Thompson River - Spey Pages
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2001, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: Mr.ShanksDate: 8/26/2001 12:51 PM
I planning a trip to the Thompson River the first week in Nov. any suggestion on what flies I'll need (size, colour, tubes) Also what hooks are best suited for running behind Tube flies.
Thanks
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2001, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: PoulDate: 8/28/2001 3:26 AM
In early Nov. I'd have no problem restricting myself to only a sparse Lady Caroline on a 1/0 Tiemco 7999.  I use a flourescent pale orange tying thread which gives the olive/rusty brown seal dubbing a bit of an underglow and the Fl. head probably helps a bit in low light.  The general coloration of this fly is a good match for the river bottom, and hence, in my theoretical mind anyway, similar in color most of the aquatic insects that live there.  Regardless of why it works, I have total confidence in this fly, esp. since 1997, when I landed five consecutive Thompson SH in about 2 hours out of one short stretch of river, all on the same fly (since retired).  I don't expect to repeat this experience, at least not on the Thompson.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2001, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: Mr.ShanksDate: 8/28/2001 4:46 AM
Thanks Poul
 I'm really looking forward to the trip west, What rod (wt.) do you use on the Thompson and 
how do you put in your Mallard wing on the Lady Caroline? Thanks again
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2001, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: DanaDate: 8/28/2001 6:29 PM
The critical element on the Thompson is confidence, so it is really important to use flies you believe in--these will keep you in the water during those looooooong spaces between strikes. On the Thompson, you can expect to go 3 - 5 days or more without a touch (the Thompson can be and most often is the steelheader's ultimate endurance test), so you must have absolute faith in your bugs. Most any fly will do the trick, although darker buggy flies are fairly popular on the T. If you can get your hands on a copy of Art Lingren's Thompson River book published by Frank Amato you'll find a good list of patterns. Poul's Lady C will work, black GPs in various sizes, and stonefly-style patterns work well too. As a change up take some bright bugs along--the orange GP is a good change-of-pace fly that accounts for many fish.

I now use tube flies exclusively for steelehad and have found that a few hooks serve my needs well. The Tiemco 105 #4 is hard to beat, and put many Dean River fish on the beach during a recent trip. I also like the new Tiemco Superpoints in a #6, although the wire might seem a touch light for T-fish. Dinally, Hunters markets the Partridge Nordic Single Tube Fly hook, which is excellent, especially in larger sizes for big dressings like the Black Marabou GP (we tie these on 2" tubes for dressings up to 5" long on the Thompson during low light conditions).
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2001, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: DanaDate: 8/28/2001 6:57 PM
A few other points (and sorry about the typos in the last reply!):

Fly Sizes: you'll need big bugs for low light (or "wake 'em up") conditions, and smaller flies (down to @ #6 or so) for low water or bright sun, flat water conditions.

Rods: two-handers, 9 weight being a good all-round Thompson rod. 14ft - 15ft are good lengths for the Thompson's big pools.

Reels: capacity is critical on the Thompson. Be sure you have at least 150 yards of backing--this is probably the only steelhead river where you might actually need that much. Heavy duty drags are optional--you just need to prevent your reel from backspooling when a hot fish runs.

Methods: floating line/wet fly methods predominate on the Thompson, but dry flies can pull fish up too if conditions are right. With the early November pressure it might be tough to get a fish to come up, but try them late in the day. If you REALLY need a fish, sink tips can also be productive at times, especially when pressure is intense.

Strategy: fish early and late if you can. Most early risers are off the water having breakfast by 9 or 10, and a mid-morning run through a pool that was busy an hour before can sometimes produce a fish. Thompson steelhead will bite well all day long, but after lots of wading or gear traffic they get close-mouthed and can be tough to move.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2001, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: PoulDate: 8/29/2001 1:30 AM
Most folks tie the LC with a typical spey fly low set roof-like tent wing (not the correct technical description, but you'll probably know what I mean).  I prefer to fold a small slip of mallard twice, and mount the wing vertically in traditional wet fly fashion as opposed to flat. The mounted wing should only be about 1/8th to 5/32" wide.  I think this lets the fly sink faster and makes it more stable in the current.  I fish a floating line down and across with a 20' leader and, in softer flows, hook bottom regularly in 5 foot depths.  When temp drops in late Dec or in some very low light situations, I use the same fly with a fl. orange mallard wing on a 2/0, which fishes even deeper.  On both versions, I add 2 crystal flash "horns".  I haven't found sink-tips necessary on the Thompson, and have caught fish on the floating line right through to New Years, even with ice-burgs flowing out of the Nicola.  No doubt sink tips will work better at times, but I didn't book vacation and drive 300k to fish a sink tip (I'm really not a purist/snob, just a crummy caster!)
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2001, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: Mr.ShanksDate: 8/29/2001 5:06 AM
Thanks Dana & Poul for the information.
Dana: were can I get tubes and the hooks you mentioned?
 
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2001, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: DanaDate: 8/29/2001 5:37 AM
The Tiemco hooks should be available most anywhere--they are the "little" single egg hooks, the #105s. The Partridge Nordic Single Tube Fly hooks are available through Hunter's Angling Supplies (http://www.huntersangling.com). For tubes I mostly use small diameter air brake hosing available through auto supply retailers--I'm not sure what the inside diameter is but the eye of the Tiemco hook in size 4 fits nicely inside the tube, although  hookups seem just as sure with the hook trailing loose behind the fly. Another option is plastic Q-Tip Swab spaces--go into Wal-Mart and look at their selection of cotton swabs. You'll find some with plastic spacers in a variety of colors.
 
I just got interested in tubes over the past year and my experiences are convincing me that they really do "hook-and-hold" more fish--the short shanked hooks make quite a difference, especially when fish take directly below you.
 
I tend to tie my tubes mostly in-the-round, although some of my patterns call for a dorsal/ventral configuration. I don't think the fish care too much though--pretty much anything in the right size for the conditions will work--as my pal Kush says, "Just chuck something out there and every once in a while one of 'em comes along and yanks on it!"
 
I posted these flies on another thread, but they are worth recording here again.  This is my Thompson Tube that has worked well for me on the Thompson and Dean rivers on 1/2in through 1in tubes. They're supposed to look kinda stonefly-ish, and the fish take them quite confidently:
 
 
 
Kush ties the big GPs--black and orange--as tubes, and they are worth a swing on the T as well:
 
 
 
 
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Dana & Poul
Dana: would I be pushing my luck to ask you for the recipes of the flies on your responce.
Thanks
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: DanaDate: 8/30/2001 5:34 PM
the recipes for these bugs can be found at http://flyfishingforum.com/flytalk/index.htm. Scroll down to "Archive of Salmon and Steelhead Flies", click on the link and then look for the threads "Tyler's Tubes" and "Thompson Tube."
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2001, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: DanaDate: 8/30/2001 5:36 PM
that link didn't take:

http://www.flyfishingforum.com/flytalk/index.htm
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2001, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: PoulDate: 8/31/2001 2:29 AM
I tie the LC as follows:
 
hook:  7999   # 8 to 2/0
thread:  8/0 fl. orange (or maroon on small sizes)
tail:  red gp breast
body: 50% med olive and 50% rusty orange seal, sparse but brushed out
rib: wide flat gold
body hackle:  grey heron, long but sparse on front half of body only.  Reverse rib of silver wire
hackle:  red gp
horns:  crystal flash
wing:  folded dark mallard or fl. orange mallard
 
(I've also started tying it low water style on 200R #8's and 10's with coot hackle instead of gp, leaving off the heron, and using it as a Drunella Dodsi emerger while trout fishing.  I suspect the small LC's resemblence to green drake emergers is one reason it works so well for summer-runs)
 
Poul
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2001, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originator: Mr.ShanksDate: 8/31/2001 5:01 AM
Hi Poul & Dana
Thanks again for your help, I've printed out the fly info. Now it's time to crank up the old vise, and get tying.
Thanks ever so much.
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