Posts Tagged ‘westfly


River Gages: Become Familiar With One Near You

Photo-Image-NOAA Gage Stations-NW USA-SwittersB

NOAA Gage Stations in Pacific NW

Whether you are planning a float trip, a fishing guide, a kayaker, a bank bound fisherman or a property owner monitoring a rising river, a river gage is an important piece of information. It may be a large measuring stick affixed to a bridge support that measures the rising waters or more sophisticated gages that measure height and CFS (Cubic Feet per Second). NOAA has such gages across the U.S. I am sure other countries have similar systems as a means of monitory flows. Become familiar with these systems for safety or whether a planned trip should be canceled due to projected blow outs of a river system.  A helpful suggestion: keep a journal or note somehow the fishable/floatable levels. Note when the river is blown out and note those levels. Note the historic floods and what is considered flood stage. Home Page NOAA. There are other excellent NW resources too: USGS Gages & Westfly


Fly Tying: Green Rock Worm Larva

One of the more prevalent freshwater insects, that is a tasty morsel for trout, is the Green Rock Worm Caddis larva (Rhyacophila).

Green Rock Worm SB


April Vokey Interview @ Westfly

This is a recent (12/23/12) interview by Scott Richmond of Westfly with April Vokey. I enjoyed this interview because Ms. Vokey provides a lot of solid, valid how to info in fifteen minutes. Give it a listen and you’ll learn a little bit…I think about the steelhead fly presentation. Westfly has a lot of excellent information going back several years.

april tony

A few years back, Ms. Vokey and my son, Tony, at the Portland Sportsman Show. Very gracious lady for certain.


Swimmer Nymphs & Pheasant Tail Backstrap

The Swimmer Nymph: The slender bodied nymph that undulates to the surface film (as opposed to crawlers, clingers, borrowers). Blue Winged Olives generally fall into this category and are often considered, over all, one of the more important mayfly species to learn about. Below, Pheasant Tail fibers are an excellent material to help represent that slender, swimming body. It was also used here for the wing case and gives that fuzzy effect. The Pheasant Tail fibers were run back over the top of the abdomen and extended into the tail. I wrapped the wire ribbing forward over the top of the pheasant tail pieces to secure them (Skip Nymph technique for back strap over abdomen). Some, in a more exacting style, would opt for fewer pheasant tail fibers, say 3, in an attempt for matching the natural image (3 tails).


Fly Tying: Green Caddis Larva in the Riffles

Green Rock Worm: Genus Rhyacophila

Green Caddis Larva: Genus Hydropsyche

Fast water nymphing in and beside that riffly water and just below. Some say first light and last light are the times best for dredging a larva pattern. Perhaps, but I have done well with greenish larva patterns midday as well. 

High Stick Nymphing The Riffles with Kelly Galloup


October Caddis Fly Pattern (Not just in October)


October Caddis~ Dicosmoecus by G. Muncy

The October Caddis are available at current edges or slower water by June or July according to Westfly, where I imagine they stage or prepare for the late Summer hatch.

Peeking Caddis~SwittersB

Peeking Caddis~SwittersB

October Caddis Dry~Smokey Mtn. Fly Guide

October Caddis Dry~Smokey Mtn. Fly Guide

 “There are apparently a number of different sub-species in what is commonly called October Caddis or Fall Caddis or Giant Caddis.  Most belong to the family Dicosmoecus. They range from California to Alaska.  
The larva of these giant caddis build tube-like cases.  During the winter months when the larva are tiny, these cases are made from vegetable matter attached to a foundation of silk.  As the larva grows in size through the spring months they abruptly switch to cases made from small gravel.  You can observe these larvae crawling around on the streambed dragging their cases with them as the forage for algae and decaying plant and animal matter.  During the the summer months of June and July Dicosmoecus larvae are important trout foods.  Daily behavioral drift cycles occur in the early afternoon, usually peaking about 4:00 P.M.  They are one of the few families of caddis that leave their cases before behavioral drift cycles.  This makes them extremely enticing to large trout.  In August these larvae seal themselves in their cases and by September they are ready to emerge as adults.”


October Caddis (How About a Stimulator or Morrish October Caddis?)

About October Caddis

‘This is the Great Pumpkin of Western rivers, a caddis that is almost as large as a golden stonefly. As the name suggests, it emerges in fall.




September Prospects (Westfly)      Westfly (not just Oregon) is always a valuable resource to stay current on flyfishing, entomology, flytying, enviro issues and how to points. Been around quite awhile and remains a solid friend.

Object of Desire

Object of Desire



Caddis (no point reinventing the wheel…read on)






Maggies Midge (Midge Pupa Imitation~Source Westfly~Oregon)

HOOK: 3X fine dry fly hook, sizes 10-16, THREAD: Black

TAIL: Few strands of white Antron yarn

BODY: Very thin sparkle dubbing (black, red, or olive)

RIBBING: Fine pearl mylar; BACK: Foam strip, colored to match body

THORAX: Arizona Synthetic Peacock dubbing , natural or golden

GILLS: White CDC, clipped short

Jeff Morgan writes about this fly: ” When chironomids are just about to emerge, they lie perfectly parallel to the surface film, a position tough to maintain with the emaciated patterns needed to consistently fool picky fish. This pattern achieves what is needed, a flush-floating pattern without the hackle or excessive CDC that would identify it as a fraud. This fly floats best with the addition of some sort of floatant (but not on the CDC), but with the foam and CDC it can usually last a couple of fish before sinking. On this and any other emerging chironomid, you can go crazy with flash, for the naturals are often glistening like the Hope Diamond thanks to all the trapped gasses inside the pupal skin. “You may find it helpful to first rib this fly with fine silver wire, then go over the ribbing with the pearl mylar. This will add to the durability of the fly’s foam back.”

Me: The pattern is interesting, yes, but  more interesting is the info re presentation considerations based upon Morgan’s assertion of horizontal positioning and the flash factor. Keeping the fly in that zone and matching the position is the challenge. Foam and floatant would help. Observation of the fly’s actions and the attempt to match that action in the design of the fly and the presentation is the fun. Solving the puzzle. That is the fun, no just seducing the fish.      

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August 2020

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