Fan Wing Green Drake

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Fan Wing Green Drake. I chose this week’s fly in hopes the Green Drake hatch on the Metolius will start soon. I’ve seen a handful, but not enough for the fish to take notice.

Fan Wing Green Drake |

If this fly has a different well-known name, I don’t know it. And I don’t know who originated this fly. But I do know that fan wing flies aren’t very common with the fly fishers I know.

In the 1920’s, fan wing flies became popular and it was only natural to create fan wing flies from the popular flies at the time. I think that’s still done today. We fly tyers try to improve flies with the latest fad or new technique. Will they out fish the original? Perhaps.

If you know a different name for this fly, I’d appreciate knowing it.

Maybe I’ll tie this on my leader in the next few days and see if it still works.

When was the last time you used a fan wing fly?


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Match the Hatch

If you fish dry flies, you know what I mean when I say Match the Hatch.

Determine what is hatching on the river or lake that day and hopefully have a pattern or two in the fly box that will imitate the real bug and fool a fish.

Sometimes it’s an easy answer. You look forward to an annual well-known hatch like the Salmonfly hatch on the Deschutes River. You expect to see Salmonflies. Right now it’s the place to be. You’ll see these bugs on the grasses and trees next to the water.

Salmonfly adult|

Or these…

Golden Stonefly Adult|

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Goddard Caddis

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

Goddard Caddis |

Originally known as the G & H Sedge, it was created by John Goddard and Clive Henry in England as a stillwater pattern. Goddard gave the pattern to Andre Puyans (a great fly tyer as well from California) in the 1960’s. Puyans in turn shared it in the Bay Area and called the fly the Goddard Caddis.

The original stillwater version was tied with a belly of green fur with clipped deer hair over the top.

Today, Leroy Hyatt ties some of the best Goddard Caddis flies available anywhere. You can purchase his flies through Blue Ribbon Flies. I first saw Leroy tie flies on a program published by Idaho Public Television called: Fly Tying – An Angler’s Art. The host was Dave Engerbretson. They would tie 2 or 3 flies on each episode. That was WAY before Youtube! I always looked forward to their show.

I found the following video on Youtube. Evidently, Leroy tied on a Dyna-King Professional Vise because it’s on the Dyna-King channel.

Enjoy…and go fish!


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East Lake Fly Box

Since the Crooked River Flies, Basic Dry Flies, and Basic Nymph Flies Fly Boxes are so popular, I thought I’d add an East Lake Fly Box to my RiverKeeper Flies Fly Patterns page.

While my first love is river fishing, I do fish lakes. In fact, friends are surprised when they see me at a lake. I guess my reputation precedes me! That happened recently at East Lake.

East Lake is about 41 miles southeast of Bend, Oregon. It’s at an elevation of 6,385 feet and located within the Newberry Caldera with Paulina Lake. Be sure to check out the Atlas of Oregon Lakes in my Resources page for additional information and a detailed map.

East Lake has been a terrific fishery the last few years and I’ve been spending more fishing days up there.

East Lake |

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Quigley Cripple

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Quigley Cripple, developed by Bob Quigley in the late 1970’s for Northern California’s Fall River. Seems like Northern California is the birthplace of several flies I like.

Here is my Green Drake Quigley Cripple.

Quigley Cripple |

As the story goes, Bob was fishing a Humpy and catching fish with it. The wing got chewed up and he caught many more fish with the tattered fly. That got him thinking. Perhaps he should tie a fly with a wing facing forward. The result was the Quigley Cripple. I read where he is credited with inventing the term “cripple” to describe this form of mayfly.

The fly represents a mayfly emerging from the nymphal shuck. Many fish key on struggling bugs as they are easy picken’s. Imitating this stage of insect can provide a great day of fishing.

The tail and body should be the color of the real nymph, whereas the thorax and wing will represent an adult trying to get free. A key identifying feature of the Quigley Cripple is the forward facing wing.

You’ll find many more fly patterns these days with forward facing wings – the Mayfly Cripple from Blue Ribbon Flies and the CDC Last Chance Cripple from Rene Harrop are a couple that quickly come to mind. 

In my experience, fish key on cripples as they are easier to catch and don’t have to worry about them flying off.

Green Drakes will be hatching in the next few weeks. I think I’ll sit down at the tying bench and tie a few more.


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A Fish Story

In this week’s post, I wanted to share a fish story that happened to me last week.

How many times do you walk along the river and say “there’s gotta be a fish there”? It happens to me frequently. I’ve been lucky enough to fish a lot, caught some fish over the years and perhaps am starting to think like a fish. I remember where I caught fish and catalog those lies and look for similar spots…hence…”there’s gotta be a fish there”!

It happened to me last week. I’m walking and looking for noses because there are a few bugs out. Caddis, crane flies, little olive stones, PMD, BWO to name a few and don’t forget an occasional beetle or ant.

Eddy |

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Muddler Minnow

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Muddler Minnow. Muddlers imitate various bait fish, namely sculpins.

Muddler Minnow |


This is a fly I tied many years ago…a feeble attempt at best.

The development of the Muddler Minnow was attributed to Don Gapen of Anoka, Minnesota in 1937. Don’s parents ran the Gateway Lodge Resort on the shore of Hungry Jack Lake. A second resort was opened on the Nipigon River in Ontario called the Chalet Bungalow Lodge. Evidently, Don developed the Muddler there to catch brook trout. After that, the fly reached legendary status as it was popularized in Montana and now everyone knows about it.

I have to be honest, I haven’t fished this fly much. I really don’t fish many streamers except an occasional attempt trying to hook up on a Bull Trout in the Metolius. But I know many fly fishers do and swear by it.

Maybe you have.


Check out the Galleries tab on the menu bar for an easy way to view all the Throw Back Thursday Flies pictures.

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Recent Changes

Here are some recent changes I’ve made to RiverKeeper FliesThe changes include:

  • Major update to the Fly Patterns page
  • Added a Galleries page
  • Added a Custom Flies page

Mayflies |

Fly Patterns Page

There’s an old adage  “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

With that in mind, I’ve been busy revising the Fly Patterns page to provide a simpler method of finding flies. Clicking any picture on the new Fly Patterns page will take you to a separate page with a fly picture and fly name. Just click on the fly name for a link to the fly pattern sheet.

In addition, I’ve added a new feature I call Fly Boxes. You’ll find recommended fly patterns for the boxes listed. These came about because of the posts Crooked River Flies – DoneNew to Fly Fishing? What Flies Should I Use? and What Nymphs Should I Use? 

Remember, even if you don’t tie flies, check them out as I’ve included pictures of real insects (where possible) to show what they imitate. Many of them can be found at your local fly shop. If not, let me know and I can tie them for you.

Here’s how the Fly Patterns page is organized:

  • Mayflies
  • Caddis
  • Stoneflies
  • Midges
  • Terrestrials
  • Lake Flies
  • Steelhead Flies
  • Fly Boxes
    • Crooked River Flies
    • Basic Dry Flies
    • Basic Nymph Flies

Check out the new Fly Patterns page.

In addition, you’ll see a few new fly patterns:


Galleries Page

You’ll find Galleries on the menu tab. I’ve had lots of compliments about the pictures seen on RiverKeeper Flies, so I decided to dedicate a page for photo galleries. The first one is Throw Back Thursday Flies. Click on the link and enjoy all the flies from the past. New ones are added each week.

I’ll be adding other galleries in the future.


Custom Flies Page

You’ll find Custom Flies on the menu bar. I decided to add this page as a reminder that I sell my flies.


I hope you are enjoying the RiverKeeper Flies website.


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