Wednesday, March 26, 2014

PMD No Hackle Gnat: Color & Wing Variations

DESCRIPTION: My own version of No Hackle = No Hackle Gnat has already been posted in different species (click here). Now I'd like to focus on Pale Morning Dun. PMD is the most popular and important hatch at Livingston's spring creeks. I can't emphasize how special its hatches and trout responses can be = hence how special these 3 World-Famous Creeks are.

Based on my observation on both insects & materials, I started to experiment to tie in different colors (similar but slightly different) and in different shapes of wings.

PMD = Light Olive, period. However, every material vendor has different chemicals and interpretations, I suppose. Each can be right!
Here, abdomens of 1 and 2 are tied with turkey biots dyed in PMD. Only difference is from which vendor it came from. And I like both. 3 has some touch of tan. 

Shape of wing has been another curiosity of mine. Each one can be attractive and has its own purpose/imitation. Based on my experience of tying Atlantic Salmon Flies (long story short), I came up with 5 DISTINCTIVE shapes.
Here are close-up shots and brief description for each shape.

"Low & Split": This represents duns that have just come out of nymph shuck and been sitting low on the surface. Or even spent appearance.

"Medium High": This represents duns that have just stretched their wings.

"High & Up": This shows that duns' wings are well dried and stretched and are ready to fly, yet still sitting low in the surface. What's the difference from #2? See wing tying point is totally different.

"Medium High & Down": By applying a simple tying logic and a material handling skill, I created a silhouette somewhere between 1 and 2. This one represents a dun that is drying its wings, is somewhat ready to fly, and is spent.

"High & Down": This one expresses duns that are stretching their wings. I observe these under cloudy overcast and slightly wet weather. Under those conditions = extra moisture and humidity in the air, duns require more time to dry & stretch their wings.

Here's another comparison shot.
SIZES: I tie these in 16 & 18.
So total how many variations can I offer?
3 (colors) x 5 (wing shapes) x 2 (sizes) = 30 VARIATIONS
I keep all of these in order to assist my clients with my best.
If you are serious about PMD hatches at Livingston's spring creeks (and even in other places), these are "MUST-HAVES".

PRICE: $2.50 each

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Genre

People who also check my main blog ( do know that I've been pursuing Atlantic Salmon flies. Atlantic Salmon Flies became my passion and ultimate challenge (skills & art) of fly-tying. That's why I've been doing. I have started to get inquires if those are for sales. That made me think............
I have just created a new page "Atlantic Salmon Flies Gallery & Sales Info" above. Please click for more details.

Durham Ranger tied on blind-eye hook with twisted silk-gut. In a display case with deer-antler display holder.

Home-made twisted silk gut.

I'll be simply happy if people going through my gallery, regardless of sales!!
Thank you for visiting!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Fountain Buzz Bee

Description: Bees would probably be ranked the lowest when fly anglers think of terrestrial fishing and fly patterns. I admit I follow the same tendency. However I never go out fishing without bee patterns during summer months. Just like other terrestrial species, there are times when bees swarm along and above rivers (hopefully we don't get stung....). Every now and then trout literally go "NUTS" on bee patterns. But also bee patterns can be important and effective to show trout something different from popularized hoppers and ants. I'm not sure if trout are taking our hooks as bee-stung. Then they would realize they can't swallow and consume down our hooks....... Stories go on and on.

I've been experimenting this pattern for the last few seasons. It's been very effective at various Yellowstone Park waters and during float trips on Yellowstone River. With the heavy use of synthetic materials, this pattern will always float. Besides it surely looks cute in our fly-boxes.

Here are some Cutty who tried to "swat" or "knock off" bees in the air..........

SIZE: 10 & 12 & 14
PRICE: $2.00 each

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Description: It has to start with the same old cliches: ants and beetles are as important as hoppers during summer months. However these two are very much overshadowed by big gulps on hoppers (only if they happened) and high visibility & buoyancy of modern foam patterns. I, along with many other good guides/anglers who have understanding, can't emphasize the fact that even the "hopper-wariest" trout can be fooled by ant and/or beetle patterns. Native Yellowstone Cutthroat in streams of Northeast Yellowstone Park is the prime example. Major fishing season coincides the period right after their spawning. They will rise on large attractors or hopper patterns with delight. Then more anglers show up and repeat the process. Soon they get fed up and bored. Also huge cutty, rainbows, and cutbow hybrids of Slough Creek below campground are known to own encyclopedias of all of our hopper patterns and materials being used!! In these situations, ant and beetles patterns have been the savior of the day. Classic Parachute Ant and my own Combo Ant are some of my go-toes. So here's my new addition. Visibility and buoyancy are well achieved, just like any other hopper patterns. But over all silhouette is much smaller, just like ants and beetles.

 Juicy looking under-side = trout view!!

An 11-inch Cutthroat was regurgitating like this......... See ALL KINDS & SIZES of beetles!!

Size: 12, 14, 16
Price: $2.00 each

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Midge Adult/Emerger/Pupa Essentials (Spring Creeks & Rivers)

Description: Midges are year-around food sources of trout in every stage and at every water type. Midge larvae patterns fished deep are constant producers (click for Flexi-Zebra, Chewy & Flexi Larva) at both rivers and spring creeks around here in SW Montana. Trout rises = surface/film fishing = can happen any time of the year too, but, in my experience, it tends to be more during winter and spring months when mayflies and caddis are "dormant". Or trout may feed/rise on midges after major mayfly hatches for the day is over. Just like mayfly dun, when we think of midge rise actions, we naturally assume it's midge adult. But oftentimes (again just like mayfly hatching stages), emergers just in the surface film and pupae ascending water column to a few inches below the film are very important. I have already published Midge APE and Pupaerger, both of which have been proven to super selective trout at Livingston's spring creeks. Here are my other essential patterns. Reason I'm posting all in one is most likely you will be fishing with a two-fly combo rig. Dry-fly covers the surface as well as serves as indicator to suspend pupa/emerger in the film or slightly below. Yes, Midge APE & Pupaerger make a great combo rig too!
All these flies mentioned above work both at spring creeks and rivers.
Sizes I offer, which should be mostly common and universe for most of anglers, are 20, 22, & 24. Also ask me how to rig-up and fish properly!! I will instruct you every details.

Goose Biot Midge: This is the staple among staples. Can't go wrong. CDC Wing is very visible and buoyant.

Foam Emerger Type 1: Combination of these materials are seriously deadly. I have caught many a selectively sipping trout. Just rub a tiny bit of oil-floatant on foam.

Foam Emerger Type 2: This is constructed with the same elements as Type 1 but in a different style. Selective trout can tell the difference and choose the style even in this size. So rotate between Type 1 and 2 and you will be OK!! Just rub a tiny bit of oil-floatant on foam.

See the stomach sample. This was only a tiny part of, well, "mound", really. Observe which is more prevalent than the other.

Specify patterns and hook-sizes.
Price$2.00 each

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Spring Creek PMD Selection

Again, I've been showing popular and effective patterns at Livingston's spring creeks. But these patterns are also very effective & compatible to spring creeks and tail-water fisheries in other areas. Even at big rivers, you may spot super picky & selective rising trout every now and then. When you can't fool that kind of trout with your regular patterns, you will need these patterns. So keep some in your boat boxes as well.

Description: PMD (Ephemerella Inermis & Infrequens) hatch is arguably the most famous event at Livingston's spring creeks. It's truly a heaven, or paradise, you name it. No other streams and locations match this surrounding. Prime hatch is from late June to early July. But PMD hatch lasts all summer long. Matter of fact, these beautiful insects can be seen at creeks all year long and trout take them at will!! Because of these facts, many patterns have been created by local guides and anglers. I have my own patterns as you can see in this catalog. Shown here are mix of general/local & somewhat original patterns. These flies should cover you!

Generally most of PMD have uniform colors. So I go with one color here = light olive.
As for sizes, 16 & 18 are most common and that's all you need.

CDC Sparkle Dun (standard straight dry-fly hooks available).
CDC Dun (standard straight dry-fly hooks available).
Foam Para Emerger (standard straight dry-fly hooks available).
Hackle Stacker (Para-Loop) Emerger (standard straight dry-fly hooks available).
CDC Transitional - Type 1
CDC Transitional - Type 2
CDC Transitional SSS (SnowShoe Shuck) - dark olive 
CDC Transitional SSS (SnowShoe Shuck) - light tan/brown

Specify hook-styles and sizes.
Price$2.00 each

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Spring Creek Blue-Winged-Olive/Baetis Selection

Fly category and classification can be complicated. Should I list all of PMD patterns at once? Or post one pattern, say Sparkle Dun, and show all the species variations. This is the former. I showcase essential and crucial patterns for Spring Creek BWO/Baetis. These are common and generic patterns that I modified to suit for spring creek fishing. Or, though I don't claim credit, I improved them. So I might as well post as a group rather than individually.

Description: Baetis = Blue-Winged-Olive (BWO) is probably the second most popular hatch, next to PMD, at Livingston's spring creeks. For some die-hard anglers like myself, Baetis=BWO hatch is the number 1 event of the year as it's the most challenging and technical (at least to me). Fly selection = patterns, sizes, & colors = is super crucial to combat against super selective trout. Besides my original patterns, which you can find individually, these patterns are proven to be important and work really well. As written above, I modified and improved generic patterns to fit our needs during baetis hatch at spring creeks.

I just can't show all color variations for each pattern. So here's a note. All these can be tied in
     Thorax   Abdomen
1.  olive        olive
2.  gray        gray
3. olive         gray
As for sizes, all can be tied in 18, 20, 22, 24.
Hope all of this listing won't give you headaches, but this is how I stock and organize and I'm just being specific to you. So order accordingly. If you request pictures of different colors, just let me know and I will email you!!

CDC Dun (standard straight dry-fly hooks available). Shown here is all Olive

CDC Sparkle Dun with Turkey Biot (standard straight dry-fly hooks available). Shown here is Olive thorax and Gray abdomen.

Foam Para Post Emerger (standard straight dry-fly hooks available). Shown here is Olive thorax and Gray abdomen.

Hackle Stacker (Para Loop) (standard straight dry-fly hooks available). Shown here is all Olive.

Specify colors and sizes.
Price: $2.00 each

Egg Muddler Series

The last but the not the least (as of now, I mean), these are also concoctions of "old & new" (in terms of styles and materials). As you've seen, recently I've been working on small patterns. Now don't get me wrong. I still tie and fish with large articulated streamers. However, been guiding lots of clients, I have to say that not everyone is equipped with proper skills and gears to fish with streamers (5", give or take). I can't suggest them (not to mention, force them) to fish with this way during the limited amount of times given to me during guided trips. Also, always trying to "think like fish", trout may have seen many big patterns for the past couple of years as lots of people have been fishing that way (I for one). It may be a time to give them some breaks from big artillery. This is the background of me coming back to small patterns (2 to 3 inches long).  And this is why I review great old patterns. Yet fortunately modern tyers have much more accesses to fancy & handy materials than our predecessors did. So I can tweak some old patterns. The Three fundamental of fly designing is "shape", "color", & "size". For streamers, I also consider "Castability" & "Movement". (I also have to consider "eye-appealing" to fly-buyers!!)

Anyway, these smaller patterns give anglers some options to fish with. It can be still fished with sink-lines & short butt leader. But also for those who don't have sink-lines, these can be fished with float-line, long-leader, plus split shots. It can be fished by dead-drifting under indicators. Not to mention, these patterns are deadly at spring creeks too!!

Description: Muddler style deer-hair head is still the best feature among all streamer patterns. This is my idea with all other goodies; barbell-eye, egg, possum fur, rubber legs, and marabou. Egg or egg-incorporated patterns should NOT be limited only during spawning seasons. Rest of 3 materials will make this little pattern with full of movements!!

I don't really classify this series either as specific imitation or as general streamers. This can be taken as both because it incorporates many good aspects. These colors (or combinations of colors), combined with miscellaneous techniques and gears, will cover most common forage fish.

I'm using Bent hooks (Dai-Riki 700B & MFC 7073) to add some funny impression & practical appearances. 

I can instruct you how to fish and suggest appropriate gears (rod, line, etc) to fish this type of flies properly. I just don't write all here as it can be long. So ask me as you order or as you fish. 

1. Black over Olive (Size 4, 6): This imitates mottled sculpin, baby trout, etc.  
2. Olive over Natural Tan (Size 4, 6): This imitates mottled sculpin, baby rainbow trout, etc.
3. Natural tan over White (Size 4, 6): This imitates light-colored sculpin, whitefish minnow, sucker minnow, and dace. 

Here's the real thing....... from Livingston's spring creeks.

I believe this would be a sculpin but I'm not sure the cause of death. Killed by trout? Will trout eat this if this is dead-drifted to its mouth?.......maybe?

Specify size as you order.  
Price$4.00 each

Matuka Sculpin Series

Of course I won't forget our favorite sculpin patterns........

Description: I owe some of the most useful knowledge to Dave Whitlock's "Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods". I suggest you get a copy!! This book helps me understand forage fish habitat and trout behavior as predators. (I actually owe a lot about understanding insects too!!) Arguably Dave's Matuka Sculpin still stands out. I have added my own variations and experimented with them. I have noted how they swim and sink. But also more importantly how they cast. They all passed the tests, approved by trout!!

I'm using Bent hooks (Dai-Riki 700B & MFC 7073) to add some funny impression & practical appearances. 

I can instruct you how to fish and suggest appropriate gears (rod, line, etc) to fish this type of flies properly. I just don't write all here as it can be long. So ask me as you order or as you fish. 

1. Matuka Sculpin (Size 4, 6). Pretty much original recipe. Weighted with lead wire on hook-shank. 

 2. Barbell-eye Matuka Sculpin (Size 4, 6). Weighted with barbell-eye instead of lead wire wraps. Rest is practically the same as above.

3. Chubby Sculpin (Size 6, 8). Shorter & chubbier than two above on purpose. Weighted with lead wire on hook-shank. 

Flat & wide

See this elaborated dubbing body!! 1 & 2 have the same two-toned bodies too.

Here's a live sample. Observe!!

Specify size when you order.  
Price$4.00 each

Sucker Minnow Series

So I have posted (re-posted) most of my insect-oriented patterns. But also I do love "big meal" stuffs........ Whether fishing big rivers like Yellowstone and Madison Rivers or spring creeks, forage fish are important food sources for trout, especially for BIG individuals (now it's very soliciting!!). I wouldn't limit myself in terms of my fishing methods and fly-patterns.

Description: For this group (or category), I focus on minnows and baitfish that are common in many trout streams. I have designed and fished to imitate "sucker", "whitefish", & "chub", even somewhat "baby trout". Most of these are in the light color category (white, tan, silver).
I haven't exactly come up with fancy names so I may change & repost in the near future but at least I keep the number in common. So order by the number.

I can instruct you how to fish and suggest appropriate gear (rod, line, etc) to fish this type of flies properly. I just don't write all here as it can be long. So ask me as you order or as you fish. 

1. Sucker Minnow Streamer (mottled wing available = shown below. Size 4, 6, 8).
 2. Egg Sucker Minnow (dun wing available as shown above. Size 4, 6, 8)

3. Egg Sucker Zonk (large Size 4, 6

4. Egg Sucker Zonk (small Size 8

Specify size & color (if available).  
Price: $3.50 each