|Cannot be shipped outside the US. Gift packaging not available.|
Triple Your Success over Hackled Flies with Herter's "3 to 1"
The “3 to 1” bug came to me almost by accident. I was wrestling with CDC fibers, trying to create a wing silhouette dun pattern for smart, wary trout in the Yampa River in Colorado. A great baetis hatch was in full swing and I had recently been humbled by the trout and a young kid.
It’s bad enough to think you can have every baetis secret known to man in your flyboxes and still have much success. Compound that with a kid from the US Ski Team less than half your age that is slamming fish after fish with a ridiculously oversized fly near you.
“Don’t you have to go train?” I would shout at every hook-up. The tiny town of Steamboat Springs has produced more Olympic athletes than any town in the world and a lot of these guys are first rate fishermen as well. This particular athlete, Travis Mayer, Silver Medalist at Salt Lake, grew up in New York State and fished over many smart trout back East.
“Hackled flies just don’t fool these fish and this CDC fly really fools them,” Travis explained. His New York State experience has served him well and I grudgingly marveled at the skill and results of this young angler. I hadn’t fished many CDC patterns lately, as I always felt they are a good one-fish fly and nearly impossible to float for a second fish. But after watching Travis’s success, I knew I had to find a CDC pattern that would work.
Every day, two seasons ago, I had the good fortune of working near the Yampa, doing stream improvement and building ponds. I was forever finding many creative excuses to drop every thing at 10:30 and race to the Yampa and fish a great baetis hatch.
The river is in a bloom state because the city of Steamboat is doing excellent stream improvement, combined with much better fishing regulations. I regard the Yampa as one of the best dry fly rivers in the West right now and certainly a top proving ground for fly patterns with big smart fish.
While fighting with CDC fibers, I found that by looping the fibers and cutting the loop off at the top, I could create a bug that floated well, gave a wonderful wing silhouette look, fool fish after fish, and more importantly, fool trout, 3 to 1 over any fly I had ever fished.
The pattern is so exciting because it works well as an oversized bug, a great joy for my 55-year-old eyesight. It presents a great wing silhouette look and can be dressed in almost any dry fly pattern-midges, tricos, baetis, pale morning duns, drakes, etc.. An oversized bug, easy to tie, that fools smart fish better than any other bug. I was delirious.
I tied up 12 prototypes and was fishing a particularly difficult section of the river, weed choked and slow moving. The rising trout would drift down with the bugs, carefully inspecting each one. My son, Tom, watched as a 20-inch brown casually swam over and confidently inhaled his size 18 baetis. A fishing frenzy followed and we lost all 12 bugs in 2 glorious hours. The “3 to 1” was born.
I’ve had the good fortune of developing fly fishing lodges in the West and hiring first rate fishing guides. These guides are now scattered all over Western waters. To a man, and a few good women, they all agree with me that the “3 to 1” is a great bug. For the last two seasons, this bug has been the secret weapon of some very good fishermen.
The cat is out of the bag now about the “3 to 1”. If this bug doesn’t immediately improve your success with big smart rising fish, perhaps you should take up golf.
Steve Herter, well-known Western angler, does stream and pond habitat consulting and lives on a little ranch in Colorado, near the “last bastion of normalcy”- Meeker.