J. Stockard Fly Fishing Blog

Welcome to the J. Stockard Fly Fishing Blog. We’re here to share advice, how-to’s, news and inspiration about fly tying and fly fishing.

Memorial Day Flies

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Lt Colonel USAF Retired, Bozeman, Montana

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere aren’t any flies that are especially good for Memorial Day fishing over and above a good woolly bugger or elk hair caddis. But Kate at J. Stockard challenged me to tie a few red, white and blue numbers for this Memorial Day blog. The challenge, which I accepted was made a tad difficult as I was out of town on business until the Friday before Memorial Day. I knew what I wanted to tie, but wasn’t home to do it. As I woke up on Friday morning after a week of travel, I took a quick inventory of the red, white and blue materials in my fly tying stash and noted a number of missing ingredients. A quick trip to the fly shop was in order. $50 later I was at the bench. The trip to the fly shop did have additional benefits because I needed my 2016 Yellowstone license for the season which starts on Saturday. When Memorial Day comes around it marks the kickoff of the Yellowstone season.  I was also able to catch up on the status of a few rivers.

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Rethinking the Indicator

Guest Blogger: Mike Vorhis, Author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller and OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller.

I think I use nymph patterns more than all other fly types combined; somehow I like the idea of them. And yet, like many others equally obstinate, I’ve been reluctant to adopt the indicator rig as my go-to nymphing technique. Something about suspending the fly below a bobber and letting it dead-drift seems to spoil the appeal for me. I’d much rather “work” the fly, and watch the line, and feel the take. I really just like the idea better, no two ways about it and nothing more complicated or defensible than that.

And so when I read comments from “The Masters” that while indicators will increase the fish brought to net and will bring a fisherman into proficiency faster, they will also delay a fisherman’s arrival at true expertise, I always opt to take that advice–I always seem to wave that as my excuse for not tying some thing-a-ma-balloon onto my leader. more…

Anabrus Simplex

Anabrus simplex

Anabrus simplex

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Boseman, MT

It’s 1848, in the early days of the settlement of Salt Lake City by the Mormons. Hordes of Anabrus simplex are devastating their first spring crops. In what became known at the “Miracle of the Gulls”, the plague of Anabrus simplex was wiped out and the crops saved. More importantly for the fly angler, Anabrus simplex, a very large insect, gained the name of Mormon Cricket. (It wasn’t actually named taxonomically until 1852). The Mormon Cricket isn’t actually a cricket but instead a flightless shield-back Katydid. As trout or smallmouth food they are a minor terrestrial species, but where they are found in conjunction with Western rivers, imitations of the Mormon Cricket can be very productive. Although not typically found in densities that grasshoppers are found, the Mormon Cricket is found throughout western North America in rangelands dominated by sagebrush and forbs. Medium to large rivers that traverse large expanses of sagebrush are prime opportunities to fish Mormon Cricket imitations. Occasionally, Mormon Crickets will form large swarms of 1000s of insects that are always on the move, up to 2 miles a day. When these swarms occur near rivers, many individuals fall prey to trout. more…