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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Returning to the Fly Tying Bench

As I mentioned in last week’s Normal Fishing Season Ends post, someone flipped the switch on November 2 and the weather has dramatically changed. In fact, we’ve had a little snow recently. That tells me it’s COLD outside. In fact, it’s 26 degrees this morning as I finish this week’s post. So I’m returning to the fly tying bench.

I received an order for a few Beetle Bailey’s, which I finished, and because all the materials were on my fly tying desk, I decided to continue tying them and begin filling the provider box.

This is what 4 dozen Beetle Bailey flies looks like.

Dozens of Beetle Bailey Flies | www.johnkreft.com

My wife doesn’t tie flies and I kid her occasionally that she should. Her response? “Why should I tie flies when you tie hundreds of flies each year?” I really can’t argue with that. Continue reading

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This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Dotterel.

Dotterel | 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.

It was interesting to me as I read about Thaddeus Norris (1811 – 1878). He authored The American Angler’s Book (1864) and American Fish Culture (1868) and had a significant impact of fly fishing in America. Norris recognized the difference between British and American stream, rivers, and lakes as well as the insects that inhabited them. Most of the fly patterns used in America before Norris’s work were from England. 

Continue reading

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Normal Fishing Season Ends

Today is the last day October and the normal fishing season ends. Why would I say that? I believe fishing changes after November 1. It’s like the fish gods flip a switch. Hatches wane as fewer fish rise to fewer flies.

Last year the weather cooperated a little more and I was able to get a bonus week of fishing as the temperatures didn’t dip and the forecast wasn’t like this one.

Weather Outlook | www.johnkreft.com

Blue on the chart is rain and pink indicates snow. What does that mean? The hatches are changing too. Every day on the river is different and the hatches are getting shorter, just like daylight hours. Continue reading

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Fall Fishing at East Lake

Fall fishing can be great. And last week, I wanted to get back and try a little fall fishing at East Lake.

It was worth the trip. Here is a picture of a Rainbow Trout caught in the cold, windy weather. But read on for the whole story.

East Lake Rainbow on Cold Day | www.johnkreft.com

My wife and I enjoy fishing East Lake and I’ve written a few blogs about it. Fishing East Lake in the Fall and Fishing East Lake are a couple posts you may enjoy along with the East Lake Fly Box which includes many flies I use at East Lake. Continue reading

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Mamba Black Rufus TBT

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Mamba Black Rufus TBT.

Mamba Black Rufus | www.johnkreft.com

The Mamba Black Rufus TBT is a local fly pattern developed by Bob Gaviglio of Sunriver Fly Shop in Sunriver, OR.

There is a series of Rufus flies, including the CJ Rufus, Brown Leech Rufus, Mamba Burnt Orange Rufus, and a Brookie Rufus to name a few. I’m guessing the CJ Rufus was named for someone who wanted a little different color and hammered some fish…just a guess, but I really don’t know.

Tied originally in the early 1990’s, the Rufus was developed for the Lower Deschutes River, OR.

Bob recommends this fly as a searcher pattern, when no visible hatch can be seen.

To fish the Rufus, use a start and stop retrieve. As the fly stops, the bead makes it dive head first and imitates a leech, dragonfly nymph or baitfish trying to escape.

Don’t limit fishing the Mamba Black Rufus TBT to lakes only. Give it a try for river rainbows and steelhead in clear water. In fact, it works in most Central Oregon waters.

Enjoy…go fish!

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3 Basic Dry Fly Styles for Mayflies

This week’s post is about 3 basic dry fly styles for mayflies. I recently wrote a blog about Parachute Flies and that got me thinking about the variety of fly styles available to the fly fisher to imitate the adult mayfly stage.

I thought it might be good to provide the options available with only one insect – a PMD.

PMD on Water | www.johnkreft.com

I love fishing mayfly dry flies. In fact, I was fishing my home waters the other day and couldn’t believe the prolific hatch and wide variety of mayflies…Pale Morining Duns (PMDs), Green Drakes and Flavs, Blue Wing Olives (BWOs), Mahogany Duns, and Pale Evening Duns (PEDs). I think that’s why I really enjoy dry fly fishing so I can watch noses rise or heads come out of the water and hopefully eat my imitation. Continue reading

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This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the CDC & Elk TBT.

CDC & Elk | www.johnkreft.com

The CDC & Elk is a fly Hans Weilenmann created in 1992. It combines the proven properties of an Elk Hair Caddis developed by Al Troth with CDC feathers for the body and “hackle”.

I tied my first CDC & Elk flies after completing the research for my post about the different CDC feathers, entitled Use Fly Patterns with CDC Feathers.

If you’d like more information about the CDC & Elk TBT fly, click HERE to read it in Hans’ own words.

Enjoy…go fish!



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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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