Fall and a Dry Fly

Last week I talked about how much I enjoy fall fly fishing. It’s been great this year! What I wanted to share this week is how effective one fly has been for me…a Green Drake Sparkle Dun. Yes, Fall and a dry fly just go together.

Baby Rainbow Trout Eating Big Fly | www.johnkreft.com

Even the smaller fish eat this bug! It amazes me how a small trout rises to a larger fly. This is a #12 fly a 6″ fish ate.

And bigger fish eat them too. 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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Klinkhåmer Special TBT

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

Klinkhamer Special | www.johnkreft.com

You know it’s a popular fly when you can read about it in Wikipedia!

Originally named the LT Caddis (the initials LT standing for light tan), the fly was designed by Hans van Klinken in 1984 to imitate caddis larva on Norway’s Glomma River.

The Klinkhåmer Special is designed in a way to imitate a caddis larva attempting to emerge through the miniscus. The body and thorax ride just below the surface, with the parachute holding the fly in place.

Rather than paraphrase the fly’s history, here is a link where Hans van Klinken does so in his own words posted on the website by Tom Sutcliffe called – The Spirit of Fly Fishing – in April 2012, the 25th anniversary. CLICK HERE

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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Odds n Ends

This week’s odds n ends post has a variety of items you may be interested in. Be sure to read all the way through.

First off, there are definitely signs of Fall everywhere I look.

From leaves beginning to change on the river…

Fall Leaves | www.johnkreft.com

…to something we usually don’t see …bucks in our backyard, except when Fall begins. Continue reading

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Fran Better’s Haystack

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Fran Better’s Haystack.

Haystack | www.johnkreft.com

This is another fly I found while reading Mike Valla’s book entitled The Founding Flies – 43 American Masters, Their Patterns and Influences.

You might recognize this fly because it is very similar to the Sparkle Dun mayflies I tie and fish so much. But the Fran Better’s Haystack is the first of many iterations of this style of fly.

Betters created this fly during his senior year of high school in June 1949. He used Key deer for the wings and tail with a body or either muskrat or opossum dubbing.

Later, Betters used Woodchuck to replace the deer hair because he couldn’t find Key deer any longer. He must have had lots of Woodchuck because he used it in the tails of another fly he created, the Ausable Wulff.

The progression of the fly continued when Al Caucci developed the Comparadun mayfly in the early 1960’s as a variant to the classic Haystack fly pattern. Caucci joined with Bob Nastasi and introduced the fly in 1972 in their first book Comparahatch.

Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone created another variation, using Zelon for the tail and named it the Sparkle Dun.

To find out more about Fran Betters, I highly recommend Valla’s book.

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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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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Lessons Learned from our Fly Fishing Road Trip

If you are a regular RiverKeeper Flies follower, you’ve read about our 2017 fly fishing road trip. Not everything came off without a hitch and I thought is might be helpful to provide a few lessons learned from our fly fishing road trip.

Fishing the Yellowstone River | www.johnkreft.com

If you are like me, the anticipation of fishing new waters is very exciting. I’ve read about the places I plan to fish and think I’ve done a reasonable job preparing to have a great time. 

Here are 8 lessons learned from our fly fishing road trip that may help you to plan your own trip. Continue reading

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Returning Chinook Salmon to the Metolius River

I had a different blog post planned for today, but I always say “take what the river gives you”, so I’m taking my own advice. This post is about a returning Chinook salmon to the Metolius River.

While fishing the river yesterday, I was waiting for the fish to begin rising again and sat on the shore, using my cell phone to capture a few thoughts for a future post.

Something caught my eye and I immediately looked down at a long object swimming past me just over an arms length away.

I was caught a little off-guard because it was a HUGE fish! Was it a Bull Trout moving upstream? No.

It was a Spring Chinook salmon sporting a very nice bright green spaghetti tag from its dorsal fin.

Metolius Chinook Salmon | www.johnkreft.com

This fish was slowly making it’s way upstream along the shore. Continue reading

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Rio Grande King

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Rio Grande King, another fly from the Ray Bergman collection.

Rio Grande King | www.johnkreft.com

I haven’t posted a Ray Bergman fly for awhile, so I thought it was high time I tied another classic wet fly pattern. For some reason, I just like the elegance and simplicity of a Bergman wet fly and it was time to practice setting quill wings again. I sat down to tie this fly last night after returning from the river. After looking at the final product, I need to devote a few days and tie more quill wing flies. Continue reading

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