Ah, the March doldrums for many Interior fly fishers. Most inland BC trout waters are still frozen and even ice fishing slows to a crawl at this time of year. Perhaps it's time to try out your creativity at making something different?
My trapshooting friend, Barry Driemel of Armstrong, BC, often fishes Sheridan Lake found on Highway 24 between Little Fort and Lone Butte. Sheridan is known for some very large energetic rainbow trout. These giant fish are well fed on the rich lake resources so they are often difficult to catch. However, Barrie has the answer! He occasionally uses flies such as the Sheridan Bear found in number 67, May 2002 or the Driemel Fly, featured in number 187, May 2012 in my previous articles (www.tourcanada.com/previous.htm). But come the end of June or early July, Barry often connects using a lead core fly line and a small plug! As I was a bit surprised at his success, I asked Barry to show me the plug that he used to catch many large rainbows over five pounds. One look and I decided to have some fun making a few plugs similar to the one Barry uses. My hand made creation isn't finished nearly as neat as the store bought versions but it does work and at this time of the year, why not try something new?
Select a piece of wooden dowel 1/2 inch in diameter with a plan to make a 45 degree cut one to 1 1/2 inch from the end. Prior to cutting, I turn the dowel using my bench grinder to generate a torpedo shape, ie, bring the opposite end to the 45 degree end to almost a point. If you have the luxury of owning a lathe, this step would be much faster! After cutting, I press the 45 degree part against the edge of the grinding wheel to make a nice hollow on the cut surface. This is necessary to give the plug a wiggle when trolled! When you are satisfied with your shaping, carefully open a tiny screw eye to slip a small swivel into the eye, then crimp shut with your pliers. Now make the start of a small hole in the center of the curved front of the plug. Turn the threads of the screw eye all the way into this hole and do the same with a second screw eye at the bottom of the plug about 1/3 back from the front or mouth of the plug. I use very strong braided line to make a hook loop which you will attach to this second screw eye. The loop should be about as long as the end of the plug. Now you are ready for painting and here is where your talent can really show. I start with a coat of pink, then a green top. I add some black strips to the top when dry. I then add a generous amount of gold sparkle paint to the sides, top and front. The final step is to paint eyes on both sides and a nice red throat slash. Oh yes, don't forget to put the loop through a hook eye and over the bend, then pull tight! Do let me know how your plug works.
Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"
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