Bob and his wife live in a small, northern Vermont town called Craftsbury, spending much of his angling time at their camp in Rangeley, ME, home of the “best brook trout fishing in the lower 48”. As much as Bob loves fishing in Maine, it’s Alaskan fly fishing that has become his passion, particularly floating remote Bristol Bay rivers.
If you ask him, Bob will implore you, “If you haven’t floated a wild, Alaskan river, you should!”
One of the reasons he finds Alaska so great an angling destination is its spectacular variety of chasable fish species. Be it a hunt for dolly varden char, rainbow trout, grayling, chum or coho salmon, Bob’s felt their tug on his fly in Alaskan waters. Add on float plane flying, gravel bar camping, the wildly beautiful northern scenery and wildlife, and lasting friendships he has developed in this great state and Bob’s totally hooked on the Alaskan angling experience.
Tying flies for Alaska fishing trips has become a ‘business’ for Bob, which he has kept deliberately small to maintain the fun. Clients of Bob’s fly tying business include Alaska Fly Fishing Goods, Wild River Guides, Angler’s Alibi and many individual fly fishermen. Bob’s Facebook page can be found at alaskasignatureflies.
Fishing up north is one of the main drivers for innovation in Bob’s fly tying. “Although I’m convinced there is nothing truly ‘original’ in tying,” Bob says, “my Alaskan patterns are unique.”
Of the many flies Bob ties and fishes, his favorite pattern is the Megawatt. The Megawatt has been fished hard and has seen many improvements over the years. What started as a Kilowatt clone has through its evolution turned into Bob’s #1 fly. Mainly a salmon fly, it has hooked big char, rainbow and grayling, and it is equally effective swung or stripped.
See how to tie this fly here.
List of Materials: Megawatt Fly
Hook: Gamakatsu Ninety Degree Jig 1/0
Thread: Danville 210
Eyes: Double Pupil Brass Eyes
Tail: Marabou and Flashabou
Body: Anadromous Brush
Bob’s materials come almost exclusively from The Caddis Fly Angling Shop. “Selection and service at Caddis are second to none. I thank Chris and the rest of the staff for their support. It means a lot,” Bob said of his Caddis Fly Shop experience.
When you are affluent a fly tier as Bob, you see a lot of different tying techniques, and Bob believes today’s cutting edge fly tying can be found in the patterns of the top steelhead tiers. His breadth of experience comes from lots of practice and fishing his own ties on the river. The fly below, his first try at a sculpin, is a permutation of the classic Dali Lama. To add a personal flare to this fly Bob added fin feathers from a pheasant skin
Thank you, Bob, for sharing your creativity and your passion for tying with us at Caddis. We are proud to support the innovation your Alaskan patterns embody in the tying community, and we can’t wait to see what fly you tie next in the mouth of your next monster catch!
If you are a tier who uses materials purchased at The Caddis Fly Angling Shop and you would like to share your ties with us (and our readers!) please email us at email@example.com. We’d love to see and share your work as a Featured Tyer!
For those of you on Instagram, follow the shop @caddisflyshop and please feel free to tag the flies you tie using material purchased at The Caddis Fly Shop with the hashtag #tiedwithcaddisflyshop. We’ll repost your flies to our feed to show off your fly tying style!
Tight lines and tight ties everybody.
*Photos provided by Bob Erickson