Just a little introduction. I’m a Western Colorado native, born just west of the glorious Black Canyon cut by the ever bountiful Gunnison River in a small community known as Delta, Colorado. Then spending my youth growing up along the banks of Surface Creek in the quiet town of Cedaredge. Home to some amazing trout fishing, and breath taking scenery, tucked just beside the Grand Mesa National Forest. Now for the obsession. Esox…raising the difficulty and not being the most common fish to be found in this area. But if pursued, success can be found. Recently I have become consumed in thought of pike/musky (esox) and flies they chase. For the last three years, Esox Lucius has me pegged. Stumbling upon some of the best (in my opinion) tiers and fishermen I have yet to meet. The internet has been a never ending source of info for this appetite as of late. Simon Graham, Brad Bohen, Jay Zimmerman, Kelly Galloup, Nick Granato, just to name a few. These guys have some amazing minds to dream these flies up. Here’s a few recent concoctions I have been inspired with from these gentlemen.
I’ve only been tying flies for about four years. I have always kept busy creating something over the years. As a kid I was a Lego maniac, followed by model planes, leather work and fishing. There’s some great tutorials out there that really can help if you need a little direction.
I want to give a big “Thank You” to Brian Wise of Fly Fishing the Ozarks for the amazing videos he has done. They have really fueled my streamer passion for trout along the way! If you haven’t seen these do yourself a favor and hit up some You Tube action.
This last streamer is a keeper and it’s Ian’s own recipe. He was telling me that he was thinking about naming it “Stool Pigeon” and I think that’s going to stick. Cool name and it fits the fly, don’t you think?
Look for Ian to be putting more big flies out there in the future. He’s rocking the vise already!
Brandon Parker posted some very cool flies on his Instagram. They are gar flies! If you have ever tried to catch a gar, you will definitely understand the purpose of this fly explained below by Brandon. They are difficult to hook because of their very narrow jaws and needle like teeth. I need to try these out this year!
Hook: Gamakatsu Octopus 5/0 Body/Tail: White Nylon rope (pulled apart) Thread: Danville 210 denier flat waxed nylon. Eyes: WTP Stick on eyes (sized to fly) Head: Clear Cure Goo tack free
*** glass rattle inside the head ***
Different colored nylon rope would work (I’ve also been thinking about a glow in the dark nylon rope version for nighttime gar)
Erratic movements and short strips. The gar will “attack” the fly from the side. Let him “chew” it for a second to get the fibers stuck in his teeth.
Make sure and use a heavy enough leader and tippet as to not lose any hooked fish. Remove ALL the nylon rope from the gar before releasing. Any nylon that is left could stay tangled in the teeth, causing the gar to be unable to open his mouth…. causing starvation.
Hook: Gamakatsu worm hook size 1/0
Head: Petitjean Magic Head size R13
Keel: .025 lead wire – 10-12 wraps sealed with UV cure
Foul Guard: Sparse clump of bucktail
Tail: 2 saddle hackles, splayed
Body: Reverse tied bucktail, 2 clumps on top and bottom
Flash: Gold, copper, pearl, silver, or opal Flashabou
Throat: Red Ice Dub
Eyes: 3D Holographic Eyes – attach using Super Glue GEL
#14 Sulphur Sexi-Floss Thorax Dun, tied and photographed by Don Bastian.
Hook: Standard dry fly hook, #14 or #16
Thread: Danville Flymaster #7 Orange
Tails: Six yellow or ginger Microfibetts, split 3/3; you can also use just three fibers and divide them with two thread wraps. This works on the pattern because of the floatation qualities of the Sexi-Floss.
Abdomen: Amber Sexi-Floss
Wing: Tan Enrico’s Sea Fibers (also Poly-Fluff or Hi-Vis) same product, if you have or can still find them
Thorax: Sulphur orange rabbit dubbing
I noticed that my good friend Doug Korn had posted about Walter Wiese’s new book on his blog yesterday. Walter is a contract fly designer for Montana Fly Company. He also makes videos and ties for Parks Fly Shop in Gardiner, MT. I’ve posted a couple videos here on FrankenFly from Parks Fly Shop and they have some terrific patterns from some terrific professional tyers.
The book is called Yellowstone Country Flies -The fly patterns of Parks Fly Shop. I definitely plan to buy a copy of this book! They have announced the book now in May and are now taking pre-orders with the copies coming in June. At the end of the following video Walter explains more about the book. Do not take the rest of the video lightly. Matt Minch’s Golden Stonefly Nymph is one of the top producers in Yellowstone Country. Doug has mentioned this pattern to me before and he uses it, so I know it’s a fish catcher.
Several months ago Rich released a video on his Realistic Baitfish pattern. Today, he released a video showing his articulated version of the Realistic Baitfish. I particularly like the color combinations available for this fly. I would think the action would prove to be even better than the original.
Notes from Rich: The articulated version of my realistic baitfish. Pretty self explanatory. This one is tied in a shad or alewife color combo. Have fun with the color schemes and fish it hard.
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Though it looks more like a small bass bug, the Farmington Frog Gurgler was tied for the picky brown trout of Connecticut’s premier trout stream, the Farmington River. Once the sun is off the pool, the trout let their guard down and the frog leaps into action. It’s a clumsy fly to cast, especially on trout gear, but delicacy is not an issue. The noisier the retrieve, the better. Browns will often show for this fly and not take, so it makes a good “locator” pattern. When they do take, it’s rarely subtle. Topwater explosions and chasing the fly across the pool are common reactions. My favorite scenario is when an aggressive brown, chasing the frog near the surface, forms a big pressure wake behind the fly before he inhales it. Though it’s not the overall most effective fly in my box, it gets my vote for the most fun.
Hook: TMC 8089 #6 Thread: Olive 3/0 or 6/0 Tail: tuft of olive grizzly chickabou; a few strands of pearl krinkle flash Legs: 4 olive grizzly saddle hackles; 2 on each side of the shank, concave side facing out Shellback: Green closed cell foam, folded over on itself to form a lip in front (w/optional black and brown dots) Body: Chartreuse Estaz Froggy Arms: olive speckled centipede legs, knotted
This fly started out as a 2/0 foam dry that I experimented with while guiding in Chile. On the rivers that I guided on the fish responded well to huge, twitched dries. My goal was to create a pattern that would skitter and skate without diving, would make a nice wake, was simple, and was durable. Upon my return to Colorado I retained many of my Chilean fly ideas and retuned them for Colorado’s trout. The crucial part of this fly is the little foam surfboard that makes the fly ride high while you’re dragging it around. The small piece of foam sticking out the front of the fly is there to push water and keep the fly surfing along the film. The densely wrapped hackle serves a similar purpose. The legs add a nice little vibration on the water as well when dead drifting the fly and when skating they help create a larger wake. Also, the flashabou helps grab the fish’s attention in lower light situations, when we typically are skating flies.
Hook- TMC 2312, 10-16 Thread- Ultra Thread 70, color to match foam Body- Pearl Flashabou, wrapped and glued Overbody/Head- 2mm foam, tan, olive, or black Wing- Deer, same color as foam Indicator- Neon Pink Poly Yarn Legs- Medium barred round rubber, same color base color as foam Hackle- Saddle feather, densely wrapped.
AG skated up this big brown right before dark in the Nevis River, South Island, NZ.
Andrew Grillos is a full time fly-fishing guide, signature fly tier for Idylwilde Flies, Simms Ambassador, Scott Rods Pro, and generally fun guy to spend a day on the river with. After a decade of guiding out of Gunnison, Colorado Andrew’s recently relocated to Washington where he’s adding yet another location to his guiding resume. To spend a day or two fishing on one of the many Washington fly-fishing destinations email firstname.lastname@example.org and check out andrewgrillos.com.
This is a brand new video featuring stillwater expert Phil Rowley. You might remember that I posted a couple weeks ago about The Chromie and Phil showed how to tie that. Phil is in Oregon this week visiting some fly fishing clubs and stopped to check out the Spirit River headquarters. In this video he ties a mean Carey Special and it’s definitely worth watching and listening to Phil. Good stuff!