored the dangling nymphs and pounced on the juicy foam attractor. Of course during hopper season in August and September, the fat Albert performs as a serviceable grasshopper imitation as well.

[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Pjdn8LmVTwQ/Wo-W4AvYyBI/AAAAAAABYb4/tHdFfJF4Zws6c0StdH32U1RjWE30k5lVACCoYBhgL/s144-o/P2220018.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6525600232647663457?locked=true#6525600274098735122″ caption=”Eight New Fat Alberts” type=”image” alt=”P2220018.JPG” image_size=”2048×1536″ ]

My 3/27/2016 post documents my introduction to the fat Albert, and a 12/18/2016 post chronicles the fat Albert’s effectiveness during 2016, its first full season of use. I counted twelve yellow fat Albert’s in my fly boxes, so I busied myself with the task of tying an additional eight to bring my 2018 starting total to twenty. Yellow has been my most productive color, although I must admit that I have not experimented extensively with the green and orange body versions, that I tied among the initial batch. I plan to visit Pennsylvania this year for my college reunion, and you can be certain that I will pack an adequate supply to test on wily central Pennsylvania brown trout in case large golden stoneflies are present. Twenty should be sufficient to lead my nymphs through pockets, runs and riffles during the 2018 fly fishing season.