Published Jun 18. 2006 - 16 years ago
Updated or edited Aug 8. 2015

My Favorite Dad

Well, since it's Father's Day, I figured I would introduce the world to my favorite dad. His name is "Skip's Dad" and he hails from the mind of Skip Morris. I was introduced to him via Joe Cornwall's [url= Fishing Warm Water Rivers"[/url].

Here in Virginia, the rivers are lousy with crayfish. I went last week to the South Fork of the Shenandoah, and in a meter-square area along the shoreline, there had to be at least 30 crayfish in it. :roll:

I fish this fly with either a floating line and 10-foot leader or a clear sink-tip. I cast quartering downstream on a tight line like a steelhead swing. Either use 5-inch quick strips or 30-inch slow strips, I've had success with either.

Sometime when I get around to it, I'll start dead-drifting Skip's Dads under an indicator.

[b:ab5ae2ee59]Recipe,[/b:ab5ae2ee59] partially stolen from Joe's book:
[b:ab5ae2ee59]Hook: [/b:ab5ae2ee59]Size 6 to 14, 2xl or 3xl
[b:ab5ae2ee59]Thread: [/b:ab5ae2ee59]Tan, Brown, or Rusty Brown 8/0
[b:ab5ae2ee59]Weight: [/b:ab5ae2ee59]Barbel Eyes
[b:ab5ae2ee59]Tag: [/b:ab5ae2ee59]Dub a "nose" of dubbing from 1/3 of the way around the bend of the hook to the flat of the shank
[b:ab5ae2ee59]Tail: [/b:ab5ae2ee59]Natural reddish/brown pheasant tail fibers tied in two bunches and split with dubbing to resemble small claws. (Dads with small claws are easier prey for fish)
[b:ab5ae2ee59]Body: [/b:ab5ae2ee59]Light olive or brown haretron dubbing
[b:ab5ae2ee59]Shellback: [/b:ab5ae2ee59]Pheasand tail fibers pulled over the dubbed body
[b:ab5ae2ee59]Ribbing: [/b:ab5ae2ee59]Fine copper wire

[i:ab5ae2ee59]Photos taken by Melanie Smith[/i:ab5ae2ee59]

rybolov's picture

More Dads...

More Dad pictures:

[i:b8dfb5e822]Photo by Melanie Smith[/i:b8dfb5e822]

rybolov's picture

Taking Dad Out to the Ball Game...

One of my local waters is the Potomac River, it's about a 20-minute drive. I go to a little park area known as "Turkey Run".

View it in google maps:

If you go, be careful because they will lock you in after dark.

[i:805887121f]Photos by Rybolov[/i:805887121f]

rybolov's picture

More Turkey Run......

More photos

rybolov's picture

Still More Turkey Run...

More Photos

rybolov's picture

In the Course of Fishing...

A bankside photo and a fish on.

[i:2f6d5ffbe5]Photo by Rybolov[/i:2f6d5ffbe5]

rybolov's picture

Another Bass Likes my Dad...

Reaction to Skip's Dad can be varied.

I've felt smallmouth nibble at it gently as they suck it up off the riverbottom. When I get gentle takes, I start fishing with a slow, long strip.

When I find that the fish are slamming the Dad hard, I start using quick 5-inch strips, just enough of a pop so that I see the end of my line jerk.

Sometimes I've cast and had large smallmouth take the fly on the very first strip. It's happened enough that I get the slack out of the line as fast as I can.

Don't forget to let the Dad hang below you in the current. Yuou'll catch bass when you let the fly hang and then give it a couple quick strips.

Photos by Melanie Smith[/i:5422245e64]

rybolov's picture

Yet Another Bass Photo (YABP)...

This one liked my Dad also.

[i:638f9128bf]Photo by Rybolov[/i:638f9128bf]

rybolov's picture

Paul Z and a Small Bass...

This is Paul's first day ever with a flyrod, and once he can cast 10 feet and strip line, Skip's Dad gives him a good day on the river.

He'll be back.

[i:045099b6da]Photo by Rybolov[/i:045099b6da]

Martin Joergensen's picture

Great post!...


Thanks for posting that extensive piece about the Dad. How about turning that into a regular article? Everything is there, and I would be pleased to do the job.


rybolov's picture


Sure, article away.

Sometime when I can remember, I'll get some crayfish pictures. I was going to go today, but we just got a big dump of rain on my way home from work.

Podcast also...

Hey you two schemers. Be sure to get another "podcast video" of tying this tidy morsel. I very much enjoyed the other video podcast and have been productive with the pattern recently... (approximately 50% of my fish taken off this pattern)

It would be a Great article, go for it.

rybolov's picture

Video Podcast...

You'll pay me for my time, right? :lol: At least double what I get now, so 200% of 0 is um... 0.

I *could* do a video podcast, but would you be happy with some instructions and pictures of each step?

Martin Joergensen's picture

Re: Video Podcast...

[quote:adf353dd08="rybolov"]You'll pay me for my time, right? :lol: At least double what I get now, so 200% of 0 is um... 0.

I *could* do a video podcast, but would you be happy with some instructions and pictures of each step?[/quote:adf353dd08]


I'll pay you ten times what we pay everybody else, of course! No problem.
Mailed you a preview link of the article with the latest images too.
It looks good and will go online in a week or so.



I tie a similar one. I thought that I invented it. That has happened with about all of my fly inventions.

About Turkey Run. They say that you can't wade there. Any truth to that? I drive by the spot almost every day. I have good luck upstream from Riverbend Park. All the way up to the pipeline. There are lots of nice holes to fall into. My best fish there has been an 18 incher.

I also heard that the Carp are great at Turkey Run. Any truth to that rumor?

rybolov's picture

The Secrets of Turkey Run...

They just added a "No wading or swimming" sign earlier this year. I think it's mostly for CYA purposes on the part of the government. I'm not the only one hopping across the islands, and I have yet to have any problem with somebody telling me to get out of the water.

I don't think the park police make it past the parking lot, which is a pretty good setup. But there is a liability issue if you decide to drown yourself in a national park.

I've seen some pretty large carp in the slow deep area right below Langley Island. Haven't hooked one yet. Not quite sure why, but I think it's only a matter of time before I do.


rybolov's picture

Re: Dads...

[quote:c210fd05e0="Esox"]My best fish there has been an 18 incher. [/quote:c210fd05e0]

I landed a similar fish last year at Turkey Run. It was a total surprise because I was letting my line hang below me while I was moving, and the bass hit it while I was busy looking for a better place to step.

I've lost 2 that size in just the past 2 weeks at Turkey Run--using Skip's Dad, of course. One was while I was fishing with Paul, and I thought he was going to pass out seeing that fish jump out of the water. :roll:

Doesn't tha Potomac look good...

Doesn't tha Potomac look good today? Nestle's Quick with lumps.

rybolov's picture

Doesn't tha Potomac look good...

[quote:a20766f9fa="Esox"]Doesn't tha Potomac look good today? Nestle's Quick with lumps.[/quote:a20766f9fa]

I think I saw a house floating by the other day. :lol:

However, it will kick the food sources out of the edges and into the prime fish habitat. It's a good time to use crayfish patterns until the fish are all full, at which point they stop eating.

Nice story, fish and crawfish...

Nice story, fish and crawfish pattern rybolov! I'll have to give it a shot up here in wisconsin. Sorry to hear about the flooding out east, looks pretty bad. Out here the rivers are way below normal water level, figures eh?

Most of the warm water rivers around here are packed with crawfish and smallmouth as well. However most of the water is stained pretty dark (from tanic acid) so I might have to subsitute some brighter colors.

Here are a few I've picked up recently despite the extreamly hot weather recently.





The bright colors and synthetics might make some cringe, but they work!

kirk o.

Hey Rybolov...

I walked up to the pipeline above Riverbend Park yesterday. I spent about five hours making a huge clockwise circle starting at the lower rapids and ending up in the same spot. I caught about two dozen Smallmouths on poppers, muddlers, clousers, and my own Dad immitation in black. Saw lots of Smallmouth Bass in the still waters and caught most of mine in or just below moving water. Slow retrieve. Fast retrieve. No retrieve. Even with the air temp in the mid 90's the fish were active right through the afternoon. And those big strange Bluegills (What are they? Red-eared Sunfish or Warmouth? Never saw them in Massachusetts) fight like dogs and keep your attention when there are no bass on the line. But the bass are small. The biggest one I caught was about ten inches and the biggest one I saw was maybe two pounds. Are they averaging any bigger than that down at Turkey Run?

What a great way to spend a hot afternoon. Up to my waist in clear, flowing, relatively cool water catching fish.

rybolov's picture

Re: Hey Rybolov...

[quote:16c8598eac="Esox"]Are they averaging any bigger than that down at Turkey Run?[/quote:16c8598eac]

That's about average for what I'm catching, with the occassional 18-inch or so big bass to make things interesting. About the time that you start to feel guilty about how many 12-inch smallmouth you are catching, a nice one will tie you on. I've only landed one big slab of bass, the others have managed to elude me thus far. :roll:

rybolov's picture

Fished Turkey Run this Weekend...

... and there were people fishing there. I told them to do a web search for Turkey Run and flyfish and they could find my article. :wink:

For those of us who are curious about the fishing, I caught a ton of redbreasted sunfish and some of the smaller smallmouth. I lost one big fish that I think was a catfish.

The water is the lowest I have seen it and very wadeable, which is a good change after the floods earlier this year.

Turkey Run...

I fished Riverbend Saturday and did much as you did. Lots of those scrappy sunfish with the big mouths and a bunch of small Smallmouth bass. I did have a two pounder on for one jump and a much bigger fish rolled at a popper but didn't care to eat it. I have never seen the river this low. I went out to the Shenandoah near Berryville on Sunday to take a look and there are sand and gravel bars where they have never been before. Lots of big carp as well.


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