Stalcup’s Medallion Biot Green Drake Wet Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Stalcup’s Medallion Biot Green Drake Wet Fly.

Medallion Biot Wet Fly |

I first learned of Stalcup’s flies in his book Mayflies “Top to Bottom” (2002). I thought the materials he used were creative and interesting. The flies he tied were close imitations of the real insects. It was the first time I had heard of Medallion sheeting. It wasn’t long before I had that material in several colors. Many of the flies in his book used biots for bodies and this fly is no exception.

Here is a Green Drake from the Metolius river a few days ago.

Metolius River Green Drake |

I tie and fish the Green Drake version. It’s an effective fly and you’ll receive savage strikes, so you might think about a little heavier tippet size when fishing the fly. I’ve lost several of these over the years, because I use 6X tippet when fishing fly on the Metolius River. The other caution I would share is the fly has a tendency to spin your leader if small tippet sizes.

While I’ve shown the Stalcup’s Medallion Biot Green Drake Wet Fly as a Green Drake imitation, it can be tied in sizes 8 – 16 using colors of olive, tan, and gray.

Stalcup created some wonderful fly tying videos and those videos can now be seen on my friend John Sherry’s Youtube NetKnots Fly Tying channel. I encourage you to take a look. 

Unfortunately, Shane passed away prematurely in 2011 at the age of 48.

Many of his flies can still be purchased in your local fly shop. You might give them a try. Watch a video or two of Shane tying his flies. You’ll see how “fishy” they really are.

Enjoy…go fish!


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Preparing for a Fly Fishing Road Trip

I’m lucky enough to be able to fly fish a lot, both around my home in Central Oregon and other world-class locations in Montana, Idaho, British Columbia, and Washington. As I try to finish preparing for a fly fishing road trip with my fishing partner (my wife), I reminisce about previous rivers and the great times we’ve had.

Last year, we completed a Montana road trip, fishing a few of their great rivers. You can read more about our Montana Road Trip in the following posts:

The sunsets along the Madison River were spectacular and I always enjoy fishing around Raynold’s Pass Bridge and $3 Bridge.

I mentioned above we are fortunate to fish quite a few out-of-state rivers over the years. We really enjoy the adventure, scenery, and challenge of catching fish in every river we fish. Continue reading

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Kaufmann’s Stonefly Nymph

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Kaufmann’s Stonefly Nymph.

Kaufmanns Stonefly | www.johnkreft.comKaufmann’s Stonefly Nymph was created by Randall Kaufmann in the early 1990’s. I first found the fly in the classic book entitled Tying Nymphs (1994) by Kaufmann. It was listed as the Kaufmann Golden Stone, Rubber Legs. The write-up described the Golden Stone version, along with the Kaufmann Black Stone, Bead-Head Rubber Legs. This version has a date of 1992 beside the fly pattern sheet.

Tying Nymphs and it’s companion Tying Dry Flies were two important books for me in my early fly tying years. I poured over both those books and tied many of the flies listed in them.

Several other TBT flies were from these books and include Swannundaze Midge, Janssens Damsel Nymph, Olive Thorax, Dougs Damsel Nymph, Brassie, Metallic Caddis, and Matt’s Fur.

This is still a very effective nymph to imitate the large Salmonfly (Pteronarcys californica). 

Enjoy…go fish!


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Salmonflies and Golden Stones are Hatching

It’s that special time of year when Salmonflies and Golden Stones are hatching on major rivers close to me.

These are the bugs many fly fishers wait for with high expectations. Some fly fishers start shaking as they approach the river knowing the bugs are out and the fish are looking up, ready to explode on their fly!

Today’s post provides a few pictures of the real bug and offers some of the favorite stonefly patterns I carry in my fly box.

The following picture includes Salmonflies and a Golden Stone apparently trying to mate.

Golden and stonefly Continue reading

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Buszek’s Kings River Caddis

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Buszek’s Kings River Caddis.

King River Caddis |

I recently finished up a fly order for a customer that included a few of Buszek’s Kings River Caddis. After filling his order and tying a few for myself, I decided this fly would be a good candidate for this week’s TBT post.

Buszek’s Kings River Caddis was created by Wayne “Buz” Buszek (1912 – 1965) in the 1950’s for the Kings River, CA. The fly uses undersized hackle to sit lower in the water and imitates the Hydropsyche or spotted sedge found in his local fishing water. Changing color and size will allow you to imitate many other caddisflies as well.

Other Buszek originals include the Old Gray Mare, Flot-n-Fools, Buz’s Shad Fly and probably the most popular, the Western Coachman

In 1947, Buszek opened Buz’s Fly and Tackle Shop at his home in Visalia, CA, close to the Kings River in the Sierra Nevadas.

I never met Buz, but I wish I had. He must have been a great tyer. In 1970, the International Federation of Fly Fishers named it’s annual fly tyer award in his name. It’s a coveted award and there have been some great fly tyers who were fortunate enough to win it. I’m blessed to know some of them personally – Al Beatty, Wayne Luallen, Steven Fernandez, and Jim Ferguson. 

Enjoy…go fish!

(If you’d like to see more Throw Back Thursday Flies, just click on the name Throw Back Thursday Flies CATEGORY in the sidebar to the right.)


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The Perfect Fishing Net

Ever wonder if you have the perfect fishing net? Are you looking to purchase one?

Well, there isn’t a perfect net. At least I got your attention!

I’ll provide some criteria I use to select fishing nets I carry and use along the river.

There are a wide variety of nets for the fly fisher. Here are some favorite nets my wife and I fish with. I would highly recommend any of these fishing nets.

Variety of Nets |

The net on the far left is an older Brodin I used for several years before the connecting swivel at the base of the handle broke. I loved that net. It was light, large enough opening for a big fish, and used a clear or ghost-like basket so the fish wouldn’t see it. Continue reading

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Granam or Green-Tail

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Granam or Green-Tail fly.

Granam or Green-Tail |

I thought this was a good fly to go along with the Mother’s Day Caddis post about the American Grannom.

I’ve told you before that my Throw Back Thursday Fly segment celebrates older flies and that “old” is in the eye of the beholder. Well, the Granam or Green-Tail is over 250 years old! Continue reading

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Mother’s Day Caddis

The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is well-known and can be amazing to see. And it’s right around the corner.

Massive Caddis Hatch |

Yes, all those dots in the picture are caddis flying over the water!

Thousands and thousands of American Grannom (Brachycentrus occidentalis) hatch at this time of year. These caddis are the ones building square-shaped cases you see on rocks in riffly water or in runs of moderate to fast flows. Continue reading

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Gordon Quill Fly Package

 This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Gordon Quill | www.johnkreft.comGordon Quill fly package.

This is a package of flies a friend recently gave me because he knew of my love for fly fishing and tying history.

He told me they were at least 100 years old!

Needless to say, I was shocked at his generous gift.

Perhaps because I live on the west coast, I had never heard of William Mills & Son, so I did a little Internet search on the name. They were founded in 1822 as T. & J. Bate. The company was renamed several times with various versions of Bate, but was changed to William Mills & Son in 1875.

I found a copy of their 1909 catalog page 62 and a dozen of these “Special Stream” flies cost $1.00. The Gordon Quill fly package were offered in size 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16.


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