Saturday was a double-header of things I enjoy. Woke up (for the third or fourth time, unfortunately) with a headache and knew I would need some protein to kick off my day.
Almost lost steam when I realized that … I was out of BACON. Sad state of affairs, but it happens.
Today’s differed in a couple of other ways, as well, based on my headache-induced perspective on tastes. The full set of ingredients, using the same process as the previous post on this dish, were as follows:
- Ham, cubed, pan fried in butter (almost bacon!).
- Chopped Kale Salad, wilted in water, small dash of Sweet Riesling, and a tablespoon of Picante sauce, for flavor complexity.
- Sharp cheddar, grated.
- Sweet potato, cubed, pan fried, then softened by steaming in a cup of water with a tablespoon of maple syrup and a teaspoon of soy sauce added.
- 4 good sized brown mushrooms, butter and bacon grease sautéed (we keep bacon grease for future cooking, each time we make it).
- 2 Onions, butter sautéed.
A great start to the day.
Not sure if it was the hearty meal, the multiple cups of coffee, or just relaxing and cooking, but my headache was gone by the time I was finished eating the last omelette of the morning. Reinvigorated, I knocked out mowing the lawn (not a huge job, really, but still sounds like I accomplished a lot), then on to some fly tying!
I moved to a standing desk, several months ago, leaving my old L-Shaped desk lonely. Out of kindness, and owing it some respect after months of long hours of work it helped me with, I set it aside for Fly Tying. Seems right that it should now get to partake in my relaxation, given it’s past work. Today was time to try the Puff Daddy, as used by my buddy KK, when he floated a section of the South Holston River with the guide Jimmy Cheers, of Mountain Sports LTD. KK reported that the Puff Daddy really did an excellent job, so I thought I would give tying them a try. He had provided me with a couple of them as samples, but mine ended up a little bit different. No worries. That’s part of the fun of tying, after all.
- Standard dry fly hooks. I used #12 and #14, today.
- Light yellow thread. 8/0 Veevus on my bobbin.
- Dubbing. I tied a total of 4 flies. Two in each size, with one being Haxagenia dubbing with white CDC, the other Amber dubbing with Amber CDC.
- CDC (yeah, you could have guessed that, given the above comments…sorry).
- New LED bulbs for my lamps. Had to replace one, and did not realize how low the color temp was, until looking at the pictures. Sorry for the gold tint!
That’s it. Pretty simple components and quick pattern to tie.
Lock the hook in the vise and lay down a foundational layer of thread.
When you get back to the top of the bend, apply a thin layer of the dubbing of choice, then wrap back to about one eye length behind the hook eye.
I added a quick layer of thread between the dubbing and the back of the eye, at this point. I know a lot of people try to leave this area just plain clear, to avoid crowding the eye, but for some reason that does not work for me. If I leave the area thin, the items I try to tie in seem to end up migrating forward. My leveling the area off, whatever strange thing I’m doing is prevented, so … it works for me. Once I leveled the area, I tied in the tip end of the CDC.
Trim off the remaining tip, close to the thread, after two or three tight wraps to really lock it down. Half-hitch the thread in place, hang the bobbin on the rest, then rotate the vise head while wrapping the CDC around in tight and close turns. Try to use as much of the CDC as possible (I probably could have gotten another turn, to be honest), then tie it down, trim the remaining CDC stem, and wrap over this area to smooth it out.
Whip finish, then cut the trailing end of the CDC strands roughly even with the bend in the hook.
I cannot wait to try it on my home waters! Jimmy’s advice is to treat the fly with a water repellent dip, right after tying it, then apply a powdered desiccant, riverside, to add to the floating effect. Re-application as needed, of course, but the CDC should fluff out very nicely! I will let you know how they work, once I get them on the river.