2016 NW Fly Tyer and Fly Fishing Expo

I’m busy getting ready for the 2016 NW Fly Tyer and Fly Fishing Expo in Albany, Oregon on March 11 & 12. I continue my Chair duties again this year. The Expo is sponsored by the Oregon Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers, where I am the Treasurer. Now you understand why I’ve been busy!

Tying Flies During 2015 Expo

John at Expo | www.johnkreft.comOne of the major outcomes of the Expo is to make money for the Oregon Council. The benefit auction on Saturday night is always a good time to bid on your favorite fly plate, fishing trip, and other items. Two plates to be auctioned off are the Show Plate and Central Oregon Fly Tyer’s Guild Plate. Continue reading

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Green Drake Hairwing Dun

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Green Drake Hairwing Dun.

The fly was created by Rene Harrop in the 1980’s. In fact, I found a Fly Fisherman magazine article Rene wrote explaining how he developed the Hairwing Dun.

Green Drake Hairwing Dun | www.johnkreft.com

Looks like the fly was born in Rene’s mind as he fished the Firehole River. Evidently, mayflies were hatching and he didn’t have a likely looking imitation. He pulled out an Elk Hair Caddis and made a few changes “with some judicious manicuring”, making it into a mayfly imitation. It caught fish. And that experience started the mind of a fly tying designer thinking…how can I make it work better? Continue reading

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Fly Fishing Leaders

What leader length do I use? What tippet size do I fish? I’ve been asked those questions quite a bit. And I always point people to a previous RiverKeeper Flies post entitled Make Your Fly Fishing Leader Last Longer about the fly fishing leaders I use to fish dry flies.

Rio Leader & Tippet | www.johnkreft.com

But if you are new to RiverKeeper Flies, perhaps you haven’t had a chance to read previous posts. So I thought this simple tip was important enough to highlight again.

It falls under the heading “you can do whatever you want, but this is what I do.” Evidently I say this a lot. But I really mean it. If you find a technique that works for you…do it! If you are open to new ideas and would like to try a different way to tie fly fishing leaders, read on. Continue reading

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Central Oregon Flyfishers Winter Fly Tying

This is my 5th year leading the Central Oregon Flyfishers Winter Fly Tying classes. I really enjoy this activity and it takes up quite a bit of time to prepare and manage, a perfect fit during the winter months.

Our rules are pretty simple…be a club member, know the basics of fly tying and bring your own vise, tools, and thread along with $5 each night.

COF Winter Fly Tying | www.johnkreft.comWe meet at the Bend Senior Center every Tuesday in January, February, and March at 6 pm. Everyone is out the door by 8:30. Students learn to tie 2 flies (sometimes 3). I supply all the materials and most nights, you can tie as many flies as you like. Pretty simple, right?

But this is important. We only have one instructor for the number of students who decide to walk through the door that night, which is why it is not a beginners class. The instructor walks around the room to help, but there isn’t time for one-on-one instruction to tie a complete fly. By walking around the room, the instructor can get a handle on what tyers are doing right and where they may need further assistance. The instructor can return to the vise and tie another fly, highlighting the technique students were having difficulties with. Continue reading

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Lingrens Olive

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Lingrens Olive.

Lingrens Olive | www.johnkreft.com

I found this fly in the American Nymph Fly Tying Manual  (1975) by Randall Kaufmann. It imitates many mayfly nymphs and the fly pattern sheet suggests tying these nymphs in sizes 10 – 18. It was named Lingren’s Olive. But after writing this TBT post, I’ve since found out the name was wrong in Kaufmann’s book. It should read Lindgren’s Olive.

I don’t know much about Ira Lindgren, but Kaufmann referenced the fact he lived in the Sierra foothills. Perhaps a few of you may know of Ira. If so, please share his history.

This is a recent tie in a size 16 I plan on trying in the near future to imitate a Blue Wing Olive nymph. The fly pattern directions are to trim the hackle on top and bottom, leaving hackle on the sides for legs. I think I’ll try it as a soft hackle and make a few cuts out on the river.

Enjoy…go fish!

UPDATED 2/12/16: My friend Wayne Luallen provided the following information about Ira:

“Ira Lindgren was a grape farmer living in Dinuba, CA. He was far ahead of his time among fly fishers.

In the 1950’s he snorkeled the Kings River observing how fish fed and wrote several articles about his observations and fly fishing in general. I recall his writing about how trout were constantly picking up anything drifting by – twigs, debris, or insects – that might possibly represent food, but he was especially impressed how quickly they could reject that object. (Some of his articles may still be available thru the Fresno Fly Fishers for Conservation club in Fresno, CA, or the Kaweah Fly Fishers club in Visalia, CA which have reprinted some in their newsletters over the years.)

He was a friend of Wayne ‘Buz’ Buszek in Visalia and Doug Prince who lived in Monterey who with Buz and Ira fished the Kings River often. Ira had access to peccary and used the body hairs natural or dyed to make the “quill” body on his dry flies. Typically they were tied with a hackle barb tail, a single peccary hair wound for the body, and an over-sized (for the hook used) hackle with no wing. His nymphs were very simply tied, but very effective, generally employing peacock herl. Buz’s Fly and Tackle in Visalia for many years sold some of Ira’s patterns, particularly his nymphs. Perhaps his most effective was his most simple: Lindgren’s Peacock.

Hook: Mustad 7957BX or 3906, size 10-14

Thread: Black Nymo

Tail: sparse dyed black hackle barbs

Body: Peacock herl counter-ribbed with gold wire

Hackle: dyed black hackle trimmed top and bottom leaving just a few barbs to either side

Regrettably Ira ended his life in 1966, a year after Buz chose to do the same.”

Thanks Wayne!


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Lake Fly Order

I’m finishing a lake fly order today. Karen and I were fishing Diamond Lake with friends last fall and had great success on Dennys Stillwater Nymph. While our friends caught fish, we had a tremendous day and only used one fly pattern…Dennys Stillwater Nymph. (I wrote about our experience in a previous post – Fly Fishing at Diamond Lake)

We use it primarily in the following colors and fish them in sizes 12 & 14.

Dennys Stillwater Nymph – Burnt Orange Back

Denny's Stillwater Nymph | www.johnkreft.com Continue reading

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Davie McPhail

There are a lot of talented fly tyers out there. A rare combination is when you find someone who can tie beautiful flies and TEACH too. Davie McPhail is one of those tyers.

Davie is from Scotland and has a Youtube channel I frequently watch. Youtube states he joined on June 26, 2009 and has posted several hundred fly tying videos with almost 15 MILLION views. When some of you ask if I plan to provide fly tying videos, I always direct them to Davie McPhail’s site.

His fly tying prowess runs the gamut from beginning flies to full dress Atlantic Salmon flies. Interested in Scottish or Irish wet flies? He has those too. How about a parachute pattern? Yup, there are several to choose from. A streamer? You guessed it. Whatever video you choose to watch, Davie ties the fly beautifully and with ease. On more than one occasion, I’ve repeated the video because I asked myself…”how’d he do that?” Continue reading

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