It’s that special time of year when Salmonflies and Golden Stones are hatching on major rivers close to me.
These are the bugs many fly fishers wait for with high expectations. Some fly fishers start shaking as they approach the river knowing the bugs are out and the fish are looking up, ready to explode on their fly!
Today’s post provides a few pictures of the real bug and offers some of the favorite stonefly patterns I carry in my fly box.
The following picture includes Salmonflies and a Golden Stone apparently trying to mate.
I recently finished up a fly order for a customer that included a few of Buszek’s Kings River Caddis. After filling his order and tying a few for myself, I decided this fly would be a good candidate for this week’s TBT post.
Buszek’s Kings River Caddis was created by Wayne “Buz” Buszek (1912 – 1965) in the 1950’s for the Kings River, CA. The fly uses undersized hackle to sit lower in the water and imitates the Hydropsyche or spotted sedge found in his local fishing water. Changing color and size will allow you to imitate many other caddisflies as well.
Other Buszek originals include the Old Gray Mare, Flot-n-Fools, Buz’s Shad Fly and probably the most popular, the Western Coachman.
In 1947, Buszek opened Buz’s Fly and Tackle Shop at his home in Visalia, CA, close to the Kings River in the Sierra Nevadas.
I never met Buz, but I wish I had. He must have been a great tyer. In 1970, the International Federation of Fly Fishers named it’s annual fly tyer award in his name. It’s a coveted award and there have been some great fly tyers who were fortunate enough to win it. I’m blessed to know some of them personally – Al Beatty, Wayne Luallen, Steven Fernandez, and Jim Ferguson.
(If you’d like to see more Throw Back Thursday Flies, just click on the name Throw Back Thursday Flies CATEGORY in the sidebar to the right.)
Ever wonder if you have the perfect fishing net? Are you looking to purchase one?
Well, there isn’t a perfect net. At least I got your attention!
I’ll provide some criteria I use to select fishing nets I carry and use along the river.
There are a wide variety of nets for the fly fisher. Here are some favorite nets my wife and I fish with. I would highly recommend any of these fishing nets.
The net on the far left is an older Brodin I used for several years before the connecting swivel at the base of the handle broke. I loved that net. It was light, large enough opening for a big fish, and used a clear or ghost-like basket so the fish wouldn’t see it. Continue reading →
This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Granam or Green-Tail fly.
I thought this was a good fly to go along with the Mother’s Day Caddis post about the American Grannom.
I’ve told you before that my Throw Back Thursday Fly segment celebrates older flies and that “old” is in the eye of the beholder. Well, the Granam or Green-Tail is over 250 years old! Continue reading →
The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is well-known and can be amazing to see. And it’s right around the corner.
Yes, all those dots in the picture are caddis flying over the water!
Thousands and thousands of American Grannom (Brachycentrus occidentalis) hatch at this time of year. These caddis are the ones building square-shaped cases you see on rocks in riffly water or in runs of moderate to fast flows. Continue reading →
This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Gordon Quill fly package.
This is a package of flies a friend recently gave me because he knew of my love for fly fishing and tying history.
He told me they were at least 100 years old!
Needless to say, I was shocked at his generous gift.
Perhaps because I live on the west coast, I had never heard of William Mills & Son, so I did a little Internet search on the name. They were founded in 1822 as T. & J. Bate. The company was renamed several times with various versions of Bate, but was changed to William Mills & Son in 1875.
I found a copy of their 1909 catalog page 62 and a dozen of these “Special Stream” flies cost $1.00. The Gordon Quill fly package were offered in size 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16.
Wow! The weather has changed dramatically this week. The forecast shows 81 degrees on Thursday. The anticipation of some major hatches is very exciting and I decided I have to get a May fly box ready for the river.
Denny created this fly in the mid-80’s on Oregon’s Upper Klamath Lake, his home waters. The fly is a variation of the popular Woolly Bugger.
I’d seen this fly years ago, but found it again in Rickards Fly-Fishing Stillwaters for Trophy Trout (1997). It’s the first fly listed in his “Deadly Dozen”. That should tell you something about how successful this fly can be. I love many of Denny’s flies and I highly recommend this book for your fly fishing library. It includes information and fly patterns like Denny’s Stillwater Nymph and Denny’s AP Emerger, two flies I use a lot. And he covers how to successfully fish lakes, which was very helpful to me as I branched out from being a river fisherman.
The fly can be tied in a variety of color combinations, but the picture above is my favorite, with the burnt orange tail and hackle. The other color I like is black with purple or burgundy hackle. It should be tied sparse to allow movement from the seal or seal substitute dubbing.
I fish this fly with an intermediate fly line and use the count-down method to locate trout. Cast a long distance and count to 10, which allows the fly to sink. Strip back using a variety of retrieves, short and rapid or long and slow. If you don’t get any takes, cast again and count to 15. Continue to experiment until fish are found.
Be sure to use at least 2x or 3x leader because you’ll get some violent strikes!
Denny Rickards Seal Bugger is still popular today and can be found in your local fly shop, or tie some up using the link to my fly pattern sheet.
I can’t lie. I’ve been a little frustrated lately with spring fly fishing. It always happens this time of year for me. Winter is over and I have expectations of going to the river and see a few mayflies hatching.
I love mayflies.
There is something elegant about that bug.
I enjoy watching them float down the river and seeing a nose break the surface and eat the bug. Continue reading →
This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Mrs. Haase.
The Mrs. Haase is another Ray Bergman wet fly I found in Forgotten Flies by Paul Schmookler & Ingrid V. Sils. It is fly number 284 of 725 flies attributed to Bergman. Wow, that’s a lot of fly patterns! Continue reading →