March fly of the month- Elk Hair Caddis
I have one fly box devoted to nothing but Elk Hair Caddis in all sizes and colors. Its usually the first dry fly I go to for my summer night fishing. It's so fun to fish because it rides high and is easily visible. The trickiest part to tying this fly is working with the Elk Hair. Hopefully this video helps! Enjoy
February fly of the month- Ugly Bug
I started fooling around with this fly about 25 years ago in the mid 90's. I would fish the old fashioned Girdle Bug a lot on the small streams close to home in the summer time. It was so much fun twitching that fly around, the rubberlegs drove fish crazy. This was back before the streamer fishing craze we have today. We would strip wooly buggers around and catch a ton of fish. The buggers we fished needed just a little more. That's when I started adding eyes and legs, flash, whatever to get it to swim and twitch a little more. I really haven't changed this pattern much over the years and it still catches fish. This fly has a few different steps compared to the wooly bugger so if you've mastered that fly, you should have no problem adding the eyes and legs. It catches just about anything.
January 2019 fly of the month- Pat's Rubberlegs
Winter is in full swing around here, but it won't be long before we are spring fishing so it's time to fill up those boxes with spring time flies. April/May I spend a lot of time in eastern Idaho and southern Montana fishing the pre-runoff waters. I'm usually dredging big stonefly nymphs like the Brown Rubberlegs flies right along the bottom. The Girdle bug is an old time fly using rubberlegs, then there is the Bitch Creek, the Yuk bug... the Rubberlegs nymphs came along sometime in the 90's. I believe it was a guide in Idaho falls that started tying and using the Rubberlegs nymph with great success, then it just spread from there. I think the key is the flex floss rubber legs. They have that crinkle to them that really look good underwater. When this fly gets wet, the chenille and the flex floss together make a really good profile of a natural stone tumbling down the river, and there can be a bunch of them before and during the hatch. This fly has been found to work in many smallmouth waters as well, so it's not just a Western stream thing. I'll be sending a couple of chenille variations, lead wire and some beads so you can play around with colors and weight. Please remember to share in our Facebook group.
December fly of the month- Pheasant tail
A Pheasant Tail nymph is a must have for any nymph box. This fly is a great introduction into tying any nymphs. We'll learn the proper proportions that apply to any mayfly nymph plus we'll use dubbing, wire for ribbing, and talk about a wing case. One of the most challenging parts to this fly is the legs. I'll show a technique for using the tips from the wing case for a good set of legs on each side.
November fly of the month- Griffith Gnat
As we head into the winter months the dry fly action will slow down a little, or the bugs will just get smaller. A Griffith Gnat is a good dry to have any time of the year but can be really good to have in the colder months during a midge hatch. It's fairly simple to tie, just two materials, grizzly hackle and Peacock. I included some gray poly yarn and white CDC feathers that you can use for a little wing. One thing about the Griffith Gnat is it can be difficult to see on the water so little wing helps with the visibility. I also included some hot orange thread so you can tie an Orange Asher style with just an Orange thread body. Tie a few up and fill your box for win per dry fly fishing
October fly of the Month- Smitty's Roughneck
Every spring I make an annual trip to the Madison river in Montana. I've been doing this for as long as I can remember. Its right around runoff time so the water temps are cold, river is a little high and maybe off color. I normally just nymph fish with some sort of weighted Stonefly nymph with a smaller bead head trailed behind. The Roughneck is a fly I've toyed around with over the years up there. Basically its a zebra midge that looks a little more like a nymph. Its a simple tie that has proven to catch fish. Since then I've used this fly about everywhere I go. I'll play around with different size and color variations. Fill up your box with some of these and try them out on your home waters.
September fly of the Month- Egg Sucking Leech
The first time I remember fishing with an Egg Sucking Leech was on a fishing trip with my Dad to one of our local reservoirs in southern Idaho when I was about 10 years old. We would troll with a fly rod and sinking lines. My dad had this fly he tied called a Beaver leech which was a really good fly. I chose an Egg sucking leech out the fly box because it looked super cool. I can remember catching some chunky Rainbows that day with a Purple Egg Sucking leech. This fly works well for Salmon,Steelhead, Trout, and I'm guessing Bass would love it as well. I hope you enjoy tying a few of these.
August fly of the Month- X Caddis
Caddis, Caddis, Caddis. The X Caddis has been a proven pattern over the last couple decades. It was developed by Craig Matthews in West Yellowstone. This fly features a zelon tail, dubbed body, and Elk or Deer hair for the wing. I thought this would be a great pattern to do because we're introducing working with hair and this fly is catching fish right now. When you first start working with hair in can be a little intimidating. It spins, twist, clumps together, falls out... all kinds of things can happen. It takes some practice to stack it, handle it, tie it in, and make it look all neat and even. I sent some fine deer hair for the wing. I like the way it looks and I like a little flair with it, it looks like a little fluff ball in the choppy water.
JULY fly of the Month- Foam Killer Ant
This is a really good summer time dry fly. Its technically an Ant pattern but crosses over to mimic about any bug. The good thing about this fly is how well it floats. You can fish it fast, tumbly water and it sits right on top and is highly visible. Its also fun to tie. This fly feature 2mm craft foam and hackle. The most challenging part of this fly is positioning the foam on top and tying the hackle neatly over the foam. So have fun and crank a few out... most important is get out and fish it this summer. Full Video will be available soon.
JUNE Fly of the month- Hares Ear Nymph
One of the first flies I learned to tie was a Hares Ear Nymph. This classic nymph is a tried a true fish catcher. I sent enough materials to tie 25 flies. I included different colors of beads and an extra dubbing so you can mix and match and come up with some of your own variations. Once you've mastered the Hares Ear, these skills will cross over to most nymphs you want to tie. Dubbing, wing case, bead head, ribbing.....these are all elements of just about every nymph.
MAY fly of the month- BUNNYMAN
We're back around to Streamers this month. This is an effective streamer pattern that I've used over the years. Rabbit hair is awesome for streamers. Almost every streamer I fish with either has Marabou or Bunny Hair or a combination of both. This fly is all Bunny and it swims like crazy. For the head I'm using Metal Heads from Rivers Wild Flies. They make a cool looking head that has just the right amount of weight. This is a great fly to learn how to handle rabbit strips in both straight cut and crosscut. These techniques will carry over to many Streamer pattern you choose to create in the future. I hope you enjoy!
April FLY of the month
April is all about Dries. I chose a Renegade as the showcase fly because its a great all around attractor and we can work with hackle. I'll be including extra materials so you can also tie a Gray Hackle Peacock. I'll be sending Whiting Farms Hackle and Daiichi hooks so it should be a fun month working on Dry flies.
MARCH FLY OF THE MONTH
Sorry everyone for the late video post. So here you go....and get tying these. Pretty simple to tie, but effective to catch fish. I included some different colors and dubbing so you can do a lot of variations. I also included enough hooks to tie 50! So you should be able to crank a bunch out if you like. Enjoy and don't forget to share your stuff with others in our group at Smitty's fly group on Facebook.
FEBRUARY BEGINNER FLY OF THE MONTH