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Landing Fish - A Tale of Heroism and Tippet Size

Landing Fish - A Tale of Heroism and Tippet Size

Yeah... fought him for like 30 minutes. Curtis battling a beast rainbow trout Jay and I were on the way to the river with a more accomplished angler than we were.  We had been fishing for two whole years now and it was paying off because we could readily catch fish on our home river.  We got out of the car and started rigging up our heavy nymph rigs with appropriate bobbers when the more experienced fella sees us and exclaims "It's Summer time you guys!"  "Throw dry flies!" We were ridiculed for wanting to nymph and for fishing anything but 6x tippet.  I had never really thrown anything less than 4x, but I guess I needed to get to my local shop to get some lighter cable.  I was sure that I was going to break off on 6x, but hey - that's what the cool kids were using. This was the first time that I started paying attention to tippet sizes because now I had a complex about it.  Would lighter tippet really help me catch more fish?  Would I be able to l

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The Dubbing Emerger: Crazy Good Mayfly pattern

The Dubbing Emerger: Crazy Good Mayfly pattern

Ridiculously Easy Dubbing Emerger - Blue Winged Olive Version When I worked in a fly shop during college 20 plus years ago, I was enamored with the fancily tied Barr Emerger patterns that we seemed to sell hundreds of. They were (and are) such a fine buggy pattern that I found myself tying a lot of them. However, as I began to use them in my personal as well as my guide stash, I found them far too labor intensive to be used as a high-volume "guide" fly. So began the process of peeling off features to see how well the stripped down "easy" versions would do. First gone were the legs, followed by the wing case and finally the tail. In none of those versions did the effectiveness of the pattern experience any fall-off. None. In fact, that little pattern was so effective during a float with a couple of guide buddies down the Green River (Utah) that by the time we made it back to the lodge and fly shop, my friend and shop owner Denny Breer (RIP) came out and aske

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Egan's GTI Caddis

Egan's GTI Caddis

Another Winner From Lance Egan's GTI Caddis A couple of years ago, Cheech and I were fishing a back woods river with some fairly finicky Brown Trout. This day it seemed the fish were neither interested in dry flies nor streamers, so I ended up switching over to a tight line or Euro style nymphing method.  I went through a few patterns with not much luck and Cheech tossed me a caddis pattern to try out. My first cast into the next hole brought up a nice fish. A few casts later and I was tight into another. When all was said and done, this little pattern had turned my day around. It wasn't until a few days later when I wanted to tie a few of my own that I really paid attention to what he said the pattern was. Turns out I wasn't surprised when I found out this was another killer Lance Egan pattern. For those who don't know Lance, he's a super fishy dude that has some secret pact with the devil in exchange for wooing fish into his control and subsequently his ne

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Tie a Better Elk Hair Caddis

Tie a Better Elk Hair Caddis

Add some durability to a trout super fly Several years ago I came down with a serious illness called night fishing with caddisflies.  This type of illness will consume all that you do, and your thoughts will constantly be directed toward those low-light audible gulps where you think you can see your fly, but you aren't quite sure. The huge sound of a brown trout bowling ball slamming the surface for a caddisfly is one that is not soon forgotten. OK, enough reminiscing about that...  Elk Hair Caddis (EHC) patterns have been a staple in the industry ever since Al Troth graced us with it's presence.  It is an excellent skating pattern and has a lifelike tent shaped silhouette on the water.  It floats high, it's durable, and it catches fish so everyone should have them in their boxes right? Right.  I think everyone remembers their first EHC - the body and hackle go off without a hitch... but here comes that blasted wing that NEVER stays on top of the hook shank.  Do

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An Introduction to Nature's Spirit Materials

An Introduction to Nature's Spirit Materials

The best materials you didn't know existed. Nature's Spirit X-Caddis Hair I'm a self-admitted sicko when it comes to collecting materials for tying flies. I have more materials than I know what to do with and I'm always looking for more, so I feel I have a good handle on the brands and vendors out there. So imagine my surprise, if we flash back a number of years ago, Cheech suggested I try out materials from a "new" company, Nature's Spirit , I'd never heard of, that specializes in natural materials. So I trucked on down to a local fly shop and bought a few packs of dubbing and some biots to try out. Not only did they have a great selection and quality of biots, but the dubbings I got matched in color almost perfectly.  Then there's the deer and elk hair. Until I tied with a patch of Nature's Spirit comparadun hair, I didn't realize how crappy the hair was that I was using previously. It was that good. And I'm not joking here

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Purple Haze

Purple Haze

Purple is the new gray The Parachute Adams is arguable the most effective dry fly on the planet.  It can be used as a larger attractor/terrestrial pattern in larger sizes all the way down to mayflies and midges.  Yes.  It catches fish, but why let it go down as perhaps the most effective dry fly on the planet?  Andy Carlson decided to morph the Parachute Adams into a very productive trout fly by simply changing the body color to purple.  We know that the Purple Haze really isn't anything new in the trout world, but we wanted to show a slightly modified biot version, and we also wanted to show some super secret ninja tips on tying off the parachute and blending the tail fibers together.  After tying this bug I couldn't keep from wondering how this bug would fish in other crazy colors like chartreuse, red, orange, and yellow.  Time to hit the vise. ~ Cheech Learn about biots HERE . Recipe Hook: Daiichi 1180 #10 - #18 ( BUY HERE ) Thread: MFC 8/0 - Gray

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El Crawcito

El Crawcito

A Craw with some junk in the trunk "Hey...  You want to borrow this stuff for a while?"  Little did Bryan Gregson know that he was rekindling some very bassy spirits that lived deep within my soul.  I gladly accepted the Shimano Curado (the green one...  the GOOD one) and 6'6" baitcasting rod as items that would be on loan for the next 5 years.  See, when I first really started getting into fishing I had one of those donut shaped float tubes that would take me where the bass lived.  I was in heaven.  Casting a bright shiny spinnerbait along the reeds while getting eaten by mosquitoes was my preferred way to spend a day.  After Gregson lent me the baitcaster nearly 8 years after I sold all of my conventional gear, it was a 100% relapse even though I developed into a somewhat decent fly tyer and fisher...  Something about sticking a pig largemouth on a Texas rigged lizard through 3 feet of pure salad made me forget about fishing mayfly hatches on the river.  E

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I Sucked at Tying Flies: 5 Ways to not be me

I Sucked at Tying Flies: 5 Ways to not be me

Take your game up a notch Copper John, clean and purdy The other day while tying at a fly fishing & tying expo, we had a few people stop by our booth and mention how much they admired the flies we had sitting on display and would sometimes add a self-deprecating comment as to their fly tying skill level. I usually try to explain I'm really not a great fly tyer, I just fake it. But seriously, it's not really far from the truth and here's what I mean.... The first fly I tied was back in high school in the 80's. I didn't really get "into it" until a few years later when I got my first kit. My first flies were ants and mosquitoes for the high country of north eastern Oregon. I caught a lot of fish on those flies. And they were as ugly as sin. I still caught lots of fish. So all tolled I've been at this game of fly tying for near on 25 years. But looking back now, I'd say I spent a good half of that time tying super-crappy flies. It wasn&#

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The Fuzz Monster

The Fuzz Monster

The Ultimate Streamer Weapon Fuzz Monster with extra fuzz I have been tinkering at the vise quite a bit lately, and the other night as I was about to go to sleep I had a great idea for the ultimate streamer pattern.  I have only tied one of these, and it has only been fished on one trip, but the fish came to it with reckless abandon in the 15 minutes that it was tested.  We are kind of going back and forth about doing a video on this one because of the proprietary "fuzz" material that gives this fly it's namesake.  We are currently seeking a patent and some sponsors to help us get the word out about this pattern...   Let us know if you are interested in being on team Fuzz Monster.  Comment below on how you would fish it, and how you plan on getting the word out about this pattern. ~Cheech

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