Pop’s Bitters and Cushing Dye
Much of the spring and early has been tying flies for our (Judy and I) trip in December to the Bahamas (to chase bonefish). As such, not knowing the conditions, I have been amassing more flies than we need, but this is part of the fun of getting ready.
One observation with bonefish flies, they are really easy-fast to tie, compared to most trout flies and steelhead.
One of the patterns is the Pop’s Bitters, where the fly colour should match the surrounding floor bed, whether it is sand or sea grass (mangroves).
For the lighter sand, I did not want to go with white as it was too bright, so I dye my white deer belly hair to a soft yellow cream.
This is the first time, I used the acid dyes from my mother’s collection (from rug hooking). My pre-existing library used for steelhead and salmon flies are highly saturated (vibrant) colours, but do not always have the feel of earth..
So as illustrated above, I used a little “Buttercup” to dye the white deer-hair to a nice light cream. The light sample was in the bath for about 5 minutes and the deep yellow-orange for about 3 hours (will make a great crawfish colour!).
I really like the natural tone the Cushing Perfection Buttercup Yellow gave, so much that I later dyed my Airflo WF7 40+ flyline to the deeper yellow. Two thumbs up for these dyes.
So yes, we have still been fishing (for smallmouth bass). These pass 2 weeks has been very good, with only last Tuesday requiring concentrated effort to catch-land fish. (The picture was from Monday, the night before when the fishing was easy).
We have most of our success with muddlers – orange and olive – on floating or intermediate lines.
Judy’s casting has really taken up a notch this year and no longer does she lose to the wind. Needs a little more power into the wind, but the timing is good and the line shape is excellent/
The water is warm, seen a lot of damselflies and dragon flies, but not many mayflies. This fish appear to be healthy, as do the frogs, but hopefully this hot summer is not damaging the river.
Last picture …. Judy took a picture of me and my new toy – a Burkheimer 7134-4, when we were fishing on the Ausable. The water was high, we threw streamers and did very well landing Brown Trout, though we took very few pictures.