Monthly Archives: June 2015

Three Stones for the River

Guest blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, MT

Brook's Montana Stone Classic tie with synthetic yarn and without herl

Brook’s Montana Stone
Classic tie with synthetic yarn and without herl

Large stoneflies (Plecoptera) abound on our western trout and steelhead rivers. The number of stonefly patterns available to the angler is large. There’s a lot to choose from, both adults and nymphs. Clearly nymph patterns are the most important as they are year round food for the fish. Despite the wide variety of stonefly nymph patterns out there, in my mind there are just three that should be in every angler’s fly box on a western river. They can be tied with different sizes and variations to suit conditions as well as different stoneflies. They are basic, simple, and effective patterns regardless of variation, anywhere stoneflies are found. They can be fished year round.

It’s Our Blog’s First Anniversary – We Celebrate With A Gift To You

Today is the first anniversary of our J. Stockard blog, Thoughts On The Fly. We’ve had a wonderful first year with lots of inspirational writing about fly tying, fly fishing and life in general. If you haven’t checked out our regular contributors, please do!

mike cline introductoryMike Cline is a man of many talents and AVID fly fisher living in Bozeman, MT. His inspirational yet down-to-earth pieces range from how to sell excess fly tying materials (junk) on eBay to reports of his many day trips to Yellowstone and beyond. If you’re a geography and topography geek like we are, you’ll really enjoy one of our favorite posts, Nature at Work – New Waters. Read all of Mike’s posts here.


eunanhendron_cropEunan Hendron is a classic fly tyer who started tying flies around the age of 12 to fish still water winter competitions in Northern Ireland with his dad. His creations are all true works of art and he has a wonderful way of making his unique skill and talent seem accessible to any of us. Check out his post, Tying In Hand. You may not give up your vise anytime soon but you’ll be amazed what Eunan can do without one. Find all his posts here.


Michael_Vorhis 2Mike Vorhis lives, writes, fly fishes and follows his adventurist spirit in California and beyond. From in-depth product reviews to practical fly fishing advice, Mike provides plenty of fly fishing insight and is always a great read. We look forward to his four part series on Yosemite which will be published in July. See all Mike’s posts here.

In addition to our regulars, we’ve got plenty of other contributors as well as news from us here at J. Stockard.

Thanks for being part of our first year as bloggers! As most of you know, we often like to celebrate our milestones with a gift to you, our loyal followers and customers. So, here’s how to get 10% off any order you place in July 2015*.

*Place your order online, insert promo code blog10 and you’ll get 10% off your product total. (Promo code good July 1 to July 31, 2015. One code per customer.)

And, if you’d like to join us as a guest blogger, submit your post here. If you haven’t become a Thoughts on the Fly follower yet, sign up now!

To Dub or Not To Dub – Woolly Buggers

Original Blessing Woolly Bugger pattern with dark olive chenille, black marabou and hackle

Original Blessing Woolly Bugger pattern with dark olive chenille, black marabou and hackle

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, MT

Look in most trout anglers’ fly boxes and there’s a high probability that it contains a few Woolly Buggers in some form or another. It is an effective fly and just about always appears on recommended fly lists in books and on fly shop websites. The fly has a long history, well documented by Gary Soucie in his book Woolly Wisdom: How to Tie and Fish Woolly Worms, Woolly Buggers, and Their Fish-Catching Kin. Tying Recipes for 400 Patterns! (2005). When I first fished in Montana back in the early 1970s, the Woolly Bugger and Woolly Worm were commonly recommended flies and would be the first flies most fly shops would push on their customers. Back then, before the age of synthetic tying materials we now live in, Woolly Buggers were pretty simple. A clump of marabou, a few turns of chenille and a palmered black or grizzly hackle completed the fly. In the fly shops, most of the commercial flies didn’t even use any wire ribbing to protect the hackle. And of course this was a time before beads and cones, so most fly shop flies were un-weighted. more…