Archive for March, 2011

March 25th-#6 and #5

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

March Madness has me consumed to the point that I cannot keep my Mondays straight from my Fridays. I am seriously considering renaming this blog series to Top 10 Flies Friday. Lots of good college basketball this weekend, and while you are rooting for your favorite team (I am going for a good game and a upset), one can always be tying a few flies during the drama. So what are we tying this weekend. An instant classic and one of the all-time best.

Number 6- Copper John #16: Wow, this fly stormed onto the scene over a decade ago and has lost none of its fish catching power. A blend of two classics, the pheasant tail (and we have already remarked on this wonderful fly) and the brassie, the Copper John has become the Yellowstone nymphers go to dropper. There may not be a better nymph to dangle off the back of a dry fly than this little killer. The body is wrapped with both a weighted lead underbody, and then overwrapped with shiny copper wire, making this fly dive for the bottom as soon as it hits the water. It seems to be the perfect combination of weight to get the fly down, but no so heavy as to sink the dry fly indicator. Grab one of our soon to be revealed Top Ten Dry Flies, 24″ of 4x tippet, and cover all the good looking trout water, and you will have a combination that will be sure to please just about any trout.

Number 5-Hare’s Ear #14: In all reality I would probably tie this in a #16, but because of the #14’s deadliness early season, I had to go with the big brother. The Hare’s Ear catches trout worldwide, so it goes without saying too much that it is standard in every nymphers fly box who fishes the Yellowstone region. One of the area’s that I like this fly best is in lakes. Tied lightly weighted and very sparse, this rough dubbed nymph can be taken for just about anything that a trout might find to eat. Slowly crawl this fly in the shallow margins of Hebgen, Yellowstone, Quake, Grebe, or Trout lake and prepare to tighten down your drag. As well as lakes, early season nymphing in the Box and Madison can be all about this venerable nymph. Big bugs for big fish.

Next week, maybe Monday, maybe Friday, will be the Final Four nymphs to not be without in the Yellowstone region. Who will come out on top? I have my best guess, but you never know when an underdog will make a run!

Have a great weekend.


March 17th-Nymph Countdown Continue

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Monday came and went, my head was bent over chained to the tying vise, winding and wrapping dozens of flies that will filling my boxes this coming summer, when I realized I had a blog entry I promised everyone, and most of the week was gone. Berating myself for my tardiness, I put the thread and hacklle down for a moment and picked up the keyboard. So I assume that everyone has tied up a supply of rubber leg stones and pheasant tails and are eagerly awaiting this weeks top 10 candidates. So what are we going to spend the weekend tying?

8. BBB PT Emerger #14. Colorado fishing guide, and all around good guy Billy “Bob” Berger, came up with this cross between two other flies on this list to create this magical little nymph. Basiaclly this is a beaded pheasnt tail, with a gold bead head, and a wingcase of white synthetic yarn. Once again simple and once again, effective. A great imitaion of both slim mayflies such as PMD’s and slim stone flies such as yellow sallies. I love this in #14, and it is one of the first flies I reach for early season.

Number 7-Baetis Thin Mint #20. Ouch, talk about tiny. This little nymph can be a game changer though, and even though it still amazes me, trout often look exclusively for very small offerings. The Baetis thin mint, imitates…uh, well Baetis. Baetis or Blue Winged Olives predomintate every trout stream in the greater Yellowstone region and are incredibally important from mid August onwards, as the larger and more flashy glory bugs of summer dwindle away, Baetis come on strong in staggering numbers. Some of the most consistent nymphing I have ever had on the Madison has been on cloudy days in late August and September with this little fly taking point.

March 7th-Monday Fly Box

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Good Morning FlyfisherFolk,

March in Montana and the days are ticking away to get our fly boxes full for the fishing season. So what should an angler be dedicating their time at the vise with. Well,… that of course will depend on a variety of factors, not the least of which will be the time of the year an angler is expecting to fish in the greater Yellowstone region. But lets suppose you just wanted a basic selection that will cover most weeks of the summer, on most rivers.

Let’s get started with nymphs. Nymphing the rivers of the Yellowstone region is a fantastic way to stay productive on most any river, regardless of weather, water conditions, or time of year. Since trout spend most of their lives feeding on bugs (and other assorted aquatic creatures) near the bottom of the river, it only makes sense to take advantage of this fact. A savy angler will spend a fair amount of time imitating this feeding behavior of trout, by going subsurface and getting nymph imitations on the bottom, free rolling them in the current to waiting trout. What should we have in our box, and consequently be furiously tying right now, in anticaption of these events. Top 10 nymphs I would be tying right now would be the following:

10. Rubber Leg Stonefly nymph #8 or #10. This simple yet deadly nymph goes by a variety of names, but the basic guts of this fly are the same. I would tie this fly in black , with black rubber legs. Simple, straightforward, and amazingly accurate to way the naturals look in the water. Furthermore, since stoenflies are present in most all our rivers year round, this is excellent choice anytime, anywhere. If you wanted a second good color choice, substitute the black chennile body with a brown/orange varigated chennile, and change the legs to brown silli legs. Subtle shift, but noticeable, and often that can spell the difference.

9. Pheasant Tail #16. Slam dunk anywhere, this nymph pattern accurately represents mayfly nymphs, with its slim profile. I love this pattern with a bead head, and a flashback. But the original makeup is proven deadly for decades. I would also tie these is #14 and #18 depending on a specific hatch I expected to encounter, but if I had only 1 size for most of the summer it would be #16. You will notice a trend in the choice of #16. Pheasant tails are excellent representations of Pale Morning Duns, Epeorus, Callibaetis, Heptagenia, Mahogany Duns, and Flavs (all these bugs are ironically enough a #16). An added bonus to tying the original without a bead is that it can be fished in the surface film to represent and emerging mayfly. Lots of reasons to have this fly in your box!!!

Join us next Monday for the #7 and #8

Fish On, Rowan