I have a few thoughts I need to express and they don’t fit neatly into one topic for my usual post. Hence, another post entitled Odds and Ends.
We are in a different time as coronovirus impacts all of us. While my wife and I are conducting our own social distancing, here are a few ideas to keep you busy while you stay home and away from others. Please stay safe and practice your social distancing.
Happy Birthday RiverKeeper Flies!
Before I begin, I want to mention that RiverKeeper Flies turned 6 years old in early March. My first short post was published on March 5, 2014 and I’ve posted a weekly blog every week for 6 years. I still can’t believe I’ve accomplished that feat. This is post number 615! I’ve tried to provide meaningful and useful content in the weekly posts and other resources you’ll find on the website. In fact, I constantly use the fly pattern sheets to refresh my memory as to materials and steps used to create the flies. I hope it’s been helpful to you.
No Road Trip
My plans have certainly changed as the coronovirus continues moving across the United States. I should be in Utah touring the National Parks around Moab. That was the original plan. Never been there before and we hoped to explore the Big 5 National Parks – Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion.
With regret, we decided to forego the Utah National Parks this year.
Our scaled-back plan was to fish the Skwala hatch on the Owyhee River, OR for a few days. Actually, we planned to stop a day or two on the way to Utah, but this was Plan B (for my regular readers, you’ll recognize the term).
In anticipation of our trip, I tied up a few Clark’s Lady Stone – Skwala flies last week to imitate the Skwala hatch. You might recall an earlier post, Skwala Stonefly Fly Patterns. I had tied several Skwala flies, and my wife suggested I tie up a few Clark’s Lady Stones to imitate the Skwala. I thought it was a terrific idea.
The Clark Lady Stone – Skwala is tied with a tail of Golden Pheasant tippet fibers to imitate the female egg sac. The fly has worked very well during the Golden Stone and Salmonfly hatches.
Here are three versions and include tails of natural, dyed orange, and dyed purple.
But the coronovirus outbreak continues to change rapidly and while we thought the only people we’d contact were at a gas station, we are trying to do our part and limit our impact on the greater society, hence we are staying close to home.
Looks like these flies will stay in the provider box for awhile.
In February, I wrote a post entitled BWO Fly Box. It referenced an earler post called Choosing a Fly Box where I purchased new Tacky fly boxes and planned to fill and use them this year.
I’ve been tying flies for customers and some of the orders included several BWO flies. So I took advantage and tied a few more flies for me and my fishing partner. Here is an image of the work-in-progress.
I added flies to the box and decided to show my wife. She stated “I’d like one of those”. So I set about creating her own box of BWO flies. Each row has 10 slots and I have two patterns or different sizes on each row.
Did you notice the top right row with only six flies? There are five Black Wing Baetis Cripple #18 and one #20. My thought process went something like…she wouldn’t use those small flies as much as I would. It was my way of providing her with the flies in case I used them and caught a fish or two.
I showed the fly box to my wife expecting to give her the empty row box. Her answer?
“I’ll take the full one!”
I know…what did I expect?
Fly tying comes easy to me and I’ve spent quite a bit of time at the vise lately. The first image at the top of the page is of IOBO Humpies size 20’s. I’ve tied 5 dozen of this fly pattern from sizes 16 to 20. Here is a sample:
Four dozen Improved F Flies – size 14
Five dozen Improved Sparkle Duns in sizes 16 to 20.
A variety of Euro perdigon nymphs.
But if you don’t tie, here’s an idea to keep you busy during your social distancing:
I was on the river a couple of weeks ago and hadn’t fished in awhile. It took a few knots before they started feeling comfortable tying them. Why not practice while you sit in your easy chair at home? My three favorite knots are the triple surgeon knot, Davy knot, and improved clinch knot. You can read about them in the Simple Strategy for Fly Fishing Knots post. There are links NetKnots.com, a website by my friend John Sherry, which demonstrate how to tie the knot.
Lastly, I notice an increase in activity the last couple of weeks on my RiverKeeper Flies website. Perhaps it’s because many American’s are home due to the coronovirus restrictions in their state and a fly fisher needs a “fix” once in awhile.
I encourage you to fish virtually by reading some earlier posts from our fly fishing road trips. I created a separate page to easily find them for me. I refer to them often, both for the memories and to plan future trips. I hope you might do the same. You can find it under the resources tab above. Here is the link – Fly Fishing Road Trips.
I’ll leave you with a link to a video I just watched today entitled:VAN LIFE: Epic Montana Fly Fishing Adventure “Journey On”.
Enjoy…stay home, stay healthy!
Thanks for the posts these last several years! They are something i look forward to every week so keep fishing, tying, and writing…and sharing!
Congrats on 6 years and here’s to many more. I enjoy hearing about your excursions and have gotten some great fly ideas that I actually use here in Pennsylvania!
Happy Birthday. I look forward to your weekly posts. Also, I love your version of the Clark’s Stonefly pattern. It should function as Skwala just fine.
If/when you decide to fish in Eastern Oregon, consider spending some time with Gretchen & me. Take care & …
Tight Lines – Al Beatty
John.. thanks for sharing the video…I guess virtual fishing is better than no fishing. I envy you guys with the camper vans and the freedom that comes with them.
To deal with the stress of the “shut in”, I still plan to sneak out on a certain river from time to time and wander off the trails to get a little fresh air. Maybe even capture a few of the insects that hatch along the way. My plan was to catalogue the hatches this spring as I recovered from shoulder surgery. Can’t fish, but I can watch.
I hope you and Karen, and your followers all stay safe and well. Thanks for your blog. Its a great diversion from the mess we are all in.
John, congratulations on 6 yrs for your blog. I read both blogs each week and always find them very interesting and informative. Your flies are beautiful.
Here’s wishing that you and Karen stay well.
Thank you John. I really look forward to and enjoy your posts.
I hope that you are forgoing plan B for a while too, for everyone’s safety.
Of the 5 UT Parks, Zion is tops for me! Bryce is a waste. There’s fishing available near the Reef which is also great. Canyon Lands and Arches can really keep you busy. The Manti-La Sal’s near Moab have native fish also. Just plain gorgeous topography going from high desert to high alpine!