3/31/2014

The Early Spring Midge



Midges are out with the earliest Stonefly and Mayfly hatches, often the fishes are ONLY hitting midges. Why is this? Well its the old “pounds per meat law” trout zero in on the most plentiful morsel in the water in order to save energy. When the water is still very cold this is often the case.

A very productive pattern I have found over the years is something I call an “early spring midge” that consists of a few special materials but is quite simple to tie.


Hook: TMC 111 #14-18
Thread: Veevus 14/0 Black, Gray, or Rust
Abdomen and Thorax: Beaver Belly
Wire: Extra fine French silver wire
Legs: Tightly knotted Pheasant tail
Wing and Head Post: Light gray Tiemco Aero Wing
Hackle: Black

This pattern can be floated on the surface or just under the surface film with great success. The Aero Wing head post and wing makes it easy to spot in contrasty early season water. The nature of Aero Wing material is a hollow fibre that is very buoyant yet is gossamer enough for quiet still water conditions.
~Clint Joseph Bova

3/10/2014

Figuring Variability (fly rod wood spacers)

I get a lot of requests for light, medium, or dark figured spacers. The three spacers above show this variability even after being stabilized. All three of these spacers came from the same piece of lumber that I brought back from Hawaii three years ago while visiting my family. By cutting the wood while paying attention to the cross-grain you can get this variability from a single piece of Koa especially if it is slightly spalted. Figuring refers to the appearance of wood, as seen on a longitudinal surfaces. The side-grain of "figured wood" is not plain but has a curly sheen.

The figuring on a particular piece of wood may be due to the cut, or to innate properties of the wood. Some tropical hardwoods, like Rosewood, maple, and Koa can have quite spectacular figuring. Colloquially speaking "figure" is often referred to as "grain."

Nomenclature describing figuring include bear scratches, bird's eye, blister, burl, curl, dimple, fiddleback, flame, ghosting, quilted, and spalting. Many people from different regions around the world describe it differently. Curly wood is believed to be caused by wind swept conditions in its given area. The striking wave-like patterns are highly sought after by woodworkers. Curl is also commonly referred to as fiddleback for its traditional use in making musical instruments especially stringed instruments.
~Clint Bova