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 I shared in last week’s post. My latest flies from the vise are Thunder Creek streamers to imitate Sockeye Salmon smolts for a customer in Alaska…dozens of them!

Thunder Creek Streamer - Sockeye Salmon Fry |

I receive requests periodically to tie a fly I’ve never heard of. I’m guessing because I list myself as a “custom fly tyer”. This Thunder Creek streamer is one of them. The flies I tied are VERY SPARSE, as requested by my customer. I’ll provide more detail about how I tie these streamers in the coming weeks when I get more time. Between the holidays and our upcoming Patagonia fly fishing trip, I’m running out of time.

Speaking of time, I wanted to share that I don’t plan to post much, if any, in January. We will be in Argentina and Chile fly fishing and I won’t have time to prepare any posts. As I recall, I was tired after each day of fly fishing! In addition, the logistics of taking my laptop and trying to find service isn’t something I want to deal with.

I’ll share information about our trip when I return home. And I’ll evaluate what type of schedule I would like to continue here on RiverKeeper Flies.

Last Thursday night, I taught a class entitled Tips for Tying Small Flies for my Central Oregon Fly Tyer’s Guild, featuring these flies:

As I tied the flies, I highlighted several fly tying techniques I use to help tie these small flies.

  • Change thread size
  • Consider using midge jaws
  • Manage hooks – scissors or tweezers
  • Use fewer thread wraps
  • Use hackle pliers to hold materials
  • Flatten thread to place thread exactly where you want it
  • Sparse amounts of dubbing
  • Apply head cement on thread during whip finish
  • How to place bead on hook
  • Minimize need to trim butt ends by sliding materials in place

If you weren’t able to attend, here is a video of my presentation found on my RiverKeeper Flies YouTube channel:

Happy holidays…go fish!

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  1. Those Thunder Creeks will work in the Cascade Lakes too. I had a pretty good afternoon on Diamond stripping with an intermediate line.

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