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

Raindrop | www.johnkreft.com

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

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Changing Seasons

The temperatures have dropped and the dog days of summer are over. In fact, rain showers are in the forecast for today. What does that signal? Changing seasons for the fly fisher.

I always look forward to arriving at the river and see if fish are rising. It’s more the norm now than it was during July and August. The only problem is trying to determine what bugs the fish are taking.

And fall is the time when the big fish come out to bulk up before winter sets in.

Metolius 20 Inch Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com Continue reading

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Montana Fly Box

Over the last few weeks, I’ve written about our Montana Road Trip where we fished the Madison, Depuy Spring Creek, Stillwater, and Slough Creek & the Lamar. I thought I’d provide a summary of the effective flies we used in our Montana fly box.

Madison River - Relaxed Fishing | www.johnkreft.com

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

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PMDs Hatching Again

I was on the river last week and happened to witness a tremendous PMD hatch. I’ve been waiting for the Green Drake mayflies to begin hatching, but it was great to see PMDs hatching again.Pale Morning Dun - PMD

PMDs, otherwise known as Pale Morning Duns, are an important hatch for fish and fly fishers. Generally, you’ll find these flies in sizes 16 -18. The hatch begins in late May and will continue through September. 

PMDs have a pale yellow body and smokey gray (or dun color) wing. But their body colors vary and include shades of pale green, yellowish-tan, or a light reddish-brown. Look at the bug carefully. The underside of the insect is what the fish sees and the color is usually lighter than on top. Continue reading

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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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August Flies

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.

Rainbow with Beetle Bailey|www.johnkreft.com

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

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Pale Morning Duns

Pale Morning Duns (PMD) are the major hatch I’m fishing lately. The Green Drakes are done, so PMDs are what I’m looking for.

Pale Morning Dun - PMD|www.johnkreft.com

This is a picture I took of the real Pale Morning Dun. The distinguishing features of a PMD are 3 tails and light gray wings with a leading edge of yellow stain. The body colors will range from bright yellow, olive-yellow, dull yellow, or even a reddish brown. Continue reading

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Craig Mathews Winter Seminar

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…”

Zelon | www.johnkreft.com

Continue reading

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Craig Mathews and Blue Ribbon Flies

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.

Blue Ribbon Flies | www.johnkreft.com

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

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A Fall Fly Box

What flies do you carry in your fall fly box?

Fall is a wonderful time of year and in my opinion, one of the best times to catch some great fish. Here’s one of them.

Rainbow trout | www.johnkreft.com

There are still bugs that need to hatch and only so many warm days left for them to complete their life cycle.

For some reason, the fish know winter is not far away and are hurriedly getting prepared by eating everything in sight. These fish plan to put on some winter fat…and that activity is good for the fisherman!

Continue reading

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