Early Spring on The Mad River

 “Old Iron” The Mad River, 6x8 Oil Field Study on Wood Panel 
Clint Bova Spring 2017

Spring 2017 has proven to be a great one thus far with some spectacular early hatches and some early warm weather. The peculiar spring weather has been a refreshing blessing. 

“Color is only beautiful when it means something”
~Robert Henri


The Four Season Emerger

Fellow fly fishers ask me all the time what kind of “staple” emerger pattern I use so I decided to share my “Four Season Emerger” pattern. The following is a simple emerger pattern that I use season after season. This fly is very durable, very convincing, and the TMC 212Y hook is a perfect canvas for this style fly.

The Four Season Emerger
Thread: Veevus 14/0
Hook: TMC 212Y 14-22
Wing: CDC natural or desired tint
Body: Dyed Peacock quill
Dubbing: (Thorax) Beaver Belly w/guard hairs
Legs: Knotted dyed Pheasant tail (double knotted)
Varnish: SH Hard as Nails

You can tie this up as a midge, mayfly, or even caddis imitation depending on your proportions and material selections.
First create a body on a TMC 212Y sizes #14-22 by winding a stripped and dyed peacock quill. Varnish with 2 coats of SH Hard as Nails.
After your bodies have dried tie in some knotted pheasant tail. Notice the two knotted strands, two legs on both sides of the hook.
Dub over your thread bump where the legs begin with Beaver Belly. Make sure you get a lot of guard hairs in your thorax area so loosely dub it on the thread.
Three CDC feathers will be more than adequate to float this hook. Tie in your CDC so that the feather tips are just shy of the rear of the hook, slightly over or under is fine. Now tie in a clump of Beaver Belly loosely dubbed at the head of your hook. It takes a little practice to get the proportions correct but after your third fly you should be getting the hang of it!

I carry these patterns in my boxes year round and I tie it up using a half dozen different colors. You can use legs on it or choose to leave them off. Either way it is one of my most killing patterns.
~Clint Joseph Bova


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