Monthly Archives: June 2019

Fly of the Month – Sprout Midge Emerger

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Paul Shurtleff, Springville UT, You can find Paul @:,

The following fly pattern is tied to resemble the emergence stage of a midge pupae. This is my Midge Emerger…

Midge insects or diptera (Latin, meaning “2 wings”), are common in most fresh water streams, lakes, rivers and waterways world wide. Midges have many names and are commonly called buzzers, gnats, chironomids, dipterans and a plethora of nicknames for the same type of insect. These insects resemble and are often mistaken for mosquitos, which they are a close relative to, although harmless (as in midges don’t bite you!).

The life cycle of a midge has 4 stages: Egg, Larvae, Pupae (emergence) to an Adult and they hatch year round in most areas, even during the winter months. Midges often hatch in prolific numbers so great that during certain times of the year there can be literally billions of midges gathered into massive clouds of buzzing midges near and over the water. Midges range in size depending on the body of water where they’re found in and are typically anywhere from a hook size of a #8 down to and including a #32. Typically, midges are a little larger when found in lakes and still waters where they’re more commonly called chironomids, but on tail water rivers and streams it’s not uncommon to be fishing with and using midge fly patterns sized #18 and under with tippets smaller than 5x. What midges don’t have in physical size, they more than make up for in their vast numbers. In some areas, midges make up as much as 60% or more of a trout’s diet which make them a staple food source for not only trout, but for all fish species in waters where there are midges. more…

Stoneflies with Color

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

Pteronarcy californica stonefly

In the Western waters when the Pteronarcy californica stonefly hatches, the fish abandon any elusiveness they may have possessed. Known as the Salmon Fly, it is one of the largest of the stoneflies. During the hatch if you didn’t see one land on you, you might think it was a bird. In the Yellowstone drainages the hatch can begin from the end of May to early June. This varies throughout the park depending on the water temperature at different elevations of the park. At higher elevations, a close relative of the californica species, the princeps species will hatch later than the californica.

The Salmon fly Pteronarcy californica spend up to three years as a nymph before emerging. During the months prior to the hatch in any one year there are three sizes of nymphs under the water in various stages of development. The nymphs are often the most numerous species in Western rivers and streams. It is wise to have some imitation of these prolific nymphs. After the hatch, there are two sizes that remain until their complete development. Just prior to a hatch, the generation that is about to hatch migrate from their rocky hiding places to shallow water where they eventually crawl out of the water and attach to nearby rocks or vegetation. That is where their husks split open and the wings emerge. It is the clumsy flying egg laying females that fly low over the water or settle on the water and deposit their egg’s while the fish are voraciously feeding. more…

Choosing a Crayfish – Part 2

Guest Blogger: Mary S. Kuss, Life-long avid angler, licensed PA fishing guide, founder of the Delaware Valley Women’s Fly Fishing Association

In Part 1 of this post, I talked about choosing a crayfish pattern. In this post, I show you how to tie one of my favorites.

MK Baby Crayfish
Hook: #6 Mustad 3366 or equivalent
Thread: Danville 3/0 Monocord, Brown
Wire: 0.025” lead or lead-free
Weight: XS nickel-plated dumbbell eyes
Tail: Grizzly Marabou, Brown or Sculpin Olive
Glue (Optional): Brush-On Super Glue
Body: Micro Polar Chenille, Brown or Brown-Olive
Legs: Silicone leg material of your choice
Dubbing: Coarse rusty brown

1. De-barb hook and mount in vise. Lay a thread base from the head position back to the hook point and forward again to about a hook eye width back from the back edge of the hook eye.

Catch in the wire on top of the hook and wrap thread back to the hook point and forward again. Break off the wire at the back of the thread base. Align wire on top of the shank. more…