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View Full Version : Clinch River: Sulphur Hatch [May 2011]


MadisonBoats
05-23-2011, 09:00 PM
I have fished the sulphur hatch on the Clinch River quiet a bit in the past week. The hatch seems to start around 11:00 AM and runs steadily until the generators disperse them. I focused on throwing dry flies for two-solid days. However; I could not get consistent action with any of my dry flies.

The water was extremely clear and it seemed that most of the rising fish were taking emergent sulphurs and not adult duns.

I switched to my trusty Umpqua split case and it worked very well. My friend Mihai hooked a 20" rainbow on the third fish after changing to the nymph. We fished it on a short drop (~8-12") to take advantage of the rising fish and to keep it in their focal range. We used the weighted version of this nymph; however, the unweighted would work equally as well by allowing it to float close to the film. This technique helps to illustrate the nymph holding on to the bottom of the surface film.

From most of my observations and hours of underwater video this past week; the fish were hitting emergent nymphs and not dries or adult duns. Hence; that is why I came up thin using my dry flies. You will do well on weighted nymphs and floating nymphs. If you want to focus on top-water action; throw an unweighted nymph to a rise and let it static drift in the film. It will out fish your dry flies.

Here are some pictures to help illustrate the conditions.

Fly of choice:
http://www.shopflyfishingspecialties.com/images/P/splitcasemayfly.jpg
http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/248907_10150271770448319_718858318_8907657_6459404 _n.jpg
http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/250318_10150271771203319_718858318_8907663_4422476 _n.jpg
http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/247171_10150271770878319_718858318_8907661_6009493 _n.jpg

Regards,
SM

ChemEAngler
05-23-2011, 09:29 PM
Thanks for the update. I would love to get over there sometime midweek this week, just waiting for TVA to cooperate. Somebody told me that they went this past weekend and it was a zoo, and it was the most crowded they had ever seen it. Plus I saw Daniel's post about one man counting 43 other fishermen on the water with him. I can only imagine how nuts that place will be with the upcoming long holiday weekend.

I prefer to use my sulfur hackle stacker pattern when they are taking the cripples and emergers in the film. Guess I need to check my supply in case I get the chance to head that way.

MadisonBoats
05-23-2011, 09:55 PM
Saturday was a Trout Unlimited event at the Second Baptist Church area. I counted 55 people on the river from the 61 bridge to the top of the island. However; there were numerous opportunities to fish to a rise. Cripples and emergers will keep you in the fish if you are throwing to a rise. Otherwise; I would throw a weighted split-case.

If you get them on dry flies; please try and capture it on film.:smile:

Here are a few more pictures...
http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/229582_10150271768048319_718858318_8907640_7875854 _n.jpg
http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/248288_10150271771488319_718858318_8907665_7108474 _n.jpg

kentuckytroutbum
05-24-2011, 08:43 AM
Shawn-

Those are GREAT photos, thanks for sharing them with us. I love it when someone gets a good photo of the hatch up close. You can really see what is happening. :biggrin:

Bill

truchin
05-24-2011, 09:56 AM
Shawn very good observations.
I've had the same experience as far as patterns but cdc emergers on the swing also produced well.
This is the most prolific hatch i can remember.
good luck to all and try to preserve the experience /resource...
jose

Corbo
05-25-2011, 06:50 AM
Thanks for info Shawn; so far I have not wade fished the Clinch....Suphurs are one of my favorite hatches anywhere.

Ben to the Holston at Nance's and had a blast... many guides in drifters upset with poor results on the caddis hatch... We were whacking them on caddis emergers and para sulphurs. The hatch there was very mixed; even saw tan stuff that looked like a size 10 mayfly (which they ignored)! The Sulphur hatch was thin but many fish seemed to key on them.

Fished a 2 weight in the wind to handicap myself against my son who fished a six; might be old and broken down but I waded for 10 hours and kicked butt... cunning and experience beat youth and stamina.

Question: Is the access to highway 61 area at the bridge and is parking self evident?

Hope to run into you sometime as you are about as obsessed as it gets.

mstone
05-25-2011, 07:52 AM
The jail area was as crowded as I have ever seen it. However, most folks stayed in one spot during the hatch. Just the right amount of sulphurs came off. It was tough using dries, but I managed a few nice fish. I counted 48 people at one time in that area. Two people next to me caught more than most folks, but they knew nothing about playing the fish. Fifteen minutes to land a eighteen inch trout is WAY to long. This happened with every fish they caught ( or killed ). Wanted to say something but I didn't. It was good to get on the river.

MadisonBoats
05-25-2011, 08:52 AM
.....
Question: Is the access to highway 61 area at the bridge and is parking self evident?

Hope to run into you sometime as you are about as obsessed as it gets.

Well, just MapQuest Second Baptist Church in Clinton. The access is located beside the church. The designated parking area for fishermen is in the lot behind the church next to the river.

Funny; my brother says that I get too obsessed at times. It does not always equate to landing more fish. Sometimes I have to just step back and listen to friends with more experience to keep me grounded and in the fish.:rolleyes:

The jail area was as crowded as I have ever seen it. However, most folks stayed in one spot during the hatch. Just the right amount of sulphurs came off. It was tough using dries, but I managed a few nice fish. I counted 48 people at one time in that area. Two people next to me caught more than most folks, but they knew nothing about playing the fish. Fifteen minutes to land a eighteen inch trout is WAY to long. This happened with every fish they caught ( or killed ). Wanted to say something but I didn't. It was good to get on the river.

I counted 55 on Saturday. However; there was a Trout Unlimited Event going on at the same time. There was plenty of room as you stated.

I hope that was not me and my friend playing that fish too long. He hooked at 20" and had to play the fish longer than normal. He had forgotten his net and he was struggling to get it in. He also has Parkinson's Disease that gives him some extra struggles in landing larger fish. I had to walk up stream to help him with a net. We spent about 5 minutes rehabbing the fish and did not let him loose until he could adequately swim on his on. That was not the ideal way to land a fish; but, it happened and we made the best of it. I apologize if we were any distraction. He got a little excited too:smile:.

ChemEAngler
05-25-2011, 01:06 PM
Chose to take the morning off today and fish the Clinch. Got in the water at 7:15, and fished till about 10:00. Only caught one 12" fish from 7:15 till 9:30, then it was like somebody flipped the switch. From 9:30 till 10:00 I landed 6 and had 3 others get off. At one time I had hooked fish on 6 out of 8 casts. It was a good morning once the fog burned off. All were hooked on a #16 flashback pheasant tail beneath an indicator. Unfortunately had to leave then to get to work in time for a meeting. If I were to go this weekend, I would try to be there around 8:00 to be in position by 9:00 before the crowds show up. The bugs were really starting to pop as I walked out, so I can only imagine that it would have gotten better. Surface activity was basically non-existent until I started to leave.

Most were 10-12", but I caught one around 14" and one around 17". Wish I could have stayed longer, I had the place all to myself.

It has been 6 weeks since I last wet a line, and it showed today. My casts were off, and my mending took some time to recover. So, maybe that could also account for the delay in my catching. Possibly I was just spooking fish with my drag and casts early on, that otherwise should have been caught.

mstone
05-25-2011, 11:20 PM
Madison Boats,
that may have been me next to you on Saturday. I was just concerned for the welfare of those fish. I considered that maybe you guys were fishing really light tippet or something. You guys hooked up more than anyone else. I admire your friend for getting out and wading with Parkinson's. Funny thing, earlier before you guys came in, I fished that stretch hard with PT's and a zebra midge and never had a strike. Fish were waiting for the sulphurs I suppose. Hoping for some wadeable water this weekend. See you on the river.

Corbo
05-26-2011, 07:57 PM
Shawn,

I just knew that somehow I would eventually wind up going to church..... or at least a church parking lot!

55 fishing in one area? YIKES!! Sure hope there is room to spread out there when I do get the chance to fish it.

On Saturday I'm returning to Nance's to seek out a huge rainbow I accidentally hooked last weekend... long story but I hope he's still around as I'm gonna take a six instead of a 2 weight and plan to throw Montreal Whore streamers at him. Weird thing is that I had let my fly go past me after an upstream cast so I could dip my hat in the water to cool my skull and the fish ate my size 18 sulphur parachute just off my left hip... then he swum in front of me upstream and wrapped a large rock only to stall out right in front of me! He just pulled away on my fly facing directly toward me only 2 feet away till the 6x popped!

Scientists claim men think about sex every couple minutes their entire lives... I think about fly fishing more often than that! Wondering if anyone ever studied how often flyfishers think about flyfishing?

I'm pathetic....

MadisonBoats
05-27-2011, 10:49 PM
Good luck Corbo...The church is a great place to fish and meet new friends. The wading area extends about 3/4 of a mile; so, there are plenty opportunities to fish.

Here are a few sulphur nymphs I seined from the river. Be mindful; they are light yellow in color with a black thorax. Not your regular BHPT color. Also; you can throw unweighted nymphs below you to a rise and allow the nymph to float at the surface film. Be patient and let your drifts extend to 3-5 minutes and one will pop it. Also, the majority of the nymphs I seined were a hook size of 16-18. Hope this helps...


If you get a chance to fish the sulphur hatch; you will not many fish are rising-but, I have seen very few take the adult flies. Most are taking the sure bet of hitting an inverse sulphur nestled on the bottom of the water film.
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/255044_10150276555088319_718858318_8944847_3053850 _n.jpg
http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/246944_10150276555118319_718858318_8944850_3929120 _n.jpg

Corbo
05-28-2011, 10:19 PM
Well Shawn I think you have a classic case of obsessive compulsive nymphing disorder if you drift a nymph for several minutes at a time. LOL Great pictures!

I actually tie some of my sulphur parachutes with a badger hackle that makes a black dot at the wing post.

The technique you describe is commonly used by some folks up in Maine and is referred as "bowling for brown trout"...

How do yellow CDC emergers work for you guys?

Is this an all day hatch? Morning, afternoon? The Sulphurs back in Maine were pretty much a 1:30 Pm hatch and you could set your watch by them.

MadisonBoats
05-29-2011, 07:50 AM
Well Shawn I think you have a classic case of obsessive compulsive nymphing disorder if you drift a nymph for several minutes at a time. LOL Great pictures!
..................................
The technique you describe is commonly used by some folks up in Maine and is referred as "bowling for brown trout"...
Actually, I do have some extra-ordinary (time-wise) drifts when I fish the Clinch. I really do not enjoy fishing nymphs or streamers. I actually enjoy throwing dry flies when the fish should not be hitting them. However; the fishing can be super slow with that approach.

*The nymphs move sideways, upstream, and just about every other way you can think of..:eek: [behind ripples/in pools]. I have a great video I shot the other day that illustrates this point. I will try to upload it to my Facebook Page and attach a link in this post.
..................................
How do yellow CDC emergers work for you guys?I have not fished any lately. I hear emergers are working very well. I just need to tie some up. I usually throw this emerger from Umpqua. It is one of two flies I usually purchase.
http://littleriveroutfitters.com/store/files/master/catagories/flies/f0406.jpg
..................................
Is this an all day hatch? Morning, afternoon? The Sulphurs back in Maine were pretty much a 1:30 Pm hatch and you could set your watch by them. Usually, the Clinch is a pretty consistent hatch when it starts to come off. I have noted that is usually starts (Adult) around 11-11:30am at the lower end and it runs pretty solid until it clouds up or the water starts generating. I have not seen any hatches on the upper end; due to the generators starting so early in the AM. At the halfway distance in the river; I usually see mostly clingers waiting to release. However; there are some adults hatching at this point. The last 2/3 of the river is pretty consistent with adult Sulphurs all the way down to Dismal Bluff (Basically, the end of the tailwater).

silvercreek
05-29-2011, 08:24 AM
Thanks for the detailed info and great underwater photos. I'm always interested in seeing what the trout sees. Always gives me some new ideas. Silvercreek

MadisonBoats
05-29-2011, 08:27 AM
I tried adding this video very quick to help illustrate the underwater nymphs. I have to head to church; so, I did not have time to clean it up. It seems Facebook removed some of the quality. I may have to try another one later at a higher quality setting....

http://www.facebook.com/v/10150277711108319
(http://%3Cobject%20width=)

fourx
05-29-2011, 09:25 AM
Looking at the current "suphur nymph" population on the Clinch makes me wonder if they aren't PMD's? PMD nymphs are very yellow and pale whereas sulphurs are usually dark. PMD and sulphur dries can often be fished with either representation.
Have we got a new bug on our river? Hmm?

4X

MadisonBoats
05-29-2011, 12:08 PM
This is from one of my favorite books called HATCHES; The FAMILY EPHEMERELLIDAE, GENUS EPHEMERELLA, Species: invaria (common name Sulphur, Pale Evening Dun), rotunda (common name Dark Hendrickson, Red Quill -- now Sulphur), and dorothea (common name Pale Evening Dun, Sulphur, Little Maryatt, Pale Watery Dun). These three mayflies, plus a few less predominant species, represent the eastern hatches most commonly called Sulphurs. I have pictures of all of these during the past month. The nymphs in my sampling case are the majority that were seined on May 23, 2011.

I try to keep things simple when talking Sulphurs as not to get in to a pi&&ing contest that can become quite complicated and intricate; plus, waste allot of information sharing time. If you look on the Regional Map of Tennessee that charts the different types of hatches per county; you will notice that there is a broad distinction of hatches from county to county. It is extremely interesting and enlightening. I think the link is on the Univ. of TN website(?).

If we do get a new species on the Clinch; I found it:biggrin: Just kidding fourx...

Corbo
05-29-2011, 08:38 PM
OMG.... now we're getting into latin stuff!

Not having been here in TN very long I'm no expert on local bugs.

BUT

Red Quills look nothing like Dorothea or Rotunda (both essentially what most folks call "Sulphurs") and Hendricksons are actually Female red Quills.

I love tailwaters but my observation is that Dams that operate "run of river" like those in much of New England the Mayflies seem to do better in terms of numbers and variety of species... this may also be a temperature thing as well but I think that the raising and lowering in level and the velocity changes have much to do with what species will survive in Southern Tailwaters.


I would be Wicked Curious to know whether there are mayfly hatches ABOVE Norris Lake on the free flowing Clinch river?

There is no doubt cold water from the bottom of Norris "creates: a trout fishery but does it create a mayfly habitat?

Is there no caddis hatch at the Clinch? There are Caddis on the Holston below Cherokee and I think it is due to greater nutrient.... essentially poop from farms.

Where I live-d in Maine the hatches were always best where the river ran along farm land... more bugs. Downstream of towns with wastewater treatment the trout grew huge but too much chemical to eat them.

I've always wondered why TRICOS and other western bugs couldn't be transplanted to eastern waters?

So I visited the Clinch behind the Church today; met a nice guy Ben and another awesome guy, Steve, who is wicked experienced with the Clinch bugs and is a TU member according to Ben.



Didn't fish as I am too exhausted from work and fishing yesterday but plan to fish the Clinch next Saturday and maybe bump into some of you guys.

Madison Boats, Shawn.... have you thought of tying a Klinkhammer design for these film sucking trout?

MadisonBoats
05-29-2011, 11:21 PM
OMG.... now we're getting into latin stuff!

Not having been here in TN very long I'm no expert on local bugs.

BUT

Red Quills look nothing like Dorothea or Rotunda (both essentially what most folks call "Sulphurs") and Hendricksons are actually Female red Quills.

I love tailwaters but my observation is that Dams that operate "run of river" like those in much of New England the Mayflies seem to do better in terms of numbers and variety of species... this may also be a temperature thing as well but I think that the raising and lowering in level and the velocity changes have much to do with what species will survive in Southern Tailwaters.


I would be Wicked Curious to know whether there are mayfly hatches ABOVE Norris Lake on the free flowing Clinch river?

There is no doubt cold water from the bottom of Norris "creates: a trout fishery but does it create a mayfly habitat?

Is there no caddis hatch at the Clinch? There are Caddis on the Holston below Cherokee and I think it is due to greater nutrient.... essentially poop from farms.

Where I live-d in Maine the hatches were always best where the river ran along farm land... more bugs. Downstream of towns with wastewater treatment the trout grew huge but too much chemical to eat them.

I've always wondered why TRICOS and other western bugs couldn't be transplanted to eastern waters?

So I visited the Clinch behind the Church today; met a nice guy Ben and another awesome guy, Steve, who is wicked experienced with the Clinch bugs and is a TU member according to Ben.



Didn't fish as I am too exhausted from work and fishing yesterday but plan to fish the Clinch next Saturday and maybe bump into some of you guys.

Madison Boats, Shawn.... have you thought of tying a Klinkhammer design for these film sucking trout?

Corbo, you are welcome to fish with me any time. Norris lake has many sulphurs and the upper tributaries of the Clinch/Powell inlets produce different styles of macro-invertebrates. I have tons of information, daily logs, samplings, etc. to detail the Clinch hatch. However; I do not want to debate these issues on the internet. I have been working closely with several of my TWRA/TVA/ & Audubon contacts in disseminating the insects I have been collecting.

Send me an email if you want to know more detail about the Clinch. I will be on the next shocking run with TWRA cataloging the fish.:biggrin:

Corbo
05-30-2011, 04:32 AM
Not trying to debate bugs.... Fish would laugh if they knew all the fuss Fly fishers have made about bugs.

I've pretty much given away all my "bug books" or lent them out and not got them back... my tied flies for waters where I used to live were based on my experiences, essentially what type bug and where in the water column they wanted it at various times of year.... I suppose I will really enjoy the same learning curve here in TN!

BTW I too enjoy "pushing" a trout to take a dry or surface emerger when they're eating below. I tie the prettiest parachutes on the planet but my nymph tying absolutely scares fish away.

MadisonBoats
05-31-2011, 10:34 AM
Not trying to debate bugs.... Fish would laugh if they knew all the fuss Fly fishers have made about bugs.

I've pretty much given away all my "bug books" or lent them out and not got them back... my tied flies for waters where I used to live were based on my experiences, essentially what type bug and where in the water column they wanted it at various times of year.... I suppose I will really enjoy the same learning curve here in TN!

BTW I too enjoy "pushing" a trout to take a dry or surface emerger when they're eating below. I tie the prettiest parachutes on the planet but my nymph tying absolutely scares fish away.

No worries bro...I guess I was just being testy.:rolleyes: It gets tough trying to help others and fight off naysayers. However; that is the story of my life and I fight off negativity with a passion. Enough said...

I saw very few bugs this weekend. I came prepared with some newly tied emergers and the adult flies were very sparse.

Corbo
06-01-2011, 08:57 PM
I hope to go to the Clinch (behind the Church) on Sunday morning as I must work Saturday to get rid of debris on an "open dump day" in K-ville.

Against the high numbers of fly fishers who frequent the area these fish must have seen it all... hopefully I will find the river full of fish and barren of anglers.

Perhaps I'll bump into a few of you guys.

As I have a bad back and a gimp right foot I use a heavy aluminum wading staff (also good for punishing would be muggers & spin fishers) so I'm not to hard to spot.

rbreedi1
06-01-2011, 09:04 PM
Good luck Corbo.. There shouldnt be as many people on Sunday. Be sure to let us know how you do.

Corbo
06-02-2011, 09:48 PM
Now it looks like I may have to "work" Sunday so I'm hopefully gonna go saturday

MadisonBoats
06-03-2011, 08:16 AM
......

As I have a bad back and a gimp right foot I use a heavy aluminum wading staff (also good for punishing would be muggers & spin fishers) so I'm not to hard to spot.

I can relate bro... I have a fused lower back and I have the neck next and another vertebrae in the lower back after that. I usually wear a back support brace. However; it gets hot as heck during this time of year.

Also, the sulphur hatch has slowed down immensely. I suspect it will now become more intermittent.

bcstream
06-03-2011, 12:31 PM
Fished millers yesterday after the pulse until noon....the morning was fantastic with lots of takers and quality fish on my favorite color midge. Once the fog came off the water there was a sparse sulphur hatch, but not too many risers. Most were sipping under the film so I switched to a 16 sulphur soft hackle I tied. I was swinging it with a 2 inch strip every 10 seconds which worked great. Wish I didn't have to be at work in Knoxville by 1:30 or I would have made my way down river to get some more time on the water. (highlight of the day was seeing a bobcat)

Fly recipe
thread: cream
body: sulphur dubbing
rib: gold ultra wire
tail: light ginger
hackle: light ginger
thorax: peacock herl

PS: sorry no pics..between being technoligically challenged and not having photobucket Im not sure how to post pics.

ChemEAngler
06-03-2011, 02:55 PM
Made it out again this morning from 7:00 till 11:15. My buddy and I found ourselves all alone on the water until about 10:30.

Threw some big meat from 7:00 till 8:00 with some chasers, but no hookups.

8:00 switched over to a double FBPT rig, and had a few hookups and a couple to hand.

Once again, around 9:00 the fish started to get active. So, I tied on my sulfur hackle stacker cripple with a standard pheasant tail dropper. Fish were crushing the cripple and ignoring the dropper. Eventually hooked a piggie who liked it so much he wouldn't give it back to me. Broke him off in a deep run.

Around 10:30 I moved into one of my more productive runs in the area, and proceeded to pluck a good number of fish out of there on the FBPT. About 11:00 I caught back up with my fishing buddy, and watched one of the other fishermen land a couple decent bows before tearing ourselves away to go into work.

Great morning on the water. We each caught decent numbers of fish, lost a few, and had a couple breakoffs. Most fish were on the smaller size, anywhere from 10 - 13". However, we did catch four in the slot. As I was leaving a couple other guys showed up. I am still amazed at how many people completely ignore the water I catch 90% of my fish in, to go on to more fishy looking water even if there are other people fishing there.

Summary:
Water Temp - 54 deg
Color - Clear
Conditions - Clear Skies and getting hot
Flies - FBPT, PT, & Sulfur Hackle Stacker Cripple
Rig - 8.5' 5-wt, 12' 5X leader w/ 3' 6X fluoro tippet

MadisonBoats
06-03-2011, 07:48 PM
Travis,
You must have been in some early cold water... I did not get a temperature below 58 degrees in the past few days I have fished the upper tailwater. I was thinking the lower limnology of the lake was right at 58 degrees. That has been my average the past 15 or so readings in the last week or so. 62 is the key temperature for sulphur action and they have been right on cue. However; fishing the upper stretches limits the amount of adult sulphurs due to the propagation period.

Basically, all you have to do is throw a lightly weighted bhpt to catch a fish on every catch. Note; fellas-the stockers are congregated in pools below the song bird trail, Millers Island, and Peach Orchard. So; it may seem that you have found a honey hole; but, you could throw just about any fly in your box to them and get a take.

If you are fishing the upper tailwater with the limited propagation of the sulphurs; I would throw an unweighted hairs ear in a lower drift in the film. However; this fly kills them and is easy to tie.

http://theflystop.com/aecommerce/product/1037/orginal1.jpg
If you want to work a rise; just throw a nice griffiths' gnat and bounce it for a trigger effect.

Expect small-stocker fish with these methods; but plenty of fish to hand. The fly pictured above will give you a bit more action with the big boys if you have patience letting it dance behind the shoals.

I have some spectacular underwater video from the past week and I hope to get it posted this weekend. Send me a FB add to see most of my stuff.

See you all tomorrow...
SM

ChemEAngler
06-03-2011, 10:25 PM
Shawn,

That temp was taken on the lower river at about 7:30 this morning. I can say that the water did feel very cold through my waders this morning compared to last week. But, I could have just been standing still in deep water for longer periods of time.

As far as the thermometer goes, I have not checked its accuracy. It is one of the Orvis digital thermometers, and I wouldn't put it past them to distribute those without a calibration.

MadisonBoats
06-04-2011, 11:05 AM
Shawn,

That temp was taken on the lower river at about 7:30 this morning. I can say that the water did feel very cold through my waders this morning compared to last week. But, I could have just been standing still in deep water for longer periods of time.

As far as the thermometer goes, I have not checked its accuracy. It is one of the Orvis digital thermometers, and I wouldn't put it past them to distribute those without a calibration.

Thanks Travis for answering. I have had issues with discrepancies in my thermometers before. I have been using one of the metal tube type thermometers that allows me to drop it on a rope at different depths from my waist. It seems pretty accurate from checking it with other devices.

You reading was probably correct at that time frame and being close to the dam. Actually, I need to clarify that I have not checked that area in about a month or so-at that time frame.

Thanks for your report and helpful information bud.

This fly has been working very well for me lately and if you tie it; keep it unweighted.

NOTE: I found this picture on the net; I actually tie mine with with a reverse pheasant tail wrap forward, add a wire rib; then flare the pheasant tail ends back.
http://theflystop.com/aecommerce/product/1037/orginal1.jpg