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Tuesday, 2022-08-09

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The Snowdrop

A misunderstanding, going back to April 1988 is responsible for the conception of this, really easy to tie, pattern. Raymond Richard Robinson gave me, on the banks of the Owenea, the description of a superb sea trout fly, which, unfortunately, was not available in the shops anymore.
What I produced, according to his description, disappointed him slightly; sort of. We put it on nevertheless: caught sea trout, brown trout and even a good few salmon as extra bonus on it.
It should always be fished at the point, the currants have to play with it. Early season brown trout are very keen on the fly.


Size 10 to 14 ( singles for trout, trebles for salmon ) is what Snowdrops are best tied on.

Thread - black
Tag - oval silver
Tail - few fibres of a white hen hackle
Body - flat silver
Ribbing - oval silver
Hackle - white hen or cock, two turns



The Snowdrop

Wind in Willie

Paddy O' stood in the door of his cottage. He looked down to the river; it had rained all day yesterday and half the night. Now it looked like the sun would appear any moment to break the clouds and turn it into a good day, good enough to work in the bog.
Paddy walked over to the shed, got his rod, an ancient split cane with Nottingham-reel. The rings, zinced wire, bent and wound on with insulating tape, didn't look as elegant as the original ones had, but they did the job. He always kept worms in the old paint bucket.
Working in the bog and fishing belonged together, always had. The river was just below and when a fresh fish showed, everything was dropped in favour of a half hour's fishing. For generations that has been the custom, the pool was even named after Paddy's family.
Turning turf and heaping it, always six or seven pieces, stack beside stack, that was what Paddy wanted to do that day: getting the turf ready to dry - and maybe there was a chance of catching a fish. The rain should have brought a few salmon up.
So, our man walked down to the bog with his gear. Almost deaf William M. sat already at the pool, carefully watching his rod tip, a fact which didn't disturb Paddy at first.
Old Willie always sinks his worms with much too much lead, he hasn't a clue how to catch salmon. You have to comb the pool with your worm; just a few shots of lead; it's a skill man; Paddy leant his rod against a bright yellow blooming gorse bush and began heaping turf.
Willie didn't see the fish rolling in the middle of the currant.
Paddy did. Just head and tail; he saw that it was a fresh fish too, shining silver fifteen pounds or so. And he guessed: the only place worth fishing for that salmon is exactly where old Willie sits.
Another stack of turf heaped, Paddy O' straightened to stretch his back, and that fish showed again; silvery and fresh from the tide, surfaced at the same spot. Again Willie sat motionless.

Has he gone blind on top of his deafness? Paddy grabbed rod and worm bucket, walked over to the river, placed himself right beside Willie.
Hallo Paddy, that's a grand day today now.
Not too bad. Paddy watched Willie reading the words off his lips, spoke slow and clear: how is the fishing going, anything happening?
Willie shook his head, haven't seen a thing, maybe it's still a bit early in the year.
Haven't seen a thing, repeated Paddy very low, hardly moving his lips at all this time, his thoughts already racing ahead.
But you never know, maybe there's an odd one around, Willie gazed at his rod tip. Paddy stared at the place where the salmon had splashed, then slowly back to Willie on his rock and at the stone on the ground behind Willie. Paddy carefully walked a step back, then like lightening he bent down, grabbed the stone and hid it behind his back. A glance down at Willie convinced him the action had passed unnoticed. Paddy reached back a long way and threw as far as he could down river.
Poor Willie didn't hear the impact; the schemer had to tap his shoulder and point out the big concentric rings, there was a good fish below, he said loud and clear into Willie's face.
The trick worked well: it didn't take a minute and poor Willie walked down river to cast his worms at exactly that place where the stone had landed.
Paddy O' baited up. The worms passed the spot three times , the fourth time he felt a gentle tug, waited a few seconds, struck hard. The fish raced down river, the old Nottingham reel rattled and screamed. Wind in Willie! Paddy foresaw disaster, wind in Willie!! he screamed. But Willie sat motionless at his rod, only when his rod tip jolted vehemently, because the hooked salmon swam across the line, that he got up and struck.
Paddy's rod jerked down heftily before it swung up again; he retrieved the broken and slack line immediately.
Did you see that !? Willie, who still had no clue what had happened to him, turned round, did you see that take?! But I must have missed him somehow; would you believe it?!
Looked like a very good fish Willie, very good fish, said Paddy, not too loud, before he walked back to his bog. That day he didn't look down to the pool again, to see whether a fresh salmon might show.