Throw Out and Replace Bad Leader

Winter is a great time to conduct a thorough inventory of your fishing vest or pack and throw away a few items you said you’d do while on the river and forgot…like me. I’ve got a some leaders I tried to save from last year, but it’s time to throw out and replace bad leader.

In addition, I need to check out those tippet spools and see how full they are and the date I purchased them. If they’re over a year old, I’ll throw them out. I don’t want to take a chance hooking a big fish in fast water only to lose it from old, brittle, or UV damaged (from the sun) tippet! You’ll notice on the picture there is a place on the tippet spool for you to add a date. I recommend using it.

Rio Leader & Tippet |


Just to be clear, a tapered leader is in the Ziploc bag and tippet in on the spool. Tippet spools hold anywhere from 30 to 100 yards of material stated on the spool. In the picture above, the spool hold 110 yards of 6X leader measured at 3.4 pound breaking strength. I use this “guide” spool which holds 110 yards because I go through a lot of 6X. Most of the other tippet spools I carry are around 30 yards. Continue reading

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Restocking and Organizing Your Fly Boxes

Winter is a great time for restocking and organizing your fly boxes. How many fly boxes do you carry? How do you organize them?

Fly Boxes |

It’s been too long and my fly boxes have seen some serious neglect the last few months. I fish over 100 days a year. How many over 100? I used to count them. Continue reading

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Preparing Mallard Wings for Soft Hackle Flies

Last week, I took advantage of the snowy weather which has kept me off the river and and said “yes” to an opportunity. A friend of mine who is a duck hunter gave me a call to see if I wanted any feathers. How could I say no? So this week’s post will be about preparing mallard wings for soft hackle flies. For the non-fly tyer, check out a few great fly patterns below to add to your fly box. You won’t be sorry!

I asked him to save the mallard wings along with a few breast feathers. 

Mallard Wings |

I hoped he would keep the matching wings from each bird separate so I could use them for dry fly upright wings and wet fly wings used in some of the classic Ray Bergman flies you see occasionally in Throw Back Thursday Flies. Continue reading

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Stock Up on Trout Flies

I’m headed back to the vise this week to stock up on trout flies.

I finished my last “plate” fly for the season. It was an Atlantic Salmon fly called the Blue Charm, a “Simple Strip Wing”, my contribution for a Central Oregon Fly Tying Guild fly plate. This plate will be at the NW Fly Tying & Fly Fishing Expo on March 10 and 11, 2017 in Albany, OR. (See this week’s upcoming Throw Back Thursday Fly post for more information on this fly.)

Blue Charm |

I’ve enjoyed learning new fly tying techniques. The Green Butt Skunk Spey fly was the other “plate” fly I tied and donated. I hope it is one of the Spey Plate flies for the NW Expo as well. Continue reading

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Lempke’s Extended Body Green Drake – TBT

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Lempke’s Extended Body Green Drake – TBT.
Lempke Extended Body Green Drake - Courtesy

Photo: Courtesy of Sandy Pittendrigh (

Cyril ‘Bing’ Lempke (1917 – 1991) was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, but moved to Idaho as a youngster. He fished the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River and the Teton River during his teens. It was there he learned to tie flies. Continue reading

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Nymphs for a Well Stocked Fly Box

Snow and cold weather have made a big impact on my fishing lately. Perhaps I’m getting older, but as I write this post, it’s 11 degrees and snowing lightly. So I’ve been at the vise tying nymphs to fill up the provider box. Here is my recommendation of a few nymphs for a well stocked fly box.

Lightning Bugs |

Why am I tying nymphs you might ask? My brother-in-law had asked for a few nymphs and I surprised him at Christmas with some Prince Nymphs, RiverKeeper Stonefly Nymph, and Lightning Bugs. Continue reading

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