A wintery, and definitely gloomy Sunday. The ideal time to tackle new fly ideas on the tying bench. Here’s a photo montage of a spanking new creation, the Ninja (chironomid pupa). The pattern contains many of the qualities I especially like in a midge pupa fly.
This composite photo shows two pics of the same fly. The differences in color come solely from the angle that light falls on the bug. A real shape-shifter! I really like the potential of this design idea, and will tie up a swarm, in different colors, to test this coming season.
The fly shown uses a #12 Daiichi 1150, a 1X heavy hook, ideal for the cranky big rainbows at Crane Prairie reservoir. The bead is black nickel, the collar is orange-dyed (unbleached) peacock herl (a favorite), and the breather gills are Glamour Madeira #201. The construction of the body will remain hush-hush for now, but definitely awesome! I especially like the segmentation, which is done without any wire or ribbing.
More photos later, and reports from the field when fishing season gets underway.
UPDATE: Mon. Feb. 19th
I spent several hours this evening, trying different combinations of base colors and over colors, and this was the one I liked the best. This is a photo composite. All three pics are of the same fly, just posed at different angles to the light.
UPDATE: Feb. 22, 2013
The last three days devoted to a about four dozen flies tied, a high number, at least compared to normal for me. Most were for the Ninja fly development, and mass production of four different varieties (base color and overcolor). Will be sending over a dozen off to friends to try on their waters.
Also tied a couple of Double Bunnys (Scott Sanchez, orig.) for March fishing for Bull Trout.
Creatively exploring a photography problem: how to show the color shifts inherent in this technique – in one photo. One solution is below. All the flies are tied exactly the same. The angle the light is reflected off the fly, determines the appearance. This is a soft gold and warm red version of the Ninja fly.
UPDATE: Sat. March 10th
A report from Walt in Redding, CA who field tested samples I had sent of these new flies. He fished at the nine-acre Rock Creek Lake near Mt. Lassen.
“I went fishing yesterday and used one each of your three flies, they worked great. I fished them two at a time and at different locations on the tippet. I had on a huge trout, it took me into my backing, as it was running out to the middle of the lake. There must have been enough drag on the line in the water, because the tippet/swivel connection improved cinch knot broke. Now there is a trout swimming around with two of your flies in its mouth. The flies look great, and the fish love them.”
UPDATE: March 27th
From Hermann Fischer in Kamloops, British Columbia:
“The chironomids look very good. great job, could eat them myself.”
UPDATE: November 14, 2013
This season, I caught rainbows, eastern brook trout, and kokanee on the red version of the Ninja, so the fly has been popular with the finny set.
A tying segment, and tutorial on the Ninja was part of last Saturday’s full-day workshop in Redding, CA. The fly will also be part of a class for Central Oregon Flyfishers during the Winter Fly Tying Series. A full tutorial will be published on Fly Foundry after that class, likely in March 2014. Sorry for the long wait, but it will be worth it when the fly gets to this site. And you will have plenty of time to crank out a few for the upcoming chironomid season in the spring.
Benson K., who was part of the Redding workshop, tied a variation of the Ninja adding some materials he knew are favored by the Lahontan cutthroats at Pyramid Lake. He just reported today that he caught three cutts in 30 minutes with the fly! The largest fish is shown below, with the enlargement showing the mighty Ninja!
Got this second note from Benson K. Feb.7th:
Hey Wes, just back from two days at Pyramid Lake. And the Ninja was again my top fly. Landed a dozen with largest hitting eleven pounds. Other guys were also catching fish but my Ninja by far had the most grabs and it garnered a lot of attention. Thanks again.
Here’s a photo of a black Ninja version…