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 | www.johnkreft.com

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 | www.johnkreft.com
Craig Mathews Flies | www.johnkreft.com

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

Caddis Soft Hackle Emerger tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

Caddis Soft Hackle Emerger (14 – 20)

X Caddis tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

X Caddis (14 – 20)

Iris Caddis tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

Iris Caddis (14 – 18)

CDC Egg Laying Caddis tied by Craig Mathews

CDC Egg Laying Caddis (16)

Zelon Midge tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

Zelon Midge (20 – 22)

Nicks Sunken Stone tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

Nicks Sunken Stone (8 – 6)

Day 2 flies

Yellow Sally tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

Yellow Sally (16)

Guides Serendipity | www.johnkreft.com

Guide Serendipity (14 – 16)

Glossoma Pupa tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

Glossosoma Pupa (18 – 20)

$3 Dip tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

$3 Dip (14 – 18)

Soft Hackle Emerger tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

Soft Hackle Emerger (18 – 20)

Scottys Midge tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

Scotty’s Midge (18 – 20)

CDC Sparkle Dun tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

CDC Sparkle Dun – Baetis (18 – 20)

Foam Spinner tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

Foam Spinner (16 – 18)

Improved Sparkle Dun - CDC tied by Craig Mathews | www.johnkreft.com

Improved Sparkle Dun – CDC (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 | www.johnkreft.com

A couple other things: 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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