Posts Tagged ‘Madison River’

Here they is:


PHOTO: “BAETIS” – John Jurasek, Blue Ribbon Flies Newsletter

The prolific little bugs that love to hatch on overcast, blustery, rainy, snowy, miserable and memorable days on waters everywhere. I LOVE these guys…



Hook: TMC 2487, Diiachi 1130, #16-24 (Fall SMALL)

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths, 14/0, olive or gray

TAIL: Three olive or brown Pheasant tail fibers

Rib: Gold Largutan extra fine wire

ABDOMEN: Wapsi thread, Olive Brown

THORAX: SLF Prism ,Olive Brown, picked out

WINGCASE: Black Krystal Flash or Firefly

BEAD: Gold

I have used this fly on the Owens, Hot Creek and The East Walker River in the Fall with success by fishing it deep prior to a hatch, The black KF version works best trailed off an emerger – about 12′ of tippet material off the bend…


John Barr’s BWO Emerger…

HOOK: TMC 101, # 16 – # 24

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths, 14/0, Gray

TAIL:Dun Hen Hackle fibers, clipped

ABDOMEN: Stalcups BWO Dubbing

THORAX: Adams Gray Superfine or Muskrat Gray

WINGCASE/ LEGS: Bunch of Dun Hen Hackle tied over, evenly separated and tied back

John Barr developed this pattern a long time ago – it still works. Fish it deep or through the water column. I sometimes pull Black KF over the top above the hen hackle to give the fly a sight hump. The hen hackle fibers are retained for legs…


Foam Baetis Emerger…

HOOK: TMC 100, #18-#24

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths 14/0, Olive or Gray

TAIL/SHUCK: Olive or Olive Brown Zelon

RIB: Largutan, Gold, extra fine wire

ABDOMEN: Olive or Natural Pheasant Tail

THORAX: Dk. Olive ,Stalcup’s Baetis dubbing, picked out

WINGCASE/TAG: Razor Foam, Gray

This is a good flat water, stuck emerger. I use it along edges on the Owens and on waters where the Trout are in the tipped back sipping mode – picking off easy prey. I find this on really cold days when it takes a little longer for the bugs to get off the surface film…


Pheasant Tail…

HOOK: TMC 3761, #16-#20

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths 14/0, Brown

TAIL: Natural Pheasant Tail Fiber or Olive

RIB: Largutan, Gold, Extra Fine or XSM Wapsi Wire, copper

ABDOMEN: Pheasant Tail Fibers, natural or Olive

THORAX: Peacock Herl, SLF Prism ,Olive Brown,Arizona Peacock (natural), Ice Dub, Olive Brown,Ostrich Herl- Olive, Brown and Dark Gray

BEAD: Gold or Copper

WINGCASE/ LEGS: Pheasant Tail Fibers, pulled over and separated, Natural or Olive

This is the American standard. Through the years, I have tied it using different kinds of materials for the thorax. With the arrival of Dyed Pheasant Tail, I have tied it in Black, Red, Yellow and Green…get the picture? IT SLAYS…


EthaDun BWO Parachute…

HOOK: TMC 100, #16-#24, TMC 102Y, # 17- #21

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths 14/0, Olive, Brown, Gray

TAIL: Microfibetts, color to match thread

ABDOMEN: Turkey or Goose Biot, fringed- tan, olive, gray

THORAX: Flyrite, Super Fine or Stalcups – Lt. Olive, Dk. Olive, Olive/ Brown, Brown/Olive

HACKLE: Premium Dun

WING: Ethafoam or Evazote – Gray or colored Gray

One of my favorite dry patterns. I don’t use dries a lot. I learned early on from Georges Odier that 90% of the time, Trout feed below the surface. However, there is just something irresistible about dry fly fishing and this pattern floats well and produces…


GRHare’s Ear…

HOOK: TMC 3769 #16-#20, Diiachi 1560, #16-#18, TMC 100, #16-#24

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths 14/0, Gray, Olive, Brown

TAIL: Stiff Hare’s Ear – from Mask

RIB: Gold Mylar Tinsel, SM

ABDOMEN: Fur from a hares mask # 3

THORAX: Spiky, darker Hare’s Mask Fur # 4

WINGCASE: Mottled Turkey Tail Fiber Section

This is another Standard pattern. I tie this pattern in Natural, Olive, Dun and Black. The first there colors work well for Baetis / BWO’s. They are all in their appropriate slots in my Nymph Boxes. Here is a good tutorial from Hipwader on this essential fly… I do not use weight for smaller patterns…

Hipwader Tutorial GRHE


Quasimodo Pheasant Tail…

HOOK: TMC 2487, #16-#24, Diiachi 1130, # 16-#24

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths 14/0, Brown

TAIL: Pheasant Tail Fibers- Natural,Olive,

RIB: Gold Largutan, extra fine wire or Wapsi xsm Copper wire

ABDOMEN: Pheasant Tail Fibers, Natural or Olive

THORAX: Peacock Herl, Peacock SLF Prism, Arizona Peacock, Ice Dub Olive/Brown

WINGCASE/ LEGS: Pheasant Tail Fibers, pulled over, separated and tied back. Black, Pearl or Peacock KF works too!!!

BEAD: Gold or Copper

Kinda’ looks like Charles Lawton…This is an alternative to the classic PT. Hunched and curved it gives the impression of SQUIRMY in the water column. Jeremy Davies swears by this hook and it’s heavier versions for the holding capability …Works for me…


BWO Emerging Dun…

HOOK: TMC 2487,#16-#24, Diiachi 1130 #16- #24, Mustad C49S ,#16-#24

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths 14/0, Olive, Brown, Gray

TAIL: Zelon, Olive/Brown, Olive or Brown

RIB: Optional, Largutan extra fine, Gold

ABDOMEN: Goose or Turkey Biot, Fringed, BWO, Olive, Tan,Gray

WING: Reversed Half Hackle Wing, Premium Dun or Lt. Olive

HACKLE: Premium Dun or Grizzly Dun, clipped at bottom

This FLY catches fish. It has a great profile, hangs like an emerger should and floats in every condition except the roughest water. I came across this pattern years ago and finally worked up the gumption to deal with the wings. After a number of tries, it became easy..try some, the fish like it…


HOOK: TMC 1oo. #18-#24

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths 14/0 Olive or Gray

TAIL/ SHUCK: Amber or Gold Zelon

ABDOMEN: Sm. amount of Gray Superfine or Stalcup’s BWO Dub for #18-#20, Thread for smaller ties

THORAX: Small amount of Gray Superfine or Stalcup’s Baetis or BWO Dubbing

WING: Med. Dun Hi-Vis, Upright, spread with fingernail, clipped in back

HACKLE: Premium Dun

Notice the 7X Mono in the eye…this fly produced for me on a wet, windy, cold day on the Wild Trout section of the Owens River. No one else was there but me and the Trout…


Freezing rain on the Owens, GOOD Baetis/BWO conditions…


Glass Bead Emerger…

HOOK: TMC 200R, # 16-#24

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths 14/0, Olive Brown or Gray

BEAD: Glass Metallic or Pearl

TAIL: Pheasant Tail fibers

ABDOMEN: Goose or Turkey Biot, fringed, Tan, BWO, Olive or Gray

THORAX: Fly-Rite mixed with Hare’s Ear or Muskrat, picked out

WING: Mallard Flank, Gray or Lemon Wood Duck, posted and covered by dubbing

This is a very good soft water fly pattern. I use HYROPHOBE on the thorax section of the fly ONLY. If it tilts over, no matter, the fish rise to it anyway. Lots of fun with this on The East Walker River…


Starling BWO…

HOOK: Alec Jackson, North Country, # 17-#19, TMC 3761 #18-#20, TMC 2488, #18-#24

THREAD: Gordon Griffiths 14/o, Gray, Olive or Benecchi, 12/0 ,Tan

RIB: Largutan extra fine wire, Gold

ABDOMEN: Tying Thread

THORAX: Muskrat dubbing

HACKLE: Starling

I enjoy swinging soft Hackles. This is an easy tie and the fishees seem to like it anywhere it drops in…


Silver Wing Case PT…

I include this fly, which has a silver Mylar wing case, because one day – on The Madison River, above $3.00 Bridge, at about 6AM in Mid-September, I hooked six of the largest Browns and Rainbows that I have ever brought to a net …on this fly in size # 20…

set-3-honey-04 In THIS SPOT – On the Madison River

I don’t remember when or why I was inspired to tie this particular fellow. This is the same fly…hook not bent…go figure…


Tan Biot KF Emerger…

HOOK: Diiachi 1560, #16-#18, TMC 3761, # 16-#20, TMC 2488, #16-#24

Thread: Gordon Griffiths 14/0, Tan

Tail: Olive or Amber Zelon

RIB: Optional. Largutan, extra fine Gold Wire

THORAX: Olive Ostrich Herl

WINCASE/ LEGS: Peacock, Pearl or Black Krystal Flash

This is my favorite Fall BWO/ Baetis Emerger. I fish it deep with twist-ons…It has worked like a charm here:


The Owens River, below Five Bridges…








PT/TB :faint:

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I came across this article on the Fiberglass Flyrodders Forum. It is written by Tom Morgan,who, at one time, was the owner of the Winston Rod Co.. In this article, Tom describes the history of Fiberglass rods while the company was under his ownership and some further background information on himself – that I was never aware of. My Winston fiberglass has been one of my favorite rods since purchasing it in 1975…

Winston ” Stalker “, 71/2′,4wt., Frying Pan River, CO – 1975


Ally, fishing the Winston, Madison River, MT, 2001…

Jean Marie Hon on the Roaring Fork with the Winston “Stalker”, 1978…

Nadia on Hot Creek, CA with the Winston…1976…

…and Michael on the South Fork of the Kern River with his first Golden Trout with the Winston Stalker, 1987…

Everyone in the family has fly fished with that rod…

Sage is for Turkey,

Winston is for Fish!


PT/TB :thumbsupu

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Here they are…DOGS COUNT TOO!!!

Michael and Ally at the TOP of the WORLD…Saline Valley…


Children of dune…Saline Valley…

Michael and a person with their tongue sticking out…at Trumbull Lake, Bridgeport, CA…

Ally gives shooting instructions to my mentor, Sal A. (guess she wants to do some writing…like I have to do)

Ally at the campsite with Angelo, Hogback Creek, 2002 Winter

This was a GREAT steakhouse that burned to the ground in 1993 on Hwy. 178 between Ridgecrest and Kernville. I tipped more than enough here before…Sal got a hold of me…

PT and Allo on the Madison, 2001, photo by Michael

Ally getting whacked by hailstones on the East Walker, August 2000

Michael and Ally DEEP in the VALLEY of the ” Aliens “…April 2001

Angelo,bookin’ it after a strange encounter…2002, January

Down the Wabbit HOLE….

Angelo, playin’ with pinecone, White Mtns., Jan. 2002

Big Pine Creek, Fall, 1999

Pond…off Big Pine Creek


Michael, Jack Flat, North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Tule River…1987

He ate a BWO…Spring 2007

…and he ate a Bat Wing Baetis, Lower “O”, spring 2007…


Ally in Bouquet Canyon…

This place has a spiritual nature… Winter, 2003

…maybe the people who left this grinding stone could explain…

Another time, another place…



Michael, Charlie’s Butte, spring 1986

Michael, East Walker River, July, 2003

Michael, below the dam, East Walker River, August, 2003

Michael, North Fork of Middle Fork of Tule River, June 2002

Mr. Newt…NF Tule, 2002

Nice waterfall & pool on the Tule, June 2002

Wild Trout section, Owens River, December 2002

…and below 5 Bridges….

Upper Owens River, May, 2003

Nad & Pop, Hot Creek, 1976

Tule River, may 2004

Owens River, Fall 2001

Snow in the Owens Valley, 2003

Road to the highest weather station in the U.S., White Mtns., 2002

Ally, at her favorite eatery in the VALLEY – Lala, 2009…

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Nadia at Hot Creek Ranch – 1976

Michael and Ally’s Mom, Frying Pan River, Basalt, CO, 1980

Jean Marie Hon

Jean Marie Hon

Mike and Ally, Mt. Whitney fish hatchery, 1995

Planettrout, Frying Pan, 1978-Press POWELL, 8 1/2ft., 5WT, SA (Hardy made reel)

Ally, Sandtrap, Symmes Creek, 1997

Ally, Dad’s fish, Virginia Lakes, 1999


Nadia and Ally, 1995…

Ally, Madison River, $3.00 Bridge sunset, 2001

Ally & Michael, Madison River 2004

Ally & Michael , Madison Valley Turnout 2004

Ally in Fishtail, Stillwater River, 1998

Ally, doing her thing (Browning HP) ,Hogback Creek, 1996

Ally, Virginia Lakes, 1999

More of Ally’s favorite pastime..somewhere , out there… M1A1,( IMI Nimrod Scope )

Ally, Chimney Peak, 1995

Ally, Stillwater River, 1998

Michael, Virginia Lake (Little), 2002

Michael, Owens River, 2007

Ally, Roscoe, MT 1998

Michael at the sandtrap, Lone Pine,1986

Michael, Deep Springs Valley, 2002

Michael, checking Allo’s shot placement, 2001

Road to “Alien” (GREY’S) habitat….2000

“The Greys”….heh,heh…

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Well, I was there for 3 1/2 months…

Madison Rainbow – in and out of the H2O for less than ten seconds… Scott G, 10ft. 5WT

10 days of drifting…

with this guy and,

this guy, Craig (in the boat) and THE WHITEFISH KING…

There were LOTS of these, Madison River… T&T Paradigm, 9ft., 5WT

Madison River Brown, Channels section…. Loomis Streamdance, 10ft. , 5WT

That fish came out of the undercut bank here…

and this one came out of the honey hole above $3.00 Bridge… Orvis, Battenkill, 81/2ft., 6WT

Ally approves…


The Spot…. ( 310 fish in 10 days )

Just upstream and to the right of the spot…

Between the lakes… Madison River

The Madison Valley from Craig’s cabin…

Twin Bridges Fly Shop

The road to Ennis, MT from Bozeman…

Quake Lake, 6:00AM, on the way to Blue Ribbon Flies…

Me ‘n Ally on the Boulder River, again…

Michael on the Madison, $3.00 Bridge…

Rules on the Stillwater…

Ally,after eating at Montana Hannas…

Ally, on the rocks, Stillwater River…

Having second thoughts about crossing here…Stillwater River, late June 2004

Lower water, Stillwater River, August, 2004

Rain on the Stillwater, July, 2004

Michael with a Stillwater Rainbow

The ROAD KILL cafe, on the Boulder…

The Madison below Varney Bridge…

Michael on the Boulder… WINSTON WT, 9ft. 6WT…

Michael with another fish on the Madison at $3.00 bridge…

Michael, just below the “honey hole”, Madison River…

$3.00 Bridge…

Ally, preparing to move up river on the Madison… Scott A2, 10ft., 6WT

Madison, just before sunset…

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It catches both of these fish!!!

Mike big Fish

Madison River, late July, 2004 – His and mine….( both on BH Wired Weasel)



dad\'s big fish

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On Thursday, October 13, 1977, the sky was again overcast and there was the threat of more rain or snow.The night before, my Dad and I had decided, over a steak dinner, to travel over to the Yellowstone River to try for some West Slope Cutthroat trout.

After a quick breakfast, we left West Yellowstone at 7:30 AM and drove to Norris, Canyon, then South to Buffalo Ford several miles North of Fishing Bridge. On the way, we passed The Gibbon River which I would not fish on this trip and endless miles of lodge pole pines no longer there as a result of the 1988 fire. As we drove South from Canyon, several herds of buffalo grazed in the Hayden Valley.

Arriving at Buffalo Ford, I rigged my Leonard and remarked to my Dad about the pleasurable effect of being able to fish with no one else present. We were the only people there. At the end of my tippet, I tied on a # 14 Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear and stepped into the water. Even at this late period in the fall, the Yellowstone’s current was strong.

I fished quartering upstream, using the “high – stick” technique that I had been taught on the Roaring Fork. My body was constantly being pushed down river by the flow. I felt my feet slipping on the gravel bottom as I made an effort to dig in. ” Hey”, my Dad called out as he observed from the bank, you’re moving!” After an hour of this, with no trout to hand, I ambled out of the river and sat with Dad in the grass to rest. ” Why don’t you try that streamer again”, he suggested. I reached into my vest and pulled out the streamer wallet, fingered through its’ pockets and removed a # 6 Bucktail Coachman. This time, I left the wing unclipped – thinking it would make a difference( it didn’t), cut the leader back to 2X and tied it on with a Duncan Loop.

I stepped back into the river and cast out into the current quartering downstream. As the fly swung below me and the line tightened, I twitched the rod tip back and forth and gave the rod a slight pumping action. I retrieved the line back to myself first slow, then fast. It started to rain.

My Dad walked back to the car. Just as he called out to tell me where he was going, I looked down into the water at my slipping feet and noticed, to my amazement, three 16-18 inch trout holding at knee level. I was breaking the current for them. Each time I moved downriver after fishing out my cast, the three trout would slowly fin backwards and remain in position.

After thirty minutes of no fish and with the rain now becoming a steady downfall, I became REALLY frustrated. First, I tried to kick one of my trailing companions in the head. I nearly lost my balance. Then, holding my rod in my left hand, I leaned over with my nose almost touching the water’s surface and tried to grab one of the trout. I succeeded in getting soaking wet. By now, my Father had returned to stream side and was watching my antics.

I heard him call out to me, “Hey, I think you ARE losing it son…Let’s go!”

It was 3:00 PM. The wind was blowing gale force and the rain was coming down sideways. Once again, I was frozen. I stomped up to the bank, heaved myself into the grass, got up and went back to the car. I was muttering under my breath, ripping off my waders and drenched clothing. We drove on to the Old Faithful Lodge, where next to the fireplace, over B&B’s and water my Dad tried, but could not keep a straight face.

I was to hear, for many years to come, a recounting of my first experience on the Yellowstone River….

This story continues here:
4. South to Bridgeport


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