Posts Tagged ‘Owens River CA’

Here are four more patterns that I’m adding to the already overflowing midge boxes that I carry…These are in colors that I don’t usually toss into the water. However, they have their applications, and the colors have taken many Trout for me when I have least expected them to do so…I do LIKE surprises and I fish ’em with confidence …



HOOK: TMC 2487 #18-#22, Daiichi  1130, #18-#22, Mustad c49s, #18-#24

THREAD: Uni. 8/0 Chartreuse

RIB: Wapsi Ultra wire, x-sm, Silver

THORAX: Ice Dub, Peacock

WING: Sparkle Organza, Brilliant White

BEAD: Killer Caddis, Diamond, 15/0

Chartreuse is a color that consistently works for me, on many different fly patterns…when this guy is cold and complaining, I have him put one of these guys on the end of his tippett…the whining ceases…

Michael on the Lower Owens River in early January…


HOOK: Mustad c49s, #18-#22

THREAD: UTC Dark Gray, 70 Denier

RIB: Lagartun x-fine, Lilac

THORAX: Gordon Griffith 14/0, Sheer, Red

WINGBUDS: Orange Flashabou

BREATHERS: Sparkle Organza, Brilliant White

Stick a needle into the hook eye and apply two coats of Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails over the thorax…there are certain days when Gray works great…like real DARK DAYS…and there are many of those on the Owens River in Winter…


HOOK: TMC 2488, #18-#24

THREAD: UTC , Brown, 70 Denier

RIB: Wapsi, x-sm, Silver

THORAX: Brown Beaver

WING: Sparkle Organza, Brilliant White

This is the version of Pat Dorsey’s great TOP SECRET MIDGE that I use. Notice that he employs 6/0 white thread for the rib, Superfine Brown dubbing for the thorax, 8/0 Brown Uni Thread for the rib and White Fluro-Fiber for the wing…different strokes for different folks…


HOOK: Daiichi 1150, #18, TMC 206BL, #18-#24

THREAD: Uni 8/0 Orange

RIB: Wapsi Ultra, Black, x-sm

THORAX: Hareline, Dark Shade, Rainbow Scud Dub

WING: Sparkle Organza, Brilliant White

BEAD: Killer Caddis, 15/0, Orange

This orange midge, and other variations on this theme are in my boxes for a couple of locations where I have found them in the biomass…particularly, this place in late June and early July…This Rainbow dubbing is quite different than the Sow Scud Rainbow from Wapsi…I like it!!!

Michael on the Stillwater River, MT near Buffalo Jump…

Corkin’ it…

NEXT: Fun attractor NYMPHS


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So… I am working on some new Baetis for Fall…This one is made from these materials…It is a pattern that works best on bright, sunny days…when the Bateis hatch is jammin’…but, only for a short while…I am using Lagartun 74 Denier thread in Olive… off the spool, it ties flatter than any thread I have ever used…

A Baetis Nymph…


HOOK: Daiichi 1560, # 18. TMC 3761 # 18-#20

THREAD: Lagartun 74 Denier Olive or Gordon Griffiths 14/0 Sheer, Olive

TAIL: Partridge, Olive

RIB: Flasahbou, Opal accent mirage

ABDOMEN: Pheasant Tail, Olive

THORAX: SLF Prism, Brown/Olive

LEGS: Olive Partridge, V notched

WING CASE: 6 strands of Black Krystal Flash

I wanted this little guy to be flashy…for bright days when the hatch is can be over very qiickly. I would use it here, as a dropper off of a October Caddis Pupa…Or, with a Batwing Baetis Emerger in September…

Michael, working some water on the Owens River…


Michael and I saw a Mid September hatch of Baetis, in here, that stared at sun up and lasted for about an hour and a half…there were Trout snouts everywhere…

I have also seen hatches of Olive Baetis on the Madison…in late August…


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The Batwing Pattern was developed by Tracy Peterson. This is the PMD Emerger based on his design. I first saw this pattern in The Flyfishing & Tying Journal in Spring 2006. I tied up a bunch of the Batwing Baetis Emergers in #16-#20 and just whacked the Trout in here:

Owens River, below 5 Bridges…

This pattern can play a number of different roles – drowned natural, a cripple, a stillborn emerger and even a spinner. This fly may be fished from the bottom of the water column to just under the syrface film. It makes a great dropper…I keep about eighteen of sizes #16 -#20 in my arsenal at all times…Michael puts a lot of these little fellows in the the stream vegetation…

The materials needed for this tie…

Why it is called A Batwing…


Hook: Tmc 2487, Daiichi 1130, Mustad C49s – #16-#20

THREAD: Gordon Griffith 14/0 Sheer, Brown or Tan

BEAD: Yellow Glass, 2.3mm for #16, 2.0mm for #18 & #20

TAIL/SHUCK: Ginger Zelon or fibers from a Ginger Hen neck

ABDOMEN: Rusty Pheasant Tail fibers

THORAX: PMD Beaver Dubbing

RIB: Wapsi Copper/Brown or Copper sm. or extra sm.

WING: Fluffy butt from a dyed light dun hen hackle


One may substitute a number of different materials to match almost any May Fly hatch…

Michael looks like he has lost one already…West Walker River, CA…


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This particular nymph, which may look a lot like another PMD Nymph, was tied with a couple of VERY SPECIFIC locations in mind. If I were going to use this pattern say, on the Madison, Boulder, Roaring Fork, Owens, Big Hole,Big Horn, Jefferson, Missouri,Owens or East Walker Rivers, to mention a few, it would incorporate slightly different colors for the abdomen, thorax,and rib…I became aware of the effectiveness of Danville, 6/0 #47 years ago on the Stillwater River and on the Frying Pan River. There is a reason the colors work so well in just these places…let me know what that might be…

ALLY knows, but she ain’t talkin’…

I would use it here:

The Frying Pan River, several miles below Ruedi Res., near Basalt, CO…

The Stillwater River, near Moraine on a drizzly day in July…perfect for extended PMD hatches…


HOOK: Daiichi 1560,#16-#18 or TMC 3761 #16-#20

THREAD: Gordon Griffith 14/0 Sheer Brown, Danville 6/0, #47, Tobacco Brown

TAIL: Partridge, lower back, speckled Brown

RIB: Wapsi, copper/brown sm.

ABDOMEN: Danville 6/0, #47, Tobacco Brown

WING CASE: 6 strands, Holo Flashabou, Black

THORAX: Natural Mink underfur

LEGS: Partidge, lower back, speckled Brown – V Notched and tied in in front of thorax, wingcase then pulled over.

Angled to show wing case…

Seen from below…

Natural Mink fur plays an important role in its use in the thorax. This fur has the ability to trap air bubbles…it may be tap mixed with other materials in one’s blender…just a touch!!! The Holo Black Flashabou  Wing Case is there because

Ready to go…

Angelo’s thinkin’ about it…

NEXT: Bat Wing PMD


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Owens Serendipity

Hook: TMC 5262, #12-18

Thread: Gordon Griffithh’s 14/0, Benichi 12/0, Uni 8/0 – Black

Abdomen: 1/3 hank Brown Zelon, 1/3 hank Olive (DK) Zelon 1 strand Peacock Krystal Flash, 1 strand Rusty Brown Krystal Flash (twist together, wrap forward).

Wing: White Zelon

I was goofing around one day with some old, unused Mustad hooks and came up with this. Like most of the patterns that I design, it works best when I fish it with confidence! I first tried this pattern on the Lower Owens early one Spring morning. I caught a lot of fish and broke many hooks – hence, the TMC 5262 became my standard. Dark water, undercut banks…go for it!

BH Wired Weasel

Hook: TCC 5262, # 12-18

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0, Uni 8/0 – Black

Abdomen: xsm, sm, brassie chartruse wire, 2 coats Dave’s flexament or Aquaflex

Thorax: Peacock herl or Peacock Ice Dub

Wing/Legs: Olive Dyed Partridge (oversized)

Bead: Gold tung BH Wired WEasel

I wanted a simple, heavy tie for a lead attractor. One cold and rainy day at Lena’s Cabins, I started messing with this guy. Put brown goose biots in for a tail. Didn’t need ’em. It fishes great on the Madison, fished dead drift or on the swing. Michael and I hammered a bunch of nice Browns with it in late July during an Epeorus hatch ( go figure) above $3.00 Bridge. I gave one to Craig Matthews, he told me, ” I caught a fish on it!”

Drowned (Flying) Ant

drowned flying ant Hook: TMC 2487, Diiachi 1130, # 14-18

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0 – Black

Abdomen: 3-4 Peacock herls twisted on thread

Thorax: Olive bead, sm

Wing/Legs: Mottled natural Partridge

Bead: Black nickel or tung

I tied some of these up in 2000 and did not run into any Fly Ants until August 2001 on the Madison, when they started flying into my face and mouth. I knotted one of these to my tippet and dead drifted it through “The Spot”. Smashing!!! I’ve also used it on Little Virginia Lake when summer heat updrafts the ants up and out of Virginia Lake Canyon and kerplunks them onto the water’s surface. The Alpers Bow I am holding in one of the photos herein pounced on one of these as I stripped it just under the surface.

Wired Krystal Serendipity

Wired Krystal Serendipitu Hook: TMC 2487, Diiachi 1130 # 16-20

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0 Brown

Abdomen: Rusty brown Krystal Flash, 3-4 strands, flat or twisted.

Rib: xsm Gold or Copper wire

Wing: Natural or bleached Costal Deer Hair

Bead: Gold or Copper, metal or tung

The Krystal Serendipity is a standard Yellowstone pattern tied with pearl Krystal Flash over black or olive thread. I tweaked it a bit for the East Walker River. I like the effect of rusty brown. Peacock also works well. I use this pattern as a dropper 1/4 ing downstream below riffles and through deep pools. Look for the flash of Mr. Trout and set the hook with a slight lift and strip strike….

Guide Serendipity

Hook: TMC 5262, # 14-18

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0 Black

Abdomen: Chartruse Zelon. 1/3 hank, twisted over hook

Wing: White Zelon

A REALLY GOOD PATTERN. Simple to tie, effective and particularly useful when Brachycentrus Caddis are about. I also tie this pattern with 6/0 chartruse thread for the abdomen and rib it with xsm blue wire ( 7 turns). It sometimes out fishes the original on the Owens in the Spring and slams in size # 18 in the Fall.

Rainbow Warrior

Hook: TMC 2457, TMC 2487, Diiachi 1120, 1130 #18-22

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0 Black, Red or Green

Tail: 3 pheasant tail fibers

Abdomen: Black, Red or Green thread ( may be covered with pearl Krystal Flash)

Wingcase: Pearlescent Tinsel or Firefly

Thorax: Wapsi Rainbow, sow scud dubbing

Bead: xsm clear, mercury, silver tung or Black tung

Lance Egan’s winning pattern. A go to for me when small midges and mayflies are on or in the water. Banged ’em at “The Spot” between 6-7:30am on the Madison. Good pattern for The Lower Owens, Hot Creek, East Walker and the East Fork of the Carson River.

TBT (that black thingee’ on ‘yer waders) Please, go here first:

Hook: TMC 2457, Diiachi 1120, # 18-20

Thread: Uni 8/0 or Gordon Griffith’s 14/0 Black

Abdomen: Black xsm and Red xsm UTC wire , twisted, wrapped over thread base( xsm copper works too!)

Overwing/ bubble: White Zelon

Wings: Black Zelon, kinky, clipped at angle from top

THORAX: Black Ice Dubbing

Bead: Gold, 5/64, 1/16

One June evening, several years ago, I was leaving the East Walker River before sunset for an early dinner. I had fished since sun up. I was tired and hungry. This fellow, just downstream from me , had been talking and trading flies with me most of the afternoon. I called him over as I got out of the water and gave him one of these in size # 18. ” Fish it”, I said , “when the shadows cover the river at dusk”. Early the next morning at 5:30AM, when Angelo ( DOGPAL ) and I arrived at the river in the meadow section, he was waiting for me. This is what he told me. He had tied on this fly just before dark, dead drifted it through a deep run about three feet out from the bank. He thought he had snagged the hook when a huge Brown made a screeching run downstream. It almost spooled him. He raced after the fish, furiously taking up line. Just as he approached the spot where the fish lay deep and sulking, it turned and blew past him, racing upstream. Again, he gave chase. He got a brief glimpse of the fish as it surfaced, then dove into a tangle of submerged stream side branches. He finally snapped his 5x tippet trying to pull it out of it’s lair. He told me that it was the biggest fish that he had EVER hooked on the East Walker. I gave him six more…

My Take – (on JB’s Graphic Caddis)

Hook: TMC 2457, Diiachi 1120, # 14-18

Thread: White Uni 8/0 for body or Uni 8/0 tan, olive or grey.

Tag: Gold holo tinsel

Overbody: micro tubing clear, tan, olive or gray

Thorax: Gray , Black or Tan Ostrich Herl

Wing: Mottled Partridge Natural, dyed brown or olive

John Barr and his buddy Charlie Craven tie this fly on TMC 2488 hooks. Whichever hook is chosen, it is important to build a pronounced hump at the hook bend before wrapping the gold holo tinsel tag. Charlies’ Flybox has a great tutorial on this guy. I have noticed that most commercial ties do not use the appropriate thread or micro tubing colors to match Sierra Caddis hatches. Solution, tie ‘yer own. Fish dead drift with weight and let the fly swing in the current. Anticipate a hit and be prepared to use a “slip strike”….

For me, the TMC 2457 delivers a better profile that the 2x shorter TMC 2488 – they are however wonderful for micro Caddis and I use them for that purpose. Try spanking some Trout with these. When the Caddis are coming off the East Walker or Lower Owens, they do just that!

Pearl Core Caddis Pupae

pearl core caddis pupae

Hook: TMC 2457, Diiachi 1120, # 14-16

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0 Black, Brown

Abdomen: Midge Pearl Core Braid, Olive, Tan, Black or Grey

Wing: Mottled partridge, Natural, Dyed brown or olive

Thorax: Black, brown or olive Ostrich Herl

Bead: Gold

Another compliment to Canadian designer, Jeremy Davies an innovative tier who had a similar pattern up on his web page several years ago ( no longer available ). I wanted to try it. Experiences on the East Walker River and Lower Owens have proved its’ worth. I also use black or brown kinky Zelon for wings – pulled up and cut at an angle.

Shop Vac

Hook: TMC 2457,2487 or Diiachi 1120, 1130 # 16-20

Thread: Danville # 47, 6/0

Wire: Gold, xsm

Wing: Strand of White Zelon, clipped

Thread at head: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0 Black

Bead: Tung or Metal, Gold

The original- fish vaccum. I also tweak this simple pattern with 3 strands of midge pearl flash under the wing and I tie it using UTC 70 Olive for the body. Faux Shop Vac here.

Puff May Krystal Emerger

Hook: Diiachi 1130, # 18-22

Thread: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0 Grey

Tail: Light Dun Zelon under 3 grey wood duck fibers

Abdomen: Peacock Herl

Rib: Peacock Krystal Flash

Wing: CDC Puff Dun

Thorax: Arizona Peacock pheasant tail

Another emerger I use during BWO hatches on the Lower “O”. Flashy change up for really overcast days…

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