December 11, 2015
Hornberg "Must Have Early Season Fly"
Frank Hornberg initially designed the Hornberg Special as a dry fly. The Hornberg can be fished as a streamer below the surface of the water. Jungle cock eyes are what jumps out at you when you see this fly.
The fly is best used as a streamer. A very effect method to fish this fly as a streamer is the "Dredge, Stop, Strip and Twitch" method of retrieve with the "Shake and Bake" ending. This method can be deadly on a finicky brown that has seen about every fly made by man. This method is imitating a bait fish.
The fly is meant to look big. Fish a size 6 or size 8. Don't waste your time with the ones without jungle cock eyes. This fly is a bait fish imitator and the fly without it is like a minnow without an eye.
This fly is typically fished upstream. It can be fished early or regular season. This fly is to be fished on the bottom of a deep hole or seam. It needs to be on the bottom before you start your retrieve. The current will straighten out your line for you so can see your indicator properly. "Dredge, Stop, Strip and Twitch" should be followed now. That sinker gives the fly a sideways swimming action when it is striped just like a swimming bait fish. Make sure you alternate your strip lengths. This method is not to be done quickly. It is important to stop your retrieve ever so often and let it sit for a 2 count.
"Shake and Bake"ending is a must. Many of your ferocious hits are as you are taking that fly out of the water. This could be directly at your feet. Don't give up on that cast. Bring it by you if you can. As you are raising up that fly you should literally shake the end of you rod as you lift it up. This imitates that bait fish swimming to the surface and looking injured. Pay special attention at the surface because that is the last chance for that big hooked jawed male brown to freight train that fly.