Skógafoss Falls - Iceland with Photographers | www.johnkreft.com

Images from Iceland

In this week’s images from Iceland, I’ll share a few images of waterfalls, Icelandic horses, and glaciers. I share the image above to remind you we were on a photography tour. This is what happens when the van stops and all of us get off with cameras and tripods in hand! Waterfalls Skógafoss Falls Dettifoss…

New Fly Fishing Waist Pack | www.johnkreft.com

New Fly Fishing Pack

I picked up a new fly fishing pack last week from my friend Jeff Perin at The Fly Fisher’s Place here in Sisters. I’ve been needing to replace my Temple Fork Outfitters waist pack because I’ve worn it out! What a problem to have, right? I purchased an Umpqua Northfork 5L pack. I fish a…

Puffin with Wings Extended | www.johnkreft.com

Images from Iceland

I hope you were able to read this week’s post, Fly Fishing the Iceland Highlands. We spent several days touring the island before our fishing experience started. Below, I share some images from Iceland. Iceland has been on our list to visit and an opportunity presented itself at the end of 2023. If you have…

Green Drake Fly Box - Before | www.johnkreft.com

Cleaning Out a Fly Box

It won’t be long now before Green Drake mayflies are hatching on my favorite river. I pulled out my Green Drake fly box and noticed it needed a little help. In today’s post, I’m cleaning out a fly box and getting ready for the upcoming hatch. I’ll share the process I use to refresh, sort,…

Flick's Red Quill Dry Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Still at the Vise

I’m still at the vise and finished another fly order this week. I’m almost caught up with my fly orders, which is a good thing because we’re leaving on another trip in two weeks. More on that later. This was a small order consisting of Art Flick’s Red Quill pictured above and the Delaware Adams….

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple - Caudatella | www.johnkreft.com

Completing a Fly Order

I’ve been at the vise lately, completing a fly order for a good customer. I thought you might enjoy some fishy looking flies! I took materials with me to the Big Island of Hawaii and tied all the Sparkle Duns, a total of 60. Since I’ve been home, I finished the order and thought I’d…

Mayfly Taking Off | www.johnkreft.com

What Hatches to Expect

I’ve been on the Big Island of Hawaii and will head home this week. It has been a while since I fly fished and decided to look at pictures I took of insects over the past three years to prepare myself for what hatches to expect when I return. What I found were lots of…

Blue Dot on Brown | www.johnkreft.com

Final Images from Chile

We’ve been back from fly fishing in Chile for several weeks, but I wanted to share some final images from Chile. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I love finding these prominent blue spots on Brown trout! Here is a view of Torres del Paine National Park from our hotel room…

Temple Fork Outfitter Hip Pack | www.johnkreft.com

Are You Ready to Fish?

I returned to the river for the first time since returning from Patagonia. Yes, it’s been a while! It felt strange to be on the river. How long has it been since you’ve been on the water? If it’s been a while, are you ready to fish? I thought I was. I took a few…

Buraleo Fish Eye | www.johnkreft.com

Final Images from Argentina

In this week’s post, I thought I’d share some final images from Argentina. We spent a week fly fishing in Argentina at Chochoy Mallin lodge with SET Fly Fishing. A week later, we found ourselves in southern Chile fly fishing with Rumbo Patagon. Between these fly fishing weeks, we travelled by boat and bus through…

Big and Little Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Tying Flies at the Vise

I’ve been tying flies at the vise recently, filling orders for my patient customers. Between my trips and periodic surge of orders, my list of flies to tie grew. If you are looking for flies, be sure to contact me in the near future and I can add you to the list. I’ve stopped providing…

John with Metolius Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

10 Years

Today’s a milestone for me. Know why? RiverKeeper Flies turned 10 years old on March 5! That’s right, I’ve been at the keyboard writing these posts for 10 years. It’s hard for me to believe where my journey has taken me. It began with only a one paragraph post and no photograph: “The NW Fly…

Ready to Ride Across the Rio Trocoman | www.johnkreft.com

Fly Fishing Around Trocoman House

During our time at Chochoy Mallin, we fished two different beats on the Rio Trocoman. I hope you read yesterday’s post where I shared out experience on a section farther upstream. We decided to spend the night and enjoyed our fly fishing around Trocoman House. That’s right, we’re wearing our waders and boots and ready…

Releasing a Ñireco Creek Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

Fishing Ñireco Creek and Rio Buraleo with SET Fly Fishing in Argentina

This week, I share more of our adventure fishing Ñireco Creek and Rio Buraleo with SET Fly Fishing in Argentina. This day, we fished the Ñireco, a 21 mile small creek which flows through the Estancia, eventually flowing into the Rio Reñileuvu. We didn’t have the opportunity to fish here last year because there wasn’t…

Chochoy Mallin and SET Fly Fishing Heli-Fly Fishing | www.johnkreft.com

Fishing Blanco Spring Creek with SET Fly Fishing in Argentina

If you are a regular here at RiverKeeper Flies, you know Dancingtrout and I fished in Argentina last year and returned to Chochoy Mallin with SET Fly Fishing last month. In addition, we spent another week in southern Chile to fly fish with Rumbo Patagon. This week, I’ll share some information about fishing Blanco Spring…

Cuernos del Paine | www.johnkreft.com

Images from Chile

We just returned yesterday from our South America trip in Patagonia and I thought I’d post a few images from Chile. I hope to provide more information about each of our trip beginning next week. In addition, you’ll find a link below to a Zoom fly tying class I’ll be teaching on Thursday, February 1….

Buraleo Brown | www.johnkreft.com

Images from Argentina

We just finished our first week in Patagonia and I thought I’d post a few images from Argentina. A long and skinny Rainbow from the Buraleo River. Dancingtrout and Tete. Dancingtrout teaching our pilot Tomy to fly fish. Another Buraleo Brown Trout taken with a streamer. Sight fishing to Rainbow Trout on Blanco Creek. Another…

Thunder Creek Streamer - Sockeye Salmon Fry | www.johnkreft.com

Latest Flies from the Vise

As I write this post on Monday, Christmas is only one week away. Have you finished all your shopping? If not, check out my 2023 Fly Fisher’s Christmas list for a few last minute ideas. I continue to spend time at the fly tying vise. I finished tying all of our flies for Patagonia which…

Bergman's Dr Burke | www.johnkreft.com

Ray Bergman’s Dr Burke

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Ray Bergman’s Dr Burke. I’ve had this fly on my list to tie for quite some time. I just like the elegance and simplicity of a Bergman wet fly and it forces me to practice mounting duck quill wings whenever I feature one of Bergman’s flies. You can find…

Black Beauty Midges | www.johnkreft.com

Dorsey’s Black Beauty

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Pat Dorsey’s Black Beauty midge. The Black Beauty is a fly Dorsey created back in the early 1990s. He writes it was named after a trip on the Blue River around Silverthorne, CO. A friend of his landed an 8 pound Rainbow measuring 26 inches with an 18…

Two Patagonia Fly Boxes in Progress | www.johnkreft.com

Filling My Patagonia Fly Box

I’ve been making progress in the last week, working on filling my Patagonia fly box. I thought you might enjoy a few images of the flies. The image above shows our “hers and his” fly boxes…one for Dancingtrout and one for me. They are filled with Fat Albert flies in brown/tan and black, sizes 8…

Bergman’s Turkey Brown

Bergman’s Turkey Brown

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

October Caddis Closeup | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here is this week’s images from the water. Fewer days on the water results in fewer images. I’m still enjoying these posts as a means to share my work. I hope you enjoy this week’s portfolio. This October Caddis was walking around on a bush next to me and stopped long enough to capture a…

Size 26 Midge on Ibuprofen | www.johnkreft.com

Flies from the Vise

I’m back to fly tying and thought I’d share some of the flies from the vise. I’ve been spending more time at the fly tying vise, completing orders and getting ready to teach a couple of flies at this week’s Central Oregon Fly Tyer’s Guild on Thursday night. Be sure to check below for links…

PMD with Long Reflected Wings | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here is this week’s images from the water. Last week I wrote it might have been my last “images” post for a while because of the weather. But I did make it out a couple of days. I hope you enjoy this week’s portfolio. I’ll begin with this PMD. I love the reflection of long…

Dette Hackle Guide | www.johnkreft.com

Dette Hackle Guide

This week’s Throw Back Thursday post is the Dette Hackle Guide. You’ll note there are two color…a black and lighter color guide. These work well regardless of the color hackle the tyer is measuring. You might ask how I arrived at the Dette Hackle Guide as the subject of today’s post. Well, I selected a…

Holding Metolius River Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here is this week’s images from the water. With the weather changing, it might be the last one for a while. As I write this post on Wednesday morning, I’m looking out at the snow falling. I hope you enjoy this week’s portfolio. These large Rainbows are out there, but not on my line! It…

Customer Fly Box | www.johnkreft.com

Tying a Fly Order

The last few days I’ve been tying a fly order which include some of my favorite flies. These are the same flies I tied and donated to the recent CfR auction and benefited the Casting for Recovery – Oregon South my wife leads. My customer was one of the bidders for the flies, but lost…

PMDS - Closeup - Metolius River | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

I hope you saw this week’s post about fall PMDs. I shared several images of insects I found in an eddy. I’ll begin this week’s images from the water post with a few more. I hope you enjoy this week’s portfolio. We’re seeing larger than normal kokanee from Lake Billy Chinook. Large trout are staging…

PMDs of Water | www.johnkreft.com

Fall PMDs

While walking the river last week searching for rising fish, I stopped by an eddy to see what insects I might find. To my surprise, I found many fall PMDs and a few other insects as well. It reminded me of a few posts I’ve written about PMDs over the years. And it also made…

Metolius River at Hatchery - Fall Colors | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here are this week’s images from the water. While waiting for fish to rise, I have plenty of time to look around and enjoy the fall colors on my home waters, the Metolius River. I hope you enjoy this week’s portfolio. Fall colors A fly fisher and his dog. Capturing the sunlight breaking over trees….

Argentina Fly Box | www.johnkreft.com

Patagonia Fly Order

I am heading back to the vise this week as I begin to work on a new Patagonia fly order. That’s right, I placed an order with myself! We are returning to Argentina in early 2024 to fish at SET Fly Fishing’s Chochoy Mallin lodge. We’ll continue our travels to the Puerto Natales area in…

Images from the Road

Images from the Road

Here is this week’s images from the road. A few more pics from our recent fall fly fishing road trip. The image above is an Owyhee Rainbow Trout. A Brownie eager to take a dry fly on the Owyhee River. A Mahogany mayfly. A bison in Yellowstone National Park. The same bison with a tourist…

CFR Fly Box | www.johnkreft.com

2nd Annual Cast One – Home Waters Annual Online Auction

The 2nd Annual Cast One – Home Waters Annual Online Auction is live from September 27 thru October 5. Proceeds from the auction benefit Casting for Recovery (CfR). There are several items directly benefiting the Southern Oregon CfR retreat my wife runs which I’ve shared below. RiverKeeper Flies – Item #280 The box of 66…

Van at Ennis Lake | www.johnkreft.com

Fall Fly Fishing Road Trip

I have a question for you. Where would you go fly fishing if you had a couple of weeks and a campervan? That’s the question we asked ourselves last week as we prepared to travel east. Our answer was Montana and Idaho. We checked the weather report, packed the van and headed out on Saturday…

Grasshoppers Mating on Metolius River | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here are this week’s images from the water. These are all from the Metolius in the last couple of weeks. The image of these mating grasshoppers was created with a technique called “focus stacking”. I took six pictures and merged them together, taking the “in focus” portions of each to create the final image. The…

Metolius Drunella flavilinea | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here are this week’s images from the water. I’ll begin with this Drunella flavilinea found on the river this week. And a close-up… We’re still in what I consider the transitional time because not a lot of fish are rising to various insects floating downstream. Here are a few we were lucky to land. These colors…

Metolius Brown | www.johnkreft.com

Odds and Ends

In this week’s post, I would like to share a few odds and ends. My energy has returned after being down and out due to Covid and I finally made it to the river last week to fish a couple of days…and the trout were waiting for me! In addition, I found myself at my…

Provider Boxes | www.johnkreft.com

Flies for September

I’m looking at the calendar and note the first day of September is only a couple of days away. Usually, by this time of year I would have pulled out my fly boxes to see if I need to tie more flies for September fishing. These are my provider boxes. My fly boxes seem to…

Buzz Hackle | www.johnkreft.com

Myrtle Powell’s Buzz Hackle

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Buzz Hackle. I haven’t been anywhere near water with my Nikon camera for over 3 weeks because of Covid, so I thought I’d present a TBT fly. In yesterday’s post, I shared a couple of flies I tied for customers. This is my last order, a fly…

Elk Hair Caddis Variant | www.johnkreft.com

Back to the Vise

I ventured back to the vise last week to complete a few fly orders. I’m still recovering from Covid. It’s been 3 weeks now and I feel like I finally turned the corner. But it’s a slow process. The first flies off the vise were an Elk Hair Caddis Variant for a customer in size…

Hebgen Lake - Trico Spinner Wing Reflections | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here are this week’s images from the water. These images are from Hebgen Lake as we travelled to Yellowstone National Park to fish the Yellowstone River. We hoped to find a few Callibaetis mayflies, and found these insects along the water’s edge. These are Trico mayfly spinners. The colorful translucence from their wings are impressive….

Grasshopper | www.johnkreft.com

Terrestrial Fly Box

It’s August and the middle of hopper season and I thought I’d share my terrestrial fly box. While walking to the van today to get some flies, I saw this hopper on the driveway. I think it was a sign from the fish gods! For me, August is a month where I experience a lull…

Sunrise on Beartooth Pass | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here are this week’s images from the water. After fly fishing the Yellowstone River, we travelled through the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park, through Cooke City and Beartooth Pass to Red Lodge, MT. Sunrise on Beartooth Pass at 10,933 feet. Bison along the lower Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park. Sunrise – Beartooth Pass…

Lower Falls on Yellowstone River | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here are this week’s images from the water. We were in Yellowstone National Park and inspiration for this week’s portfolio. Sunrise at Lower Falls on the Yellowstone River. Measuring a Yellowstone Cutthroat on the Yellowstone River. Salmonfly on vegetation along Yellowstone River. Several hundred empty Stonefly shucks along the high water mark on the Yellowstone…

Madison Midges | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here are this week’s images from the water. This is our second week fly fishing the Madison River and inspiration for this week’s portfolio. Midge closeup. The last trout of the Madison River. Casting in a caddis swarm. Purple flower on the Madison River. A Brown Trout ready to release. A Rainbow Trout ready to…

$3 Bridge and Madison Range | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here are this week’s images from the water. We’ve been on the Madison River for a week, the second stop on this year’s fly fishing road trip and inspiration for this week’s portfolio. These fish are STRONG! I love fishing around these boulders and large rocks submerged in the water. Those spots in the sky are Caddis!…

Henry's Fork Sunset | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the River

Here are this week’s images from the water. We’ve made our way to the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, our first stop on this year’s fly fishing road trip and inspiration for this week’s portfolio. Beetle on blade of grass. Osprey searching for fish. Mission accomplished! One of hundreds of gulls eating insects. Images…

Small Metolius Eddy | www.johnkreft.com

Always Fish an Eddy

Eddies are one of my favorite places to fish. I’ve caught some nice fish in eddies. It would be difficult to determine what my favorite water to fish is, whether it’s eddies, runs, boulders, or tail outs. I think the answer is WATER. But I always fish an eddy. The image above is a small…

Releasing Metolius Rainbow Trout | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here are this week’s images from the water. While waiting for fish to rise, I have plenty of time to look around and find subjects to capture. I hope you enjoy this week’s portfolio. A Golden Stone adult and empty nymphal shuck on the Metolius River. Tying on a new fly. Honestly, we haven’t seen…

Mayfly Spinner | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here are this week’s images from the water. While waiting for fish to rise, I have plenty of time to look around and find subjects to capture. I hope you enjoy the images below. I love to capture Mayfly spinners with my camera. If you are observant, you might find them on the streamside vegetation….

Metolius Rainbow Closeup | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

Here are this week’s images from the water. While we are catching a few fish, I still find plenty of time to look around and find subjects to capture. I hope you enjoy the images below. This Rainbow was a doing its best not to be caught and wouldn’t stop bending and twisting…it popped right…

Sunset at $3 Bridge on Madison River | www.johnkreft.com

Road Trip Flies

Our next fly fishing road trip is only a few weeks away and I need to begin getting our road trip flies ready for a several weeks of fishing. I’ve had a few RiverKeeper Flies regulars ask when we plan to leave on our next fly fishing road trip and whether we will return and…

Blue Water on the Metolius | www.johnkreft.com

Images from the Water

A few more images from the water taken in the last two weeks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them. These images were taken on the hiker trail between Canyon Creek and the Hatchery. A Green Drake I found floating downstream in the current. Note the yellow pollen specks in…

Taking Pictures on the River | www.johnkreft.com

Images From the Water

If you were paying attention, you might have noticed I didn’t create a Throw Back Thursday Fly post a couple of weeks ago. It’s the first time that’s happened in almost 9 years. I decided I didn’t have the time to complete one because I was busy with other things and decided not to stress…

Jassid Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Vince Marinaro’s Jassid Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Vince Marinaro’s Jassid Fly. I met some friends for coffee last Friday. One of them, Jim Ferguson, was sharing a fly he tied recently I recognized…a Jassid. I asked him if I could take a quick picture at the table and this is the result. These images aren’t…

Metolius Redside | www.johnkreft.com

Hit or Miss on the River

It’s really been hit or miss on the river as of late. The warm weather has played havoc with the river levels, producing daily changes of 100 to 200 cubic feet per second (cfs). Much of the time, I expect the river to be between 1300 and 1400 cfs, but it’s been bouncing in the…

Memorable Nets | www.johnkreft.com

If Nets Could Talk

We fish a lot. And we’ve fished for a lot of years. In that time, we have used several nets. Why a post about nets? One word…memories. If nets could talk, what would yours say? From left to right: Dancingtrout lake net, Steve Stevens, Lyle Hand bamboo handle, Brodin, Snake River Net Co, Fisknat The…

Grouse Hackle | www.johnkreft.com

The Grouse Hackle

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Grouse Hackle, a fly from the mid-1800’s. I’m always searching for the next Throw Back Thursday Fly, using a variety of sources for inspiration. I’ve used Mike Valla’s The Founding Flies (2013). The first chapter is about Thaddeus Norris (1811-1878) and the Grouse Hackle fly is mentioned….

Biot Backed Stonefly - Closeup | www.johnkreft.com

Recent Flies from the Vise

I’ve been tying lots of flies lately, trying to catch up on my customer orders. Several fly patterns are new to me and I thought I’d highlight them along with the other flies coming off my vise. The image above is a Biot Backed Stonefly. Devin Olsen created the fly a few years ago and…

Peacock Despair | www.johnkreft.com

Peacock Despair

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Peacock Despair. I didn’t know about this fly until a potential customer brought it to my attention. Jack Sutton, a Canadian fly tyer, developed this fly in the 1930’s. The Peacock Despair was a popular fly for large brook trout in eastern Canada, Quebec and Labrador. It…

Peeking Caddis | www.johnkreft.com

George Anderson’s Peeking Caddis

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is George Anderson’s Peeking Caddis. This cased caddis fly pattern was developed in the 1970’s by George Anderson, owner of Yellowstone Angler in Livingston, MT. The fly imitates the Mother’s Day caddis (Brachycentrus) on the Yellowstone River (and other rivers as well). The bright green banding imitates the body…

Baigent's Brown | www.johnkreft.com

Baigent’s Brown

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Dr. William Baigent’s Brown. I found Baigent’s Brown recently and pulled out the materials to tie one. Robert Smith, author of The North Country Fly: Yorkshire’s Soft Hackle Tradition (2015), writes his own blog entitled The Sliding Stream. I encourage you to check it out. Here is a…

Fishing the Met | www.johnkreft.com

When is Opening Day of Fishing?

Opening day. It used to be a long-awaited day which meant I could go trout fishing again. I was lucky to live within driving distance to rivers emptying into the Pacific Ocean with runs of salmon and steelhead. I fished for them during the winter months, but opening day of trout season was a red-letter…

Drunella Green Drake Spinner | www.johnkreft.com

Green Drake Spinner Fall

I’m in Maui where I found warmer weather than home…between 30 – 40 degrees warmer! I brought a vise, tools, and a few materials with me and am tying the wings and tail for a Green Drake Sparkle Dun. That’s right, I almost always take my fly tying materials and tools if I plan to…

Fire Coachman Trude | www.johnkreft.com

Fire Coachman Trude Dry Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Fire Coachman Trude Dry Fly. I was searching for a fly to feature and pulled out John Shewey’s Favorite Flies for Oregon (2021) book. I turned to the Fire Coachman Trude dry fly and decided to tie one. (Note: My own RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple can be found in…

Brindle Chute Dry Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Stranahan’s Brindle Hackle Multi Colored Body Parachute

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Chuck Stranahan’s Brindle Hackle Multi Colored Body Parachute. Most fly fishers know this fly as the Brindle Chute, a shortened name. Chuck was the owner of Chuck Stranahan’s Flies & Guides which he closed in February 2022. Chuck developed the Brindle Chute to imitate the Hecuba mayfly on his home…

John on Metolius | www.riverkeeperflies.com

9 Years

Another year. My how time flies. That’s right, RiverKeeper Flies quietly celebrated another milestone earlier this month, turning 9 years old! Website RiverKeeper Flies began in early 2014 when I first learned about websites and published my initial post on March 5, 2014. I wasn’t sure where this journey would take me. Initially, I thought…

Flick's March Brown Nymph | www.johnkreft.com

Art Flick’s March Brown Nymph

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Art Flick’s March Brown Nymph. Since it’s March, I’m continuing to feature several March Brown Mayfly imitations. I hope you read last week’s TBT post about Art Flick’s March Brown Dry Fly. This is another one of Art Flick’s flies I found this fly in The Founding Flies…

Whiting Cree Hackle | www.johnkreft.com

Tying Flies with Cree Hackle

It took more than 50 years into my fly tying journey to purchase my first Cree hackle. I wanted one because every fly tyer is supposed to want one. They’re rare to find and expensive when you finally get the chance. I always wondered what it would be like tying flies with Cree hackle. I…

Pajarito Springs | www.johnkreft.com

Fishing Pajarito Springs and Trocoman River with SET Fly Fishing

I hope you read last week’s Fly Fishing in Argentina with SET Fly Fishing post. I tried to capture the uniqueness of our heli fly fishing in Patagonia and more importantly, the people and overall experience. This week, I’ll share fishing Pajarito Springs and Trocoman River with SET Fly Fishing. We fished a diversity of…

Swisher's PMX Royal | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Doug Swisher’s PMX Royal

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Swisher’s PMX Royal. Swisher’s PMX Royal is a variation of his original Madam X fly Swisher created in the 1980’s to imitate hoppers and stoneflies. This variation adds the visibility of a post, hence the name Parachute Madam X…PMX. You’ll find bodies of red, orange, and even lime…

Condor Nymph | www.johnkreft.com

Juan’s Condor Nymph

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Juan’s Condor Nymph. OK, it might not be a true Throw Back Fly, bit it fits my theme of our recent trip to Argentina. Juan Carlos Carrera was one of our guides from SET Fly Fishing during our stay at Estancia Chochoy Mallin in NW Argentina. He pulled…

Bergman's Red Ash | www.johnkreft.com

Ray Bergman’s Red Ash

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Ray Bergman’s Red Ash. I enjoy featuring and tying Ray Bergman flies. While they appear simple to tie, I struggle to set many of the wings. One reason I feature his flies is to force myself to practice tying them. Watson’s Fancy is simple wet fly listed on…

Tying Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Back to the Fly Tying Vise

After slacking off at the vise for the last two weeks, I just returned yesterday from our trip to Argentina. It will take me a little while to sort through the images before I share them here, but I need to get back to the fly tying vise and complete a couple of fly orders….

Bergman's Watson Fancy | www.johnkreft.com

Bergman’s Watsons Fancy

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Ray Bergman’s Watsons Fancy. It’s been a while since I featured a classic Ray Bergman fly. Watson’s Fancy is simple wet fly listed on Plate No.9, page 254 of Bergman’s Trout (1940 – fourth printing). As I’ve mentioned many times, I enjoy highlighting a Bergman wet fly because it forces…

My Fly Tying Room

My Fly Tying Room

Where do you tie flies? If you are like me, you might have had a variety of fly tying stations over the years. I thought I’d share my journey and give you a peak at the latest iteration of my fly tying room. The image above is several years old and shows the portable fly…

Ray Bergman’s Winters Wet Fly | www.johnkreft.com

Ray Bergman’s Winters Wet Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Ray Bergman’s Winters wet fly. It’s been a while since I featured a classic Ray Bergman fly. Bergman’s Winters is a very simple wet fly that is listed on Plate No.9, page 254 of Bergman’s Trout (1940 – fourth printing). As I’ve mentioned many times, I enjoy highlighting a Bergman…

Dolly Llama | www.johnkreft.com

Dolly Llama Streamer Pattern

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Dolly Llama Streamer. There is quite an interesting story about the origin of the Dolly Llama Streamer. I use the Internet quite a bit when researching fly patterns to feature as a Throw Back Thursday Fly here on RiverKeeper Flies. The Dolly Llama is no exception. I…

Denny's Stillwater Bug | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Denny Rickards Stillwater Bug

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Denny Rickards Stillwater Bug. If you are a stillwater fly fisher and live in Oregon, you know who Denny Rickards is. If not, you should! I picked up this fly from Denny’s booth at a NW Fly Tyer and Fly Fishing Expo a few years ago in Albany,…

Provider Box Options | www.riverkeeperflies.com

How to Carry Extra Flies

I had a question recently about how to carry extra flies when traveling. It’s a great question and I thought you might like to hear my answer as well. I’ll begin by saying this method works for me, but I’m constantly trying to find the best way to carry the flies we may use on…

Four of My Favorite Hatches | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Four of My Favorite Hatches

First of all, Happy New Year! I hope you find great fishing success in 2023! I finished tying flies for a customer last week and pulled out a few more hooks so I could tie flies for the provider box. It got me thinking about several insect hatches I’m looking forward to this year. Four…

Fat Albert | www.johnkreft.com

Taylor’s Fat Albert

This week’s Throw Back Thursday fly is Taylor’s Fat Albert. The fly was created by Brent Taylor in 2001. Brent guides in the Dillon, MT area and Chile, which is where the fly was initially used to imitate Cantaria beetle. I recall being introduced to a black/red version on a trip to Chile in 2005….

Royal Wulff Fly Box | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Tying Royal Wulff Flies

I’m still at the fly tying vise this week as I enjoy watching the snow falling or remaining in our backyard from previous storms rolling through. I’ve been tying Royal Wulff flies while waiting for a hook order to arrive so I can complete my last fly order. I looked out on the porch yesterday…

Card's Cicada | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Charlie Card’s Cicada

This week’s Throw Back Thursday fly is Charlie Card’s Cicada. I recently tied a few of these flies for a customer, which is why I’m posting this fly today. I wanted to know who was behind Card’s Cicada. Charlie Card is a well-known guide on Utah’s Green River, which is where this Cicada fly pattern…

Card's Cicada Flies | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Tying and Fishing Foam Flies

I finished a fly order recently for a customer which included a couple of fly patterns utilizing foam and it made me think about tying and fishing foam flies. Most of the foam patterns I tie are used to imitate terrestrials or stoneflies. A new-to-me fly is this Card’s Cicada. It’s a variant as I…

Denny's Shiner Minnow | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Denny Rickards Shiner Minnow

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Denny Rickards Shiner Minnow. Denny offers these flies in different colors, including Golden, Silver, Olive, Blue Back, Rainbow, and Yellow. I purchased this fly a few years ago at his booth during the NW Fly Tyer and Fly Fishing Expo in Albany, OR. Here’s what Denny writes about…

Bouface Streamer | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Barr’s Bouface Streamer

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is John Barr’s Bouface Streamer. This is another fly I found in the book entitled Barr Flies (2007). I’ve been tying Dolly Llama streamers and Barr’s Bouface was very similar to that fly. The Bouface is featured in chapter 19 and includes detailed tying instructions. Originally tied as a…

Blonde Goddess | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Mike Jacobs’ Blonde Goddess

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Mike Jacobs’ Blonde Goddess. I learned about this fly from a customer asking if I could tie the fly for him. He planned to fish for rainbow trout in the 14 to 24 inch range on a local river and thought this fly might work. Jacobs originally tied…

Kaufmann's Simulator Peacock | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Randall Kaufmann’s Simulator

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Randall Kaufmann’s Simulator Peacock. I was paging through John Shewey’s Favorite Flies for Oregon (2021) and found Kaufmann’s Simulator. I’ve been a big Randall Kaufmann fan since the 1980’s. His books, Tying Nymphs (1994) and Tying Dry Flies (1991), were the first quality color fly tying instructions in…

Hook Supply | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Time to Order New Hooks

The first week of November is over already. Where has the time gone? As I wrote in my Seasons Change post recently, the first of November is a time when I begin to tie more flies as fishing wanes. Yes, I continue to fish during the winter months, but the major dry fly action has…

Zelon Midge | www.johnkreft.com

Craig Mathew’s Zelon Midge

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Craig Mathew’s Zelon Midge. I found this fly first listed in John Juracek and Craig Mathews Fishing Yellowstone Hatches (1992). I’m quite certain it’s much older than that. The fly imitates an emerging midge caught in its shuck. Craig swears by this fly! The image below are some…

Galloup's Compara Spinner in Fly Box | www.johnkreft.com

My Top Twelve Dry Flies

I’m in a period of transition from fishing a lot to the fly tying vise. It’s a few days earlier than most years. I say someone throws the weather switch on November 1 and dry fly fishing changes dramatically. This year, the weather changed in two days and daytime highs of mid-70’s have been replaced…

Sheweys Spawning Purple | www.johnkreft.com

John Shewey’s Spawning Purple Steelhead Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is John Shewey’s Spawning Purple Steelhead fly. I recently finished tying an order of a half dozen Shewey’s Spawning Purple steelhead flies. Shewey created this fly in the mid-1980’s and tells the story of creating this variant of Dave McNeese’s Spawning Purple. McNeese’s version utilized a tail of orange-dyed…

19 Inch Metolius Rainbow Trout | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Seasons Change

The month of October is a transition for me, as dry fly fishing comes to a close. Sure, you’ll find BWO hatches throughout the winter months, but I spend less time on the water. It’s when seasons change and I transition to fly tying, filling the provider box for next season and participating in Zoom…

Thorax Dun | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Thorax Dun

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Thorax Dun. I found this fly while paging through Vince Marinaro’s book In the Ring of the Rise (1976). Vincent Marinaro (1911-1986) was born in Reynoldsville, PA. He started fly fishing during his high school years in the area’s local waters. In later years, he lived in…

CFR Flies | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Supporting Casting for Recovery

I just finished tying a box of 7 dozen flies I’m donating to an upcoming Casting for Recovery (CfR) auction supporting Casting for Recovery. I hope these flies will bring in a few dollars for the Southern Oregon CfR retreat my wife leads. Casting for Recovery (CfR) is a retreat designed to help women in…

Silver Admiral Pin Fly | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Silver Admiral Steelhead Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Silver Admiral steelhead fly. I tied this pin recently for my wife as she left to lead a Casting for Recovery retreat. I thought it appropriate to highlight this Polly Rosborough fly as the first TBT fly in October to bring recognition to breast cancer awareness month….

Green-Butt Black | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Lingren’s Green-Butt Black Steelhead Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Art Lingren’s Green-Butt Black steelhead fly. Here is another steelhead fly pattern I found in John Shewey’s Classic Steelhead Flies on page 90. Lingren developed this fly around 1983. He is well-known in the steelhead community and knowledgeable about British Columbia fly fishing, which is his home. The link…

Fall Flyfishing on Metolius | www.johnkreft.com

How to Select Where to Fish

If you’ve followed my RiverKeeper Flies posts for a while, you know my fishing partner and I fish a lot. You might interpret today’s title of how to select where to fish as one river over another. Or perhaps it might resonate with you to mean a summer fishing trip to a different state and…

Van Sant Steelhead Fly | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Van Sant Steelhead Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Van Sant Steelhead Fly. The fly pattern is found in John Shewey’s Classic Steelhead Flies, page 178. Shewey attributes this steelhead fly to Josh Van Sant, Jr. (1861-1950) of Eureka, CA. The fly is remeniscent of popular trout wet flies of the early to mid-1900s, namely those…

Whiting Hackle | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Feathers, Feathers, Feathers

Yes, I have a problem…feathers, feathers, feathers! I’ve been known to say you can never have enough feathers, but even I must admit my collection has grown substantially over the years. And I might have added to it this summer during our time on the Madison River, MT. No, I didn’t buy all these a…

St Joe Favorite | www.riverkeeperflies.com

St Joe Special TBT

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the St Joe Favorite TBT. (I mislabeled the title – should be St Joe Favorite!) I first found this fly at the Idaho Fly Fishing Company in Avery, ID during our fly fishing trip to the St. Joe River in Idaho. I always enjoy going into local fly shops to…

September Fly Boxes | www.riverkeeperflies.com

September Fly Boxes are Filled

Can you believe September is almost half over? I wish the calendar would slow down a bit. But the days are getting shorter, and it means Fall is almost here, with winter not far behind. Let’s get the most out of our fly fishing and ensure our September fly boxes are filled with imitations we…

Old Master | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Old Master

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Old Master. Since I referenced T.E. Pritt’s North Country Flies (1886) in this week’s post, I thought it appropriate to highlight one of the flies found in his book. This one is listed as No. 39. Materials Hook: 1 Wings: Hackled with a feather from the inside of…

Olive Bloa | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Olive Bloa

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Olive Bloa. I found the fly pattern in Edmunds and Lee Brook and River Trouting (1916) on page 20. Click on the link for a FREE download. It’s one of my favorite classic books for the history of fly tying and fly fishing the old English flies….

Polly's Little Yellow Stonefly | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Polly’s Little Yellow Stonefly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Polly’s Little Yellow Stonefly. I found this fly created by Polly Rosborough in John Shewey’s newest book, Favorite Flies for Oregon – 50 Essential Patterns from Local Experts. John sent me his book a few months ago and I thought I might find a good candidate for a…

McCloud Ugly | www.riverkeeperflies.com

McCloud Ugly Steelhead Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the McCloud Ugly steelhead fly. I’ve heard there might be a steelhead fishing season this year on the Deschutes River and thought I’d highlight an older steelhead fly pattern. The McCloud Ugly was developed by George McCloud of Seattle, WA in the late 1940’s. George also was the…

Elk Hair Caddis|www.johnkreft.com

Troth’s Elk Hair Caddis

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Al Troth’s Elk Hair Caddis. I’m continuing a theme from last week about repeating a TBT fly from the past. The Elk Hair Caddis was a fly I removed from a nice Madison River Rainbow Trout the other day for a fellow fly fisher. He had hooked…

Royal Coachman Dry Fly | www.johnkreft.com

Royal Coachman

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Royal Coachman. I’ve shared a couple of Royal Coachman flies over the years as a TBT post and decided it was time to share them again. Why? Well, we’ve been on a fly fishing road trip for almost three weeks now and met a fly fishing couple…

Harvey’s Spruce Creek Dry Fly

Harvey’s Spruce Creek Dry Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is George Harvey’s Spruce Creek Dry Fly. George Harvey (1911-2008) was born in DuBois, PA and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture from Penn State University in 1935. As an undergraduate student in 1934, he organized and taught Penn State’s angling and fly tying class, the first…

Puyans A.P. Muskrat #2 | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Puyans A.P. Muskrat #2

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Andy Puyans A.P. Muskrat #2. André “Andy” Puyans (1935-2005) was born in Garden City, NY and began tying flies at the age of seven. He moved to San Francisco, CA in 1958 to tie flies for Abercrombie and Fitch and eventually opened his own fly shop, Creative Sports…

Silver Admiral | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Rosborough’s Silver Admiral

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Polly Rosborough’s Silver Admiral. I’ve featured several flies from Polly, including the Casual Dress and Fledermouse. To find all his flies, simply use the search bar above and type in “Rosborough”. The original materials called for pink yarn. I don’t seem to have any in my fly tying…

Quick Release | www.riverkeeperflies.com

RiverKeeper Flies Outtakes

I hope you get a chuckle from a few RiverKeeper Flies outtakes. How many times have you tried to take a grip and grin picture and the fish explodes at exactly the moment you press the shutter release? This quick release happens more times than I care to admit! I’ve included a few moving water…

Clark's Twisted Body Stone | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Lee Clark’s Twisted Body Stone

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Lee Clark’s Twisted Body Stone. The Twisted Body Stone is a different technique of using 100% polypropylene to create a body to imitate larger flies. Lee is better known for his original Clark’s Golden Stone shown below using the same material to imitate a body with it combed…

Muskrat Nymph | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Polly’s Muskrat Nymph

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Polly’s Muskrat Nymph. A couple of weeks ago, I presented Polly’s Fledermouse Nymph and thought since I had used muskrat, I’d highlight another nymph utilizing the same material. It’s a simple fly to tie with the most difficult aspect is locating the natural materials of muskrat and beaver. This…

Old Grey Mare | www.johnkreft.com

Buz’s Old Gray Mare

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Buz’s Old Gray Mare. This is another Buz Buszek fly pattern. If you are a regular here at RiverKeeper Flies, you’ve seen several TBT flies I’ve highlighted on these pages and you might be familiar with his story. If not, read on… Buz Buszek (1912 – 1965) opened…

Caddis on Metolius - Closeup | www.riverkeeperflies.com

Images from the River

This week’s post includes some images from the river. While we’ve picked up a few fish here and there, the colder temperatures seem to have impacted the hatches and fish eating habits. So I seem to be paying much more attention to my surroundings when I don’t see any rising fish. On the other hand,…

Norm Wood Special Close-up | www.johnkreft.com

Norm Wood Special Encore

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Norm Wood Special encore. If you read this week’s post, Water is Life on the Deschutes River, you’ll recall we used the Norm Wood Special as one of our successful flies. Here is what I wrote about the Norm Wood Special back in 2020. Norm Wood was…

McGinty | www.johnkreft.com

McGinty Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the McGinty fly. The McGinty is one of the images Wayne Luallen sent me of flies from Buz Buszek’s fly box. Some of the flies in his box were tied by Buz, while others were probably selected from bins in from his fly shop. It’s just a little…

Metolius Rainbow Trout Reflection | www.johnkreft.com

Fish and Flies

My life these days is centered around fish and flies. Just how I like it! I continue to tie customer flies when I’m not fishing. I was working on a fairly time-consuming post about the Metolius River being my home waters. Yes, I finally decided to share a little bit more about the river. It’s…

Sierra Bright Dot | www.johnkreft.com

Sierra Bright Dot Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Sierra Bright Dot fly. This is an attractor-style “fore and aft” fly pattern developed sometime in the 1950’s for the eastern slopes of the Southern Sierra mountains for Golden Trout. I was asked to tie a few dozen Sierra Bright Dots for a customer in sizes ranging…

Light Hendrickson | www.johnkreft.com

Tying a Variety of Flies

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time at the vise recently, tying a variety of flies for customers. Fishing will pick up soon and I’ll be off on this year’s fly fishing road trips, so I need to get as many flies tied as possible in the next month or less. If you read…

Black Forked Tail Nymph tied by Buz | www.johnkreft.com

Black Forked Tail Nymph

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Black Forked Tail Nymph. Shortly after I posted the Prince Nymph encore, I received a note from my friend Wayne Luallen with additional information about the creator of both the Prince and Forked Tail nymphs, Doug Prince. Wayne received the following original fly pattern from Doug’s notebook…

Spring Buds on Metolius | www.johnkreft.com

Spring on the River

Spring is here, the middle of April. What that tells me is some of my favorite insects will begin hatching in less than a month. We went to the river recently, once with fly rods in hand and another day to enjoy the river on a 5 mile hike. Both days were enjoyable and perhaps…

Frank Johnson CDC Fly | www.johnkreft.com

Frank Johnson CDC Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Frank Johnson CDC fly I found in a fly box Frank donated and I was fortunate to select during a Fly Tyer’s Rendezvous fly swap at the 50th Anniversary of the International Federation of Fly Fishers Fair in Bend, Oregon (2015). (Note: the IFFF has since changed its…

Prince Nymph | www.johnkreft.com

Prince Nymph Encore

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Prince Nymph encore. I featured the Prince Nymph in October 2014, the first year of my blog. It was one of my first TBT flies. In case you missed it, here is the story I wrote: It originally was known as the Brown Forked Tail and created…

Dette Yellow Stonefly Nymph | www.johnkreft.com

Dette Yellow Stonefly Nymph

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Dette Yellow Stonefly Nymph. I pulled out Mike Valla’s The Founding Flies and paged through to locate an interesting fly for this week’s post. The Dette Yellow Stonefly Nymph spoke to me. Walt and Winnie Dette are known for their beautiful Catskill dry flies. At least that’s…

Stonefly Imitations | www.johnkreft.com

More Flies From the Vise

I thought I’d share a few more flies from the vise this week. I finished another fly order for a customer planning to fish the upcoming Salmonfly and Golden Stone hatch. They’ll begin showing themselves in late April and early May. In addition, you’ll find a link below to my recent YouTube videos. This pile…

Float-n-Fool | www.johnkreft.com

Buz’s Float N Fool Multi-Color

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Buz’s Float N Fool Multi-Color. The Float N Fool Multi-Color (AKA – Flot’N Fool Multi-Color, Float-n-Fool, Float N Fool, even Flot-N-Fool) is a parachute fly tied with calf tail for the tail and wing post, a peacock herl body, and a hackle that varied in color from Adams…

McPhail's Golden Stone Nymph - Variant | www.johnkreft.com

Teaching and Tying Flies

I have several topics for today’s post. First of all, I’ll be making a presentation to Central Oregon Flyfisher’s Wednesday night (3/16/22). The topic is Selecting Flies from a Fly Tyer’s Perspective. If this sounds interesting, I’ll be sharing my thoughts in next week’s post. In addition, I’ve been tying and teaching flies. I finished…

Lord Baltimore | www.johnkreft.com

Lord Baltimore

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Lord Baltimore wet fly. This is an old fly pattern listed as No. 64 (page 158) in Mary Orvis Marbury’s Favorite Flies and Their History (1892). Click the link for a free download of the book. The fly can be seen on Plate I, page 183. No….

Tying Flies | www.johnkreft.com

8 Years

And suddenly, here I am, 8 years later, after writing 827 posts, around 300 fly patterns, and over 3,700 images. Little did I know then I would keep writing a post on my blog every week for 8 years without missing one week! I hope you will allow a little departure from my normal weekly…

No. 8 Water-hen Bloa | www.johnkreft.com

No. 2 Middle Shade Dun

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the No. 2 Middle Shade Dun found in The Contemplative and Practical Angler by Joseph Wells (1842). This fly might look familiar to you. It’s from a recent Throw Back Thursday Fly, the No. 8 Water-hen Bloa a fly I found in Yorkshire Trout Flies by T. E. Pritt (1885)….

Spinner Dolphins | www.johnkreft.com

Back at the Vise

We returned last week from Hawaii where we enjoyed beautiful warm weather. Our time was split between the Big Island and Maui. Here are a few spinner dolphins we could see from our Kailua – Kona condo along the bay. I’m back at the vise, working to fill orders for those on my wait list….

Kent's Pumpkin Head Leech | www.johnkreft.com

Kent’s Pumpkin Head

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is John Kent’s Pumpkin Head. The Pumpkin Head was created by John Kent originally for fishing in Tunkwa Lake in BC, a highly productive but frequently low visibility lake. Kent originally developed the fly as a damsel imitation, but I’ve used it as an attractor pattern when no hatch…

No. 8 Water-hen Bloa | www.johnkreft.com

No. 8 Water-hen Bloa

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the No. 8 Water-hen Bloa. The Water-hen Bloa can be found in many of the old fly fishing and fly tying books. The first example is from page 24 of Yorkshire Trout Flies by T. E. Pritt (1885) “This fly is identical with the blue dun of Ronalds, and…

Atherton No 6 Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Atherton No. 6 Dry Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Atherton No. 6 dry fly. John Atherton (1900 – 1952) was an artist by trade and incorporated his impressionistic art into the flies he tied. Interestingly, he didn’t name the flies, choosing instead to number his dry flies from 1 to 7, representing lighter to darker shades…

Steelhead Fly Order | www.johnkreft.com

Tying Steelhead Flies

I finished and mailed a steelhead fly order for a customer in the mid-west about a month ago and thought I’d share his order with you. I enjoy tying steelhead flies, but haven’t tied many the last few years because of the low steelhead runs of the Columbia basin. But these 16 flies were a…

Broughton's Point | www.johnkreft.com

Broughton’s Point

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Broughton’s Point. I found this beautiful fly in Brook and River Trouting by Harfield H. Edmonds and Norman N. Lee (1916). It’s listed as fly No. 7 on page 18 – Broughton’s Point or Dark Bloa, with a note on the bottom as a fly to fish in March…

BWO Pulsating Emerger - Size 22 | www.johnkreft.com

Tying Very Small Flies

I finished a fly order recently, tying very small flies which challenged my fly tying skills. The order was for flies in sizes 18 to 22. Tying small flies is difficult if you don’t tie a lot. You feel like you’re tying with two thumbs! Trust me, I’ve been there! I remember a statement I…

Pritt's Water Cricket | www.johnkreft.com

Pritt’s Water Cricket

This week’s Throw Back Thursday fly is Pritt’s Water Cricket. Here is a fly from T.E. Pritt’s Yorkshire Trout Flies (1885). The link will take you to one of the free download books from an extensive list I have created on my Links to Free Old Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books page. You can normally…

Green Drake - Head-on | www.johnkreft.com

Obsessed with Green Drakes

If you’ve followed RiverKeeper Flies for a while, it won’t come as a surprise I might be a little obsessed with Green Drakes, from tying effective imitations, fishing the flies during a hatch, and creating images through my photography. In fact, I’ve been thinking about them all week. I taught a Zoom fly tying class…

Stuck-In-The-Shuck Midge | www.johnkreft.com

Stuck-In-The-Shuck Midge TBT

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Stuck-In-The-Shuck Midge TBT. I was on my favorite river yesterday looking for rising fish. I didn’t see very many, which wasn’t surprising to me. After all, it’s winter and I didn’t expect summertime hatches. I was hoping for a Blue Wing Olive hatch of 30 minutes or…

Double Bunny | www.johnkreft.com

Sanchez’s Double Bunny

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Scott Sanchez’s Double Bunny streamer. Sanchez states he first thought about this fly in 1988 on a trip to Belize. His inspiration for the fly were two other flies they were using, a Kiwi Muddler and a FisHair Cuda Fly. He wondered what might happen “if I put…

Sparkle Dun Wing Alternatives | www.johnkreft.com

Effective Fly Tying Substitutes for Deer Hair Wings

I received a Comment from one of my readers asking if I could provide information about using effective material substitutes for natural materials when tying flies. It was a general question and something I’ve been thinking about lately. Instead of developing an all-encompassing post, I thought I’d provide information on effective fly tying substitutes for…

Electric Caddis Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Electric Caddis TBT

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Electric Caddis TBT. I pulled out Greg Thomas’ book Best Flies for Idaho (2000) from my bookshelf and thumbed through it and found the Electric Caddis who attributed the fly to Mike Lawson. It got me to thinking…I wonder if the fly is listed in Lawson’s Spring…

Christmas Greetings | www.johnkreft.com

Newest RiverKeeper Flies Video

I hope you saw last week’s post Early Winter Euro Nymph Fly Fishing where I highlighted several of my favorite Euro nymph fly patterns. I shared the Olive Perdigon YouTube video and just posted my newest RiverKeeper Flies video of the Rainbow Warrior Perdigon nymph on my YouTube channel. Click on the fly image to…

Atherton No 4 | www.johnkreft.com

Atherton No.4 Dry Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Atherton No.4 dry fly. John Atherton (1900 – 1952) was an artist by trade and incorporated his impressionistic art into the flies he tied. The hackle of the Atherton No. 4 are mixed medium dun and Cree to create a life-like fly imitating the real insects. The…

Don Martinez Golden Quail | www.johnkreft.com

Don Martinez Golden Quail

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Don Martinez Golden Quail. Don Martinez (around 1903 – 1955), was born in Washington, Connecticut. His fly tying was influenced by fishing the Catskill area of New York. Martinez moved to Chicago where he was in the real estate business for a short time before moving on…

Brooks' Emerger Ida May | www.johnkreft.com

Charles Brooks Emerger Ida May

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Charles Brooks Emerger Ida May. Some days I have difficulties deciding which fly to feature for a TBT fly. I walk over to my fly fishing and fly tying library and selected a book or two. I found today’s fly in Brooks’ book entitled The Henry’s Fork…

Fly Fishing Road Trip Map | www.johnkreft.com

How to Plan a Fly Fishing Trip

I’m starting to think about next year’s fishing trips and wondering where to go. I thought you might benefit from my thought process on how to plan a fly fishing trip. This map is one I created back in 2019 to show where we have fished during our Fly Fishing Road Trips. If you’re a…

Atherton No. 1 Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Atherton No.1 Dry Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Atherton No.1 dry fly. John Atherton (1900 – 1952) was an artist by trade and incorporated his impressionistic art into the flies he tied. The hackle of the Atherton No. 1 are all mixed colors to create a life-like fly imitating the real insects. Interestingly, he didn’t…

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple - PMD | www.johnkreft.com

RiverKeeper Flies YouTube Channel

Fishing has slowed down for me so I’ve returned to the vise, filling orders and the provider box. In addition, I recently taught a Zoom fly tying class for Gretchen and Al Beatty’s BT’s Fly Tying Friday where I demonstrated my RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple, one of my favorite flies to trick selective trout. This…

Reverse Spider | www.johnkreft.com

Kinney’s Reverse Spider

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Mike Kinney’s Reverse Spider. I was asked recently if I would tie the Reverse Spider for a client and thought it would make a great TBT fly. So today I sat down and tied one. I believe the fly pattern he provided was from Les Johnson’s Sea Run:…

Rio Powerflex Plus Leaders | www.johnkreft.com

Rio Trout Leaders

What brand of leader do you use? There are a lot of good manufacturers to choose from, including Trouthunter, Umpqua, Scientific Anglers, Orvis, and the one I’ve been using for many years – RIO. I recently purchased a different RIO trout leader, the Powerflex Plus to see if I like it. Besides leaders in today’s…

Doc Spratley | www.johnkreft.com

Doc Spratley Wet Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Doc Spratley Wet Fly. This is a fly I used at Pennask Lake in British Columbia back in 2007. We stayed at Pennask Lake Lodge with friends who were members there. Yes, it was a few years ago. According to Flies of the Northwest (1979) by the…

Atherton No. 2 | www.johnkreft.com

Atherton No. 2 Dry Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Atherton No. 2 dry fly. I’ve highlighted a couple other Atherton flies recently, the Atherton No. 5 and Atherton No. 3. John Atherton (1900 – 1952) was an artist by trade and incorporated his impressionistic art into the flies he tied. The tail, body, and hackle of…

Atherton No.3 Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Atherton No. 3 Dry Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Atherton No. 3 dry fly. I posted my first Atherton dry fly last week, the Atherton No. 5. John Atherton (1900 – 1952) was an artist by trade and incorporated his impressionistic art into the flies he tied. The tail, body, and hackle of the Atherton No….

Metolius Rainbow Underwater | www.johnkreft.com

Odds and Ends

It’s time for another odds and ends post because I have several topics rattling around in my head. The end of October is a time of transition for me. The dry fly fishing opportunities are fewer every day I’m on the water and I hear the vise calling my name. I hope to catch up…

Atherton No. 5 | www.johnkreft.com

Atherton No. 5 Dry Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the John Atherton No. 5 Dry Fly. John Atherton (1900 – 1952) was an artist by trade and incorporated his impressionistic art into the flies he tied. Interestingly, he didn’t name the flies, choosing instead to number his dry flies from 1 to 7, representing lighter to darker…

Slattery's OD Stimulator | www.johnkreft.com

Slattery’s OD Stimulator

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Jim Slattery’s OD Stimulator. The OD stands for “original design”. I’ve frequented Jim Slattery’s Campfire Lodge Resort, located on the Madison River between Hebgen and Quake lakes quite a bit when we are in the Madison Valley during our fly fishing road trips. I first learned about it…

Fall Flyfishing on Metolius | www.johnkreft.com

Fall Images from the River

I’ve been fortunate to spend quite a bit of time on my home water, the Metolius. Some days I don’t see an insect on the water. Other days, bugs float downstream on the water’s surface, but no fish rise. What I hope for is finding a few rings or noses, a sign fish are actively…

Mercer's Profile Spinner - PMD | www.johnkreft.com

Mike Mercer’s Profile Spinner – PMD

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Mike Mercer’s Profile Spinner – PMD. I found this fly pattern in Mike Mercer’s Creative Fly Tying (2005) book. He relays a problem he had fishing spinner patterns on California’s Fall River where thousands and thousands of natural PMD Spinners were floating downstream with trout gorging themselves on these insects….

Bergman's Yankee | www.johnkreft.com

Bergman’s Yankee

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Ray Bergman’s Yankee. It’s been a while since I featured a classic Ray Bergman fly. The Yankee is a very simple soft hackle fly that is listed on Plate No.9, page 234 of Bergman’s Trout (1940 – fourth printing). As I’ve mentioned many times, I enjoy highlighting a Bergman…

Casting for Recovery Net | www.johnkreft.com

2021 Cast One for Hope

Last weekend, we participated in the 2021 Cast One for Hope (Cast One) event in Hamilton, MT on the Bitterroot River. It’s one of the major fundraisers of Casting for Recovery (CfR). This year’s event was different due to Covid-19. Normally, there is fly fishing and a banquet where items are auctioned. The event was…

Bergman's Sanctuary | www.johnkreft.com

Bergman’s Sanctuary

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Ray Bergman’s Sanctuary. It’s been a while since I featured a classic Ray Bergman fly. The Sanctuary is a very simple soft hackle fly that is listed on Plate No. 8, page 222 of Bergman’s Trout (1940 – fourth printing) As I’ve mentioned many times, I enjoy highlighting a…

Dette Caddis | www.johnkreft.com

Dette Caddis

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Dette Caddis. The Dette Caddis is another fly I found in Eric Leiser’s book about Walt and Winnie Dette and their daughter Mary Dette Clark and their impact on classic Catskill flies. The book is entitled The Dettes – A Catskill Legend (1992). On the instruction page about how to…

Cascade Stone | www.johnkreft.com

Cascades Stone

I wrote about the Cascades Stone a few years ago, but have seen them on the river recently and thought it was time to highlight this seldom seen hatch by fly fishers. It’s actually called the Doroneuria baumanni, a cousin of the Golden Stone. But I’m getting ahead of myself. When we first noticed this…

Improved Governor | www.johnkreft.com

Improved Governor

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Improved Governor. This is another steelhead fly found in John Shewey’s Classis Steelhead Flies book. It’s one of my sources of flies for TBT posts. I’ve read recently about the low steelhead returns in the Columbia Basin and it got me thinking about the last time I…

Metolius Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

September Fly Box

I look forward to the month of September every year because I know I’ll have some great fishing the next two months! In addition, it’s the time of year when several bigger bugs hatch. How about October Caddis or the fall drakes? Fall is a fly fisher’s dream. Below, you’ll find the flies that make…

Harrop's CDC Rusty Paraspinner | www.johnkreft.com

Harrop’s CDC Rusty Paraspinner

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Harrop’s CDC Rusty Paraspinner. I hope you were able to read a recent post, Importance of Imitating Mayfly Spinners. Since I’ve been thinking about spinners for a few days, I thought I’d find one to feature in a TBT post. Harrop’s CDC Rusty Paraspinner was created by Bonnie…

Roy's Special Emerger | www.johnkreft.com

Roy Palm’s Special Emerger

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Roy Palm’s Special Emerger, tied below in size 20. I was introduced to this fly recently when a customer asked if I had heard of Roy’s Special Emerger, a midge pattern. He relayed a story of watching a guide with clients catching fish on a river in Colorado….

Dozen Last Chance Cripple Baetis | www.johnkreft.com

Small BWO/Baetis Fly Imitations

I’m back at the vise this week working to fill orders that have been stacking up during our fly fishing road trip. I started on an order of 324 flies that included several small BWO/Baetis fly imitations in sizes 16, 18, and 20. The fly order includes several of my favorite BWO imitations. I have…

Griffiths Gnat | www.johnkreft.com

Griffith’s Gnat Encore

This week’s Thow Back Thursday Fly is a Griffith’s Gnat encore. I’m calling it an encore presentation from the original TBT post in October 2014. I’ve since purchased and thoroughly enjoyed reading The Founding Flies by Mika Valla where he dedicates four pages to George Griffith. As I mentioned in my initial post, Griffith (1901…

Madison River Brown Trout | www.johnkreft.com

My Nine Favorite Dry Flies

I’m asked quite often what flies I use and recommend. After 40+ days on our last fly fishing road trip, I thought I’d provide a list of my nine favorite dry flies which were successful for us in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. This is a subject I seem to write about quite often after returning…

Ugly Rudamus | www.johnkreft.com

Ugly Rudamus

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Ugly Rudamus. The Ugly Rudamus was developed in 1984 by John Foust of Hamilton, MT as an imitation for caddis and stoneflies. Born in Stevensville and raised in Darby in the 1960s, Foust began tying flies at the age of 13 and sold them at Bob Ward’s…

Stranahan's Black Ant | www.johnkreft.com

Stranahan’s Black Ant

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Chuck Stranahan’s Black Ant. I returned to Chuck Stranahan’s Flies & Guides a couple of weeks ago. I was fortunate he wasn’t too busy and I caught him behind the vise. We caught up a bit and he talked more about his original Stranahan’s Brindle Chute I presented back in November 2019….

Headwaters of Grey's River | www.johnkreft.com

Fly Fishing Southwest Wyoming

Fly fishing southwest Wyoming was the next stop on our 2021 fly fishing road trip. How did we get there? Well, we left the Madison River in Montana trying to find clear skies after fishing next to a forest fire at $3 Bridge. Our travels took us past the Henry’s Fork of the Snake where…

Stranahan's Olive Brindle Chute | www.johnkreft.com

Stranahan’s Olive Brindle Chute

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Chuck Stranahan’s Olive Brindle Chute. I returned to Chuck Stranahan’s Flies & Guides last week. The Brindle Chute style of fly is one of Chuck’s “hallmark” flies. The full name of the Brindle Chute is Brindle Hackle Multi Colored Body Parachute. This is his olive version, which is labeled as…

Sunset at $3 Bridge | www.johnkreft.com

Smokey Montana Fly Fishing

I know many of my readers live in the Western United States. Between the warm water temperatures and smoke, you may have changed your fly fishing plans this summer. Last week, we made a few adjustments as well as we dealt with smokey Montana fly fishing. Here is a sunset we normally see at $3…

Jacklin's Gray Drake | www.johnkreft.com

Bob Jacklin Gray Drake

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Bob Jacklin Gray Drake. I found this fly when I walked into his fly shop last week. I stood in front of the fly bins and selected several I thought would make likely candidates for my TBT posts. I think I’m on a drake kick, since last…

Dave's Hopper Flies | www.johnkreft.com

Dave’s Hopper Fly Pattern

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Dave’s Hopper fly pattern. This is another fly pattern I haven’t tied in years. A customer recently asked me to tie the fly and I thought it was a great candidate for a TBT post. So here it is. Dave’s Hopper was designed by Dave Whitlock in the…

Baja Rooster Fish | www.johnkreft.com

Variety of Flies

I’m surprised at the variety of flies I tie. I tie a lot of flies for my customers and receive feedback from some of them. I always enjoy reading their notes to me and it’s always rewarding to see the fruits of my labor. I pleased to see my flies work! Not the normal trout…

Quigley Cripple Gray Drake | www.johnkreft.com

Quigley Gray Drake Cripple

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Quigley Gray Drake Cripple. I didn’t find a fly pattern sheet for a Quigley Gray Drake Cripple. This was tied for a customer and I pulled a few materials out I thought looked good for the fly. For instance, the body is a goose quill wrapped with…