Wednesday, 3 September 2008

One-cent emerger

For a blog that claims to cover all aspects of ultra-light fly fishing, there has been a bias towards flies and fly tying recently. The explanation is simple, I have spent more time tying flies than fishing them this season. High hopes for a dryer September have not materialised as yet, with regular, heavy rainfall and even a few sleet showers.

The climate is changing, with increasingly unpredictable and at times, violent force. We can expect the future to be colder and wetter here in Northern Ireland, the environmental, economic, and social consequences of which remain uncertain.

I don't mind fishing in apalling weather, but safety is an issue on these spate rivers. And there is always good reading to be done in front of an open fire with a dram. More about reading on a future post.

It is always difficult to communicate the size of small flies through a medium like this. Just how small is small? And when does small become tiny? I don't know if this helps any, but I mounted a recent tie on a 1 cent coin, to provide some perspective. And so the one-cent emerger was christened...

This tiny black gnat is tied on a Partridge "Vince Marinaro" midge hook, #24
It's as small as I dare go at present, and makes good use of the last 2 inches or so of the Whiting 100's saddle feathers. It is a simple, if fiddly tie on account of it's size. Catch in half a dozen black hackle fibres to form a tail, form a body with 14/0 black thread, catch in the hackle and make 4 neat turns progressing towards the eye, whip finish!

I have yet to fish the half dozen I have prepared, but imagine it might prove useful in late evening, fished at close range when clouds of the naturals swarm just above the water's surface, and small trout snatch at the unforunates who, on account of their small size, fly too close and become trapped in the surface film.

I just need a warm, late summer evening, following a dry spell to put theory in to practice...