The Trout Line December 20, 2021


December 20, 2021


Welcome to The Trout Line Newsletter! This is our Tualatin Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter newsletter that will be coming out twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month.


Fly of the Month - WD40

Written by Mike Gentry

Before you ask - no, I have no idea how this fly got its name.  For all I know, it could have been that some old tier, being sufficiently “oiled” one evening, decided to play around with his vise and it just emerged.  Whatever its evolution, I’m just glad that I stumbled across it one year fishing in Montana.  The tailwater section of the Ruby River outside of Alder holds some noteworthy browns and rainbows, but after several hours of fishing and a dozen changes of flies, I admitted defeat and headed back to the lodge.  Over a glass of wine, I poured out my woes to a friend, only to have him smile, go over to the fly bins and retrieve a small speck.  Turns out it was his go-to for the conditions on the Ruby.  The next morning, a half-dozen memorable fish proved him right.  It’s simple to tie and has been in my arsenal ever since, on any waters where either insect is found.
Hook:                            Tiemco 100, size 16 to 24
Thread:                         Olive or olive brown 8/0
Tail and wing case:     Natural light bronze mallard
Abdomen:                    The working thread
Thorax:                         Muskrat fur
1.  Start the thread just behind the eye and wind to the start of the curve of the hook.

2.  At that point, tie in a small clump (half a dozen splines or so) of mallard to create a tail about as long as from there to the eye. The splines should be long enough so that the forward ends stick out past the eye half an inch or more.

3.   Keeping the splines on top of the hook, wind the thread compactly (no gaps between the thread wraps) to about halfway to the front of the eye, then compactly back to the tie-in point and again back to the halfway point.

4.  Bend the splines up and back over the rear of the hook to keep them out of the way.

5.  Dub in a ball of muskrat fur to make a prominent roundish thorax, tapering to just shy of the back of the eye.

6.  Gently pull the mallard splines over the top of the thorax and down to the back of the eye, and tie off and clip. 

7.  Finish the head and seal with a tiny drop of head cement, being sure to run something (I use a tiny hackle piece) through the eye to clear any cement before it dries.
This pattern works for both Baetis (best:  size 18-20) and midges (best:  size 20-24).  I fish it emerger-style in the film for either, or a few inches below a dry for a Baetis.  Try it – you’ll like it!




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