Our daughter, Laurie, with her husband and kids live south of Duncan on Vancouver Island. Whenever we visit, in spite of my wife's objections, I pack along a fly rod or two plus waders with all my river fishing gear, just in case there will be time to cast a fly on the fabled Cowichan River! I usually have to arise at the crack of dawn and be back by noon in order to avoid being chastised as "anti social"! Oh, my friends, but that river is well worth the risk. I usually head to the fly fishing only section of the upper river and although foot access is difficult on many stretches of the river, I have found a few places to fish throughout the river's length.
While I never expect to catch a lot of fish, the quality and variety is great. I have caught rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout plus steelhead, coho and chum salmon all on the fly. My favourite patterns are the Black Practitioner, Muddler and the River Dragon. The latter fly was created by Bob Giles of Victoria and is an excellent Cowichan River fly. Let's have a look at his pattern for our March fly tying article.
First attach a length of silver wire to the hook shank projecting past the hook bend. Now make a dubbing loop of olive synthetic or seal fur and wrap it hook bend to 3/4 distance to the hook eye. Follow this with spaced wraps of the silver wire to form the rib. Then tie in two clumps of brown pheasant rump feathers on each side of the body but still leaving room for the head. The head is a clump of elf hair tied crossways or at right angles to the hook shank just behind the hook eye. Trim to about 1/8 inch. The final step is to figure eight peacock herl over the center of the elk hair where it crosses the hook shank. I use strong invisible thread to secure both the elk hair and the peacock herl as there is a tendency for the hair to twist. A good amount of cement will also help to avoid twisting. Now you have finished a great Cowichan River fly pattern thanks to Bob Giles!
Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"
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