Craig Mathews Winter Seminar

What a great weekend. I had an opportunity to attend the Craig Mathews Winter Seminar sponsored jointly by my own Central Oregon Flyfishers and Sunriver Anglers.

I’ve written about Craig Mathews in previous posts (Craig Mathews and Blue Ribbon Flies) and how much I like and fish flies from Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana. Blue Ribbon Flies has influenced my fly tying and fly fishing for many years. You’ll see many of their flies on the Fly Patterns page. Their flies fit my fly tying style…simple, yet effective.

And many of those flies use Zelon. In fact, there were a few times during his fly tying demonstrations where a little laughter came across the crowd…”and we’ll begin with a tail of Zelon…”

Zelon |

In the mayfly patterns he tied, the Zelon imitates the transitional phase from a nymph to a dun (adult phase). I truely believe picky fish will take the helpless cripples and stillborn bugs over an adult dun. There are other materials that may provide similar properties, like sparkle yarn, but I say why mess with a proven material?

Then Craig used Zelon for egg sacs of caddis flies and salmonflies. You’ll see those in the fly patterns below.

Craig tied a few of his favorite flies each day. I was fortunate to collect them all and photograph them. In addition, our fly club will auction them at our banquet in April.

Craig Mathews Flies |

 Craig Mathews Flies |

Even the non-fly tyers enjoyed watching him tie flies because he explained how and when to fish them. OK, perhaps the fly tyers in the room took copious notes and created their own fly pattern sheets. Here are the flies Craig tied (with links to fly patterns I already had on my website): 

Day 1 flies

Mighty Midget Emerger

Mighty Midge tied by Craig Mathews |


Crystal Serendipity

Crystal Serendipity tied by Craig Mathews | #14 – 18

Improved Sparkle Dun BWO

Improved Sparkle Dun - BWO tied by Craig Mathews #18 – 20

Improved Sparkle Dun PMD

Improved Sparkle Dun - PMD tied by Craig Mathews | – 18 

Caddis Soft Hackle Emerger

Caddis Soft Hackle Emerger tied by Craig Mathews | #14 – 20

X Caddis

X Caddis tied by Craig Mathews | #14 – 20

Iris Caddis

Iris Caddis tied by Craig Mathews | – 18

CDC Egg Laying Caddis

CDC Egg Laying Caddis tied by Craig Mathews #16

Zelon Midge

Zelon Midge tied by Craig Mathews |

 #20 – 22

Nicks Sunken Stone

Nicks Sunken Stone tied by Craig Mathews | – 6

Day 2 flies

Green Drake Cripple

Green Drake Cripple tied by Craig Mathews |

#14 – 15

Yellow Sally

Yellow Sally tied by Craig Mathews |


Guide Serendipity

Guide Serendipity tied by Craig Mathews |

#14 – 16

Glossosoma Pupa

Glossosoma Pupa tied by Craig Mathews |

#18 – 20

$3 Dip

$3 Dip tied by Craig Mathews |

#14 – 18

Soft Hackle Emerger

Soft Hackle Emerger tied by Craig Mathews |

#18 – 20

Knocked Down Dun – Baetis

Knocked Down Dun - Baetis tied by Craig Mathews |

#18 – 20

Scottys Midge

Scottys Midge tied by Craig Mathews |

#18 – 20

CDC Sparkle Dun – Baetis

CDC Sparkle Dun tied by Craig Mathews |

#18 – 20

Foam Spinner

Foam Spinner tied by Craig Mathews |

#16 – 18

Improved Sparkle Dun – CDC

Improved Sparkle Dun - CDC tied by Craig Mathews |

#16 -18


Craig had several great presentations including Fishing Yellowstone Waters, Exploring Yellowstone Country’s Overlooked Waters, 1% for the Planet, and other conservation projects in the Madison River valley.  

Thanks for a good session Craig. I really enjoyed watching you tie flies!

John and Craig | 

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3 thoughts on “Craig Mathews Winter Seminar

  1. This is your best post ever of an outstanding event for COF!
    Congratulations to everyone that helped to put this on. Craig is the real deal for our sport. Read all you can about 1% for the planet….outstanding program.

  2. Great summary John, and thank you for posting pictures of all the flies Craig tied. It was really a great weekend and now if I can just find my way to Montana to put those flies in the water there. Craig is a great ambassador for the fly fishing scene in Montana and for conservation efforts every where.

  3. Pingback: FALL Owens Gourmet Gambit II…Almost done… | PlanetTrout

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