The season is never really over but the weather is making it a bit more difficult to get out on the water. Unless there is some serious global warming happening this winter I see that my next cast on open water will be in March. I guess this just leaves more time to hit the fly tying bench.
I’m not sure when I started fly tying but I imagine it wasn’t too long after I picked up my dad’s Fenwick. It seems as though I’ve been tying flies as long as I’ve been hucking line. My first flies were damn right simple to tie. The ‘go-to’ fly back in the days was a black wooly worm. No tail…just some chenille and hackle. Many a stocker fell to the wooly worm. The other fly was a coho fly [bucktail lashed to a 4x streamer hook]. The kind you can pick up at Wal-Mart 4 for a buck. Deadly on sockeye.
My fly tying skills are ones that have been honed over years of flipping through magazines and catalogs. I would see a pattern that I thought would be killer on my homewaters and I would set out to duplicate it. One such pattern I came across a couple of years ago when I stumbled upon Brian O’Keefe’s site. On his site he has photo essays of trips he has taken over the years. One of the essays is about Deschutes River Steelhead and includes a short write-up about one of his ‘go-to’ flies…the H & H [huck and hope]. Even though I knew about the fly for a couple of years I never tied it up until I took that last trip to the Anchor. My first steelhead on a two-hander was taken on the H & H.
H & H | Photo by D. Yi