Monday, March 16, 2015

Atomic Dog (now retired)

One from the Mothership

The Atomic Dog is the next step in the evolution of the Samurai Dog, a fly that made last spring for my friend John and me. John really killed it with the Samurai Dog, catching a pile of striped bass, smallmouth bass, and trout (including a 5lb. brown trout from the upper Farmington River). According to John, he tied the fly on in spring and didn't take it off until summer. I didn't fish the Samurai Dog nearly as much as John did, but I managed to do pretty well despite my busy schedule. I caught several stripers and lost a good sized sea run brown (a leader length away...gah!!).

I wanted to retain the basic characteristics of the Samurai Dog, which is essentially a Temple Dog x Samurai hybrid, but add a few enhancements. The new pattern has a base layer of bucktail to keep the wing propped up more, a grizzly hackle tied flatwing style, an underwing to fatten up the profile of the fly, and a fluorescent pink Fluoro Fiber throat.

I recently heard someone extol the virtues of fluorescent pink Fluoro Fiber, especially in flies for striped bass. John mentioned how the local spin fishermen do well on pink Sluggos. I figured a little pink couldn't hurt. 

This fly is fished when alewives and herring are present. I wanted to bulk up the fly to give it a better herring/alewife-like shape. It's still small for an alewife imitation, but the fish in this river seem to like smaller flies and baits. Maybe its relatively small size makes it especially vulnerable? 

The only sea run brown I hooked last year took a Samurai Dog on the dangle while I pumped my rod up and downstream. The most difficult aspect of where I hooked the trout is that fish have to be hauled in directly upstream, so the angler fights both the fish and the strong current. A weak take or poor hookset is the kiss of death. It would have been better if the big trout took the fly on the swing or strip, but beggars can't be choosers. I decided to add the flatwing hackle to give the fly a more snake-like movement when held stationary in the current. I'd rather a fish take on the dangle than not take at all. 

I have high hopes for this fly. I'm counting down the days until the ice clears, the flow in the river drops, temperatures warm up, and the anadromous fish begin to run. May can't get here soon enough! 

Below is the dressing for the Atomic Dog and a link to the George Clinton song of the same name. 


Atomic Dog

Thread: White
Tube: 1" 3 mm plastic tube; 1.8 mm plastic tube,  nested inside
Rear Body: Pearl flat braid
Weight (optional): Lead tape, wire, or non-lead alternative
Base Wing: White bucktail tied on top of the front portion of the body
Front Body: UV Pearl Ice Dub (heavy & loose) over bucktail butts, picked out
Wing 1: White marble fox tail and light blue Flashabou
Wing 2: White marble fox tail and polar ice Angel Hair
Wing 3: White snow runner topped with micro mirage Lateral Scale
Wing 4: White snow runner topped with several strands of peacock herl
Underwing: White marble fox or skunk tied to the under side of the tube
Topping: Natural grizzly hackle tied flatwing style
Sides: Jungle cock
Head: Large ball of Pearl UV Ice Dub, tied loosely over wing butts and picked out
Throat: Fluorescent pink Fluoro Fiber
Collar Hackle: White schlappen
Cone: Silver turbo cone (small)

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