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.
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 →
When selecting flies, I always try to imitate the insects I think will be hatching. How do I know? I use my experience from the past if it’s a river I’ve fished before or my other source of information are local fly shops who provide updated fishing reports and hatch charts for the rivers I plan to fish. Be sure to stop in and purchase a few flies or fly tying materials as a “thank you”. Remember, these fly shops need to stay in business to provide timely and quality information. Continue reading →
Every once in awhile, I create a Recent Changes post to catch you up on what’s been happening behind the scenes at RiverKeeper Flies. And this is the week for it.
Did you notice the Youtube video my wife took recently at the Central Oregon Sportsman Show in Redmond, Oregon? She was there with a few of the Next Cast Flyfishers (our club’s youth flyfishers) as they staffed the Sportsman’s fishing pond. Yes, those are Next Cast Flyfishers attempting to corral the monster trout! If you missed it, be sure to check it out. I laugh out loud every time I watch the video.
Here are the flies I’m carrying in my October fly box.
I’ll begin with the October Caddis just because of it’s name.
These are big bugs, sizes 8 – 10. You’ll see October Caddis flitting over the water laying eggs. I usually blind cast an imitation because fish don’t take them like a normal “hatch”. The take is always exciting as the fish EXPLODE on this fly! Continue reading →
Well, it’s here…the dog days of summer. You may recall I recently wrote a post called The River Wins. I’ve had some up and down days since writing that. But that’s to be expected this time of year. I haven’t given up. So I thought I’d provide a list of August flies I’ll be fishing.
The lakes are fishing well in my area. Callibaetis mayflies are still coming off. Here’s the flies that have worked for me lately. Continue reading →
This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Quigley Cripple, developed by Bob Quigley in the late 1970’s for Northern California’s Fall River. Seems like Northern California is the birthplace of several flies I like.
Here is my Green Drake Quigley Cripple.
As the story goes, Bob was fishing a Humpy and catching fish with it. The wing got chewed up and he caught many more fish with the tattered fly. That got him thinking. Perhaps he should tie a fly with a wing facing forward. The result was the Quigley Cripple. I read where he is credited with inventing the term “cripple” to describe this form of mayfly.
The fly represents a mayfly emerging from the nymphal shuck. Many fish key on struggling bugs as they are easy picken’s. Imitating this stage of insect can provide a great day of fishing.
The tail and body should be the color of the real nymph, whereas the thorax and wing will represent an adult trying to get free. A key identifying feature of the Quigley Cripple is the forward facing wing.
You’ll find many more fly patterns these days with forward facing wings – the Mayfly Cripple from Blue Ribbon Flies and the CDC Last Chance Cripplefrom Rene Harrop are a couple that quickly come to mind.
In my experience, fish key on cripples as they are easier to catch and don’t have to worry about them flying off.
Green Drakes will be hatching in the next few weeks. I think I’ll sit down at the tying bench and tie a few more.
What a great weekend. I had an opportunity to attend the Craig Mathews Winter Seminar sponsored jointly by my own Central Oregon Flyfishers and Sunriver Anglers.
I’ve written about Craig Mathews in previous posts (Craig Mathews and Blue Ribbon Flies) and how much I like and fish flies from Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana. Blue Ribbon Flies has influenced my fly tying and fly fishing for many years. You’ll see many of their flies on the Fly Patterns page. Their flies fit my fly tying style…simple, yet effective.
And many of those flies use Zelon. In fact, there were a few times during his fly tying demonstrations where a little laughter came across the crowd…”and we’ll begin with a tail of Zelon…”
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I talk about Craig Mathews and Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana.
Craig and the rest of the guys in the shop are responsible for many of the flies I fish. The flies they develop fit my description for success – simple to tie, effective in catching fish. Perhaps that is the ultimate definition of a “guide fly”. I know fly fishermen who wait for the annual Blue Ribbon Flies catalog to see the new flies developed and tested by these tyers. Continue reading →
As I sit down at my fly tying vise today, I decided to tie a few flies imitating a Blue Wing Olive mayfly.
It’s timely because these bugs are still popping out of their nymphal shucks and I hope to go fishing this week and find a few fish sipping them.
But the main reason I’m tying this fly is I decided to participate in a Westfly BWO fly swap (check out the Westfly online forum at www.westfly.com). First fly swap for me. I looked at the flies others on the forum planned to tie and I thought…“I’m in”! Just the extra push I needed to tie a few trout flies. Continue reading →