Henryville Special

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Henryville Special.

I’ve had this fly in my caddis box for awhile. Not sure where I bought it.

Henryville Special | www.johnkreft.com

The Henryville Special is a caddis imitation and was created by Hiram Brobst of LeHighton Pennsylvania in the 1930’s for the Broadhead Creek section of river called the Henryville House in the Pocono mountains. 

Some believe the Pocono mountains may be the real birthplace of fly fishing in the United States, not the Catskills. I won’t argue either way. My point is some older patterns are still worth having in your box!

There were many variations to this fly including the Hemingway Caddis, developed by Mike Lawson of Island Park, Idaho for fishing the Henry’s Fork of the Snake river. I’ll present that fly in a future Throw Back Thursday Fly post.


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Cast to a Spot

Got a question for you. When you’re fly fishing your favorite river, do you cast to a spot, cast as far as you can, or just let your fly land on the water anywhere and hope a fish will swim by and eat it?

Water Window | www.johnkreft.com

I think you’ll have more success if you deliberately cast to a spot where you believe a fish is holding.

Here are a few tips to increase your fish-catching success. They work for me. Continue reading

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Woolly Bugger

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Woolly Bugger.

Woolly Bugger | www.johnkreft.com

Like many flies, fly tyers are always tweeking tried and true flies to make them fish better. The Woolly Bugger is very similar to the Woolly Worm, but with a different tail of marabou. The picture above includes a bead head as well.

The fly was created by Russell Blessing of Pennsylvania around 1967. The Woolly Bugger is one of the first flies used to teach beginners the art of fly tying. It is constructed of a marabou tail, chenille body wrapped with hackle. Pick any color combination and see if it works for you.

It can be used as a wet fly or streamer. I use it mostly for lakes.

Here is another version I use in lakes. It uses dubbing rather than chenille for the body.

Claret Bugger|www.johnkreft.com

Have you used a Woolly Bugger lately?


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Goodbye IFFF

As they say…”and fun was had by all”. I had a great time last week at the 50th Anniversary of the International Federation of Fly Fishers Fair in Bend, Oregon. So I thought it would be appropriate to say goodbye IFFF.

Old Mill Casting Course | www.johnkreft.com

I started the week finishing a few flies (3 dozen in total) RiverKeeper Flies provided to the Women’s University for fishing East Lake. And I hear several women not only saw fish, but caught a few as well…some using my flies! I tied Zebra Midges and OB2Wanchironomie for them to fish with. Karen and I tied up chironomid rigs for the ladies so they could quickly switch styles of fishing. Continue reading

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Freight Train

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is another steelhead fly pattern – the Freight Train.

Freight Train | www.johnkreft.com

This fly was the creation of Randall Kaufmann. The Freight Train was developed along the Deschutes River where the railroad track follows the river for many miles. Other steelhead fly patterns were developed with the railroad theme…Coal Car, Signal Light, and Flat Car. You get the picture.

I’ve read where more steelhead are entering the Deschutes now since the water has cooled. Perhaps I better go swing a Freight Train in the near future!

For more information about some of these classic steelhead flies, check out John Shewey’s book Classic Steelhead Flies.


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August Flies

Well, it’s here…the dog days of summer. You may recall I recently wrote a post called The River Wins. I’ve had some up and down days since writing that. But that’s to be expected this time of year. I haven’t given up. So I thought I’d provide a list of August flies I’ll be fishing.

Rainbow with Beetle Bailey|www.johnkreft.com

The lakes are fishing well in my area. Callibaetis mayflies are still coming off. Here’s the flies that have worked for me lately. Continue reading

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Green Butt Skunk

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Green Butt Skunk. I would venture to guess it is one of the most popular steelhead flies of all time!

Green Butt Skunk | www.johnkreft.com

It was developed by Dan Callaghan, date unknown, but sometime after 1950. He took the original Skunk steelhead fly and added the green butt. Just that minor change made a big difference for many steelhead fly fishers! Continue reading

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IFFF 50th Anniversary

The IFFF 50th Anniversary will be held in Oregon next week (August 13 – 15) at the Bend Riverhouse Hotel & Convention Center. If you are in the area, please plan to attend.

There are two venues for Fly Fishing Fair Activities:

The Riverhouse

This is where the actual Fair is taking place Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In the Exhibit Hall, you can expect to see fly tying demonstrations, vendors, participate in auctions and raffles, and sign up for classes and workshops. Check out the AWARDS BANQUET on Wednesday night, LIVE AUCTION on Friday night, or BBQ on Saturday night after the show closes.

The Old Mill

Many casting activities will take place on the Old Mill CASTING COURSE. This is your opportunity to receive help from Certified Casting Instructors. Activities include: Continue reading

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