Cheech's top 5 subsurface patterns of 2013

 Danger Lurks Beneath

Synthetic 20 Incher

For the past two or three years I have been on a nymphing/streamer kick, and I'd say that about 75% of my fishing is done beneath the surface.  In particular, this summer has been one of european style nymphing and throwing streamers, so I thought I'd share the flies that were on my line most of the time.

Masked Marauder / Synthetic 20 Incher:

Tan Masked Marauder

The Masked Marauder in both light and dark applications has been so very good to me ever since it's first dip in the water...  I added the Synthetic 20 Incher (pictured above) because it's pretty much the same fly without the fancy wing case.  I think one of the keys to the success of these patterns is the use of Arizona Synthetic dubbing that is used for both the thorax and abdomen.  These patterns can be tied in a wide variety of sizes and colors due to the synthetic materials used.  I mainly fished these flies in size 10.  Masked Marauder tutorial HERE.

Arizona Prince:

Tan Arizona Prince

The Arizona Prince is another pattern that is very versatile, and can be tied in a variety of sizes and colors.  I usually use the original prince color, or a tan variation to fish the streams that we have here in the west.  I have wanted to try out an all black version, but I never got around to trying it.  I  fish this fly in either a size 8 or a size 12.  Tutorial HERE.

Mongrel Meat:

Mongrel Meat
I know what you are thinking here...  "No Cheech Leech????"  Well, because I spend so much time on the water trying to develop new patterns, the Cheech Leech didn't get as much playing time in the box this year because it's such a proven commodity.  Out came the big-eyed Mongrel Meat, and it was just as deadly.  I really like the way it swims in the water and how the bulky head pushes water.  I think it fishes better than the Cheech Leech in clear, spooky water because it doesn't have quite so much flash.  I fished it with both a sink tip, and with regular floating line depending on the type of water I was fishing.  Olive and Black were my top producers.  Tutorial HERE.

El Sculpito:
El Sculpito

I have wanted a good small-profile sculpin pattern for a while, and I think I finally have something that fits what I need it to do.  El Sculpito came into my mind last winter, so I had to patiently wait until spring to really give it a good workout.  What I really love about the Sculpito is that it has a knack for hugging the bottom and slithering through the rocks without hanging up.  The silicone fins give it a great fat-head profile, and also helps create a cool jigging action on the retrieve.  Tutorial HERE.

In all, I fished many different fly patterns this year, but these 5 have been the most consistent producers for me in 2013.