Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Dark Edson Tiger. Reinforcements have arrived.

Yes, reinforcements have arrived to fill the breach! After my tying and fishing friend Paul heard that I'd lost my one and only Dark Edson Tiger (which he had given me at a recent trout stream sorté), he tied up a fresh batch in several sizes and variations and mailed them to me.

A couple of posts ago (here and here) I reported on how much fun I'd had with this fly, and that I was disappointed to lose it at a time on a warm-water river when it was proving itself to also be a smallmouth bass streamer of substantial prowess.

Paul has also volunteered to send me some text for a follow up posting.  It will provide additional information about the history of this old fly and how he likes to fish it.  He's been fishing this pattern for over 35 years so I, for one, will listen to what he has to say!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Another day at the Millers River. Trying to think like a stonefly.

It was a hot and humid day on Sunday so I chose a section of the Millers with a straight section running northeast to southwest.  This meant that the prevailing southwesterly breeze could provide me with some natural cooling as I fished for a couple of hours.

I started here and walked downstream

The water was lower than it had been on Friday and along the exposed rocks (not in view here) I could see the dried shucks left by emerged stoneflies.  I figured if I chose a dark fly about the same size at the shucks, that I would be into fish.

Stonefly shuck

One of my favorite flies is from a batch sent to me by Jim LaFevers of Texas.  He calls then Double Hackles.  I wrote about this pattern here and here and here.

"Double Hackle"

I did catch quite a number of smallies deep in the pool created by the back eddie seen in the near side of the first image above.  But most of the fish were up along the rocks of the near side, and for a hundred yards downstream.

Were they there waiting for stoneflies nymphs to migrate to the edge of the river?  Regardless, the olive double hackle did very well for me. It's a sturdy fly, too.  I caught perhaps two dozen smallies of the usual Millers River size (9-10") and the fly still looks as good as new.

This is a dark river, and the fish tend to be dark, too.

I also managed to snap a few photos of colorful flowers or interesting vegetation along the edge of the river, as I walked downstream.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Argh. I lost my only sample of the Dark Edson Tiger

In my last post I wrote about enjoying a bit of streamer fishing for trout on a couple of small NH streams, using a Dark Edson Tiger tied by my friend Paul. So, this past Friday I thought it might be nice to skip the office and head off to the Millers River for smallmouth bass fishing, again with the D/E/T tied to the end of my leader.

The Dark Edson Tiger was terrific.  I've always felt that yellow is a good color for bass, and on this day the D/E/T proved me right.

The smallies (that I catch anyway) on the Millers are not large.  Most are around 9-10"; but, they are strong fighters and good jumpers.  I enjoyed myself immensely.


After perhaps a dozen bass I managed to lose not just my only Dark Edson Tiger, but my tippet and the first section of my leader, all on an underwater tangle of logs and branches.

Thankfully, reinforcements are on the way!  Paul has tied up a half dozen or so and mailed them to me.  They should be sitting on my desk at the office tomorrow.

The Millers River.  This is darker than normal,
due to heavy rain a couple of days prior.

The typical Millers' smallie is 9-10". There are buckets of them.

My best guess is that the smallies like the yellow color and the painted eyes of this Edson Tiger.
About 1 out of 3 smallies on the Millers are nearly black, like this 10-incher.

Monday, July 13, 2015

My introduction to fishing the Dark Edson Tiger

This past Saturday I fished a couple of cold water mountain streams in northern New Hampshire with two good fishing buddies, Paul and Jim.   It's a long day-trip, and we get home late at night; but despite the "windshield time", I enjoy taking these all-day excursions several times each fishing season.

The long drive goes fast because of the conversation and the anticipation of a day filled with wild trout. However, before the actual fishing part of the day begins, we always buoy ourselves with a big decadent breakfast of eggs, meat, and pancakes.  Though I was pretty conservative on this day (see image below), the typical menu item I pick (as did Paul on this day) is something like "Lumberjack Special" or "Hungry Farmer Platter". Even with all the driving, talking and eating, we had our boots in the water a little after 10a.

Peg's Restaurant in Woodstock NH.  A good start to the day:
hash and eggs and a short stack of blueberry pancakes,
with a serving of real maple syrup on the side.

We split up at car.  I gave Jim a spare key, and he went upstream armed with a dry fly, and Paul and I headed downstream.  In most cases while moving downstream I will fish a beadhead or peacock body woolly bugger.  (And then a dry fly on the way back upstream.) Paul on the other hand relies on a 35-year favorite, a dark Edson tiger. That's right. He's been loyal to this streamer for 35 years. It looks the part, as it is an old-fashioned design from a time when flies were simpler and tying materials less varied and certainly less exotic. If I believe my google search, the original Dark Edson Tiger formula was designed by Bill Edson in 1928 or 1929.

Compared with Paul's version below, the original lacked the eyes, had jungle cock cheeks, yellow hackle tips for a tail, a gold tinsel tag, and red squirrel wing, though I have seen variations to this as well.

Not quite the original recipe, but it works.
Below are images from the trip, included a couple of the brookies who fell to the charms of the Dark Edson Tiger.

I did fish a dry fly coming back upstream.
But all I caught was this tree hanging over an alluring pool.


Jim's wife, Susan, packed us some of these bad boys.
I hope she'll share the recipe with me!