The Beadhead October Caddis Pupa, also know as the Great Autumn Sedge is a go to caddis pupae imitation. Tied with a soft hackle and segmented coloration this fly can be very effective if fished at the right time. Look for the emergence of these bugs to happen later in the day, sometime between September and November. The more leaves you see falling to the ground the better. It is also a great top fly in a tandem rig with a small midge imitation trailing.
Developed by Carlie Craven, this pattern is a great midge imitation. He developed this pattern with a light body, blue ribbing and a grey collar creating a fly that is unique and will fool fish in picky situations. Our variation is a dull version tied with a dark gray body and black ribbing rather than the blue. You can also tie it in various browns and with different tints of blue wire. This is a must for any winter tailwater fishers box.
Anyone who has fly fished for a few days knows the Pheasant tail nymph (PT). It has been around for over half a century and will fool fish forever in many different fishing situations. Created by Frank Sawyer, it is a great imitation for Mayflies and Stoneflies depending on the sizing and color variation. This pattern can be tied anywhere from 12 all the way down to 24, or beyond if you can. I fish them larger in the summer months typically in 14 – 18 and then smaller in the fall 18 – 24. Our version features a bead head as well as a flashback while omitting the legs that make it an “American version”. Fish it as your point fly in smaller variations and as your lead fly in larger sizes.
A simple but very effective fly. Originating on the South Platte in Colorado in the 1960’s this pattern has been evolving ever since. When it was created it was tied with a copper body and shrink wrap for the head. Today it is tied almost universally with peacock hearl while on a variety of hooks. Traditionally this is tied in very small sizes 18 – 24 as it is commonly imitating midges. Our version is slightly larger. This variation I tie in sizes 12 – 16 with a thicker body to imitate later summer caddis nymphs such as Green Sedge and Little Sister Sedge. Fish it with some smaller midges on a weighted nymph rig or as a point with a larger attractor above.
The Prince Nymph is one of those flies that just works! Some say it is a stonefly nymph, others say it is an attractor, but I think that it is both. The dark body looks a lot like a stonefly and it also works very well on freestone rivers, where stoneflies are common. The prince nymph is by no means easy to tie. It does take a fair bit of practice to master it and I must admit, I am still practicing! The Prince Nymph can be tied is size #08-18. My personal favorite is a #16. You can add a gold bead if you like as well. The Prince Nymph was invented many years ago, well before my time. It continues to be a favorite among fly fisherman to this day.
The Bloom Caddis is a very deadly caddis pattern developed by Dave Bloom on the Missouri River. It is one of those patterns often overlooked by most people. While everyone else is using Elk Hair Caddis and Stimulators, the Bloom Caddis will often catch fish when others fail. The naturally mottled body and “spikey” dubbed thorax is the key to the flies success. Caddis often have mottled bodies and wings, and this is what the Bloom Caddis imitates. A great pattern to have in your caddis box, and easy to see too!!
The Stalcup’s Baetis is a great small mayfly nymph developed by Shane Stalcup. It combines life like profile and perfect buggy colors to make up one amazing fly. The Stalcup’s Baetis isn’t too hard to tie. A intermediate tier can tackle this pattern and master it with relative ease. Keep this fly sparse and do not add to much material or bulk. The fly was designed to be slender, that is why it works so good!!!
If you’re anything like me, walking into the local fly shop and throwing down $3.00 for a fly is just painful. I remember purchasing a big hopper in Eastern Idaho for a specific stretch of water. Given the cost, I “wisely” opted to buy only one. Three casts later, a large brown took it off the surface as soon as the bug hit. After what seemed like a few seconds he broke me off, and my hopper was never seen again, at least, not by me. It is experiences like this that have led me to tie my own flies, as well as times I’ve fished waters with zero luck, only to notice the hatches and make mental notes. After some time at the vise and a little creativity, I’ve come back with my own fly and left with success. But, if your Grandpa didn’t teach you to tie and you’re new to the sport, where should you start? Below are a few of the essential tools of the fly tying trade. All recommendations are items that I personally own and tie flies with.
The EP Crab is one of the best crab imitations for Permit, Bonefish and Redfish. It is the updated version to the classic Merkin’s Crab. The EP Crab uses the durable EP Fibers for the body and has more life like legs & tail. It can be tied in so many variations, colors and sizes. Most of the EP Crabs have the color Tan incorporated into them, but other colors can be used to tie Blue Crab and Sand Crab imitations. In this video, we will tie the EP with a Crustaceous Brush. This is a fast and efficient way to tie EP Crabs, and is a must have in the salt, so get to work!
The Mega Prince is a great fly developed by Dan Delekta. It’s the perfect high water fly and imitates a buggy stonefly nymph. The Mega Prince is best fished as the lead fly on a nymph rig. This fly has a lot of movement to it. The rubber legs and marabou tail allow for the fly to pulse and move in the water. A great western stonefly nymph imitation and a must have when you visit the west!!