This past week I have been wondering if the Striperheads 2016 Clave is going ahead because I normally have heard something. Now I have, the clave is being held Thursday September the 29th through to Sunday October the 2nd. It is late this year has it is hoped that there will be more chance of getting lower temperatures that are more associated with fall and hungry Striped Bass.
The clave headquarters is Nickerston Camp site, Area 4 with a pot luck food get together on the Saturday. Most people stay for longer, I hope to get the time of and make the long journey over the pond but it will be for a week only.
Well, today saw me back on the river or should that be stream. I had a couple of hours on Bideford brook just like this time last year and there were a few differences. First, it didn’t feel quite so warm, no warming sun but clouds, the water seemed a little cooler and murky. This may have affected the keenest of the trout to rise to the few dark olives and smaller bugs that were hatching. I could have used a little nymph but there was a slight snag…they were back in the car in the their proper box after last night tidy up of the flies. As for the river itself, there were clearly signs of the winter flooding but not to drastic. In many places there wasn’t much change from last year. About half along this stretch of river which is possibly half a mile from the Severn estuary, I was standing by one of the little pools on a sand bar when I disturbed what looked like a Flounder. Now, I know these things can tolerate fresh water but I didn’t expect one this far from the salt.
In preparation of any future trip to Cape Cod for the Stripped Bass I felt that some baitfish that I have posted about before needed to be updated both in size and appearance. By that I mean they had something lacking, flash or the way that it was included within the hair itself. The congo flash mixes went some way towards this but many colours that I wanted along with the affect weren’t quite there or missing this was largely because the colours that I had were solid colours. The answer lay in the baitfish blends, a mix of colours but no flash. I found that this was easy to mix in. This is done in a very similar way to the Farrar blends as well as the dubbing hand mixing technique.
So I started playing around with various ideas and got the results that I was looking for. What I got was a fly with the perfect flash that I like, it can also be varied depending on how much flash that you use. It also occurred to me that out of the Congo blends available, there wasn’t really a tan one that I really liked. So I played some more by blending the Congo mixes myself to get the coloration that I wanted. The whole idea is that you take the colours that you want from the skeins of solid colour, not equal amounts from each but what you want to achieve the final result and while you ‘mix’ the hair you also add a flash material that compliments the colour that you want. The variations are limitless so either go mad and tie lots and lots and be over run with baitfish or concentrate on the colours found in the wild.
A selection of baitfish
What is missing from the flies is a tail. I may go the extra mile and find a way to do this but these flies look just fine for fishing.