The Roche Lake Cow Dun was an accident. A couple of years ago, I was at a mid May trap shoot in Kamloops and I couldn't resist a side trip to one of my favorite area lakes, Roche. I had fished this lake with great success during the two years that I lived in Kamloops, 1980 to 1982. Flies like a thinly dressed gold muddler and a small green shrimp worked very well for me in those years. However, on this more recent trip, I had little success but I noticed one fly fisherman catching and releasing fish after fish while anchored near the shore end of the middle island. A few days after I happened to mention this to Lane Hogaboam of Rutland Sports in Kelowna and he surprised me by saying, "That was Hank using an all cow dun wooley bugger"!
I immediately purchased some green cow dun chenille for the body and a package of similar green marabou for the tail. I tied up several flies mainly using 9671 size 8 hooks and headed back to Roche shortly after, around the first week of June. What a success! Eight prime Kamloops trout came to this new fly, all released save one fine 3 pound fish that I kept for table fare! These fish were caught from an anchored boat casting a sink tip fly line towards the shoal side of a transition to deeper water. A slow retrieve was used but with enough movement to "wave" the marabou tail! On subsequent trips, I found that a sparse throat hackle of grizzly or brown hackle even enhanced the flie's performance.
I again prefer to use invisible thread rather than regular black or coloured fly tying thread especially for flies such as this one where you can back wrap the body with the invisible thread for addition strength and not ruin the body shape or appearance! Start by cinching your tying thread to the hook and secure about 4 inches of chenille along the hook shank, flowing out past the bend. Then place a small clump of the marabou along the hook shank so that it projects about 3/4 inch past the hook bend and securely tie it in by wrapping and half hitching the thread several times along the hook body. I prefer to repeat this 3 or 4 times rather than tying one big clump of marabou in at once. Next tightly wrap the chenille to the hook eye and tie off. An option is to now lay a single piece of darker green chenille and tie in along the back. Leave enough room at the hook eye to tie in a grizzly or brown hackle and wrap it 2 to 3 turns, i.e., fairly sparse. Cement, whip finish and you are finished!
Note, if you use invisible thread, the cow dun marabou tied along the hook shank will result in a very acceptable fly body if you choose not to use the chenille! I tie some flies up both ways.
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