So the third consecutive day of record high eastern Iowa temperatures saw 69 F forecast. Sounded like an invitation to me, so I got 2017 angling started with a solo day at my beloved STSNBN. Everything about it felt strange – fishing with nothing but a t shirt and fleece on Feb. 19th. Like, it was fun, but 2014 was the hottest year on record for the world, then 2015 was hotter, and then 2016 was hotter still, and it puts a damper on t shirt weather in February, the whole “We’ve torched the planet” thing. But it didn’t stop me from fishing.
I finally got around to tying some Slump Busters. Well, two Slump Busters. I followed the steps in John Barr’s “Barr Flies” except that I added a lead wire underbody because I like to fish streamers heavily weighted. I had intended to use a Daiichi 1720 hook, but the cone wouldn’t go on over the bend, so I used a 2220 4X streamer hook instead. I tied it size 12, with an extra small tungsten cone head (sadly, according to J. Stockard, Wapsi has discontinued the extra small size), and used precut zonkered pine squirrel strips. It’s an easy fly to tie, with getting used to threading stuff through the fur without binding it down the only trick.