Fly Fishing Traditions

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blue Wing Olive "Baetis" Fly Patterns

The Blue Wing Olive mayfly is present nearly year round all over the world. It is important to remember that in dealing with the Baetis group of mayflies that patterns for one species will be just as effective for the others. You may need to change the size and the color as you encounter the different species as you move from one stream or river to the other or even on the same river in different sections. Collect samples and match the size, color and shape.

It has been stated that the Baetis complex of mayflies is just about the most important group of all western hatches.

I have updated the BWO Baetis patterns with updated information. Hopefully this will be usefull on your favorite stream when the BWO's are present.

Hogan Brown Patterns

Hogan Brown is a signature tier for Iydlwilde Flies. He honed his craft right here on my home river, the Lower Yuba River. Hogan Brown's patterns are some of my "Go To" patterns on a daily basis, whether I'm fishing in Northern California or Southwestern Montana. He's one of the premier fly designers in Northern California. You can purchase his patterns at most of the finest fly shops in the west. You can get my info on Hogan Brown and his patterns at

Hogans Better Baetis

Hogan came up with this pattern 10 years ago when his fishing buddy asked him if he had a "better baetis" pattern. Sounds about right! It was designed as a small mayfly nymph attractor. He recommends using it as a dropper off an emerger or a dun or even to fish it down deep under indicator.

Hogans Military May Olive

Hogan developed the "Military May" while fishing on the Lower Yuba River about 5 years ago to match its complex mayfly hatches. It has become one of my "Go To" patterns on the Lower Yuba and the Lower Sacramento. He recommends using the "Military May" under indicator or as a dropper off a dry fly. A guides tip from Hogan is to pair this up with a more subdued mayfly nymph. He says "Give the fish both flash and plain".

Hogans S&M Nymph Olive

The "S&M Nymph" was based upon Hogan's observations on the Lower Sac and the Lower Yuba. This pattern is designed with a trim body that is darker on the top of the wing than underneath. He states that "Sometimes fish don't like flash". He would recommend this pattern 365 days a year on tailwaters to freestones. This is his first fly that made him think he could actually be descent in the fly tying business. I'd say so. Right on!

Hogans Sipper BWO

Hogan likes the way the "Sipper" looks really alive in the water and imitates a struggling emerger or cripple. He likes to fish the "Sipper" behind a hackle stacker or as a point fly if he feels he can see the strike.

Hogans SIM Mayfly Olive

Hogan came up with the "SIM Mayfly" as an option to his "Sipper". He wanted an emerger pattern that would sink a little better, but still would move freely in the first 1" to 6" of the water column. He recommends fishing this behind a "Sipper". Being it is a sunk fly, it is best paired with a visible fly that is easier to see. He has used the "SIM Mayfly" if trout are seemingly unwilling to commit all the way to the surface.

He sometimes swings the "SIM mayfly" on a long leader leading up to a hatch with a little split shot. Another option is to fish it in the film line or the swirls with a small indicator and split shot.

Bob Quigley's Patterns

Bob Quigley is probably best known for his cripple patterns, but he has created a varied set of patterns to match various stages of the BWO and Baetis hatches. If you are going to put together a box to match all the phases of the BWO hatch you could not go wrong by filling this box with Bob Quigley's patterns. You don't have to look any farther.

Bob Quigley is a signature tyer for Iydlwilde Flies. You can purchase his flies through most quality fly shops.

I have been enamored with Bob Quigley's patterns from the first time I tied on a Quigley's PMD Cripple. This pattern should have a place in your fly box.

Quigleys Half Dun BWO

This Emerger pattern is a great one for fishing in the film during a hatch. Grease your leader to within 6 inches of the fly to keep in in the film.

Quigleys Hackle Stacker BWO

Bob Quigley's hackle stacker technique is utilized on this BWO pattern. The hackle stacker technique is one to master and to add to your fly tying technique arsenal.

Quigleys Micro CDC Cripple Olive

The Micro CDC Cripple is a great pattern for the smallest BWOs

Quigleys Flim Critic BWO

The Film Critic has gained popularity on the flats of our Lower Yuba River where the fish can be maddingly fussy.

Quigleys Loop Wing Dun BWO

The Loop Wing Dun is a simple and effective parachute pattern to be fished low in the film.

Quigleys Loop Wing Dun Female baetis

Bob Quigley developed this Female baetis pattern for the really fussy fish.

Quigleys Loopy BWO

A good cripple pattern on the quiet water pools and stillwater.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Man Dies on the Lower Yuba

Story from the Appeal-Democrat - September 20th, 2010

A 71-year-old man fly fishing with his son fell into the water and later died Sunday along the Yuba River in Browns Valley about a quarter-mile downstream from the new Sycamore Ranch county park, the Yuba County Sheriff's Department said today.

An autopsy is planned Tuesday to determine the cause of death of William Frederick Blythe of Penn Valley.His son said Blythe was thrown from the boat after it struck a log. He said he pulled his father back into the boat but that he lost consciousness shortly thereafter.Rescue workers were called about 1:20 p.m. Blythe was pronounced dead at the scene just before 3 p.m., said sheriff's department spokeswoman Melanie Oakes.

An air ambulance paramedic was on scene within about 15 minutes, Oakes said. No one else could reach the area even with all-terrain vehicles or 4x4 vehicles, she said.

I floated the Lower Yuba last week with Blake Larsen and Keith Scott and we saw the tree with the arm sticking out of the water that the boat in question hit, throwing the man out of the boat. It is located in the first riffle/drop after the river joins back together after the island across from Sycamore Ranch. It is in a bad location in the center of a drop with a deeper hole on the river right, lined with willows directly below it. Any one floating this section should take care to avoid the limb by staying river right, getting past the limb and quickly ferrying your boat to the left and staying out of the willows.

As always, scout your route and make a plan in advance to running difficult stretches in any river.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Looking for an 8 Weight Rod

Here's a funny Story. I've been wanting to figure out how to go about striper fishing. Where to go, when to go, what gear I'd need, how to rigg. I've got a 16 foot Boston Whaler that seems like it would be a good delta boat, I've fixed it up and should get out and give it a go. I don't have a striper rod. My largest rod is a 7 weight. Keith Scott sent me a picture of a 40" plus striper he landed west of the Sierra Buttes. It's time that I get geared up and ready to go. Time to stop thinking about it and just do it.

My buddy, Blake Larsen, made it out with Keith the another evening and I talked with him and he got me all jacked up. We talked about the rod he uses which is an Sage RPL 8 weight. He thought that an 8 weight was a good rod but might be undergunned for a stripper the size of the one that Keith landed though. I though about it and came to the conclusion that an eight weight is the way I want to start off with.

I started looking around on Craig's List for a Sage 8 weight and there it was a Sage RPL 8 weight rod for sale from someone in Truckee, just like Blake's. I thought this is great. If it's still for sale I could get Blake, who lives in Truckee, check it out for me. So, I sent an inquiry to see if it was still for sale and available.

I got an email back yesterday, and it said that the rod would be available once he got his replacement rod which he had purchased from a friend.

Here's the funny part. The rod for sale was Blake's RPL. Go figure!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hogan Brown

I finally got to meet Hogan Brown, our local boy, Iydlwilde signature fly tyer and guide. He gave a presentation to our local, Gold Country Fly Fishers club.

A couple of things that he pointed out was that when you walk into your local fly shop the two things that are most mystifying are the fly bins and the fly tying materials.

As far as the fly bins, most people walk into the fly shop and ask the question, "What's the hot fly". The problem is they are looking for a fix to solve the riddle of what the fish are eating. The thing is the answers are always on the river, you just need to look. Turn over some rocks, watch the rise forms of the fish, look for signs along the river, stonefly casings, caddis in the bushes, spinners returning to the river. You don't need to be an amateur entomologist. As Dave Hughes once said " Trout don't read Latin", Hogan reinforced this by adding that basically all you need too do is determine whether the bug is a caddis, mayfly or stonefly and then match the size and color. When you're searching through the fly bins, look for a pattern that has the right profile, usually thinner than you think, and that has colors that breath life into the imitation. Unless of course you just want to buy Hogan's patterns at your local fly shop because he's already done that for you. Check out his patterns and the how and why's on his website at

That brings us to the fly tying materials part of the equation. Hogan stated that it is very important to learn the properties of the different fly tying materials and combine materials that breath life and movement into your fly designs. This is where true fly designing stems from as opposed to imitation or copying a pattern out of a magazine, book or online. When Hogan designs his flies he has the traits of a true designer, and incorporating the "Why" into his material selections and profiles of his patterns.

Hogan cut his teeth right here on the Lower Yuba River and has designed many patterns that should be in your fly box. Check out his fly patterns an his website and you'll learn something about fly tying creativity and presentation techniques.

You can also check out his flies at