Last Day of the Year

Graph of  Gage height, feet

Just sitting here thinking about the year gone by and thought I would show you how up and down my home waters have been lately, as they have been all year.

Here’s also a wish for a very Happy New Year filled with many hours of FLYTYING and catching TROUT.


How to Tie a Simple Scud


Posted by: Phil Monahan

Date: 11/30/11

Scud Pattern

Scuds, crustaceans known as Amphipods, are on a trout’s menu year-round—especially in many tailwaters, spring creeks, and stillwaters. Trout love them because scuds are usually plentiful, easy to catch, and they have high nutritional value. There are almost 100 species of scuds in North America, but they all have the same basic shape, with prominent legs and a curved shell back. Mostly what changes from water to water are color and size, so it’s always a good idea to collect some naturals to match. In the winter months, try fishing larger scuds, sizes 12 and 14, through slower-moving sections of river where fish may be holding. The takes can be quite subtle, so be ready to set the hook lightly at the slightest hesitation in the fly line or indicator. Try both fishing the fly on a dead-drift and giving it bursts of very short strips.

In this video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions offers his version of a simple scud pattern, which uses a dubbing that mixes Antron and Australian possum. As usual, Tim shows a couple of neat tricks to make the fly look cleaner and buggier at the same time.

Simple Scud from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

Simple Scud
Hook: Standard emerger hook (here a Dai-Riki 125), sizes 12-18.
Thread: Light olive, 70 denier or 8/0.
Antennae: Smoky olive Sow Scud dubbing.
Rib: Gold Ultra Wire, small.
Back: Tan and Black Fly Speck Thin Skin.
Body and Legs: Smoky olive Sow Scud dubbing.
Head: Tying thread.
Adhesive: Head cement.
Note: Tie this pattern in different color combinations to match
the scuds in your streams. Tan and gray are good choices.

Fly Tying (With Common Household Materials)

This looks like it might be of some value, I have not read it but I have read his stuff in magazine articles for years.


“Jay Fullum is one of Fly Tyer magazine’s most beloved authors. His regular column, titled “Creative Tying,” is a favorite with our readers.”–David Klausmeyer, Editor Fly Tyer
Seriously…this is a great addition to your fly tying book library. It will stand out amongst the more conventional tying how-tos. Jay Fullum goes into detail about some real cool (and cheap!) everyday materials you probably already have laying around down in the basement…you know, “organized” loosely on that unfinished wooden Home Depot shelving you got right after you moved in. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Jay has chapters on plastic bags, foam packing material, weatherseal, embroidery floss, fake fingernails, paintbrushes and hair brushes. Lots of stuff. I love it. But, the thing I may love the most about this book is what this book can do emotionally to a beginning tyer. It erases this notion that a good fly has to be made with very specific ingredients. These are not tiny magic spells we are creating on a hook shank…they are tools of the sport of fishing. That is all. And you can use whatever works for you at the time. So, yeah…order a copy.
Lyons Press $21.95 Click Here!

More Ramblings

I was looking through my computer stuff and came up with this site it is without a doubt one of the most informative sites for FlyFisherman on the Internet and all the info is free. Go take a look I think you will be pleasantly surprised.


The Global FlyFisher – The Internet’s Cutting Edge Fly Fishing Site
Site Developed by GFF Partners: Martin Joergensen, Steve Schweitzer, Bob Petti, Bob Skehan & Kasper Mühlbach


New Issue of Catch Magazine Online!


Posted by: Phil Monahan

Date: 11/02/11

New Issue of Catch Mag

Hot on the heals of the inaugural issue of Southern Culture on the Fly comes the latest installment of Catch Magazine, the premier publication of fly-fishing photography. In this (the 20th!) issue, you’ll find great photo essays on British Columbia, New Zealand, and Alaska, as well as some great videos. There’s also an excellent second installment of the “Colors” series, which began in the last issue.

Women fish, and tie flies, too



Posted Oct 29, 2011 @ 09:47 PM


My grandmother told us, more than once, that early in her marriage, back in the 1920s, she fished with my grandfather now and then.

And, of course, she always caught more fish than he did. That’s the way the story is supposed to go, right?

I don’t know whether she really did catch more fish, but it was what she believed, and Granpa never denied it. Gramma was pretty competitive anyway. Their birthdays were 10 days apart, and she used to count the cards they received and crow that she always got more than he did. She was the best grandmother and most generous person you could imagine, and she was pretty funny, too. Often intentionally.

The point is, women do fish, at least as far back as Dame Juliana Berners, the 15th Century English nun who is credited with writing “The Treatyse of Fysshynge Wyth An Angle,” supposedly the earliest book to address the sport.


A Rainy Afternoon

I have been sitting here looking out the window at the cars driving by with their windshield wipers working as they have been for two days now, the squirrels don’t seem to be bothered by the rain. I am bothered as I watch on the computer from USGS Water Alerts as Oatka Creek, my home water go up. Then I was watching Fly-tying Videos and I thought you might like to see this one from The Orvis Company.

Tying the LaFontaine Sparkle Emerger

Posted: 26 Oct 2011 05:50 AM PDT

Gary LaFontaine’s book Caddisflies, published in 1981, completely revolutionized the ways that anglers understood caddisfly behavior, how trout reacted to it, and how imitations should be tied and fished. LaFontaine, who died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2002, had spent a decade studying caddisflies, even donning SCUBA gear to observe the underwater lives of these varied insects. One of his most important findings was that many species of caddisfly pupae rise to the water’s surface via an air sac that surrounds the abdomen. This “bubble” became the signature feature of the patterns LaFontaine invented to mimic these pupae.

In this video, by Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, Matt Grobert ties his version of a LaFontaine Sparkle Emerger. Grobert, an author and blogger, deviates from LaFontaine’s original, making the tying process somewhat simpler. Designed as an emerger, this pattern can quickly transformed into a Deep Sparkle Pupa by simply cutting off the deer-hair wing. As usual, there are a couple of neat tying tricks on display that you can use for tying all the LaFontaine patterns. For instance, note how Matt ties one bunch of Antron slightly larger than the other, so he can snip some of the fibers later for a trailing shuck. You’ll also learn why it’s important to keep the materials sparse to create a translucent effect in the water.

LaFontaine Sparkle Emerger from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

          LaFontaine’s Sparkle Emerger
Hook: Standard dry-fly hook (here a Tiemco 100), sizes 12-18.
Thread: Black, 6/0.
          Underbody and shuck: Golden yellow Antron, carded.
Body: Yellow-brown Antron.
Wings: Natural deer hair, cleaned and stacked.
          Thorax: Brown Australian possum dubbing.
Note: Pick out the Antron to create a “bubble” around the body.