The Brown Turkey

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Brown Turkey, another fly from the Ray Bergman collection.

The Brown Turkey |

Since Thursday is Thanksgiving, the Brown Turkey was an obvious choice to highlight as this week’s TBT fly.

For some reason, I just like the elegance and simplicity of a Bergman wet fly. You can find the Brown Turkey wet fly on Plate No. 2, page 38 of Bergman’s book entitled Trout. 

If you are a regular at RiverKeeper Flies, you recall Bergman’s book includes colored plates to illustrate the dry and wet flies with a description of each fly in the back. It was the first book to provide color fly illustrations.

Here are a few other Ray Bergman flies I’ve included as Throw Back Thursday Flies: the Arthur Hoyt, the Babcock, the Blue Bottle, the Bostwick, the Bouncer, the Chantry, the Darling, the Mark Lain, the Mrs. Haase, the Rio Grande King, the Loyal Sock, the Silver Stork, the Walla-Walla, the Whirling Dun, and the Wilson Ant. (An easy method of finding all of them is to click on the words “Ray Bergman Flies” under CATEGORIES in the right-hand column on this page.)

The Brown Turkey


Brown turkey


Brown floss


Brown (palmered)


Brown turkey

Fly pattern as listed in Trout. This fly was tied on an older Mustad 3906 hook, size 10. 

Enjoy…go fish!


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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 |

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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Preparing for October Caddis

It might be a little early to begin talking about and preparing for October Caddis, but while fishing last week, we happened to see a large number of caddis cases … big caddis cases … attached to a rock partially submerged in the water. It looked as though someone had collected all of them and left the cases in a pile. Upon closer inspection, the caddis cases were attached to the rocks.

October Caddis Cases on Rock |

Here is a close up of the cased caddis. They build their houses out of the surrounding rocks where they live. Continue reading

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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 |

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 |

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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Mother’s Day Caddis

The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is well-known and can be amazing to see. And it’s right around the corner.

Massive Caddis Hatch |

Yes, all those dots in the picture are caddis flying over the water!

Thousands and thousands of American Grannom (Brachycentrus occidentalis) hatch at this time of year. These caddis are the ones building square-shaped cases you see on rocks in riffly water or in runs of moderate to fast flows. 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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