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Crystal Killer

Crystal Killer

Tried and true stillwater fly Purple Crystal Killer I have written about going to new places and perusing shops in search of the local fly pattern that everyone was using, so I guess I'll share the Utah version of the local "legend" fly pattern.  The origination of this pattern varies based on who you ask, and most people will tell you that it was developed by Byron Gunderson (co-owner of Fish Tech in Salt Lake City).  I had the opportunity to work at Fish Tech for several months while I was in between jobs in 2010 and when I asked Byron about the Crystal Killer, he promptly told me that it was his wife Deette who developed the fly.  Regardless of who tied it first, it's a bona-fide trout slayer. (another plug for Fish Tech...  If you are ever in SLC, you need to check it out.  It's not your typical fly shop because they cater to all types of fishing, but they have an insane amount of tying materials.) It's a spinoff of arguably the world's

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Bug Collars and new dubbing

Bug Collars and new dubbing

New Tying Fodder Jig style nymph with Bug Collars We'll, no doubt, push out a more complete review of both products here, but I wanted to at least throw down a preview into what's brewing. First off, if you've been cruising the interwebs lately, you've likely seen at least a glimpse of Bozeman Fly Goods' Bug Collars. These are a nice addition to or even replacement for beads. They offer a a variety of colors and sizes in a convenient stackable series of "collars". In the pattern here, I tried them out on a jig hook with a slotted bead. Even though I ended up reversing the orientation of what you'd normally do with a recessed hole bead, they still worked out great. Next is the dubbing. We're excited to be working with John Rohmer even more with his Arizona line of dubbings. This time around, it's the longer fiber version of Arizona Synthetic Dubbing. If you haven't used the regular style, you need to get you some and double it up w

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Bikes for Brookies

Bikes for Brookies

Mountain biking on the fly Passing a small pond in a meadow As I've written about before , I like to spend a good portion of my summers in the high country chasing Brookies, Grayling, Cutt's and those sorts of reclusive ugly trout. For a few years now, there has been a series of small remote mountain lakes, down some pretty gnarly roads, we've been exploring here and there. Some of the roads are 4X4 friendly, some are ATV-esque and others are more hiking oriented. So this time around, rather than worrying about an ATV or an even longer hike, we threw the bikes in the truck and decided to use pedal power to get to some fish. I'm, by no means, any sort of biking guru. I ride my mountain bike for exercise and as a means of transportation to my office each day. But I get enough questions from people who ask about ideas on good hikes or even bike rides into fishing locations that I figured it's something to discuss here. There's no harm at all combining a li

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Flying Black Ant Tutorial & HMG Review

Flying Black Ant Tutorial & HMG Review

Heat up your tying sessions I had seen a couple videos and photos floating around showing this method from Joe Nicklo, so I decided it was time to try out his HMG (Hot Melt Glue) method for tying flies. If you're interested in the supplies for this method, Joe sells them on his website here . As you can see here and on Joe's website, there are some really cool patterns that you can whip up using hot melt glue as part of the fly. HMG Mayfly by Joe Nicklo HMG Scud by Joe Nicklo Anyway, my concern to begin with was how well the glue stick material would take to being scorched with a super-hot soldering iron. Surprisingly, it didn't take long to get the hang of light touches and sculpting the material on the hook. With the exception of a few errant stabs and swipes, I found it relatively easy to work with and shape the flies I tied. Overall, though as you can see from Joe's website, you can really tie a lot of different style flies with this method. Definit

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The Butthead Attractor Fly

The Butthead Attractor Fly

It simply floats high and gets eaten Do any of you have a fly box full of junior varsity players that you can tie up quickly and give to your buddies who always snap off their flies in the trees?  I do.  It doesn't mean that these flies won't catch fish, but I'm not about to give up one of my more complex flies just to have it hang off of a limb or rust out under a rock...  Rant over.  Kind of. I was going to head out fishing with a few guys that had just started fly fishing and I wanted to make sure I had plenty of flies in my box that I could pass out.  I was strapped for time, so I started whipping up some stimulator variations with hot spots,and what came out of the vise was a pretty slick little bug that was pretty easy to tie.  It could either pass as a larger caddis, or a smaller stonefly - one of those tweener patterns that make the fish go nuts.  When we got to the river one of my buddies tied one on and hooked up right away with this fly so we all ended

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The Fly Airbrushing Revolution

The Fly Airbrushing Revolution

The Copic Airbrush system First off, this is literally one of the more fun tools and techniques in my tying arsenal. I first learned about these cool fly tying tools a few years ago and have been using them ever since. Nowadays, you'll see a lot of tyers out there that have finally picked up on this little gem, so it's not just a passing fad. Not only can you have a blast painting poppers, but the Copic Airbrush system can be used to paint crease flies... Crawdad bodies... And whatever else you might have in mind. The beauty to this little system is that you have the creative power of an airbrush but with the convenience of the patented "hot-swappable" marker system. You can literally swap from color to color in a few seconds with no clean-up in between. Not only that, but the airbrush system is portable by virtue of it's "canned air" system or you can go "plugged" with a standard craft or airbrush air compre

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Low Fat Minnow - Perch Version 2

Low Fat Minnow - Perch Version 2

Not so Low Fat anymore By now you are probably pretty familiar with the Low Fat Minnow and the many shapes and forms it can take.  Also, you have probably seen our Bruiser Blend dubbing that we have been selling on the site for several months now.  Well, I developed Bruiser Blend dubbing specifically so I could get more length on the Low Fat Minnow.  I like the way this minnow swims so much that I'm blending a new length of bruiser blend to take the place of the Lazer Dub on the smaller version of the fly too.  This new version of the minnow has been a great addition to our arsenal, and we constantly get pictures sent to us showing off what the original Low Fat Minnow has caught, so give some of these bad boys a spin and let us know how they do for you.  This new color scheme is a KILLER for smallmouth in perch filled waters, and the top and bottom colors can be swapped out to make your perch as bright or as subtle as you want. ~ Cheech Updated Recipe:

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Hackle Primer - Why Buy Expensive Hackle?

Hackle Primer - Why Buy Expensive Hackle?

Good hackle = good flies Royal Wulffs tied with Whiting hackle Whiting Euro Saddle I can still remember the first hackle that I bought.  It was a dun colored neck hackle that I had to save my pennies for, and it was definitely put to good use.  As much as that hackle served a purpose, it also caused a lot of frustration when I was trying to tie certain types of flies.  I can remember almost giving up on tying parachutes because the stems would twist, and I remember having to tie in two to three feathers to get the hackle bushy enough to work for some attractor patterns.  Yes, it was useful... but I think I would have been far better off buying a better neck or saddle.  It took me a while to realize that I was better off saving my money to get better hackle, so I decided I'd put my experience and opinions on hackle on the site. Buying a top of the line piece of rooster won't guarantee that you will tie just like the "pros," but it sure does put you on

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Dry Fly Fishing with a Nymphing Rod

Dry Fly Fishing with a Nymphing Rod

Whodathunk? As I wrote about last year , I ended up getting a fancy Allen Icon 10 foot 4 wt rod for Euro style nymphing. Since then I've put a lot of mileage on this rod and it's pulled in a lot of fish. One of my initial hesitations about going with a 10 foot "specialty" rod was the thought that I'd have to go to a different rod when fishing dries. Now granted, you won't fish the same leader setup on a dry fly rig than you would with a euro rig, but I was still worried about how it would cast and affect my presentation of delicate dries to big attractors. Allen Icon Series Rod So I ended up working the 10 footer into my dry fly fishing repertoire for the past few months and have really been impressed with the results. Rather than thinking I'd throw the 10 footer when I didn't want to nymph but still go to the 9 footers for normal dry fly fishing, I've now ended up opting to reach for the 10 footer for most of my small stream and river s

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Un-Matching the Hatch

Un-Matching the Hatch

Sometimes you gotta go against the grain A Brown trout took kindly to the Pink Bling On a recent trip to the river expecting some big fish on some big bugs, we weren't disappointed as we arrived on the water to begin the flogging. Bugs were everywhere:  caddis, stoneflies, a few mayflies and some nice juicy cicadas. Knowing the bigger fish will often target the bigger meals, I tied on a big chunky cicada pattern and began hucking it into the promising spots. An hour later and only a couple of fish to hand and I tried a stonefly pattern hoping that would be the ticket. Not a bite.  Cheech was having similar results as we switched off throwing different patterns at a very fishy looking seam. Time to change it up. Similar to George Costanza's opposite day, as Jerry puts it, "If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right." So, as these fish obviously didn't care much about our hatch-matching attempts, I figured it was time to

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