Posted on March 20, 2012 by Administrator
Well I have posted a number of midge fishing stories , all dealing with the history of the pursuit here . This one , while it is another “tiny fly” story deals more with the future ! One of the best things that I have been fortunate to witness is the growth in the numbers of exceptional young anglers that fish here . These guys can hold their own anywhere and have proven so repeatly on the hallowed limestone streams of the keystone state where they often take the regulars to school ! I recall several of them telling me how a small crowd of Spring Creek regulars couldn’t stand it and had to ask what the heck they (the Elk river contingency) were using and than being amazed by the little #32 flies . Having spent several hundred days there and knowing the pride they take in their abilities up that way , that had to hurt …..
I fully expect this trend to continue . I think it safe to say some of the best midge fishermen in the country now cut their tiny fly teeth on the Lady . She is indeed the home church and one of the few places that people understand that there are times …
When Tiny Isn’t Tiny Enough …….
There has been a lot of talk and a lot of articles written, over the years, about the Elk River 32′s . They ARE micro midges for sure and the 1st look a a person takes at them is often a look of dis-belief . You catch trout on those ? The thing that is hardest to get them to understand is that those micro flies are sometimes not micro enough !
The Old Man and I had our rounds with going smaller yet , cutting off hook shanks to make size 38′s for example , they worked but ultimately we pretty much abandoned them as they were flat out a pain in the behind to tie . This is where it stood for a number of years until the day my friend Jonathan Paine caught the micro fever …..
Jonathan or Brookie as he is known around here , became interested in the 32′s and (as we had years before) soon realized that there were times he knew he could catch even more fish if he could find even smaller flies ! He asked me questions about going smaller than #32 and I told him it was doable but that he might find it would turn out to be more trouble than it was worth . Being an eminently practical sort and not one to be easily discouraged he had a go at it though he approached it a bit differently than Ken and I had . Why cut the hook shank when you can simply tie it “wide body” 1/2 shank ! This is what he did and the Elk River 40′s were born …..
The test run for his new creations took place on the Mill Pool a couple of years ago and it proved to be a very successful test run at that . It was one of those evenings where the fish were rising in pods , there were fishermen everywhere and no one was catching a thing . I am guessing the trout were feeling pretty darned smug at that point . Their smugness was short lived …..
Brookie sat for awhile , watching the trout happily laying a beating on some pretty darned good fishermen . Everyone was shaking their heads , peering into the water , shaking their heads again and changing flies at an alarming pace . Brookie however took at look at the surface , smiled , nodded his head , then tied on the little black “40″ he had showed me earlier and proceeded to open a can of whup-ass on the fish . Rarely has utter defeat been so quickly and completely turned into utter victory ! Fish after fish , they fell for his beyond micro creation and a new chapter was opened in the ongoing Elk River midge saga .People were asking from around the pool “what the heck are you using ” . I wish you could have seen their faces when he replied “#40 black midge ” .”There is no such thing ” was the reply of one fellow , the reply coming as Brookie caught yet another on the non existent fly .
I had a front row seat and from that seat knew I was witnessing Elk River future . I already considered him one of our best but my friend took it to another level that evening and proved to a pool full of anglers that sometimes tiny isn’t tiny enough ! I am thinking the river and the midge fishing tradition here are in good hands for years to come .