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Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13
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Enjoyed a nice day out with a few folks on the site on Big Spring Creek in the Catch & Release Fly Fishing Only section. It was suposed to be a nice sunny Feb day only to have it be a little cold and closing out the day with snow flurries. The temps were in the upper 30's with a mix of sun and clouds. Water was in the 50's and very clear.

We had hoped for some BWO' and a couple of risers seen during the day, but nothing on the surface really worth talking about.

Best luck was with cress bugs then swinging sculpins along the undercut areas and along the elodea.

Interestingly we found a few brookies still spawning up in the ditch.

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Posted on: 2013/3/4 14:28


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13

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Neat cress bug imitations, dkile.

Great report. Only a few more days and everything will start again? I have a good feeling that 2013 will be a banner year for fly fishing?

Posted on: 2013/3/4 14:45


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13

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That cress big pattern is awesome! Like to give out the recipe?

Posted on: 2013/3/4 15:16
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Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13
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It is a real nice tie, but not mine. I will see if I can get more on this for everyone.

Posted on: 2013/3/4 15:41


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13

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yeah, i saw that on the front page. i wondered what the shell back was.

moulded window sealant ?

thats my best guess LOL.

Posted on: 2013/3/4 18:44
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Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13

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Quote:

dkile wrote:
It is a real nice tie, but not mine. I will see if I can get more on this for everyone.


Thanks

Posted on: 2013/3/4 19:31
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Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13

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yes and wow that cress is pretty dark. I havent really taken samples on big spring but the other limestoners they appear to be a mixture of grayish and a light pale green. correct me if I'm wrong Dave.


And by the way that little sculpin picture is really kool. Nice job!

Posted on: 2013/3/4 23:47
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Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13
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The cress bug patterns shown here are mine and are a version I custom designed (to the extent that anyone can really customize fly patterns). I've had several requests for the recipe of this fly recently. This cress bug is one of a series of flies of mine that I design using craft felt infused with acrylic paint and Softex. The process is complex and takes some time to learn with respect to thickness, tone, and texture. I've got a draft manuscript on these flies that I'll get together someday for publication when some other higher priority FFing projects are complete.

As can be noted, the naturals in this pic are darker. Big Spring has some enormous cress bugs and they (like sculpins) seem to get darker with size. The natural in this pic is over half an inch long and would probably be a size #12. The naturals in this pic also have dark legs. Cress bugs often have legs that are very light colored (so do crayfish) so I usually use white or gray hackle.

I've spent a lot of time gazing at scuds and cress bugs and trying to get my paint mixture to a good match. The pic below shows some of my flies with some naturals from Letort.

Attach file:



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Posted on: 2013/3/5 8:29


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13

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That is probably the best cress bug imitation I have ever seen... good job David!

Posted on: 2013/3/5 8:40
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Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13

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The most accurate way to describe FishIds flies?
Effin amazing.
I never got any of those cressbug imitations but I got a crayfish and a mouse pattern that look like they should crawl away. Neither saw the water and the mouse hangs from the mouth of a sculpture I have.
When you look at his flies you can see that it was more to him than just making something to fool a fish.

Posted on: 2013/3/5 11:32
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Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13

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Nice cress bugs. That takes a lot of time to tie.

Another tie/refinement to really making these things look very realistic to the trout is by using a very similar technique to what you describe except instead of using a solid base (felt) for the body use antron strands. Not a pretty looking or durable fly but very effective.

Lay out the antron strands (colors of white, light/medium/dark gray, light/medium olive, tans, etc., you need them all) in a thin, flat layer up to 1 inch wide and 6” long with the strands all going the same way (use a small comb to straighten them out), coat 3-4 inches of one end with a thin coating of clear hard head cement using a dubbing needle, tape the uncoated end to a coat hanger and let them dry where you don’t mind if some of the cement drips off (hanging them allows gravity to draw off excess cement so you get a smoother and more uniform coating). Once dry cut to a rough oval shape across the threads (you want the length to be a little bit longer than the hook shank length), wrap the hook shank with dark thread to create the darker center vein (and also provide a base for the super glue to adhere to) and then carefully dap a little bit of glue on the top side of the hook shank and glue the top piece on and let dry.

Here’s where a rotary vice and fine tweezers come in handy. Turn the fly upside down and dap a few drops of glue on the shank and a few small drops on the antron and then lay the second piece on the shank making a sandwich. You don’t want to apply a lot of glue to the antron just enough to hold it together. Too much glue will add too much weight and the fly won’t float, roll and tumble right. Well, actually you can add more glue along the shank to provide a more durable fly but don’t soak the edges with glue because if done right the antron sandwich should be firm/solid along the shank but the edges should be a little soft so the fly “breathes” in the water and the edges move and wiggle a bit simulating life. Once the fly is complete, let it dry and then trim the fly to the final shape. You may need to touch up some loose fibers here and there with a little bit of glue (if it looks like it really won’t hold shape) but don’t worry about a few loose fibers because that will help create the illusion of life even if it looks ugly.

To create the illusion of the segmented or darker areas take your dubbing needle and heat it to red hot with a lighter and then lay it across the body scorching a light dark line into the antron (my experience is lighter lines work far better that darker lines). While you can use a fine pen for this, I personally don’t like ink only because ink is absorbed by the fibers and makes a well defined solid line that is too sharp and pronounced. I don’t even bother with legs. Now for a real secret, instead of using all one color antron and making the segments/darker areas with a heated needle alternate lengths of say light olive antron and then a thinner length of a lighter antron (white or light gray), and repeat (darker should be slightly wider than ligher – notice the real ones). While much more time consuming, this will really give a realistic contrast/segmentation appearance.

This is not a difficult fly to tie but it takes some time to get the feel for it and when you first start be prepared to glue antron to your fingers and mess up the first dozen or so flies you attempt. These can be tied on straight or curved hooks. Tie them on both if you can in sizes 10 through 16. Anything smaller becomes a major nuisance.

Once again, this fly is not at all durable and it is a “one and done” fly so you can easily go through many of them in one day if you hit upon the right color(s).

What people don’t fully realize is all aquatic insects have some degree of translucency to them (even black stoneflies) and because of this the sight pattern that the fish sees (perceived color, strength of silhouette, contrast, etc.) all depends on how the fish is feeding in the water column relative to the insect, the clarity and depth of water, and ambient light conditions.

So when tying a fly you are not trying to create a perfectly realistic looking fly that looks real to you out of the water but unfortunately doesn’t show the correct sight pattern to the trout in the water under actual feeding conditions but rather a fly that may not look fully realistic out of the water but exhibits the correct sight pattern that the trout in the water sees under actual feeding conditions. This also is applicable to dry flies.

Once you figure out how these variables interact and you start tying flies that create the correct illusions and know when to user them, you will start catching substantially more trouts.


Posted on: 2013/3/5 11:39


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13
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SquareTail,

Yeah David's ties are amazing. You then add all his historical knowledge of place like BSC that he has I felt pretty lucky to be out there with him last week. We stopped fishing for about 30 minutes and got a personal guided tour of the ditch. Hoping he will share some of this on the site some time soon. We are all very fortunate to have someone like David on the site.

Dave

Posted on: 2013/3/5 11:51


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13

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Very nice.

Posted on: 2013/3/5 22:39
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Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13

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Simply amazing ties!

Half the fun of fly fishing is tying the flies yourself. I've done almost the same thing with my fave, the Woolybugger. I've made so many adjustments to that streamer...... it looks real in the water!

I have seen some "shaped lead" for tying cress or scuds, even has thread slots. I'll have to get some and tie some and post something in the tying section?

Snow tonight, but spring right around the corner. Daylight savings time in 5 days, and reg trout season opens in 3 weeks. Thank God!

Posted on: 2013/3/5 23:44


Re: Big Spring Creek, Cumberland County, 2/24/13

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Quote:

1wt wrote:
Snow tonight, but spring right around the corner. Daylight savings time in 5 days, and reg trout season opens in 3 weeks. Thank God!


Snow? What snow?

Posted on: 2013/3/6 9:40
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