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Thread: The Sheeps Creek Fly Pattern Series

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Posts
    34

    Default The Sheeps Creek Fly Pattern Series

    After I had completed my 2010 fly pattern testing, I wrote to Reed Curry because I wanted him to know how much his book (THE NEW SCIENTIFIC ANGLING, Trout and Ultraviolet Vision), had helped me to become a much more successful angler. Reed contacted me and said that if I would sent some pictures of the patterns to him, he would publish part of what I had to say on his Contemplative Angler - Over My Waders sight. We were in the middle of the fog season just then, so I had to wait for a sunny day to do a photograph. The flies pictured had all been fish, with some of them having caught in excess of 50 fish. The accompanying article has a materials listing for each of the 4 patterns, and detailed tying instructions to cover the series. If you are interested, here is the link to the article: http://www.overmywaders.com/cblog/in...rl-Klavon.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    918

    Default

    A great pattern. Enjoyed your article.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    6,588

    Thumbs up Sheep Crickin'....

    I too enjoyed the article. One question; why was the hackle used in the Peacock Sheep Creek so small in relation the rest of the tie??? The hackle used on all of the others was much larger (longer??) when compared to the Peacock pattern. BTW, I liked the Peacock Sheep Creek fly better than the others....
    H. L. Mencken was rumored to have once said, Democracy, the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. (paraphrased)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Posts
    34

    Default

    The hackle on the peacock Sheeps Creek pattern is black Starling hackle, that comes from the shoulder, nape of the neck and flank areas of a male starling skin. Starlings are small birds, between sparrow and black birds in size, so their feathers are considerably smaller than the breast feathers found on Teal & Gadwall ducks, Wood Duck flank feathers, Silver Pheasant and Guiena Hen body feathers, which is part of the reason why the Peacock Sheeps Creek pattern is tied on a relatively small size 14 hook, and the other patterns are tied on larger size 12s and a size 10 hooks. I also tied some models with blue peacock shoulder feather as the hackle material, which is more in line with the hackle length of the other patterns. And I caught fish on them but I did not feel they were as effective as the starling and peacock pattern, so they were dropped.

    The Peacock Sheeps Creek was also used as a control pattern to judge the effectiveness of the other colored SC patterns against. It does not have a speckled hackle but the contrast between the starling hackle and the FL Pink butt it is wound through provides plenty of contrasting visual movement for the fish to see as the pattern is being moved through the water or allowed to sink. In spite of peacock herl's visual iridescent qualities that everyone raves about, it is very dark in UV light and provides a solid outline for the fish to see and target when used in combination with the highly UV reflective hackle and butt materials I used in these flies.

    Caddisflies have little to no UV reflection coming from their wings, but moderately bright UV reflectivity is found in their bodies. If you are fond of using peacock herl for the bodies on your down wing caddis and stonefly patterns, Spirit River is now marketing UV-Reflective treated peacock herl eyes, which to our human vision appears no different than what regular peacock herl looks like to the naked eye. With UV reflective materials, we have to take the manufacturer's word for the fact that they are really UV reflective. Fluorescence can be seen under Black Light illumination but UV reflectivity can not be seen with the human eye under any light condition.

    I didn't start out with the Peacock Sheeps Creek pattern in the beginning. What I began with was much closer to Bigg's original Sheep Creek Special pattern. The Peacock Sheeps Creek pattern was the most effective variation on the original pattern that I had tried up to the point where I decided to use the Sheeps Creek pattern as a platform to test Tom Sholseth's theories on how exact imitation is intellectually lazy and not necessarily the most effective path to take in trying to catch fish all the time. Tom's theories proved to be much more effective than I believed they could ever be. The opening and closing of those big, over sized, hackles is a big part of the attractiveness of these flies to the fish, I believe. Give some a try and see what you think.

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