The Michigan Wiggler
Sometimes people come into the shop with the most amazing fly patterns. I usually ask people to bring their fly box inside anyway before the jump and start buying new flies. It just seems crazy to me to think of selling people flies if they already have patterns in their box that are perfect for fishing on the South Platte at the time. I realize this strategy might not seem to be the most effective approach for making a profit but hey – I’m not going to sell someone a bead head pheasant tail or an elk hair caddis if they already own twelve of them. Plus there are days in South Park where anything you throw at them will catch a trout On those days especially, it's a great idea to grab that fly you bypassing and lob it out there. Use up all your old beat up flies. Have no idea what this one is for? Now's the time to use it.
In any case, sometimes people go back out to their vehicles and return with their fly boxes in hand and when they open them, the array of patterns can be stunning.
Such was the case today. This guy visiting from Michigan opened his box and I was immediately drawn to these segmented things he called “Michigan Wigglers” which I later learned are a Hexagenia Limbata nymph pattern. A lot of times, people have patterns for their home water that are simply perfect yet untested for our water here in the South Platte. I’ve learned to LOVE poppers, streamers, odd kinds of buggy-eyed minnows, sculpins, muddlers, mice -- even crab patterns! I would likely never have discovered the effectiveness of streamers if it were not for our Iowa guides: Tad and Brennon, who really went nuts over Umpqua’s large streamers for bass and salt water fishing. We bought these patterns and discovered their effectiveness not only for pike in Spinney but also for the big gulper 20-inch plus rainbows and predatory Browns in the canyon.
The flies in this guy’s box today are egg patterns with a gob of synthetic fuzz to emulate the mucus around the egg roe. The segmented ones are the Michigan Wigglers - the Hexagenia (giant mayfly) -- and a worm / egg pattern with a nice kink in the worm.
Super patterns! Made my day!