January 2009

Grampy's GOTO Fly

Jerry Grehl

Grampy's GOTO Fly

Hook: TMC #2457 Scud hook or equivalent, size #20 - 12
Thread: Brown or olive Danville's 6/0 pre-waxed or equivalent
Bead: Black tungsten, appropriate size
Tail: Olive "Zelon" or Anton "sparkle yarn", sparse
Abdomen: 3 to 6 strands rainbow flashabou, depending on hook size
Rib: Red copper wire, medium, small on #20 or #18 hooks
Thorax: Loop-dubbed hare's ear, sparce
Tying Instructions and Pattern History
Tying Instructions
1. Crimp barb and insert bead. Put in vise at an angle
2. Tie in tail. wind down half-way down bend.
3. Tie in copper wire, the end just under bead (to act as an anchor) then back to tail.
4. Tie in 2 - 4 strands of flashabou, wind thread back to bead.
5. Wind flashabou to bead, secure.
6. Wind copper wire evenly space to a point just behind bead, secure.
7. Make a 6" loop with thread, wax it, and insert a small amount of hare's ear dubbing in loop. Be sure to include plenty of little guard hairs
8. Make enough twists of loop, wind hare's ear dub to about the front 1/3 of hook.

The genesis of this fly extends from a spring creek in Allentown, PA called the Little Lehigh, where all the trout have PhD's in entomology to the mighty Missouri below Craig Dam in Montana. Midges, scuds, and emerging caddis and mayflies are always present on these diverse yet paradoxically different rivers. I learned to coax the super persnickety trout of the LittleLehigh with little nothings like "Al's Rat", which consists of nothing more than tying thread on a #26 - 20 hook and a sparse dubbed thorax. I met with limited success and tried a little tinsel instead of plain tying thread for the abdomen. My success ratio increased only marginally. There is a little fly shop near Craig's dam where the owner tied little midge patterns that imitated god-knows-what, but worked when the finicky rainbows fed in pods. I moved to Minnesota from Pennsylvania in 2007. I encountered some difficult trout on little Duschee (pronounced dutchy) Creek near Lanesboro, MN. God knows what they were taking, but I drew on my experiences in PA spring creeks and the tail waters of the Missouri to come up with the "GoTo" fly. It's what I "go to" when all else fails! Is it a scud? a caddis pupa? an emerging Baetis or PMD? a midge perhaps? I asked Piscator and Neptune and they replied, "fish candy!"

Photograph ©2009 by Marv Slind