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.

Wading Along The Halophytes

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

It was early October and I was lucky enough to steal five days of fishing in some of my favorite Tampa Bay haunts in advance of a few days business in Pittsburgh. The bay was cooling off, sea trout were abundant along eel grass flats and snook were moving inshore for the winter. Windy weather forced tough decisions about where to fish but there was enough sheltered water to make the trout fishing comfortable with the kayak. Although tides were favorable for good angling, timing wasn’t. Mornings, my normal time on the water, saw rapidly rising tides which limited my ability to do much wading around the most productive spots. On day three however, low tide occurred a bit later in the morning and the wind direction brought me to a shoreline that doesn’t get much pressure because it is isolated on two sides by a deep channel and on a third side by a dense Mangrove shoreline. As I paddled out into the flat opposite the Mangrove shoreline, I exited the tethered kayak and started targeting the edge of the flats and the deep channel. A large white gurgler stripped along the channel edge brought numerous trout exploding on the fly. For about three hours I was able to safely wade along a 1900-foot shoreline before the rising tide forced me back into the kayak. more…

Unique In All But Name

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

“It can’t be the same,” I thought. I peered northward across 22 miles of open, third-of-a-mile-deep Lake Tahoe water, trying like an idiot to see past the earth’s curvature to the more famous section. “It’s not the same river…is it?”

I was standing in the water of what’s called the “Upper Truckee,” imagining the rambling, freestone, sho-nuff Truckee river a long ways north, which drains from the lake’s outlet. I was feeling the sandy bottom of this sleepy little serpentine rivulet in which my feet were soaked. How…and why…could anyone conclude that this small thing trickling into the lake’s south end, and the western-style river coming out the other end a long day’s horse ride away, was the same river?

As usual a history lesson was needed. In 1844, noted explorer John Charles Fremont, then camped near what Nevada would later call Pyramid Lake, heard of a river a few days west, rich in salmon and trout. He tried unsuccessfully to convince the indigenous people, who had traded him a large salmon, to guide him to this river. Later the same year a different group of explorers became disoriented near what’s now the Humboldt river, and met an old tribal man named “Truckee” who agreed to guide them, thereafter coming to the same freestone flow heard about earlier by Fremont. On arriving they elected to name that river after their guide, which is how the famous Truckee River got its name. more…

The Woolly Bugger and I. Can you dig it?

Guest Blogger: Justin Aldrich, avid fly tyer and J. Stockard customer

(We started as rivals, now we are friends….very close and always together friends.)

The good all started with my “Matuka Bugger.”

The classic pattern “Woolly Bugger”, and a few of my Bugger Variants, (Matuka Bugger, Deer Head Bugger, Articulated Bugger, Soft Hackle Bugger, just Bugger style flies.), has turned this Fly Fisherman into a statistic. I am now just one of the MILLIONS of Fly Anglers for whom the Woolly Bugger has accounted for many many fish and fun filled trips. (I’m a firm believer that the beauty that lies in this pattern comes from its simplicity to tie and use on the water.)

The Bugger, my “Matuka Bugger” to be more exact, landed me my FOUR biggest Trout. All earlier on in 2015, and they were back to back to back. ….to back. (On my trusty 3wt and Click & Pawl reel I might add.Lol. What a ride.)Those four Trout on that trip that year still stand as my personal bests.

The story starts in Febuary 2015, while the “Streamer craze” that year was still going strong. So many Trout all through Winter were being taken on Streamers all throughout the United States.

I was riding with a buddy to the Stream, going through a drive thru, amped up as usual, and going over our plan of attack. Coincidentally I was telling my friend how I had tied a few Woolly Buggers to use this trip. I said coincidentally because I also included in telling him that I had no idea why I had tied them. Why I was going to try and produce with them yet again since I had used them several times before, especially in the start of my Fly Fishing journey, and have failed miserably each time.