Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter Outing

Was able to make it out on Rapid Creek in town yesterday. The weather was nice and the fishing was great. I was experimenting with French Nymphing and finally started to get the hang of it. Started about 10:00am and fished until 1:00pm. Got several fish on a small bead head pheasant tail tied Czech style with a hot-spot behind the bead.

Most of the fish took this hot-spot pheasant tail. A couple were fooled by an orange hunchback scud. By noon midges were hatching and in the slower runs fish were rising steadily to the freshly emerged adults. I was able to fish dries for the last half hour of my outing. Several fish hit an size 18 olive F-fly and a size 20 griffith's gnat also had a few takers. All in all it was a very successful trip. Hard to believe that fishing this great took place on a stretch within the city limits only 5 minutes from the house.

Tying the Pinkie

Tying the Pinkie

This fly tying video features the Pinkie Fly, but not the pinkie of Bighorn River fame. This fly came about after seeing small pink worms in stomach pump samples in our local tailwater Rapid Creek. While this is not a perfect match it works very well. Coincidently it also works very well on the Bighorn River. Fish might also be taking this fly in our tailwater as a mysis shrimp.

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Fly by Type Index

Hunting for one of the fly tying videos from a few weeks or months back, the new flies by type index makes the patterns easier to find. Surf on over to the index and check out the fly tying videos. More videos are on the way soon. They will be added here on the blog and into the index. Thanks for watching.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tying the Sipper Midge

Our take on the bighorn river classic. This is a simple fly pattern that packs a punch. Fish this for selective trout feeding on midge adults or even emerging midges.

Tie this in several body colors- namely black, olive, grey, and cream. Fish this with just a bit of floatant rubbed onto the post and hackle. Don't put floatant on the abdomen of the fly. That allows the body of the fly to hang below the waters surface.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tying Frosty the Snowman

Started tying this oversized lightning bug/north fork hybrid this past fall and had some great results. Seemed to work well on aggressive fall brown trout. This fly can be tied up to size 10 and is meant to catch a fish's eye. Fish this fly deep with an upstream nymphing style or fish it on the swing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Wow. These fish skulls are the ticket. They make an ordinary streamer pattern have some pop. They are super easy to use.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chewee Worm and Chewee Scud

UV Chewee Skin is neat stuff. We have been using at the shop for a couple of weeks now. Here are a couple of videos using the new material.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November on the North Platte

Took a quick trip to the North Platte this past weekend. Amazing weather for this time of year. Not the greatest fishing but it was worth the drive. Fished up on the Miracle Mile for the first time. The Mile has some great runs and pools. Hooked a big brown on the spey rod in the first 5 minutes of fishing. The tippet broke and I might have muttered a few expletives.

Fished the next day just above Casper. We floated 8.8 miles of river. Fishing was tough. Most fish took streamers. Nymphing should have been productive, but we couldn't seem to find the right fly.

Here are a couple of photos from the trip--

Tying a Black Copper John

This is one of our favorite nymphs here at the shop. Check out the video and tie some of these puppies up--

Tying a Parachute Dry Fly

This a basic fly that many folks still struggle with. Hope this video helps...

Whoa what happened?

Where does the time go? I haven't posted in awhile and I have loads of excuses but I won't burden you with them all. It was a busy summer but now I am back at it. Next up... more tying videos.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Arlen Thomason's BugWater

Arlen Thomason's new book, Bugwater, is excellent. Fly Fishers have long been keenly aware of the importance of "matching the hatch". Knowing the bugs that fish feed on and knowing a bit about their life cycles will greatly improve your confidence and success on the stream.

In this book Thomason provides a seasonal glimpse into the world of aquatic insects as they relate to the average trout stream. By far the value of this book is in the superb underwater photographs of the naturals. This is not to say that the text is lacking any way, but it is hard not to keep flipping ahead of the chapter you are reading to get at the next series of photos.

The series of photos at the end of the book features flies and naturals shot in a slant-tank. This trout's eye view is extremely valuable to fly designers and fishermen alike.

Check out this book for the photos, but read into it to learn more about the bugs fish feed on throughout the year. The more you know about the mayflies, midges, stoneflies, caddis, and other bugs that inhabit your local waters the more fish you will catch. This book will help you identify these insects but also informs you as to what time of year to expect the hatch.

Buy the book from our online flyshop!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Favorite fish to catch on the fly?

As my wife and I were hiking the other day she asked me "What is your favorite fish to catch on a flyrod?" I had to think about it a bit. It narrowed down quickly and ultimately ended in a draw between smallmouth bass and brown trout. Both of these fish have attractive qualities to the fly angler. Both are tremendously strong. Both can be wary enough to make you work to catch them. The more I thought about it, the harder it was to choose a winner. Hence the draw.

My annual trips to the Missouri River in central South Dakota have strengthened my love of Smallmouth Bass fishing. I look forward to fishing the structure that smallies love. Smallies can be moody- sometimes they like a slow presentation and the take will be ever so subtle. Other times they inhale your fly before you have a chance to make your first retrieve. Either way, it turns out the same after you set the hook. These fish erupt with a surge of power that is hard to find in other fish. They combine strong deep runs with high-flying acrobatics. You definitely feel connected to something very much alive.

Browns are at their best when you have to search them out. You spy the grassy bank that is just undercut enough to hold a nice fish. You watch. Sure enough a good nose emerges from under the bank to suck in a struggling hopper or PMD. After a few casts, you get it right. Tight to the bank with a good drift. The same nose emerges and your fly disappears. You set the hook. A shower of water sprays as the fish reacts to the hook set. Flashes of yellow and orange show that it is a good brown trout. The fight continues as the fish tries to entangle your line in the sticks and roots under the bank. You get the fish free of the obstacles, slowly working it into the slower water on the inside of the current. Here is the brown trout in all of it splendor. Still poised and ready to run, but you slide it into the net, admire the spots, the iridescent blue on the gill plate, unhook the fly, and return the fish to its rightful place.

I will stop waxing poetic about these quarry. It is still a tie. Maybe when I get the chance to fish for permit I will have to pause and reevaluate. Until then, what is your favorite fish to catch on the fly?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tying the Rabbit Strip Jig Clouser

This is a great bug for smallmouth bass. We have used it extensively on the Missouri River system. It has accounted for several of our biggest smallies. Try various colors, but this generic whitish color scheme works well. Be sure to tie this to your tippet with a loop knot. Happy Tying and Fishing.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tunsten San Juan Worm

Here is a fly tailor made for the higher water conditions of Spring and Early Summer. They work great here in the Black Hills and are deadly on the Bighorn.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rusty RS@

Not a tough tie, but sure a good pattern for persnickety rainbows feeding on baetis emerging nymphs. This has been very effective in small sizes 20-24.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Two New Flies

Tungsten Squirrel Leech

On the small streams I frequent, it is hard to fish streamers. It doesn't seem like an obviously fly choice. However, once you start using them and catching fish they become a staple in your box. Rabbit Hair leeches and squirrel hair leeches work great. On smaller water I find myself fishing them more and more. I cast across, let them sink, swing, and then "jig" them back upstream. Tie some and you will be happy they did

CDC Midge Pupa

Midge Pupa can be an extremely important trout food. This version is a quick tie but does a good job imitating the profile of a midge pupa. It can be tied in many sizes to accommodate stillwater chironomids to the smallest midges on your local trout stream.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tying the CDC Midge Pupa

Midge Pupa can be an extremely important trout food. This version is a quick tie but does a good job imitating the profile of a midge pupa. It can be tied in many sizes to accommodate stillwater chironomids to the smallest midges on your local trout stream.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tying the Tungsten Bomb

The Bomb gets your flies to the bottom quick. Best of all you don't need additional weight in the form of split shot or tungsten putty. No more hinging and tangling nymph rigs. Tie these in the colors to match caddis larvae, cranefly larvae, or scuds. I routinely use this as my lead fly and drop one or two droppers behind it.

Happy Tying

Tying Hans' Spring Soft Hackle

This easy to tie soft hackle pattern takes early season trout feeding on midges or emerging baetis mayflies. The purple thorax seems to be a trigger to trout. This fly can be fished deep behind a nymph, on the swing, or as a dropper a few inches behind a dry fly.

Happy Tying

Fly Fishing in Pierre for Rainbows

Fishing in Pierre this past Sunday for rainbows was the best I have seen. Four anglers made the trek over and we all caught fish. That seldom happens in the trout fishery that exists for a brief period each spring. My experience is usually casting for hours into a 50 mph wind all day without the hint of a bite. This time was different. Here are some photos to prove it:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tying the Hydropsyche Caddis Larvae

This has been a solid producer for me in areas with good populations of free swimming caddis larvae.

This pattern is very similar to the caddis patterns of Oliver Edwards. Thanks for the great tips and instruction Oliver!

The legs are a great addition to any caddis larva pattern, or stoneflies and clinger mayfly nymphs.

Tying the Hydropsyche Caddis Larvae

This has been a solid producer for me in areas with good populations of free swimming caddis larvae.

This pattern is very similar to the caddis patterns of Oliver Edwards. Thanks for the great tips and instruction Oliver!

The legs are a great addition to any caddis larva pattern, or stoneflies and clinger mayfly nymphs.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Two Great Nymphs

Check out the new videos. These have been terrific patterns for us over the last few seasons.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tying the Tungsten Psycho Nymph

This is a great nymph from Solitude flies. We used this pattern many a day this past summer. In the smaller sizes it does a great job imitating a variety of mayfly nymphs. It is also a good attractor when tied in larger sizes.

Happy Tying

Dakota Angler & Outfitter

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tying the CDC Beetle

Beetles and Ants are some of trouts favorite summer foods. This pattern has done me well the past couple of summers. It was my go to fly on the fish in our catch and release area. Fish that had repeatedly refused other offering would often take this fly on the first presentation. The fact that it is easy to tie is a bonus.

Happy Tying

Dakota Angler & Outfitter

Tying the Palomino Midge

An awesome pattern from Tier Bret Smith. Easy to tie and it catches finicky fish. Three versions are shown in this video- Antron Winged, CDC Winged, and Deer Hair Winged.

This fly is one we are starting to fish again, after an unexplained hiatus. Dave Gamet reluctantly showed me the deer hair version a number of years ago and I am glad he did!

This is a versatile pattern worthy enough to be every trout fishers box.

Happy Tying

Dakota Angler & Outfitter

Tying the Little Black Stonefly

The dry fly season starts in earnest with the hatches of little black stoneflies. In the Black Hills these bugs start hatching in March and some years the hatches continue into May. This pattern fools the trickier more selective fish, while a black-fly fly will do the trick on the rest.

Happy Tying

Dakota Angler & Outfitter


Tying the Cranefly Larva

Craneflies are an often overlooked trout food. A version of this pattern was shown to me in my first summer of fly fishing. I will be forever grateful to that unknown angler for clueing me into craneflies. This pattern has been very effective on Black Hills streams, and has worked well on larger tailwaters such as the Bighorn. In recent insect sampling we have seen an increasing number of Cranefly larvae in Rapid Creek. Stay tuned for the adult cranefly pattern.

Happy Tying

Dakota Angler & Outfitter

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tying Barr's Slumpbuster

Ryan and I have been using this fly quite a bit over the past year. It has worked well on trout in Black Hills streams, bass on the Missouri, and it caught Ryan's biggest brown on the Bighorn. Tie this in Black, Olive, Barred Flesh, Brown, or Barred Ginger. It will do you proud. This is another great pattern from the inventor of the Copper John, John Barr. It is featured in his great book- Barr Flies.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tying the Rabbit Strip Jig-Fly

This has been the most productive type of fly for me when fishing for smallmouth bass on the Missouri River near Pierre, South Dakota. This rabbit strip version is more durable than my version that utilizes grizzly marabou. Both are very effective. Tie this pattern onto your tippet with a no slip loop knot.

Happy Tying

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tying Don's Bully Bugger

A quick but deadly tie from the vise of resident Carp Master Don Polovich. The Bully Bugger is just about all you need to catch smallmouth and carp over on the Missouri River. Well, that and Don's Benson Dry Fly, but as they say "that's another video".

Happy Tying

Dakota Angler & Outfitter

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tying the Wire Bodied Baetis Nymph

This is a design I have been tinkering with for a while. I like the wire body for weight and segmentation, the wing buds, and the tail leg combo are coming together. Small baetis nymph are a staple of trout diets in our neck of the woods. We are always looking for something else to throw at them. Previous versions of this fly have done well for me and I am looking forward to catching fish on this one. Our baetis nymphs range in size from size 18 down to 22-24's. These small sized nymphs don't allow for overly complicated flies. This fly isn't too difficult to tie and has a few features that are sure to get the fishes attention.

Happy Tying

Dakota Angler & Outfitter

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tying the CDC Bubble Winged Caddis

Here is a great fly from Oliver Edwards outstanding DVD "Essential Patterns Vol. 1". Check out this DVD for several more cracking patterns. I tie this in a few sizes for the caddis hatches found here in the black hills. Sizes 14-16 are particularly well suited for the waters I fish. The color schemes of light brown to tan work best for the hatches I fish. Happy Tying

Tying the Crystal Wooly Bugger

A classic fly for us here at Dakota Angler & Outfitter. We have used this fly for many years for black hills trout, bass, carp, and panfish. Tie it with or without a beadhead. Vary the colors from black to olive to brown. They all work. A great fly for a beginning fly tyer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tying the Bunny Dun

This comparadun style of fly is quicker to tie than its deer hair winged cousin. The snowshoe rabbit hair floats well and has a great texture. Use it to imitate mayflies on your home water. In the hills we tie these to match PMDs, baetis, and tricos.

Tying the CDC Midge Emerger II

This is a hybrid between a palamino midge and a morgan's midge. A versitle fly to have in a midge hatch, it can imitate an emerger as well as a stuck in the shuck midge. Tie them in this color scheme or come up with your own. Don't overdo the floatant. Just a smear on the wing and hackle will do.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tying the Tape-Wing Caddis

Oliver Edwards gave me the idea for the wing. An early version of this fly appeared in his Flytyers Masterclass. I have tied the Edwards version of this fly with deer hair for legs and it works great. I have used this cdc legged version and it works too. Whatever floats your caddis. The technique for the wing is great. I am sure you will put it to good use.

Tying a Soft Hackle

Soft hackles have been around for a long, long time. In the video I say a hundred years; well, I looked it up, try 500 years! There must be a reason- ah yes, they catch fish. These are simple flies to tie and they work extremely well. Experiment with various color schemes and materials.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tying the CDC Midge Emerger

The CDC Midge Emerger is a dynamite small pattern originated by Shane Stalcup. Tied by Hans Stephenson of Dakota Angler & Outfitter in Rapid City, South Dakota. The CDC soft hackle give the fly movement and traps air bubbles that mimic an emerging midge pupa. Fish this pattern deep behind a copper john. It can also be fished below the surface behind a dry fly such as a parachute adams.

Tying the Klinkhammer Special

Here is a spectacular searching dry fly. This fly will bring fish to the surface when others can't. Fish it along the current seam in riffles and choppy water. This pattern does a great job imitating an emerging caddis, but also is taken for a terrestrial trapped in the film. Grease the post and hackle, but leave the floatant off of the body. The body of the fly should hang down below the surface.

Ryan Gabert put this fly to the test this past summer and found it to be very effective for trout in the Black Hills. It also worked well for cruising carp on the Missouri River.

Tie some in various colors. Two color schemes to focus on are the tan version showed in this video and a black bodied version.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tying the CDC Mayfly Dun

Here is another fly to put in the quick but effective file. Despite being easy to tie, it doesn't have any problem fooling fussy fish. I tie this fly in various colors to match baetis, PMDs, and PEDs here in the hills. It does require some special attention to keep it dry. I use an amadou drying patch to dry the fly after catching a fish. Follow the amadou with a treatment of desiccant floatant. The example in the video is tied to match a baetis (aka Blue Winged Olive) mayfly dun. Happy tying...

Tying the CDC Dun

Tying Hans' Carp Nymph

Stock your boxes with these great flies for the upcoming Carp Season. this easy to tie nymph has been very productive for me the past couple of summers. Fish it in front of tailing carp. Make sure to lead the carp with your cast so the fly has time to sink. As the carp approaches make a short 1-3" strip to attract the carp's attention. Wait for the take. Strip set to set the hook. My favorite color variations use root beer, gold, or pearlescent olive estaz.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Using the Hunchback Scud

Here is a video of the Hunchback in Action. I don't mean me with my bulky hip pack, but rather the fly. It did very well this past Sunday on Rapid Creek. This was a beautiful brown trout.

Tying the Hunchback Scud

Here is the Hunchback Scud, it was my best fly from over the weekend. We have used it quite a bit over the last couple of years. We started buying them from Umpqua Feather Merchants, who got it from tyer Michael McLellan. We love the profile and the weight provided from the lead triangle. I usually tie them in olive, tan rainbow, or UV shrimp pink. The video is a bit jumpy at times from some camera bumping and editing. Enjoy

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tying the Bubble Back Midge

This is a great pattern that we used to keep a guide secret. Now the secret is out. Tie some up and catch a few finicky fish.

New Video- Tying the F-Fly

Here is a great fly to stock your box with. It is a quick and easy tie. I have been using it for the past year with great results. Two weeks ago it took 5 fish during a midge hatch on Rapid Creek. Check it out!

New Video- Tying the F-Fly

Here is a great fly to stock your box with. It is a quick and easy tie. I have been using it for the past year with great results. Two weeks ago it took 5 fish during a midge hatch on Rapid Creek. Check it out!

Tying a Czech Nymph

Here you go, video numero dos- Tying a Czech Nymph

Wednesday, January 6, 2010