Next Cast Flyfishers Camp

A couple of weeks ago, I helped my wife Karen teach 12 kids from ages 10 to 14 about fly fishing during the Next Cast Flyfishers Camp. It’s part of our fly club’s Next Cast Flyfishers (our youth program) goal to get kids into fly fishing in Central Oregon.

Next Cast Fish Camp |

This is a picture of the kids holding a check for $3,860 from a Kokanee Power. This grant will support the Next Cast Flyfishers in the future. Yes, those are our waders and boots. And we outfit the kids with Redington Crosswater youth fly rod outfits for them to use during camp. Continue reading

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Purple Peril

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Purple Peril. Since I wrote about Purple Flies in this weeks blog, I felt it appropriate to select it as a Throw Back fly.

Purple Peril - Original |

The Purple Peril was developed by George McLeod from the Seattle area before World War II.

Paraphrasing from Classic Steelhead Flies by John Shewey, George’s father fished the North Fork Stillaguamish River. His favorite steelhead fly was the Montreal, which used claret colored feathers. (To see a picture of the Montreal, click here.) So he ordered them from M. Schwartz & Sons from New York City, but received purple hackle instead. Using those purple feathers, he tied up some bucktail patterns and guess what? They caught fish. Especially on dark days.

The Purple Peril is a classic steelhead fly that still catches fish today. In fact, I’ll bet you can find a bin of them at your local fly shop.

Try it on your next steelhead trip.

Go fish!


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Purple Flies

I don’t know why they work so well, but purple flies seem to catch the fish’s attention.

What really made me a believer is the biggest rainbow trout I’ve ever seen on the Metolius River was caught on a size 16 Purple Haze. That was a few years ago. I taped it at 26 1/2″. And no, I didn’t catch it. A friend of mine did…on 6x tippet! Had to tail it like a steelhead because it didn’t fit in my net. It was incredible…the fight and the fish! 

Haven’t seen one that size since.


Purple Haze |

Continue reading

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Partridge and Orange Soft Hackle

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Partridge and Orange Soft Hackle.

Partridge and Orange Soft Hackle |

Soft hackles are an old style of fly and were developed before Izaak Walton wrote the Compleat Angler in 1653. I’ve used various versions of soft hackles and eventually developed the RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple and fish it as a dry fly. Others have developed a similar version, but I came upon it honestly by trial and error.

My friend Jeff Perin from The Fly Fisher’s Place in Sisters, Oregon uses this Partridge and Orange Soft Hackle in lakes. And try a Partridge and Purple as well.

Think I’ll give it a try in East Lake in a couple of days.


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Tellico Nymph

The Tellico Nymph is this week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly.

Tellico Nymph |

This is one I probably tied in the 1970’s. It was a fly pattern out of the American Nymph Fly Tying Manual by Randall Kaufmann. I tied many flies from this book as I learned new fly tying techniques.

It fishes well today and is a fly my friend Dave nymphs with. He uses the fly to imitate a Golden Stone fly, but it can imitate other bugs too.

My quick research stated it was created by an unknown fly tyer from Tennessee.

If you’ve fly fished for awhile, perhaps you’ve even used this fly. If so, I hope it brings back some good memories.


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We’ve been fishing the river quite a bit lately and have noticed LOTS of spinners on the water. My wife, the Bug Lady, searches back eddies for bugs while waiting for the hatch to happen.

Green Drake Spinner

Green Drake Spinner |

What is a spinner you ask?

Well, spinners are the final phase of a mayfly’s life, be it a Blue Wing Olive, Pale Morning Dun, March Brown, Brown Drake, or Green Drake to name a few. Continue reading

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This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Brassie. Here is a fly I tied many years ago. I found the fly pattern in Randall Kaufmann’s Nymphs book. As you can tell, it’s a simple pattern to tie.

Brassie |

The Brassie was developed by Gene Lynch in the 1960’s. Lynch among other South Platte River fly tyers in Colorado were experimenting with copper wire bodies. I believe some of the early flies used Brass plated wire, hence the name Brassie.

I’ve never heard of Brass plated wire, I used copper wire.

If you’re a fly tyer and wondered why there was a “brassie” size copper wire (among a myriad of other colors these days) this fly is the reason. The Brassie size wire is between the small and medium and is best used for flies in the 18 – 22 range. It helps sink the fly faster in the water column. In addition, the wire provides an appearance of segmentation.

You can use dubbing as shown in the picture or peacock herl for the thorax/head. Another option is to add a bead head.

The Brassie can imitate caddis larva, caddis pupa, or midge pupa.


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How to play and land fish

Here are a few thoughts about how to play and land fish. Over the years, I’ve changed my tactics.

Metolius Rainbow |

I use a different leader size to fish my spring creek these days. I used a Rio Powerflex 9 foot 5x (5.0 lbs) leader right out of the package for years and was fortunate to catch some fish. Now I use a 12 foot leader tapered down to 6x (3.4 lbs). Why? I catch more fish using 6x tippet material. And the Rio Powerflex 6x is strong! Learn more about my simple leader system in the post Make Your Fly Fishing Leader Last Longer. Continue reading

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