Very little description is necessary concerning the remainder of the nature lures which are all made to act in the water exactly like nature, and will, as it were, speak for themselves. The green and brown frogs are constructed to float right, with only the head above water, so that they will not turn over with belly up, and the movable legs will hang down when in repose; but when moved along, the legs spread out as in the act of swimming. Both the large size and the little jumper frogs are solidly built, so far as possible weedless, and are most attractive lures.
The bullhead should rightly be included along with the minnows, having a solid silver belly, with dark-colored body. It has been used with success for rainbows and bass.
The crawfish is primarily a bass bait, with body hook and detachable tail hook; it is painted on the back in light brown, with underbody pale cream to exactly imitate the natural creature. I have made a varied selection of grasshoppers both in size and color, copied from numerous species, ranging from the large three inch down to the tiny little red grasshopper on No. 10 hook, specially tied for small brook-trout.
Both the bass-hellgrammite and winged hellgrammite are so made in form as to be suitable for trolling as well as casting. Swimming upright, they are attractive and deadly bass baits. They have taken bass in every kind of water - at the surface, midwater, and at the bottom in both swift and still water.
The caterpillars, made either with treble small hooks or one large hook, have brown body and hackle. Another is done in black, and there is also one in gray. The large blue dragon-fly, up to the present, has only been used, to any extent, in the South and Southwest: Florida, Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, California, and other States. It copies the insect true to life, and is large and with a powerful hook suited to the big-mouth bass, by which it seems to be preferred. For the cricket I have made three different sizes: a big one for large bass and trout, a medium, and one quite small for average-size trout, which is very effective from early spring to fall. The lamprey is the only "heavier-than-water' bait I have produced for both casting and trolling. The peculiar wriggle natural to the creature is well imitated by two twists in the hook. But a later imitation floats and swims along a short distance below the surface, giving the same lifelike wriggle with the additional advantage of not sinking dead on the bottom by its weight. It is colored true to life, with hook attachment set to best advantage for a good hold, and will give good sport, saving a lot of worry in procuring live bait.
Floating Artificial Nature Lures Made From Living Specimens.
Reference to trout-hellgrammite, caddis-creeper, and nymph-creeper will be found in Chapter III. In order to further my theory of the efficiency of metal bodies, I invented a new set of six dry and wet gold and silver body fly minnows for bass on No. 6 hook, and trout on No. 10 hooks, named after the most famous and beautiful natural trout streams in New York State.
Their effectiveness depends altogether on the brilliant shine of the body in the water when in swift motion. After two seasons of tests in many waters by myself and a number of experts, they have been found to be most effective and deadly fly minnows under any conditions whatever. To make it possible for anglers to use at a very moderate price, considerably lower than I could make them, they are under my direction and from my patterns tried by the best fly-tryer in England. With each set are given printed instructions showing under what conditions they should be used.
No. 1 - Brown. Neversink has brown-speckled wings, brown-speckled hackle and tail whisks, with gold body. No. 2 - Black. Willowemoc has black wings, black hackle, bend and tail whisks, with gold body. No. 3 - Red. Esopus has rich brown-speckled wings, orange hackle, red head, gold body, tail whisks, red golden pheasant. No. 4 - Dark gray. Beaverkill has dark olive-slate-colored wings, gray hackle, black head, silver body, black tail whisks. No. 5 - White. Battenkill has white wings, gray-speckled hackle, black head, silver body, gray-speckled tail whisks. No. 6 - Light gray. Mongaup; gray-speckled' wings, green head, white hackle, silver body, gray-speckled tail whisks.
This set is used in regular fly-casting method, both dry and wet. I have found one fly effective, but three can be used on the same cast for trout, if desired. For bass fishing one fly is enough, and the choice entirely depends upon weather and water.
This set of six fly minnows was originally made only on one size hook - No. 10 - but later quite a number of anglers requested a larger fly and hook on all six patterns for use in bass fishing, so that I have had a quantity tied on No. 6 hook with wings much larger in size. If bass can be persuaded to rise to any fly, they will surely take these, when played under water in rapid darts, and quick flashes along near the surface or down below. For lake fishing, especially, they will attract bass if you place split shot on the leader and allow them to sink near the bottom, making animated rod-tip jerks. Personal choice will dictate how many flies to place on the leader. I generally prefer a single fly on the leader to at times fish it dry at the surface, but when I feel sure a number of bass, or even trout, are congregated together in a pool, I use two, and sometimes three, flies frequently to get a "double." Such a thing occurs mostly when one fish is hooked and running about; the swift movement of the remaining flies attract other fish to them, and they, too, get hooked. A situation of this kind requires most careful handling to get both fish properly netted. The latest darter minnows both for bass and trout are all made with the hook placed right under the vent, viz., about the middle of the belly, with as strong and large hooks as the bait permits. Anglers will find them superior in several ways to the spinning minnows of soft rubber and gang-hooks. These hooks are objectionable because of the difficulty in releasing several treble hooks; also the spinning causes much trouble in twisting a very thin line. If by imperfect play the amateur fails to make the spinner spin, it at once becomes ineffective, and often after the cast the gang-hooks get entangled with the leader, so far as my own experience goes.