Better Late

Better Late . . .

Low Water: September

Low Water: September

The clay bank, high and vertical, gives way at intervals over time. Trees do follow. The other side, temporarily bridged by timber, emerges as a shallow grade of washed gravel and cobblestone. Low water, dry stones, holding sprouts of green in the shallows and cracks. Crayfish abound in the back puddles as do nymphs of caddis, mayflies, and dragonflies.

Riffles call for some kebari pale and fluffy to the casual eye. Many tenkara anglers tie and fish one fly only. September finds me most often opening the wallet or bottle for one best knotted onto 6x or 7x tippet: a primitive September Trico Spinner of black thread and rabbit on a curved hook in some size between 18 and 22. Another choice would be a size 16 or 18 dry fly hook dressed in Olive and Rabbit with or without a thorax of Peacock Herl: the September White Wing X Caddis. A streamer for slower water and meatier game goes to my standard Green Guarantee, size 6, 8, or 10. The body of Leech Yarn gives the Bucktail added motion, as this fly begs to be twitched and animated in authentic tenkara fashion.

September Trico Spinner

September Trico

September White Wing X Caddis

September White Wing X Caddis

Green Guarantee

Green Guarantee

My target, the quarry, this time became the fallfish, Semotilus corporalis, the grayling of the Mid-Atlantic states. Ones of size, like a fish I just encountered along a freestone creek over Labor Day Weekend, gives dry fly fishing an ultimate experience. The fish, strong, attractive, over a foot in length, sipped in a size 18 September Trico, one tied in a Manhattan flat.

“The grayling of the Mid-Atlantic states.”

The other fish of late summer, the Smallmouth Bass, Micropterus dolomieu, made its presence known to me on the very next cast. This one fell for a Green Guarantee tied on after sighting a smallmouth bass twice the size of the one in net.

Smallmouth Bass: September

Smallmouth Bass: September

More fallfish and smallmouth followed into a still evening that grew at a quicker pace than in July. A few deer showed off white tail and flushed. The green canopy held a dark gray where rays of sun once streamed. By the bank, the spot where I chose to cross for home, came first a pause for a large snapping turtle. Slow, dark and cragged, a small dinosaur, basically, cruised down the steam’s middle lane until the turn for a tree fallen and half submerged.

Turtle, home.

For me, above the opposite bank, began the walk down a gravel road toward town.

Angler, prepared to say: “Better late . . .”

– rPs 09 15 2015

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2 Comments »

  1. Lorenzo Swanson said

    This Blog was a most enjoyable foray into fly fishing from the Tankara fly rod pursuits. The fly patterns, two in particular I have not seen before, however presented an interest for me. How to tie and materials would be wonderful to have. The washed cobblestone stream looks so fantastic! Imagining walking and wading this watershed would be most satisfying to me. My imagination runs wild the possibilities. Keep up the good work you perform. Writing, one one gets started slowly builds until one simply takes off.

    Creekfisher1

    Instagram

    • Lorenzo —

      Hello. Thanks for the feedback and interest.

      These patterns are simple updated variations of classic streamers. The key is color and proportion.

      Basic Recipe . . . is simple:

      Size 4 to 12 Streamer Hook
      Non-lead Wire (wrapped around shank of hook if you want to weight the pattern)
      Chenille or Yarn (most any kind will do for the body)
      Peacock Herl (for the thorax)
      Elk, Dear, or Bucktail (for the wing)

      Tips: Keep it sparse on the tie and keep it moving on the fly.

      Good Luck!

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