A rainy day yesterday, though a little box arrived from Dette Flies with enough inspiration to blend a bit more silk dubbing and tie a few flies. The results of my cutting and blending combine cream, brown, and cinnamon silk with a few inches of “Brick” colored Dazl Aire, frayed and blended to create a silk translucence series version of my reddish Beaverkill Hendrickson.
The package contained my white Ephemera silk, a better choice than even the finest polyester tying thread over the Crystal finish Daiichi 1182 dry fly hook. I wrote a few days past of Robert Smith’s treatise on Mr. Dunne’s white painted hooks; the reflective Crystal finish hook with pure white tying silk is my modern answer to honor Dunne’s concept. The fly is tied in the Catskill style on an 1182 in size 12. The tailing is speckled grizzly Coq-de-Leon, the hackle Charlie Collins beautiful Barred Rusty Dun. I can’t wait to get it wet and see the glow of spring sunshine through it’s silken body!
I plan to tie a few more Catskill Style dries to add to my Translucence Series: my Atherton No. 3’s, March Browns and Quill Gordons. The experiments will continue with CDC duns in each of those once my supply of hooks arrives. I can already tell I’m going to have to devote a separate fly box to the new entries in the Translucence Series, just to make it easy to give them a sincere trial on the rivers. I labelled one box for new dries today, adding various early spring patterns from my storage box, and it is already full. The Translucence patterns may well end up in a larger box than the thin Wheatley compartment boxes I have taken to carrying in my vest.
The success I have enjoyed over the past two seasons tying extensively with silk dubbing has made it worth the effort to expand the trial. The white silk and Crystal finish hooks should maximize the translucence of these dubbed fly bodies, particularly on the bright days many anglers view as a curse. I have had some of my greatest fly fishing under the kind of gorgeous clear, sunny blue skies that other fly fishers shun, days that have made me throw my gaze to the heavens and give thanks for the beauty and grace that was granted.
I have confidence when fishing clear water under bright skies, and that certainly helps. The fact that I have stressed natural coloring, translucency and movement within my flies for decades is, I believe, the major factor. There is no doubt that trout get a better look at our imitations under these conditions, especially in the slow currents of pools. Marinaro showed us the inspection rise decades ago. Trout aren’t afraid to take a closer look! Though quite clear, the waters of his Letort provided more challenging vision to the trout, due to the varying microcurrents from the stream’s wavering beds of water weeds. A slow, deep Catskill pool over a clean rock and gravel river bed with high sun must seem like HDTV in comparison.