I love “mash-up” flies—inventions at the vise that work on trout for no particular reason at all. Just this week, I tried a simple wet fly pattern I “created” at the vise a couple weeks ago for Firehole River trout, and I was rewarded with some of the most aggressive brown trout takes I’d ever experienced on the Firehole. My new fly, the “Firehole Swinger,” looks like nothing in particular, and is kind of a hybrid soft-hackle wet fly, with some bulk and color. I don’t know why it works, but it does.

Here, Tim Flagler ties another hybrid, a nymph that marries the Bird’s Nest and the Red Fox Squirrel Nymph. His Flying Squirrel Nymph, drifted in trouty water, could conceivably resemble anything from a small golden stonefly to a damselfly nymph. It just looks like something fish would love and, according to Tim, they do.

It’s a fairly simple tie, too, which always makes flies more appealing to me and those like me who’d rather be spending time fishing rather than hunched over a vise for hours at a time.

What are some of your favorite “mash-ups?” Share your favorite patterns in the comment section below, and we’ll send a few new TU decals out to those with the best ideas.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt. 

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