Black Friday starts now! 20% off Everything NO code needed.

Tips & Tricks

Fly Tying: Soft Hackle

Soft Hackle flies are designed to be as clean and as effective as possible. While they don’t imitate any specific insect, the soft hackle is an effective pattern for anglers of all skill levels. Dead drift it to imitate a dead spider floating down the river or let it swing out at the end of a drift to give this simple fly movement that will entice fish to strike almost every time.  In our January Fly Tying Supply Drop, we go over how to tie this deadly pattern.  Materials Dry fly / Emerger Hook Size 8-18 Thread same color as body Dubbing to create air bubble Hungarian Partridge / Pheasant Patch To get started, place your hook in the jaws of your vise just past the barb giving you plenty of work space to start your wraps. Soft hackle flies can vary greatly in size which will allow for a variety of hook sizes. While there are no wrong combinations here, Dry Fly or Emerger Hooks in size 8 to 18 work well.  From there start your thread wraps by holding the tread to the hook and wrapping over it. Once the thread is secure trim off the tag end.  Continue wrapping thread down the shank of the hook to the curve of the shank. Continue going back and fourth across the shank to build up a thread body. For the next step, we are going to add dubbing to create a “bubble”. This bubble will help the hackle fibers retain their shape in the water. With dubbing a small pinch goes a LONG way so go easy here.  Once we have the dubbing ball, we will ...

DIY Fly Box for under $5

There are many different reasons to make your own fly box. Maybe you don't have the scratch for the newest $35 Umpqua fly box, or you're looking for something light for your backcountry excursions. This is where the trusty Altoids tin comes in handy. For years people have been saving onto and re-purposing these curiously strong tins and now fly fishing is no exception. In this guide, we will show you how to turn your tin into a rigid and reliable fly box for a low cost.  Materials: Altoids Tin Thin Cardboard Duct TapeOptional: Magnetic Tape Velcro   Step 1: Start by prepping your Altoids tin Firstly, make sure all of the mint dust is out of that tin! Its no secret that fish have adapted an exquisite sense of smell. if you go by throwing your flies in a pile of mint dust, your flies will naturally pick up this smell. Simply rinse out your tin in warm water and soap until everything is washed out. As an optional added step, use rubbing alcohol to ensure that there are no residues left behind in the washing process.  Step 2: Creating the dividers Starting with your cardboard, we are going to cut dividers for your tin. For the length of your box, cut a strip of cardboard that measures 3 1/2" x 3/4". For the width of your box, cut two strips that measure 2 1/8" x 3/4". With these three strips cut out, take your length strip (3.5") and make 2 cuts half way through the strip so that each of the three sections measure 1 3/4". The strips that measure the width of your box cut...

Big fish, Little mind

As we near the end of the year and the seasons change, the avid fly fisher knows that right now can be some of the best fishing of the calendar year. Some may credit this to the temperature changes, some to the aggressive browns looking to put on some weight pre/post spawn, but really we all know it’s STREAMER TIME! Streamers are becoming more and more popular and if you’re neglecting this tactic of chasing big fish then you’re missing out! It’s a great way to find and chase the bigger population of a river system and many would agree it’s the most exciting. Now, were all in chase of that big once in a lifetime fish, but before doing so do you ever think about the small fish and where they might be? This is where my theory “Big Fish, Little Mind” stems from. Before we can try and catch the big predatorial fish we’ve got to think like a small fish.                 Thinking like the small ones can be a bit difficult but here are some places to start on your next outing. Before you even get your feet wet, fish the first 10ft of water out from the bank back to the shore. In most cases that’s the softest water and most of the juvenile fish will be feeding on small bugs. During a hatch some small fish make themselves vulnerable to bigger fish by concentrating on eating and not the two foot brown below him just waiting for an easy opportunity. Another great place to locate big fish while thinking like a small one is near current change and slack water. This may be behind structur...

Dry Fly Selection and Rigging

For the novice angler identifying specific bugs can be a challenge. The more you know and understand each bug and its lifecycle, the better you will understand fly-fishing and the more you will begin to hook- up. For the novice, a great rule of thumb is simply to match the size and color of your fly as close as you can to what you see in the water and fish feeding on. Notice the vegetation around you, as the bugs will use streamside vegetation to rest before finishing their life-cycle and laying eggs. Pick up rocks near the bank but submerged in the water and see what is underneath them. Many times you will see nymphs and other forms of insects. This will give you an idea of what is in the water and thus what size and color fly to choose. You don’t always have to “match the hatch” and it isn’t always as critical as some fly anglers would like to think. Especially in the summer months, there is a lot of food in the water. Just because a caddis hatch is happening, doesn’t mean the fish won’t eat other bugs. Unconventional methods have been known to catch a fish too! Thinking outside the box can bring fish to the net in some cases. Throwing a streamer in the middle of a caddis hatch could potentially fool the biggest fish in the river. A good selection of dry flies in various shapes and sizes can be all you need. Even if you have no knowledge of the insects in a river, you can get fish to the net if you’re aware enough. A river seine can help you identify the bugs in a river...