Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Sierras’

  1. Complet a post on the family trip to the Eastern Sierras in August…
  2. Complete the post on Montana Soft Hackle Patterns…
  3. Sift through 1500 + photographs on the Montana and back through Bridgeport and the East Walker River trip…post them..

Meanwhile some things I brought back:

Lil’ Moo’s Montana score…

ZELON tying materials from the Zelon capitol of the Universe…




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Winter…cold, snow, sleet, ice in the guides, lethargic Trout, hands that don’t work , many trips to the truck to warm up …and. these little guys. Fortunately, most of the Midges I tie… will work year round in the tail water fisheries we visit in the Eastern Sierras…These particular ties will be used this Spring on the Lower Owens River near Bishop, CA and the East Walker River in Bridgeport, CA. In this series, I have included some variants of patterns that were created by Pat Dorsey and Steve Parrott, the guys who are BLUE QUILL ANGLERS, in Evergreen, CO…their patterns WORK

Just like the ARMY, one guy is out of step…

Those red hooks are these and I get them HERE

Here are the patterns:

Steve’s Midge (Medallion Midge)/ Variant…

HOOK: TMC 2487, Daiichi 1130, Mustad c49s, #18-#22

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0, White or Lt. Cahill

ABDOMEN: Tying thread

OVER ABDOMEN: Clear or Tan Micro Tubing

THORAX: Black or Dark Brown Superfine Dubbing

TRIGGER SPOT: Micro Flasahbou – Pearl….for this tie, I used SM. Opal Tinsel

SHELLBACK/ WING PADS: Medallion Sheeting, Dark Dun – Hareline

This is a Steve Parrott design, the original recipe may be found HERE. I have chosen to use a different hook and tied it in color(s) that match the small cream midges found in the Lower “O” and East Walker. For those waters, I generally go deep with my Midge patterns, in those locations, because that is where the Trout prefer to take up feeding stations…


HOOK: TMC 2487, Daiichi 1130, #18-#22

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0, Brown

ABDOMEN: Brown Holographic Flashabou

RIB: Lagartun, x-Fine Copper wire

WINGLETS: Flashabou, Tinsel Flash, Marabou Action, Pearl Orange – charge with sunlight, it “GLOWS”…

THORAX: Iridescent Peacok, Brown, Spirit River

BEAD: Copper Tung. or Brass – Lead or Lead Sub. – Optional


There is a little Brown Midge that makes it’s appearance on the Lower Owens River, in the Spring. This fellow was designed to mimic that critter. Standard chocolate wd-40’s and 50’s work well during this emergence…I offer something a bit …well...DIFFERENT. It will probably have some applications on the East Walker…the character below will, report on that…

Michael likes Midges and the East Walker River is loaded with them…

MISTLETOE MIDGE #18-#20, side view…

MISTLETOE MIDGE …tilted view…

HOOK: Daiichi 1153, #18 or Gamakatsu C12-B, #18-#20

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0, Olive

SHUCK: Chartreuse Midge Flash

ABDOMEN: Chartreuse Holographic Tinse, Wapsi, SM

WINGLETS: Flashabou, Tinsel Flash, Marabou Action, Pearl Chartreuse…as above

BEAD: Silver Tung., sized to hook

I have been using pearl or other colored midge flash shucks on many of my Midge patterns for some time. I believe they are very effective and now, I have started playing around with materials which act as “triggers” in these, and other patterns I tie…try some…

PRE-XMAS POWER DINNER WITH Michael…to kick my FLU to the curb !!!


Michael, in from San Francisco and the sides…

Kimchi Spicy Pork Belly Soup, BBQ Sliced Beef and Purple Rice…YUMMMmmmmmm…


HOOK: TMC 2488 #18-#22

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0, Black

ABDOMEN: Natural Goose Biot

RIB: Blue Krystal Flash or Blue Holographic Tinsel for extra “BLING”…

THORAX: Arizona Diamond Hair, Pearl Blue

WINGCASE: Medallion Sheeting, Dark Dun

BEAD: Black Tung., sized to hook

Tilted view…

This is more of a Midge/Mayfly hybrid than a straight Midge pupa. I have had some interesting experiences with the Browns, in the East Walker River, all year round, with blue incorporated into the fly pattern design. This is another offering for Spring, that was influenced and inspired by a pattern I saw HERE. I see some other variations, tied with Turkey and Goose Biots, using other flash materials for the ribbing, in my future…


HOOK: Gamakatsu C12-B, #18-#20

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0, Black

SHUCK: Midge Rainbow Flash, Cascade Crest

ABDOMEN: Pink Holographic Flashabou, 2 strands

RIB: Ultra wire, Red, x-sm

ABDOMEN: Ice Dub, UV Dun

WINGCASE/WING BUDS: Medallion Sheeting, Dark Dun

A little play on Steve Parrott’s Medallion Midge using the red Gamakatsu hook I am really becoming enamored with…the “Pinky” clobbered some nice Browns and Rainbows for us on the East Walker this past Spring…I believe this variant will see some exciting “hook-ups”…

Tilted view…

The TRADITIONAL day after Christmas Chinese Dinner with FAMILY…this year at a new place : MISSION 261 “.GUNG HAY FAT CHOY” from PT and Family !!!

$3.00 BRIDGE DIP. HOLO/RED…#16-#18…side view…

Tilted view…BECAUSE, Craig is out of the # 18′s

HOOK: TMC 2487, Daiichi 1130, #16-#18

THREAD: Gordon Griffith 14/0, Red

ABDOMEN: Red Holographic Mylar Motion – Spirit River

RIB: Lagartun, Silver, x-fine

WING: Coastal Deer Hair, Bleached

BEAD: Silver Tung. or Brass, sized to hook

The “classic” BRF, Craig Matthew’s pattern with a new paint job…this pattern and a whole lot of variations on this theme, consistently take nice Trout…I would not be without them…

TUNG FLASHBACK BLACK BEAUTY…Dorsey/Variant…(the winglets are a secret trigger on the EAST WALKER RIVER)

HOOK: TMC 2488, #18-#24

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0, Black

ABDOMEN: Tying thread

RIB: Lagartun, Copper, x-fine or Silver, x-fine

FLASHBACK:  UTC SM Pearl Tinsel or UTC SM OPal Tinsel

WINGLETS: 2 strands of Grizzly Krystal Flash, Black/White

BEAD: Tun. or Brass with Lead or Lead Sub., Black or Silver

Another Pat Dorsey original that I have taken the liberty of “tweaking”. The winglets, in this coloration combo, have acted as a trigger on this pattern with which, Michael totally outscored his Pop one afternoon and evening on the East Walker…We are talkin’ about some Browns of major proportions !!! I plan on getting EVEN

CHIRONOFLASH MIDGE PUPA…Parrott/Variant…Side view…

HOOK: TMC 2488, #18-#24

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0, Brown

ABDOMEN: Tying thread

OVERABDOMEN: Tan Micro Tubing

TRIGGER/HOT SPOT: Micro Pearl Flashabou

WINGCASE: Medallion Sheeting, Mottled Brown

Tilted view…

This is another Steve Parrott design…simple with a “hot spot”…my variation, is once again for those chocolate/brown Midges that are seen on the Lower Owens River in the Spring…


HOOK: TMC 2487, Daiichi 1130, #18-#20

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0 Grey

SHUCK: Midge Flash, Lt. Blue Dun

ABDOMEN: Danville Silver Tinsel, 16/18

RIB: Lagartun, Blue wire, Fine

WINGLETS: 2 strands of Grizzly Krystal Flash, Red/Black

THORAX: Arizona Diamond Hair, Lt. Blue

BEAD: Silver Tung., sized to hook

Tilted view…

My experience, with stuff I tie like this…is reflected BELOW

“HEY DAD, Gimme’ another one of those…!!!”…


HOOK: Mustad c49s, Dai Riki 125, #18-#22

THREAD: Tiemco 16/0, Brown

SHUCK: Strands of SLF PRISM, Amber

ABDOMEN: Uni-Stretch 1x, Brown, twisted

RIB: Lagartun, Copper, x-fine

THORAX: Hare-Tron Dubbing, Dark Brown

WINGCASE: Electronics packing foam

KG would be Kelly G. Glissmeyer who ties some nifty patterns. This little guy is intended for spring creeks and appeared in the WINTER 2011 Issue of Flyfishing & Tying Journal pg. 29. Kelly tied this pattern in black using flat tying thread for the abdomen and black dubbing for the thorax. My variant is keyed for those Chocolate/Brown Lower “O” midges that will, hopefully, be lookin’ up – this Spring…I like this UNI -Stretch for the segmentation it provides…tied in other colors, it would cover a wide range of Midge hatches…

“THE BURPLE”…a Midgey-Nymphy Thingee…Gamakatsu, C12-B, #20…side view…

For this place, just about this TIME of day…

Tilted view…

HOOK: Gamakatsu C16-B, #18-#20

THREAD: Tiemco16/0 Black

UNDER ABDOMEN: Purple Haze Holographic Flash Fibers – Hareline

OVER ABDOMEN: Blue Micro Tubing

THORAX: Arizona Simi-Seal, Purple

LEGS: Fluro Fiber, Grey

BEAD: Killer Caddis, Glass, Blueberry, SM

So the sun is starting to hang low, in the late afternoon, while we are on the East Walker River and Michael turns to me and asks, “What should I put on, Dad?” I reached into my box and handed him THIS (“Deep Purple”) “Try this as your lead” , I said. He wasn’t disappointed…this pattern may be tied with or without legs…it is meant to be used as a surface trailer or fished in the depths, as a trailer, when the sunlight is off the water’s surface…you won’t be disappointed – either

To those who are new to this tying thing…make it FUN…retain a sense of wonderment and expectation that anything produced will catch a fish…glue this look on ‘yer face – as the experiments begin at the vise:

My Grandson Miles, attempting to levitate his first milk shake at Bob’s Big Boy

NEXT: Some ties for CFR and a participation/fly box drawing at FFA


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In the Fall, on the Owens River and the East and West Walker Rivers, there is a hatch of Grannom Caddis that is often overlooked – given the hatches of Baetis that are popping up all over the place and the angler’s urge to smack something of historic proportions on streamer patterns…these little guys are known to the Trout and account for a great deal of my early Fall hook-ups…These Caddis run in the size # 18 and sometimes, # 20 category, depending on location. I always have a batch of patterns to match these little insects…

A perfect Fall day, on the Lower “O” …the scene is set…for Grannom

Here are three simple and very effective Serendipity patterns I use:


HOOK: TMC 5262 #18, TMC 3761 # 20, Daiichi 1560 # 18

THREAD: Gordon Griffith 14/0 sheer, Black

BODY: 1/3 Strand Chartreuse Zelon or 1/2 strand spooled Antron, twisted

WING: White Zelon

NOTE* Sometimes I will mix in a strand of Pearl Krystal Flash or Olive Krystal Flash

Nice Grannom water on the Lower Owens River…


HOOK: TMC 5262 #18, TMC 3761 # 20, Daiichi 1560 # 18

THREAD: Gordon Griffith 14/0 sheer, Brown

BODY: 1/3 strand  Tan Zelon or 1/2 strand cream or tan Antron

WING: White Zelon

NOTE* I will sometimes mix in a strand of Pearl or UV Tan Krystal Flash...yeah, I run into this color too…

The Owens River in the afternoon in late Fall day…don’t be seeing any Baetis here…


HOOK: TMC 5262 #18, TMC 3761 # 20, Daiichi 1560 # 18

THREAD: Gordon Griffith 14/0 sheer, Black

BODY: Danville 504 Flymaster, 6/0 nylon

WIRE: Wapsi Ultra Wire, Blue, xsm

WING: White Zelon

A little history behind the above pattern:

I was coming up to this spot on the Owens River, below Five Bridges, one fine Fall day, when I spy this fellow on the opposite bank flippin’ hardware into the top of the pool…over there where the stump is. I sat down, back into the tules, on a sand bar and watched him run his Mepps spinner back up through the pool, across the pool and finally, perpendicular to the pool…NADA. He spotted me. I asked him if he had any luck. “Nope”, he replied. “Wanna’ try it”, he asked. I responded that I would give it a couple of minutes before placing my bug in the water. I cracked a can of COKE and waited patiently for things to quiet down. Presently, after about 20 minutes, I moved up to a position directly across from him and began casting the above pattern into the water above the pool…I took and released eight nice Rainbows and Browns, none of which was under 14 inches, ten feet from where he was sitting. Finally, he couldn’t stand it…”What are you using”, he asked? I moved through the shallow water at the top of the pool and put the Chartreuse/Blue Wire Serendipity into his hand…”I gotta’ learn how to fly fish”, he said….another CONVERT

I have been known to hang one of these off the bend of a Bugger or Streamer…heh, heh…


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After I get the story of Michael up ( finally) – I will be posting some new Midge patterns and then some variations on Jeremy Davies’ famous ” Evil Weevil”…seen here:

The Finished Fly Evil Weevil Nymph Tying Pattern

Instructions for tying may be found at:


Right now, I kinda’ feel like this guy…


Angelo “Diablo” Barker, hunkered down in the snow, White Mtns., Eastern Sierras…


New stuff to play with…

Hump-Bak™ Glass Beads
Designed with an offset hole, these beads are the ticket for Bubble-Bak™ or Flash-Bak™ patterns. Perfect for sizes 12 – 18.

Available in the colors below
Copper Sheen
Clear Rainbow
Roe Red


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Hot Creek Ranch is situated off Hwy. 395 – East of the Mammoth Lakes Airport. My first visit to the ranch was in Mid September 1976. After returning from my extended trip to Aspen, I had resumed my career in the entertainment industry, joining with two twin brothers to start a new public relations firm on Sunset Blvd. I needed a fly fishing fix.


June 2018…

Hot Creek at sunset…

The water…

We arrived on early a Thursday morning. Fall was in the air and a fresh frost covered the ground in front of our cabin. Ilse and Nadia came for leisure and horseback riding. I came for the fish.

Dry fly fishing with single barbless hooks is the code on this property. To insure adherence to this rule, a crusty old codger rode a beat up motorcycle with spongy suspension on twice-daily rounds along the trail next to the creek, monitoring every fisherman.

A small store at the ranch sold limited angling supplies and flies that were created for this water. I purchased several small dry fly patterns in sizes 18 & 20. None of my choices were particularly effective. I had tied some skating spider patterns consisting of a tail and two oversized hackles attached to a short shank dry fly hook with the convex sides of the hackles facing each other at mid hook. After giving up on the flies I had bought and increasingly frustrated by the blustery afternoon wind, I tied one of my creations (thanks Ed Hewitt) to the end of a 12 ft. knotless, 5x leader and to that attached a tippet of 18 inches ( grease this puppy!) and one of the flies in a ginger color. I began casting down stream and downwind with my Leonard.

…more water…

Some Dry Flies I have collected and tied through the years for Hot Creek…

As the leader and fly bounced up and down over the surface of the stream, I positioned myself so that the line, leader and fly lifted and dropped inches from the opposite bank. Within moments, a rocket smashed through the surface film and engulfed the offering. I watched as a hefty Brown raced downstream and cart wheeled in the air. On the strike, the fish had solidly hooked itself. I palmed the reel quickly as my line played out only then realizing that I had set my drag far too lightly. The tippet held and within a minute I brought the struggling eighteen incher to hand on the near bank. I immediately released the fish and prepared myself for what I believed was going to be an epic afternoon.

I would like to report that I caught numerous Trout of gargantuan proportions that day. However, as it played out, I raised an infinitely larger number of fish than I was able to hook. In any case, it was one of the most memorable days of my early fly-fishing experiences.

Another view of the Ranch at Hot Creek…

When the wind is blowing on moving water anywhere, I generally spend some quality time with the spider. …(or Hewitt’s Neversink Skater)

Nadia and Ilse at Hot Creek…


Nadia with Pop’s Winston Fiberglass, 7’6′, 4WT Rod, Hot Creek Ranch…

Looking down the Creek towards the canyon where the public water is located…

..me and Nadia…





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