Cedar Bog ~ Urbana Ohio

 “Cedar Bog Treeline” Morning Field Study 
Oil on wood panel, 6x8 inches, Clint Bova

“Paint the flying spirit of the bird 
rather than its feathers”
       ~Robert Henri

Don't miss the Great Backyard Bird Count founded by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. The Great Backyard Bird Count is the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. 

Contact Cedar Bog Nature Preserve at 937-484-3744 or cedarbog@ctcn.net to learn how you can participate.

Stay outside this winter!
~Clint Joseph Bova


The Infamous RS2 and Beyond

 above photo: One of my RS2 patterns, tied with three fibers of coq de leon, CDC puff, and dyed beaver belly using Ritt dyes.
The RS2 has been a deadly combination of materials and proportions for quite some time. For over forty years this fly has been a “last ditch fly” for many anglers. The RS2 is a fly that I have tied in many variations using a multitude of different materials both synthetic and natural. Rim Chung who originated the fly opened the floodgates and introduced a CDC fly that really could fool the most weary of fish.
After many years of fishing this fly and its many variations like many anglers I have some some common theories about it. One is that the RS2 could very well be imitating a cripple. Because its thorax is so close to the surface film and there are no hackles on the pattern the shuck may very well be represented by the CDC puff. Contrary to this theory the pattern has a completely exposed or freed tail and often the tail is still trying to escape after the body has broken free of the shuck. As far as imitating an adult fly I suppose its up to the imagination of both you and the trout. Regardless I have had great success with this fly in all kinds of circumstances.

Beyond the RS2 there is a lot of experimentation that an angler can immerse themselves in. While not trying to imitate an adult fly directly or rather in a traditional sense I reflect upon some of Vince Marinaro's theories and patterns and reinvestigate combinations of thorax patterns. A fly I have successfully used for a while is a hybrid of Rim's pattern and Vince's thorax patterns. What I have come up with is a fly that floats flat in the surface film, bears a pronounced thorax, wings, V-cut hackles, and a fine fanned tail using 2 or 3 coq de leon fibers or bristles from a sable brush.

above photos: Step 1/A dyed peacock quill, and two or three fibers of coq de leon separated by a strand of lose thread on a #20 TMC 531

 above photo: After tying in hen tips for wings, dub in a thorax using dyed beaver belly, the football shaped thorax is important to get the hackle fibers to splay out sideways.
above photo: Two or three turns of hackle is all that is needed to finish the fly, one directly behind the wings and one directly in front.

This pattern has served me well and has been just as deadly as my RS2 patterns. It is a relatively easy pattern to tie, and see, and floats well right in the surface film. With the elimination of the CDC I have observed nothing out of the ordinary and with the addition of the peacock quill nice segmentation is achieved. I carry these two patterns in my fly box year round in all sizes and color combinations. I will always continue to tinker with this fly...its what keeps me both on the water and up all night!
~Clint Joseph Bova


“Quiet as an Indian” The Upstream Approach

 “Under the River Brush” 6x8 inch oil study, on wood panel 
Clint Bova, Memoirs on The Mad, October 2016

I recently spoke with a gentleman about the Mad River and its fickle ways. He asked me how I typically “find fish” on The Mad. I replied “with great skepticism” not because of a lack of fish but because it is very easy to spook a 100 yards worth of fish with the wrong step. The best bit of advice I gave to him was always approach the fish from an upstream position and hug the bank quietly. No need to feel like you have to shoot out a gazillion yards of line out. A short rod will work just fine. Maybe its the American Indian blood in me but the quote from Daniel Boone “quiet as an Indian” holds true for The Mad. 
                     ~Clint Joseph Bova


Keeping It Simple

A field study on a feeder brook to the Mad River 
“Late Morning Light” Oil on 6x8 wood Panel, Clint Bova Sept 2016

I suppose as I get older I streamline my life year by year. I consciously try to simplify and distill everything around me so I can see clearly, focus on the moment, and most importantly reflect upon joy. The joy of having a family, friends, and feeling a closeness to everything around me. Contentment is very very powerful. It is uncluttered and allows me to stand outside of myself and observe. Seeing simple creates space, pause, and ultimately fosters concentration. I have busy hands, they never stop moving. Yes...keeping it simple is a very good thing.
                       ~Have a thoughtful and compassionate Fall 2016

          Clint Joseph Bova


Grass Wasp Fly Patterns (Part 2)

A client of mine asked me to tie up a dozen Grass Wasps for him before traveling to the Albany River in Ontario. He wanted to fish the wasps near steep fast stream banks and in some broken water so wanted extra flotation and profile. Using soft hackle in tandem with a conventional criss-cross hackle collar will add great buoyancy to this fly when fishing faster water. The added barbell eyes create a distinct profile from below. Using underwing material such as Aero Wing Dry Fly will also help keep the fly in the surface film at the proper angle.
Barbell eyes created with 20lb singed mono with 2-3 coats of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails (Extreme) Black Out. Abdomens created with thread teardrop profile then 2-3 coats of  Sally Hansen Hard as Nails (Extreme) Black Out. Unlike most UV Resins available you cannot beat nitrocellulose (cellulose nitrate). Nitrocellulose is a highly combustible material that is also used in making dynamite. It would take a trout a mouthful of dynamite to destroy most of my fly's coated with SH product. Once fully dry this product promises its namesake, hard as nails! That being said you need to add a bit more flotation to your fly even though the TMC 212Y is a great floating hook. Black Aero Wing Dry Fly fibers are used as an underwing material which creates great buoyancy for faster water.
Thread: Veevus 14/0
Hook: TMC 212Y sizes #11-#15
Eyes: 20lb. mono singed and coated with Sally Hansen Extreme Hard as Nails (Black Out)
Abdomen: Teardrop thread bump accentuated with 2-3 coats of SH
Thorax: Beaver Belly
Legs: Knotted pheasant tail dyed black
Underwing: Aero Wing Dry Fly black (Tiemco)
Hackle: Hen and conventional hackle wrapped criss-cross around thorax around 5-6 turns is all that is needed
Wings: Hen tips dyed black

~Clint Joseph Bova


Effective Wasp Patterns~The Grass Carrying Wasp

The Grass Carrying Wasp is an abundant wasp both in the Midwest as well as in the North East. If  you fish water that is near forest edges, meadows, or gravel banks there are probably wasps present. There are around five species of Grass Carrying Wasps here in Ohio. They have a distinct teardrop shaped abdomen and a thorax that supports six robust legs. The waist that separates the abdomen from the thorax is quite thin and on the adults measures around 6-8 millimeters.
Wasps can be a very effective pattern in the mid to late summer months and into the fall. I usually tie my wasp patterns on emerger hooks primarily because the partially sunken abdomen seems to evoke a heart stopping slashing takes. I also believe that when the wasp is stuck in the surface film it bends its abdomen downward while the legs struggle to help take flight out of the surface film.

above: An abdomen built up starting with a black quill wrapped around a thread tear drop profile. Then UV glue built up around the quill to slowly develop the abdomen geometry. The waist is also coated to make a smooth transition.

Hook: TMC 212Y #12-16
Thread: Veevus 14/0 Black
Abdomen: Black quill wrapped around a thread profile then coated with Loon UV Flow
Thorax: Fine dubbed Beaver Belly
Legs: Black dyed knotted pheasant tail
Hackle: Black hackle colllar
Wings: Black hen tips

 Knotted pheasant tail (natural) legs tied into thorax area and hen tip wings added dyed black.

Black hackle collar wrapped in a crisscross pattern around thorax area and one final turn just behind the hook eye.

This is a simple and effective pattern to tie. The abdomen can also be simply dubbed or a single black dyed peacock quill can be wrapped around a thread profile and UV glue can then be used to create a glossy transparent shell either works equally well. I have a lot of fun tying these up...equally I have a lot of fun catching big Browns on them!
~Clint Joseph Bova


A September View

Field Study, “Glimpse Through The River Bank” 
~Clint Bova, Oil on 6x8 Panel
 (Upper Valley Pike, Mad River)

Many fishermen think trout are colorblind, but that is nothing to what trout think of fishermen.
~Ed Zern