Monthly Archives: December 2021

Supernova PMD – 12/27/2021

Supernova PMD 12/27/2021 Photo Album

The Supernova PMD is a fairly recent addition to my arsenal of flies. I invite you to review my post of 12/01/2020 to locate links to a materials table and additional information about my introduction to this fly.

Other Side

During 2021 it continued to produce results in situations, where I would normally deploy a pheasant tail nymph. Compared to a pheasant tail it is easier to tie, it is more durable, and it is easier to build a nice taper compared to winding pheasant tail fibers. I am sold on the supernova PMD to the extent that I plan to cease replenishing my pheasant tail nymph supply.

A Batch of Five Completed

I tied five additional supernovas to increase my inventory to ten, and when combined with my pheasant tails provides adequate quantities of dark rust colored nymphs.

Go2 Sparkle Pupa – 12/19/2021

Go2 Sparkle Pupa 12/19/2021 Photo Album

I have little in the way of new information to offer on the go2 sparkle pupa. Essential links for my history with this fly and a materials table are available on my 11/28/2020 post.

Opposite Side

This fly sees most of its time on my line during the period leading up to and during the spring brachycentrus caddis hatch. This event generally occurs during April and early May, before the rivers and streams are blown out with snow melt from the high country. The grannom caddis hatch (another name for brachycentrus) also overlaps with the spring blue winged olive emergence, and it seems that I have experienced more success with the small mayfly hatch than the caddis event in recent years.

Nice Close Up

I conducted a count of my supply and determined that I needed to tie seven new versions to bring my inventory up to my standard goal quantity before the start of the 2022 fishing season. The output looks great and should attract some hungry fish in the near future.

Emerald Caddis Pupa – 12/19/2021

Emerald Caddis Pupa 12/19/2021 Photo Album

For links to additional information on the emerald caddis pupa follow my post of 11/29/2020. I developed this fly many years ago in response to some frustrating outings on the Tulpehocken Creek in Pennsylvania. I subsequently discovered that this fly is a fish attractor wherever I fish.

Closing In

During the summer of 2021 this fly continued to be one of my top producers. I can recall some outings on the South Platte River in Eleven Mile Canyon, where the emerald caddis salvaged some slow fishing. I counted my stock of these flies and determined that I needed to tie nine to bring my inventory back to a targeted level of forty-five. I completed this effort over the past couple weeks, and I am now poised to present the emerald caddis pupa to Rocky Mountain trout once the weather cooperates.

Materials and Flies

Ultra Zug Bug – 12/15/2021

Ultra Zug Bug 12/15/2021 Photo Album

How can such a simply tied fly be so productive? I do not know the answer, but I am certainly pleased that this is the case. I saw this fly in a Scott Sanchez book and began tying it many years ago. It has become another top producer among my nymph and wet fly arsenal. If you check out my 11/10/2020 post, you will encounter links to previous posts that include a materials table and earlier narratives that describe my introduction to this fly and explain its continued effectiveness.

Looking Unruly

Sanchez created the ultra zug bug as a quick replacement for the prince nymph, and he accomplished the easy construction goal. The fly requires only a hook, a bead, some thread, a pheasant body feather for tailing, crystal flash, and peacock dubbing. Initially I used it in lieu of the prince nymph during the spring caddis emergence, but eventually I learned that its effectiveness is not limited to the spring caddis time period. It works year round. For some reason I seemed to abandon it in the early season of 2021, but it proved its worth on several autumn fly fishing outings during this past year.

Seven for Me and Five for a Friend

I counted my remaining supply of ultra zug bugs and determined that my various fly boxes contained 53. I approached my vise and knocked out seven more to bring my total to a nice round sixty. This should provide more than adequate ammunition for fooling wild trout during 2022.

Salvation Nymph – 12/13/2021

Salvation Nymph 12/13/2021 Photo Album

For links to a materials table and a narrative of my relationship with the salvation nymph check out my 12/09/2020 post. If you search online using tungsten salvation nymph, you will find places to buy this fly, but I did not find any tying instructions. My 12/30/2011 post on this fly describes the tying steps that I use, however, I do not use a tungsten bead. Normally the salvation nymph is one of the first flies that I stockpile during my winter tying season, and 2021- 2022 is no different. Over time this fly has grown to be my top producer along with the beadhead hares ear nymph, and the summer of 2021 proved to be no different.

Head On

The beauty of this fly is its versatility. It seems to be a solid imitation of the pale morning dun nymph, yet it also produces as an attractor nymph throughout the entire season. I suspect much of this has to do with the flashy qualities of the fly. Flashabou, flashback black, a bead and ice dubbing are four materials that display flash and shine, and the fish have a hard time passing them up. Last winter I began incorporating a UV coating to the nymph back and wing case, and that addition simply enhances the robust shine of the fly.

A New Clump of Salvation Nymphs

I counted my total supply and determined that I possessed sixty-seven in my various storage containers. I typically plan to stock one hundred for the start of each new season, so I knuckled down and produced thirty-three over the past week. The trout of the west should be extra careful in order to avoid these tumbling jewels in 2022.

Clear Creek – 12/01/2021

Time: 1:00PM – 3:00PM

Location: Clear Creek Canyon

Clear Creek 12/01/2021 Photo Album

My fly fishing outing today, December 1, 2021, simply confirmed why I am not a fan of cold water fishing, even though the air temperature where I was fishing was in the low sixties. I spent two hours on Clear Creek in relative comfort, and I failed to land a single fish. In fact, I think I saw one fish during my time on the water, and even that could have been a figment of my imagination. I am forced to conclude that winter fishing outings should be directed toward tailwaters and streams that drain wide  and open valleys that enable the sun to penetrate.

I played pickleball in the morning, and by the time I showered and loaded the car and drove to Clear Creek Canyon, the clock displayed 12:30PM. I immediately munched my light lunch, and as I observed from the car, the wind seemed to represent an annoying factor. Although it remained present throughout my two hours on the stream, it seemed to subside to some degree, and other than a few tangles, it was not a significant reason for my lack of success.


I rigged initially with a yellow fat Albert for visibility and buoyancy, and then I attached a beadhead hares ear nymph and soft hackle emerger. The fat Albert was simply a high floating indicator. After a short amount of unsuccessful fishing, I swapped the soft hackle emerger for an ultra zug bug, and eventually I changed out both nymphs for a 20 incher and super nova PMD nymph. None of these offerings aroused interest.

Love the Look of the Run Along the Rocks

I progressed steadily upstream along the roadside bank and covered all the prime pools, before I retired at 2:45PM. Most of the articles I read about cold water fishing emphasized that the fish tend to congregate in deep slow moving pools, so I was quite selective about the target areas for my casts. I dwelled longer in slow moving shelf pools, and I paused to scan and observe the prime spots before casting; however, I never sighted a fish. At one point I waded through the tail of a deep pocket to unsnag my flies, and this was the one instance, when I thought I noticed a fish.

Money in the Summer

As three o’clock approached my right foot began to lose feeling, and I was surrounded by shadows just below the highway 6 bridge, so I called it a day. My confidence reached a low ebb, and I was thinking more about pickleball and Christmas shopping than fly fishing.

Fish Landed: 0