Thursday, July 9, 2015

Christian and Polish Woven Nymphs

By Spider Rybaak

Christian Snyder releasing a brown he caught on a Polish woven nymph.
Christian Snyder knows his way around Oswego County’s trophy trout streams. Hailing from Phoenix, he knows the Oswego and Salmon Rivers intimately.   And while he catches his fair share of nice Skamania on these world-famous streams, there are times when he wants to pull big trout out of small places. When he gets the itch, he heads for one of the county’s famed skinny creeks.

Places like Sandy Creek, for instance, a stream so narrow and low this time of year, your average angler only looks at it fleetingly, decides it’s too small and continues down the road.

Snyder, however, is anything but average. He knows from experience that Skamania, summer-run steelhead, spawn in “skinny cricks” during hot weather.  And that they’re in there right now.

Don’t expect the number of fish you see autumn through spring, however. Just one here and there, separated by long stretches of shallow, squeaky-clean water running through pristine summer pastures and woods.
While just about any nymph or streamer will do, Christian prefers Polish woven nymphs. Also called European nymphs, they’ve been catching skittish European trout for years. And they work here, too, but most Americans just haven’t heard about ‘em.

Constructed with a bead head and a small strip of lead wire wrapped around the hook to give it weight, it’s finished by being wrapped in thread to give it a soft, caterpillar-like look and feel.

They’re most effective when dead-drifted through runs and pockets. You’ll catch a lot of small trout, but that’s OK because you’ll be giving them valuable lessons in life like the importance of exercising extreme caution around hooks bearing food.

Every now and then you’ll experience a hit so powerful, it’ll startle you. That’s because the human mind is naturally skeptical about seeing huge fish swimming in water barely deep enough to cover their backs, especially this time of year.

But a small number is there, offering fishing experiences bordering on miraculous.

While the state’s most productive Skamania stream is the Salmon River, its feeders, as well as just about any Lake Ontario tributary that flows through Oswego County, also draw lake-run fish.

Steelhead are typically thought of as cold weather fare.  And the majority fit that mold. But a sizeable number runs summer streams, giving pleasant weather anglers trophy opportunities under balmy, sun-drenched skies. Good spots to try are Sandy and Grindstone Creeks.

Chris sells his flies, and guides for skaminia professionally. Call him at: (315)  748-2393

The last three rows contain a selection of Polish woven nymphs.

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