Fly of the Week: Grouse & Pink

Photo by John Juracek

We're all quite fond of swinging soft hackles here at Blue Ribbon, especially in the fall when we get to fish large flies for aggressive fall-run fish on the Madison in the Park. Pink has been a highly effective color here for years on a variety of patterns, from nymphs to dries and everywhere in between, and a few years ago we realized that no one seemed to be fishing big pink soft hackles for these fall fish. From there, the Grouse & Pink was born, and it has proven to be a very successful pattern for us over the past few seasons. If the usual classic paterns fail to produce for you and you want to show the fish something different, give the Grouse & Pink a try this fall.


Hook: Dai Riki 075 Size 8

Thread: Fuchsia Uni-Stretch

Tail: Ruffed Grouse fibers

Rib: Black Small Ultra Wire

Thorax: UV Black Ice Dub

Hackle: Ruffed Grouse

For tying instructions, check out our How-To video HERE!

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One Swing the Wiser

Photo by Jonathan Cheshire

Fall-run fish are now being caught with regularity on the Madison in the park. Shop employee Jonathan Cheshire recently caught this beautiful rainbow while swinging the early morning before work.

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Yellowstone Runners

Our friend Chester Allen has released a new book about the Madison's famous fall run of browns and rainbows. The book chronicles three weeks of fishing over the 2015 fall season, and also includes interviews with Craig, John, and Cam. If you enjoy fishing the Madison in the fall, you are sure to enjoy this book! Check it out HERE.

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Fly of the Week: Callibaetis Cripple

Photo by John Juracek

Our mayfly Cripple series, originally designed by Rowan Nyman, has proven to be an extremely effective collection of patterns over the years, and the Callibaetis Cripple is no exception. Big trout on local lakes like Hebgen, Quake, Cliff, and Wade love to cruise in search of emerging Callbaetis mayflies, and the cripple is an exceptional pattern for fooling these fish that are keyed in on emerging duns. It is very visible and also floats very well, meaning it can support a small dropper nymph with ease as well. 


Hook: Tiemco 100 or Dai Riki 320 Size 16

Thread: Rusty Dun or Grey 8/0 Uni-Thread

Shuck: Mayfly Brown Crinkled Zelon

Body: Adams Grey or Callibaetis Superfine Dubbing

Wing: Grey EP Fibers

Hackle: Natural Grizzly

Tying Instructions

Step 1: Tie in thread behind the eye and wrap back to the bend. Tie in a strand of zelon for the shuck, and trim just shorter than the length of the shank.

Step 2: Dub a slightly tapered body of superfine dubbing forward about two thirds of the way to the hook eye.

Step 3: Tie in EP Fibers for the wing, clipping the butts short in the back and leaving the fibers long over the eye of the hook.

Step 4: Tie in a hackle feather on top of where the wing fibers were tied in. Then move the thread forward in front of the wing, and make a few turns of thread in front of the wing to stand it up a bit.

Step 5: Make two to three turns of hackle behind the wing, and then about two more turns in front of the wing. Tie off the feather, trim, and whip finish.

Step 6: Trim the hackle flush with the hook point.

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Dog Days Carpin’

Sometimes you just need to do something different. Sight-casting to tailing carp in shallow water can provide a great change of pace to summer trout fishing. 

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