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.

Grand Kids

Guest Blogger: Phil Rispin, fly fisher, photographer & more, find Phil’s photography here

When the first one came along I was in my 50’s and to my mind way too young to be called Grandpa so I insisted on the moniker “Papa” just as my father had years before when our first one was born. To my surprise and great joy being a grandpa turned out to be a really good gig and continues to be to this day. I dragged my family and their young families into my fly fishing adventures at Frontier Lodge near Nordegg Alberta and Blue Bronna Wilderness Camps in the southern Kananaskis. Both organizations graciously allowed me to bring everyone along while I taught and ran the Fly Fishing programs. more…

The Value of Keeping a Journal

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

As a 12-year-old school boy trapper during the 1948 season a professional trapper was teaching me to trap furbearing animals. He also taught me to keep careful records of my observations, which sets were more productive than others and to maintain those notes forever. Over the years I collected numerous journals of my observations and success or failures on the trapline, hunting, the foods preferred by animals, fishing flies that appeared more productive than others and experiences of fishing in western and central Pennsylvania from 1948 to 1955, during three summers in the northern Adirondacks of my college years, during the years I fished in Yellowstone, the five years I fished the east side drainages of the North Cascades and almost nine years I was in central Alaska.

I had occasion to review those numerous journals of observations I wrote about during a recent research project that involved bison and wild horses. This is when I noticed my records indicated that there were some dry flies that were consistently productive in all the waters I fished from Pennsylvania, the Rocky Mountains, the North Cascades of Washington and Alaska. more…

Fly of the Month – Bluegill Belly Bean

Bluegills will often hit just about anything when it is spring time and they are on their beds. They are tenacious when guarding their beds and will strike at anything in their territory. But if they are not bedding, things change, especially in late summer.

I designed the Bluegill Belly Bean for late summer time when the bluegill are no longer on their beds and usually stay deep in the water. You can get the Bluegill Belly Bean down to find them and get their attention. Cast it out and countdown and let it sink. How long to count down depends on how deep the body of water is you are fishing or where the bluegill are holding. But I would say 10 or 15 seconds is a good start. Sometimes you might be able to just give it a twitch and the bluegill will take it. Other times you might just have to leave it sitting still or you may have to strip it and get it moving before they will strike. You just have to try different tactics to see what they like on that particular day. Normally they are not as easy to catch when they are not guarding their beds. more…