Monday, December 11, 2017

IPA Drake

DESCRIPTION: Have you thought about why IPA tastes so good and is one of the most favored beer? Because it stands for Innovative-Perfect-Attractive😏(it took me a while till I came up with this mantra😅). And that's exactly what applies to this brandnew pattern of mine😎.
Again, there are so much we can do when we design large insect imitations. This patterns started from just another way to build an extended Drake abdomen. Next, I pondered if I could keep the foam strip for the rest of the fly. Then with which materials & how could I make wings? When these two questions were answered then merged into one, this fly was born👌👏
I immediately liked it and Yellowstone Cutthroat in Yellowstone Park waters agreed.
Constructed with foam and CDC, this one floats very well and long at tumbling freestone rivers and soft and gentle at meadow waters and spring creek.

Green Drake
Gray Drake


SPECIFY species
SIZE: 12
PRICE: $2.50 each

Easy Extended Green Drake

DESCRIPTION: Imitating large creature (hopper, salmonfly.......not to mention streamers!) inspires us tyers and drives our imagination wild. We have more space on the hook shanks, vise versa, we have lots of materials that we'd like to play with or combine one to the others.
Green Drake duns have the distinctive abdomen. It's meaty with distinctive dance moves that I'm sure entices trout. Hence every so often, trout go nuts on extended body patterns. It's also visible and buoyant so it can suspend nymph patterns before the hatch or while searching waters.
I have learned and tried some extended body patterns and they've been all good. Oftentimes it requires two steps: first build the extended body, set aside, then attach on the hook and finish the rest. I don't mind spending time at my bench when I like to, but I also seek methods that can shorten times for tying trout flies that will be chewed off and eventually lost.
Perhaps silhouette here may be nothing new but tying procedures have been significantly shorter. It's easier and even lazier...........yet producing the same silhouette as more elaborated patterns (wait for my YouTube video). Maintaining the size, color, and silhouette means maintaining the fish catching ability!

Down Wing style
Wulff Wing style 
Front view.

Gray Drake available (tied with gray foam)!!
SPECIFY Wing style
SIZE: 12
PRICE: $2.25 each

Friday, December 8, 2017

Marion Spruce (Modified)

DESCRIPTION: Chester Marion was the legendary fly-fishing guide here in Livingston, also known as The Big Trout Catcher on Yellowstone River. Marion Spruce is known to be responsible for his success. I have not met him in person, as he passed away in 2011, however this pattern of his still remains in and around Livingston. It's not by emotional reasons, rather due to its real big trout catching ability that I testify through my own and clients' experiences.

First, Yellowstone River is one complex giant river. Fishing with streamers can be a ticket for big wild trout but doing so effectively doesn't come easy. Assembling various density of sinking lines may be important. How about streamer patterns? Rabbit (or alike) strips, deer hair, various kinds of flashy materials, etc. etc. and combination of them make some of very human-eye-catching patterns nowadays. And those patterns can be responsible for catching big trout. However, how about sinking rate and casting comfort of those patterns? Either one, oftentimes both are, is sacrificed, isn't it? Then how about movements that entice or anger predatory trout? Huge trout in deep greenish pools of Yellowstone River would not respond or move to streamers unless they come close.

I don't have many clients who come to Livingston area with streamer fishing in mind and are equipped with proper gears. However, I do rig streamers as situations call, oftentimes in the extension of floating line. Either way, I need a streamer that sinks quickly, casts easy for everyone, and moves (swims & pulses) with plenty of motions.

I learned Marion Spruce from one of old magazines and started tying as it's simple and not time consuming. As I started to use, it was eye-popping to experience this simple pattern achieves all three essential traits!!! Tied with only cone, feathers (hackle), and just enough amount of flash, it's much easier to cast even with a 5-wt rod (2X leader). Then it sinks like a rock. As I strip in, it moves (swims) like real bait-fish or leech!! If you can't believe it, just tie one and try at the river.

I added lead wire wraps which are pushed inside of the cone and cemented with super glue, so it won't move and will add extra weight on any type of cones (brass is apparently cheap!). Then I added a skinny and moderate flash on a bare shank. All the essential traits remain the same! Of course big trout catching ability has never been compromised!!


From top to bottom;
Color - grizzly olive, black, and white 
Hook size - 4, 8 (both streamer hooks), and 6 (short shank bass or saltwater hook)

Note: The white one on the bottom is meant for Emerald Shiner. That is why I used a short shank bass hook and a wide flash on purpose. 

Note 2: Cone colors I use are Gold and Silver most of the time. I can certainly find and tie with Black, Copper, and so on.

SPECIFY colors: Black, grizzly-olive, white, or please let me know colors of interest to see if I can come up with.
SIZE: 2, 4, 6, 8 (3XL or 4XL streamer hooks). Short shank Bass or Saltwater hooks also available (please let me know and we'll discuss)
PRICE: $2.50 each

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Buffalo Ford Special

DESCRIPTION: Vise Versa - whichever mentioned first: Green Drake and Opening Day of Yellowstone River below Yellowstone Lake (in YNP). What follows next is: a pod of huge rising Yellowstone Cutthroat. It is so special at such a splendid surrounding. As this is a fly catalog, I'd better omit history of the fishery, my personal experience and attachment, and such. Instead I'd like to focus on how I came up with these flies.

On the Opening Day, Green Drake is actually one of several hatches. Those huge Cutts may focus on other insects. But several different Green Drake patterns are definitely musts in the fly boxes. When Cutts are feeding on caddis or PMD in the distance in that huge river, GD patterns serve as the pilot fly above those smaller flies.
Anyways, when huge Cutts are rising on Green Drakes and when a lucky angler happens to hook them, it's indeed nerve-wrecking until netting that specimen😬!! Drake patterns tied on a regular size 12 dry-fly hook (fine shank) shall work. However it is highly possible that those huge Cutts can open the gap and swim away😨.
I thought about how to increase the retention rate for the truly once-a-year opportunity. I decided to use a size 8 hook and tied a fly in size 10-12 range without being off-balance. Straight-shank hook would do however slightly curved Dai-Riki 280 made it happen for me! To me it does look GOOD and then for me it works fairly well😏!!

Down Wing style
Wulff Wing style with synthetic fibers - nowadays I don't use calf tail hairs for parachute or wings any more.
Front view.  One can trim the bottom hackle fibers flat as needed.

That section of Yellowstone River is indeed the mix of free-stone and spring-creek like feelings and waters. These two may be seen as free-stone patterns. I've been posting many other Drake patterns, some of which have very subtle silhouette. Certainly one can use two different patterns in a two-fly rig. But also, even those dinosaur like Cutts can be reckless during Drake hatches!! So be prepared with several different style of patterns!!


SPECIFY Wing style
SIZE: 8, 10, 12 (Dai-Riki 280)
PRICE: $2.25 each

The Third Caddis Series

DESCRIPTION: I hope you have learned how I came to acquire EP Trigger Point and came to like them from the previous pattern. My one more immediate favorite is Caddis Wing color. I think this can replace so many wings of caddis dry patterns without losing effectiveness. Instead it makes tying those patterns easier.

Unnamed Caddis with TP - Mother's Day Caddis
X-Caddis style
These just work anywhere and any time when caddis are present!
As for tying, now you can see what I've been talking about. On the Unnamed Caddis, look how cleanly and neatly the wing butt was trimmed (then wrapped with the hackle), while on X Caddis, one can leave the butt end, as we do with deer hair, at will.
I'll update as I come up with more patterns.

SPECIFY Patterns and Species (color): Common body colors are: peacock, olive, tan, and gray, sometimes black (usually smaller species in sizes 18 & 20)
SIZE: 14 to 20
PRICE: $2.25 each

The Third Mayfly Series

DESCRIPTION: What does the name mean? Well, its' the THIRD wing material for the same & established patterns: Deer hair → CDC → now EP Trigger Point.
Trigger Point is not freshly new, it's been in the market for the past several years. However it usually takes me some times, convincing, and persuading to try new items.......... Because I know how market goes (in other words I know how stingy I am😅) and there are similar materials that can work practically the same, oftentimes right at my bench. This time, I was finally convinced and persuaded after 3 or 4 people talked about it periodically during the past 3 years or so............that may be called Imprinting or Subliminal Effect😑.
Anyways, Trigger Point fibers DO have advantages (and the reasons I was finally convinced). It seems finer than other similar products, even than Original EP. Waste ends can be trimmed to the minimum, unlike deer-hair or other fibers, which is easily wrapped and hidden by the following procedures. Furthermore, it's treated with Watershed. Then, there are good numbers of color variations and some of which really impressed me (if you are new to this item, I bet you are starting to say "Hmmmmm......." like I was😏.)
So I started to apply one by one. First, as explained, as the replacement of wing materials. Then I've been playing and tweaking since.

I like the PMD wing color, which pretty much represents most of mayfly duns' wings. Shown here are PMD version.
Compara Dun style
Sparkle Dun style
These have been immediately approved by trout in Livingston's spring creeks. Certainly these can be taken as dry-flies but also they suspend Pheasant Tail Nymphs well at desired depths.
I started to use for different species. I'll post more.

Another product I bought and came to like immediately is Spinner wing color.
Just a sparse amount tied in the spinner style would do well but also I build a parachute, which aids a tremendous visibility. Now I purchased a pack of black fibers. I will use it also for parachute for the evening spinner fall (oftentimes black posts stand out in the darkness over other colors).
Parachute Spinner style
Different angle.
As with dun patterns above, I have already applied for other species. I'll post more as pictures come up!

SPECIFY Species & Size
SIZE: 12 & 14 (Green or Gray Drake), 14 (Flav, Epeorus, Heptagenia), 16 & 18 (PMD), 18 & 20 & 22 (baetis = BWO)
PRICE: $2.25 each

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Thumb Down Emerger

DESCRIPTION: New for 2017!! yet already showing off its trout-catching ability on the street creek!!
Here's a story behind. As I was getting ready for guide trips for the world famous PMD hatch on Livingston's spring creek, I was checking my stocks of flies, organizing boxes, and assembling some. I was doing so for the box filled with Compara Dun and Sparkle Dun, of which wings were either deer-hair or CDC. I was pushing up to preen those wings with my thumb, eventually to test the durability, I pushed all the way down & backward to the abdomen. I had never seen that type of wings and it looked so attractive and I did foresee its trout-catching effectiveness.
It's not just a simple down-wing pattern. I wondered if I can replicate the wing by the same procedure = pushing down by my thumb. After a few trial, I figured out. Also I noticed I could make an improvement. As it's a relatively flat wing of natural CDC, experience told me it would sometimes be hard to see. So I incorporated dash of white CDC as an indicator for our eyes but hidden from fish view. (Wait for YouTube video upload!)

The fly was an immediate success for PMD hatches at creeks!! Not just trout approved it, it also satisfied dry-fly enthusiasts. I just use this by itself, no Pheasant Tail or Soft-hackles tied below. Then it works.

Curved emerger hook,
Or straight dry-fly hook, either style will work!!
Oh, the last but not the least, catch-copy of this fly is: Tied by thumb-down👎 but the result is thumb-up👍😎❗❗Oftentimes two thumbs up👍👍❗❗

SPECIFY Curved or Straight hook
SIZE: 16 & 18 (PMD)
PRICE: $2.25 each

ESP - Extended Body Large Mayfly

DESCRIPTION: When we talk about large dry-flies in Montana, perhaps majority of anglers think of salmonfly and then hopper. But also hatches of a couple of large mayfly species will offer some of the most exciting fishing to remember. One has to be at right place at right time of the year. Along Yellowstone River drainage (Yellowstone Park to Livingston), large mayfly species we expect every season are Green Drake and Gray Drake. Also lakes and ponds I guide and fish host Calibaetis. Compared to explosive bites on salmonfly or hopper, trout's rises on these large mayflies are gentle. deliberate, and repetitive. Either way, trout can be reckless when once-a-year huge morsels are floating above them.

To imitate large mayfly species, extended body creates attractive silhouette. I do like to incorporate foam but this time I used deer hair. As for the hook, in spite of large mayfly, I'm tying on a short but wide-gap scud hook (it'll hold a big old cutthroat😏!!). Rest, I finished with my own ESP (Emerger-Spinner-Parachute) pattern. This became one of my favorite dry-flies during those hatches and has been trout favorite as well!!
Green Drake side view.
 top view
Gray Drake

Calibaetis It may not show well on picture but this one is more gray (Adams like) than Gray Drake above, while Gray Drake has a touch olive.

Specify Species
SIZE: 12 & 14 (it's a short scud hook, entire fly size/length is actually size 10~12 dry-fly)
PRICE: $2.50 each

ESP (Emerger Spinner Parachute)

DESCRIPTION: Here is one of a very few multi-purpose pattern for Livingston's spring creeks........
I've been publishing stage- or situation-specific patterns for spring creeks. Each has been designed for its specific purpose and each of these patterns has been the fundamental of my fly development & designing.

While for free-stone rivers in my area, I have developed many multi-purpose patterns = attractor for one!, and I fish & guide with those flies a lot. It's simplicity & practicality on free-stone rivers.  Say, Royal Wulff can represent mayfly, caddis, terrestrials, and anything imaginable all at once!

This ESP has been derived from a slightly different concept for a multi-purpose pattern......
It's specifically for PMD and is covering Emerger, Spinner, Duns all in one!!
Story goes like this; Parachute pattern is the most versatile during PMD hatch on Livingston's spring creeks. It's definitely a guides' choice but unfortunately majority of anglers, especially those without guides, are not aware of........
Then the fishing scenario is also important. Oftentimes in the morning of late June or early July, PMD spinners from previous evening start to fall before the hatch of the day. Trout will rise and feed. As morning goes on, Mother Nature turns on its own switch and PMD start to hatch. We now start to use match-the-hatch patterns. But also, be aware, every so often, Spinners keep falling during the hatch!!  Aerial & surface seining would help but we can't really tell what trout are feeding until we catch one (somehow) and pump its stomach.
Last but not the least, some guides and savvied anglers have shown me their patterns that have been working for them, along with their experience. I've been listening and learning.

Finally all of these "stimulants" came up all together in my head. It looks simple but a few tying steps are tricky and require careful and intricate touches.
I tied one on for my clients' leader and trout responses have been just as I expected. It is possible that one can keep fishing only this pattern all day during PMD time.


Top view
Bottom view = fish view!


SIZE: 16 & 18 (PMD)
PRICE: $2.50 each

Double Bead Zebra Midge

DESCRIPTION: Creating, tweaking, designing, and re-designing or midge larva/pupa patterns never seem to end!! Sometimes I come up with something by pure chance or imagination then I always have some hints or inspiration from outer sources (it could be materials, stomach pumps, other tyers, someone's flies, etc). This is one of those products. Zebra Midge has been one of the biggest go-to patterns at anywhere midge is present. Color combinations of thread, wire, and bead have no limit. Incorporating a glass-bead will further increase variations!! Plus it adds a tiny bit more weight, which can be critical when fishing for pupa-sipping trout at certain depths at spring creeks.



SPECIFY thread = body color; Red or Black
For colors and combination of colors of rest of materials, if you DO have specific ideas, please DO specify. Otherwise it'll be a tyer's choice (that you can trust my choice). I just list colors of each materials I have/use most commonly.
Wire: gold, silver, copper
Glass bead: red, red variants, black, clear 
Brass bead: gold, silver, copper, black
SIZE: 14 to 20
PRICE: $2.25 each