New Hamphire has been blessed with many fine fly tyers. Names like Jim Warner, Nick Lambrou and Ellis Hatch have made New Hampshire an active part of the fly-fishing scene nationally. Before them there was Ora Smith, Wendall Folkins, and our own Dick Surrette. New Hampshire’s most famous fly tyer was Lee Wulff.
There is a new group of fly tyers who are stepping into the void here in New Hampshire and, this week, the valley was fortunate to have one visit. His name is Scott Biron. And while he hasn’t yet become a household word, he is stepping up and making noise in the fly-tying world.
Scott was a guest of the Saco Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter and chose to demonstrate tying one of his feather wing creations: the Brookies Regret. Scott is an avid trout and salmon angler who lives in the Sunapee Region. Scott focuses on brook trout in Pleasant Lake. Pleasant Lake holds the state record for a brook trout: 26 inches, 9 pounds. While there are no longer fish of this size in Pleasant Lake, fish in the 5 pound range are caught each year.
Scott has tweaked the Brookies Regret for New Hampshire waters. His formula for the fly is as follows:
• Hook — size 2-6 7X streamer hook
• Thread — Olive 3/0
• Tail — Ewing hen orange
• Body — Copper tinsel
• Ribbing — Copper wire
• Belly — White bucktail
• Underwing — Olive bucktail under 4 peacock herl
• Wing — Ewing bronze grizzly flanked by olive
• Shoulder — Wood duck
• Throat — Ewing hen orange top and bottom
Copper is a very underappreciated color for flies in New Hampshire. This color in our clear waters seems to drive the trout and salmon crazy.
As Scott took us through the steps to tie the Brookies Regret, he shared with us the many things that he has learned in order to tie a fishable feather wing streamer. Two of the tips that will lead to a successful tie are: Don’t have your wing hackles be longer than the tail and glue the wing pairs prior to attaching them to the hook. This will improve wing alignment and ensure that the fly swims correctly when trolled or retrieved.
This fly is beautiful. It is a work of art and is almost too beautiful to let a brook trout ravage. Fly tying is an art and Scott has brought fly tying to a high level. Scott was awarded the 2017 N.H. Traditional Arts Grant and studied the art of fly tying under Peggy Brenner. In March of 2018, he was added to the prestigious N.H. Traditional Arts & Folklife Listing. A framed Brookies Regret tied by Scott would be cherished by any angler.
Scott instructs fly tying for N.H. Fish and Game at the Barry Camp and several Fish and Game learn-to-fly-fish seminars around the state.
Back to fishing. Tie this fly in size 6 or size 8 for our smaller brook trout ponds. This fly will be a trout catcher in Ledge Pond, Hatch Pond or Saco Lake come spring. Tied in size 2 or size 4 this fly will be great for trolling in Silver Lake, Conway Lake or Ossipee Lake once the ice goes out. We will surely have some Brookies Regrets in our fly boxes come spring.
Tip of the Week
If you are interested in learning to tie flies, find a place like North Country Angler. Free fly tying takes place at the shop every Saturday, November to April, from 9 to 11 a.m.
Steve Angers is a native son to the Conway area. He has been consumed by fishing since catching his first wild brook trout at the base of Champney Falls.