Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Buddy Wing Emerger

DESCRIPTION: Here's another variation of Buddy Wing series; duns out of their nymph shuck yet with undeveloped wings. Now I do have right pictures!

Originally my main idea was the previous one, one below, and I had named it "Buddy Wing Emerger". Then this version would have been merely a spin-off. However, this version also became a red-hot commodity!!! So I decided to treat them separately and named accordingly; half-nymph appearance = Buddy Wing Nymph and pretty much dun yet not fully matured = Buddy Wing Emerger.
Species, sizes, and hook-styles I present are the same.

PMD: size 16 & 18, straight or curved hook
Bottom view
Curved = Emerger hook

Baetis (BWO): size 18, 20, 22, & 24, straight or curved hook
Dark olive
Gray-Olive can be important and actually are very effective.

Green Drake: size 12 & 14, straight or curved hook
Again, we don't look for Green Drakes at Livingston's spring creeks but GDs are very important on other area streams. 

Here are testimonies from trout!!!

PRICE: $2.25 each
SPECIFY SpeciesSizeHook style (straight or curved)

Buddy Wing Nymph

DESCRIPTION: Fishing and guiding at Livingston's spring creeks provide me plenty of opportunities for OBSERVATION. Indeed observation will never end and has no limit regarding trout behavior and insect hatches. All of these offer me ideas and hints for new fly patterns.

From stomach pumps and surface seining, I collected duns just breaking out of their nymph shuck with folded wings (no pictures) and duns out of shuck yet wings not developed yet (below).

I had been pondering the idea to imitate this peculiar and unique stage. I came up with something. Then I had to experiment, which is always a mix of joy and anxiety.

Here's the pattern that has passed inspection by me, fellow spring-creek anglers and then, of course, trout.
This imitates a dun just escaping its shuck with folded (undeveloped) wings.

PMD: size 16 & 18, straight or curved hook
Curved = emerger hook
Bottom view
Baetis (BWO): size 18, 20, 22, & 24, straight or curved hook

Green Drake: size 12 & 14, straight or curved hook
Green Drake don't live in spring creeks however they are one of important mayflies in nearby streams; Yellowstone River = both Yellowstone National Park and Montana sections, then famous Northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park = Lamar, Soda Butte, and Slough.
Instead of emerger hooks above, I use 2XL curved hooks that I typically use for large soft-hackles and bead-head nymphs (not so heavy)

Here are proof pics, approved by trout!!
I was somewhat confident of its effectiveness but I couldn't believe it would be this good!!

PRICE: $2.25 each
SPECIFY Species, Size, Hook style (straight or curved)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Mixed Wing Compara Dun

DESCRIPTION: It NEVER hurts to carry any extra patterns when fishing for mayfly hatches at Livingston's spring creeks. When trout are feeding selectively and/or when trout seem to have learned our go-to patterns from previous days, subtle modifications/changes on flies at hands can make huge differences.
Here's another such pattern. Entire silhouette and idea is similar to good old Compara Dun but there are subtle yet distinctive modifications. I do prefer either turkey- or goose-biot abdomen to dubbed one. Then wing is composed of partridge and CDC feathers. These are much slimmer and quieter than deer-hair on Compara Dun yet very visible and high-floating (treated correctly).

Here's a PMD. Size 16 & 18.

I put some emphasis and variations on Baetis = Blue-Winged-Olive. Size 18, 20, 22, & 24.
First, here's a dark-olive.  This would be perhaps most of anglers think of baetis, and it works most of times.
Followings are color variations but each one can be very important for a certain situation. 
Especially during the fall baetis hatch at Livingston's spring creeks and at some Yellowstone Park waters (Lamar, Soda Butte, Slough, Firehole, Madison), we often encounter "baetis" in several different colors. Old-timers still use "pseudo" in that matter.......... You'd better be prepared.
"Dark" Gray-Olive 
"Light" Gray-Olive

Each size/color has been proven to be effective and deadly for me and my clients!!
Here are just a few proof pics!!

PRICE: $2.25
Specify colors & sizes.
PMD - 16 & 18
Baetis - 18, 20, 22, & 24 - dark olive, gray, dark gray-olive, or light gray-olive 

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!