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Roosters and Flies

March 31, 2010

I tied up the first fly of 2010 last night. I call it a rat-head rooster dropper. Appetizing, I know, but what fish find appetizing can be surprising. I don’t fly fish, generally, so I tie flies as droppers to mimic bait fish. It’s amazing how often the fish will take the dropper over the lure. We had so much success with the burnt sienna Jimmy droppers we tied up last year, from a long-departed rooster of mine, that I thought we might have fun testing Artemis Poof-head’s feathers, which are basically orange and black. These droppers are meant to be used at night, fishing from the beach or some other shore. This ‘masterpiece’ was tied using Poof-head feathers, a little black maribou, bucktail (or Toggenburg hair) and a little flashabou. I tie Lefty’s Deceivers and Clouser Minnows almost exclusively, and I do not purport to have any great skill at either, but if the fish bite it, who cares about its prettiness?

Poof-head Bantam Polish Rooster

While Poofy’s feathers are interesting, he is still alive and kicking, so I had to hold him upside down to put him in a trance (try it, it really works) and clip feathers off his saddle hackle. His neck hackle is not yet long enough. There is, however, a rooster stalking the premises that is in desperate need of a trip to “The Farm.” That’s the imaginary cattle farm with acres upon acres of brilliant green pasture and not a human in sight for miles. The little bugger who attacked me in the woods a few days ago also came after my 11-year-old and later tried to get in a position to attack the 2-year-old. With three roosters supplying support, protection and action for 20 hens, Charlie is not long for this Earth. But his hackles are fantastic and so interesting with their white spots on the ends. I think the fish will like. My only debate is whether to take him out now before he gets somebody’s eye or wait just a little bit to allow his hackles to grow longer. I think I’m going to err on the side of caution. You can’t buy a new eye.

Charlie Speckled Sussex Rooster

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