Fly of the Week: Iris Caddis

Fly of the Week: Iris Caddis

Photo courtesy of John Juracek

The Iris Caddis is quite possibly the most effective emerging caddis pattern known to man. This fly has been a standby pattern here at BRF for decades, and it is still as effective today as it was the day John first tied it. The zelon wing gives the fly plenty of flotation, but it still rides low enough in the film to best mimic emerging caddisflies. We tie this fly in a variety of colors to imitate all of our local caddis; our favorites for evening caddis on the Madison are the amber Iris, which works more as a general attractor, and the tan Iris, which imitates Hydropsyche caddis extremely well. However, we also tie it in olive for Brachycentrus, black for Glossosoma, and white for the White Miller caddis in the Firehole and Madison. If you've ever had trouble matching emerging caddis, this is the fly you need to have, so give it a try the next time you find yourself in the midst of a caddis hatch.

Materials

Hook: Tiemco 102Y, Size 15-19

Thread: Tan 8/0 Uni-Thread

Shuck: Caddis Gold or Caddis Shuck Crinkled Zelon

Body: Amber, Hydropsyche, Brachycentrus, Glossosoma, or White Miller Zelon Dubbing

Wing: White Straight Zelon

Head: Hydropsyche Tan Zelon Dubbing

For tying instructions, watch Craig tie the Iris Caddis HERE.

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Where Trout Live Quietly

Where Trout Live Quietly

Peter Scorzetti

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Fly of the Week: Green Drake Foam Emerger

Fly of the Week: Green Drake Foam Emerger

Photo courtesy of John Juracek

June 15th is a highly anticpated day every year in Yellowstone country, as it signals the opening of fishing season on the famous Railroad Ranch section of the Henry's Fork. While PMDs are often the main item on the menu for the opener, Green Drakes are usually not far behind. Trout on the Ranch relish these insects, but they are often wary of the big duns for the first day or two, not quite remembering if they are food or foe. In this instance, fish will often feed on emergers and nymphs in the film, and the foam emerger is a great fly for this circumstance. The fly floats well and is more visible than a floating nymph, but doesn't feature the large wings that often scare fish off of more typical dries. Make sure to have a few emergers with you on your next trip to the Ranch, and those big, selective rainbows may be just a bit easier to fool.

Materials

Hook: Dai Riki 320 or Tiemco 100, Size 12

Thread: Olive 8/0 Uni-Thread

Shuck: Mayfly Brown or Olive Crinkled Zelon

Rib: Yellow 3/0 Uni-Thread

Dubbing: Green Drake Zelon Dubbing

Foam: Black 1/8" Evasote Foam

Hackle: Dyed Yellow Whiting Eurosaddle Hackle

For tying instructions, follow the steps outlined in our video for tying the Drake Mackeral Foam Emerger HERE, and substitute the materials listed above.

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Fly of the Week: Golden Sunken Stone

Fly of the Week: Golden Sunken Stone

Photo courtesy of John Juracek

The golden stone hatch is often overshadowed by its larger cousin, the salmonfly, but it can often provide even better fishing. On many area rivers, the golden stones will start showing up toward the tail end of the salmonfly hatch, about the same time that the fish are starting to get hungry again after gorging on salmonflies for days. Additionally, PMDs, caddis, and other insects are also starting to show up at this time, which get the trout looking toward the surface more consistently, and these many fish will still jump at the chance to score a larger meal. Some of the largest browns of the year are often caught on golden stones, especially on the Madison and lower Henry's Fork. The Sunken Stone has long been our favorite stonefly dry here at Blue Ribbon, as it mimics the big bugs perfectly, and contrary to its name, is virtually unsinkable. It is also very durable, and it's not uncommon to catch 15-20 fish or more on a single fly.

Materials

Hook: Tiemco 5262 or Dai Riki 710 Size 8-12

Thread: Light Cahill or Rusty Dun 6/0 Uni-Thread

Tail: Black Straight Zelon or EP Fibers

Dubbing: Golden Stone Zelon Dubbing or Possum Dubbing (For the original Sunken Stone, simply substitute Salmonfly Zelon or Possum Dubbing)

Wings: Natural Stimulator Deer Hair or Select Cow Elk

Tying Instructions

Step 1: Attach tying thread to rear of hook and tie in a few strands of zelon or a clump of EP fibers for the tail, and trim to about a quarter inch in length.

Step 2: Dub a short section of body. Ahead of this, lay a solid base of thread.

Step 3: Stack a clump of deer hair and tie in for the first wing, so that the tips extend just past the tail. Place a drop of glue on the thread wraps to help secure the wing.

Step 4: Repeat the dubbing and deer hair steps four to five times, evenly spacing each wing. At the head, leave the butts of the deer hair a bit long to form the head. 

Step 5: Dub over the thread wraps where the last wing is tied in, then move the thread in front of the deer hair head and make a few more turns of dubbing. Whip-finish.

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Blog Series: The Compleat Gang

Blog Series: The Compleat Gang

Tribute to Jim Elkins, submitted by Scott Zieske
Favorite Water: Railroad Ranch

Jim grew up and taught school in the Bay Area, but spent over 40 summers in West Yellowstone.

* An 8 1/2 ft. classic fiberglass rod built by Jim's close friend Ferdinand Claudio of San Francisco.
* A Hardy Lightweight Princess reel with a DT-6-F Cortland 444 line.
* An early Brodin walnut net.
* A wool Donegal Irish fishing hat which was omnipresent in Jim's wardrobe both on and off the stream
* An Orvis mesh vest from the 1980s. One of their very best discontinued designs!

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