Griffith’s Gnat Emerger

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Griffith’s Gnat Emerger.

Griffith's Gnat Emerger Peacock Version | www.johnkreft.com

This is another great fly pattern from Craig Mathews at Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, MT. He created a variant of the Griffith’s Gnat with his Zelon Midge and the result was the Griffith’s Gnat Emerger.

If you are a frequent RiverKeeper Flies reader, you surely recognize Craig’s name along with Blue Ribbon Flies. I have many of their fly patterns on the website. In addition, I wrote a couple of blogs – Craig Mathews and Blue Ribbon Flies and Craig Mathews Winter Seminar which includes pictures of flies he tied. Both of these posts are popular here at RiverKeeper Flies. Continue reading

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Restocking and Organizing Your Fly Boxes

Winter is a great time for restocking and organizing your fly boxes. How many fly boxes do you carry? How do you organize them?

Fly Boxes | www.johnkreft.com

It’s been too long and my fly boxes have seen some serious neglect the last few months. I fish over 100 days a year. How many over 100? I used to count them. Continue reading

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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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Tying Small Flies

I’ve been tying small flies recently in my attempt to catch very picky, selective trout. You can read more about my dilemma in the post – What are the Fish Eating?

I enjoy a challenge and these particular fish continue to test my patience. I’ve used almost every fly in my fly boxes and none consistently make those fish rise. Occasionally the fish gods smile down on me and a fish rises to my fly.

My latest theory is the fish are keying on midges or midge emergers. Hence, the reason I’m tying small flies.

Tying Small Flies by Ed Engle

I remember several years ago stating “if I need any flies size 20 or smaller, I’ll buy them!” Well, I’m having to eat those words right now. 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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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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Flies from IFFF

During the IFFF Fair in Bend, Oregon earlier this month, I had a chance to sit down and watch some pretty good fly tyers. I thought I’d share a few flies from the IFFF Fair.

Lee Clark has a new version of the Clark’s Golden Stone he calls the Clark’s Lady Stone. The fly is very similar to the original, but Lee found a way to imitate the female egg sac that really seems to work. Lee’s excited about the new fly and  allowed me to add the fly pattern sheet to RiverKeeper Flies.

Clark’s Lady Stone

Clarks Lady Stone | www.johnkreft.com

Clarks Lady Stone - Bottom View | www.johnkreft.com 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

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Midges

Midges. Do you know what a midge is? And how important midges are in the trout’s diet? Very! You’ll find midges in rivers and lakes.

Most of the time, midge pupae are the fly patterns experienced fly fishers concentrate on fishing. More on what that means shortly. 

Midges | www.johnkreft.com

I just finished these flies as I complete my Crooked River Fly box. I still have a few slots open.

Crooked River Flies| www.johnkreft.com

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