Langtry Special TBT

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

Langtry Special |

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

Langtry Special Article |

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 |

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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Patient Angler Stone TBT

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Patient Angler Stone TBT.

Patient Angler Stone |

I found this old article from the Bend Bulletin in a box of donated fly tying materials describing the Patient Angler Stone.

Patient Angler Stone Article |

The Patient Angler is a local Bend, OR fly shop. The fly in the article was tied and described by John Harken, who was the previous owner.

This fly is fairly easy to tie and has the right profile, along with the black and orange colors found on the real Salmonfly.

I tied this size 6 Patient Angler Stone today to imitate a Salmonfly, but wished I had it on the Lower Deschutes yesterday on our fishing trip. I’ll save it for the next one.

Enjoy…go fish!


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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 |

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 |

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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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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Buszek’s Kings River Caddis

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Buszek’s Kings River Caddis.

King River Caddis |

I recently finished up a fly order for a customer that included a few of Buszek’s Kings River Caddis. After filling his order and tying a few for myself, I decided this fly would be a good candidate for this week’s TBT post.

Buszek’s Kings River Caddis was created by Wayne “Buz” Buszek (1912 – 1965) in the 1950’s for the Kings River, CA. The fly uses undersized hackle to sit lower in the water and imitates the Hydropsyche or spotted sedge found in his local fishing water. Changing color and size will allow you to imitate many other caddisflies as well.

Other Buszek originals include the Old Gray Mare, Flot-n-Fools, Buz’s Shad Fly and probably the most popular, the Western Coachman

In 1947, Buszek opened Buz’s Fly and Tackle Shop at his home in Visalia, CA, close to the Kings River in the Sierra Nevadas.

I never met Buz, but I wish I had. He must have been a great tyer. In 1970, the International Federation of Fly Fishers named it’s annual fly tyer award in his name. It’s a coveted award and there have been some great fly tyers who were fortunate enough to win it. I’m blessed to know some of them personally – Al Beatty, Wayne Luallen, Steven Fernandez, and Jim Ferguson. 

Enjoy…go fish!

(If you’d like to see more Throw Back Thursday Flies, just click on the name Throw Back Thursday Flies CATEGORY in the sidebar to the right.)


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Granam or Green-Tail

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Granam or Green-Tail fly.

Granam or Green-Tail |

I thought this was a good fly to go along with the Mother’s Day Caddis post about the American Grannom.

I’ve told you before that my Throw Back Thursday Fly segment celebrates older flies and that “old” is in the eye of the beholder. Well, the Granam or Green-Tail is over 250 years old! Continue reading

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Gordon Quill Fly Package

 This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Gordon Quill | www.johnkreft.comGordon Quill fly package.

This is a package of flies a friend recently gave me because he knew of my love for fly fishing and tying history.

He told me they were at least 100 years old!

Needless to say, I was shocked at his generous gift.

Perhaps because I live on the west coast, I had never heard of William Mills & Son, so I did a little Internet search on the name. They were founded in 1822 as T. & J. Bate. The company was renamed several times with various versions of Bate, but was changed to William Mills & Son in 1875.

I found a copy of their 1909 catalog page 62 and a dozen of these “Special Stream” flies cost $1.00. The Gordon Quill fly package were offered in size 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16.


Continue reading

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Denny Rickards Seal Bugger

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Denny Rickards Seal Bugger.

Denny's Seal Bugger |

Denny created this fly in the mid-80’s on Oregon’s Upper Klamath Lake, his home waters. The fly is a variation of the popular Woolly Bugger. 

I’d seen this fly years ago, but found it again in Rickards Fly-Fishing Stillwaters for Trophy Trout (1997). It’s the first fly listed in his “Deadly Dozen”. That should tell you something about how successful this fly can be. I love many of Denny’s flies and I highly recommend this book for your fly fishing library. It includes information and fly patterns like Denny’s Stillwater Nymph and Denny’s AP Emerger, two flies I use a lot. And he covers how to successfully fish lakes, which was very helpful to me as I branched out from being a river fisherman.

The fly can be tied in a variety of color combinations, but the picture above is my favorite, with the burnt orange tail and hackle. The other color I like is black with purple or burgundy hackle. It should be tied sparse to allow movement from the seal or seal substitute dubbing.

I fish this fly with an intermediate fly line and use the count-down method to locate trout. Cast a long distance and count to 10, which allows the fly to sink. Strip back using a variety of retrieves, short and rapid or long and slow. If you don’t get any takes, cast again and count to 15. Continue to experiment until fish are found.

Be sure to use at least 2x or 3x leader because you’ll get some violent strikes!

Denny Rickards Seal Bugger is still popular today and can be found in your local fly shop, or tie some up using the link to my fly pattern sheet. 

To find out more about Denny Rickards, visit his website –

Enjoy…go fish!


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