Spring Fly Fishing

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.

Cinygmula Mayfly | www.johnkreft.com

I enjoy watching them float down the river and seeing a nose break the surface and eat the bug. Continue reading

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Odds and Ends

It’s time again for another odds and ends post at RiverKeeper Flies. Occasionally, I write one of these to catch you up on additions to the website as well as provide a few recent pictures.

If you don’t follow me on Facebook – @RiverKeeperFlies – or Instagram – @riverkeeperflies, you’re probably missing out on a few pictures. I have some friends, you know who you are, who say they don’t do that social media thing.

Fine!

So here are a few pictures they might have missed, in no particular order:

A nice Metolus River rainbow.

Metolius Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

Continue reading

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Clouser Minnow

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Clouser Minnow.

Clouser Minnow | www.johnkreft.com

This Clouser Minnow is one a friend gave me a couple of years ago.

Bob Clouser invented the Clouser Minnow in 1987 to imitate smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna River.

My quick research found the fly was named by Lefty Kreh as the Clouser Deep Minnow. He used the fly in fresh and saltwater and has caught over 87 species of game fish using the fly.

A #2 saltwater hook was used for the original fly with a white bucktail belly, gold Krystal Flash and natural brown bucktail for the wing. The other color was tied with white bucktail for the belly, silver Krystal Flash, and gray-dyed bucktail.

The Clouser Minnow can be tied in a other popular colors including tan and white, white and black, chartreuse and white, and brown and white.

Tying the eyes on the bottom of the hook inverts the fly so it doesn’t hang up on the bottom. In addition, the heavy eyes cause the fly to have a jigging motion when fished.

The Clouser Minnow is still a very popular streamer pattern. If you haven’t tried one, you’re missing out!

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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Planting Spring Chinook Fry in Whychus Creek

Last week, my wife and I helped with planting Spring Chinook fry in Whychus Creek. It was the last batch of salmon scheduled to be planted in the Deschutes basin during 2017.

John Planting Spring Chinook Fry in Whychus Creek | www.johnkreft.com

This was a special day for us because these Spring Chinook fry were planted above the town of Sisters, OR, where we live. Whychus Creek flows through our back yard, so hopefully these fish will migrate past our house next year as smolts. Continue reading

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McKenzie Caddis Wet Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the McKenzie Caddis Wet Fly.

McKenzie Caddis Wet Fly | www.johnkreft.comThis is the companion fly to last week’s TBT fly – the McKenzie Caddis Dry Fly.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I found these fly patterns from the Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene, OR probably in the 1980’s.

These caddis flies begin hatching in mid-May and is a major hatch anticipated by many fly fishers. And they are big! Females can be in the #8 – 10 range, while males will be a little smaller in size 10 – 12. 

So if you live in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, you better have a few of these bugs in your fly box.

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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Comparable Fly Fishing Hooks

Have you ever had a problem trying to find a comparable fly fishing hook? You’ve used a certain manufacturer for awhile, but can’t get that hook now and want a similar model? Or you found a new fly pattern you’d like to tie, but it references a hook you don’t have. That’s one of the reasons Fly Tying Hook Conversion Tables exist.

I’m slowly switching to Daiichi hooks. Why? These hooks are incredibly sharp right out of the package. Secondly, I’d like to use hooks from one manufacturer to eliminate the multiple brands I now have in my hook drawer. 

Hook Variety | www.johnkreft.com

I’ve used Dai Riki hooks for many years because they were cheaper. I used them almost exclusively, except for a few Tiemco hooks I like – the 102Y and 206BL. Continue reading

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McKenzie Caddis Dry Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the McKenzie Caddis dry fly.

McKenzie Caddis Dry Fly | www.johnkreft.com

This odd looking body color matches the real insect found on the McKenzie River in Oregon. I found this fly pattern in the 1980’s when I tied a few of these flies for the first time.

These caddis flies begin hatching in mid-May and is a major hatch anticipated by many fly fishers. And they are big! Females can be in the #8 – 10 range, while males will be a little smaller in size 10 – 12. 

So if you live in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, you better have a few of these bugs in your fly box.

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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Planting Spring Chinook in the Deschutes Basin

I’ve had an opportunity in the last month to help with two volunteer activities by planting Spring Chinook in the Deschutes basin.

It started with planting several thousand Spring Chinook fry.

My wife and I were part of a group planting small fry in Lake Creek, a tributary of the Metolius, while others planted them in the main-stem Metolius. A total of 300,000 fry were planted that day.

These fry will live in the river for a year before they become a smolt and begin their perilous journey ahead of them as they attempt to get past the brown, rainbow, and bull trout during their 28 mile trek to Lake Billy Chinook. Their second challenge is getting past the dams blocking the lower Deschutes River to travel 100 miles to the Columbia River. The ocean is only another 204 miles where they spend two to three years growing bigger before heading back again. Continue reading

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Griffith’s Gnat Emerger Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Griffith’s Gnat Emerger fly.

Griffith's Gnat Emerger Peacock Version | www.johnkreft.com

This is another great fly pattern from Craig Mathews at Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, MT. He created a variant of the Griffith’s Gnat with his Zelon Midge and the result was the Griffith’s Gnat Emerger fly.

If you are a frequent RiverKeeper Flies reader, you surely recognize Craig’s name along with Blue Ribbon Flies. I have many of their fly patterns on the website. In addition, I wrote a couple of blogs – Craig Mathews and Blue Ribbon Flies and Craig Mathews Winter Seminar which includes pictures of flies he tied. Both of these posts are popular here at RiverKeeper Flies. Continue reading

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