Over the years I have found that fishing has many benefits besides catching fish! Just to be outside close to nature can be awesome and you will find that most people who ply fishing rods on lakes or rivers are really fine individuals once you get to know them! Such a person is my Seattle friend, Steve Clements, who regularly fishes Quesnel’s Dragon Lake. Steve has not missed a spring season on Dragon Lake for many years and in this time period, he has met many of the Dragon Lake regulars. Need I say that Dragon Lake supports some enormous rainbow trout, a fitting challenge for dedicated fly fishermen! Such friends are Keith and Cleo Findley who have kindly provided me with a terrific chironomid pattern with undeniable proof that it works!
Keith’s fly is called the “Chromie”, a chironomid originally developed by Philip Rowley who is a regular fly tying contributor to a fine British Columbia fishing and hunting magazine, the BC Outdoors. Why am I excited about the Chromie? Well Keith just happened to land and release one of those monster Dragon rainbows on a size 14 Chromie! Even more special, Keith’s wife Cleo was able to take a photo of the giant fish, one of the best live fish pictures I have ever seen before the rainbow was placed back in the lake unharmed! Let’s have a look at Philip Rowley’s fly as tied by Keith Findley.
Debarb the hook and install the black bead. After securing the hook in your vice, tie in a small clump of gill material near the hook eye. The clump must be small enough for the bead to slide over the gill material as you snug the bead up to the hook eye. Then trim the gills as needed a bit past the hook eye. Next tie in your thread just past the bead and form a base to the mid hook bend. Return the thread to the bead and tie in the silver mylar plus the red wire. Now wind the thread back to the hook bend and return to the bead. This will better secure the body material and make a very slight taper of the body – but do keep the body slender! The next step is to wind the silver mylar to the hook bend and secure followed by no more than seven turns of the red wire for the rib. You can add extra turns of the wire at the fly base to make a “red butt”. The final step is to paint the fly with several coats of hard clear enamel such as Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails polish to add luster and make your Chromie more durable. Now beware of huge rainbow trout!
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