Sheep Creek Special TBT

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Sheep Creek Special.

Sheep Creek Special |

I found the fly was developed by George Biggs of Jerome, Idaho in the 1960’s where he fished it at Sheep Creek Reservoir on the Nevada/Idaho border.

Some say the Sheep Creek Special imitates leeches is larger sizes and midges in smaller sizes. It might even imitate damselfly and dragonfly nymphs. That seems to cover every major lake fly! Sounds like an all-around fly to use.

It’s a pattern still used today by a few “experienced” fly fishers. A friend down the street has tied them for my local fly shop and I understand it’s a good pattern at Three Creek’s Lake outside of Sisters, Oregon.

My friend Jerry Criss taught this fly in 2014 at a Central Oregon Flyfishers Winter Fly Tying class.

To be honest, I think the Sheep Creek Special is an odd looking fly and have questioned whether I would tie the fly on the end of my leader. I think I’ll give it a try the next time I’m lake fishing.

Tie up a few Sheep Creek Specials for your fly box and give them a try on your favorite lake. 

Let me know how they work.

Enjoy…go fish!


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Janssens Damsel Nymph

Before I get to the TBT fly, I wanted to let you know I plan to publish version 2 of Christmas Idea for Fly Fishers and Fly Tyers next week. So if you have an item on your wish list I should add, fill out the comment at the bottom of this page and it may make the list! It’s an easy way to send your Christmas list to someone looking for ideas.

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Janssens Damsel Nymph. I selected the fly because it incorporated a small piece of turkey in the wingcase…very appropriate for a Thanksgiving Day post!

Janssen Damsel Nymph | www.johnkreft.comThis is the creation of Hal Janssen, another talented California fly fisher. He is a noted writer, artist, lecturer, and video personality. I’ve read that he fishes for anything that swims! Stillwater fisheries are one of his specialties and he wrote a book entitled Stillwater Fly-Fishing Secrets.

This pattern was first seen in a 1976 Fly Fisherman magazine article. It was developed for Henry’s Lake in Idaho.

I found the fly pattern in Randall Kaufmann’s Tying Nymphs book I purchased in the 1990’s. The Janssen Damsel Nymph fly pattern sheet lists the materials from the book. I found another notation from the Internet stating the original body material used a 40 percent blend of bleached beaver, 50 percent olive rabbit, and 10 percent fluorescent orange rabbit.

Another interesting flies from Tying Nymphs is Janssens Dragon. I’ll have to tie some for next summer.

You can never have enough damsel nymph fly patterns. So tie some up and give ’em a try.

Enjoy…go fish!


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Dennys Stillwater Nymph

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Dennys Stillwater Nymph.

Denny's Stillwater Nymph | www.johnkreft.comAs I thought about which fly to choose for a TBT Fly, this one came to mind. It seems appropriate as I’ve recently posted pictures on my RiverKeeper Flies Facebook page and the fly was front and center in this week’s Fly Fishing at Diamond Lake post. Continue reading

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Dougs Damsel Nymph

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Dougs Damsel Nymph.

Dougs Damsel Nymph |

And here is what it looks like when wet.

Dougs Damsel Nymph - Wet |

And a picture of the real damsel nymph.

Damsel Nymph |

I began tying and fishing these flies in the mid-1990’s. I found the fly in Tying Nymphs book by Randall Kaufmann. I tied a lot of flies from that book. The fly was developed by Doug Jorgensen in 1988 when he was guiding at Grindstone Lakes in Oregon. The long tail is designed to wiggle during the retrieve.

This fly is my favorite damsel nymph and we caught BIG trout at Antone Ranch, which used to be a pay-to-play lake. LOTS of big trout! 

Antone Ranch Rainbow |

Perhaps this is why it’s my favorite damsel nymph!

Tie up some Dougs Damsel Nymph in different shades of olive and tan and give them a try next time you are on the lake.


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New Fly Patterns

Here are a half dozen new fly patterns I learned to tie the last few months during the Winter Fly Tying Classes that look pretty good to me.

I’ll give you a caveat…I haven’t fished these, but they sure look fishy and I can’t wait to try them out.

Here are a trio of flies Peter Bowers of The Patient Angler taught us this year:

A Steelhead Green Rock Worm (size 6) that I’ll use as a dropper to a heavier nymph when swinging for chrome doesn’t work.

Steelhead Green Rock Worm |

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Lake Flies

One inch long and green. What?

Yup, if there’s any question about what lake flies to use, a friend of mine always says “Try something one inch long and green.”

Dennys Stillwater Nymph

Denny's Stillwater Nymph |

I like simple flies for a variety of reasons, but even that recommendation is a little too simple for me. It’s like saying – just fish with an Adams.

Parachute Adams

Parachute Adams|

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