February Dry Fly : Griffith’s Gnat

I’ll be completely honest. I did not plan this one. I had all intents to publish and tie a completely different fly for the month of February. However, as in most things, life got in my way and I had to call the audible.

The positive in changing flies for the month actually excites me. I have more materials, and it set in motion a new pattern. Wet fly, dry fly. We’ll see how long that lasts.

I settled on the Griffith’s Gnat because of an article on postflybox.com. I do a good amount of winter fishing for trout, so I enjoyed gathering some ideas from a great resource. I try to set a goal for myself everyday I go fishing, and one that pops up almost every outing is to watch a fish take a dry fly. If you haven’t seen a trout sip down a high floating caddis, or gnat, then you’re missing one of life’s purest joys.

Getting right to the tying, I tied 3 different sizes for my gnats. I started with a size 14. Not too small, and not too big to be unrealistic on the water. With a brown size 8/0 thread, I wrapped the shank half way down and tied in my peacock herl. After trimming the end nearest the hook eye and making sure I had secured the small feather, I tied in the “grizzly” hackle. I use quotations around the word because I have a second confession. I didn’t use actual grizzly hackle. I was cheap, and so I decided a sharpie on a light colored hackle feather was good enough.

Good enough?

After both feather’s were secured, the thread is wrapped forward to just shy of the hook eye. The peacock feather comes forward first, making delicate and tight wraps up the shank taking care not to pull too hard. Once the herl has reached the thread, make one wrap of herl in front of the thread, followed by one wrap of thread behind the last wrap of peacock. dsc07300.jpg

Trim the peacock off at the eye, and then begin to palmer (wrap) the hackle feather forward to the eye of the hook. Using the same method as the peacock to secure the feather, make a wrap in front of the thread, and then make a wrap of thread behind the feather. Once both feathers are secure, finish the fly with a few turns of a whip finisher tool. Make sure and be careful not to wrap the hackle feathers in the whip finishing knot.

I tied 7 different flies that session, 3 different sizes in all. The size 14 and 12 hooks are both going to make killer flies for panfish and warm weather trout. The size 18 will be unstoppable for cold winter days during a hatch of insects. I could see myself using these as an indicator fly with a dropper, in a fly releasing later this month called the White Fluff. The final fly of the night was a fun tie, with no set pattern and nothing in particular in mind. While at the shop, I bought two packs of UV2 materials. I came home with a string of UV2 peacock herl, and purple UV2 dubbing. Erica, the fiancé, wanted a fly tied in purple. What I came up with was a streamer of sorts, white and purple barred marabou tail with a blend of purple, white, and flash dubbing. The head of the fly is a triple wrap of the UV2 peacock herl. It doesn’t necessarily fit the bill of any specific fish or bug, but I know quite a few ponds where I can get a good bass or two on streamers. dsc07307.jpg

While I’m not sure if the UV2 material will be any different than natural and conventional material, I figured I would give it an honest try. The theories behind it seem to make sense, but I’d like to test it myself. Heck, I do live in the “Show Me State”.

Stay tuned for more monthly flies, trips, and results for the UV2 material. The new camera is eager to get a new macro lens, and then the fly videos will start!