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.

An Upright Dad

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

What the world needs more of, so social ‘scientists’ say, are more upright ‘Dads. And so I thought for a thousand hours on how to ensure my own family has one–a ‘Dad perhaps unpolished but still of dignity and posture–a ‘Dad that can be counted upon. I was sure everybody meant a fly pattern (what else, after all?), and laying awake a score of nights over a score of months I planned out the achievement to the finest detail. My goals were to accomplish all the following:

• End up with a crawdad pattern in my fly box.
• It had to be fishable at depth without a lot of weight.
• The thing had to SWIM UPRIGHT when retrieved in wet-fly style.
• It had to be SNAG RESISTANT so that I could scoot it along the bottom.
• Use natural materials to absorb minimal water–stay light, stay easily castable with a 5-weight.
• Its parts had to move fluidly in the water as if alive.
• It had to look more like a swimming crawdad than any “easy-to-tie” ‘dads I’d ever seen.
• Above all it had to take mere minutes and very few materials to tie.

Considering my tying speed, that last one meant it should take a pro about thirty seconds. And I’ve achieved every one of those goals. I think you’ll like it; here are the Upright ‘Dad tying steps: more…

A Rose by Any Other Name

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Shakespeare is famously quoted: “It may be that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,’ but I should be loath to see a rose on a maiden’s breast substituted by a flower, however beautiful and fragrant it might be, that is went by the name of the skunk lily.” It is a quote that is often used when in a quandary over names. The names we give our flies (if we name them at all) follows no doctrinal pattern, no rules, no conventions or even logic. But we indeed give our flies names to identify them and distinguish them from other flies. I read recently in an online forum where an apparent novice fly tyer believed he had invented a new fly pattern. He had looked in all the references he had access to, and he couldn’t find an example of the fly he had just invented. He wanted help from forum members in naming the fly. Of that, he got very little as the fly (he thought he invented) was nothing more than a soft hackle with a pink dubbed body and a pheasant fiber tail. The fact that he could not find a specific example of that combination of materials was not surprising. Given the vast amount of different materials we have for tying flies, the permutations of different combinations are likely more than the national debt. But some flies do indeed get named so I thought it might be interesting to examine how we name our flies. more…

Fly of the Month – The Bunny Leech

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Erik Svendsen, Provo, UT

The Bunny Leech is a pattern that has been around for a long time.  It wasn’t until I saw Pete’s (@Blueriverflies) Spawn Head version that it caught my interest and made me want to tie it and fish it.  With any pattern, I love to over-complicate it and add more flash and materials.  I really wanted to make this look even more minnow like by adding the white belly and speckled guinea, and who doesn’t like flash on a minnow.

If you are using Blank Spawn Heads, there is a tutorial on how to paint them here: https://youtu.be/BrPkC_r-HhA

So enjoy and tie some up. The fish can’t resist them.