Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fly of the Week: Brownie Shellback

Many people think that the best working flys and dark and drab. It's (theoretically) harder for the fish to make out details of the pattern, since it is dark it works well in murky water, but since it is a little featureless it works well in clear water too.

Conversely, some think that the best patterns are bright, eye catching attractor patterns. Go figure.

I fall into a little bit of both camps. Catch me on the stream, and I'll have have some bright, flashy purple Rainbow Princes snuggled up next to some stoneflys and some Black Berthas. It's my experience that if one won't work, the other will. And if there is anything that I learned in the Boy Scouts, it's to be prepared( and how to light things on fire.)

So with that in mind, here's a drab blob that I'm calling the Brownie Shellback. Part Nymph, part Scud, all fish catching machine. This is also the first fly I tied using the new Allen hooks. I had a little trouble using them in my new Renzetti vice, but since I'm still a little shaky on using a rotary vice, I'm blaming it on operator error.  Basically, I had problems going all the way back on the hook shank, so I stopped using the rotary and spun the thread the old fashioned way.

Brownie Shellback
Hook: Size 12 Caddis style
Thread: Brown 210
Abdomen: brown thread tapered to thorax.
Thorax: Purple peacock herl
Shell: mottled orange thin skin.