Don's Fly Tying - the Gardom Chironomid

[Gardom Chironomid]

Yes it's good to be back in then Okanagan after all that winter sunshine in Arizona! Why? The fly fishing is indeed much better here! As an example, my friend Les Lamerton and I have made two early spring trips to Gardom Lake, just a bit north of Enderby, BC. Now Les and his lovely wife Dolores, originally from Vancouver Island, recently moved to Armstrong from the wilds of Ft. St. John, BC where they spent their working careers in that very productive country! Now Les can account for many a moose and elk while living up North plus he and Dolores are very adept at catching big spring salmon in the Skeena River system. However, trout fishing on a cast fly was somewhat new for Les although he had caught fish on a trolled fly in the past. This past April has been rather cold with many days a bit too frigid for good insect hatches. Another acquaintance, Roy Williams, an astute member of the Kalamalka Fly Fishing Club, has reported a 20 fish day using chironomids at Gardom Lake but most of these early cold days have been slow, which was our experience with only one or two smaller trout caught and released.

However, on our second outing to Gardom, I brought along one of my spare fly rods equipped with a floating line and long leader tippet of Scientific Angler's 4X thin but strong 6.8 pounds breaking strength. I said that we would only cast that day for Gardom trout using chironomids and strike indicators adjusted to depth on the floating lines. Les proved to be a star pupil as he did not take long to catch on to the basics of fly casting. To make a long story short, although the fishing was very slow, we each hooked a monster trout and in both cases, our 6 pound tippets were snapped! Yes, not much to show for the frying pan but I am proud to say that shortly after, Les purchased a complete fly outfit! I do think we have another confirmed fly fisherman to share our keen enjoyment of the sport! Oh yes, I almost got carried away as I do want to share with you another chironomid, this time a brownish fly that I have developed for Gardom Lake!



Again, we are using my favourite type of hook, a curved scud model for this chironomid. First pinch the barb and slip the bead through to the fly eye. I then like to make a few wraps of thin lead wire just behind the bead as most of my fish hook-ups occur near the lake bottom. Next attach a piece of thin red wire to the hook shank prior to wrapping the body with brown rod thread hook bend to hook eye. Try to develop a body taper, thinner at the bend and larger as you approach the bead. Now tightly wind the red wire over the body to form a rib. I next half hitch a very short piece of white uni-floss so it projects just over the bead. The last step is to wind a collar of peacock herl behind the bead. An option is to use brown or black ostrich herl for the collar. After tying off, a coating of Sally Hansen's "Hard as Nails" hardener will ensure a nice finish to your fly!

Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"

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