Posts Tagged ‘baitfish


Sprucing Things Up……….

This coming year, I intend to Spruce things up more. To start, while searching the depths of streams, rivers and lakes, I intend to use the Spruce fly and other streamer/baitfish patterns more than I have. Of course, the Woolly Bugger complies with this intention to some degree, but even then I don’t use it as a baitfish imitation (in my mind’s eye). 

spruce fly ™ SwittersB

Spruce Fly

This is not an advocacy piece. It seems many fly fishers often use streamer/baitfish patterns. I seem to have some how never fully committed to their use. I have tied sculpin patterns, Muddler Minnows, Spruce flies, Matuka’s and assorted concoctions of rabbit and such for Bass. But, they are always a side experiment.

I suppose if I was searching for Brown’s I would more often use such patterns. But I don’t come across Brown Trout that much. But, the biggest Trout I have ever caught (13#, Central Oregon lake, 1995) came to a Spruce Fly. I have made this commitment several times over the years, but somehow fail to follow through.

Don’t try to figure out the photo. I am not sure why my son staged the fly with an old silver bracelet. But, there’s the Spruce Fly he tied.


Big Fish Eat Little Fish: Chad Johnson’s SlugGo Pattern





African Fly Angler’s Make Do Dubbing Brush Setup

The African Fly Angler’s Dubbing Brush Setup

Simple, effective setup for spinning fibers between the appropriately thin wire to form dubbing brushes to wrap around the hook shank. TAFA uses these brushes for baitfish patterns. Check out his blog for other posts with nice baitfish patterns. The African Fly Angler


Crappies & Small Baitfish Flies

Crappies love streamer patterns and lures that represent baitfish. TMuncy with a Minnesota Crappie (L. Traverse)

Any pattern that suggest a bait fish or minnows is suitable for Crappies. Flash, movement and sihlouette are the primary triggers to provoke strikes from Summer time Crappies. Yes, the Crappie can be taken with a horizontal presentation. Vertical is not the only way. SwittersB


Fly Fishing: Lesser Fish

As Winter closed out, our minds seemed steered toward BWO’s, March Browns, Stoneflies, Caddis and the march of pending Mayflies: PMD’s, PED’s, Green Drakes, Yellow Sallies, on and on into the Fall’s October Caddis. Of course, that is for rivers and streams. If you fish any lakes, as I do quite a bit, then there is a whole array of different morsels to consider…I won’t bother you with that here.

I am still experimenting with Sculpin, Dace, Shiner patterns. But, aside from seeing some Sculpins last Summer, I have not done enough research on them. So, I am going to continue my observations on the water; research watersheds and lakes that I fish throughout the year, and peruse the images for streamer patterns that would match the lesser fish species scurrying about the substrate and debris of rivers and lakes.

Below image: The fly’s color maybe confusing with the bluish hue. It is Hareline’s Ice Dub UV Grey & Brown blended. It turns a mottled brown in the water.


streamers, leeches, bombers (articulated or hinged or trailer…some history)

Black Heron Fly Fishing

Black Heron Fly Fishing

Not too long ago I received some questions about tying Articulated Leeches. I knew a little about the popularity of these flies due to their success in enticing strikes, but I was in the dark about how to articulate the two hooks. It prompted a little research on my part to find some hsitory and methods for tying these flies. What I found was a bit confusing, however, and I really didn’t like the methods that I discovered.

So, it seems that there are many methods used to tie connect the hooks for these flies. The underlying principles behind all them are strentgh, action, and anti-fouling. Obviously, when you are fishing for heavy fish in fast water, the concern is that with two joined section of hook shank, you do don’t want to lose a fish due to a weak joint. The purpose of the articulation, in the first place is to add life-like action to the fly, so that it entices fish to strike, believing it’s the real deal. And finally, the joints need to be tied in such a manner that the rear shank will not double back and get fouled with the front shank, ruining the action that the articulation was designed to impart. If all of these characterics are present, combined with the right pattern color and size to match the conditions, these flies can be unbelievably deadly.


The Grey Fred (Killer Baitfish Pattern for Coastal Environs)

Grey Fred, tied by Gerhardt Lund Anderson, photo by Hans Weilermann @ Danica

Grey Fred, tied by Gerhardt Lund Anderson, photo by Hans Weilermann @ Danica

The fly is very universal imitation of any small, bright fish, and can even stand in as a shrimp. It is of course tied in the very well known Wooly Worm tradition, but still differs from this mainly with it’s eyes and large dubbed head. You can vary the fly in color and get almost any nuance you want. Brown and black are a staple colors in many boxes, but orange can also work well. But the far majority of Grey Fred’s are brightly grey like the fly shown here.

This is a pattern quite similar to a Dragon, Damsel, Baitfish pattern tied by Henry Hoffman of Oregon. Henry uses the chickabou/afterplume feathers from developed capes to tie many of the traditional  subsurface patterns. I am partial to Grey Grizzly combo and have had nice success with the color in B.C. and Oregon. The GFF how to segment is great on explaining how to tie the pattern and the variations of the fly. This pattern is also similar to one I have tied in the past, but not Palmer ribbed like a Wooly Worm or Wooly Bugger, the smaller Scarecrow.





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July 2020

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