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...

Fall Fishing on the Fly

Fall can be a great time of year to fish a fly.  The Brown Trout will start spawning near the end of September in many cases and will be in full force during October.  At the higher elevations, the Cutts will be actively feeding in preparation for the long winter ahead, if you can locate them.  Cutthroat can be a challenging species to target, but that’s what makes it so much fun!  Get out there before Old Man Winter blankets the ground with a layer of snow.  With the low flows at this time of year, stealth is often the name of the game.  Light tippet and small bugs can be helpful.  A great presentation along with a drag free drift is critical.  Fall can also be a great time of year to throw some dry flies.  Fall can also be a great time of year to get out those streamers as well, you don’t need light tippet with streamers!  Some guys will go moussing during a Full Moon as well.  Night fishing can be tough, but it can also be very rewarding.  When fishing the spawn try to be aware of the Redds and the actively spawning fish.  The spawning fish should be left alone, but you can target the deeper pools and swifter deeper runs for feeding fish.  Many bodies of water are stocked and do not rely on natural reproduction, but on the other hand, many are not stocked too much, and those are the fisheries were that we need to take extra care.  Try to release the fish as quickly as possible and try to keep them in the water as much as possible.  The less we handle the fish, the bette...