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!


Brk Trt said...

There is another pattern you may want to try when your seeking wild brook trout.
"Wardens Worry" wonderful Maine pattern that turns heads here in CT. waters.

Awesome dessert.

Peter F. said...

Hi Brk Trt! Funny you should mention the Wardens Worry. I was checking that pattern out just yesterday in one of my old browsing books, Flies For Trout by Dick Stewart, p119. Very similar pattern to the Dark Edson Tiger. Turns out that dessert comes from the 1969 version of the Pillsbury Bake-Off cookbook.