Lighter Side
February 22nd, 1999

Answering Technical Questions

By Barkley Bull

    Thanks for your interest in Chickens Unlimited.  I am not sure whether you have visited my page (hensight is sometime better than........), but here is a URL for your office browser:


    I usual rig up with a 9 foot fluorocarbon leader (better able to withstand lawn and garden abrasiveness) with a 4x tippet (better able to turn over larger caddis and cricket patterns in the gusty New England wind).  I have noticed that I have been getting a number of breakoffs recently which I do now credit to the hens' teeth as you have suggested.
    While the bump and stop is more imitative of what a permit can expect from a spooked crab, the twitch and skitter is a little more realistic action for local bugs.  I am also convinced from field (barnyard) tests that the native birds of New England, the Rhode Island Redd and the Plymouth Rock, are somewhat far sighted and require a little more fly movement.

    The pellet fly has been a favorite of mine for some years now. While it is very much undignified for a person of my elite avocation, I admit I have followed the Fish and Game stocking trucks, along with the spring hordes of New Hampshire rednecks (a breed of ruffian, not chicken), to the local streams, where I have considerable success.  As you know stokers do not disburse immediately from where they are dumped, and since they are not shy of people being around, they still keep looking up.  Here I have a big advantage over the spincaster as the fish totally ignore their baits and spoons and readily accept a cast of pelletflies. Here I have used maybe up to four pelletfly droppers.

    I have long ago stipulated that nymphing and streamer fishing is flyfishing so I would think that chickening is ok too

Barkley Bull

"Barrett, Jennifer K." wrote:

You failed to mention what type of leader was needed. What pound tippet?
Have you tried fluorocarbon? What about a shock tippet section for hens (you know, have to watch out for hen's teeth).

You also mentioned skittering a caddis. My experience with permit (I take it that chickens are a true game species and permit are a good anaolgy) is that a simple bump and stop is probably more effective.

Finally, I once knew a guy in Pennsylvania who used to fish for stocker trout with a pattern tied by cutting splayed deer hair in a cube, lacquering it, and dead drifting it as a pellet. I suspect that same pattern may work for you. Big debate about whether it is truly flyfishing - but hey, remember, you're the guy fishing for chickens.

Seriously, I thought it was a very good job. (P.S., I am a lawyer in the office next to Jennifer's.)

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