Chewy October Caddis Nymph
Hook: Dai-Riki 135 #6-#8
Bead: Black Nickle (-1) Size
Abdomen: Orange Antron Yarn
Rib: Hare’s Ear Dubbing
Collar: Black UV Caddis Dubbing
Wing Buds: Starling
Antennae: Pheasant Tail
Weight: .015 Lead (or substitute) Wire
Thread: Black 8/0
This is an October Caddis pattern with extra fish sauce. The perfect imitation that is heavy enough to get you in the zone and keep you there. I typically run this fly as a dropper off an even heavier fly but your mileage may vary. While I consider it a Steelhead Nymph it has the added benefit of catching plenty of trout to keep things interesting. In tying this pattern I am using a new technique that adds a little something extra to the segmented body. By layering in a dubbing rope of Hare’s Ear you get some extra movement and segmentation. Enjoy!
Posted in Fly Pattern
, Steelhead Flies
, Trout Nymphs
Tagged with: Caddis Nymph
, Central Oregon
, Deschutes River
, Fly Patterns
, October Caddis
, Tips and Tricks
This simple pattern has become one of my go-to patterns for skinny tailwaters like the Crooked River in Central Oregon. I fish it just like I would a Zebra Midge as my bottom fly with heavier flies above. Using a loop knot is critical to get the proper action during your dead drift. You can easily tie well over a dozen an hour with minimal materials making this a perfect guide fly. I tie this pattern in three primary colors; black, olive and brown. Experience tells me that the smaller the better, I prefer to tie these mostly in the 20-24 size range but you can adjust to your local conditions.
This past year I experienced the power of the fly fishers PowerBait; McFLYFOAM eggs. As many of the other videos on youtube will tell you this pattern is much more challenging to tie than it looks at first glance. It takes incredibly strong thread, some luck and [my secret] superglue! There are a number of variations that can be tied and I encourage you to tie some with tungsten beads for extra weight, veils also add extra fishiness. I have historically tied this egg about a dozen different wasteful ways but after some internet research I think I finally perfected my process and I can crank them out almost faster than I lose them. The video shows how I tie Steelhead sizes #6 and #8. Smaller eggs for trout will need a smaller diameter barrel and less McFLYFOAM. I will suggest that you do as I say and not as I do and don’t obsess about the perfectness of your sphere; you can honestly bind some yarn on a hook and do just as well.
McFLYFOAM GLO Bug – Steelhead Egg Fly
THREAD: Gel Spun (GSP) in White 50
HOOK: Dai-Riki 135 or other suitable glow bug hook
BODY: McFLYFOAM (color or mix of your choice)
CEMENT: Zap-A-Gap (Brush on)
Lady Caroline Steelhead Fly
On a recent trip in my early morning haste I tested my knot so thoroughly that I pulled the delicate wing from one of my Lady Caroline’s. Stuck at home today I decided to repair the wing with an old Mallard Flank (gasp!) and snap a quick photo to record the repair. I find it strange that while I carry a box of 50 Steelhead flies on a normal day that it just never feels like enough. This one will live to fish another day.
UV Radioactive Rock Worm
RRW – Steelhead Pattern
While spending a long winter weekend refilling my boxes with next fall on my mind, I was working through the design of a nymph pattern that I could fish confidently in all conditions for summer steelhead. I was searching for something that inspired a bit more confidence in it’s profile and weight. I needed a pattern that was more substantial than the skinny little unweighted glass bead head patterns I have been fishing with these past few seasons. A few variations later, I landed on this pattern that has all of the accoutrement required of a summer steelhead magnet. It has enough weight to get down and glows like it was birthed in the bowels of Hanford.
Radioactive Rock Worm
Hook: TMC 2457 #6
Thread: Black 6/0
Head: Black Nickel Bead 4.0mm (5/32)
Weight: Lead or Lead Free .015
Rib: Ultrawire sm black
Body Material: Ice Dub Olive
Shell Back: Fl. Green Edge Bright
Legs: Black CDC
Wings: Starling feathers
Collar: Black Caddis UV Dubbing or similar
A good friend of mine Rob Naughton of Pendleton Oregon has been telling me about his plans to upgrade his Willie Driftboat bottom from Gluvit to something a little higher tech. He has been researching a specialty coating called Wetlander which he tells me was designed for use on airboats and race foils, because of it’s ultra slippery but durable properties. Rob has always been a great mentor to me in my professional, personal and fishing life and he definitely did his research on this project. I think the results look spectacular and I can’t wait to go for a ride in some skinny spring water.
Wetlander has a great video on their website of a dog trying to stand on a finished boat bottom and it is unable to even stand, this stuff is REALLY slick. Rob agreed to let me post his great how-to video for the benefit of the Central Oregon drift boat crowd. At the end of the video he has some great drift boating photos and some great music. Enjoy!
This past week I have been tying every BWO pattern I can get my hands on. My work has been in anticipation of dropping water levels, after massive rainfall, that has blown out everything in Oregon including the Metolius these past few weeks. I have been playing with CDC in a number of variations from Catskill dries, Parachutes, Spinners and Klink’s. This is a pretty simple pattern that is a true winner. Shown is a sized 18 and that should be sufficiently small for most needs but when it comes to a winter BWO hatch smaller is often better.
Blue Winged Olive Klinkhammer
Biot Butt BWO Klinkhammer
Hook: Light Wire Scud 16-22
Thread: Olive 8/0
Abdomin: Olive Goose Biot (wrapping over some loon water based glue or superglue will improve longevity)
Thorax: Ultrafine dubbing BWO / UV
Wing: Dun CDC
Hackle: Light – Med Dun sized to hook
This fly has been floating in my head since I first saw a picture of Dec Hogan’s B&O fly. Purple is one of my favorite Steelhead colors and red is a great compliment to the two tones of purple in this pattern. What I like so much about this pattern is that it doesn’t have a traditional wing which makes it a better combination for a brighter day once the sun gets a bit higher in the sky. This will create a dark silhouette against the bright summer sky. I like the name RMP as that is the name of a NYPD police cruiser; Radio Mobile Patrol. Dec Hogan is a Fire Fighter and ties a fly called the Pompier (Fireman in French) I work in Law Enforcement so I thought this variation of his B&O is appropriately named. I just acquired my first 4 x 5 x 2 Model 1461 Richard (RW) Wheatley fly box and this will be the first of 30 additions to it. These flies will be for fishing, not for show; they will attempt to bridge the gap between a 3 day atlantic salmon fly and a 5 minute chenille based GBS. I look forward to sharing the progress of the completed fly box. Thank you to Amy Hazel at Deschutes Angler for helping me out in selecting just the right box: http://www.deschutesangler.com/wheatley-fly-box/
Hook: Alec Jackson Spey, Silver
Tag: Purple Floss, Silver Oval Tinsel
Body Rear: Angora Red Dubbed
Body Rear Hackle: Three Turns Bright Purple Saddle
Body Front: Angora Purple Dubbing Loop Brushed
Rib: Oval Silver Tinsel
Cheeks: Jungle Cock (optional)
Hackle: Dark Purple Schlappen
Horns: Lady Amherst – White
Thread: Purple 8/0
I discovered this week that it had been nearly 3 months since I even tried to catch a trout and at least six months since I tied a single trout fly. I have been absolutely obsessed with chasing Summer Steelhead on the Deschutes this summer and fall. This past weekend I decided that I needed to get out one last time and chase a trout before the weather turns completely cold and the fishing slows to a crawl. I drove out to the Crooked and fished for a few hours while the sun was in the canyon. It was a perfect day, probably 50 degrees and calm winds. I landed a few nice fish and it was a challenge to get the job done in the low and relatively clear Crooked. It just wasn’t the same, what I really wanted was a 13 footer in my hand, casting and stepping the day away. The weather has just not been cooperating with my weekend warrier schedule but there is a long weekend coming I thought and the 10 day looks promising.
I drove home and immediately started tying traditional flies for next summer with a few intruders just in case I make it over to the coast in the next few months. I am actually worried that I will not stop and thus have no trout flies for next summer. I quickly realize, I have touched almost none of the hundreds of trout flies I tied last winter, I should be safe.
B & O Summer Steelhead Fly
Lum Plum Steelhead Fly