Think Like a Trout, Act Like a Bug.

Monday, April 24, 2017

New Fly Fishing Film

I have posted the results of my latest film project to YouTube. The Last Cast is a short fly fishing documentary with no fancy gear, no epic drone shots, no trendy outfits; just real people talking about life, fly fishing, and the final cast. 

Best enjoyed in HD...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Zombies and Ghosts

When matching the hatch, choosing a fly color is not always as simple as matching the color of the naturals. For many species of fresh water shrimp (scuds) parasite loads of infected individuals can result in their natural colors fading to a ghost-like hue. Without the advantage of camouflage these ghost scuds are more prone to predation by hungry trout.

A typical olive scud
A scud infected with Acanthocephalan parasites.
In addition to affecting the color, parasite infections can also alter the behavior of the infected scuds - causing them to be more active than usual, and remain active even in broad daylight. This exposes infected scuds to feeding trout more than non-infected scuds. With more pale scuds being gobbled up than natural colored ones it makes sense to use a fly that matches the faded scuds. Enter the Blue Dun Scud...

The Blue Dun Scud
The Blue Dun Scud tends to out fish more natural colored patterns by a significant margin. It's my go-to pattern for trout lakes that have good scud populations.

An infected scud showing the typical orange spot along the back where the parasites have congregated.
More information on the life cycle of scud parasites can be found in the Fall 2016 issue of Fly Fusion Magazine.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


For aquatic insects that emerge in the surface film the partly shed cuticle (shuck) becomes an important consideration in fly design. As the adult works its way out of the cuticle the trailing shuck takes on a semitransparent, translucent look. When viewed from below, sunlight reflects and refracts off the thin shed cuticle and associated air bubbles, giving the trailing shuck a slightly glittery appearance. 

When tying emerger patterns the best way to imitate the trailing shuck is to tie in a tail of sparkly material. A few of strands of Krystal Flash or Antron yarn will usually do the trick. But remember to keep the tail sparse - it's easy to over do it.

Shed cuticles from Midge pupae (Chironomidae) viewed from above.

Shed cuticles from Midge pupae (Chironomidae) viewed from below. Note the air bubbles within each shuck.

Shed BWO cuticle (Baetis) viewed from below.