Sunday, January 31, 2010


A. J. McClane wrote of the developmentof an angler as 'tide marks' in a journey.  To paraphrase he said first one only cares about quantity, later it is quality then species specific intrests.  The final stage for an experienced angler is only the desire to catch a fish that is difficult and elusive.

If I had to place myself in one of those stages of development as an angler I'd have to say it would be the second. I often chose waters new to me, away from the stocked streams, that harbor the increasingly rare Easter brookies.  It gives me great satisfaction to pull in a brightly colored native over farmed rainbows with fins all torn to shreds. 

Then again who doesn't love a day filled with strikes from ravenous trout eager to hit your fly.   Maybe a someday I'll attain that monastic urge to catch only elusive fish but for now give me beautiful trout and a lot of them.
Just something to think about.....

And yes its another wet caddis - I got 365 days of painting flies. That's a lot of ground to cover...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another Wet Caddis

Check out Reno at for a new set of posts about saving money, something we are all interested in.

Friday, January 29, 2010

SanJaun Worm

I am taking a break from the Caddis posts to honor a "fly" that got me a day saving trout a few days ago. The SanJaun Worm. Possible the simplest fly one can tie, the easiest natural food to imitate, and more than likely the most despised fly a purist can have in their box. I myself have looked on with distain at the corn and worm fishers that follow the stocking truck near my home waters like rats behind the pied piper. More than likely this intense dislike of the innocent worm stems from visions of these type of 'bait fishermen' that plague pure waters. Today I am swallowing that elitist attitude to defend the old SanJaun.

The other day, like some of you had already read, I finally made it to the water to wet a fly and test my ’skill’ at hooking trout. The weather was cold - Its SC so no, snow is usually not involved so I’ll not compare SC cold with cold from western or northern states - and the trout down here are southern trout and go deep when the weather drops. I knew I had to go deep to find the trout so the day started with heavy, time tested flies. First I tied on a few flies I’ve recently tied; some buggers, a Black Nose, a few other minnow imitations, fancy nymphs, not so fancy nymphs, and even a crawfish (a desperate act since although a beautiful fly, I have never had any luck with it).

After hours of frustration I looked into my box with disgust searching for something that would save me from blanking this trip and there it was. No… not in my box. Down on the small bit of sand I was sulking on. Partly covered with leaves and left for dead was a pale worm recently drowned by the heavy water flow that had flooded the river high on its banks. So I looked again into my box and down in a corner was a fly I had avoided all day. A fly I tied just to pass time and to ‘have just incase’. The pale red SanJaun Worm.

It worked, when no other fly would. In high fairly clear water loaded with leaves and sticks, the SanJuan came to my rescue. Today I say to the SanJaun “I salute you”………At least until the next time when I’ll surely skip over you countless times in favor of the neatly tied buddies of yours that look better and took more time to tie. You’ll understand right?…..

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Czech Fly


When I tie this fly it looks like a scud. Any suggestions for good color combinations for this fly.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Keep To The Basics

I did finaly go fishing today though it was a later start than I had hoped. I took a chance and fished a new stretch of water on Mathews Creek. Due to the rain the flow was way up but it is a nice stretch of water and look forward to hitting it again when conditions are a little better.

After loosing 4 of 5 flies dragging bottom with no results I moved over to the Saluda river to hit a hole I knew had trout. Again I used everything from Nymphs to Woollys, a Black Nose, Muddler, and even a crawfish without any result so I swallowed my pride and tied on a SanJaun with enough wieght to sink the Bismark and let her rip. I guess one should never underestimate the basics, I went through nearly every fancy and smartly tied fly in my box and in the end nothing, I break out The SanJaun Worn & End result: One 13inch Rainbow-fairly beat up but at least It prevented me from getting skunked. ..

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Same Fly - More Color

I have never had much luck with the cream color wet flies unless it was a minnow imitation (could've been my abilities to fish and not the fly).  The more natural color flies like this one seem to be more effective than yesterdays posted fly. 
Planning on a short trip to the Middle Saluda tomorrow to test out a few new flies. First time I've been able to break away this year.   I fully expect to get skunked.......

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Caddis Larva - Green

With over 800 known types of caddis flies in North America alone, its no wonder the caddis larva is so successful in trout as well as bass fishing.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Caddis Larva

This Caddis is the first in a series of flies that should track a small portion of the life cycle of the Caddis Fly. Popular sizes are 14 - 18 and a color combination of olive thorax and tan or cream body but there other colors that could be effective in different water conditions. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bead Head

A lot of my paintings reflect what I believe a fish sees.  Besides the bead head, what do you think it is?  A Nymph, Woolly Bugger, or something else...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another Trout

Here's another trout chasing the fly. 
On a different subject I have been tying a good amount lately and have come up with a good easy fly to tie. It's a midge pattern with a glass bead and a few strands of maribo.  Looks real good and can't wait to see how it fishes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Golden Trout

With its brilliant reds and yellows the western Golden Trout is one of best looking fish one can hook with a fly.
(notice the small fly in his jaw - the fly theme remains intact)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Royal Coachman

Another classic fly that has stood the test of time. The Coachman has numerous variations that imitate all types of food that trout devour.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Swamp Darter / Perch

I am waiting till the weather warms up to try this streamer. I've tied it with dumbell eyes to make it a heavyweight. I am hoping it will be effective on Bass.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pen & Ink Woolly Bugger

Easy to tie and effective to fish, the Woollys are one of the best streamers one can have in a fly box.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Woolly Buggers, Worm's, and other hackle streamers have endless possibilities and are effective on nearly all types of fish. Dark natural colors work well for me with trout but I have also caught fish with bright unnatural colors. This week I plan on a series on these streamers.

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4th

The fourth post of year and I'm thinking that this will not be an easy task four the year.365 is looking fairly daunting...

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I have never fished this fly but I've read it is just as deadly as the name suggests.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I would venture to say that every fly angler in the last 50 years has weted this essential fly at least once.  The first known use of this fly was back in the early 1920's on the Boardman in Michigan.  Named not after its creator but after the first angler to hook a trout with it,  the Adams Fly has been a big fish killer eversence.  It is one of my favorites.

After 4 days on the road I am finally on the home stretch.  Looking forward to getting home and tying some flies with the material I got during Christmas.

Friday, January 1, 2010


"Canst thou draw out a leviathan with a hook?" Job 41:1 What better way to start off new year than with the oldest known fly. The Red Hackles was fished with as far back as 230 ad and is still used today.
Have a great new year.