Saturday, December 27, 2014

Near Disaster on the Salmon River

Salmon River in Mt. Hood National Forest
When hiking into unfamiliar terrain one should always have a compass, a GPS or other emergency equipment, such as a map, first aid kit and matches. Without these necessities lady luck may be your only means of avoiding disaster. Unfortunately, my friend Rob and I found this out the hard way. 

We arrived at the Salmon River in the Mt. Hood National Forest and prepared to hike up the Salmon River trail 4 1/2 miles to reach Final Falls. The lower river contained wild salmon and Steelhead which were protected, but there were good numbers of native Cutthroat trout that were catch and release only. The trail began at Green Canyon Campground. We left around noon and planned to return before dark which, in the fall, was usually around 6:00 or 6:30. 

As we headed up through the massive canopy of old growth Douglas Fir and Cedar, we stopped and fished at a variety of pocket water, intriguing riffles and inviting pools. The sun glistened brightly off the water as we caught and released numerous trout using various caddis patterns. Most of the fish caught were small, 6 to 9 inches long, but very feisty. A 10 to 12 incher was considered a trophy.

Finally, we reached the Falls and took a break for lunch. Then, we spent several more hours fishing, taking photos and reminiscing about past experiences. It had been a fun and productive day but as the time neared 5:00 we decided to head back before it got dark. However, we forgot to take one thing into consideration. The river was located in a forested canyon and the trees and dense foliage helped to blanket out the waning light. After only a mile of hiking, darkness slowly swallowed up the light and the evening quickly turned into pitch black. We were in trouble. 

We had matches and some paper but that only gave us a quarter mile of limited guidance. The trail was wide and smooth enough so our only hope was to use team work to hopefully make our way back. I grabbed the rods and held them out laterally in front and Rob grabbed my small back pack and held on tight. Then in unison, we took small footsteps as I moved the rods back and forth in front of us to keep us in contact with the trail. Luckily, after 2 1/2 grueling and harrowing hours we neared the trail’s end and saw our car in the faint light. 

We were elated but as we approached it an exasperating event occurred. Unbelievably, a full moon slowly loomed over the canyon walls, and you could clearly see the entire surroundings. From then on we agreed to learn more about Solunar Tables and to be prepared for any uncertainties.     

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Clark's Hex Hopper

Clark's Hex Hopper
Lee Clark, the originator of the Clark’s Stonefly, is an innovative fly tier, which is shown in his new fly the Clark's Hex Hopper. This unique fly was tied to suggest an emerging Hexagenia Limbata, better known as the big yellow mayfly. 

The big yellow mayfly measures 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches in length. It is unique because it usually emerges just before dark, and it can be found in both lakes and streams. 

Fish will take this fly aggressively if you use quick, short jerks that cause the fly to pop like a bass popper. When fish are not surface feeding this method can be used to entice lethargic fish into striking. It is also effective when used for bass and Steelhead. 

Hook:  2X long sizes 6-8,
Thread:  Black 6/0
Tail:  Brown mallard flank and Krystal Flash
Body:  Dark hare’s ear dubbing
Rib:  Medium gold oval tinsel
Legs:  Brown saddle hackle
Head:  Tan or brown deer hair

Step 1. Tie in a clump of mallard flank feathers. 
Then tie in 6-10 strands of Krystal Flash on top.

Step 2. Tie in a strand of medium gold oval tinsel 
and spin hare’s ear dubbing onto the thread.

Step 3. Wrap the dubbing forward to 1/3 inch of the 
hook eye. Then, wrap the tinsel forward about six wraps. 
Next, attach the palmered brown hackle in tip first.

Step 4.Spiral in 3 to 4 wraps of hackle and 
wrap slightly back over it to form a 45˚ angle. 
Leave 1/3 of the hook open for the head.

Step 5. Spin the deer hair on to form the head. 
then cut and trim the deer hair so that it is slightly 
round on top and flat on the bottom. Tie off and cement.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Miracle on North Fork Reservoir

large lake created by a dam on the Clackmas River  near Estacada, Oregon.  Shows pine trees surrounding the lake.
North Fork Reservoir near Estacada, OR
I was just a young boy of 12 when my dad and I had a fishing experience that would rival many accounts of Ripley’s “Believe it or Not.” It happened when we were fishing for trout on North Fork Reservoir near Estacada, Oregon. It harbored planted Rainbow trout as well as some hatchery Steelhead that inadvertently would escape from the fish trap at Cazadero Dam. 

We launched Dad’s 12 foot Sea King boat into the placid water and headed out to the cadence of his 5-horsepower Scott-Atwater motor. Dad set our trolling rigs out and they quickly started dancing to the rhythm of the copper-pated spinning flies. My hopes were at a fever pitch as Dad maneuvered the boat in and out of the wooded shore line, but after two hours we only had a few strikes. I was getting a little discouraged and as I turned to complain to Dad my rod was jerked out of my hand and plunged into the water. He quickly revved up the engine and made an effort to follow my wayward outfit but to no avail. My rod was gone and I hung my head in despair, but fortunately he had another one rigged up so I could continue fishing. 

The remainder of the day was spent zig-zagging the boat in the hopes of hooking some fish or possibly my rod. As darkness began to fall, and without any luck, we headed back to the boat ramp. We were the last fishermen to concede defeat. When we docked the boat, a fellow was idly standing by his trailer and as we approached he curiously asked, “Did you guys have any luck today?” 

Dad paused for a moment and responded, “Yeah, but it was all bad. We didn’t catch any fish and when my son finally hooked one the rod was….” 

The man quickly interrupted, reached into his boat, pulled out an outfit and asked, “Is this what you're looking for?”  We were stunned. It was my rod and reel! With a slight grin he handed it to me and said, “You might want this too.” He pulled the rest of the line from the boat and handed me a nice 8 pound Steelhead with my copper spinning fly still hooked in its jaw. I was spellbound and all my dad could say was, “Well, I’ll be dammed!”

The offer to give him the fish for his trouble and honesty was graciously refused and he turned to me and said, “Son, you hooked the fish. All I did was land it for you. It’s all yours."

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Boy's First Trout

Ten year old boy squatting on the river bank wearing sunglasses and a fishing vest holding a 20 pound trout he had just landed.
David's First Trout
My son David was the last of my four sons to learn how to fly fish and experience success. He had learned how to tie flies and cast, but catching his first trout had eluded him until he was ten years old. Success finally came on a float trip down the Deschutes River but not without a few apprehensive moments.

As I helped my son rig up his outfit, I briefly explained how to mend the line and use the wet fly swing to present the fly down and across the current. I also told him to keep the rod at a low angle as the fly swings and not to jerk the rod if he got a take. At my suggestion, he tied on an old reliable orange-bodied Tied Down Caddis. Finally, I reminded him to be careful of the rattlesnakes when he was walking, and if he saw one to stop and shout for help. He nodded with assurance and headed up to a nice riffle.

From camp I watched him make his first few casts, and I felt that this might be the time David would catch his first trout. After half an hour nary a sound was heard, and I was wondering if he might need some help when a blood-chilling scream echoed in the air. I thought “snake” and rushed up stream for fear that he had been bitten, but it was a false alarm. David had finally hooked his first trout and it was a nice one. After several intense minutes he finally landed it. It was close to 20 inches.

I took a quick photo and after he released it I asked him how he enjoyed the action. All he could say was “excellent.” From then on I knew that he may have thought that he had hooked the fish, but in reality the fish had hooked him for life. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Kubitz Special Steelhead Fly

steelhead fly with green and purple and tinsel body, krystal flash tali and wing, and purple front hackle
Kubitz Special Steelhead Fly
The Kubitz Special steelhead fly had an interesting development. When my son Jeff was 12 years old, he was helping me in my fly shop. Being a creative fly tier, he would at times make up some weird looking patterns. They went mostly unused, but I would keep them around my desk so he wouldn’t feel as though his efforts went for naught. One day he tied a fly that was somewhat uncustomary in that Krystal Flash was a predominant feature. Like the others, it was added to the collection. It remained there for several months, but every so often it would catch my eye and I’d pick it up to consider its possibilities.

This feeling gradually grew on me until my curiosity was overwhelming, and I decided to try it for winter steelhead. The next morning I drove to the Sandy River and began casting my 350-grain shooting head with a 10-pound, five-foot leader.  Four casts later I had hooked and landed a bright 20-pound fish. With this startling success, I began to use a sparse amount of Krystal Flash for some of my standard patterns.  From then on I paid more attention to Jeff’s creative fly innovations. The fly was named after the access road to the river.

Hook:  36890 Nos. 4-6
Tail:  Black Krystal flash                                                                          
Body:  Rear 1/3 hot green chenille, front 2/3 purple wool
Rib:  Silver oval tinsel
Hackle:  Purple saddle
Wing:  Full black Krystal Flash tied in body length
Head:  3/0 black

Step 1
Attach a sparse amount of black Krystal Flash 
for the tail. Tie in the oval tinsel and the chenille. 

Step 2
Wrap the green chenille up 1/3 and attach he purple wool. 

Step 3
Wrap the wool up and follow with five to six turns of tinsel.  
Attach the purple hackle.
Step 4
Spin the hackle forward three to four times and wrap slightly back 
over it to form a 45-degree angle. Then, tie a full wing of Krystal 
Flash about the length of the body. Finish the head and cement. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Winter Fly Fishing for Trout

Pheasant Tail Nymph
Fly fishing when the temperature is below 30 degrees can be problematic and challenging. But it can also be productive if you know when and where certain insects will be hatching. Patience is a necessary element for success. Dressing for the weather is important since you may have to sit and wait for certain hatches to appear. One nice advantage is that there is usually more room to fish when the weather is cold and inclement.

Hare's Ear Nymph
Glo Bug
Here are some things I’ve learned on the Deschutes River. First, don’t start fishing until the water warms, which is usually between 10:00 and 2:30 in the afternoon. This is when insect activity is best. There are not as many hatches in the winter, but there are a few that are available: blue-winged olives, midges, the little brown stonefly and various small mayflies. A Black Body Elk Hair Caddis fly, Griffith Gnat, Dark Brown Hare’s Ear and Pheasant Tail nymph can all be productive. Sizes vary from 10-18. If they’re smaller than this you might need the patience of Job to be successful. Also, dead drifting Glo Bugs, San Juan worms and attractor patterns can be very effective, but I don’t fish them like I used to because it requires more effort to be successful. Simply put, fishing dry flies is more relaxing and in many cases more productive than other methods.

Griffith Gnat Dry fly
My favorite fly pattern is a Blue-Winged Olive, but the hatches are not as consistent as they used to be. It’s possible that the flood of 1996 ripped out lots of important vegetation for insects.  Depending on the river, the normal time of emergence is between 11:00 to 2:30 in the afternoon. During very cold and unpleasant weather, I’ve had some of my best fishing when it’s snowing. With regard to the water types, look for glides that have surface depressions and current tongues that may concentrate nymphs. Also, swirls on the surface can indicate fish are taking nymphs.  

Blue-Winged Olive Dry Fly
Elk Hair Caddis Dry Fly
A final thought is that vigilance might produce good results. If there isn’t any action, just sit back and enjoy the scenery and the variety of wildlife such as water oozles, ducks, deer, swallows and eagles. Success can only be measured by enjoying the total experience.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How to Fish Foam-bodied Surface Bug Flies.

Picture of four types of foam-bodied surface bug flies.
Examples of Foam-bodied Surface Bug Flies
As a rule, flies with rubber legs are fairly large and are used on all types of moving and still waters. They suggest a variety of insects including caddisflies, stoneflies, dragonflies and can be fished both on top and under the surface water. Fish are curiously tempted to strike when they are presented with a variety of twitching techniques. 

If you are fly fishing waters where cruising fish are visible near the surface, cast the fly about four to five feet ahead of the fish but not directly in its path. A few short twitches should get its interest. Even if a fish doesn’t get excited, you better be ready because it has seen it. If it’s going to take it the fish will slowly turn around and nonchalantly head for what the fish believes is an easy meal. Anticipating a strike is exciting, so be ready because the take will be explosive. 

You can also hook fish by dead drifting patterns in a stream or by casting and stripping them using various cadences. Above are a few examples of effective patterns. 

For tying instructions for the Girdle Bug, see my January 1, 2014, blog post:  "Tying Rubber Legged Flies."

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tying the Del Cooper

Del Cooper

Del Cooper Tying a Fly

There are conflicting stories regarding the development of this fly, which became a favorite steelhead fly on the Deschutes River. One account says that an Oregon doctor tied it up and called it the Surgeon General in honor of his friend who was surgeon. Another story came from Jerry Todd, a guide on the Deschutes, who asked Del Cooper to tie a variation of the Skunk Fly that would impress a doctor that he was going to guide. It turned out to be a very successful pattern, which sometimes is erroneously called the Surgeon General. In time, the oversight was rectified and called the Del Cooper.

Hook:  Mustad 36890, sizes 4-6
Thread:  Black 3/0
Tail:  Red hackle fibers
Body:  Purple wool
Rib:  Medium silver oval tinsel
Hackle:  Red saddle
Wing:  White calftail or polar bear

Step 1. Tie in the tail hackle fibers, tinsel and the purple wool.

Step 2. Wrap the purple wool forward and follow 
with 5 to 6 wraps of tinsel. Tie in the saddle hackle.

Step 3. Wrap 3-4 turns of hackle, and select a small 
bunch of calftail. Tie the wing in place with 8-10 wraps.

Step 4. Tie off the head neatly and cement.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Learning How to Tie Flies

Dave Stewart when he was a boy tying a fly
Dave Stewart Tying a Fly
Over a span of many years, I have had the pleasure of teaching hundreds of people how to tie flies, and watching them get started reminded me of my humble beginnings. In those formative years I couldn’t afford to spend a lot of money on equipment to get started so I had to improvise. I used a makeshift clamp device with a wing nut for a vise, a clothespin for a bobbin, a toothpick for a bodkin, nail polish for head cement and a razor blade for scissors. I also raided my mom’s sewing basket for thread, floss, yarn and wool. Also, the neighbor’s rooster and a few road kills contributed to my supply of hackles and furs. For me, necessity was the Mother of Invention, and even though they were not models of perfection, I still managed to catch fish with them.

Eventually, I became a proficient fly tier and I began to teach others how to tie flies, even those who had certain disabilities. I also enjoyed watching the excitement of my sons when they learned how to tie flies and used them to hook their first fish. It was gratifying to see how a simple hobby could arouse so much fascination and enjoyment. Their finished products were messy colorful balls of fur and feathers, but the process hooked them like a fish to a fly. This was entertaining until they started using my prize jungle cock and polar bear, so I had to hide the most valuable materials.

Even today you can get started tying flies with a modest investment of $50 to $75 for a basic tying kit. This may include a starter vice, bobbin, thread, hooks, head cement, basic materials and other equipment. There are many good books available on tying flies. Also, fly tying lessons and Internet videos will help.

I started with Herter’s Fly Tying and Tackle Making Manual, but over the years I relied on dozens of books to improve and perfect my techniques. This eventually led me into teaching others how to tie flies as well as writing several books on fly tying. My first book is entitled, “Tying and Fishing Outstanding Flies." My most recent book is entitled, “The Practical Fly Fisher.”  Both books are available on Amazon.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Knouff Lake Cannibal Trout

Green bodied dry sedge fly with grizzly hackle and white mallard downwing
Green Traveling Sedge Fly
developed by Doug Stewart
Knouff Lake, also called Sullivan Lake, is located about 30 miles northeast of the city of Kamloops, BC. This town was named after the large Kamloops Rainbow trout that are found in many lakes throughout the province, some weighing more than 15 pounds. The record for Knouff Lake was 17.5 pounds, but on this trip one fish that was caught established a unique record for us.  

My friend Pete Jones and I anticipated good fishing as we slid my 14-foot boat into the water. We hoped that the traveling sedges would be present because when they hatched out they would skitter across the surface before flying off. This would cause the fish to explode to the surface to take them. Our timing was perfect as fish were rising everywhere so we anchored up and started casting. 

Fishing was great as we started catching and releasing 2 to 3 pounders for several hours, but the hatch was tapering off. I made one final cast and hooked another one that felt very heavy. The fish pulled and tugged for almost 5 minutes but finally began to submit to the rod’s pressure. As Pete began to net it we were shocked. It was only about 15 inches long, but its belly was abnormally distorted. The fish looked like an over-inflated football, and as I held it up numerous leeches spewed out of its mouth. It probably weighed close to 5 pounds. 

“It’s a Cannibal!” Pete said. “That’s what it is. It’s been gorging on anything in sight.” Curiosity got the best of us, so I decided to put the fish out of its misery and see what it had been feeding on. Its stomach revealed the evidence. Besides more leeches, it had also engulfed several crawdads, countless caddis and dragonfly nymphs, and two 4-inch trout. I turned to Pete, who never passed up a free meal, and said, “You know Pete, overindulgence can happen to any animal, especially people.” Pete scowled at me and said sarcastically, “Doug, if a fish had your physique, it would starve to death!”

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Grizzly King Streamer

Grizzly King Streamer
The Grizzly King was developed by Professor James Wilson around the 1840’s. He may have tied it to suggest the Green Drake, but the streamer version may also represent minnows and other underwater denizens. It can be stripped back using various cadences or trolled from a boat. In England, it is a popular Brook Trout pattern. 

A gold tag at the hook bend can be included for additional attraction. It can also be tied as a dry fly pattern to suggest adult caddisflies. I tied a similar pattern in Canada that I called the Green Sedge which had a grey mallard downwing and grizzly hackle. 

Hook:     9672 Mustad sizes 6-10
Thread:  3/0 black Monocord
Tail:        Red hackle fibers
Body:     Green or olive floss
Tinsel:    Flat or round silver
Wing:     2 matched feather-wing grizzly saddles
Hackle:  Grizzly saddle hackle

Tie in the tail, tinsel and floss. 

Wrap the floss forward and tie it off 3/16 inch from the eye. 
Wrap the tinsel forward 5-6 times and tie it off.

Match up the feather wings and tightly secure them on top. Tie in the hackle.

Wrap the hackle 3-4 times around the hook. 
Wrap back over the feathers so that they are at a 45˚ angle. 
Tie it off and cement the head to complete the fly.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tying The Professor Dry Fly

color picture of the professor dry fly
The Professor Fly
This handsome fly was developed by accident in the 19th Century by John Wilson, a professor in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is said that when he ran out of effective flies he fastened buttercup petals around the hook shank and various leaves and grasses to the form a head. Surprisingly, he had immediate success and named the new fly after his professional title. 


Hook:  3906B Mustad sizes 8-12,
Thread:  Black UNI-Thread 6/0
Tail:  Red feather strip or hackles
Body:  Yellow floss
Rib:  Small gold tinsel
Wing:  Mallard flank feathers
Hackle:  Brown saddle 

Line drawing of tying in the tail, floss and tinsel of The Professor fly.

Tie in the tail and attach the floss and tinsel.

Line drawing of tying in the mallard flank feather divided wing and attaching the hackle of The Professor fly.

Wrap the floss forward and follow with five or six turns of tinsel.

Tie in the mallard flank feather wing upright and divided and attach the hackle.

Line drawing of The Professor fly.

Wrap the hackle in and complete the head.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ways to Learn How to Fly Fish

Doug Teaching a Fly Tying Class
In order to properly learn how to fly fish, you need to use all of the resources available to you. Following are some suggestions that can help put you on the right track.

Personal Friend: Going fly fishing with someone with experience can be helpful as long as he or she is willing to work with you and show you the basic methods. 

Fly Shop: Select a shop that offers classes and gives personalized service and good advice. A nominal fee might be charged to take a lesson, but it will pay off in the long run. You will also have the opportunity to meet new people, learn new techniques and learn about places to fish. If it doesn’t provide these necessities, find another fly shop.

Clinics: Seminars and promotional events are the backbone of learning fly fishing basics or upgrading your knowledge and skills.

Books: Books are an invaluable source for helping you learn, research and store information for future use.

Internet: Surfing the web can expand your knowledge and put you in contact with many new resources.

Guide trips: This is a more expensive way to learn, but with a professional guide can give you on-the-spot instruction and important hands on experience. One trip like this can help you learn where to find fish, how to cast to them and how to select fly patterns. Also, the experience will give you more confidence when you are fly fishing on your own.

Community Colleges: Extension courses are valuable and can help you learn the basics. One problem can be that large classes might not allow individual attention.

Self Taught: Without any available resources, trial and error may be the only way to learn the basics. It could take you more time to become successful and you may develop unorthodox techniques, but even so, most fly fishers can still eventually become very successful.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fishing Courtesy

Fish On?
The Nehalem River in Oregon
Courtesy on any river is an unwritten law. You just don’t barge into someone’s water, or if there is room for another angler, you should always ask first before fishing. Once in a while though someone will break this law. Advice about the violation is often direct and to the point and tempers can be short. My friend John had such an experience which imparted a painful and chilling lesson to an angler on the Nehalem River.

John had used his pocket knife to hack his way through the willows to reach a good hole to fish. He quickly got lucky and hooked a nice steelhead which took him downstream before he could land it. When he returned with his fish another angler was fishing in his spot. John politely explained than this was his spot and he wanted it back since he had cut his way in to fish it. Sarcastically, the guy said, “I don’t see your name written on this hole. Do you think you own this whole river?” John stared at him for a second and dryly responded, “No buddy, I don’t own all of it, but what little of it I do own I’m gonna give it all to you.” Then he promptly knocked him into the river. Fortunately, this fellow decided not to retaliate and headed off downriver. A difficult lesson in courtesy was learned the hard way, but not necessarily the best way.

The heavy traffic on our rivers today sometimes resembles freeways. Crowded conditions don’t make it easy to drive a car or fish our favorite drifts, but by showing a little respect for the next guy difficulties can be alleviated. Courtesy can be Contageous! If everyone relied on a similar code of ethics we would probably have fewer problems and get more enjoyment out of our sport.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tying the Leadwing Coachman

Leadwing Coachman

The Leadwing Coachman is one of the best all-around flies used to suggest caddis emergers. It can simulate the caddis pupa of the Rhycophila (Green Rockworm) and the Hydrophysche (Spotted Sedge). The Green Rockworm is a free-living caddis that attaches itself to the substrate and forages for food along the bottom. The Spotted Sedge is a net builder and makes its home by cementing bottom material to its body. 

Fish easily take these insects in their larval stage and when they emerge. Both can be dead drifted or swung across the current to suggest emergers. You can enhance its effectiveness by twitching it as it swings.

Hook:  Mustad 3906B sizes 10-16
Thread:  3/0 black Monocord
Body:  Peacock herl (gold tag optional)
Hackle:  Brown red game
Wing: Two sections of gray duck primaries

Tie in 2-3 peacock herls. 

Wrap the herls forward and attach the hackle.

Spin the hackle to the eye, tie it off and 
wrap slightly back over it to form a 45˚.

Match two primaries together. With the tips pointed down, 
pinch them on top and secure them tightly with 4-5 wraps.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

When Wading, Discretion is the Better Part of Valor

A back view picture of Doug Stewart  balancing himself in fast water rapids on the Deschutes River while fly fishing for steelhead
Doug Fly Fishing Fast Water
Throughout my fishing career I have been close to the brink of disaster many times but I was very lucky. I used these situations as learning experiences. However, one time I got a good lesson from the Deschutes River that reminded me I wasn’t indispensable. 

I was fishing a short run called the Ledge Hole, so named because you had to wade over large boulders up to your waist to reach a wide ledge. You needed to anchor your body against the current as you made your casts. It could be tenuous depending on the height of the river, but nonetheless I waded out and started casting my old standby, the Max Canyon. After only a few casts I was into a good-sized steelhead of at least 15 pounds. It took off downriver, and as I began to retreat to the bank, I suddenly slipped and started drifting downriver with my fish. Luckily, my wading belt was tightly secured, and it created an air pocket inside my waders which helped me keep afloat. 

As I struggled to restrain the fish, a stark realization emerged. I was nearing a series of rapids and had to make a split second decision, break the fish off or ride the rapids out to land it. For a moment I had some reservations, but I quickly realized that taking a chance might cost me my life. I tightened the drag and broke the fish off knowing that it was better to be safe than sorry.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tying the Doc Spratley Streamer

Doc Spratley Streamer
I originally used the Doc Spratley successfully on many Canadian lakes in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. It was developed by Dick Prankard of Mt. Vernon, Washington, in the late 1950’s. One story of its development occurred in Prankard’s fly shop when his close friend Dr. Donald Spratley walked in quietly and unnoticed behind Prankard as he was tying a fly. When he said "Hi" it startled Dick and he broke his tying thread. Slightly perturbed Dick said, “Dang it Doc Spratley, just because of that I’m naming this fly after you!”

This fly is a great lake pattern that can represent caddisflies and leeches. It’s also a great steelhead pattern and can be tied with black, green, orange or red wool.

Hook:  Mustad 9672, sizes 4-8,
Thread:  3/0 black
Tail:  Grizzly
Body:  Black wool
Rib:  Silver oval tinsel
Hackle:  Grizzly
Wing:  Pheasant tail
Head:  Peacock herl (optional)

Tie in the tail and attach the rib and black wool.

Wrap the wool forward and tie off 3/16 inch of the eye. 
Follow with 4 to 6 wraps of tinsel. Attach the front grizzly hackle.

Spiral the hackle forward 2 to 3 times and wrap 
slightly back over it so it’s at a 45 degree angle.

Tie in the wing without extending beyond the
length of the tail. Tie off the head and cement it. 

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