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.

Novitius incuriose tractata super constructione musca tube*

Even small soft hackles can be tied on tubes

Even small soft hackles can be tied on tubes

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Like all things Latin, tube flies were a mystery to me until I started gathering up some materials and tying them. Apart from just learning how to tie tube flies, my goal was to create a decent selection of flies suitable for our SW Montana trout (and maybe a few for Puget Sound cutthroat). This really meant adapting most of the patterns I already use to the tube fly style. Of course it is still a work in progress but as the title of this post reflects, as a novice tube fly tier, I have developed a few initial observations that may prove useful to others. For the moment, we will have to leave the question as to whether tube flies provide any significant advantage on the water for the trout angler over traditional hook based flies. Many tube fly enthusiasts claim they do, but until I can test out some tube flies on the water, I cannot claim any advice one way or the other. Although there are ample suppliers of tube fly materials online (J. Stockard included), tube fly supplies aren’t that prevalent in brick and mortar fly shops and retailers, so despite claimed advantages, this style of tying isn’t mainstream as far as I can tell. more…

Fly Fishing Saved My Life

Guest Blogger: Leroy Dickey, Manchester NH

I entered my doctor’s office this morning with not a single thought of people that touch our lives, feeling that I didn’t have time to worry about my health because everyone in my life was depending upon my me for their success – with absolutely no regard for my physical and mental health.  Deadlines to meet, careers at stake and customers facing shutdowns…several million dollars at stake if I did not come through.

Thanks to one special Physician’s Assistant, Bonnie, whose father is surely looking upon from heaven with more joy than we are capable of imagining, my perception quickly changed as I began to think how people touch our lives.  First, she not only read the chart from my last visit, but also recalled personal conversations that I had long since put behind me.   Most importantly, she listened.  Not simply to the words projecting from my mouth, but truly listened with an open heart, which enabled her to see the whole [entire] message that I was conveying.  A message that I, myself did not realize was there. more…

Tying Flies – The Only Books You Will Ever Need

Guest Blogger: Clay Cunningham, Cody, WY, retired National Park Superintendent

the fly tier's Benchside referenceI started learning how to tie flies when I was twelve years old in 1948. Obviously, my early production of wet flies, Quill Gordon’s, Hendrickson’s, Mickey Finn streamers, and crude nymph imitations were pretty ugly. Some might say my flies are still ugly. My fly tying speed is slow and my skill is average. I tie flies slowly and methodically. Tying flies for me is a pleasurable hobby rather than a rush to produce quantity.  During my early years I collected most of my fly tying materials from animals that I and others hunted or trapped. My first fly tying vise in 1948 was $3.95 from Herter’s catalog where I also bought a lot of fly tying materials, a bow, arrow making supplies, trapping supplies, reloading equipment and even their U9 rifle in .30-06 caliber during their prime business years from 1948-1968.  I used the Herter’s fly tying vise from 1948 to 1994, when I bought one of the popular rotary vises and gave my fully functional Herter’s vise to a young beginning fly tier. But, this is about the only books you will ever need to become a good fly tier. more…