I have my personal feeling about what fishing means to myself and it is quite simple....fun. But, I have run across others who try to suck to fun out of a relatively enjoyable sport. There are times of frustration when you encounter boat trouble, leaky waders, breaking a rod or other equipment failure. It is part of the game and it happens to every one of us at one time or another where our luck is in short supply on a given day.
This article was motivated by a fishing report I had read on one of my favorite rivers, the Pere Marquette. I prefer to fish the flies only section which is also catch and release. The rules are simple, no creel limit and tackle is restricted to artificial flies only.
Yet the article in question turned from a fishing report into a minor rant about people who use beads. Using a single bead unattached to the hook does not constitute it being a fly. However using beads in the creation of a fly is perfectly legal. Over the years I have had unfortunately run into "the elitist" who tend to think there is more to the rules than they appear.
When I first started fishing the PM I was in my early 20's and of moderate means. I didn't have the extra cash for a fly rod and reel, so I used a spinning outfit. A 12 foot fiberglass Heddon Silver King rod with a Cardinal 4 reel loaded with 10lb test and a drift rig with a fly. I could not tell you how many people told me I was illegal and I needed to leave the river or I would be reported, my gear confiscated, and then jailed and sent to hell shortly after....
I have since had several fly rods and reels and have made a couple as well including tying my own flies, but the rules are still the same as back then. I have even seen some guys with a long casting rod using a slip bobber with a fly on the end, often a weighted eggs sucking leach or something with weighted eyes. I even know of guys who tie flies on jig hooks so the ride better under a bobber. Never have I thought of threatening them with what the DNR would do once they got a hold of them, but I have secretly praised them for trying something new, for thinking outside of the box while yet staying within the boundaries of the regulations.
Before I get into an idea of using beads into tying a great imitation of a steelhead's favorite treat, SPAWN! I had dared to ask a local shop worker if it was legal to apply a scent to an egg pattern. There are many, many egg patterns in use and I tie several, my favorite being the nuke egg. The response I received was not surprising, but the reaction was. The individual looked at me with a diabolical stare and said that scents were not to be allowed because it went against the integrity of fly fishing. Nowhere have I seen this in the regulations and have even brought it up to a DNR officer. The response I got from a person of authority was that there was nothing in the book that stated the use of scents in a flies only section was prohibited. I still have never tried it, but I'm sure others have and they have been within their legal right.
I have decided to make a fly that resembles a spawn sac made from beads. The idea is simple and the materials are readily available.
I present to you the 'Cody Sac' fly. I will get to the reason for the naming in a bit so hang with me.
Besides a vise I used a bobbin with white thread, a bobbin threader, scissors, a whip finisher, and size 6 tiemco hooks.
and BEADS! 6mm for salmon egg imitation, or 5mm for steelhead or brown eggs. You can but several different colors, but I originally started with three that looked close to color of natural roe.
The reason for the naming of the fly is because of a secret material I have used. It is Shetland Sheepdog fur, specifically the undercoat. It is the the purest natural white and it has a slight frizz to it. The fur was graciously donated by my canine companion......You guessed it! Cody
Shetland Sheepdogs have many endearing qualities; they are intelligent, fiercely loyal, energetic, loving, great with kids and other pets, movie star good looks, easy to train, etc. The one thing is they are hairy beasts and do they shed. They require a decent amount of brushing especially since they seem to always run through patches of stick tites! So I had all this hair and there goes the bright light and the wheels start churning.
Another key element was the use of transparent beading cord most commonly used in the crafting world. I experimented with braid and mono, but the cord gave the beads the ability to move a bit especially in the 2 bead version. You can find this at any craft store for around $3
The beauty of this pattern is in the simplicity and low cost. When finished it looks exactly like a milting spawn sac without the netting.
Step 1. Put hook in vise. Wrap the white thread around hook 5-6 times and trim excess. Grab a generous glob of white fuzz and wrap on hook. Optional: before the white fuzz add ice dub to taste then apply fuzz after.
Step 2. Cut a small piece of the stretch cord (approx 4 inches). Insert 4 beads onto the bobbin threader.
Step 3. Pull stretch cord through top of the bobbin threader about half way then fold back and hold with two fingers. Slide the 4 beads onto the thread.
Step 4. Firmly holding one end of the stretch cord, pull the bobbin threader away slowly until the other end comes free.
Step 5. Take the two ended of the stretch cord and make two half hitches.
When its tied it should make a square of beads.
Step 7. Wrap over the top over beads in an X pattern several times until you get the desired shape. It seemed no matter how I tried it the 4 beads turned into a spawn sac shape naturally. Finish of the fly to preference. I like using a whip finisher myself.
All that's left is to trim excess thread. Apply head cement, zap gap, or super glue as desired.
I experimented with several colors and one combo had no fuzz, but tons of ice dub. I even wrapped it in between the eggs to give the sensation off a massive milt with flash. I used green beads and green ice dub as well.
Another variation is using 2 beads with a loose cord to give the beads (eggs) more movement. This version is similar to a fly made by Josh Smith. This version remains unnamed, but I'm leaning towards 'Cajones'
All in all the purpose of this post was to rant a little about people who take themselves too seriously. Life is an incredible journey that's only as fun as you let it be. Follow the regulations in your area and respect your fellow anglers. Offer help, encouragement, and fellowship. It will only enhance your memories and experiences.
In closing I couldn't couldn't mention Cody the wonder dog without his adorable sidekick (and sister)
Kirrah, the sweetest pup who gives daily hugs!
During my exhausting and extensive research I came across some guidlines everyone should follow when applicable to your situation. May you always find what you seek while fishing. May the sun and wind always be in your favor, may the water always be cool and the fish plentiful, large, feisty, and very hungry!