Favorite Blue Wing Olive Imitations

I returned to the river yesterday looking for rising fish, which didn’t happen. What I found were a variety of bugs floating down the river without fish eating them. Most of them were blue wing olives (BWO), a small mayfly that can hatch almost any month of the year. That got me thinking about my fly box and the fact I needed to restock it with my favorite blue wing olive imitations.

BWO and Imitation | www.johnkreft.com

I wrote a post entitled Blue Wing Olives a couple of years ago where I provided more information about the insects and imitations. I encourage you to give it another read. Continue reading

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October Fly Fishing

October fly fishing is a special time of year. It’s the last hurrah for both fly fishers AND fish. I’ve said before that fishing tapers off dramatically around November 1, so that means I have less than one month to get my fix for awhile.

So I need to make sure I have the right flies in my fly box.

I knew I had written a post a couple of years ago entitled October Fly Box, so I looked it up. Low an behold, it’s right on for the bugs I saw on the river today.

Let me start with a blanket hatch of PMDs or PMD look-alike mayflies

Blanket Hatch | www.johnkreft.com

This is what I found at the river. It was made up of hundreds of these… Continue reading

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Parachute Flies

I was thinking the other day about the dry flies I use most of the time and the fact they don’t include parachute flies. Sure, I’ll use parachute flies on some rivers and perhaps tie on a Purple Haze in the evening at the spring creek I fish. And sometimes it works.

I gave away a few Purple Haze flies to a friend on the river and I began thinking about how important flies tied with hackles can be.

Purple Haze

Purple Haze | www.johnkreft.com

Continue reading

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Stalcup CDC Loop Wing Emerger

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Stalcup CDC Loop Wing Emerger.

Stalcup CDC Loop Wing Emerger | www.johnkreft.com

This fly was the creation of Shane Stalcup, a talented and innovative fly tyer. The fly pattern sheet can be found HERE.

I first learned of Stalcup’s flies in his book Mayflies “Top to Bottom” (2002). I thought it was interesting looking at the materials he used to create close imitations to 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. This fly is no exception.

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. Be sure to check out his video of the Stalcup CDC Loop Wing Emerger.

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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Small Flies

Finally the weather has changed and it’s actually November, not October 42, 43, or 44th. October weather continued into early November and I decided it was still October; hence the reasoning for changing my October calendar to include dates of 42, 43, and 44. There was even a smattering of snow last Saturday when I got up. It’s finally time for small flies to imitate the bugs hatching on the river. Fall is definitely over.

In fact, snow is forecast for later this week!

I decided to tie up a couple of the midge patterns I found on Youtube from Tightline Productions – Matt’s Midge and Peg’s Midge and give them a try on my local river.

#24 Midge Patterns

#24 Midge Patterns

Half dozen flies on a penny

#24 Midges on Penney | www.johnkreft.com

If you aren’t familiar with Tightline Productions, be sure to check them out on Youtube. My favorite fly tying videos on Youtube are from Tightline Productions, Davie McPhail, and the old videos from Shane Stalcup provided by Netknots. Continue reading

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Mayflies on the River

Fall is a great time of year to be on your favorite river. That’s where I’ve been lately, walking along the river watching for rising fish. As you know, I enjoy fishing with dry flies. So what have I seen? Tons of mayflies on the river.

The weather has been perfect for Pale Morning Duns (PMD) and Baetis / Blue Wing Olives (BWO). Cool, overcast, and rainy days make for some great fishing.


Raindrop | www.johnkreft.com

Here is a picture from last week during a massive hatch of bugs. Continue reading

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Recent Changes

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.

Over the past few months, you might have seen a few additional fly patterns. Or perhaps noticed I added an East Lake Fly Box. Continue reading

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Olive Thorax

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Olive Thorax mayfly, tied here in size 18.

Olive Thorax Mayfly | www.johnkreft.com

This fly pattern is one of several I found in Randall Kaufmann’s Tying Dry Flies book that I tied and fished in the 1990’s. The Olive Thorax mayfly imitates a Baetis or Blue Wing Olive. Dry Flies helped introduce me to aquatic entomology and I wanted to tie every fly listed in the book. I’d dream about fishing the rivers and lakes listed.

Tying Dry Flies briefly discussed Dr. Edgar Burke and Vincent Marinaro using thorax style flies in the 1930’s and 50’s respectively, using a single upright wing.

I tied this fly and fished it for several years, but seem to have forgotten it. The wing uses turkey flats, which was quite tricky for me to tie back then. Clipping the hackle on the bottom allows the fly to ride low in the water, something I like for my dry flies.

It just looks fishy!

Enjoy…go fish!


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October Fly Box

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.

October Caddis | www.johnkreft.com

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

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