Evolution of a Fly – Sawyer’s Pheasant Tail

pheasant-tail

The Pheasant Tail is probably one of the most popular nymph imitations used in Fly Fishing. It was created and tied by English River Keeper, Frank Sawyer.  The fly was originally developed to imitate a number of species of the Baetis family, which most anglers know as ‘Olives’.  Since its origin, the fly has evolved into a go to pattern that can be used interchangeably for imitating various mayfly and stonefly species, depending on the colours used to tie it. Like most nymph patterns, this fly can be fished just below the surface or plunged deep into runs and pools. It’s effective when twitched to imitate an emerging or swimming insect, or dead drifted as a nymph caught struggling in

Ontario's Top Fall Flies

bead-head-caddis

Fly fishing in Ontario in the fall means different things to different people.  The main quarry at this time of year are Steelhead and Brown trout.  Some species of pacific salmon can also be targeted, but make up a much smaller portion of what folks are targeting this time of year. Here I’ve compiled a list of my top flies for Steelhead and Brown trout in the great lakes region. Egg flies, Globugs,  Yarn Flies Eggflies are one my my go-to flies for the fall and winter season.  When I’m nymphing, or fishing an indicator setup, you can pretty much be guaranteed that you’ll find a globug pattern attached to my rig somewhere.  Make sure you keep a good supply

Black Micro Streamer – Matuka Style Brook Trout Fly

mini-matuka-streamer

Opening weekend can be a tough time for resident trout fishing.  And it can remain tough until the water warms enough that insect life becomes extremely active after a long winter.  One type of fly that I always make sure to have in my fly box for the beginning of the season is an assortment of micro streamers.  I find these tend to bring fish out of hiding when the water is still cold, and brook trout in particular seem to really like them. [singlepic id=18 w=500 float=center] Hook size 10 wet fly hook Thread 6/0 black Body copper wire Wing & Tail Black rabbit strip sliced very thin Head thread

Spring Wiggler Steelhead and Salmon

spring-wiggler-steelhead-fly

The Spring Wiggler has been one of my main flies for steelhead and salmon.  I’m not sure if its because it does a good job of imitating Hexagenia nymphs, but I know one thing….it works and it works well.  I remember a day out on a local stream in November.  It was cold and very bright.  This fly managed to bring 4 coho salmon and one migratory brown trout to hand that day. The Spring Wiggler fly pattern is also an excellent choice for resident trout fishing in Ontario. [singlepic id=21 w=500 float=center] Hook size 10 nymph hook Thread 6/0 any natural colour Tail and Overbody squirrel tail Body tan dubbing Hackle Short Cock Hackle Head thread Weight optional

Chironomid Larva

chironimid-larva

Chironimids are of the True Fly family.  They are abundant in lakes and streams across Ontario and make up a large portion of fishes diets. [singlepic id=19 w=500 float=center] Hook various sizes of stimulator hooks Thread black 6/0 Body red vinyl ribbing in touching turns Head black thread

Black Stonefly Stimulator

black-stimulator-fly

Around the end of March, black stoneflies begin to emerge on rocks in streams.  This is also the time that steelhead begin to enter rivers in the spring to make their annual pilgrimage to their natal, headwaters streams.  Although most fish won’t be looking up for their food just yet, often they can be teased with a well skated dry fly. Black stone flies will be present through June and even beyond in many places, so keep a few of these patterns in your fly box all season long. [singlepic id=40 w=500 float=center] Hook various sizes of stimulator hooks Thread black 6/0 Tail stacked elk hair Abdomen Hackle black dry fly hackle Ribbing gold wire Body black dry fly dubbing

Golden Stonefly Stimulator Fly Pattern

stimulator

Once the end of May and the beginning of June are here, my go to fly pattern for large trout is the golden stonefly stimulator pattern.  These are big, bushy flies that have many uses.  Not only will they imitate large stoneflies well, but they also imitate grasshoppers, beetles, bees and even small mammals such as moles that may fall into the river.  Keep a good inventory of these bushy fly patterns in your fly box all summer long. [singlepic id=38 w=500 float=center] Hook various sizes of stimulator hooks Thread brown 6/0 Tail stacked elk hair Abdomen Hackle Red Cock Ribbing gold wire Body yellow dry fly dubbing Wing Stacked Elk Hair Thorax Orange dry fly dubbing Hackle grizzly Head

Chocolate Bunny Bead Head Nymph

bead-head-nymph

The Chocolate Bunny has been for several years now one of my “Go To” nymphs for just about any trout or salmon species.  It seems to imitate many mayfly nymphs, as well as stoneflies and possibly some caddis larva as well.  The year I began fly fishing, I tied this fly using  Hares Ear Dubbin, of the chocolate colour.  Try the fly with or without a bead and make sure you have several different sizes of the fly as well. [singlepic id=20 w=500 float=center] Hook size 8-16 nymph hook Thread brown 6/0 Ribbing gold wire Body chocolate hares ear dubbin Wing Case Turkey feather fibres Head bead or thread, your choice

Ontario Fly Patterns for Opening Day

dryfly-and-emerger-patterns3

I figure its about that time that we’re all thinking about opening day here in Ontario. After all, its only 18 days away. Each year, on the last Saturday in April, the streams come alive with eager fly fisherman seeking to remove months of the shack nasties. So what do you do with the last couple of weeks leading up to opener? This is the time of year I get critical about my fly inventory. I like to at the very least make sure my spring box(es) are full and ready to be spilled on opening day. Its best to be prepared for any type of hatch or situation you may come across on that all important opening day. If

Badger Butt Bead Head Mayfly Nymph

badger-bead-head-mayfly-nymph

The ‘Badger Butt’ nymph is a neat little nymph that will imitate a number of mayfly nymphs.  The badger I used for this fly was grey/tan in colour, while the very tips of the fur were thin and black.  When you snip off the badger fur from the hide, be sure to snip it off right at the base, as you’ll want to use the underfur as dubbing for this fly.  Beads can be the colour of your choice.  I try to use dark coloured beads when fishing clear water, and I’ll switch to a gold or silver bead when the water is a little off colour to add a little flash to the fly. [singlepic id=52 w=500 float=center] Hook