Winters grip is weakening here in the Eagle River Valley
February's Big and Heavy report.
Gilled BWO #18 has been my go to large or attractor fly followed by a couple of midges. I've been tying and fishing Tim Flaglers Corded Midge Link using yellow antron as well as white with great success. Water temps and flows are low and the fish are still held up in their winter lies, deep, mid pool and hard to fool with too much nonsense. Simple tricks like keeping split shot and other junk to a minimum and getting your flies down to the fish with weighted flies instead, can make all the difference this time of year. A 2.8 Tungsten bead has done the trick getting every thing down in the water most fish are hanging around.
Tie some up, call it what you want
#16 2487, 2.8 Black Tung Bead
Thread: Harvested from an old Ugg boot
Tail/Legs: Tijuana Wood Duck
Rib: One Moose Pube
Gills: Tied in Improved Galloup Style Link (it's a long winded video but the gill trick is worth it.) Twist a small wisp of Tan Ice Dub between yer thumb and fore finger and give it a nice one direction booger roll. Tie it in exactly 5 segments from start of the tail so the moose pube ribbing aids in holding the gills secure.
Pull the mess of gill booger back and install your favorite wing case material. I have been using strips of a very expensive rain jacket someone left in my boat. Some air brush work to mottle the material can increase hook ups by over 28%.
Trim the gills
Separate legs on the sides of the fly while dubbing the thorax. Using lightly dubbed thread to hold the legs back helps to not sever them with tightly wrapped small thread. That being said I keep on fishing flies as the delicates fall off. Just fish for dumb fish, dumb fish don't care about tails and legs and such. They probably give zero shits about gills as well.
2 clumps, split, is standard, 1 works just as well and 3 looks wicked cool brah.
Leave your legs long for fast water, cut them shorter when you are getting to the technical junk
This little bit has been leaving marks.
Spring is coming and the Vail Rod and Gun water on the Eagle continues to open up more and more every day now. Book a trip