In this video, Simon ties a killer attractor flats fly. This fly would work great anywhere in the caribbean for Bonefish, Permit, and anything else cruising the flats. It is tied using Hareline’s new painted brass eyes. The tan painted brass eyes work perfect for shrimpy or crabby flats flies matching the body colors. This fly also features some polar chenille legs for additional movement. This fly would also work great for Pacific Surf Perch on a more clear day where the fish will key into a smaller, more delicate pattern. Tying these in several different weights is helpful especially when fishing flats as the tides change. Having some unweighted, some with bead-chain eyes , some brass, and some lead will help you cover the board for all tidal situations. Colors and size can be adjusted based on your needs as well. Tie some up and send us some photos of what ate this fly!
In this video, Simon ties his secret winter nymph that he doesn’t leave home without. The Bubble back BWO is tied to imitate an ascending Baetis nymph surfacing to hatch and is one of his most productive BWO nymphs. When mayfly nymphs get ready to hatch, their exoskeleton fills with gases and they rise to the surface. Sometimes they deliberately swim, sometimes they uncontrollably float to the surface. Regardless, their bodies transform and get a lucent or “shimmery” appearance.
The glass bead bubble imitates this perfectly, and is also suggestive of the dun breaking through the old skin. The body is thread, wire, and resin, so it is durable, and the glossy finish helps drive the point home that this is a mature Baetis nymph that is hatching. The legs are Flouro Fibre, which is used on Charlie Craven’s Juju Baetis, it makes great legs on especially small nymphs. This fly excels at getting picky fish to eat, especially those older, smarter fish. Tied on a stout Ahrex 563 #18, it is strong enough for when that big fish decides to eat. For a small fly, it is especially good at putting large fish in the net. It is also light enough to tag behind a small dry fly.
The general blueprint of this nymph can be sized up or down and colors changed as the seasons change to imitate different mayflies. This is a fly you don’t want to leave home without this time of year, especially right now as we’ve been seeing Baetis hatches mid day. Tie some up this one can be a day saver!
In this video, Simon ties a proven Bluewing Olive (BWO) Emerger. Bluewinged Olives generally hatch on cloudy, overcast days. Because of the cooler, sometimes wet conditions, it can take them longer to emerge and dry their wings. Due to the conditions, the insects also often hatch in a short window and there are a lot of bugs. The fish key in on this and particularly target the insects breaking free from their shuck. Fishing this fly is so productive because it imitates the easy meals that the trout key in on when there are an abundance of naturals on the surface. Times like this its important for your fly to stand out.
This fly uses a newer dubbing from our friends over at Semperfli called Kapok dubbing. It comes from the seed pods of a tropical plant and is extremely hydrophobic. Semperfli claims it can suspend 30 times its own weight! We like it because of how tightly it dubs for small dry flies; this helps you reduce bulk and create a natural taper on the body. Snowshoe rabbit is naturally hydrophobic, and sheds water quickly. Due to those animals having to live on snow for most or at least a portion of the year, the fur on the bottoms of their feet is extremely hydrophobic. This makes for a great dry fly wing material.
In this video, Simon ties up a killer golden stone pattern which uses several new products that hareline released this fall. The super buggy looking material is called mohair scruff and it makes for super buggy nymphs, chenille for buggers, or a quick chenille for balanced leeches. It comes in several sizes, this particular pattern uses the small and medium sizes. Mottled slim skin is another new material from hareline which comes on a sheet and is a lot like thin skin. It works great for exoskeletons and wing cases. Gold Sones make up a large part of our local trout’s diets. Many caddis and mayfly nymphs only live for a year or less in their nymph stage. This means during the winter, most of those insects are very small because their parents made up this past summer’s hatch, this means the bulk of winter nymphs are still very young. Stoneflies can live several years in their nymph stage, making them great searching flies year round. Because of their life cycle, they offer a substantial meal any time of the year, there are very small gold stones, and large ones in the river simultaneously. This fly is a great option to fish in tandem with a small fly to help get your smaller nymphs down. Colors can be changed and sizes can be tweaked depending on where you are fishing. This one is a proven winner, tie a few up and let us know how you do.
In this video, Simon ties a flashy take on the classic Fall Chinook fly called the Comet. When the water is clear, the general consensus is that Fall Chinook will eat surprisingly small flies for such a large fish. This is often considered a low water fly, especially if you size it down. Chartreuse and hot orange are popular colors used for comets, and other fall chinook flies of the like. This Comet variant uses some of the new materials from Hareline that came out this fall. Small Black Legged Squishenille offers a squishy chenille which is different from standard chenille. The new Hareline Badger Saddle Hackle offers a saddle feather with a dark center which compliments the dark chenille nicely. Both of these new materials come in several sizes and colors to mix and match. For salmon, it helps to have some different sizes and colors to try to see what is working on a given day. This fly can certainly be sized down or up and colors changed depending on where you are fishing. Tie some up and let us know how they work!
1 Lucky Angler, 1 Epic Week on the Babine River this Fall for just $100!
British Columbia’s Babine River is the hallowed homewaters of some of the largest wild steelhead swimming on the planet. At the Babine Steelhead Lodge, their goal is for you to have the fishing adventure of a lifetime – which you could experience for only $100!
From the minute you arrive at the lodge, you will experience first-class fishing and accommodations. Not to mention the Babine River is considered one of the last unspoiled rivers in British Columbia, making its pristine beauty the ideal setting for a memorable wilderness getaway.
Trip Details: 1 angler / Steelhead Season 2024 – dates to be determined / Guided steelhead fishing on the Babine River, hosted by Tom Derry
Don’t miss this week-long dream trip, including fishing with some of the best guides around, delicious gourmet dining, and tranquil river-side lodging – all of which could be yours for just $100!
We’re talking about your best (and most economical shot) at some of the incredible dry line (even dry fly) wild steelhead fishing in the world.
That’s right, the one and only Babine Steelhead Lodge has generously donated a week of steelhead fishing on the Babine River for one angler to support the Native Fish Society’s work reviving abundant wild, native fish across the Pacific Northwest.
How does it work? Native Fish Society is selling 250 tickets for $100 each. We’ll draw the winner on March 1st, and then the lucky angler will get ready for the time of their life!
World-class guided fishing on the Babine
Cozy accommodations at the newly renovated lodge
Gourmet meals prepared by the talented Lodge Chef and staff
Full bar, beer, and wine
Does not include travel to Smithers, B.C., taxes, gratuities, or licenses.
“This funding is a true lifeline to restoration practitioners who have been working to recover Endangered Species Act-listed Upper Willamette River Chinook and steelhead,” says NOAA Fisheries Biologist Anne Mullan. “These species are on the downward trajectory, but this funding gives us hope.”
Multiple major dams on the Willamette River tributaries stand between salmon and steelhead and their historic spawning grounds in the upper watershed. The Office of Habitat Conservation’s Restoration Center and its partners are restoring degraded habitat in the lower watershed. NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others to provide passage for Chinook salmon and steelhead between the lower river and their upstream spawning habitat.
Restore floodplain and side channel habitat to provide spawning and rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead
Remove multiple barriers to fish passage including a dam on a Willamette River tributary
Reduce the risks of flooding, forest fires, and drinking water contamination
Provide jobs, educational and workforce development opportunities, new accessible greenspace, and recreational activities to local community members
In addition to helping Upper Willamette River Chinook and steelhead, the work will benefit other listed salmon and trout species as well as Pacific lamprey, which are important to Native American tribes.
“What’s exciting about this large influx of funding is that our partners are able to implement multiple large- and small-scale projects all at one time,” says Lauren Senkyr, Marine Habitat Resource Specialist for NOAA. “In the past it might have taken 5 to 10 years to get all of this work done. We’re pushing the fast-forward button on restoration and recovery.”
NOAA staff also help partners review project designs and monitoring plans and speed up permitting and regulatory compliance processes so they can start construction sooner.
Historically, hundreds of thousands of Chinook salmon and steelhead returned to the Willamette River Basin in Oregon to spawn. Fish counts at the Willamette Falls fish ladders show those numbers have plummeted. The current 5-year average annual return is about 30,000 Chinook and 3,000 steelhead. Aside from the major dams, pollution, climate change, and habitat degradation caused by development are threatening the survival of migratory fish.
“Salmon and steelhead move between streams, rivers, estuaries, and the ocean, depending on their life stage,” says NOAA Marine Habitat Resource Specialist Larissa Lee. “In each habitat they need places to hide and forage and certain temperature or chemical cues to tell them to move on to the next stage. It’s difficult to control the ocean, but we can improve conditions on land by giving them access to high-quality habitat for spawning adults and rearing juveniles.”
Why Restore Threatened Species?
Willamette salmon and trout stocks once supported robust fisheries that benefited commercial fishers, the tourism industry, and local communities. Salmon and trout also hold cultural significance with local tribes. “These species have been important to the culture and diet of the people of the Pacific Northwest for thousands of years,” says Megan Hilgart, Marine Habitat Resource Specialist for NOAA. “There’s a really strong commitment to try to get back the subsistence-level fisheries for the tribes.”
In addition, salmon bring nutrients from the ocean deep inland, supporting entire forest ecosystems. Pacific salmon species die after spawning. Their bodies provide food for species ranging from black bears to Douglas fir, which absorb nutrients from decaying fish through their roots.
The restoration work itself provides jobs and educational opportunities, helps mitigate flood and forest fire risks, and will invite the community back to rivers and waterfront parks.
Over the coming months we will be posting a series of stories about each project. Stay tuned to see how NOAA and its partners will help restore the health of rivers and forests in the Willamette Valley for both wildlife and people.
In this video, Simon ties a more flashy version of the famous prince nymph. It is tied on a new hook from Ahrex called the FW563 “Short Nymph”. This hook is extremely stout making it a great candidate to tie a small attractor nymph used for nymphing for winter steelhead. It uses some new materials from Hareline; one being their new Synthetic Peacock Chenille. Which offers a more durable and colorful option compared to natural peacock herl. This fly would be great nymph for steelheading when the water is low and clear, and it would be a great half-pounder fly on the Rogue as well. For you Midwesterners doing steelhead fishing in the great lakes tributaries, this fly would be killer. This would make a great trout nymph as well tied on a more tame hook and sized down a bit. Sizes and colors can be substituted to fit your fisheries needs. Tie some up and let us know how you do!
In this video, Greg ties a guide fly he began tying the summer of 2023 that is simple, heavy, and so good at catching trout. Plus it’s fast to tie.
Originally tied for the East Walker River in the Eastern Sierra, Greg took this fly to the Merced River on the western side of the Sierra and had amazing results. There’s something about the burnt orange bead and orange hotspot that gets the fishes attention, but he also ties them in olive.
He uses it as a dropper fly on European nymphing rigs and indicator setups. It could also be used as a streamer in the Spring when the brown trout are looking for a meal.
Give them a tie and let us know how they work for you.
In this video, Simon ties an effective egg pattern used for winter steelhead. It uses a new egg chenille from Hareline that makes tying eggs easier than ever. The chenille comes in a wide variety of colors to ensure you have a wide variety of eggs in your box. Tied on a large inverted jig hook allows for a larger bead to be out on for when water is high and allows for the fly to ride hook point up reducing snags. The Ahrex FW550 is a stout jig hook and in larger sizes is ample for winter steelhead. Whitefish spawn is right around the corner and that means tying this in lighter colors like yellow or apricot and in smaller sizes will be killer on our local rivers for trout.
In this video, Simon ties an effective buzzer chironomid pattern for still-water fly fishing. Chironomids are often the first insect to hatch in high alpine lakes in the spring. When timed right, large fish can become very careless when putting on the spring time chironomid feed bag. The fly uses a stout Alec Jackson chironomid hook, which is essential for those strong lake fish. They are often fished using a floating line under an indicator, sometimes in tandem with another chironomid, balanced leech, or nymph. They can also be fished on an intermediate or full sink line using a slow “hand twist” retrieve. They can vary in size and color depending on the season and your location. Feel free to substitute colors and sizes tailored to your local fishery.