Posts Tagged ‘Stillwater Pattern


Stillwater Chomper Pattern Redux

Earlier this week, I tied up a couple Chomper patterns and was not overly pleased with the results: too much materials and the resultant bulky fly. Today, I used the amounts suggested by Tim Rolston and I am pleased with the simpler, cleaner fly.

A single ostrich herl, 14/0 thread and a narrow, mottled shellback. Simpler, cleaner and I can’t wait to try it. The pattern is similar to many other ‘scud’ like patterns. The important part here is the material: Ostrich Herl. No head cement, no raffia, smaller thread, less bulk…nicer.


Fly Tying: Bakslengen’s

Visit the Bakslengen site for some very crisp, beautiful tying efforts.

I like this Damsel dry pattern with the braid tail and split braid wing. Simple and inviting....gluuump! Damsel Pattern


Stillwater Fly Pattern: Chub (CJ Rufus)

Came upon this pattern in the Bend Bulletin. A pattern called the CJ Rufus (I don't know). The pattern is pretty straight forward to tie (Wollly Bugger), but has the unique extended beard of rootbeer marabou and some flash. The fly is reputed to ride hook up, probably because of the over sized beard? The fly was offered by Gary Lewis here


Fly Tying: Bearded Wonder…’52 Buick

Here is a little gem I found a few of in a half empty fly box tucked away in a forgotten drawer in the garage. The ’52 Buick. An old time British Columbia classic I learned to tie long ago along with Carey Specials, Doc Spratley’s and Half Backs and Full Backs.

’52 Buick: What a nice little, basic fly for a beginner: a Size 10, 2xl nymph hook (here an old Mustad 3906B hook). The tail is dyed green Guinea feather fibers pulled from the stem and a clump tied in at the bend. The ribbing here is older gold tinsel, but today I would opt for copper wire. The abdomen is a dubbed green rabbit fur, but again any green dubbing would do. The abdomen was dubbed up 3/4 of the way and then followed with the ribbing. Then a beard of guinea. The beard is not seen as much these days. The wing case is peacock sword and the thorax is peacock herl. The thread was 6/0 olive. Even if you forgo the beard this is a simple pattern to tie, meant for stillwaters. Easy to tie and a classic pattern.


Calico Bugger

A typical Woolly Bugger pattern. The tying stages are the basic..crimp the barb and slide on the bead...tie in the tail material (in this instance, two colors of burnt orange over purple marabou)...then tie on the body material (black with purple rug yarn) at the rear, tie in at the area over the flattened barb and tie in the grizzly hackle by the tip at the same spot. Wrap the body material forward to the bead. Then palmer the hackle forward with even spaces (note my gap) and tie off and then bind it down behind the bead and done. The Calico Bugger was a great fly for me years ago in B.C. and then I got away from tying it. I am going to tie up a half dozen and see if they produce this year on the lakes and even in the rivers. The body material could be dubbing or one of the newer chenilles as well.


Fly Tying: Kaufmann Lake Dragon Nymph

The Best Dragon Fly Nymph, created by Randall Kaufmann. (SwittersB)

SwittersB isn’t given to such pronouncements as a rule. I came perilously low on my tied up Lake Dragons last season, in fact this the last one in all my lake boxes. If you enter Dragon Fly in my blog’s search box you will find 70+ entries on assorted patterns and pontifications about the dragon fly nymph for stillwaters or my superstition about its magical powers it bestows upon me once in flight. Ok, maybe it is a touch hot out on the waters sometimes.

But this pattern is top rated amongst all the Dragon nymphs I have tied. The Lake Dragon just produces. This time around, I will tie some that are less weighted and fish the shallows/shoals/weeds a little better. The pattern has been around for quite awhile, but you won’t see it in shops as much anymore, so you must tie up this beauty or some offer it on line.

The original pattern was a 50/50 blend of olive green rabbit and Angora. Along the way I added orange rabbit…a very little bit…in the thorax dubbing.  I noticed red or orange straggles over the years in the original patterns so very subtlety protruding from the head or thorax. Not sure it has made a bit of difference.

Fine or medium copper wire for the ribbing. Olive marabou, chickaboo or filoplume for the tail. No weight, single layer or doubled layer of wire wraps. Plastic dumbbell eyes…no single bead head here! Cut the wing case from a turkey feather that you lacquered with some clear drying goo. Then tie in the six pieces of pheasant tail fibers on each side, not extending but half way back in the abdomen. The abdomen and the thorax are dubbed from the same mix of fur. With today’s blends you can come close to the color, but the original works great. A size 6-8 hook with 8/0 olive thread binds it all together.

So, this is one of my four tying goals, initially for this Spring:

1. Tie up at least two dozen Lake Dragon Fly Nymphs

2. Tie up several dozen Green Rock worm caddis larva

3. Tie up several dozen unweighted Woolly Buggers in the Black, Brown, Green colors

4. Tie up a few more black/brown ants and whatever else pops into my mind.

More information on the legend Randall Kaufmann. In the day, he had already been there before……………….


Fly Tying: Biot Hot Spot on a Bugger

Regard the ubiquitous Woolly Bugger…I make no apologies in promoting or using the fly. It just works. But, the last few years with the Woolly Bugger (Little Fort Leech) and the Lake Bait pattern, I used dyed hot red and hot green hackle fibers or dyed hot red marabou fibers either at the top of the tail, but shorter than the tail length or at the sides tied in at the head. I have been wanting to experiment with the side of the head spot for an attractor hot spot. In the Brown Buggers, below, I used a dyed red goose biot. I will explore the length, durability and success of the material. Remember, the hot spot here is for an unweighted fly, so the hot bead head is not an option. Of course, the two could be combined with a heavier weighted fly.

Woolly Bugger w/ Hot Red Goose Biot, Unweighted, Size 8

The Tried & Very True Little Fort Leech (Hot Spot On Top of Tail)


Fly Tying & Fishing: The Leech

I have come upon Leeches in the shallows of lakes, particularly in B.C. Fly fishing literature promotes the use of Leech patterns for stillwater fly fishing.

The Little Fort Leech has been a very successful fly pattern for me. Does it simulate a Leech in the water, by its appearance or presentation? SwittersB

Typically, you see the Woolly Bugger pattern offered up as the go to Leech pattern, or maybe a brushed out Mohair or Synthetic Fiber Leech pattern. Check Google Images Leech Fly Pattern and you see the range of patterns and attempts at innovation toward the real critter.

A Leech photograph by Karl Ragnar Gjertsen. This is a Leech in a more or less compact position, that could stretch out considerably longer. The left, Anterior portion, is the 'front' of the Leech

Leeches reportedly move in an undulating locomotion. Tying and fishing a Leech pattern with that in mind would focus upon the presentation of the fly; how the materials contribute to a sense of undulation and is the pattern shaped like a Leech. Many ‘Leech’ patterns are misshapen and presented in a horizontal mode with only the slightest undulation, usually imparted from the bead head.

I have taken to fishing a Leech pattern off the bottom in the shoals beneath a slip bobber. This is particularly effective if the water’s surface is rippled enough to impart a slight up and down movement to the bobber/fly. First light, last light and dark skies are good times to fish those shallower areas where the muck and debris suits the Leech. I have often found them on my waders in that first few feet of water as I am getting into my pontoon boat or back to shore preparing to exit the pontoon. The bottom is often muck and woody debris.

This is a nicely shaped Leech pattern by RickB called the Slight Leech Streamer. The shape is excellent and the marabou tail would provide the undulation. Some might use a narrow tuft/straight cut piece of rabbit fur. The abdomen of this fly appears to be wound Marabou, although wound Ostrich herl might work also.

Rick B’s Slight Leech Streamer Recipe

Here also, is a good piece re Leeches by Syanley Scharf


Woolly Worm: Serviceable Beginner’s Pattern to Tie/Fish

Whether it is Woolly or Wooly, the Worm’s turn appears to have passed for the ubiquitous Woolly Bugger. From a beginning fly tier’s perspective this is a simple, but effective pattern to tie. I suggest staying with the original chenille or some of the newer sparkle chenilles. The pattern can have the ‘hot butt’ red tag (or other hot colors) but you can go for a natural hackle barbs/fibers tail as well. Short of a few panfish, carp or lake fly fishers, you will seldom encounter this pattern any more.


I would suggest, beyond the hot colors style, to tie up the pattern in black, brown, green and yellow with black, brown or grizzly palmered hackle. Natural colors on size 6-12 hooks with a 2xl-3xl shanks. The fly can be more than an ‘attractor pattern’ as it is so frequently referred to these days. You will notice the patterns above do not have the bead head. They could, of course, or have weighted wire wrapped around the shank. You can forgo the weight and use a weighted fly line to sink the fly into the appropriate zone.

Whether the Woolly Worm was inspired by the frequently seen Butterfly Caterpillars or not, it is a fuzzy morsel to be used for all manner of fuzzy, enticing morsels.

Whether Dragon, Damsel, Hellgramite, Stonefly, large Caddis Pupa, Caterpillar or ‘attractor’ the pattern can be mixed and matched with natural to hot colors, slender or chunky, weighted or unweighted the pattern is simple to tie and versatile in its applications.


Beginning Fly Tying & Fishing: Balanced Fly Patterns

On Stillwaters, the presentations can be vertical, diagonal or horizontal. The Intermediate Clear/Camo line is indispensable for that horizontal presentation. Tonight, I was watching a WFN show (B.C. Outdoors) and Phil Rowley was mentioning a horizontal presentation with a ‘balanced fly’ beneath the slip/strike bobber (floating line). I did a little checking and discovered the fly pattern promotes a horizontal path beneath the bobber, a non-slip loop knot and the hook point riding up.

The combo of the hook eye set back and on top. The bead head and materials should be presented to provide a balanced fly when drifted with a loop knot. Phil Rowley

 The experimentation will be to extend the bead out just far enough beyond the hook eye to achieve a balanced presentation beneath the loop knot/bobber. Query ‘slip strike bobber’ in the search box upper right and you will see several past posts regarding how to rig up the bobber/pin & the ‘non-slip loop knot’. I wonder if some jig heads would achieve this same balanced presentation? Still worth a little experimentation on lakes and wind drifting a pattern beneath a slip strike bobber.

Balanced Leech Pattern by Andy Larkin

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