Phat and Phunky Pheasant Tail Nymph

If you nymph at all, chances are you have a few Pheasant Tail Nymphs already in your fly box. The venerable fly is a nymphing staple—it works, and it’s an excellent all-around mayfly nymph indicator pattern that can work throughout the year in virtually any conditions. Above, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions puts a slightly … Read more

Mousing the Aniak

Oh, to be Brian O’Keefe for a day last summer in western Alaska. O’Keefe served as Todd Moen’s fishing subject in Moen’s new short film, “Alaska Fly Fishing with a Mouse,” that’s been crawling the interwebs with a vengeance over the last few days. And rightly so—the footage of massive Alaskan rainbows erupting beneath mouse … Read more

The Leisenring Spider

There are few classic wet flies that I like to have in my fly box, particularly when I’m fishing some of the fabled waters of Yellowstone National Park. If I were to open my fly box, buried somewhere in the store room under all holiday detritus that has built up since I last visited the … Read more

The Beetle, the Hare’s Ear, the old man and the cutthroats

Years and years ago, while attending college in western Colorado, I drove up the shoulders of the Sawatch Range between Salida and Gunnison as far as my old VW Beetle would make it on a road it had no business traversing. After reaching a stretch of two-track I could no longer navigate, I pulled the … Read more

Tying the Flash Mob

It’s starting to look a lot like winter up here in Northern Michigan. We’ve got snow, we’ve occasionally got rain and we haven’t seen the sun in weeks. The neighborhoods are lit up, the shop windows are beautifully displaying the latest and greatest and the steelhead are starting to get lazy. The folks at The … Read more

Bead Head Baetis

Now that the snow has fallen (in northern Michigan, at least), I start to turn my attention away from Google Earth and topo maps and toward refilling my depleted fly boxes. I have a handful of patterns that I always ensure to tie a few dozen in a few sizes. These are the flies I … Read more