Just in Time Fly Tyer

Earlier this month, I wrote a post entitled Where to Fish where I tried to describe the difficulty of all the fly fishing choices available to me. Today I’m headed to the Lower Deschutes to see if the Golden Stoneflies are still around in numbers to have a few fish looking up. And that means tying a few more flies for the trip. This time of year, I’m a “just in time” fly tyer.

Golden and stonefly|www.johnkreft.com

I’ll be carrying the Chubby Chernobyl and the Chubby Chernobyl in purple. Continue reading

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Hackle Stacker

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Hackle Stacker, a style of fly developed by Bob Quigley in the late 1980’s.

Quigleys PMD Hackle Stacker | www.johnkreft.com

Bob fished the Hackle Stacker in Southern Oregon and Northern California. The fly utilizes a paraloop technique by winding the hackle around a flexible post of some type. The fly above is a size 16 PMD Hackle Stacker utilizing a loop of tying thread for the post.

The fly could imitate emergers, cripples, or duns. I’d like to be a fish for a couple of hours to really understand what they see and why they choose or don’t choose to eat my fly.

The other Bob Quigley fly you may recognize if the Quigley Cripple, a Throw Back Thursday Fly I posted last year.

This week’s post entitled PMDs Hatching Again got me thinking about this fly. I better tie up a few more and fish them later this week!

Perhaps I should tie a few Green Drake Hackle Stackers for my favorite river…

Enjoy…go fish!



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PMDs Hatching Again

I was on the river last week and happened to witness a tremendous PMD hatch. I’ve been waiting for the Green Drake mayflies to begin hatching, but it was great to see PMDs hatching again.Pale Morning Dun - PMD

PMDs, otherwise known as Pale Morning Duns, are an important hatch for fish and fly fishers. Generally, you’ll find these flies in sizes 16 -18. The hatch begins in late May and will continue through September. 

PMDs have a pale yellow body and smokey gray (or dun color) wing. But their body colors vary and include shades of pale green, yellowish-tan, or a light reddish-brown. Look at the bug carefully. The underside of the insect is what the fish sees and the color is usually lighter than on top. Continue reading

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The Rose

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is The Rose.

The Rose | www.johnkreft.com

The Rose is a fly from the collection of Mary Orvis Marbury. I’ll call it a “variant” as I didn’t have the original materials to tie the fly. I used a Golden Pheasant body feather for the hackle and added black ostrich herl at the head to dress it up a little.

I found it listed in the book Forgotten Flies by Paul Schmookler & Ingrid Sils. It includes 250 trout and bass flies popularized by Marbury and produced by Orvis tyers in the late 1800’s.

As a member of the Central Oregon Fly Tyer’s Guild, I’m tying this fly for a fly plate to be donated to the International Federation of Fly Fishers. Each Guild member chose a Mary Orvis Marbury fly with a woman’s name to celebrate fly fishing women.

I tied The Rose on an older Mustad 3366 2/0 hook.

Enjoy…go fish!


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Testing Fly Fishing Knots

I’ve written about my favorite fly fishing knots in previous posts, but I’m preparing to teach a class entitled Making Effective Leaders for Rivers and Lakes at the International Federation of Fly Fishers Fair in Livingston, Montana on August 4. The Fair runs August 2 to 6. I thought I should use the knots I’ll be teaching, so this week I decided to start testing fly fishing knots.

My goal of the class is for students to learn how to make effective leaders for rivers and lakes. In order to do that, the fly fisher must know a few knots and be comfortable tying them. Each participant will leave with 3 leaders – a dry fly, nymph, and one to fish chironomids.

Here is my first experiment…the Non-Slip Loop Knot.

Bull Trout with Black Leech | www.johnkreft.com

Did you even look for the knot? It’s attached to a 4-inch long black leech pattern I threw together. Needless to say, I believe in the knot’s strength after hooking and catching this Bull Trout! Continue reading

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Sidewinder No-Hackle

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Sidewinder No-Hackle, by Doug Swisher and Carl Richards.

Sidewinder No-Hackle | www.johnkreft.com

This size 18 fly was given to me recently by a friend who tied it a few years ago. I think he did a terrific job! Notice the small drop of Dave’s Fleximent at the tip of the wing, which is a technique to hold the hackle together. Just the right amount is needed. If too much is applied, the fly tips over.

According to the information on Doug Swisher’s website, the Sidewinder No-Hackle started out in 1965 as the Hairwing No-Hackle. The original had a deer hair wing and tail. You might recognize the fly which was as Swisher calls it…re-invented by a different fly tyer and called it the Comparadun, switching out the deer hair tail for hackle fibers. Here is a March Brown Comparadun I tie.

Comparadun | www.johnkreft.com

The Sidewinder No-Hackle is a result of Swisher and Richards tweaking the fly in 1967 using duck quills along the sides of the fly’s body (and not on top of the hook) and creating a split tail with the use of a dubbing ball. If the fly is tied correctly, the two tails and wings provide what the designers called 4 outriggers to float the fly better.

I know Rene Harrop and Mike Lawson, both of Last Chance, Idaho, tied no hackle flies for the waters they fished the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River for the super-selective trout they fished for.

Looks like I have a little more research to do so I can find out how Rene and Mike came upon the pattern. But that’s for another day…

Enjoy…go fish!


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Effective Chubby Chernobyl Flies

I wrote a post about Chubby Chernobyl fly patterns flies a couple of years ago. Did you read it? This is the time of year when you should have them in you fly box and another opportunity for me to tout how effective Chubby Chernobyl flies can be.

Chubby Chernobyl Golden Stone|www.johnkreft.com

For some reason, the Chubby Chernobyl is a great imitation for the Salmonflies and Golden Stoneflies hatching right now. I remember seeing this fly many years ago and saying to myself “you’ve got to be kidding”! Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong about the fly’s success. Continue reading

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The Loyal Sock

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is The Loyal Sock,  another fly from Ray Bergman’s book Trout.

Loyal Sock | www.johnkreft.com

For more information about Ray Bergman’s Trout, check out a previous Throw Back Thursday Fly, the Bostwick.

You’ll find the Loyal Sock in Plate 5, page 84.

The Loyal Sock


Pale Yellow Floss





This fly was tied on an older Mustad 3906 hook, size 10. 

Enjoy…go fish!


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Where to Fish?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been like a deer in the headlights because I don’t know where to fish. There are too many choices! Seems like many rivers and lakes are getting good all at once and I don’t know which way to turn.

Shall I fish the Deschutes? Did you see my post last week about my Favorite Salmonfly Patterns? I could fish the Middle or Lower Deschutes for this spectacular hatch. A fly fisher doesn’t want to miss this action!

Deschutes River Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

Continue reading

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