I have been cranking on it hard lately, the vise that is. Sam has even been interested enough to sit on my lap and patiently play with tweezers while daddy makes "ffwhys". This time of year makes me think of what fly i used most, what i relied on in third down situations and weapons i wished i had in the arsenal. We saw a small yellow Sallie this year and there was just no nymph close enough, so yellow Barr Emergers and Yellow Pheasant tails went on the list. Soft hackles have been around forever and have made a serious come back as of late. Natural materials like Partridge, Hen saddle, Ostrich herl and even Wood duck can add life and action that's very different from regular nymph ties. Playing with tried and true patterns and trying to customize them to make them all the more sexy is an old practice. Hasselhoff was the man but eventually Brad Pitt works better. The fact that you can buy Pheasant Tails in 4000 different styles proves all bugs go through an evolution, even an Elk Hair can grow rubber legs. Barr Emergers, Pheasant Tails, Hares ear etc…..you can find these bugs by the billions in every fly shop on the planet, why tie them when you can buy them? I agree, I never get wet with out the above mentioned baits in my box. They have all been proven 1000’s of times over, but some of us always think we can twist some innovative magic on the shank. A little flash, a softhackle, a bead, epoxy or some glass, there are so many ways to help our favorite flies leave the box with a more confident swagger, because it’s different, because it’s special. Personally i have begun just using black tungsten beads and cones. The stuff sinks like 2 week old fly line and the color can make it just that much different.The latest science experiment is the Tungsten JuJu Softhackle and as Zim would say "it rocks". It’s always great to explain to your boy that "the fishes are biting on my JuJu” not the store bought model. That size 18 Tung JuJu Softhackle was probably my best fly on the Fork Thursday afternoon. Same exact float on Saturday and I could not buy a fish on it. That’s fishing. We managed a few fish on streamers but I didn’t try real hard either day, nymphing still rules and the small bugs are being eaten by some very big fish on the Fork right now. Still leading with 16's and 14's tungsten stones and quills even a few eggs. A beautiful Cutty just above town rounded out the slam on Thursday.