Picture this. It’s a sunny spring morning, you’re on your favorite river, and you walk up to a run that looks perfect for drifting your favorite nymph. Maybe some nondescript, semi-fuzzy bug. And maybe it’s a fast chute that you need something with some weight to punch through the current and get closer to the bottom.
The original Contraband Crab was a confluence of several of my favorite permit patterns: Bauer Crab, Scotch-Brite Crab, and McFly Crab. My goal was to incorporate all my favorite attributes or "abilities" and overcome each pattern's shortcomings. After several years of "test and tweak," the outcome proved productive all over the planet. But, targeting Sheepshead or "Prison Permit," a notoriously picky fish with human-like teeth, required some rethinking and adjustments to my old stand-by. It took some time, but with the help of my good friend Captain Codty Pierce, we managed to crack the code for consistently catching these crustacean-crunching convicts!
Many tiers will be familiar with the Silver Doctor, a classic salmon pattern that can trace its roots back to the mid-1800s. A beautiful, old school pattern with 24 distinct materials that few of us will have ever attempted to tie. That’s likely the case today and interestingly enough, was also the case back in the early 1900s.
Have you ever wondered why so many winter steelhead patterns feature orange or red components? One common theory is that during these fall and winter runs, the fish are conditioned to feed on the eggs, which almost always feature some shade of red/orange or even pinks.
Over the last few seasons, this month’s pattern has become one of my go-to nymphs for fall trout here in the mid-Atlantic. There is no exciting history on this thing. Ray Bergman or Polly Rosborough didn’t fish it. It doesn’t have a catchy name. And I don’t claim this as one of my original patterns as it’s a conglomeration of enough other bead head, caddis pupa type nymphs that I would feel a bit guilty trying to convince anyone that I invented it.
This month’s pattern is one of the more recent to come along and as tied here, it could be considered a general attractor nymph as much as a caddis pupa. With a full collar hackle of natural partridge, it’s almost remeniscent of an old North Country Spider.
by Matt O'Neal of Savage Flies: Find him on his YouTube channel at Savage Flies ...
Well it is officially terrestrial season. I was out mowing a field this past weekend-- Grasshoppers and crickets were all over the place. But this is not going to be another hopper pattern. I'm sure I’ll tie plenty more this summer but right now I've got plenty in my box. I'm going to tie a beetle pattern for you this month. But oddly enough, it's about as big as a hopper.
Now I’ve got an interesting dry fly for you today, that you probably won't find in a lot of books out there. I came across it recently when flipping through Kenneth Bay's 1979 American Fly Tier's Handbook.
This tactical pattern is most useful in flat, slow-moving water where trout get a long look at the fly before making an eat-or-don’t-eat decision. It suggests a “stuck-in-the-shuck” dun, and can work well when targeting rising trout that have refused more conventional patterns.
by Matt O'Neal of Savage Flies: Find him on his YouTube channel at Savage Flies This month’s pattern is a d...
by Matt O'Neal of Savage Flies: Find him on his YouTube channel at Savage Flies Now there’s been a bit of c...