May 2019 fly of the month- Chubby Chernobyl
The Chubby Chernobyl is a great summertime fly that flat out produces fish. It's high floating profile is an attractor for those fish that are looking for a bigger meal. It's the perfect fly to use for a 'dry dropper' presentation and fishes well on its own. It can be tied in a variety of colors, making it a good match for hoppers or stoneflies. Cast it behind boulders, along grass banks and especially in shallow riffles and watch for the aggressive take. I love using it on my home waters for aggressive Cutthroat, I give it a little splat on the water and it usually triggers a spike. Tie up a bunch for your box this summer, you won't regret it.
April 2019 fly of the month- Big Ass Bugger
I've always been a believer in the Wooly Bugger. Just the plain ole bead head bugger. I still fish it all the time. Nowadays there's all kinds of crazy articulated streamers that look really cool on Instagram but I always wonder how well they actually fish. I too have my arsenal of articulated streamers in my box and have had some good success with some and not so good with others. One of the better articulated streamers I've done well with is what I call the Big Ass Bugger. It's what it is--A BIG ASS BUGGER. So I hope you enjoy tying these because I know I've had fun this month cranking a few out.
March fly of the month- BWO Cripple
March is when these little guys start poking their heads out. Look for Blue Winged Olives hatching on your local streams. They look like little gray sailboats floating downstream. The cripple pattern is a good alternative pattern to the standard pattern. It imitates an adult struggling to hatch. I usually fish tandem dries with a standard or parachute BWO as my first fly, then trail a cripple BWO about 12-24' behind depending on the river. To tie this fly we are using a Turkey biot for the body. This makes a cool segmented look. We are using antron yarn for a trailing nymph suck or hackle fibers for a straight tail, whichever you like. CDC feathers for the "crippled" wing. I hope you enjoy.
February fly of the month - SS Sculpin
It's been a lot of fun tying a meaty streamer this month. For years I tied a fly called a Woolhead Sculpin. With all of the outstanding tiers out there and Youtube videos I found a lot of inspiration to make some tweaks and create an updated version of the original Woolhead. I grew up on the Logan River in Utah and it's chuck full of Sculpins. Most are pretty small, like 2-4" long, occasionally you'd find a big sucker. So most of the time I fished a small pattern in sizes 4-6. In this video we are tying a size 2, which is a really good all around size. I'm confident this will catch fish anywhere.
January 2019 fly of the month- Bead Golden Stone Nymph
A Golden Stone is a staple in most trout waters any where. These guys will hang out under rocks and crevices until it's time for them to migrate to the bank, crawl out, and hatch into an adult. They're susceptible to fish when they are swept up by the current. I imagine these look pretty good to fish after they are used to seeing tiny nymphs and midges all day. This pattern matches the natural pretty well with the biots, flex floss legs, Thin skin back, and Golden Stone dubbing. Fish will start looking for these more and more as we approach spring and runoff water. I included some brown dubbing and different colors of Think Skin that you can play around with.
December fly of the month- Baileys B12 shot
This month I'm excited to announce Baileys B12 shot. This pattern is created by my good buddy Courtney Bailey. He's a heck of a fisherman and fly tier. This fly is a tungsten jig style nymph that can be fished euro style or traditional nymph style. Either way it'll get down fast and bounce along the bottom. If you haven't started tying the popular euro style flies yet this is a great fly to get your feet wet.
November fly of the month- Fatal Attractor
I live close to the Logan river in Utah which is full of small Cutthroat trout. These fish are really fun to catch on dry flies and will readily strike a big fluffy dry all summer long. I've fooled around tying attractors for many years for these Cutthroats and have done really well with the Fatal Attractor. It has all the elements of an effective attractor- Wulff wings, Elk, Ice dub, red tail. I finally named it the Fatal Attractor after walking through the old Blockbuster video store one night years ago (not around anymore) when I saw the movie cover for "Fatal Attraction" . It seemed like a fitting name for a fly.
October Fly of the Month- Soft hackle
I'm a believer in Soft hackle style flies. I recently came across Whiting Brahma hen saddles as a good substitute for Hungarian Partridge feathers. This fly is a Hares ear style soft hackle. We are using Orientsun barbless scud hooks. They have a little bit different shape to them and a sharp hook. They make a cool looking fly. Add this to your nymph line up and catch some fish.
September fly of the Month- Clouser Minnow
I have to admit I haven't fished with a Clouser minnow much. I've used it to catch Wipers that they stock in one of our local reservoirs but thats about it. Having said that I really enjoyed preparing for this months box. I learned a lot and I think I improved my Bucktail skills. This fly was requested by one of the members of our Facebook group so I thought it was a good idea for a streamer that could appeal to everyone. Even you guys out west need to tie some of these to improve your streamer game. I added some craft fur for the smaller sizes just to mix it up a little bit. So tie up some cool variations and get out and fish them this fall.
August fly of the Month- Rubberleg Stimulator
I decided to get off the rotation and do another dry fly this month. It didn't seem right to do streamers in August when big dry fly fishing was in full force. This fly was suggested by someone in the Facebook group and I thought it was a great idea-the Stimulator might be the all time greatest summertime fly. Its kind of a hopper, or a caddis, or a stonefly, or an attractor. It just seems to cover all the bases when selecting a dry fly. It floats well so its great to add a dropper off the back. You can fish it in small streams to big rivers. So lets learn how to tie it and fill your box up for August and September. I threw in a couple colors of dubbing and rubberlges so you can do some variations. It took me a long time before I felt like I could make a good looking stimulator, it will definitely take some practice.
JULY 2018- Tan Western Hopper
Hopper season is right around the corner so this fly is just in time. There are a lot of fancy looking hoppers that look really difficult to tie. Hopefully the Tan Western Hopper can give you some confidence if you've never tried them. This fly takes some practice getting use to tying down foam and gluing in legs, but overall shouldn't be too difficult to master. The Western Hopper features injected molded realistic hopper legs, pre cut foam bodies and tan suede I found at the craft store. So have fun with it!
JUNE 2018 - COPPER JOHN
We're back to nymphs this month. I chose the Copper John because it catches fish just about everywhere. This fly has a lot going on...wire, biots, Thin Skin, legs, etc. It takes some practice to get the proportions down on this fly. I included enough materials to tie a couple of colors. Enjoy!
I'm really excited for this months Intermediate box. If you haven't gotten into the articulated streamer game , now is your chance. The Double Ugly Bug is not too difficult to tie, it just takes a lot of materials and time. You'll be able to tie 12 flies with some excess for next time. This pattern is timed perfect fishing conditions. I like to fish streamers in the spring high water. I'm heading to Montana to fish the Madison next week so I'll be sure to take a few of these myself to chuck in the high cloudy pocket water. Enjoy!
This month we'll be doing Parachutes. Parachute can be a pain in the butt to tie so hopefully this video will help you make a neater, cleaner parachute. I will be including different materials so you can tie a few variations. I'll also hand select hackle from Whiting Farms so you'll be getting the best hackle on the planet! I'd love to hear your feedback so be sure to share on our Facebook group. (smitty's fly group)
March is here. For this months box I decided to tie the Gunslinger. I came up with this fly on a trip to the Madison River in Montana a few years back. Basically its a mashup of a Pheasant Tail/Hares Ear. I caught a bunch of fish on that trip so I fished it more and more on following trips around the West. Its been a really good pattern for me wherever I've gone. I hope you enjoy! In this box I also included a few jig style hooks with slotted Tungsten beads. With the growing popularity of Euro style nymphs I thought it'd be fun to crank a few of those at as well.
FEBRUARY INTERMEDIATE FLY OF THE MONTH- DOLLY LLAMA and some variations
I've been tying a lot of Dolly Llamas lately and felt this would be a good pattern for the Intermediate Fly tying box. It's the number one fly pattern in Alaska. The movement of this fly will catch fish anywhere. This is an articulated pattern that features a 9.5mm cone, rabbit strips, and a nasty Daiichi stinger hook.
Here is a little variation I tied using the same techniques but adding some different materials. I tied this fly a little shorter for trout. Your box will have some of these materials for you to play around with.