Saturday, May 3, 2008

"A Blue Fly? It'll Never Work"

The Mystery That Is The Blue Upright

The mayfly here in Nova Scotia occurs in the first two weeks of May. Medium sized, black flies, come to life in swarms and the trout gorge on them for a two or three week stretch. As a young fly fisherman who never had an abundance of flies in his possesion, the older brother of one of my best friends gave me a fly since i ran out. The fly he passed me was a peacock quill body, and a blue hackle, with Grey wings. I looked at him strangely, and asked if that would really work. "You'll see" he said. And i did. So, look at the pictures below:

The grey wings make sense. The peacock quill body also is a good representation. What about that blue hackle and blue tail though? Where does that come into play? That day i got my first one i wondered that quickly to myself, and continued fishing. It worked. Much better than the black flies i had been using. In all of my years since, it has been a superior fly. In all of those years, i wondered why, and kept fishing. A biologist i met, gave me what sounds like a reasonable answer.

The key to a Blue Upright working so well over a black quill with black hackle rests in it's profile. Cast the two flies side by side, the same size pattern, and the black quill will look bigger. From below the water, it looks bigger still. The blue hackle on an upright allows light to pass through it, giving it a slimmer profile, and a more realistic look to a rising fish. I rarely use a black quill anymore, although i carry some for darker days. However the Blue Upright is Nova Scotia's premier dry fly, and a fly no one should be out the first of May fishing without.

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