As you probably know, a solar eclipse was visible across the entire United States on August 21st.  The band of “totality” became a tourist destination as amateur astronomers, photographer, and thousands of interested citizens flocked to those zones to experience something truly unique.  The buzz was exciting to say the least.

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/nasa_eclipse_map.jpg

In the Tetons they got totality.  In West Yellowstone, we experienced 99% coverage.  In Helena, we experienced about 93% coverage.  I took a break from work to observe it from my backyard.  Several things came to mind during the eclipse.  First, our sun is truly bright and powerful.  Even 93% blocked, there were deep shadows everywhere.  It got noticeably cooler.  The birds stopped singing for 20 minutes on either side of the peak.

Having seen photos, and heard first had accounts from those who were within the band of totality for the eclipse, I now wish I had made the 3 hour trip south into Idaho to witness it for myself.

What does this have to do with fly fishing?  Well, in the aftermath of the eclipse, folks are wondering what to do with their used “eclipse glasses” that allowed them to stare at the sun safely.  My answer to that question was to use the lens material at the fly tying bench.

Nothing fancy here, but the lens reflectivity and color reminded me of the color of chironomids in their early stage of emergence, down deep, before they fully inflate with air.  It’s a similar color to the anti-static bags that many have used in the past.  So, I whipped up a few using the following recipe:

  • Hook: Daiichi 1120 scud hook, #10-14
  • Bead: Red glass with silver lining, from the craft store
  • Body: Thin strip of eclipse glasses lens
  • Rib(s): Ultra wire, small, one red and one black
  • Thread: UTC 70, black

That’s it!  The Total Eclipse Chironomid.  Looking forward to testing them out soon, if the Callibaetis ever thin out.