Just a light, simple, floating "Bug". Sparsley tied on a #18 hook, but only use about half of the hook. Thread body, a few turns of hackle trimmed on the bottom for a flush ride, and some antron fibers for a tail/shuck/buggy look. Passes for midges or small mayflies. In the winter, the trout in the rivers I fish aren't too picky if they're eating/rising. I just cast to those. Easy, quick, effective tie. Can make some light, dark, or whatever your fancy.
---------- Post added at 04:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:15 PM ----------
Now, here are a couple of my REAL go-to winter flies. However, I have to "go to" my winter tarpon grounds in the Yucatan or Keys to use them, so I only get to tie them on a few times each winter.
Dennis: Ironic that you bring that fly up. I fish Campeche 2-3 times a year, and do so with the "originator" of that fly, Raul Castaneda. The baby poons down there love it, especially the ones on the clear mangrove edges or a bit off shore. The brighter yellows and reds seem to work best up the creeks or in wind-stained water. I'm headed back down in 5 weeks!
From what I can tell, the splayed hackle version has been around a long time. Joe Brooks, Sea Ducer, Etc. Here is what was supposedly Raul's original "campeche" version. He loves flash, flashabou, etc. It has rabbit, but is harder to cast.
Brooks Tarpon Fly:
All pretty much the same fly. The tarpon don't care what we call it!
UV glue for the head. I ran out of 'hard as hull' cement, but that makes a better hard coat over the UV stuff. Eyes are just simple stick on type under the glue (1/8" size).
I've tied all sorts of streamers in the last few months, but the bellyache is making them all a bit obsolete. Kind of hard to tie on a bugger after watching it get denied, then watching the bellyache get devoured a minute later.
I guess it is similar in style to some of the saltwater baitfish patterns, except for the rabbit strip back. Also, the Gamakatsu hooks are short, sharp, and light. I've been using #2 and #4 sizes. It keeps the little fish from ruining your quarry; they just pick at the tail fibers and miss the hook. The smallest fish that I have hooked on one is about 10". Smaller than that and they just beat it up a bit or leave it alone. This is good around Boulder, because all the good holes have like a dozen little pecker fish, and one or two decent fish that you actually want. I'm catching fewer, but much larger fish.
I will be tying up some black/blue versions for next spring.
A touch of UV callibaetis dubbing makes for a great blueish purple look in the body that is visible at dusk. The original calls for pearl ice dub, but I've played around a bit with tan, olive, and UV fibers. I've used sand, tan, and natural color rabbit strip. Black will be next...
With the heavy tungsten belly and hook riding up, you can troll it along the bottom even letting it pause occasionally. Holding it deep and steady in light current has nabbed most of my fish lately.
Sorry for rambling, can you tell I like to talk about fly fishing?
Blue Poison Tung
Frying Pan River:
Arkansas Below Pueblo:
Two Bit Hooker
Blue Poison Tung
San Juan Worms
These are my go to's and I'll throw new patterns that I make up as well. Most midge patterns in a size 18-22 in mixed colors, experimenting with different variations is also fun to try on these tailwaters. Different wire wraps, expoxy, bright colors, muted colors, etc...