Friday, February 17, 2012

Fly Fishing: Fly Friday

Legend has it circa 1900, Idahoan Carter Harrison created the Trude fly; named it for his friend A. S. Trude. The original is said to have sported a red-brown body and wing, brown hackle and no tail. No peacock herl either which, of course, along with the down-wing (Trude style, if you will) are signatures of the many modern-day variations still evolving a century and change later.  

Sometime later it became de rigeur to include a tail; most often golden pheasant tippet fibers. But even that has more or less fallen by the wayside. These days I see more Trudes sporting woodchuck or moose body hair tails or even stiff hackle fibers.

The down-wing remains but even that has been much bastardized—calf-tail is probably the most common but I’ve seen and tied Trudes wearing bucktail, elk-hair and deer-hair wings and recently I saw some small one tied with the foot-hair of the snowshoe hare; very nice, by the way, and said to float better too, always a plus in my book.

Most popular in show goes to the Royal Trude, with the Lime Trude probably a close second. Not to be denied purple (imagine) made something a splash last season on the Big Hole, how long that rage will last is of course anyone’s guess. Also last season I had good luck during the Big Hole skwala hatch fishing a Peacock Trude; said to be a creation of Bitterroot guru, Chuck Stranahan; no surprise there being as the Bitterroot is generally considered to be ground zero for the mysterious skwala hatch which, by the way, is probably starting about now to awake from its long winter nap.

With exceptions for variations such as the peacock skwala fraud Trudes, like their upwing cousins the Wulff family, are tied as attractor patterns. As the years roll on I find myself fishing them more and more. A great option for pounding ‘em up in pocket water,  riffles, tight to the bank, even as lake flies. I’ve also had good luck at times fishing ‘em classic wet fly style…you know down and across. OK, not exactly wet because of the inherent bouancy more like damp and waking the surface…Bottom line Trudes flat out git ‘er done…one a those try it you might like it deals…I rest my case.

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