Bruce, good point! I had been thinking of a thrift store golfer's wind breaker (cheap).
I remember once watching a Polar bear hunt seals.
He layed down, and covered his nose with his paws and waited.
Now I see why....
It just came to me one day. First there were fish rising, I walked up in a black fleece coat, and then there were no risers. Surrounded by snow, black isn't sneaky.
I know where your coming from Bigfly, I was out one day and watched bows literaly come full on out of the water, forget rising. I could see nothing on top so I thought maybe BWO emergers, (it was fall) worked through all in the box down to 22. No joy so I switched over to an Adams in 20, nope, go to a 22 Griffin's gnat still nothing. The next day right around the same time the bows started flying again so I just found a good spot out of sight and watched and it was little clumps of midges skating around like Millers Caddis tend to do. There would be a sort of congo line down the seam and when a ball would break off, it didn't last too long until an airborn bow would rocket up from the bottom of the pool. So I got myself into position way the hell up stream made a cast let it drift through and nothing again, 3 more tries till I made a sloppy frustrated mend that shot the fly across the pool BANG!!! It was on, I managed to get quite a few from that small pool before I put them down but I have never seen midge fishing like that before, who would have thought to skate a midge. That was definitely one of the most wicked things I had seen or took part of.
Those flies are really different and I mean different in a good way man! All were nicely done but the Spiders are what caught my eye. Did you, or anyone, notice the ants in one of the compartments of that fly box in the original pictures I posted to the thread. If not maybe go back and take a look, the original 'McMurry Ant' circa 1981. I had a whole bunch of those bodies and now only about a dozen & a half remain. They were a great ant, 2 pieces of balsa wood strung onto mono then dipped in either red or black enamel. You simply lash them to the hook and wide some hackle around to mimic the legs and away you go. The black ones made wasps or winged black ants, when you found wood ants near the creeks those were the stuff to have.
The spider seems to be an overlooked food item. I started tying and trying spiders after hearing about using a 'turk's tarantula', but found that it was just a big leggy hopper. I have seen some silver dollar sized wolf spiders around, and thought that would be the ideal chunk of protein to emulate.
My first spiders were all dubbing and legs, and hooked some nice fish, but they were not buoyant enough. Then came single layer foam, this caught some fish, but required constant floatant application to suspend any other flies.
Then came the double layer glued foam body, black underside, brown top.
This finally had the buoyancy for a good attractor/indicator, but was hard to see unless the light was perfect.
The last version has a colored yarn post for visibility, and a parachute wrap to help it land more quietly... The terrestrial bite has ended for the year, so I am not sure if the bigger fish will take the version with the bright tuft.
Refining the 'indicator spider' has been a fun and ongoing challenge. It has worked well enough that most of my caddis, hoppers, and other good 'point' dries sat unused for a good portion of the summer. The spider is also good when wind or difficult current keeps a perfect drift impossible; big spiders are large enough to move a bit on their own in the water. Slightly twitching the spiders legs or even swimming it slowly draws many strikes, allowing it to be a 'sloppy drifter' that still works.
One of the days that live in infamy for me, was the day every fish in the lake was shopping for skidding/skating spiders. It was the last Fall spider flight/emergence.
Never leave home without a bloody spider....
Wouldn't have thought of the "indy" spider though.
Please continue to think outside the box!
Keep us posted.
Another idea was ladybugs... If you find a swarm there are usually a few thousand. Never seen a ladybug fly at the shop.
Termites. I gutted a big rainbow caught at a reservoir inlet and found its belly full of termites. It appears the thing was hanging by some infested log picking off whoever fell in. Kind of like a tan or brown ant body. It must have had a few hundred inside.
Big purple beetles around pine beetle kill areas in Colorado too.
I found a large ornate caterpillar last summer, threw it on a bare hook to see the response (ok, bait fishing, but it was legal). 1st cast was a hook up, so now I am thinking about prettier caterpillar ties versus simple San Juans too.
Fun to go into the fly shop and look around thinking "What do they NOT carry that fish will eat?
I know for a fact that someone using a perfectly matched caddis or adams with a hare nymph will probably catch more fish. But I really love getting them to take something 'odd'. And Odd sometimes gets that finicky big brown to come out of its hiding spot where the usual stuff is just getting the little guys.
tb, I do lady bugs. They saved the day at Pyramid lake one time. I always carry my tying kit with me, so I ran to the truck, and twisted a few up.
You have to love the warm feeling of breaking the code, and catching fish on fresh flies, when everyone else is just casting.
It just doesn't happen often enough for me. Especially when the "Worlds largest" cuts are sipping. May have strained my heart that day....
Peacock herl under-body, red foam, and a black magic marker for spots. Viola! Another 3-step cure for fish. There is a 5-9 day window here, as a "special".
Every spring they get carried, on down-canyon winds, to become a mass windfall.
A few years ago, in early Spring, I found a bunch estavating under a log, way up on the Sierra crest.
(At that time of year they bite! Which was how "I found them".)
Then, in the Fall, they ride the up-canyon winds to gather again for winter. I'd like to know how they do that......it must be a pheromone.
Termite/ant emergences are a specialty too. When it's hot, it's hot....
But, my "Strange" flies, are giant American Water beetles. It's a "dry" (or at least rides high.), but can be fished on a sinking line too.
Think Junebug. Jeweled and fat, with wiggly legs.. It gets a big reaction from time to time.
They are found all over, just not seen much by us. But the fish know....
This year we also had a tent caterpillar explosion, they were on the water, so I twisted one up. The fish do eat them....Two colors of green buggy dubbing, twisted together around the bend, and a few black rubber legs up front, fished greased.. Easy peazy.
The typical fishes diet is pretty varied. They graze, gulp, sip, slurp, and chase some fast food too.
I think you are correct, we are limited not by the menu, but by our imagination.
This is a grey area though, and I'm pretty sure the dry fly purist wouldn't buy this..
Probably nothing that goes ker-sploop.