Hopper-dropper fishing

With terrestrial season coming on strong throughout the country, it’s an obvious time to start flinging a hopper-dropper rig. But what’s the best way to do it? What knots make the most sense? How far below the high-floating hopper should the “dropper” nymph be? Here’s a great short video from the New Fly Fisher that … Read more

The black ant

Terrestrial season is upon us. Ants and beetles are likely already crossing the downed logs over your favorite trout stream, and I’m betting grasshoppers won’t be far behind. And trout love terrestrial bugs—they’re big mouthfuls of protein. Perhaps the simplest terrestrial bug to tie is the good old black ant. Above, Matt Callies of Loon … Read more

Honor Float

Paul Zimmerman teaches fly tying to military veterans. At 91 years of age, and as the sole care provider for his wife Patti, he is reluctant to leave her alone. He conducts all of his lessons at his home, an arrangement that’s also convenient for his students, who are often most comfortable with one-on-one engagement and places where calmness and quiet prevail.  “Our situation was different from Vietnam,” says Zimmerman, a … Read more

Isonychia Nymph

Classic flies tied by eastern fly fishers years ago are enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Tiers like Tim Flagler are helping make that happen. Below, Tim ties the classic Isonychia Nymph, a simple pattern that Tim says he’s fishing a lot with lately, and with great success. The pattern is an excellent dead-drifter in waters … Read more

How to tie flies with foam

Foam flies revolutionized dry-fly angling a couple of decades ago. Flies that absolutely must float—think grasshoppers, big salmon flies and other terrestrial flies, like ants and beetles—got a big boost from the foam incursion into the fly-tying arena years ago. While foam can be really effective to use in any number of patterns, it can … Read more

Light Cahill Wet Fly

Here in the West, it seems like summer is taking it’s time—it looks like we may not see the 80s for another week or so here in eastern Idaho. But it’s coming. And when it does, it’ll be time to start swinging wet flies for both big-river and backcountry trout. The pattern tied by Tim … Read more

Choosing deer hair for comparadun flies

Tying comparadun mayfly imitations is my least-favorite endeavor at the vise. Generally, I leave this method to the pros, like Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions. But Tim is convincing me to give it another shot. For me, working with deer hair is a real pain—maybe it’s big fingers or the simple lack of fine dexterity … Read more