Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Fly A Day - Day 7

The Parmachene Belle

My grandfather used to tell me that in Newfoundland, they would cut a fin off of a caught Brookie, and midge it to a hook to use as bait for more Trout. Sounds like cannibalism i know, but that was what they did, and it worked. That is a long standing story about catching trout. Two flies imitate this failry well, the Parmachene Belle is one, and the Trout Fin is another. The "Parma Bell" as it is known here, has it's roots in Maine, but uses a formula common to many trout flies, proven later by experiment, known only from experience before. The relationship of colour.

Ask any old salt Brook Trout fisherman what wet flies work in the Maritimes, and he will likely tell you something with red or yellow in it, or both. In the 1950 book "The Life Story Of A Fish", by Brian Curtis, he mentions experiments done with Trout and Bass that prove what the old anglers already knew. They like red and yellow in their bait colours over anything else. The Parmachene Belle brings the two colours together with a bit of flash, and a dash of white, and has proven to be a goto fly for the early summer seatrout runs, as well as a sturdy stillwater fly.

The Parma Bell, like many of its married wing wetfly counterparts were popularized by Ray Bergman, was first tied around 1878 by Henry P. Wells, and named after Lake Parmachene. The fly uses married duck quils to create a white over red over white wing, back over a yellow body, with silver rib wound the length of the body. A red and white hackle throat and red tail rund out a classic looking wet fly. The fly may be 130 years old, but it is as effective today in the trout waters of Nova Scotia as it was back then. It is an early to mid summer must have. The pattern is shown below.

Hook: Mustad 3399, #8
Tail: Red and White
Butt: Black
Rib: Flat Silver Tinsel
Body: Yellow Floss
Hackle: Mixed red and white
Wing: White with a Red Stripe

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