A Simple Hendrickson Nymph Pattern

This time of year the trout on many central and northern Wisconsin trout streams are feeding on the Ephemerella subvaria, commonly referred to by most fly fishermen as the Hendrickson hatch. These prolific little mayflies offer some great trout fishing in the Spring. The Hendrickson hatch usually lasts for 2-3 weeks under normal weather conditions. During this time an effective nymph pattern can be deadly on trout looking for the nymphs drifting in the current. I prefer a simple nymph pattern that is super easy to tie and extremely effective cast across and down.  It is just a tail and … Continue reading

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A Simple Crayfish Pattern

I saw on a forum a while back a fairly simple crayfish pattern that I really liked and I thought it a good job of resembling a crayfish. It was also designed to have the hook pointing up so it won’t snag as easily. A crayfish pattern can be very effective on the northern freestone streams so I decided to try my hand at tying a simple crayfish fly pattern similar to what I remember seeing. I first tied in dumbbell eyes on top of the hook by the bend so hopefully the hook point will face upward and keep … Continue reading

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Hardy Zenith Rod Review

This is a quick, first-hand review of the Hardy Zenith fly rod. I first tried the Hardy Zenith fly rod in the summer of 2013 while staying out at Campfire Lodge in West Yellowstone. At the time I only lawn cast it in front of their Cafe/fly shop. I was surprised how easily I could throw a lot of line and yet still drop it where I wanted it. They sold 4 Hardy Zenith fly rods while I was staying there that week. Later on I ended up getting a 9 foot, 5 weight, 4-piece Hardy Zenith rod from Jim … Continue reading

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Whiting Hackle – Wall to Wall

I received an email sales newsletter tonight from JimsFlyco.com and they seem to have even more Whiting hackle in stock than what I saw last Fall while out at Campfire Lodge (see photo below). I snagged some of the Whiting hackle they had in the newsletter and listed it below for anyone interested. This should make any fly tier drool!! Whiting Red Label Capes (http://www.jimsflyco.com/whiting-red-label-hackle/) Whiting Gold Capes: Brown, Light Ginger, White Whiting Silver Capes: Grizzly dyed Olive, Grizzly dyed March Brown, Grizzly, Furnace, Speckled Badger Whiting Bronze Grade Capes: Grizzly, Barred Medium Ginger, Golden Badger, Barred Dark Ginger, Grizzly … Continue reading

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A Trout’s Window of Vision

Reading last night the book The Trout and the Fly by Brian Clarke and John Goddard. It was a good refresher for me to remember what a trout is able to see floating on the surface from the world below. This has also been written about in several other excellent books in the past, including A Modern Dry-Fly Code by Vincent Marinaro which is worth reading as well. Below are the diameter of a trout’s window (also called the cone of vision) in flat calm conditions from the book. (I am keeping this simple and avoiding any discussion of the … Continue reading

Posted in Trout Feeding Habits | 1 Comment

How a trout might view an emerger fly pattern

Playing around again this past weekend I tied a CDC Hendrickson parachute-style emerger pattern on a TMC 2487 curved hook. I attached my fly to 2 feet of 5x tippet and cast it several times into my aquarium to see how it would land. Every time the fly landed exactly as i wanted it to. Then I proceeded to take a few photos. Notice in the bottom right photo I have the camera submerged in the water. You can clearly see the fly’s body hanging below the surface film but because of the mirror reflection caused by the surface film you … Continue reading

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So What Do Trout See From Below?

I have often pondered what does a trout actually see and why does a trout eat our impressionistic fly patterns that actually do not look anything like the real insects? These questions popped into my head again early in the morning on this New Years Day. So I grabbed an early morning cup of coffee and began to ponder these questions that I have done so many times before. In my small fly tying cubicle I have once again this year added a 10 gallon aquarium full of water and no fish. I prefer to use it to see what … Continue reading

Posted in Fly Tying, Trout Feeding Habits | 2 Comments

Tying Fran Betters’ Ausable Bomber

One of Francis Betters legendary fly patterns that he designed for the Ausable River in upstate New York was the Ausable Bomber. It’s a wonderful searching pattern especially designed for fast water freestone trout streams. I decided to start tying this old Adirondacks pattern first this new winter tying season to use on some of my northern Wisconsin trout stream hangouts next season. The overall buggy appearance of this fly pattern along with its oversized forward slanted white wing definitely can capture the trout’s attention. Like Fran Betters’ Ausable Wulff the Ausable Bomber is tied with all natural materials and resembles … Continue reading

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As darkness falls on the trout stream

With snow on the ground and winter fast approaching I have begun my annual reading of various fly fishing books, some old and some new. Recently I have gotten the bug (no pun intended) to read about how we think trout see and how they use their eyesight to help detect their prey at distances in the water as well as on the surface. This has lead me to ask how well do trout see at dusk or in the dark? Is darkness an advantage to night time aquatic insects? We know trout possess eyes that contain both rods and … Continue reading

Posted in Trout Feeding Habits | 3 Comments

What triggers a trout to eat your fly?

Since trout can’t talk the question of what makes a trout eat our fly pattern has been a question asked by fly fishermen for centuries. Recently I have read a lot of articles and blogs written about how fish see and how it relates to catching more trout. While scouring the Internet a blog post that caught my attention was: “What Does The Trout See?” on the Gink & Gasoline website. The author seems to suggest that different colors, or lack of colors, in different stream settings and conditions may help catch more trout. Once again we read about the … Continue reading

Posted in Trout Feeding Habits, Trout Fishing | 5 Comments