Category Archives: Fly Tying Tips & Tools

Simple Flies – CDL BB

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Adaptation of new materials to old ideas can sometimes foster simplicity in tying but also produce effective flies. The CDL BB is such a fly. Part Clouser, part bottom bouncer, the CDL BB takes advantage of a new hook, the 523 Firehole Stick heavy jig hook from Firehole Outdoors and the ever increasing variety of Coq de Leon rooster and hen saddles coming out of the Whiting Farms. The pattern is desperately simple: more…

Choosing a Crayfish – Part 1

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

I’ve been looking for a few good crayfish fly patterns for many years. I’ve rejected the vast majority of the ones I’ve come across. Many of them have a very realistic appearance, but are overly complex for my taste. They tend to be both time and labor-intensive to tie. These are not good traits in a fly that will be put at risk in the hazardous environment of a stream bed. The other problem with these elaborate ties is that, despite looking as though they could crawl away on their own, most of them simply do not fish well. A good imitative fly pattern not only has to resemble the natural food item in question, it also has to behave like it once in the water.

When I discovered the Clouser Crayfish, in the mid-1980’s, I felt that I finally had a keeper. This excellent design proved very effective when fished dead-drift in riffle and run areas of my favorite warmwater streams. However, it did not track and behave well when actively retrieved. I began to understand that it might be necessary to have two go-to crayfish patterns—one for drifting and one for retrieving actively. I had my dead-drift pattern, now I needed to find a good swimming crayfish pattern. more…

Crazy 8 Chironomid

Guest Blogger and YouTube Fly Tyer, Darren MacEachern of Piscator Flies

When I first started fly fishing, the easiest access to water was the still water pothole lakes of Alberta. I quickly grew to love chironomid patterns and their ability to catch fish in a variety of conditions. While chironomid patterns are simple, they cover a great range of colors and sizes. With them having hundreds of species spread over every corner of the globe, you can almost be assured any body of water will have the wriggling pupa hanging around. more…