Fly Tying

Early Brown Stone

  • By: A. K. Best
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This time of year, we often have remnant snow along the streambank, which makes you wonder if it’s really worth going trout fishing on what will probably be a rather dreary spring day. But the shack-nasties have been an affliction for days and you feel you must stand in frigid water and deal with ice in your guides…or spend the afternoon in a bar. I’ve done both. And dealing with ice in your guides is easier than feeling the residual pain after a few hours in your favorite pub.

Sand Flats Shrimp

  • By: A. K. Best
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I received my 2010 Umpqua Feather Merchants flies and materials catalog a few days ago and went right to the listing of flies to see what’s new. In scanning the “Saltwater” section, I counted nearly 100 bonefish flies. Not many of them resembled the little shrimp I saw when I snorkeled the Bahama’s flats some years ago. Nearly all of these flies contained enough material from which to make two or three patterns and there was way too much flash in both the body and “wing.” In fact, some of the old favorite, sparsely tied flies were missing from the collection.

10-Minute Ties

  • By: A. K. Best
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A. K. shares the goods on tying a killer green drake pattern.

The Miraculous Sand Lance

The Miraculous Sand Lance

A new striped-bass pattern that brought in an unbelievable catch—a found fly line and two striped bass! WEB BONUS FEATURE FROM THE APRIL 2009 ISSUE!

Dark Spruce Fly

  • By: A. K. Best
  • Photography by: A. K. Best
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IF I WERE PLANNING AN EXOTIC TRIP TO someplace south of the equator, among the first patterns I’d put in my fly box would be Dark Spruce weighted streamers in sizes 2 through 6. I have an affinity for this fly partly because it’s one of the first steamer flies I learned to tie and, more important, because it always seems to work no matter where I fish it. To me an exotic trip equates to catching really big fish using big flies. Coq de Leon saddles solved the problem of tying large Spruce Fly streamers. The feathers have rounded tips and are long enough to easily tie size 2 or even larger, if you wish. Find one with furnace markings and dye it medium brown if it isn’t already dyed for you.