The River Wins

Fishing has changed the last few weeks and I’ve come to the conclusion the river wins!

Bridge 99 - Metolius River |

July and August are tough months to fish some rivers. Hatches change. I’m spoiled. I enjoy dry fly fishing. Continue reading

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Chernobyl Ant

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Chernobyl Ant.

Chernobyl Ant |

It’s an attractor fly pattern and can imitate cicada, crickets, grasshoppers, and stoneflies.

Larry Tullis of Orem, Utah relays the fly’s development in Tying Flies with Foam, Fur, and Feathers by Harrison Steeves. Larry tied up a foam body cicada from a beach sandal in the late 1970’s and shared it with other fly fishing guides on the Green River in Utah, including Mark Forsland. Mark is credited with another iteration in the mid-1980’s, originally known as the Black Mamba to imitate cicadas. When rubber legs were added it morphed into the Chernobyl Ant.

Other guides added to the evolutionary process, resulting in today’s version.

The fly was shown to Jack Dennis of Jackson Hole who used it in the prestigious 1-Fly Contest. The Chubby Chernobyl caught many fish and the fly’s success skyrocketed from there.

I must have tried them in the late 1990’s. Many fly tyers have changed colors and added other materials. That’s probably how the Chubby Chernobyl was invented.

I’ve tied it in different colors and use it for a simple stonefly pattern. Most recently, I fished a black/tan version to imitate the Cascades Stone (read about this fly in my post The Golden Stonefly Cousin – Doroneuria baumanni).

Who cares what the fish think it is…it works!

Give it a try.


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Dougs Damsel Nymph

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Dougs Damsel Nymph.

Dougs Damsel Nymph |

And here is what it looks like when wet.

Dougs Damsel Nymph - Wet |

And a picture of the real damsel nymph.

Damsel Nymph |

I began tying and fishing these flies in the mid-1990’s. I found the fly in Tying Nymphs book by Randall Kaufmann. I tied a lot of flies from that book. The fly was developed by Doug Jorgensen in 1988 when he was guiding at Grindstone Lakes in Oregon. The long tail is designed to wiggle during the retrieve.

This fly is my favorite damsel nymph and we caught BIG trout at Antone Ranch, which used to be a pay-to-play lake. LOTS of big trout! 

Antone Ranch Rainbow |

Perhaps this is why it’s my favorite damsel nymph!

Tie up some Dougs Damsel Nymph in different shades of olive and tan and give them a try next time you are on the lake.


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Pale Morning Duns

Pale Morning Duns (PMD) are the major hatch I’m fishing lately. The Green Drakes are done, so PMDs are what I’m looking for.

Pale Morning Dun - PMD|

This is a picture I took of the real Pale Morning Dun. The distinguishing features of a PMD are 3 tails and light gray wings with a leading edge of yellow stain. The body colors will range from bright yellow, olive-yellow, dull yellow, or even a reddish brown. Continue reading

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Alder Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Alder Fly.

Alder Fly |

This fly is an old English fly pattern that is hundreds of years old. In fact, some quick Internet research suggests it may have been developed around 1496 when it was included in Dame Juliana Berners first fly fishing book Fysshe and Fysshynge.

I wonder if there is a similar fly in one of my Antique Fly Wallets. Other old fly wallets can be found at Antique Fly Wallets Revisited. I’ll have to check.

I have to be honest. I’ve never fished this fly. Found it and if I were to fish if, I’d do so during a caddis hatch.

I think it would catch fish!


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Top 10 Dry Flies for July

The Green Drakes are winding down, so I decided I better begin thinking about what fly patterns I’ll be fishing soon and make sure the fly boxes are stocked. What better way than to come up with a list of the Top 10 Dry Flies for July?

The list I compiled could be used on many rivers and lakes this month.

1. Clarks Golden Stone

Clark's Golden Stone|

Continue reading

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July 4th

While sitting at the vise today, I decided to celebrate the 4th of July. Here’s what popped out the jaws.

July 4th |

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I apologize to my subscribers this am. You received an email with a “test” post. That’s exactly what it was…I was trying something last night and should have deleted it. 


If you’ve followed RiverKeeper Flies for a while, you know I’m always trying to improve the website. 

So…what I was working on is a automatic link to Twitter when a post is published. It appears to be working. If you have a Twitter account, you can follow me – @reelmusic365

Please let me know if there are other ideas you might have.

…go fish!


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