Winter Fly Tying Classes

Well, I just finished 13 consecutive weeks of managing and coordinating our local fly club’s Winter Fly Tying Classes.

Winter Fly Tying | www.johnkreft.com

While the club was doing this for several years before I joined, I’ve taken over the reigns for the last four years.

The rules are pretty simple…be a club member, know the basics of fly tying and bring your own vise, tools, and thread along with $5 each night. Continue reading

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Schroeders Parachute Hopper

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Schroeders Parachute Hopper.

Schroeders Parachute Hopper | www.johnkreft.com

Developed in the 1970s by Ed Schroeder of Fresno, California, it was one of the first fly patterns to add the parachute post to increase visibility for the fly fisher. The body stays flush on the surface while the parachute hackle helps with flotation.

Most hopper patterns are tied with foam these days, but I enjoy fishing some of the old classics.

This is a fly I tied many years ago when I found the fly pattern in one of the fly tying books I own.

I decided to add this hopper pattern because it’s going to be over 70 degrees today!

Hopper season will be here soon! 

 

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Western Coachman

This week’s Throw Back Thursday fly is the Western Coachman. It can be fished wet or dry.

Western Coachman | www.johnkreft.com

I got the idea for this fly after reading my most recent copy of Northwest Fly Fishing. There was a very nice article called Masters at the Bench by David Johnson, featuring Buz Buszek. Looking through the list of flies credited to Buszek, there were names like Float-N-Fool, Old Gray Mare, Strawberry Roan, Kings River Caddis, and the Western Coachman.

From what I’ve read, the Western Coachman fly was developed by Buz Buszek around 1939 or 1940. In fact, his flies were so popular he started his own fly shop in 1947. I don’t know much about Buz, be he must have been a great tyer.  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.

Buz had a fly shop in Visalia, California and developed the fly on the nearby Kings River in the Sierra Nevadas. 

I’m sure I fished this fly early in my fly fishing days, but to be honest, I’ve forgotten about it until reading the article. In fact, I seldom swing wet flies anymore. I’m fortunate to live close enough to the river I time my fishing around expected hatches and watch for rising fish. Perhaps I should go retro once in awhile just to experience the old days.

Have you ever fished the Western Coachman?

 

(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.)

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NW Fly Tyer & Fly Fishing Expo

Last weekend, I attended the 2015 NW Fly Tyer & Fly Fishing Expo in Albany, Oregon. I was the Chair for this year’s event, sponsored by the Oregon Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers.

John at Expo | www.johnkreft.comI was pleased to meet several of you who are frequent readers of RiverKeeper Flies. Thanks for stopping me to introduce yourselves as I walked the venue. It was nice to put a name and face together. And a HUGE thanks for supporting RiverKeeper Flies! Continue reading

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March Brown Wet Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday fly is the March Brown Wet Fly.

March Brown Wet Fly | www.johnkreft.com

I decided to continue the theme of my last post – March Brown Time.

I tied this fly many years ago. Can’t remember what book I found it in, but I’m sure it was for a “just in time” fly fishing trip. Probably on the McKenzie River. The McKenzie has a great March Brown hatch. I have some fond memories of fishing the river.

 If you want to fish an old pattern someday, consider using a March Brown wet fly as the hatch begins. Swing it through a nice run and hang on!

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March Brown Time

Spring is here. That means it’s March Brown time.

I saw a small hatch on the river last week. Here is one of them.

Western March Brown (Rhithrogena morrisoni)

March Brown Adult | www.johnkreft.com

I think it’s early, but our weather has been so mild I’m really not surprised. In fact, I was looking for them. I took one of my bug vials filled with Purel hand soap with me just in case. I’m glad I did. I take these back to my fly tying bench to match color and size.

March Brown - Vial | www.johnkreft.com

Western March Brown mayflies (Rhithrogena morrisoni) are in the #12 – 14 size range. If you look at them from above, they appear a medium to dark brown. But that’s not what the fish see. The fly’s abdomen where I live is a reddish-brown. They might be different in the waters you fish. And their wings are very distinct…brown and mottled or some fly fishers would call it cathedral window-like. 

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Carrie Stevens Pink Beauty Streamer

Time for another Throw Back Thursday fly…the Carrie Stevens Pink Beauty Streamer.

Carrie Stevens - Pink Beauty | www.johnkreft.com

Some of you may have seen the Carrie Stevens Pink Beauty Streamer before, but this is the first time as a TBT fly.

There is a certain beauty about Carrie Stevens streamers. The sleekness of lines, combination of colors…I’ve only tied two of them, but I think I’ll have to give some more a try.

Here is an entry from the Carrie Stevens Green Drake Streamer TBT post a few weeks ago to provide a little history:

“Carrie Stevens created her own versions of streamers for Maine’s Rangeley Lakes Region. In July 1924, she landed a 6 pound 13 ounce brook trout, winning 2nd place in the Field & Stream magazine contest. Shortly after that, she began selling her flies.”

Hope you enjoy the Carrie Stevens Pink Beauty Streamer! 

 

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Crooked River Flies – Done

If you’ve been following my posts lately, you know I’ve been working on a project to complete a box of flies for the Crooked River. Well, it’s finished. Here are the Crooked River Flies – done!

Crooked River Flies - Done | www.johnkreft.com

These flies are variations of established fly patterns created by Bill Seitz, who I call “Crooked River Bill.” He catches fish on the Crooked River…and I mean LOTS of fish.

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