Now that our Kelowna area lakes, at least at higher elevations, are covered by a layer of ice, it is time to tie up some good weather favourites, in particular, dry flies that have a narrow but essential window of use! An example is a dry that floats well and can still be seen in fading evening light! I can recall dry fly fishing the Canim River when trout activity became very exciting as darkness approached! My Evening Gown fly exactly fit the bill even though it doesn't closely resemble naturals. You could still see the white hair wing as it jauntily floated the river currents well after sundown! Even better, those Canim trout didn't seem bothered by the fact that the natural May and Stoneflies did not have white wings!
The first step is to make a white calf tail about the same length as the fly shank. For even better flotation, a moose hair tail is an option although I find that the foam wound body provides sufficient float quality. Next cut about a 1/16 inch strip of black foam from a foam sheet that you can purchase from a craft shop if your local fly shop does not have pre-cut foam. Make a body by winding the foam strip hook shank to hook eye. Now wind a very thin piece of radiant red chenille over the forward 1/4 of the body, tying off also at the hook eye. The next step is to tie in a white deer or elk hair wing at the start of the red chenille. Trim off the larger ends of the hair that pop up as you cinch down the wing. Finally, to enable the fly to float upright, make a few turns of white hackle just behind the red chenille. Cement, tie off and you have finished a very visible late evening dry fly, the Evening Gown!
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