Early this morning I went out to check on my pond, and found these golden trumpets basking in the early morning sunshine alongside the trickling outflow. You may remember that last week I had mentioned that the daffodils had not yet bloomed, and thus, doubted the Hendrickson hatch would come off sooner than normal. This development doesn't change my mind, I'm going with what I had said in that post - the 7-10th. Why? I checked the forsythia, and the buds don't appear ready to flower, I think we need a few days in a row in the 60's to get them popping. Of course, I live on the side of a steep, rocky hill surrounded by woods, so it tends to be cooler than the suburban plains. So what do I know?
I also found a few clusters of frog eggs floating on the surface of the pond among the elodea and decomposing leaves of 2012. It's amazing to me how many tiny black eggs are in these clear, jelly-like clusters, considering how small the Leopard frogs are - the clusters are as big as the frogs. The few warm days last week must have drew them out of their winter stupor in the mud, and they obviously got down to business quickly. The frogs were no where to be found this morning in the 34 degree temps. That's an egg cluster in the center of the photo, it looks charcoal gray on the surface from all the eggs floating beneath it.
On to less important things..............
Funny how the fly pattern I fished Sunday elicited a bunch of questions from readers. In all of the years I have been writing on Caddis Chronicles – 7 years and counting - I still can't predict what posts will create questions or comments, or piss someone off (never my intention).
That fly is really as simple as they get. The hook is a Dai-Riki #125 - size #18. As usual, I use 6/0 Olive Danville thread to tie this one; only with this one, I do not cut the tag end of the thread, I leave about 8 inches trailing off the end at the tail. The tail and body of the fly is pheasant tail fibers, four to be exact, and I tie them in like I do the other pheasant tail flies I tie. The tail is secured, and then I wrap the remaining fibers backwards from the thorax. Once the fibers are wrapped to the tail, I use the tag end of the thread to secure the body at that point, and then spiral the thread in the manner of a rib over the pheasant tail to the thorax. Finish the fly by tying in a small clump of snowshoe rabbit foot hairs, just as you see in the photo. DONE. Maybe 2 minutes to tie this one.
When fished, the body of the fly drifts just under the surface – the thin line – while the wing rests on top of the surface. Surface tension is a wonderful thing. Also note in the photo, the snowshoe rabbit foot hair appears glassy, translucent and almost as though it is liquid filled (click on the photo). Which leads to my final thought on the matter – when choosing snowshoe rabbit feet for your flies, be sure to use the ones that have shiny, glass-like hairs on the pad, and reject the ones that have chalky, dull hair, it definitely makes a difference.