Thursday, January 23, 2014

Flies for small streams and flies that are, well, small!

I tend to be an eclectic tier.  I enjoy tying 4/0 saltwater or bass/pike flies as much as I do tiny stuff.  For some reason though, every year in January and February I get into a habit where I like to reload the “Swift River” box.  If you know the Swift here in MA… it’s a tailwater that runs steady and slow, with cool, gin clear water.  It’s upper reaches just below Quabbin Reservoir are tough to fish, and often reward you for laying out very very small flies. 

My general rule of thumb there is to start with big and ugly flies – just because it’s fun to catch fish on something that “shouldn’t” work there.  But in the end, you need some flies smaller than #20 just in case. 

I prefer not going lower than 24… but like to carry a few smaller.  Last night my vice time yielded a few #28 Al’s Rat’s.  1 is according to the pattern, the other two are my “version” which has a small gray zelon tuft popping out of the thorax… Hopefully these will interest those swift river fish in the months to come. 

Beyond that were some small stream or what I’d call general trout flies like Mr Rapidian Parachute’s in #18, Dark Edison’s in #10, #10 Vladi Worms, some #18 Jail Bird’s, #20 sulfur spinners and #16 emergers…  

Felt really good to get in a good solid block of Vice time… even if it ended at 11:30PM!


  1. I noticed u used the name "jail-birds"......isn't that a Marla Blair -fly design...?
    she guided my son and I on the Farmy 5 years ago.....she taught us the nymph way to fish....she's a funny

    Nice the way...

    1. Flyfisher1000 - embarassing late in reply here! Thanks for the kind words. yes on the Jail bird. I know in fly fishing circles there is a little debate on who created it, but it was (from what I have seen) Marla's design. She has a nice series of flies that look similar, but have different colors.

      have a super day!