Effective East Lake Flies

I haven’t fished any lakes yet this year, but hopefully that will change this week. I think East Lake will be my fishing destination in a couple of days. I thought I’d use my own resources to refresh my memory for a few effective East Lake flies I need in my fly box. I created a separate fly box for East Lake called…you guessed it, East Lake Fly Box. In addition, I looked in the Lake Flies box to see if I missed anything.

I can’t wait to get back up there. It’s a very peaceful place when the wind isn’t blowing.

East Lake September | www.johnkreft.com

If you are a regular RiverKeeper Flies reader, you might remember my post entitled Fishing East Lake a couple of years ago. I talked about the flies I needed there as well and which flies worked for us. Continue reading

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Mayfly Spinners

On one of my fly fishing trips to the river last week, I was waiting for the fish to begin rising and I was curious about what flies were in the drift and available to the fish. A good place to find out is on the edges of an eddy. So I walked downstream to an eddy I’ve checked before and guess what I found? Mayfly spinners!

Brown Mayfly Spinner | www.johnkreft.com

I couldn’t believe the number and variety I found…Green Drakes, Brown Drakes, Pale Evening Duns (PEDs), Pale Morning Duns (PMDs), and a few others I don’t know the name of. Continue reading

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Langtry Special TBT

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Langtry Special TBT.

Langtry Special | www.johnkreft.com

I found this old article from the Bend Bulletin in a box of donated fly tying materials describing the Langtry Special.

Langtry Special Article | www.johnkreft.com

A friend of mine took his first fly tying lesson many years ago from Judge Virgil Langtry in a Maupin, Oregon church basement. Langtry was an Oregon Circuit Court Judge and evidently enjoyed fishing the Deschutes River around Maupin. 

As with many popular flies, there are many variations. Kaufmann’s Stimulator comes to mind and looks very much like the Langtry Special. In Randall Kaufmann’s book entitled Tying Dry Flies (1991), he states his Stimulator was developed from a variety of other popular flies.

Here is Kaufmann’s Stimulator Golden Stone.

Kaufmanns Stimulator - Golden Stone | www.johnkreft.com

I tied this size 8 Langtry Special today to imitate a Golden Stonefly, but wished I had it on the Lower Deschutes last week on our fishing trip. I wonder if any of the fish still recognize the fly! I’ll save it for the next trip down the river.

Enjoy…go fish!


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June Fly Box

Perhaps you saw last week’s post entitled Fishing the Lower Deschutes. I drifted the river twice last week. My fly box was full of Salmonfly and Golden Stonefly imitations. So I returned to my home river today and found many more PMD’s hatching and thought I better get my June fly box in order.

Where you fish will determine what should be in your fly box, but we are all after the same thing…

Metolius redside on drake | www.johnkreft.com

Continue reading

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Fishing the Lower Deschutes

Monday I was fishing the Lower Deschutes from Warm Springs to Trout Creek with my wife and a friend. We were hoping to find some fish still looking to eat Salmonflies and Golden Stones dry flies.

Driftboat on Deschutes | www.johnkreft.com

This is a busy section of water and it’s tough to find my Zen sometimes. We decided to let all the guide boats launch first and be the first of the second wave down the river. Our strategy worked. Sure, there were a few boats with fly fishers in a couple of spots we would have liked to fish, but it wasn’t crazy.

I was hoping to fish dry flies and coax some rainbows to the surface. This one came to the net shortly after launching the driftboat.

Deschutes Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

Continue reading

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Stalcup’s Medallion Biot Green Drake Wet Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Stalcup’s Medallion Biot Green Drake Wet Fly.

Medallion Biot Wet Fly | www.johnkreft.com

I first learned of Stalcup’s flies in his book Mayflies “Top to Bottom” (2002). I thought the materials he used were creative and interesting. The flies he tied were close imitations of 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 and this fly is no exception.

Here is a Green Drake from the Metolius river a few days ago.

Metolius River Green Drake | www.johnkreft.com

I tie and fish the Green Drake version. It’s an effective fly and you’ll receive savage strikes, so you might think about a little heavier tippet size when fishing the fly. I’ve lost several of these over the years, because I use 6X tippet when fishing fly on the Metolius River. The other caution I would share is the fly has a tendency to spin your leader if small tippet sizes.

While I’ve shown the Stalcup’s Medallion Biot Green Drake Wet Fly as a Green Drake imitation, it can be tied in sizes 8 – 16 using colors of olive, tan, and gray.

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. 

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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Preparing for a Fly Fishing Road Trip

I’m lucky enough to be able to fly fish a lot, both around my home in Central Oregon and other world-class locations in Montana, Idaho, British Columbia, and Washington. As I try to finish preparing for a fly fishing road trip with my fishing partner (my wife), I reminisce about previous rivers and the great times we’ve had.

Last year, we completed a Montana road trip, fishing a few of their great rivers. You can read more about our Montana Road Trip in the following posts:

The sunsets along the Madison River were spectacular and I always enjoy fishing around Raynold’s Pass Bridge and $3 Bridge.

I mentioned above we are fortunate to fish quite a few out-of-state rivers over the years. We really enjoy the adventure, scenery, and challenge of catching fish in every river we fish. Continue reading

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Kaufmann’s Stonefly Nymph

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Kaufmann’s Stonefly Nymph.

Kaufmanns Stonefly | www.johnkreft.comKaufmann’s Stonefly Nymph was created by Randall Kaufmann in the early 1990’s. I first found the fly in the classic book entitled Tying Nymphs (1994) by Kaufmann. It was listed as the Kaufmann Golden Stone, Rubber Legs. The write-up described the Golden Stone version, along with the Kaufmann Black Stone, Bead-Head Rubber Legs. This version has a date of 1992 beside the fly pattern sheet.

Tying Nymphs and it’s companion Tying Dry Flies were two important books for me in my early fly tying years. I poured over both those books and tied many of the flies listed in them.

Several other TBT flies were from these books and include Swannundaze Midge, Janssens Damsel Nymph, Olive Thorax, Dougs Damsel Nymph, Brassie, Metallic Caddis, and Matt’s Fur.

This is still a very effective nymph to imitate the large Salmonfly (Pteronarcys californica). 

Enjoy…go fish!


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Salmonflies and Golden Stones are Hatching

It’s that special time of year when Salmonflies and Golden Stones are hatching on major rivers close to me.

These are the bugs many fly fishers wait for with high expectations. Some fly fishers start shaking as they approach the river knowing the bugs are out and the fish are looking up, ready to explode on their fly!

Today’s post provides a few pictures of the real bug and offers some of the favorite stonefly patterns I carry in my fly box.

The following picture includes Salmonflies and a Golden Stone apparently trying to mate.

Golden and stonefly Continue reading

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The Perfect Fishing Net

Ever wonder if you have the perfect fishing net? Are you looking to purchase one?

Well, there isn’t a perfect net. At least I got your attention!

I’ll provide some criteria I use to select fishing nets I carry and use along the river.

There are a wide variety of nets for the fly fisher. Here are some favorite nets my wife and I fish with. I would highly recommend any of these fishing nets.

Variety of Nets | www.johnkreft.com

The net on the far left is an older Brodin I used for several years before the connecting swivel at the base of the handle broke. I loved that net. It was light, large enough opening for a big fish, and used a clear or ghost-like basket so the fish wouldn’t see it. Continue reading

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