Rio Grande King

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Rio Grande King, another fly from the Ray Bergman collection.

Rio Grande King | www.johnkreft.com

I haven’t posted a Ray Bergman fly for awhile, so I thought it was high time I tied another classic wet fly pattern. For some reason, I just like the elegance and simplicity of a Bergman wet fly and it was time to practice setting quill wings again. I sat down to tie this fly last night after returning from the river. After looking at the final product, I need to devote a few days and tie more quill wing flies. Continue reading

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Forest Fire Fish

Forest fires. That seems to be the theme the last few weeks and why I decided to name this week’s post Forest Fire Fish.

This is a picture of the day our fire grew out-of-control. That was two weeks ago.

Milli Forest Fire | www.johnkreft.com

As I write today’s post, the Milli fire has grown to over 18,000 acres. The fires have really impacted my fishing as smoke fills our town as well as the river canyon and burns my throat, creates headaches, and gives me an upset stomach. So I haven’t been fishing as much. Continue reading

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Circus Peanut Articulated Streamer

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Circus Peanut Articulated Streamer.

Circus Peanut | www.johnkreft.comI stayed at Slide Inn on the Madison River recently during our 2017 fly fishing road trip. One afternoon, I went to the fly shop and talked with Kelly about my Throw Back Thursday Fly feature and asked him if I could take pictures of a few of his flies. He graciously agreed and began telling me stories about his flies. Continue reading

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Preparing for October Caddis

It might be a little early to begin talking about and preparing for October Caddis, but while fishing last week, we happened to see a large number of caddis cases … big caddis cases … attached to a rock partially submerged in the water. It looked as though someone had collected all of them and left the cases in a pile. Upon closer inspection, the caddis cases were attached to the rocks.

October Caddis Cases on Rock | www.johnkreft.com

Here is a close up of the cased caddis. They build their houses out of the surrounding rocks where they live. Continue reading

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Troutsman Hex

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Troutsman Hex.

Troutsman Hex | www.johnkreft.com

I stayed at Slide Inn on the Madison River recently during our 2017 fly fishing road trip. One afternoon, I went to the shop and talked with Kelly about my Throw Back Thursday Fly feature and asked him if I could take pictures of a few of his flies. He graciously agreed and began telling me stories about his flies.

Originally I was after a few of his streamer fly patterns like the Zoo Cougar and T & A Leech, but he went into the back room and pulled out this used Hex for me as well.

I’m grateful he did!

If you look closely at the fly, notice the deer hair extending out the back of the fly. He believes this little trick adds to the fly’s flotation ability. In fact, I’ll be including another fly as a TBT that has the same feature.

Kelly developed this fly in the early 1970’s for the Manistee River in Michigan where his first fly shop, the Troutsman fly shop was located. He told me he purchased the Slide Inn on the Madison River in 2001 and moved to Montana in 2002.

The Troutsman Hex was produced by McKenzie Fly in the 1980’s before it was commonplace to include the developers name on the fly.

Galloup is the author of Cripples and Spinners (2001) and co-author of Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout (2004) with Bob Linsenman.

And here is a version Kelly called a Cripple or Spinner.

Troutsman Hex Cripple or Spinner | www.johnkreft.com

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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Fly Fishing the Madison and Yellowstone Rivers

The last stop on our 2017 road trip was fly fishing the Madison and Yellowstone rivers. Our initial planning didn’t include fly fishing the Yellowstone River, so be sure to read the end of this post about how happy we were with our little side trip.

Madison River Sunset over Water | www.johnkreft.com

We arrived at the Slide Inn to the words…”you happen to be between hatches”. Sound familiar? I heard that phrase about the Missouri, St. Joe, and Clark Fork too. But we’ve fished the Madison River in prior years and planned to fish early in the morning and late evening for some dry fly action. That strategy has worked in the past. Continue reading

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Galloup’s T & A Leech

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Galloup’s T & A Leech.

Galloup's T & A Leech | www.johnkreft.com

I stayed at Galloup’s Slide Inn last week during our 2017 fly fishing road trip and had the opportunity to talk with Kelly about a few of his early fly patterns. I told him about my RiverKeeper Flies Throw Back Thursday fly feature and he began telling me stories about how several of his flies were developed. Continue reading

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Fly Fishing the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers

The next stop on our 2017 road trip was in southwest Montana. Actually, the original plan didn’t include the Beaverhead River, it was a “plan B” activity. I’ll tell you about it below.

Big Hole River MT Sunset | www.johnkreft.comI’ve always liked the Big Hole River because of it’s size. I enjoy the walk and wade experience. We took a guided trip back in 2011 where we floated from the put-in above Maiden Rock through the canyon and ended our trip at the Melrose take-out. We learned a lot from our guide, both how to fish the Big Hole as well as access points were we could fish from shore.

This year, “hoot owl” restrictions were in effect for the upper and lower Big Hole River, but not the areas we planned to fish. Continue reading

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Galloup’s Zoo Cougar

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Galloup’s Zoo Cougar.

Galloup's Zoo Cougar | www.johnkreft.com

Since I’m staying at Slide Inn on the Madison River this week, I thought it appropriate to feature a few of Kelly’s flies for my Throw Back Thursday Fly feature. I spent some time with him at the shop taking photos of a few of his famous flies and hearing a stories of them as well. You’ll be seeing a few more of his flies in future TBT posts. 

Galloup developed this fly in the mid-1990’s for the Manistee River in Michigan where his first fly shop, the Troutsman fly shop was located. He told me he purchased the Slide Inn on the Madison River in 2001 and moved to Montana in 2002. 

He is the author of Cripples and Spinners (2001) and co-author of Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout (2004) with Bob Linsenman.

Kelly is a stickler for detail and has developed a well-earned reputation for quality flies. If you are a streamer fly fisher, be sure to purchase some of his flies at Galloup’s Slide Inn.

Zoo Cougars in Various Colors | www.johnkreft.com

Here is a picture the Galloup’s Zoo Cougar from the fly bin at the Slide Inn Fly Shop. Kelly ties and sells them in black, olive, white, tan, gray, golden brown and yellow; sizes 2 – 6.

If you are into streamer fishing, be sure to order a few Galloup’s Zoo Cougar flies from his shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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Missouri River Fly Fishing

Our next spot for the 2017 fly fishing road trip was in Craig, MT for a little Missouri River fly fishing.

Missouri River Canyon | www.johnkreft.com

There isn’t a lot in Craig, MT, but…The Trout Shop, Headhunters, and Crosscurrents fly shops and Issac’s, the local food establishment where we had a great burger and cold beer after a day on the river. Continue reading

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