I seldom enter fishing derbies but the BCTel High Lakes Derby held every Father's Day weekend in June is a must! It is organized by the winner of the previous year and is more of a social event than a serious fishing outing. However, to its credit, fly fishing is the favored method of trout pursuit in the plateau lakes to the east of the Central Okanagan Valley. A rustic trophy that shows the annual winners back to 1978 is the Stanley Cup of this derby and while many say they hope they do not win because of the organizational effort to put on the following year's derby, it is indeed a special honour to be a winner! The largest trout caught for the 3 day weekend is the objective, not the quantity of fish caught, so I find that after taking one or two larger trout, all the rest are released. This year, I was lucky enough to be the winner for the third time, with a rainbow caught on a special chironomid which is the subject of this month's fly tying article. Most fly fishers in Western Canada favor dark chironomids but this fly is tied with a light green body and can be extremely effective when the traditional black and brown chironomids are just not working!
I fish most of my chironomids deep with a long leader so winding a few turns of fine strip lead just behind the hook eye is the first step in tying this fly. Next, tie in a piece of brown rod winding thread along the hook shank so that it extends about four inches past the hook bend. Then, tie in a short piece of brown pheasant feather on top of the lead which should not extend more than 1/3 the length of the hook shank. Let the loose part of the pheasant feather extend back to the hook bend. The next step is to thinly wrap in the light green wool from the hook bend to the eye, leaving the untied pheasant feather still exposed. Then rib the body with the brown rod tying thread from the hook bend to where the pheasant feather is exposed and tie off there. Before pulling the pheasant feather forward to form the thorax, tie in a small white ostrich hurl by figure eighting with your invisible tying thread at the hook eye to create a gill that protrudes about 1/8 inch from each side of the head. The final step is to pull the pheasant forward to the hook eye and tie off at that point. Make your final tie off, cement and you are finished. Oh yes, I caught a nice rainbow in Aileen lake dead drifting this fly near the bottom on the first day of the tournament which proved to be the 1997 derby winner!
Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"
CANADA, a clean, spacious, scenic, fun place to visit!