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Guide Highlight - Colby Crossland

Guide Highlight - Colby Crossland

Channel your inner moustache Every February Curtis and I make a trek to Utah's green river to celebrate our birthdays (he's a LOT older than me.)  These trips usually consist of waking up at 4:30, driving for about 4 hours to the river, fishing midges until we either get bored of catching fish or get frozen to the core, and then head back home.  Some years it's midge fishing bliss in moderate winter temperatures, while other years it's filled with snow wind and Curtis crying himself to sleep on the way home.  This year it was an especially great trip, not because the midge fishing was insane, or the temperatures were speedo Colby with a meat eater worthy.  It was great because we finally got to float the river with our buddy Colby Crossland.  It's kind of one of those things where you always talk about fishing, but life happens and stuff...  Well, we finally made it happen. We have known Colby (who is now a d-list celebrity due to his moustache and sw

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AP Emerger Variation

AP Emerger Variation

A Hybrid of a Hybrid fly AP Emerger variation When I was still fairly new to the sport, the annual outdoors expo was the highlight of my year because I could go wander around looking at flies, gear, etc...  I was going through a phase where I fished lakes 90% of the time, so I was always looking for the latest greatest stillwater pattern. I tied flies a lot, and at the time, they boxes were loaded with leeches, buggers, and other abominations that I called flies.  It was at this show where I saw Denny Rickards giving a presentation on his patterns and techniques for stillwater angling, and like he starts off so many times, he started by telling of a fly that was illegal in most states because it caught so many fish.  We all knew it was BS, and so did Denny.  I guess that was his way of getting people's attention by telling them that he had an effective fly.  Don't quote me on it, but I think the "illegal" fly changed between the seal bugger and the AP emerge

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Biot Midge Pupa

Biot Midge Pupa

Add some spice to your pupa life Biot Pupa On a trip to one of our favorite cutthroat waters this summer we decided to see what would happen if we decided to match the hatch instead of throw the typical foam marshmallow-like flies that they are known to eat from time to time.  I tied the biot pupa on underneath a big foamer, and it got pretty ridiculous pretty quickly.  I was fishing the olive and copper biot pupa, and at one point in the day I landed 6 fish in 6 casts...  In your face Curtis. This is a bug that we have been fishing for a few years now with great results, and It's a good way to kind of break up the standard Zebra Midge routine with a cool bug that catches plenty of fish.  This particular pattern in brown and blue does great on some of our more picky midge waters, and the color combinations are endless due to the wide array of colors that are available.  Check out our favorite color combos below the video. ~ Cheech Recipes: Brown/Blue Hook:

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Flügenblinger Bugger

Flügenblinger Bugger

Who doesn't need a little bling on their buggers? Flügenblinger Bugger I must admit, it's really been a few years since I've consistently fished any sort of standard bugger or leech pattern. I find myself opting for chironomids, baitfish or other more match-the-hatch style patterns when fishing lakes and reservoirs. However, a few weeks ago, I was going through some stillwater boxes and came across a style of leech/bugger combo pattern Cheech and I used to fish a lot. It incorporates Arizona Simi Seal into the body (as opposed to say a Chenille) but keeps the stand-by hackle aspect of a regular bugger and then you blend it all together to create an awesome full-bodied pattern that's the best of both worlds. We are, after all, mostly trying to imitate leeches or other bigger insects such as damsels or dragon fly nymphs here, so having more lifelike movement, some translucency and a good natural-looking body taper is a good thing. Plus we throw in some extra blin

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Deep Dish Callibaetis 2.0

Deep Dish Callibaetis 2.0

Dialed in and drake-compatible A Drake-ish version of the Deep Dish As I've written before here , here and here about the Deep Dish Callibaetis, it's one of my go-to still water patterns. Although not the most simple of ties out there, it's a fun pattern to whip up and looks cool to boot. And while originally intended to be just a wicked callibaetis nymph or emerger, this past year I ran into a couple of brown drake hatches that got me thinking about turning it into a brown drake nymph as well. But here's where you need to put on your bug nerd hats and understand the leap between a Callibaetis and a Drake (Epherema Simulans). A Callibaetis nymph is classified as a swimmer, while a brown drake is a burrower. They're sized differently but overall coloration can be similar. Compare the two photos below. Both insects have lighter brown/tan contrasting colors on the body and wing case as well as fairly pronounced gills along the abdomen. And although both photo

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Chuck's Midge

Chuck's Midge

A pupa for all seasons I was introduced to this fly several years ago on a winter fishing excursion with Charlie Card on the Green River in Utah.  It was one of those days that were almost too cold to fish, but after an hour's drive I was determined to make the best out of it.  Charlie and I hit the water and kind of split up a bit to hit two different runs in the river, and my strategy was to start small and get smaller if I didn't get anything to eat.  I was about to tie on a #28 midge pupa when I decided to go upstream to see how Charlie was doing.  No surprise, but he was reeling in a nice fish that was just one of several that he had caught that morning.  When I asked about the special sauce, he said that he was fishing "green."  I made some adjustments later that day and ended up putting a few fish in the net on flies that I might have considered too big for January fishing.  One of the flies that Charlie showed me that day was a blinged out pupa with a dou

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Sprout Midge - Dry Fly

Sprout Midge - Dry Fly

Sometimes Simple is Best Black Sprout Midge I remember very clearly when I first started to fish midge dry flies.  It was kind of one of those areas that I considered waaaaay over my head, because it wasn't just dry fly fishing - it was trying to catch picky fish on what seemed like a tiny fluff of carpet on a tiny hook.  I had been fly fishing about a year, and I had a trusty Pflueger Trophy Tamer 6 wt and a matching reel that was equally awesome.  My friend Aaron and I were fishing the Green River in Utah, and the fish were really targeting small midges on top all day long.  This was my chance to jump in head first to the midge dry fly circus.  I had tied some small parachute flies that were copies of the flies that I had seen in bins in the local shops in Salt Lake, so I lashed them on with the smallest tippet that I had (4x) and hoped for the best.  They weren't the best ties in the world, but the fish absolutely ate them up, and that day went down as one of the mos

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Quill Body Midge Pupa

Quill Body Midge Pupa

Downsized buzzer style A pile of Quill Body Pupae There are likely only a few fly fishers who have not, at some point or another, had to fish a midge/chironomid/buzzer pattern. Many freshwater trout spend a good portion of their lives picking up these little (and sometimes pretty big) bugs for lunch. In stillwater (i.e. lake and reservoir) fishing circles, the ubiquitous buzzer or chironomid patterns are a staple of the fly box and come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. However, as I've looked over my boxes from the past few years, I realize my flies and corresponding insect samples from stillwater outings land a bit on the larger size, running anywhere from #14's up to #8's on average. This doesn't usually translate over to rivers and streams as well, plus the bigger flies tend to be loaded with more realistic features. So, as I looked at my river midge boxes with zebra midges, thread midges, WD40's and a number of others, I realized I really

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