He didn't know the name of the fly. He did know that it would catch trout though. He went as far as proving it yesterday afternoon while we were fishing the Ancient Boulders.
After he got through showing off, Merc cut the fly loose and handed it to me and asked me to see if I could duplicate the pattern. At that time, all I had was my regular glasses on and I couldn't really tell much about the fly. The fly went on the patch to be carried home to the deep dark laboratory of fly tying madness.
This morning I put the fly in the vise and turned on every light in the room, including all the lamps around the desk. The reading glasses went on because they work like miniature magnifying glasses on me, but, still I really couldn't tell what I needed to know about this fly.
The scalpel came out and the autopsy of this mystery fly from Montana begin. It's my understanding that Merc acquired this particular fly from the Bear Tooth Fly Shop on the Madison river. Yesterday, I don't know exactly how many fish he caught with it because I got rather bored watching him lift his rod tip time and time again. However, the fish he did catch did some damage to the fly and this is one reason it was hard to tell what materials went into the making of this fly.
So with the scalpel in hand I begin dissecting the fly just like we dissected frogs in high school biology. I always wondered where those frogs came from we were slicing open from bottom to throat. At any given time when someone in my biology class was dissecting a frog there were probably two million other kids across the nation doing the same thing. That's a lot of friggin' frogs!
Running the scalpel along the body, I discover the red material that made up the body was red flat tinsel. There was flash pulled over the thorax as a wingcase. Then in dismantling the thorax I discover a really neat colored dubbing - like a UV ice-sparkle-purplish colored dubbing. At first I thought it was purple, but, then it looked like it could be an ice blue. Still not for sure about the color.
Three strands of flash was pulled to each side and then came the... uh, wings... maybe legs... maybe shuck. This material had me puzzled yesterday on the river and although I'm still not absolutely certain what the exact material is... cdc will darn sure work. Cdc is some darn buggy stuff.
Here's what Merc's battle worn fly looked liked when he give it to me.
Deciding to duplicate Merc's mystery fly I quickly took stock of material I had on hand and discovered I was missing most of the required materials. I had no red flat tinsel, no UV ice-sparkle dub in purple or ice blue, no micro flash, and no gray feather material. What I did have was red flash, the ability to make some flash dubbing, regular flash for the sides, and olive cdc.
I put it together to see how it would tie. Here's my attempt using what I had. If I was a fish I would eat it.
In using what was on hand it was easy for me to see how having the correct materials will make all the difference. Flat red tinsel will lay out much better than the bou I used and having the right kind of dubbing will make all the difference too.
What remains the big mystery is the name of this fly. Merc can't remember, and I don't know.
Do you? If so, please leave a comment and enlighten us.