Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 30 - I wonder...

So here's the deal, I wanted to learn how to catch more trout on a nymph. I've searched the net for all sorts of techniques, and this one intrigues me. I have no idea where I've heard of this idea (or even if it works). However, I've been able to trace this idea to an actual book though, and like always I'm curious.

Gary LaFontaine's book Caddisflies was published in 1981. On pages 96-98, LaFontaine writes that he discovered an old Maine fly fisherman's trick of tying their nymphs to their fly line with white tying thread. LaFontaine tries this method and discovers that it is extremely difficult to not to lose the fish as the tying thread has a low test poundage. He then writes about the difficulties of finding an alternative substitute to the white thread. His discovery was that of a white opaque metallic marker.

According to the book, by "whitening" a couple of inches of tippet, it triggers a phenomena called the "Magic Act". Nymphs that were traditionally not seeing any action by the trout, were suddenly zeroed in on. Numerous strikes and fish occurred. Reports of 100 trout per day were achieved because of this trick.

Supposedly, the white line imitates a silk line that some caddis nymph use to attach themselves to rocks, branches, or stream bottom parts. The prevailing theory is that picky trout see the "silk line" before seeing the nymph.

Trying to locate a white opaque metallic marker is like finding a needle in a haystack. Most fly shops have never even heard of the above trick, so they don't even carry the marker. As noted in yesterday's blog, I tend to visit craft shops so that I can find cheaper, new, hard to find items. I managed to locate a marker at Jo-Ann Fabrics. However, after reading the instructions for the marker, I'm afraid the thing might explode in my fly vest leaving a white mess over everything.

And this leads me to my pondering. Like many other anglers, I'm on the quest for the Holy Grail of flies. So, I've been wondering what would happen if I just add a piece of white thread to a nymph? My thought is that this would actually be better than using a tippet. Can't prove that though, but just a hunch. Also, the fly might need to be tied backwards, with the thread hanging out the back as well. I think this might give a better presentation of the thread and nymph. Again, just a hunch.

Once I get the vise out and start tying some flies, this may be one of my experiments. Once the fly has been tied, I'll post some pictures. And once the pattern has been fished, I'll give everyone the findings on the pattern. Until then, if anyone wants to discuss the pros or cons of this idea, please let me know.

1 comment:

  1. Great post!
    I have never used thread however, I have tied a small (very small) sliver of tinsel on my egg patterns, mostly the very small ones of #14 or less has produced good results.

    On my "Nuke Egg" patterns I wrap the head in a silky cotton to produce the "milking" effect which has proven to work well for me too. Kory has some nice Nuke Eggs in his inventory. Not exactly like your talking about but I think it puts the fish in a similar mind set. This milking look can be added to about anything. Its amazing to see how "opportunistic" trout really are and I agree that a well placed fly actually is better than the fly itself.


    On my caddis nymphs, I mostly have found to use colors like tan, white, brass bead heads and other bright colors. I take those and bounce them off the bottom then, (get this) actually slowly fish them in up stream. Sounds crazy for a nymph but it has done me well. I think seeing a nymph in reverse upsets some fish :)

    This sounds fun and I would enjoying hearing if it works and some pictures.

    Keep up the great work on the blog.