Confusing Mayfly Names

Do you know the names of all the bugs you see on the river or lake? Do you need to know these names to catch fish? Not at all. Fly fishers have developed their own common names over the years for many bugs in order to share information about recent fishing trips. I have to say that I can identify a lot of bugs, but there are some confusing mayfly names that even I have difficulty with.

March Brown Adult |

When I explain bugs to beginning fly fishers, I start with basic information about the three major bugs important to their fishing success. Stoneflies have wings flat along the top of their body. Caddisflies have a tent-shaped wing. Lastly, mayflies have upright wings which look like sailboats floating in the water. Knowing this basic information is a start for sharing with other fly fishers. Continue reading

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Poxyback Baetis

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Poxyback Baetis.

Poxyback Baetis |

This is an older fly pattern I found in Randall Kaufmann’s book Tying Nymphs (1994). Kaufmann’s book, along with his Tying Dry Flies, was one of the first color fly tying books I purchased.

Tying Nymphs taught me new techniques, materials, and flies to tie.

The Poxyback fly series were designed by Mike Mercer from Redding, CA and included PMDs, Callibaetis, Green Drakes. A drop of epoxy was used on top of the thorax to simulate one of the “trigger features” that make fish respond to take a natural. Just before hatching, the real bugs develop a shiny, distended wingcase. Mercer determined a drop of epoxy would replicate the wingcase.

This fly was tied on a Tiemco 200 #18 hook. I used UV resin instead of epoxy. It’s much simpler than mixing and waiting for the epoxy to set.

Enjoy…go fish!


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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 |

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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Nymphs for a Well Stocked Fly Box

Snow and cold weather have made a big impact on my fishing lately. Perhaps I’m getting older, but as I write this post, it’s 11 degrees and snowing lightly. So I’ve been at the vise tying nymphs to fill up the provider box. Here is my recommendation of a few nymphs for a well stocked fly box.

Lightning Bugs |

Why am I tying nymphs you might ask? My brother-in-law had asked for a few nymphs and I surprised him at Christmas with some Prince Nymphs, RiverKeeper Stonefly Nymph, and Lightning Bugs. Continue reading

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Fishing Changes in November

I’ve said for the last couple of years the fish gods flip a switch and the fishing changes in November. But this year, the weather forecast is such that I might get another week of good fishing.

Metolius Rainbow Rosy Cheeks |

Each day is different and the hatches are getting shorter, just like daylight hours. What this means is if I want to catch fish, I might have to consider tying a few nymphs on the end of my line! 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 |

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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Lingrens Olive

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Lingrens Olive.

Lingrens Olive |

I found this fly in the American Nymph Fly Tying Manual  (1975) by Randall Kaufmann. It imitates many mayfly nymphs and the fly pattern sheet suggests tying these nymphs in sizes 10 – 18.

I don’t know much about Ira Lingren, but Kaufmann referenced the fact he lived in the Sierra foothills. Perhaps a few of you may know of Ira. If so, please share his history.

This is a recent tie in a size 16 I plan on trying in the near future to imitate a Blue Wing Olive nymph. The fly pattern directions are to trim the hackle on top and bottom, leaving hackle on the sides for legs. I think I’ll try it as a soft hackle and make a few cuts out on the river.

Enjoy…go fish!

UPDATED 2/12/16: My friend Wane Luallen provided the following information about Ira:

“Ira Lindgren was a grape farmer living in Dinuba, CA. He was far ahead of his time among fly fishers.

In the 1950’s he snorkeled the Kings River observing how fish fed and wrote several articles about his observations and fly fishing in general. I recall his writing about how trout were constantly picking up anything drifting by – twigs, debris, or insects – that might possibly represent food, but he was especially impressed how quickly they could reject that object. (Some of his articles may still be available thru the Fresno Fly Fishers for Conservation club in Fresno, CA, or the Kaweah Fly Fishers club in Visalia, CA which have reprinted some in their newsletters over the years.)

He was a friend of Wayne ‘Buz’ Buszek in Visalia and Doug Prince who lived in Monterey who with Buz and Ira fished the Kings River often. Ira had access to peccary and used the body hairs natural or dyed to make the “quill” body on his dry flies. Typically they were tied with a hackle barb tail, a single peccary hair wound for the body, and an over-sized (for the hook used) hackle with no wing. His nymphs were very simply tied, but very effective, generally employing peacock herl. Buz’s Fly and Tackle in Visalia for many years sold some of Ira’s patterns, particularly his nymphs. Perhaps his most effective was his most simple: Lindgren’s Peacock.

Hook: Mustad 7957BX or 3906, size 10-14

Thread: Black Nymo

Tail: sparse dyed black hackle barbs

Body: Peacock herl counter-ribbed with gold wire

Hackle: dyed black hackle trimmed top and bottom leaving just a few barbs to either side

Regrettably Ira ended his life in 1966, a year after Buz chose to do the same.”

Thanks Wayne!


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Lightning Bug

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Lightning Bug.

Lighning Bug |

I recently added the Lightning Bug nymph to the Fly Patterns list on RiverKeeper Flies. As I searched for the original fly pattern and who developed it, I thought it would be a good candidate for a TBT fly.

I was surprised the Lightning Bug was over 20 years old. My how the time flies… Continue reading

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