Rooster Saddle Feathers….. How Silly can it get?

Update dated July 8, 2011.  I invite readers who are interested to contact me via email at jaynicholas@comcast.net and describe your interest in securing Rooster saddle and cape feathers.  I may be able to help you find a source for this commodity.

Warning! The information presented here is a thinly veiled foray into the sordid realm of blatant commercialism.  If you know what’s going on with the supply and demand of rooster saddle feathers in the fashion world (think feather hair extensions & hair braids), read no further.  If you know why you can’t find many – or any – long blue grizzly saddles for your Intruders, you can stop reading now.  If you know why the price of Hareline, Whiting, Hebert, and Metz rooster saddle patches has jumped lately, there’s nuthin’ interesting to read.  Move on.  And definitely do not watch the videos embedded here, because these are 100% geared towards selling feather products to persons seeking long rooster saddle feathers and saddle patches for completely irrelevant purposes of making earrings or feather extensions and hair braids.  Check this out and see what I mean, if you will.  The days when we had exclusive claim on a natural or dyed Euro Rooster saddle hackle feather are dead and gone.

With that caution issued, I’ll continue.

And no, this blog post does buy your saddles now not grizzly contain subliminal caddisflyshop.com implanted grizzly Euro saddle suggestions help Chris pay for coffee fund for the pureHareline grizzly saddle purpose of feather hair extension fueling sales.  Not hair feather extensions even in your grizzly Euro hair feather extension dreams grizzly.

The world was once right, in harmony.  Chicken feathers were revered by and principally reserved for fly tyers.  We fly tyers could sleep soundly at night, knowing that the rack of Metz grizzly rooster saddle patches, our favorite colors of Hareline strung grizzly and dyed rooster saddles, and the Whiting Hebert rooster saddle patches and capes we admired last week would still be there, hanging on the pegs in nice neat rows, for us to admire and inspect on our next trip to the fly shop.  Hareline grizzly and dyed saddles and saddle patches.  Whiting Farms grizzly and dyed saddles.  Euro rooster grizzly saddle feathers.  Dyed Grizzly Euro hackle saddles.  Hebert grizzly and natural saddles and capes.  Metz Grizzly saddles and Metz dry fly capes.  They would wait for us, patiently, to make up our minds.  Now they go to folks making feather extensions in their hair and hair braids.

Knowing that we already had several nice Rooster capes and saddle patches in the fly tying person-room, we felt secure knowing that our supply of strung saddle feathers and saddle patches for our trout flies, steelhead flies, salmon flies, bass flies, carp flies and panfish flies was mostly secure.  Once in a while, we might pick out a new feather color, or maybe some extra narrow or extra wide saddles, and stash them away for future use.

But there was never much urgency associated with feather shopping, especially for the ubiquitous grizzly phase feather.  One modern, genetically selected natural or dyed grizzly rooster saddle feather would tie many dry flies.  We might snip off the tips of these long rooster saddles for tying our Intruder flies, and save the long butt sections of the saddle feather for our dry flies.  We always had the natural and dyed grizzly feather colors we wanted, or the security that we could get whatever rooster capes or saddle feathers we wanted, if and when we wanted.

Uh oh.  Not so these days. The world of fashion has collided with the world of fly tying.  And the results are making a mess of our thinking about feathers, especially long feathers, saddle hackles, natural and dyed grizzly.  Where once we could count on never, ever running out of dun colored saddle feathers by Hareline, Metz, Whiting, or Hebert, well, no more.

Anyone who has been sipping coffee in their favorite home-town fly shop lately has noticed a different clientage.  (Note:  I wanted to use the term clientele, but the spell checker suggested clientage.  Not knowing whut’s up, I went with the suggestion.  Oh well.)

Taking great care to be non gender-discriminatory (inside joke), the fact is that there is a new customer demographic that has interrupted the world of fly tying by messing with the principles of supply and demand for rooster feathers, especially if they have the term grizzly, Euro, saddle, long, ultra long, natural, dyed, Hareline, Whiting, or Hebert associated with the product name.  Try to find a blue grizzly saddle patch.  Same goes with a hot orange saddle patch.  Just try.

Thinking that fly tying was a big deal was silly.  Enter the world of fashion.  Apparently, (caution, Jay) persons have discovered that rooster saddle feathers look beautiful in their hair.  Many of these same persons have decided that 12″ natural and dyed grizzly rooster saddles look ultra sleek dangling from their ears.

Not saying what gender these feather-fashion persons are, but they have wreaked havoc with us fly tyers.  The never-ending and dependable supply of dyed and natural grizzly saddles we used in our Intruders has become scant.  Narrow rooster saddles we wound around hooks to hackle our finest dry flies is at risk now.  Long narrow saddles to palmer over our Chinook comet flies is – well – at best, scarce.

Must conclude now. Rooster saddle feather tutorials follow.  Ignore or watch, at your discretion.  You really should have seen the entire floor space in the back room of the Caddis Fly Shop (in Eugene Oregon) covered with Whiting and Hebert, Hareline dyed Saddles, and, and ultra-long Euro rooster saddle feathers.  Imagine extra long Euro Rooster hackle Saddles.  Imagine rooster saddles dyed by Hareline:  especially  striking stacks of purple and turquoise saddles. Wow will these make awesome feather hair braids and extensions?  Whiting Farms saddles.  Whiting Hebert saddles for hair braids and feather hair extensions.  Heck, there was nowhere to walk what with all the feathers on the floor. Now these gorgeous rooster saddles are hung neatly on the pegs.  Hareline dyed  Saddles.  Whiting Dry Fly saddles.  Whiting and Hebert saddles and Euro Rooster saddle feathers.  Hebert dry fly saddles to make feather hair extensions galore.

Chris Daughters and I were shooting videos; constantly interrupted by phone calls from Portland Oregon; Salem, Oregon; California;  Seattle; Texas; New York.  Walk-in customers pointed at various stacks of saddle patches and Chris threw them in their shopping cart to be carried swiftly out of the store, before they could even get a price sticker and be hung on a peg at the “Great Wall of Saddles.”  We saw Whiting Badger saddles, and Hebert Dyed Olive Grizzly saddles, and Hareline dyed purple saddles, and Whiting Farms natural and dyed grizzly saddle patches moving out to the shipping area in waves.  Rooster feathers destined to make feather hair extensions and feathery feathered earrings.

I’m done, almost. Been thinking about what I want done with my ashes when I leave this place.  Got some ideas.  Sort of sad to think about not being here with my family, with the salmon, and with my friends.  Might write about it, but I might not.

Jay Nicholas; posted January 30,2011


Jay Nicholas’ Salmon Fisher’s Journal: Great Grabs – October 20, 2010

Jay Nicholas’ Salmon Fisher’s Journal

Afternoon sun, bright king salmon rolling in the pool, a 300 gr., 30′ shooting head, and my trusty  Burkheimer 7115-4. Remember to keep a low rod angle, folks; this Spey rod makes an awesome delivery system to overhead cast shooting heads for king salmon.  Posted on January 28, 2011.  An enduring memory from my 2010 salmon season.

JN

Why Do We Fish? January 21, 2011

Why do we fish?

Because we must, I think.

We fish sacred places.  Share river time with like-minded friends.  Swim our flies.  And dream great dreams of fish we will never see.

Truth.  Seeking the unachievable.  Beauty more wondrous than words can express.  Discovery.

A handshake from God.

Because, all too soon, we will be gone.

Jay Nicholas, January 21, 2011

Homeland Security Visits fishingwithjay, January 19, 2011

The blogosphere is a weird place space etherial goofy fog.  People who create Busterwantstofish are bold indeed.  That, or they really don’t mind the probability that half their viewers are xxxxxxxs.

Huh?

I was contacted by the Office of Homeland Security recently.  They made two enquiries.  The first was regarding why my blog traffic was so low and why didn’t I use provocative terms like sssssty, bbbbbby, llllllly, wwwwwwxy or ffffffg to boost my viewership.  To this I responded that it was because I am not a _____ mouth; fishingwithjay is a fly fishing, family friendly blog, not a sewer.

The second enquiry was regarding why I had used words like Atlantic Salmon, Sea Trout, Kamchatka, Alaska, Brown trout, Dean River, Peacock Bass, Tarpon, Mongolia, Argentina, New Zealand, Africa, Norway, Russia, Australia, Carp, Musky, and Smallie.

Apparently, Homeland Security Internet scrutiny software analytics had flagged me as a possible _______ to national _______, and calculated a high probability that I was a diagnosable ______ because I had made repeated use of the terms “fly fishing”, ‘fly tying”, “steelhead”, “salmon”, and such forth.

This is serious stuff folks. Imagine yourself, sitting quietly in your den, cranking out a hundred dozen size 26 Griffith Gnats when the doorbell rings.  You check the door and there stand three guys in suits with Ray Ban glasses, their black Chev Suburban parked across your driveway, blocking any possibility of vehicular flight.

After using a battering ram on the front door and tear-gassing the back yard, they poked around my fly bench and ran a  _______ detection wand over my drawer of saddle hackles. They demanded to see my migratory bird permit.  They peered over their sunglasses asked why I had __ boxes of ________ hooks.  They had me explain what Waddington Shanks are used for; repeatedly. They counted Tube Leeches, Whiting Euro Saddles, Lady Amherst Center tails,  and asked pointedly if I could honestly say that all that stuff was intended for personal use.  Then they said: really?

After seven hours of interrogation, they pulled out a form and checked the box under “fishing nut.”

Enough said, almost . It makes sense to _____  with respect to our word choices, at least part of the time, it seems important to ________ much of the time, and without doubt I will concentrate on always _______.

The consequences of _________ could be ___________ and none of us want that to come down on our _______, do we?

Jay Nicholas, January 19, 2011

Winter Steelhead Flies: Pro Tube Leech, January 17, 2011

Too much high water.  Too much work.  Too much inertia.  Not enough river time. Blah blah blah. More fly tying entertainment.  Dreams of winter steelhead.  Summer steelhead.  Alaska coho.  Tie some more flies.  This tube leech will be on the menu for Chinook in Tillamook bay.  Play with the Pro Tube Fly goodies.  Hummmm.  Bet our comrades in Northern Europe fishing for Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout would fish these flies.  Play with Youtube for the first time.  Figure how to insert sound into slide movie.  Laugh at my own voice.  Should know the difference between a Micro Tube and a Flexi Tube by now but apparently nooooooo.  Where are those Cones?  Script fly tying demonstration, step-by-step.  Take photographs.  Re-take photographs because entire first set was unbearably garish.  then the most dreaded part of all.  What to name the fly.  Nicholas’ Pro Micro Tube, rabbit strip red tail, orange hackle, blue Krystal flash, pink ostrich, two-tone crosscut rabbit, orange Pro Cone, red #2 Gamakatsu stinger hook, winter steelhead fly.

Nicholas’ knock-off of Silvey’s Tube Leech.

Nicholas’ pirate version of Hickman’s Fish Taco.

Nicholas’ generic fly for all anadromous species that can be tied in many color combinations and sizes and will yank the fish out of the water by the truck load and should really be offered by the folks at Idylwilde except that all the fish will be released and no it is not possible to catch a winter or summer steelhead or Chinook salmon unless one gets out of the den and actually chucks a fly into a river and the same is true if you fish in Norway for Atlantic Salmon or Scotland for Sea Trout or well i think you get the drift maybe I should name these flies for micro brews like “the Terminator’ or some earth muffin name like “organic spring lettuce” or something like” Dawn Mist over the Skagit” or “Sweet Lemon” or “Slim man Spey Fishing at the Head of the Car Body Hole” hell who cares what I call it just tie some up yourself and fish these babies because they really fish and catch and are fun and look cool in a tube fly box and maybe this week I will go fishing after work and year-end fly bench organizing and lining up all my beads and cones in nice neat little compartments and making sure that my Krystal Flash is not tangled and do I have enough shooting lines for salmon season and are Rob and I really going to go on a northern king salmon adventure this year and hummmmm then there is work and how many vacation days do I really have and how much do I still owe on the jet sled and should I sell the pram naaahhhh well maybe naahhh and gosh …………….

Jay Nicholas, January 17, 2011

Steelhead, Sea Trout, Atlantic Salmon, Sea Run Cutthroat, Smallmouth Bass Tube Fly Pattern

Scott Howell likes to fish Olive and White Intruders; one learns from watching Skagit Master 2.  Hummmm.  I’ve watched this cool DVD about a dozen times already, and I have not grown ho-hum watching Scott make the fishing cast (sometimes a nice short plop rather than the long, tight-loop;  ramble about presenting his fly at the right depth to intercept steelhead; sometimes adding speed to his fly’s swing; reminding us to not over-think some aspects of steelhead fishing; and dispelling a popular and prevalent  myth that one must drag bottom to be fishing effectively.  Right on.

Where was I? Oh yes.

Scott Howell likes Olive Intruders and White Intruders.  I like to combine the two hues to blend the best of both worlds in a fly pattern I refer to as a Tube Leech or a Tube Intruder, depending on my mood.  I gravitate to using cream instead of white, unless I use white and black, a fly pattern  I will feature in the near future.  Point is, there are some effective color combinations beyond the black/blue, pink/white, and purples that we steelhead fly fishers often reach for. This Cream white and olive Tube leech could also be refffered to as a Tube Intruder if you wish, because it would probably be perceived as Intruding on the personal space of any steelhead, Atlantic Salmon, Sea Trout, big-ass cutthroat, or similar predatory, potentially territorial fish.  A smallmouth bass, on the other hand, probably wouldn’t consider this an Intruder, but a welcome food morsel to be promptly chomped.

Fly pattern: Olive Tube Leech for Steelhead, Sea Trout, Atlantic Salmon, and Smallmouth Bass (pus who knows what else).

Tube: Pro Tube Fly System Micro Tube, green.  Add Pro Tube Fly System green Hook Guide when fly is finished.

Tail:  Cream Rabbit strip.  Cut a strip of hide approximately 1.5″ and secure at the rear of the Pro Micro Tube.  This will give you a tail of about 2.25″ because the hair is about 3/4″ long.  (should this be called a tail or a body or a leechy thing?)

Tying instructions: 1.  Wind  Olive Spey plume, tied n by tip, three turns.  Select a plume that is fairly long.  (2) tie in a dozen or so natural gray ostrich fibers over the Rabbit Strip, make these about the same length as the rabbit strip.  (3)  Tie in 6 strands Peacock Krystal Flash over or alongside the Ostrich herl.  (4) Using Marc Petitjean Magic Tool medium material clamp, grasp hair on cross-cut rabbit, two-tone olive with black tips. (5) trim fur from hide, use clamps to transfer fur into pre waxed dubbing loop, and spin it into a nice fuzzy “hackle” that can be wound at the fore of the fly, covering all the Rabbit strip and Ostrich butts. (6) Finish with Pro Cone, color of choice.

This cream and olive, rabbit-strip,  Tube-leach (Tube Intruder) offers an appealing color palate, nice size (just under 3″ from nose to stinger hook bend); and will undoubtedly be as attractive to European Sea Trout as it is to Norway Atlantic Salmon, Kamchatka rainbow, Alaska Leopard trout, monster-size Sea-run Cutthroat, Sea-run Dolly Varden, Metolius Bull Trout, Deschutes and Rogue summer steelhead, Sol Duc winter steelhead, and gosh who knows what else?

Smallies!  Yeah, the Smallmouth Bass will inhale this Tube Leech.

I have never fished for Atlantic Salmon except in Hosmer Lake, which absolutely doesn’t count.  Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout are fished with flies that are so much like the flies we fish here in the Pacific Northwest for steelhead and salmon that the differences are, I think, irrelevant.  First they developed their fly patterns in Europe for Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout.  Then we pirated their flies here in the New World.  Then they peek at our fly patterns, our Tube flies, our steelhead and salmon flies, and naturally the evolution continues with innovation and mimicry the name of the game on all continents.  We have sea-run browns in Argentina, we have lake run rainbow in New Zealand, we have Alaska crazy wild fly patterns, and Intruders, and Tube flies and gosh knows what all.  And yes, the Smallmouth Bass absolutely gotta love these Olive-hued  Tube Leeches that were inspired by steelhead Intruders, sort of.

Jay Nicholas,  January 8, 2011

General Practitioner Intruder Style: Adaptation to Pro Tube Fly System January 5, 2011

Adapting the General Practitioner to the Pro Tube Fly System

The General Practitioner fly pattern is an oft-mimicked fly  style and is embraced by fly fishers pursuing  steelhead,  Atlantic salmon,  and Sea Trout around the world. The reason is simple; the General Practitioner, or something like the “official” fly dressing is an effective fly to fish and a pleasing fly to tie.

Modifications of the General Practitioner are often given exotic names that include the word “Prawn.”  Many motivations have generated adaptations to the General Practitioner, including personal preference, level of tying experience, limitations of materials at hand on a tyer’s bench, two bottles of Micro Brew, or wild whimsy. The General Practitioner is often tied on shank hooks and is also tied Intruder-style on Waddington Shanks and tubes.

The General Practitioner fly is usually tied in orange, purple, pink, or Chartreuse.  But usually orange or purple.  Not that I have ever seen a purple shrimp in the wild.  Maybe there are hatchery purple shrimp.  Maybe, maybe not.

Maintaining my current focus on adapting favorite winter steelhead flies to Tubes, I decided to take a creative shot at a fly that maintained properties consistent with an orange, prawn-like General Practioner.  I also decided to stretch this tube fly a little beyond the traditional Practitioner proportions, with visions of  Intruder flies dancing in my brain.  But why not, you might well ask,  just tie the traditional dressing on a tube?

Good question. Answer: because I tend to be a “functionalist” when it comes to fly tying.  I like to zero in on function, to how the fly will swim, its sinkability, its silhouette, and how the steelhead will react to the fly.  Bottom line, I want a fly that will fish well under specific water conditions and that will elicit the grab-response from Mr. or Ms. Steelhead.

This General Practitioner Tube Intruder, I believe, will sink, swim, and stimulate winter and summer steelhead every measure as well as the traditional General Practitioner fly does, and that is a good thing.  One more point to note:  this fly is tied long enough and sparsely dressed that it could qualify as a “knock-off” steelhead or king salmon Intruder.

General Practitioner Tube Intruder steelhead Fly.

Tube: Pro Tube system Flixi Tube, black (not that it matters); adapted to seat trailer hook in Hook guide.  I preferred to use the tapered,  translucent Pro Tube Hook Guide rather than the thick diameter rear section of the Pro Flexi Tube to place the hook near the end of the tail.

Tail: orange bucktail, striped with black Sharpie (thanks Rob), three fibers of Hot Orange Krystal flash on both sides of tail.

Butt: Orange Ice Dub spun in loop; tie off and slide on red/brass Pro Tube system Cone Disc.

Body: Orange Ice Dub spun in loop; tie in oval gold Lagartun gold tinsel at rear of fly; wind body forward; tie in hot orange dyed grizzly Euro Saddle Rooster Hackle at front of fly by butt of hackle; wind palmer hackle to rear of body; wrap oval tinsel forward through hackle; tie off tinsel; trim hackle tip at rear of body.

Wing: hot orange bucktail, body length only.

Horns: 3 long Krystal Flash fibers to rear of tail; three fibers to length of wing only.

Collar: Hareline cross-cut rabbit, peachy orange ; grasp fur in Marc Petitjean Magic Tool, trim fur from hide strip; place in waxed thread loop; spin into dubbing brush; wind on as hackle collar substitute.

Cone: Pro Tube Fly System; gold cone head; 7.5 mm.

Hook: Daiichi 2571 Steelhead Boss hook #2.

Jay Nicholas, January 5, 2011

Winter Steelhead Flies Tied on Pro Tubes, January 4, 2011

Thought I would share some messing around, converting winter steelhead flies to tube flies.  I am having fun with Pro Tube Fly System components tying flies for winter steelhead.  I hope to get these wet next week on the zookamus river near Noti, Oregon; a place where no one else will be fishing.  Ha ha.

Purple Peril Fly: tied for winter steelhead on Pro Tube.

Tail is royal purple Marabou fibers; butt is  loop spun purple crosscut rabbit hair with guard hairs included; body is Purple Cactus Chenille; wing is white Arctic Fox tail with Pearl Krystal Flash horns; collar is loop spun two-tone rabbit lavender and steelhead blue; head is a black Pro Cone; tube is a Pro Flexi Tube with the rear tube cut to about 1/4″ to seat a Gamakatsu #2 Glo Bug hook.

Purple and blue are among my favorite fly colors for winter steelhead.  And summer steelhead. Plus pink and orange; red; white; and black, don’t forget the black.  Black and blue too.

Blue Flashabou Hoochie Fly tied for winter steelhead on Pro Tube.

This is a Hoochie Intruder tied to imitate a blue Hot Shot.  Sorry, sad but true.  Not my original thought, but hey if I see a good idea out there why not give it a go?  l spun on a butt of UV Shrimp Pink Ice Dub, slipped a Pro Cone Disc at the rear of the tube, and then lashed on clumps of oddly cut blue Flashabou around the tube to make the Hoochie wing-thing.  Scary.  The , collar is loop-spun two tone rabbit lavender and steelhead blue; head is an orange Pro Cone; tube is a Pro Mini Tube plus orange Hook Guide; a double surgeon’s loop or non-slip saltwater loop knot is used to trail a Gamakatsu #2 Octopus hook at the rear end of the Flashabou.

Green Butt Skunk Fly (adapted) for winter steelhead on Pro Tube.

This fly has the red tail, white wing, black collar hackle in common with the Green Butt Skunk.  Not much else, but hey, I’m short on catchy fly names this morning.

Tail is red ostrich; butt is  Caddis Green Ice Dub; body is Holographic Gold Lagartun Mini flat Braid; fore-body isPeacock Ice Dub spun in loop; wing is white Arctic Fox tail, collar is loop spun two-tone rabbit lavender and steelhead blue; head is a green Pro Cone; tube is a Pro Flexi Tube with the rear tube cut to about 1/4″ to seat a Daiichi #2 Boss hook.

Dream Intruder fly tied on Pro Flexi Tube for winter steelhead.

Tail is natural Ostrich; butt is  Orange Ice Dub; body is fluorescent blue Lagartun Mini flat Braid; fore-body Claret Ice Dub spun in loop; wing is natural Ostrich, collar is loop spun Claret Ice Dub; head is a green Pro Cone; tube is a Pro Flexi Tube with the rear tube cut to about 1/4″ to seat a Daiichi #2 hook.  I tied this fly long and dressed very sparsely; Added an 8mm pro Drop Weight under the fore-body to put it down in front of Mr. steelhead.

I prefer the appearance of different hooks on different tube flies flies, usually depending on the overall proportion of fly and hook.  My favorite hooks for winter and summer steelhead tube flies include the following.

Gamakatsu C14S Glo Bug Hook, #2; this is a great hook when the fly is not very large, the short shank sucks up out of sight, not that the steelhead care, and it hooks and holds with the best.

Daiichi 2571 Steelhead Boss hook #2 (nearly straight eye, shorter shank); again, a fly perfect for not so big tube flies, especially traditional steelhead flies converted to tube flies.

Gamakatsu SC15 #1/0, #1, #2 (tin plated, straight ring eye); a great hook in #1 (rarely in size 1/0) for longer flies and #2 for short and slim steelhead tube flies.

Gamakatsu Octopus hook, #1, #2, #4 (turned up, beak point, offset, red or black); this is hands down my favorite, most often chosen, best-loved hook for tube flies.  Summer steelhead, winter, steelhead, or king salmon, this is a great hook.  Tie saltwater non-slip knot (non-slip Uni Knot), loop it over the hook, and let this Gammie swim at the tail end of your fly.  Use it on slim Marabou or rabbit-strip leech flies for steelhead.  Use it on big nasty King salmon Intruders.  Size this hook up or down to match your tube fly.

See ya on the river in 2011.

Jay Nicholas, January 4, 2011

Polar Shrimp Winter Steelhead Tube Fly: January 2, 2011

What better way except maybe being on the river which of course I would never consider the possibility of leaving my family at home and trudging off to stand thigh deep in cold water swinging flies for winter steelhead, instead of spending the day here where was I oh yes what better way to ring in the new year than to re-visit a fly pattern that is synonymous with winter steelhead here in the Pacific Northwest?

The Polar Shrimp is a personal favorite fly when I fish for winter steelhead.  I once tied these beauties by the truck-load on Eagle Claw 1197-B hooks.  When we wanted to get fancy we would use 1197-Ns.

Back in the 1970s, wings for a Polar Shrimp were composed of white Bucktail, white Kip tail, or rarely and at extra cost, Polar Bear hair.  I tied size 2#, #4, and #6.  the Size 4s was our go-to fly, summer or winter.

I decided to try this old favorite on a Pro Tube, and was really pleased with the fly.  Seeing this old fly pattern tied in a new way blends fond old memories with the anticipation of this winter steelhead season.

Pro Flexi Tube: black, with the large diameter tube cut quite short, just long enough to seat a Gamakatsu Glo Bug #2 ring eye hook.

Butt: Fluorescent Hot Pink Ice Dub spun in a loop and tied on the large diameter tube.

Tail:  Hot Orange Arctic Fox under fur, edged with hot orange Krystal Flash. Body is Flo Orange chenille, just like the good old days, with Lagartun oval silver tinsel rib.

Wing: White Arctic Fox tail, edged with two strands of Flourescent Orange Krystal Flash.

Hackle: Rather than using the old standard of orange or red saddle hackle collar, I spun shrimp Pink cross-cut rabbit fur in a loop and wound on about three turns to make a collar.  I resorted to the spun rabbit over the traditional hackle after trying the traditional hackle and feeling a little ho-hum about the finished fly.

Pro Cone:  6.5 mm; this cone seats nicely against the rabbit fur collar.

Have fun with the Polar Shrimp; it was a winner for decades, and still is, if we only have the confidence to tie it on and toss it in the water.

Jay Nicholas, January 2, 2011

Nicholas’ Salmon Fisher’s Journal: January 1, 2011

My very best wishes to the anticipation, discovery and challenges 2011 will certainly bring each and every one of us.  May we find strength to tolerate adversity, turn dark karma towards the light, and make this world a little better for people and salmon.

Jay Nicholas, January 1, 2011