I’ve been tying flies lately…lots of flies. Sparkle Duns galore. They’ve been flying off the vise. Between a large order that includes 9 dozen Sparkle Duns I’m tying for a good customer and another dozen for my provider box, I’ve tied 10 dozen Sparkle Duns in the last 2 weeks, from size 8 down to size 20 and everything in between.

Improved Sparkle Duns – Size 20 Sulfurs 
Sparkle Dun - Sulfur size 20 | www.johnkreft.com
Size 8 Green Drake Sparkle Duns
Green Drake Sparkle Duns | www.johnkreft.com

I love to tie and fish Sparkle Duns. I use them to imitate Blue Wing Olives, Pale Morning Duns, March Browns, and Green Drakes to name a few. I don’t know why they work, they just do!

The Sparkle Dun is a Craig Matthews pattern from Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, MT. I tie this simple, yet effective fly in size 22 Blue Wing Olive up to a size 8 Green Drake.

The fly is designed to imitate an adult mayfly trying to escape it’s nymphal shuck. That makes it an emerger or cripple. I really believe in using flies to imitate the transition to an adult. Somehow, the fish know they don’t have to work as hard to eat them because they can’t get away quickly.

I’m headed to Salem today to teach a couple flies for Project Healing Waters, my RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple and…you guessed it, the Sparkle Dun.

If you are a frequent reader of RiverKeeper Flies, you know I’ve worked with Project Healing Waters in Central Oregon for several years. I’ll be teaching Clark’s Golden Stone on Thursday to my local group.

Clark’s Golden Stone
Clark's Golden Stone | www.johnkreft.com

I’ve noticed lots of interest recently for my Custom Flies page. They seem to be popular these days. Several customers have contacted me lately and I’m excited to be tying flies for them. Some flies are new to me, which I really like. You’ll be seeing these in the near future when I complete that order. If you want to get on the list, please contact me soon as I’m at least 3 to 4 weeks out from completing orders.

Back to the Sparkle Duns. I have 1 1/2 dozen flies to finish and that order will be complete.

My next customer has an exciting project for me…spey flies. I’m really looking forward to tying them. I don’t get a lot of opportunity to tie them. Here’s one of the spey flies I tied a couple of years ago – the Lady Caroline.

Lary Caroline | www.johnkreft.com

Enjoy…go fish!

Similar Posts


  1. John, It was a real pleasure to see you again last night and to learn from the master. The two sparkle duns that I tied were poor imitations and at my pace it will take me until late July to finish a dozen and a half. Someone told me that I am not too old to learn. Don’t believe them.

    Your work with PHW is valuable and generous.

    Thanks for coming to Salem. I hope to see you soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.