Archives

Edition Six Editors Note Row Five Archives - FFI Magazine

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing

I once flew to India to angle for golden mahseer. I was assigned to the last boarding group and landed myself in the plane’s rearmost seat. You know—the one that doesn’t recline, leaving you bolt upright for a dozen hours. That flight was among the most uncomfortable I’ve ever taken, leaving me to ponder if there was a better way to fly.

For most people, the priority when purchasing airline tickets is a low fare. There are a few approaches to achieving this. I tend to buy airline tickets very early, sometimes nine months in advance, which in my experience leads to a good deal and an early boarding group. Most of my colleagues buy tickets late, sometimes a mere couple of weeks ahead of travel. This is when most airlines drop their fares to fill up the bird. It works, but this typically lands you at the back of the bus.

Discount fares can be acquired by using third-party services, like kayak.com or expedia.com. One issue with these outlets is the difficulty you may have cancelling or rescheduling your trip. If you try to gather a refund from these websites, the cash could take weeks or more to hit your account. I even had a trip where I lost my entire airfare due to fine print details.

You can take advantage of special deals offered by airlines, but these tend to be variable, last minute and often don’t fly to the desired destination. A better approach is to utilize frequent flyer miles far in advance, as the airlines often hold only a few seats for frequent flyers. But you have to fly to become a frequent flyer, right? Wrong. Most airlines sponsor credit cards and offer bonus miles if you sign up. Heed warning: Some have steep annual fees, but if you shop around you can find a solution. For example, I have an American Airlines Mastercard that granted me 75,000 miles to sign up, enough for three round-trip domestic tickets.

Those cards can really save you. If you use them to pay your utilities and living expenses—of course paying the card off each month—you can rack up the miles quickly. Many offer promotional deals where they give you 2:1 miles for every dollar spent. But again, you need to plan ahead as the blackout dates for frequent flyers are brutal.

It’s not always realistic to purchase or redeem miles for a ticket far in advance. If you do book a last-minute trip you may get a great bargain, but end up with a late boarding group, the standard boarding technique for most airlines. To skirt that issue, you have a few options.

First, you can pay for an upgrade to business class or higher. I do this on occasion, last-minute, as that’s when airlines liberate classy seats up front for a minimal fee. This was nice when it meant you could get that free round of booze or the enhanced meal, but in this era of Covid, that all went up in smoke. Now you pay the same upgrade fee, but only get the seat. It may be worth it, depending on the length of your trip.

A better bet is to, yet again, fall back on your airline credit card. Mine has a $99 annual fee, but grants me the right to board just after business class, so it’s worth it. And there are other perks, like free baggage checking and deals on food and beverages.

If none of those options work for you, but you still crave the early boarding groups, which is a priority if you have carry-on luggage to stow, you can simply appeal to the sensibilities of the flight attendant at the gate. Sometimes they are so busy, or distracted, that they don’t pay close attention to the boarding group listed on your ticket. This is particularly likely on flights that are less than full. So slide on in there and see if you can pull it off. All they can say is, “No.”. Don’t feel badly for trying. I assure you others will be doing the same, jockeying for position and overhead space.

With a little yankee ingenuity and planning, you can not only grab a steal of a fare, but hop aboard early and spread out while other less savvy travelers sit behind you, erect and miserable. Then, while the sheep shuffle in, kick back, relax and plan your attack for the piscatorial targets you’re pursuing.

Brian Irwin
Brian Irwin is a freelance writer, photographer, and family physician with credits in numerous national newspapers and magazines. He holds a certificate of travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine, teaches for Dartmouth’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, and he’s a medical director for two ski patrols and a swiftwater rescue team. He lives in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Fly fishing continually evolves, be it advancements in tackle, the challenges of new fisheries, or the evolution of fly patterns and fishing techniques. In fact, what may seem like a simple fishing or tying advancement may turn into a significant step in the refinement of a fishery. That’s often the case with stillwater trout fishing, where creative anglers are attracted to the sport because it offers plenty of challenge and equal reward, in the form of skeptical trout that run much larger on average than their stream-raised counterparts.

One of the most productive lake fishing methods is to fish with chironomids, which are also called midge pupa. In nutrient-rich waters these members of the dipteran insect family form a significant part of a trout or char’s diet. During spring and summer daily chironomid emergences cloud the water with pupa wiggling to the surface. Chironomid pupa must taste good because the biggest trout gorge on even the smallest pupa. Fish literally swallow hundreds of those insects as they slowly ascend to become adults. But matching chironomids and getting a fish to take isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be. In lakes, fish have the time to study these insects closely and anything but a perfect match likely will be refused. That’s why matching chironomids has become an art form, and Kelly Davison, the former owner of SeaRun Fly & Tackle in Coquitlam, British Columbia, made one of the greatest advancements in chironomid construction of all time.

Back in 1992, Davison enlisted his two sons to thread multiple sizes of black beads onto long monofilament lines strung between fence posts in his backyard. Then, armed with a can of Tremclad paint, Davison sprayed the individual beads white. This was not a perfect process, as rows of beads ended up glued together on the line. Still, he was onto something and he refined his effort.

Recently, I asked Davison what his thought process was behind those white beads and he summed it up by saying, “I like tying simple flies so I was not a fan of having to tie in white ostrich or yarn to imitate the white gills (on chironomid pupa). And I was also convinced that the white gills were a key trigger in fish selecting the pupa.” He named his creation the Ice Cream Cone Chironomid. He fished it first at Leighton Lake near the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, and his experience indicated the merit of his theory.

“I was anchored in 10 feet of water and was lowering an Ice Cream Cone pattern over the side of the boat to see how well the white bead stood out,” he recalled, “and a trout swam up to the fly, flared its gills and ate it.” Davison said a lot of rainbows ate Ice Cream Cone Chironomids that day and they continue to do so today on stillwaters sprinkled across North America.

Originally, Davison tied Ice Cream Cones on long-shank dry fly hooks, such as the TMC 2302. He now ties them on scud hooks, such as TMC 2457 or Daiichi 1120. These patterns are tied in sizes 10 through 18 in either hook design.

Initially, Ice Cream Cone bodies were tied with Danville’s 6/0 tying thread in black, brown, olive, maroon, and dark green. These patterns were ribbed with fine red or gold copper wire to accent the detailed ribbing seen on the real insects. More recent refinements focus on imitating the almost mirror-like sheen of the body, which develops during pupal ascent. This is the effects of gases that line the inside of the pupal shuck, which aid in the adult emergence process. Today there are numerous synthetic materials that work well for pupal bodies. Stretchy products like Super Floss, Stretch Flex and Scud Back make it easy to form tapered bodies while at the same time imparting the illusion of trapped gases. Anti-static bag material, which is the packaging used to ship computer parts and window tint, also makes an excellent pupal body. Ribbings of various colored wire, or combinations of wires or holographic tinsels, add even more flash to the flies.

These days white beads are readily available in a variety of sizes as well as in metal or tungsten. Use them in the design of your next pupal creations and you’ll likely have a new go-to fly when fishing stillwaters. Know that I’ll be packing plenty of these patterns, tied in various colors and sizes, to the stillwater lakes of British Columbia this spring and summer.

Original Ice Cream Cone
Hook: Tiemco 2302 #10 – #18
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Body: 6/0 thread, Super Floss, Stretch Flex, Scud Back to match pupal color
Rib: Red, silver, gold, dull copper wire
Thorax: Black tying thread
Head: White metal bead

Brian Chan
Brian Chan lives in Kamloops, British Columbia and breathes everything about fly-fishing in stillwaters. Follow him on Instagram : @brianchanflyfishing