Interactive Book Report - Art Flick's Streamside Guide

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Interactive Book Report - Art Flick's Streamside Guide

Postby letumgo » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:12 am

I would like to try something new. An interactive book report. Here's the idea. I'd like to have a conversation about insects, and to frame the discussion around a little book which I hope many members may already own. In this case, I'd like to start out with a book titled "Art Flick's new Streamside Guide to naturals and their imitations", by Art Flick (Crown Publishers, Inc. NY/Catalog No. 70-95614/Published in 1969).

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I was recently flipping thru my copy, and was surprised to find a little streamside identification guide as part of the dust jacket of the book. The identification guide was folded under the dust jacket, and I had not noticed it before. One of the things that struck me about the identification guide, was how few flies were called out, and how simple the identification guide is to use. This is ideal for beginners, and simple minded folks like me.

ART FLICK"S FAST STREAMSIDE IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
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At the back of this book, are several tables, summarizing more details about each insect (sizes, coloration, recommended hook sizes):
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And now for the interactive part. I would love to have people pick any particular insect listed above, and share photos of the insect, links to external references, what their favorite pattern is for a particular insect, and when/how the fly is fished.

INSECT IMITATION:
- Iron Blue Dun
- Quill Gordon
- Hendrickson (female)
- Hendrickson (male)
- Pale Evening Dun
- March Brown
- Grey Fox
- Cahill
- Green Drake
- Dun Variant (Leadwing)
- Cream Variant
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Re: Interactive Book Report - Art Flick's Streamside Guide

Postby Tom Smithwick » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:12 am

I started fly fishing in 1968, knowing absolutely nothing. I had memories of seeing fly fishermen in The Salmon River in Connecticut when I was younger, and fished the place with worms and a spinning rod, but nothing else. I soon realized my ignorance, and the guy at the fly shop sold me this book, which must have just come out, or maybe I had the first edition. I loaned my original copy, never got it back, and later replaced it. This is the book that got me thinking like a fly fisherman. I did not know anyone who fly fished, shops were few and far between, and none of the resources that people have today to learn even existed at the time. This book was it for me, until I ran across Leisenring and Hidy in 1976, by which time I had also discovered TU, fly fishing was becoming popular, and different ways of learning opened up.
This is a small book, necessarily limited in scope, but just as useful today as it was then.
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Re: Interactive Book Report - Art Flick's Streamside Guide

Postby Smuggler » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:28 am

Good stuff Tom. This was a pretty good guide for me when I first was getting into fly fishing. I sat and studied this for what seemed like hours each night.

Ray: What a fantastic idea this is! I'd like to provide my own pictures of the Mayflies listed above but, I think they we're lost when my desktop took a crap. I'll have to wait till spring when the bugs start moving again.
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Re: Interactive Book Report - Art Flick's Streamside Guide

Postby William Anderson » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:28 am

Ray this is a great idea. It might be interesting as we sample the patterns listed in the books for those in other regions to share their versions as well. Flick's Catskill hatches are fairly specific to his water, but there will be variations that are interesting.

One of the things that catapulted my interest and tying when I first started with Jason Neuswanger's website - http://www.TroutNut.com. It's still an amazing resource. His fly pics are taken from the East and Midwest waters but they are a good representation of the bugs Flick would have recognized. His photography made a huge impression on me.

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This March Brown Photo has been etched in my brain for a long time.

And here is the shot you took of a March Brown on the Willowemoc or the Beaverkill a couple seasons ago.

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Edit: 2-11-15

I thought I would mention that Jason was a friend of Mark Libertone and was gracious enough to host Mark's websites once Mark knew he would no longer be able to maintain them. We have a lot to thank Jason for in keeping those sites available.

I thought I would drop my recent pattern that attempts an impression of this very fly and based on Ray's photo. I tied so many variations at the time I hardly have the muster to go ahead and fill a row in my box with this pattern, but I'll fish a few this season and if it proves a good producer, I'll try it again next season.

March Brown Flymph V7 - partridge tail and hackle, red fox mask pre-spun on orange silk, pale yellow buttonhole twist rib, red fox head.
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I know some of you posted comments regarding the March Browns in my earlier dressing post, but I would be curious to see folks favorite nymphs, flymphs, dries, spinners, emergers, etc for this fly as well. (Ray I hope that doesn't muddy your intention. If so...delete this last comment. :D ) Bill's probably got an immaculate comparadun for this pattern.
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Re: Interactive Book Report - Art Flick's Streamside Guide

Postby letumgo » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:51 pm

I've had Jason's www.TroutNut.com web site bookmarked for several years now. I have found it to be a fantastic reference. I have often taken insect photos, and not known what it was. Jason's site has allowed me to make identifications after returning home and doing a little image comparisons.
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Re: Interactive Book Report - Art Flick's Streamside Guide

Postby Old Hat » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:04 pm

I'll run on a little more with the March Browns.

First I noticed that Mr. Flick's Streamside guide that is posted is for adult insects (dry flies) and not nymphs.

As I have investigated more into some of my books on the MB it is clear that the MB on the west and the MB on the east are not only different species but different Genus. March browns in the west are made up of predominantly 4 species of the Genus Rhrithrogena where march browns of the east are of the Genus Stenonema are more recently called Maccaffertium. This would lend to some of the discrepancies in size and color. It makes a little difference for us as hatch matchers but probably little difference for the fish on either coast. All the resources I looked at stated the Rhithrogena (Western March Brown) is available in the east but is a non-factor for fly fishing. All of them lend this to water condition and that Rhrithrogena is very dependent on a healthy system and that many eastern streams have at one time or another not been able to support them. My favorite resource for mayflies of the west is Western Mayfly Hatches: From the Rockies to the Pacific by Rick Hafele and Dave Hughes. This book was published about 4 years after I started to really fish wet flies. It was a March Brown flymph pattern that got me into flymphs. The pattern I used was listed in Dave Hughes' book Wet Flies. There is a march brown flymph pattern in there which is listed as follows.

Hook: 2x stout, #12-16
Thread: Crimson red Pearsall's Gossamer silk
Hackle: Furnace or brown hen
Tails: 2-3 pheasant center tail fibers
Body: Dark hare's ear fur spun on crimson silk

Nearly the same pattern is found in Western Mayfly Hatches with the pattern being accredited to Rick Hafele which only adds a gold rib, which I now use on all my MB patterns.

This is the pattern that introduced me to flymphs. Hafele writes in Western Mayfly Hatches: " This dressing, based not he notes of Pete hide and James Lessening in the classic The Art of Tying the Wet Fly and Fishing the Flymph, was worked out early in our pursuit of this hatch, and continues to take trout to this day. If we (Hafele, Hughes) were to be restricted to one fly to fish throughout a western March Brown hatch, this might be it."

I haven't tied it in a while so decided I would give it a go.

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Below is a fine picture of a Western March Brown taken by Arlen Thomason who authored and took all the photos in the book Bug Water which I know at least a few of you have. I met Arlen early in my fishing through an online site forum which did worlds to help me with my fly fishing. The site is called Westfly and has a great easy to use format to investigate fishing pertinent information on western hatches. Here is the link: http://www.west-fly-fishing.com/entomology/entomology.shtml The site is administered by another western author and fly fisherman Scott Richmond.

Rhrithrogena MB Oregon.jpg
Rhrithrogena MB Oregon.jpg (36.87 KiB) Viewed 3719 times


Now Hafele's flymph is not a bad representation of this and the mature nymphs of the these will have very dark wing pads, which would be represented well by the furnace hen option in the pattern recipe.

Why the red silk though?

Well, if we look at another photo, found on the site William listed (Trout Nut), of the underside of a Rhithrogena nymph we can see why. I have confirmed this color over and over again on many streams and rivers in Oregon and especially on the Deschutes River where I first fished this pattern.

Rhrithrogena MB underbodies.jpg
Rhrithrogena MB underbodies.jpg (104.01 KiB) Viewed 3742 times


Do fish recognize color and key in on it? I think there is little doubt in this matter. Do the fish care if the color is in the head, along the body or in the tail? I'm not so sure. More important is that it is present.

Now to throw a small loop in the matter let's take a look at a sample of an Eastern March Brown (Maccaffertium) that was collected from the Beaverkill River and shown on the TroutNut site.

Maccaffertium Beaverkill MB.jpg
Maccaffertium Beaverkill MB.jpg (85.85 KiB) Viewed 3727 times


If I am not mistaken, the Western March Brown flymph pattern listed by Hughes and Hafele would be a very appropriate match for this sample collected on the Beaverkill. Do these Beaverkill MB have the red underneath? I don't know. But tied with the red or without, this Western March Brown pattern would, I believe do very well for fishing the March Brown hatch on a famous Eastern river. ;)

That's all I got. Thanks Ray for inspiring me to to look a little closer these aquatic critters and reintroducing me to somewhat lost pattern in my box. It will never be absent again.
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Re: Interactive Book Report - Art Flick's Streamside Guide

Postby letumgo » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:52 pm

Guys - Thank you for the great posts. This is exactly the sort of interaction I was hoping for. Not just on this particular book, but other references for your areas, patterns which work for particular insects.

Carl - What a great addition. I loved reading thru your post, and learning about the differences between the eastern and western insects. I received one of Rick Hafele's other books for Christmas (viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6032&start=0). Excellent book. I will be adding the Western Mayfly book to my Amazon wishlist.

Your post reminded me of one day's fishing during the first flymph gathering. William and I were fishing together and we decided to fish a set of flies from one of the forum swaps. I distinctly remember looking at the bright red coloration of some of the hotspot flies and figured we would not encounter any insects with similar coloration. But I was wrong. To my surprise, William turned over a rock and found an insect which looked almost exactly like one of the wingless wet flies.

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It was cool to see the streamside confirmation of the matching naturals, and even more fun to catch trout on these patterns.

Here are a few trout that William caught:
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Here is one I caught on my Hemorrhoid Hares Ear:
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Here is another local insect which was a dead ringer for one of William's flies:
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Watching William turning over rocks and collecting insects was inspiring. He came back to the cabin with a jar full of different bugs.
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