Monday, November 28, 2011

This Is What the Rock Is Cooking, Fly-Tying 101: #6 Skintilla

With the La Nina winter finally here, most of us shut down our fishing for the season, hunker down in the house and start tying flies for the upcoming spring/summer/fall. Sure we come out of hibernation for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, make a show of being alive then recede back into our caverns. Fishing only crosses the mind of those that chase steelhead or those of us that need to get that fishing fix and stumble over to the Yakima on one of the few days when the sky opens up and reveals that precious commodity known as the sun.

There are other options however to the hermit type existence lived by Pacific Northwest fly-fisherman. Rocky Ford comes to mind. A spring creek that flows through the basalt and sagebrush,loaded with large fish that eat small flies, especially in the winter. The Ford produces well in the middle of winter when all the rivers are blown out. . It provides the option to fish, it may not be the warmest, but it's an option when you get the Cabin Fever. Small flies are the name of the game. Midges, scuds, and serendipities. I learned of this fly during my time down on the San Juan and have used it up here on the Yakima and the Ford with success. And this fly is an excellent one to add into the mix. So here we go with fly tying victim #6. The Skintilla.

Supply List
Hook: Daichi 1120 #18-24
Thread: 8/0 Uni, Olive, Red, Black, Grey or Blue
Bubble: Mini Glass Bead, Peacock
Rib: Brassie Ultra Wire, color can vary

Step 1: Choose a color of thread. I would stick with olive or black. Tie the thread on the hook. Build up the body by wrapping thread back towards the bend then back towards the eye. 

Step 2: This part is the only tricky part. Cut a piece of ultra wire. Fold one end back towards the other. Slide the bead over both strands of ultra wire and let it run down the bend. Place the looped section near the eye of the hook, leaving enough space to tie a head. Tie down the ultra wire in front of the bead, making 1 loose wrap and then 2-4 tight wraps. Then wrap behind the bead with one loose wrap and 2-4 tighter wraps. Cut the loop of wire in front of the bead off.

Step 3: Cut one of the strands of ultra wire that protrudes behind the bead. Wrap the thread over the other strand of ultra wire back towards the bend. At the bend wrap the thread back forward towards the bead, building a tapered body up to the bead. Make one wrap in front of the bead and leave it for now.

Step 4: Wrap the strand of ultra wire forward towards the bead over the body to create a ribbing. Wrap to the bead then make one more wrap in front of the bead. Tie the ultra wire off, trim it and build up a head. Whip finish and place a dab of head cement. 

Color Schemes: This fly is simple to tie and can be used in multiple colors. I focused mostly on Olive thread and green wire, but red/red works, black/silver, black/black, black/green, black/red, red/silver, gray/silver, gray/green, gray/red, blue/blue, blue/green, blue/silver. I'm sure there are others that would work, but those are the main ones I have used.

Where it Fishes: It's pretty much all I used on the San Juan. I had a box filled with these in different sizes and colors. But I have used it during a BWO hatch on the Yakima, the Ford, the Gunnison, Flat Creek, and I'm sure it will work on any spring creek you can think of. I haven't had much of a chance to fish it here in Washington outside of the Yakima but it will work anywhere there is a BWO or Midge hatch and the fish are targeting those food groups.

As always our tying lessons can be found on our Tying Page.  If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and we will answer it with all possible speed.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins

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