Thursday, May 27, 2010


We have recently endured a hot streak that has dropped the flows and heated up the water a bit in the local creeks.  This has sparked the emergence of the sulphurs, along with a hundred other aquatic bugs, but sulphurs will soon be the popular fish food.  

Check the spider webs on your local creek to see if you get your own sulphur hatch...

You can also do a kick sample... here is an example of a sulphur nymph.  Nymphs are generally #18 - 16 and are dark brown to almost black in color.

This time of year the duns will be between a #16 and #14 (in another few weeks the small version will begin to hatch #20-#18), and they will vary in color.  Some streams will produce a brown/tan with a hint of yellow on the bottom, and others will produce bugs that have a bright lemon yellow, and of course there will be every color in between!  Before you tie 2 dozen dry flies go to the stream and take pictures, observe, and bring some samples of the colors you have.  Match them up, and then go home and tie.

When tying, and fishing, a sulphur hatch think emergers.  Since sulphurs emerge in the hotter months they dry their wings quickly and depart for the stream-side foliage at once.  Rarely if ever do I fish or tie a sulphur dun pattern.  Have a few because you never know, but do not focus your accurate hatch matching abilities on the duns.  Instead focus on the three basic types of emergers, no-wing (half nymph - half dun), the short wing (pictured on the left), and the up-wing emerger (I like to tie a parachute with a shuck.  All represent varies stages of emergence, and you will have to observe and let the trout tell you what they want.  Don't forget about the nymphs either... many times during a sulphur hatch a nymph drifted just below the surface will take many fish.

Feel free to tie patterns from the photos above, but remember the bugs in your stream can be different size and color... the best research is always done off the computer and on the river!

Monday, May 17, 2010


April was relatively dry, and May has already had some serious rain.  Stream flows have been up for the last two weeks putting the dry fly action on hold.  I'm not the type to hang up the rod or stand in the river flailing dries at a blank river, and after having a poor day nymphing in higher flows I realized a plan C is in order.  After traveling out west and fishing with the big streamers I decided to bring the idea back with me.  I'm not talking about little bucktails, I'm talking meat.

I have a few basic streamers I like to tie up (including bucktails), but I wanted something bigger, with two hooks, and really easy to tie.  After a little research online, I found a great idea for a huge streamer pattern that can be used for pike... perfect.  It's called the double bunny, and below are pictures of my version.  This is a proven pattern.

Lead painted eyes.  Small slice of foam behind the eyes to taper from the eyes down to the shank to give the rabbit strips something to glue to.

Finished fly.  I have a trailer hook near the tail connected to the main fly by backing.

Fly wet.  This is around 5 inches in length from hook eye to tail.  Notice I added a little flash down the sides on this one.

Fly connected.  This is a 17" brown, my biggest inland brown of the season, and a well above average fish for the creek.  Special thanks to my Utah buddies for giving me the confidence to bring the big streamer strategy back east.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Trip Out West

Just got home from my trip to Utah... man was it fun!  The library fly tying event was exciting and I learned a lot.  Hopefully the nice people who attended got something out of it too.  I can't wait to go back next year if they will have me!

I managed two solid days on the water while I was out there, thanks to my good friends Bryan and Corey.  The first day out on the water we were hunting down big trout with big streamers.  The fishing was a little slow, but we all managed a few takers.  The scenery was amazing... fly fishing while surrounded by mountains is perfect.  If you have that at your doorstep don't take it for granted!

The next day we switched things up and hit some carp water, and it was awesome!  I landed a couple beauties, had a few misses, and a whole bunch of refusals... and I thought brown trout were picky!  The carp were taking small ugly buggers twitched along the bottom.  

You can see a couple pics below from my trip, and as always you can visit my flickr page for more shots.  In the next few days I will be writing an update on the hatch action in my streams back in NY, and hopefully getting some new bug/fly shots!