This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the WD-40.

WD-40 | www.johnkreft.com

The WD-40 was developed by Mark Engler for the Frying Pan River in Colorado back in 1982.

The WD is for Wood Duck, which is used in the tail and wingcase, although I’ve seen the fly tied with Mallard Flank as well. The fly can be used to imitate a small Baetis / Blue Wing Olive or midge.

The original fly pattern was tied with a gray body/thorax, but it can be tied in a variety of colors including olive, chocolate, black, tan, and red.

I plan to fish the WD-40 as a dropper off of a dry fly or nymph. This time of year, the flies are getting smaller and this fly looks like a good imitation. And I need to learn and fish more midge patterns.

If you tie the fly, be sure to dub a thick thorax to imitate the swollen wing pads of the Baetis mayfly or midge.

Enjoy…go fish!


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Casting for Recovery River Helper

Last weekend, I was honored to participate as a Casting for Recovery River Helper at a retreat held at Black Butte Ranch.


Black Butte Pond - CFR | www.johnkreft.com

This is a beautiful serene setting for the retreat.Black Butte Pond - Mt Washington | www.johnkreft.com

I hope you have heard about Casting for Recovery (CFR). The goal of CFR is “to enhance the quality of life of women with breast cancer through a unique program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing.”

You may have read a post from last year’s experience as a River Helper entitled Casting for Recovery and my attempt to document my CFR day as well as a little info about my wife’s journey. Continue reading

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

Here is an old Brassie fly I tied several year’s ago. I tried to tie a size 20 on a size 18 hook. This technique is used when wanting a larger gape for more hooking power, especially in the smaller hook sizes.

Brassie | www.johnkreft.com


The fly was attributed to Ken Chandler, Gene Lynch, and Tug Davenport who developed it in the 1960’s on Colorado’s South Platte River. I read a story about them fishing tattered flies where the copper underbody, which was used for weight, began to show through and they still caught fish. The rest is history. Another great fly pattern from Colorado’s fly tiers.

I haven’t used it in recent years. I might have to give it a try as a midge imitation or perhaps for a small BWO nymph.

Enjoy…go fish!


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Manage Two Nymph Rigs

Have you ever wondered if there’s a better method to manage two nymph rigs? 

If you follow my blog, you know I love to fish dry flies. I walk along the river searching for fish rising. 

When I do fish nymphs, I usually fish two nymphs. Most of the time I tie on about 18″ of leader on the hook bend of the first nymph and attach a second nymph to it using improved clinch knots.

Nymph Rig | www.johnkreft.com

Continue reading

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Orange Comet

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Orange Comet, a steelhead and salmon fly.

Orange Comet | www.johnkreft.com

I’m heading out salmon fishing and decided to tie up a few Comets and found reports that the Chartreuse Comet is a great tide water fly pattern. I’ve read where the Orange Comet works well in clear water and the color chartreuse works great in off colored water.

Chartruse Comet | www.johnkreft.com

In addition, I tied another variation called Ramone’s Salmon Killer.

Ramones Salmon Killer | www.johnkreft.com

And I think there are other colors as well.

I didn’t know the history of the Comet style fly, but from what I’ve read, it was developed in the Northern California rivers for steelhead in the late 1940’s by Grant King.

I understand it still works today! Perhaps I’ll get a chance to try one.

Enjoy…go fish!

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LaFontaine Diving Caddis

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the LaFontaine Diving Caddis. If you’re a frequent visitor to RiverKeeper Flies, you might recognize a theme of several LaFontaine Caddisflies, including the LaFontaine Deep Sparkle Pupa and the LaFontaine Emergent Pupa.

Brown & Green Diving Caddis

LaFontaine Diving Caddis | www.johnkreft.com

In the past week or so, we’ve been fishing later and later into the evening. I expect to see a multitude of caddis hatching in July, August, and September. But October…not so much. Well, I’m wrong. Perhaps I should be more observant! They still are out there and the fish are taking them with splashy rises. 

An Amber Iris Caddis has been working, but I’m not sure why. I couldn’t see any caddis hatching. There were caddis laying eggs on the water and I thought the body color was close…and fish took it. But those splashy rises were interesting. 

Well, out came the Caddisflies book again. And I reread about the LaFontaine Diving Caddis. Several adult caddis lay eggs by diving into the water. Perhaps that’s what the fish were taking.

Did you know Gary LaFontaine identifies 15 different Diving Caddis patterns?

Yes, 15!!!

  1. Brown & Yellow Diving Caddis
  2. Brown & Green Diving Caddis
  3. Dark-Gray Diving Caddis
  4. Ginger Diving Caddis
  5. Brown Diving Caddis
  6. Black Diving Caddis
  7. Gray & Yellow Diving Caddis
  8. Gray & Brown Diving Caddis
  9. Gray & Green Diving Caddis
  10. Brown & Orange Diving Caddis
  11. Brown & Dark-Blue Diving Caddis
  12. Black & Yellow Diving Caddis
  13. White Diving Caddis
  14. White & Bright-Green Diving Caddis
  15. Tan & Pale-Green Diving Caddis

I never would have guess there were so many variations! How about you?

Well, I’m still learning.

Pick up a copy of Caddisflies for your fly fishing library.

Enjoy…go fish!


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October Fly Box

Here are the flies I’m carrying in my October fly box.

I’ll begin with the October Caddis just because of it’s name.

October Caddis | www.johnkreft.com

These are big bugs, sizes 8 – 10. You’ll see October Caddis flitting over the water laying eggs. I usually blind cast an imitation because fish don’t take them like a normal “hatch”. The take is always exciting as the fish EXPLODE on this fly! Continue reading

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