Caenis insights

or enlarged views of the ‘angler’s curse‘.
just that common name alone should get our attention even if it sounds a bit masochistic fishing-wise, even for those of us who love a challenge !

“When the important hatches of Tricorythodes were first discovered by anglers, Caenis was given the credit. We now know that the Caenis mayflies are a different group, smaller and less common in trout streams, and they hatch in the evening instead of the morning.

They very rarely elicit selective feeding, but when they do they’re very tough to match because they’re often much smaller than size 28. This difficulty has earned them the nickname “Angler’s Curse.”

simple enough to say, even if these early observers didn’t have a watch or map… what comes out in the end in practical terms for us fly anglers is these thingies are very-very small and their proportions are completely off from the larger mayfly species as they have stout bodies, specially the thorax and long tails and antennae and the wings tend sit out on the sides ‘spent-like’ instead of the usual top: basically the trigger points we’ll want to recreate when tying these flies.

here’s some reference vintage plates of our beautiful little friends to use while we’re at the tying bench. enjoy !

caenis_luctuosa_by_guiguiblitz-d5zfqamcaenis 2caenis 3and just because its so cool to see details millions of times bigger than life size,
caenis parts

angler’s curse quote via TroutNut.com
vintage plates via Google Images

Sea Monkeys

ok, not really but this video sure reminds me of them.

“Most mayflies lay their eggs immediately after mating; the eggs then take anywhere from 10 days to many months to hatch. Cloeon cognatum is an exception. This species is ovoviviparous, which means that a mated female holds her eggs internally until embryonic development is complete (about 18 days), after which she lays them in water and they hatch immediately. This female was dropped onto the water surface moments before the video started.”
Video credit: David H. Funk

the magic starts to happen after a minute. enjoy !

should you not remember Sea Monkeys, you can find out about them here.

The Angler and the Loop-Rod

by David Webster 1885 via OpenLibrary

“Loop-Rod and Loop-Line” 

what a nice descriptive. i like that and i like it a lot. it seems just right and somehow more appropriate than our usual ‘fly rod and fly line’ but fear not friends, this isn’t about changing what we call them but about sharing a really cool find.

the angler and the loop rod TLC 2-12-13
filled with a lot of experience and insights, tips and tricks,

angles at which to cast

you’ll also discover funny ways to talk to the fish to get them to take the fly, it’s a great read. click either image for the online book or HERE to download the file in various forms to read offline. enjoy !striking

’round and round with Davie

in a wonderful example that a fly tier can have ADHD (or be drunk and confused) and still manage to make a wonderful fly, Davie’s two-versioned tutorial of the same generalised imitation where wings and thorax get interchanged shows us some fine, yet-so-easy fly tuning that simple rearrangements can produce. more than just a groovy example of mixing and matching, this fly thing  seems to be just the ticket as a really good searching pattern or when there’s several types of bugs on the water. mayflies, caddis, hawthorn, crickets and you name it. it looks buggy as bug and’ll leave a lot for the fish to see below, in the surface film and above the water. that’s a lot of good points for a fly to have.  enjoy !

Lucian’s G – Nymph

by Lucian Vasies

my, that’s a pretty G !

G Nymph 1

i’d probably start blushing if asked which exact mayflies nymphs have gills like these,
contrasting-nymph-1but i have a hard time blushing  so it’s enough to say that some bugs have them and some bugs don’t. however,  these lovely G Flies most certainly have them and for the moment, that’s about all that matters. i guess.
todays step-by-step is a silent one and i like that. it makes us have to visually anchor the tying process by paying attention to all the little details and maybe best of all, transcends all languages. with demonstrations like this there’s no need for words. thanks Lucian.

G Nymph 2

can’t get enough…G Nymph 3

click either image for the complete step by step and materials list. enjoy !

Fly Tying- Spinning an Extended Body Mayfly

by Norm Norlander

ok, i’ve never used one and i’ve always considered these full-spinning vises to be more of a gadget than anything else.  that’s hardly an educated opinion. check.
i guess my major beef has been all the comments from users about how fast they could get a fly finished; something i can never get my head around because i wonder what’s the point of hurrying up, why not take a few more moments to enjoy the craft, maybe learn a thing or two along the way, take a break from the ‘i gotta do everything fast so i can keep up with this high-paced world we live in’ (or rather, some of us accept to live in), add in some silly old fart saying such as ‘haste makes waste’ and i end up with an enormous WTF ?!
but ! that all sounds old-fashioned and since i’m not getting any younger it might be a good idea to not make a fashion of this way of thinking any more. besides, the video is really nice, we can learn some very nice ways to make a very nice fly where we can more or less adapt the same techniques even without the turbo-vise and, for some unknown reason, i’ve always liked the name Norm. (that probably mostly happened after seeing Fargo) anyhow… enjoy !

16 Million year old Trout Food

16 M year old ambered mayfly

“Entombed in amber the tiny springtail can be seen resting in a v-shaped depression at the base of one of the mayfly’s wings. It appears to have secured itself for transport using its prehensile antennae.”

as if anyone really cared about a 1mm long hitch-hiker that no fish in it’s right mind would even consider eating and much less, any self-respecting fly angler would try to imitate…
as geek as the article’s intention may be, at least we get to admire the image of a beautiful sixteen million year old bug worthy of all worthies: a mayfly with some nice bubbles to boot !

even though he didn’t do it on purpose, big thanks to Dr Dave Penney, University of Manchester for bringing this lovely creature back to life.  (sort of)
if you want to know more on the boring hitch-hiker click the pic.

Isonychia-ing

Isonychia Emerger from Matt Grobert  via Tightline Productions

isonychia 1 Troutnut.comIsonychia… cool name.

torn somewhere between the desire to go fish these critters in their home waters and lavishly repeating that word in some lovely redhead’s ear, i guess for today we’ll (well, i’ll… ) have to just enjoy this creature and tying video from afar.
Primarily an East coast, Midwest (US) insect, this rather handsome emerging ‘Slate Drake’ pattern is simply awesome by it’s simplicity, sturdiness and general profile. in a sense, a mayfly is a mayfly is a mayfly and as such, by changing colors and sizes, the basic pattern will make an all-over all-around great emerger for any waters.
as always, the Mat Grobert/Tim Flagler team make an excellent tutorial displaying excellent technique and know-how well worth paying special attention to.

isonychia 2 troutnut.com ” Their nymphs are among of the fastest-swimming mayflies in the world. They can power their way through fast riffles with ease, and their imitations should be fished with fast twitches.
They are unique among mayflies in that they have extra tuft-shaped gills at the base of their fore legs, a structure normally found in stoneflies. “

images and nymph quote from TroutNut.com. be sure to click either pic for more info on this sexy bug. enjoy !

Fly Tying Videos: the HatchMaster, a simple, elegant, adult Mayfly pattern

by Davie McPhail

hatchmaster mcphail

if you’re one of the many anglers who enjoy casting your flies into trees, rejoice ! this one’ll not only catch a lot of fish because it has all the right elements but will only cost you a little thread, a hook, two feathers and maybe two minutes of your time.
the ‘one feather extended body’ style was shown to me a few years back by Master-Tier Ulf Hagström with the difference that he slimmed down the body with varnish before tying it in. while the thinner body/abdomen looks a bit more realistic (let’s just say, at least from the tier’s point of view) than Davie’s version, it has a problem floating (varnish can’t soak up floatant) whereas when initially left unvarnished, the profile becomes thinner when floatant is applied, giving a very similar visual effect while the abdomen stays afloat imbedded in the surface film where in my opinion, it’ll  leave a bigger surface imprint more visible to the fish below.
mix colors and sizes to match your local bugs. you can also replace the hackle by cdc for calmer waters.
whatever you do with it it’s damn good stuff, enjoy !