The Grey Hackle Yellow
This fly was recently shown to me by a customer in the store who has fond memories of how many fish it has caught for him. Today it is a hard fly to find commercially tied but really isn’t too difficult to tie. I have not yet fished this pattern but have great confidence after talking with this particular customer. I would fish it in smaller sizes during a solid PMD hatch or in larger sizes as a Yellow Sally imitation. The red tail is sure to encourage strong strikes
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The Rabbit Zonker
The first and most popular Rabbit Zonker was created by Dan Byford. This fly has evolved and spun off in many different directions but the classic still holds strong for me. With the hidden lead wire, this fly gets to depth quickly and can be adjusted based on the water type you are fishing. The Mylar underbelly imitates a baitfish belly perfectly and the rabbit strip over top creates a great two-tone contrast as well as excellent movement in the water. This fly will fish in many, many, different conditions and for just as many species of fish.
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The Splatte Roller
The Splatte Roller is a pattern by Umpqua Feather Merchants signature tyer Shea Gunkel. This is a perfect little caddis pupa/emerger pattern for the South Platte River and many other Colorado drainages. An excellent blend of just a few materials creates a fly that works as an attractor but is still very imitative. I like to fish this as the lead fly with a heavier point fly such as a Pat’s Rubber Legs or a Jigged Biot Stone.
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The Two Bit Hooker
The Two Bit Hooker is yet another masterpiece from local fly tyer and fisher Charlie Craven. The brilliance of adding two beads to a fly could have only been though of by him. Adding lead wire to a fly can be a great concept but doesn’t help keep a thin mayfly like abdomen that is necessary for a lot of our matching the hatch needs. With an extra bead under the thorax you get the needed added weight and are still able to keep the slim body profile. This fly is a must during run off and will also fish great year round in faster and deeper water.
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The Para Midge
The Para Midge dry fly is a go to Midge adult in my box. It works great all year round and on a variety of waters. This fly is simple to tie but deadly when fished. The Para Midge is one of my favorites due to its fish ability. With the Klinkhammer style post it allows this fly to be fished high and dry or just under the water surface film where a lot of emerging insects fail to break free and are swallowed up.
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The Slump Buster
The fly to bust you out of your slump, ya I said it but it’s true! Created by the great John Barr this is one of my favorite flies to fish. When big fish are feeding you can bet they are looking for a meal that is worth their time. The Slump Buster is just what you need to imitate the larger aquatic snacks they are after. This is a great fly whether you are fishing still water, tail waters or freestones.
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The Peacock Humpy
The Humpy, most commonly tied in the Yellow Humpy variation is seemingly a less popular fly in modern days. For me, this is a pattern that should be in every angler’s summer dry box. Not only does it float high, even in the most turbulent water but it keeps its buoyancy fish after fish! Tying these bad boys does take some practice. Watching the elegant dry fly slurps from hungry trout makes it all worth it.
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The Beadhead Jigged 20 Incher
The 20 Incher fly pattern has been around for some time. I don’t suspect it will be going anywhere anytime soon either. Our version varies slightly from the original as we are using the speckled chenille rather than the natural peacock herl. While it is hard to beat the look of natural peacock herl the speckled crystal chenille makes this tie a breeze and gives an excellent look as well. With added weight and a tungsten bead this is a great fly to utilize if you need to find the bottom of a deep hole and don’t want to overload your system with shot. If you have never fished it, you must!
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The Beadhead Czech Catnip
While exploring Czech, European, contact, tight line nymphing, or whatever you want to call it, this pattern comes up time and time again, and for good reason. It works great! It features a heavy tungsten bead and added lead wire to help you get down to where the fish are holding. For that reason it fits well in a tight line nymphing box. Using the Hareline Midge Cactus Chenille this pattern is easy enough to whip out a dozen in no time. Fish it deep and find those picky trout
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The Nitro Caddis Pupa
Created by Andrij Hordysky, the Nitro caddis pupa is an awesome realistic imitation of just that, a pupating caddis. For a lot of caddis flies, it takes a good while for this stage. If they are a free formed caddis fly they have to create their entire casing vs. simply closing the existing casing a case caddis features. This means they could be working on this for weeks or even months. Considering that, I tend to tie this fly on pretty often. It is a perfect dropper fly under a hefty stimulator or foam dry fly.
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