3 Basic Dry Fly Styles for Mayflies

This week’s post is about 3 basic dry fly styles for mayflies. I recently wrote a blog about Parachute Flies and that got me thinking about the variety of fly styles available to the fly fisher to imitate the adult mayfly stage.

I thought it might be good to provide the options available with only one insect – a PMD.

PMD on Water | www.johnkreft.com

I love fishing mayfly dry flies. In fact, I was fishing my home waters the other day and couldn’t believe the prolific hatch and wide variety of mayflies…Pale Morining Duns (PMDs), Green Drakes and Flavs, Blue Wing Olives (BWOs), Mahogany Duns, and Pale Evening Duns (PEDs). I think that’s why I really enjoy dry fly fishing so I can watch noses rise or heads come out of the water and hopefully eat my imitation. Continue reading

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CDC & Elk TBT

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the CDC & Elk TBT.

CDC & Elk | www.johnkreft.com

The CDC & Elk is a fly Hans Weilenmann created in 1992. It combines the proven properties of an Elk Hair Caddis developed by Al Troth with CDC feathers for the body and “hackle”.

I tied my first CDC & Elk flies after completing the research for my post about the different CDC feathers, entitled Use Fly Patterns with CDC Feathers.

If you’d like more information about the CDC & Elk TBT fly, click HERE to read it in Hans’ own words.

Enjoy…go fish!

 

 

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Fall and a Dry Fly

Last week I talked about how much I enjoy fall fly fishing. It’s been great this year! What I wanted to share this week is how effective one fly has been for me…a Green Drake Sparkle Dun. Yes, Fall and a dry fly just go together.

Baby Rainbow Trout Eating Big Fly | www.johnkreft.com

Even the smaller fish eat this bug! It amazes me how a small trout rises to a larger fly. This is a #12 fly a 6″ fish ate.

And bigger fish eat them too. Continue reading

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October Fly Fishing

October fly fishing is a special time of year. It’s the last hurrah for both fly fishers AND fish. I’ve said before that fishing tapers off dramatically around November 1, so that means I have less than one month to get my fix for awhile.

So I need to make sure I have the right flies in my fly box.

I knew I had written a post a couple of years ago entitled October Fly Box, so I looked it up. Low an behold, it’s right on for the bugs I saw on the river today.

Let me start with a blanket hatch of PMDs or PMD look-alike mayflies

Blanket Hatch | www.johnkreft.com

This is what I found at the river. It was made up of hundreds of these… Continue reading

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Klinkhåmer Special TBT

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Klinkhåmer Special TBT.

Klinkhamer Special | www.johnkreft.com

You know it’s a popular fly when you can read about it in Wikipedia!

Originally named the LT Caddis (the initials LT standing for light tan), the fly was designed by Hans van Klinken in 1984 to imitate caddis larva on Norway’s Glomma River.

The Klinkhåmer Special is designed in a way to imitate a caddis larva attempting to emerge through the miniscus. The body and thorax ride just below the surface, with the parachute holding the fly in place.

Rather than paraphrase the fly’s history, here is a link where Hans van Klinken does so in his own words posted on the website by Tom Sutcliffe called – The Spirit of Fly Fishing – in April 2012, the 25th anniversary. CLICK HERE

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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Odds n Ends

This week’s odds n ends post has a variety of items you may be interested in. Be sure to read all the way through.

First off, there are definitely signs of Fall everywhere I look.

From leaves beginning to change on the river…

Fall Leaves | www.johnkreft.com

…to something we usually don’t see …bucks in our backyard, except when Fall begins. Continue reading

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Fran Better’s Haystack

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Fran Better’s Haystack.

Haystack | www.johnkreft.com

This is another fly I found while reading Mike Valla’s book entitled The Founding Flies – 43 American Masters, Their Patterns and Influences.

You might recognize this fly because it is very similar to the Sparkle Dun mayflies I tie and fish so much. But the Fran Better’s Haystack is the first of many iterations of this style of fly.

Betters created this fly during his senior year of high school in June 1949. He used Key deer for the wings and tail with a body or either muskrat or opossum dubbing.

Later, Betters used Woodchuck to replace the deer hair because he couldn’t find Key deer any longer. He must have had lots of Woodchuck because he used it in the tails of another fly he created, the Ausable Wulff.

The progression of the fly continued when Al Caucci developed the Comparadun mayfly in the early 1960’s as a variant to the classic Haystack fly pattern. Caucci joined with Bob Nastasi and introduced the fly in 1972 in their first book Comparahatch.

Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone created another variation, using Zelon for the tail and named it the Sparkle Dun.

To find out more about Fran Betters, I highly recommend Valla’s book.

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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Parachute Flies

I was thinking the other day about the dry flies I use most of the time and the fact they don’t include parachute flies. Sure, I’ll use parachute flies on some rivers and perhaps tie on a Purple Haze in the evening at the spring creek I fish. And sometimes it works.

I gave away a few Purple Haze flies to a friend on the river and I began thinking about how important flies tied with hackles can be.

Purple Haze

Purple Haze | www.johnkreft.com

Continue reading

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