Windy Rivers, Porch Sitting and Life Between Seasons

Catskill trout water on a breezy afternoon – this is not a riffle…

Sixty-five degrees yesterday afternoon and, though the wind kept me from feeling the warmth, it was good to be fishing again. I gave it three hours, until the runoff from the morning’s showers colored up the river. Alas the trout chose neither to take advantage of the day nor the flies I offered on a tantalizing swing. All good, for I was out fishing, and there is no better way to spend a March afternoon.

Of course, by the time I pulled into my driveway and put away my tackle, the wind had dropped so that I was a little overwhelmed with how comfortable it felt on my porch. The afternoon sun visits regularly you see, and without the winds I enjoyed out on the river, the porch was positively balmy. Sitting back with a frosty Cold Snap and a snack, I nearly dozed off. The thermometer told the tale: seventy-five glorious degrees!

I noted a comment from a follower today, asking if I might post the specifics for my Full Dress Copper Fox. I am most happy to oblige.

Thread: Uni 6/0 in Rust Brown

Hook: Size 10 3XL nymph hook, Daichi 1720 or equivalent

Bead: Brass or tungsten in copper color 5/32″ dia.

Tail and Wing: Red Fox tail

Body: UV Polar Chenille in copper

Hackle: Hen Pheasant covert feather

Collar: SLF Prism dubbing in rust brown

For the tying: Place bead on hook and slide to eye, wrap thread on behind it and wrap down the shank to the beginning of the hook bend, then back three turns toward the eye. Cut a small clump of fox tail fur and tie it in at that thread location, wrapping the thread over the butts, stopping at a point about 1/8th inch behind the bead. Trim the remaining butts and spiral your thread back to the initial tie-in point for the tail. Cut about a 3″ piece of the Polar Flash Chenille, pull a few fibers back over the fur tail and tie in the chenille binder, then move your thread up to the tie down point for the tail butts. Wrap the chenille forward, brushing the long flash fibers back toward the tail with each wrap, and tie it down when you reach the tie down point for the fur tail butts. Cut another small clump of fox tail for the wing and tie it in thoroughly on top of the hook, then clip the butts. I like to put a couple of drops of tying cement on those tie-down wraps at this point. Select a hen pheasant covert feather or smaller barred body feather, remove the fluff and gently stroke the barbs away from the tip. Tie it in by the tip and clip the excess feather tip, and then wrap the hackle collar. Tie off the hackle, clip the feather stem and dub a small collar in front of the hackle up to the back of the bead. Whip finish tight behind the bead. I prefer double whip finishes, that is two five or six turn whip finish knots, before clipping the thread.

The Full Dress Copper Fox

Enjoy tying a few of these flies if you are so inclined, and have some fun fishing them, slow and steady on the swing in these wintry water temperatures!

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