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

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

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

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

Bead Head Caddis Larva

bead-head-caddis

This is a fast sinking, plump caddis larva imitation.  The bead can be just about any colour.  You’d be hard pressed to find a stream in Ontario that doesn’t have a healthy caddis population, so when you just can’t seem to find the right fly, toss one of these on and see if the action picks up a little.  Work the fly on bottom slowly in slower sections of the stream to imitate it crawling about.  Optionally, try high sticking this fly in pocket water and around rocks and submerged logs. [singlepic id=45 w=500 float=center] Hook size 12-16 scud hook Thread olive 6/0 Ribbing Clear UTC viny Body bright green fine dubbing Thorax peacock herl Head bead Side View [singlepic

Smyth Stonefly

smithstonesideview

This fly resembles a black stonefly larva.  It’s tied to be about an inch in lenght from tail tips to the front of the antennae.  Used mainly as a steelhead and migratory brown trout fly, its also useful in smaller streams and when fishing rivers for resident trout species. [singlepic id=48 w=625 float=center] Hook size 10-12 nymph hook Thread brown 6/0 Tail Black Turkey Biot Ribbing Clear UTC viny Body Black or brown fine dubbing Thorax Hackle to match body colour Wingcase turkey feather segment (underside folded over and exposed) Head brown or black thread Bottom View [singlepic id=47 w=325 float=center] Side View [singlepic id=48 w=325 float=center] Top View [singlepic id=49 w=325 float=center] Fly Pattern Specific Rivers: Saugeen River Credit

The Classic Wooly Bugger

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Wooley Buggers can be used anywhere for any species.  Because they suggest such a wide variety of food items, it doesn’t matter if you are fishing bass in a lake, or brookies in a creek, wooly buggers can sometimes be the ticket to a very successfull day on the water.  Depending on what type of insect or other species you are trying to immitate, wooly buggers do a fine job of tricking fish into believing they are dragonfly nymphs, leeches & minnows.  Very simple to tie, and I’d recommend to anyone who fly fishes that this be one fly that always has a place in your fly box. [singlepic id=24 w=625] Tying Materials: Hook Streamer hook size 6-12 Thread uni

Tiny Black Stonefly Nymph

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Tiny Black Stonefly Nymph [singlepic id=23 w=625 float=center] Hook size 12 – 18 nymph Thread brown 8/0 Tail black goose biots Body black hares ear dub Rib fine gold wire Wingcase turkey feather segment Head thread head Antennae black goose biots Tie this fly in various colours and sizes to ‘match the hatch’ in your area. Side View [singlepic id=22 w=325 float=center] Top View [singlepic id=23 w=325 float=center]

Shellback Caddis Pupa

shellback

Caddis species are extremely abundant in Ontario. The larval stage is easy to mimick simply with bright green dubbing or yarn. * Hook 18-22 dry fly * Thread olive 8/0 * Tail squirrel tail * Body olive dry fly dub * Rib thread slightly lighter than the body * Wing Post white poly yarn * Hackle dry fly