Sunday, November 8, 2015

Super Soft Spinner

DESCRIPTION: Mayfly spinner falls is as exciting as hatches. Fortunately there are plenty of such opportunities around here. Perhaps the most iconic action is PMD spinner fall at Livingston's spring creek, occurring through late June to most part of July. As much as trout feed aggressively during this time of year, they can be very selective and they know by heart that fly-lines and flies are flying over them. It won't hurt to keep some different patterns from those other anglers are using or to show trout different pattern on each day.

I started to use partridge feathers. I like the silhouette at once! When I showed this pattern to a couple of other anglers, they said "PMD spinner wings are not mottled"................ yeah, right.......... But we are anticipating spinner falls in the evening till dark. Running out of lights, trout lose color recognition just like we do. In that case, the number 1 factor of successful fly is silhouette!!

Actually, we typically see PMD spinners from previous evening come back and fall next morning. This pattern has been successfully taken! Need we still debate over mottled or not?

Not just I, but also my clients can testify that!!

PMD size 16 & 18

Then I started experimenting with baetis = Blue Winged Olive. Another approval by trout!
Certainly this can be counted as one of arsenals for Mystery Spinner.
Baetis size 18, 20, & 22

Another great Mayfly Paradise is Yellowstone National Park waters, especially northeast waters = Lamar River, Soda Butte Creek, and Slough Creek. To the west side, Madison and Firehole Rivers also host great numbers of mayflies.
These streams do have good PMD and baetis hatches. Hence above two patterns are great patterns to keep in your boxes. 
Northeast streams are famous for "bigger cousins" = Green Drake, Gray Drake, Hecuba, and so on = during summer months. So I expanded sizes while keeping the same silhouette by applying the same materials. These have been approved by Native Cutthroat too!!
Occasionally, for above PMD and baetis versions, I make sparse and thin wings by adjusting the partridge feathers. For Northeast species, I go with big & thick wings so it will float and remain visible on the tumbling surface.

Over all, most anglers/fly tyers regard partridge feathers ONLY for soft-hackles. Certainly barbs tend to absorb more waters compared dry-fly hackle barbs. Yet, tied right and treated right with floatant, as proven, partridge feathers can be great dry-fly wings.

Green Drake size 12 & 14
 Gray Drake size 12 & 14 - great imitation for Hecuba too!

PRICE: $2.25 each
Specify species and size

Skinny Crane

DESCRIPTION: Craneflies are one of aquatic insect that inhabit in Livingston's spring creeks. My own larva patterns: Sparkle Crane Larva & Brindle Crane Larva are the most effective and essential patterns.
In the early evening (or very late afternoon) of summer days, cranefly adults are found hatching and floating on the surface. Compared to PMD hatches (late morning - early afternoon) and other evening actions (PMD spinner falls and evening caddis hatches), cranefly would be categorized minor. Yet they hatch just in between major actions. Every now and then trout look up and we can have dry-fly fishing during otherwise slow/transitional time of day. It won't hurt to keep cranefly adult pattern in your fly-box.

Silhouette is the Number 1 factor as designing this pattern. Entirely slim and sparse. Hackle fibers are trimmed flat on the bottom. This should sit low and quiet on the creek surface.  
I can't wait till I see them hatching next summer!

PRICE: $2.25 each
SIZE: 12, 14
Specify size.

Micro Crunchy Cicada & Bee

DESCRIPTION: This is THE #1 HOTTEST creation and catching machine during summer 2015. It produced many good trout, good memories, and much laughter of joy!!

When we think of terrestrials, typically hoppers tend to get most priority among anglers. Furthermore, they think big sizes.......... Both assumptions are naive...... But that needs be discussed in some other occasions.
Where are cicada patterns ranked among the terrestrial fly pattern popular poll? Certainly not among the few in the top. Then again, most fly patterns are in large sizes. Perhaps size 10 would be the smallest in the market. I've been using those patterns and they've been catching trout. To me, they've been more like different offerings for trout, compared to hoppers or Chubby Chernobyl used by other anglers, rather than a go-to pattern for me or a key-on food for trout............

It all changed this summer!!
It all started from one stomach pump. I was fishing Lamar River and caught one nice cutthroat. I pumped the stomach and found this. I couldn't really tell what it was on spot or didn't pay special attention. Small cicada, huh? And as I touched it, it was very crunchy!! just like I touch snails at spring creeks. So as it has been the case, new idea/concept began to stir up in my head.
I looked around materials and began to add them up. I came up with several prototype. I didn't go back to Lamar or Soda Butte immediately. Instead I went to Gallatin River, which is another great terrestrial river. I thought it would be a fair trail and experiment. The first rise on that was on my new pattern! - which wasn't quite hooked. I didn't miss the next one!!
It was one of the happiest moment on the water!! My new pattern seemed working right off, furthermore on the river of random choice!! Yet at the same time, I found out its body and wings were not really strong. I needed to reinforce so it would really be "crunchy", not just appearance but also durability. What I came up with was very much like what I touched in my sample tray (above). Small yet robust and hard-shell appearance that must be "crunchy feeling" when trout bite on it!!

Now I headed back to Lamar River with excitement and confidence. Yellowstone Cutthroat LOVE LOVE this new pattern!!

Need I explain more?
This one was very cooperative for a proof picture!!

From another stomach sample.........see........
I actually think this pattern would be also seen and taken as an ant, orange/brown color, what we might call Fire Ant. 
This new pattern had been taken or broken by cutthroat, like this!! However, observe that wing and body were still remaining shapes!! Yes, it's very durable!! Hook went off before the other non-metal materials!!

With the same concept, materials, and procedures, I developed a bee pattern. This is also an overlooked terrestrial food source as well as a game-changer after trout have seen so many generic pattern flying around.

Get some from me for summer fishing and experience for yourself!!
PRICE: $2.25 each
SIZE: 12, 14, 16, 18
Specify Cicada or Bee and size.
YouTube tying tutorial video will be coming soon!

New Wave Beadhead Nymph

DESCRIPTION: Just another resurgence and modification of good old classic pattern. We all know Hare's Ear and Pheasant Tail Nymphs can be tied and modified in every which way, as they have been so, and I know these of mine are merely a few variations.

These beadheads have been working for me and my clients with indicator rigs and hopper-dropper rigs. These simply add more choices and variations in my fly boxes, as well as for eyes of trout.

New Wave Hare's Ear
New Wave Pheasant Tail
 Bottom view: thorax is peacock herl.

PRICE: $2.25
SIZE: 12, 14, 16, 18

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Royal Wulff Parachute

DESCRIPTION: You might go: "uh-ah", "what's this? Isn't this supposed to be the catalog of your original patterns?", "are you running out of your original patterns?", etc., etc.,...... I got it...... I debated within me whether I should post this or not...........

Thanks for your concerns but I have and am always developing my own original patterns. There will be more on this site and on my YouTube channel.

Reasons I decided to post this is;
#1  let's face it. "Do you find generic patterns tied properly with proper materials at your go-to fly shops?" You do but oftentimes you don't - not just this pattern but also many other generics - Adams, Royal Wulff, you call it!! Every so often, hackle comes off after a few casts, sometimes even while greasing.
#2  Oftentimes, they don't float well because of poor materials for tail and parachute. I'm using moose hairs instead of deer hair. Those deer hair used in foreign-tied flies use anything on hand so they can absorb water quickly. Instead of typical calf-tail parachute post, I use synthetic fibers that are much easier to handle and float much better than any natural materials.
#3  Last but not the least, how many of you still fish with Royal Wulff Parachute? Or even, do you see them at your local fly shops? This is one of forgotten patterns that should deserve more attentions.

That being said, my sample pictures are of ones that seem somewhat smashed in my fly box..... sorry about that.........

White/gray parachute is always visible.
Pink parachute can be an aid every now and then.

Through summer of 2015, this has been crashed like this one after the other..........
Certainly as an attractor pattern, but also I do believe this is taken by trout as an ant, then again, as something new because it's been forgotten and not many anglers are using nowadays........ 

PRICE: $2.25 each
SIZE: 12, 14, 16, 18

Gray Cripple & Parachute

DESCRIPTION: Cripple and parachute - two of most popular and effective dry-fly styles. What's new? I'd say color, simplicity, and diversity. Tied large - 12, 14, & 16 - it can imitate some of important mayfly species in & on Yellowstone River drainage = including major tributaries such as Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek. It can cover Green & Gray Drakes and Hecuba but definitely more for trout eyes.
Tied small - 18, 20, & 22 - it can imitate baetis species and midges. Yet, very visible!! in spite of your casting distance and light (weather) conditions!
Originally I started tying these just to add more colors in my boxes (really!). However, right off the bat, they were easily consumed by trout! Yet, these are easy for me to wrap up some quickly for next trips. These two immediately became my favorite, go-to, and most reliable attractor & searching patterns.

I admit the very first catch was this pretty Whitie on a small cripple during midge hatch.......

Here's a real proof! A nice hefty Yellowstone rainbow came up on #14 Cripple!!

PRICE: $2.25 each
Size: 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22
Please specify style and size.

Spring Creek Sulphur Selection

Revised with new pictures of newly tied flies!!

Description: Sulphur mayfly hatch is coming back at Livingston's spring creek. Past several years, I've been observing them. Then during summer of 2015, I observed trout were actively keying on these colorful mayflies and I fished for "rises". They conveniently (for creek anglers!) hatch after PMD hatch (mid-morning to early-afternoon) and before evening activities (PMD spinner fall, caddis hatch, etc)!! It's fair to say they typically start hatching at around 4PM to 5PM (of course, depending on the day). Hatch and rise may last over one hour. That is why it's "conveniently" fill the gap between early and dark fishing!!

Following patterns have been proven to work.

Parachute: This is very visible, floats well, and then catches trout........a super good starter fly!
CDC Sparkle Dun: My most selling spring creek pattern in sulphur color. Available in curved hook also.
Compara Dun: A good old, still good standard
Hackle Stacker: A low-riding emerger pattern. Available in curved hook also.
Foam Post Emerger: A low-riding yet very visible and well-floating pattern due to foam post.  Available in curved hook also.

So, these dry-flies = above the surface patterns = do work.
However there are times, we just can't fool trout with our dry-flies in spite of repetitive rises.  That is why this hatch was once referred as "fisherman's curse".
Why the curse? Nymphs of sulphur make lots of motions as they ascend the water column to hatch. When hatch is heavy in good numbers, trout key on those actively ascending nymphs right in the film or slightly below the surface film. So, although rise rings would make anglers think of duns and emergers, that could be the first step of "being cursed"!
Following patterns are remedies to lift curses from you!

Master Angler Flymph: This is an "in-the-film" pattern. Treat with your choice of dry-fly powder.
Master Angler Soft-hackle: This is an "in-the-film" pattern. Treat with your choice of dry-fly powder.

Master Angler Turkey Biot Nymph: This is an "in-the-film" and "slightly below" pattern. Grease your tippet but not the fly. Also add some twitches/shakes during the drift besides dead-drifting. 
Winged Victory Nymph: This is an "in-the-film" and "slightly below" pattern. Grease your tippet but not the fly. Also add some twitches/shakes during the drift besides dead-drifting. 

PRICE: $2.25 each
SIZES: 18 & 20
Please specify pattern and size. 

Mystery Spinner Selection

UPDATED Nov. 7, 2015: I finally sat down at my bench and took pictures for 5 DIFFERENT PATTERNS in 5 DIFFERENT COLORS.
This post should be much clearer than before!!

DESCRIPTION: They suddenly appear without notice. In the morning of late summer days, after checking in at DePuy's Spring Creek, we would slip into our wader and then walk along the creek to see what's going on.  What we see is heavy spinner falls and according rise actions of trout for the first thing in the morning. We'd better work on right off the bat!!
Who are they? Small mayflies.........baetis!? It's safe and not wrong at all to say so. There must be several different species though.
Anyway.......spinners......... and they are tiny............That already sounds like a very challenging situation.
To make the matter complicated, they come in a couple of different colors all together!! One day, I collected and noted 5 DIFFERENT colors. Except for colors all were similar looking and sizes.
So I'd like to show you my selection to combat against this situation, as well as when you fish the similar situation in other regions/waters.
I will show you 5 DIFFERENT PATTERNS in 5 DIFFERENT COLORS.  Furthermore they come in 2 DIFFERENT SIZES.
You have 5 x 5 x 2 = 50 choices!!

Colors that I have observed are:
  • Black (like Trico)
  • Rusty (like Rusty Spinner)
  • Olive (like BWO)
  • Gray
  • Clear Abdomen
Then for each color, I list 5 patterns in the following order - so I can omit repetitive typing.
  • Parachute
  • No-Hackle Gnat
  • Hen Hackle Spinner
  • Soft-Hackle
  • Flymph




Clear Abdomen:

Size: 20 & 22
Price: $2.25 each