The third weekend of June is our traditional Telephone fishing derby with headquarters at Doreen Lake in the plateau country east of Winfield, British Columbia. About 30 or so telephone employees and retirees take part although this year the numbers were down slightly. The Vernon construction crew with Butch Calvert in charge have for several years hosted a roast beef bar-b-que dinner with all the trimmings which by itself, is enough reason to attend the event! The person who catches the largest rainbow trout for the three day weekend is afforded the first pick of numerous prizes collected by the previous year's winner. Usually this is a complete fly rod, reel and flyline outfit complete with backing and leader assuming wise administration of the entry fee dollars and donations collected with the offset being the material costs of the very excellent Saturday evening dinner. You would think by now I would have learned, but, yes, I won the derby once again, for the sixth time since 1991. Once again the hard work of organizing the event next year will be mine! However, there is a story to share, not about the fly that caught the winning fish, but rather about a fly that worked very well all weekend, not only for me but also for my friend Al Kouritzin.
My winner, a trout of slightly less than two pounds (the fish in this area are numerous but not large, at least by BC standards) was caught on a Doreen Lake chironomid as described in my July 2001 article but the fly that really worked wonders for the weekend was a green woolly worm! I caught and released several good fish on this fly and Al Kouritzin, using a similar fly caught successively larger fish each day with a green woolly worm. In fact, Al narrowly missed taking over the duties for next year as his Sunday morning fish was only a few grams less than mine, placing second overall. I believe that we should have a close look at the green woolly worm for our July fly tying article because of the great action it produced at our 2003 High Lakes Derby!
A definite bonus of this fly is that it is very simple and easy to tie! You can start by using a few turns of lead wire to make the fly sink faster but this is not necessary in shallow lakes like Doreen. After half hitching your tying thread to the hook shank, tie in an olive saddle hackle, tip first, at the hook bend. Then attach and wind the olive chenille hook bend to hook eye and tie off. Next wind the saddle feather through to the hook eye, palmer style. Before whip finishing at the eye, wind your invisible thread back through to the hook bend and then forward again to the hook eye as this will give the fly much needed strength to support the numerous trout strikes you will get without tearing off the hackle! A bit of care is needed at this stage to not distort the hackle but it is very easy using invisible thread to accomplish the task. As well, invisible thread does not appreciably change the appearance of the body colour (as black thread would) which is another reason why I use it for tying most of my flies. The final step is to tie off at the head, cement and you have finished a very simple yet effective western trout fly!
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