Category Archives: Clay Cunningham, Cody, Wyoming

Fly Fishing – What Works?

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

There are countless books published on fly fishing that cover every aspect of the sport. Many writers have produced books of instruction to show us how to cast, the knots to use, the flies that might work best, numerous books on how to tie flies, and how to play the fish once it is hooked. Every one of those books can contribute to your knowledge and make you a better fishermen or fly tier. Once you have read a couple dozen of those books and put into practice what you’ve learned for several years on your favorite trout waters or fly tying bench, you will be a better fly fisherman and, or fly tier. more…

Clay’s Take On Streamers

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

tying freshwater streamersOne of the replies to my Minimum Fly Box article wondered what I have as streamers in my fly box. I tied a lot of Carrie Stevens’ patterns that she developed in Maine years ago, and I used them when fishing in Maine and a few of the Lakes of the Adirondacks with some, but not exciting success. I tried a few of her patterns I liked such as America, Carrie’s Special and the classic Gray Ghost pattern as described in David Klausmeyer’s book, Tying Classic Freshwater Streamers. This book, a first edition, is now listed for a used copy at $124.99 on Amazon. Fortunately, my copy was $39.95 in 2004. If you can find a reasonably priced copy at a garage sale, I recommend buying it. If streamers are your love, this is the book to have. more…

Experimental Fly Tying

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

Among the many pleasures of tying your own flies are creating flies that you believe are better examples of a particular insect than the many examples that already exist. It is generally an established fact that some well-known patterns such as the Adams dry fly, elk hair caddis, Royal Wulff, the pheasant tail nymph, and the Prince nymph to name a few  are more effective than many others. Creating new patterns is something many, if not all fly tiers do, but many fly tiers also try to make minor changes to the proven fish-catching patterns that could make that fly selected more frequently by trout. I do that a lot though I never have kept track of every change I made and a written record that would support success or failures enough to be able to provide expert testimony on all the results. more…