Hi-Vis Foam Caddis
A great hi-vis hi-floating caddis pattern! I use these on small streams for local brook trout. They are a great generic bug for imitating caddis, moths, and even large mayflies! These things float like a cork - even after being munched for a while by brook trout.
Everything I was searching for I found in this Wowza. Flash, flash and more flash, simplicity, baitfish profile, easy to cast, and suspends itself in the water column. When you want to cause a bright commotion this is your go-to pattern. I'm a fan of Chuck Fraft's Kreelex, but I wanted a beefier fly that has a wider profile without all the weight. Mainly to imitate shad in local lakes. When I found Ripple Ice Fiber I knew it was the answer to my quest. This sucker will irritate anything and may even lead to personal blindness when you are casting in bright sun. Beware - both fish and humans.
Squirrel Kitchen Clog
This has been a popular pattern of mine flying around the social media world. It is a very easy pattern that is incredibly forgiving to tie, and helps you hone in on a valuable skill, the dubbing loop. This fly is essentially a Dubbing Bugger (if there is such a thing), but to keep matters simple I call it the Kitchen Clog. Why? Well, because of it's striking similarity to some of the nasty things I have pulled out of my kitchen sink. You may also notice, this pattern does not incorporate large amounts of flash. In fact, the only sparkle in this puppy is the bead head. I like to fish these on calm days, in bright sun, or clear water. Unlike it's sister pattern the original Kitchen Clog. If you are looking for a substitute for the fox squirrel you can try Hare'e Ice Dubbing, a hare's mask with lots of guard hairs, or any other similar type of dubbing that has loads of prickly fibers!
The fly that took the fly fishing community by storm, the Mop Fly. Incredibly simple and on certain days it absolutely crushes it out on the water. It is one of the easiest patterns to create, but interestingly enough, it's the fly I get the most questions about. So, here is how I tie the mop fly.
My goal with these flies is to create something that lasts the maximum amount of time and looks good in the water. There are easier and faster ways to tie them, but I find they are typically less durable and don't look as good after a fish or two. Regarding color, the combinations are near endless. Fish what you like most and brings you the most confidence, as for me, cream and black will always be in my box.
Pink Butt Nymph
A simple fly patten designed to imitate a wide variety of food. With this design it may be taken as a caddis, scud, fry, or mayfly, or just a speck of weeds for all we know! This pattern places the hotspot in the rear of the fly rather than as a collar to give it a unique feel. It’s an easy tie that is great for the beginner to try!
One of the first patterns I learned to tie as a kid was a Woolly Worm. I remember fishing it in lakes and ponds and pounding on some bluegill. I found an old one laying around my tying room and decided to give it a little autumn feel: Orange, brown, and Peacock coloration. Fished them on a local lake yesterday and picked up a few more bluegill on it.
This is a great pattern for more than just bluegill though, trout will readily eat it, and it can be fished a variety of different ways! If you apply some flotant it will stay on top of the water for a while, you can let it sink under and strip it back slowly, or attach it to a sinking line and dredge the bottom of your local lake (the method I was using yesterday). It is more of an attractor pattern than an exact replica of any one bug, but it's certainly worth it to give it a shot!
This is also a splendid bug for the beginner to tie! It's a forgiving pattern that does not require an excessive amount of materials or, honestly, skill!
This is a great addition to your fly box! It is a simple, fast, attractor pattern. I have fished these heavily on trout lakes and found great success.
2 Tone Midge
Yes, there are lots of midge patterns that incorporate both red and black, use stretch tubing, and UV resin. However, this one is special to me, and because of it's variances from most other popular patterns it deserves it's own name.
Every winter on pressured waters trout see the same Zebra Midge pattern after Zebra Midge. Maybe some are black maybe some red, maybe a cream one every once in a while, you get the picture. Zebra Midges are great, they are fast to tie, and fish well! However, it seems trout wise up to these little bugs and their little nuances. Towards the end of winter the Zebra Midge may not land you the smartest (or) as many fish. That's where this little guy comes onto the scene.
Pheasant and Gold
There's something about the classical style patterns that captivate anglers. However, very few people actually use them. Their beauty, the time it takes to tie them, and their level of materials/ skill required to make them discourage the majority of anglers from wanting to take them out and toss them around trees and rocks.
This fly breaks that mold. It's fast to tie, is quite durable, and doesn't break the bank if you lose one or two. It's tied in similar fashion to another famous pattern, the Partridge and Orange. However, there are some differences: the body is composed of gold wire, the hackle is a different bird specimen, and most notably, the hook size is far larger.
This was originally tied to be fished as a weightless midge/caddis imitation in some of my favorite spring creek and stillwaters! It's an extremely effective pattern in a wide range of different fishing situations. From sightline nymphing to loch style fishing this is a great pattern to put in your box! You can change the color schemes to imitate the insects in your water, but I have found the olive and orange work excellent in my local fisheries!
This is a solid, fat, and juicy Czech nymph style pattern I have been using for 4 years now. It has been great at pounding into the depths and fooling trout. I live near several stocked waters, and this guy dead drifted does the trick.
I began fishing this as a means to dropping flies down deep without having to add additional split shot to my leader. You can tie them as heavy as you want and change up the colors of either the bead or the body color.
This is one of the simplest yet most time consuming flies you could ever tie. However, it provides results that keep me patient behind the vice to have a few more. My past two winters this fly put more fish in the net than any other pattern, and when you get right down to it, it truly is an eye-catching, classical pattern. I tie these in sizes ranging from a 6 to a 14. Typically, the colder it is the smaller I go. Dead drift it under an indicator or tightline nymph this fella as a dropper and you have a presentation that fish always seem to munch.
One of my best producing trout flies of 2018 so far. I was first turned on to a stonefly pattern similar to this in April of this year and simplified that pattern down to this guy (sorry, I don't know the name of the other pattern that sparked this guy). It drops super fast and stays down. I've landed browns, rainbows, brookies, and smallmouth on this fly! I've tried a few other color combos, but so far this color palate has been my favorite. I use the Super Stone as an anchor pattern to dredge the bottom of deep pools and fast runs, the hits can be electrifying!
Deconstruction: How to Quickly Destroy a Fly to Save a Hook
If you are a penny pincher and are looking for ways to start fresh on a used hook this is my go-to method. I'd heard people mention cleaning off a hook with a razor blade (and fire), but I never watched it done before. I tried both methods, fire and razor blades, and found the razor to be very effective. I've been using the razor method for a few years since and have never had any problems! I did however have a list of problems with the fire removal method - don't ever try that one...
This is a basic parachute style emerger pattern. In these colors, it's designed to imitate the massive Hexagenia mayfly. These mayflies are my favorites! I still remember the first time a big rainbow came up and inhaled the fly as the sun set off in the distance. When coming off the water they almost look like dragon flies! In summer months, specifically August here, I always have a few of these in my box (and in my car) just in case I get an hour or so to try and fool a big fish on a massive dry fly!
This has quickly become one of my favorite small fly patterns when searching for fish. It could imitate a small caddis, a mayfly, or maybe even a midge. It's essentially a Pheasant Tail Nymph with a wing post, but it is unique enough to deserve attention! The wing shuck provides just enough contrast to make this a fish catching machine! I fish it in smaller sizes and in natural colors to fool even the weariest of fish!
This is a very durable pattern meant to be fished on the bottom of the river, tied to imitate a caddis fly or possibly a mayfly. The results have been excellent! Anywhere you see caddis moving or creeping under rocks tie one on! The rubber legs seem to serve as a trigger, when fish see them wriggling they just know it has to be something tasty. This pattern has been in my arsenal a little over a year now and it's a consistent producer in my box!
This is fly tying tutorial of a great Hexagenia nymph. This guy can be fished deep with splitshot, swung through pools, or just under the surface without any weight. It's a deadly pattern wherever Hex are. If you change the colors it could be a stonefly, damselfly, of any other kind of large insect. I started fishing this pattern early in the morning when I know the Hex are still moving about and right in the evening when they are popping off the surface!
This is an insanely great fly pattern created by Jean Paul Lipton. I first read about it in the "Orvis Beginner Guide to Carp Flies" in 2015. When I first tied it I thought only of carp, however, after looking it over and wanting to give it a go I started using it for other species. I'm glad I did! It has landed me a ton of smallmouth in previous years, it was the top producing pattern on my previosu saltwater trip, and I've even fished it for trout with success under an indicator! Bottom line is, I have a lot of confidence in this pattern, and it deserves a cast or two from you.
Saltwater Fishing from our annual family vacation. Like book ends, fishing wasn't what the vacation was about, but did a great job creating time together. We managed to get out early in the morning and later at night to target all sorts of different species. It was great fun, even if we weren't targeting the usual saltwater prey. The little guys were hungry and always read to smash a fly!
This is a super simple fly pattern that completely hounds fish. It requires a minimal amount of materials, and is excellent for the beginner fly tier! If you are familiar with flies and fly tying you may see the similarities to the Walt's Worm. Essentially, that is what this fly is - there are enough difference though that I don't think Mr. Walt would want me to call it a Walt's Worm (if he even would care at all...). The primary things of importance for this pattern are 1) Fluorescent Yellow Bead Head, 2) Bright Thread Hotspot, and 3) Rabbit Dubbing with Flash mixed in. The combination of those things seems to drive fish mad!
As with the Walt's Worm, this is a suggestive pattern that could imitate almost anything from a caddis to a scud to maybe even a small egg, who knows! The main thing about this pattern is, it puts fish in the net, and it's easy enough for even the first-time fly tier to get the hang of it quickly!
This is a superb variation of my Kichen Clog pattern. This pattern utilizes the FlyMen Fishing Company's Sculpin Helmet, which creates a mini snack for fish of all sizes! The beauty in this pattern is, it gets deep fast! On a floating line, sinking line, or tightline nymphing (my favorite) you can fish the deepest pools and the fastest runs. Additionally, it rides hook point up so you don't get stuck on sticks and stones as often!
I've caught a hoard of rainbows, browns, and even brook trout with these guys! They might imitate a fleeing sculpin, baitfish, or in some colors, such as the one shown here, they can even imitate a fleeing crawfish.
Partridge and Quill
Super simple pattern to tie. Fools lots of fish. What more could you want as a fly tier? The fly below uses the same platform as a traditional wet fly such as, the Partridge and Orange, but I throw in a new material to keep things fresh. If you are just beginning to tie flies or want to learn a few tricks with synthetic quill this video should help!
This simple fly pattern is a great summer pattern imitating a shrimp or crawdad, or if tied in olive it could even resemble a clump of grass for those picky carp. Regarding carp, this pattern is one of the most effective carp patterns I've ever used. It's not just a carp pattern though, I've fooled a host of smallmouth bass, and other species on these little guys.
Small Stream Brook Trout
My dad and I headed up to one of our favorite streams to check it out for the first time this year. We were not disappointed! Countless trout smashed our dry flies, and reminded us both why we love small stream brook trout.
Fly Fishing the South River
On this snowy morning my dad and I landed over 30 fish from the South River in Virginia. These fish were happy to eat our streamer, nymphs, and even the infamous mop fly! This river is filled with large holdover rainbows and browns, a few wild fish, and stocked fellows! This combined lead to a fun day of fishing!
This is a unique pattern I started fishing heavily this past month. So far, I've been very pleased with the results! Try tying it in several sizes ranging from sz. 10 shown in the video down to sz. 16. You can also change the color of the "caddis" to match whatever you have in your local waters. Here I chose green for high-visibility in the video.
It's fairly easy to create, and adds a fun new pattern to the nymphing box.
Anywhere you have caddis, which is almost everywhere, I would recommend trying this guy out!
EGGI JUAN KENOBI
San Juan Worms and egg patterns have constantly created controversy among anglers. The Eggi Juan Kenobi combines both flies not to spur more controversy, but rather to increase it's fish catching power! And increase it does!
This is a super dirty fly. I tie these on sz. 12 and 14 hooks depending on the size of the egg/worm I am creating - hook size is up to you. As well, in this video I use a, new-to-me, product, Eggstasy. It's a sweet product that holds several advantages in my mind over traditional egg materials. A few of the reasons are: 1) it sinks fast, 2) it pulls out of the water much easier than other materials, 3) it's faster to tie (for me), and 4) you get a ton of material for your money. For reference, with the material pack in the video I have tied 4 dozen egg flies, and 3 dozen Eggi Juan Kenobis. In the video you can see how much I still have left - it's insane!
Eggstasy material can be purchased from tacticalflyfisher.com. It's located under "Chenille and Yarn."
WOOLY 'BOU SCULPIN
A solid streamer pattern for any of your predator fish. It's an easy pattern once you get the hang of the wool. Just two clumps of marabou, a little dubbing, a feather, and some ram's wool and Boom - you have the Wooly 'Bou Sculpin. The shape of the head and the movement of the marabou creates an irresistible action! Just like most other patterns, this one was inspired by many, and has landed me quite a few good fish!
DRAGON TAIL BAITFISH
This is a super simple pattern utilizing a few modern techniques and materials. Just a Dragon Tail, craft fur brush, streamer dubbing, and two eyes are all you need to make this tantalizing beast.
With the high water fishing I had last year I needed a fly that the fish could see easily and they could feel when visibility was really bad. I've found more success in impressionistic patterns that could imitate anything from a sculpin to a crawfish, so I started there. I fished Wooly Buggers, Complex Twist Wooly Buggers, and a few other patterns, but for this pattern I wanted something that had a bit more flash in it, but still pushed a lot of water. After playing around with a few ideas I started twisting up some rabbit dubbing that had thick/long guard hairs in it. When I was finished with that first fly it looked exactly like something I pulled out of the kitchen sink a few days prior. Thus, the Kitchen Clog was born.
I started fishing the pattern with good success, it seemed the movement and the overwhelming amount of flash was too good for the fish to pass up. The original tail was created with just one color of marabou, but I wanted something that stood out a little more for those days where every little bit helps. Two different tones of marabou that contrast was the answer to that!
With that inclusion I finished the fly you see here!
I like tying simple and effective patterns, especially streamers, and the Kitchen Clog is certainly both of those things. It may be tricky at first creating the dubbing loop and attaching it to the hook if you're a beginner, but with practice you will be able to do this in no time at all!
This is a local Virginian pattern tied originally by Arlie. The caddis is one of the most prevalent insects in any given river or lake, and the Arlie's Gnarlie mimics a caddis wonderfully. This is a very durable fly, it's surprisingly heavy, and is a breeze to tie! Their are only two ingredients: UTC D-Rib in nymph size, and black ice dubbing. I often vary the color of this fly by changing the bead color, changing the color of the thread underneath the D-Rib, or by changing the color of the D-Rib itself. This is a great simple pattern you can create to mimic the caddis in your system very easily and accurately!
These are a great simple pattern. Based off of competitive angler, Lance Egan's, Rainbow Warrior they share all the same characteristics except for color. I have found these to be a great pattern when the water is quite clear and you want something with a little extra sparkle. Typically, I fish these when I am in more heavily pressured waters where trout may have grown wise to the traditional Rainbow Warrior. These flies are incredibly thin and sink like a rock. They are a certainly a worthy pattern to have in your box, and they don't take that long to make!
This pattern has been a staple in my box for 3 years now. It is an original pattern I designed to use on small stream trout. It is highly visible, very generic, and fools fish. It floats high enough to work as an excellent indicator in a dry/dropper rig, but also works just fine by itself. It's original purpose was to imitate float all day and never need any attention or flotant. At it's current state, if you tie it with everything I do, you can tie it on the end of your tippet in the morning and not worry about it sinking all. day. long. This fly has fooled a host of species found in Virginia, and I expect it will do the same wherever you live as well. The end clip in this video is my little sister catching her first smallmouth. The fly? None other than a sz. 10 Fantastical.
This is one of my staple fly patterns. I wanted to share a video that doesn't necessarily tell you how to tie it step-by-step, but rather shows you how quickly the pattern can be created. It is a pattern created by competitive fly angler, Lance Egan.
This is a pattern I started tying and fishing about a year ago. After a few go arounds this is the final product. Two of my favorite streamer patterns, a Moto's Minnow and a Game Changer. I tied it small for trout in my area. The finished product is a simple feather game changer, but is a lot smaller.