Custom Orders

YES WE DO CUSTOM ORDERS!  If you have a specific fly or hatch in mind let me know.  The flies in my catalog are just a start of what I can do for you.  Always feel free to call (208-649-4232) or email me ( to discuss your specific needs.

This pattern is a custom prototype I am working on with a customer of mine who fishes the Frying Pan River in Colorado.  There is a hatch of Pinkish PMD's there, and this was one pattern we came up with for him, blending some PMD, and Pink Cahill dubbing to get the color you see here.  I also like this pattern with the Split CDC wings.  It reminds me of a no hackle, and I often tie it with a forked tail to give a more realistic dun look to the fly.

Pink PMD No Hackle
Pink PMD No Hackle Front View
I really enjoy custom patterns and tying to meet customers specific needs.  So if you have a certain hatch on your water you want me to take a shot at let me know, and we will see what we can do.

Coming Soon To the Fly Shop - A New Caddis Pattern

I am slowly adding new patterns to my catalog, and these caddis emergers are going through final testing.  So far things are looking good.  This pattern produced during an epic caddis emergence a week or so ago. (Whackamole Caddis)  I may make a couple tweeks before you find it in the fly shop, but I know the fly catches fish as is.  Maybe it's a case of if it ain't broke don't fix it.  But if you like what you see and don't want to wait until you see it in the fly shop, I can certainly tie up a few for you.  Just get ahold of me at or 208-649-4232.  I have plenty of hook sizes and color options available.

Green Caddis Emerger

Brown Caddis Emerger

Whackamole Caddis

Say Hello to my Little Friend
Yesterdays report from the river involves a heavy dose of caddis. The evidence was clear even as I stepped out of my rig at 7:30 PM on the bank of one of my favorite lower runs on the river I fish so often, and was greeted to the sight of splashy rises coming from a run of riffles. Splashy rises to me immediately scream caddis. Fish catapulting after rising caddis emergers, or swimming egg layers. The active nature of the caddis means these fish can't just sit and sip like they do during a mayfly or midge hatch. The bugs are moving, and so are the fish. The run was alive, and I couldn't wait to hit the water.

I tied on one of my favorite caddis emerger patterns and went for it. It didn't take long. First cast into the riffle and although I lost the fly in the rough water, I saw a nice splash about where I thought my fly should be. I set the hook and sure enough, the evening was underway.

Fishing a caddis hatch to me is so much different than a mayfly hatch. It's fast and furious. In a mayfly hatch my focus seems to hone in on one single fish, and I work that steadily rising fish until I either hook up, or the fish spooks. In a caddis emergence with so much going on I get easily distracted, and start casting to one fish when another catches my eye and I feel on occasion like I am spraying cast's all over the river. I have heard it described as whack a mole fly fishing. The thing is that in a strong caddis hatch the fish can seem as distracted as I am, and don't seem as bothered by a fisherman launching casts all over their run. So while whack a mole fishing can be a bad thing during a BWO hatch, it can on occasion work out OK when the caddis are heavy. The rises are often more sporadic during a caddis hatch so I have found that delivering a fly as soon as I see a rise, often elicits another slash from the offending fish. So this wackamole method worked very well last night. See a rise, deliver the fly, bam. Land the fish, release the fish, see the rise deliver the fly, bam. Rinse, repeat. Over and over. It was a great night.

The action just got steadily more intense until well after the sun went down. At points my skin was literally crawling with caddis, and every breath one took had to be done with the mouth closed, or you were likely to get some extra protein in the diet. (I don't quite see what fish see in these things as far as taste goes). Finally my fly became too tattered, and it was too dark to see to tie on a new fly. So I called it a night. As I shed my gear and waders at the truck, I could still hear the splashes of fish chasing those fluttering bugs.

Eat up trout, I will return.

Shared the run last night

This guy fed along the willows just 10 yards away from me for about 30 minutes as the evening sun disappeared.  He seemed to follow along, as I moved down the river through the run he moved down.  For a while I thought maybe he was unaware of my existence for some reason, but here as you see me getting his attention, he looked, but didn't let it disturb him any, and went right back to eating. 

Rise and Shine

I recognize this place.

Duct tape - First it Saved the Day, Then it Tried to Drown me.

Duct Tape.  Does anyone out there take a trip to your favorite water without the stuff? It has saved my fishing day several times. Some Duct tape company should really buy American Expresses slogan from them.  It seems appropriate.  "Don't Leave Home Without It!" This last week it was again called upon to save the day.

 I don't have to explain to the readers here how valuable a day out on the water is. So when you get out there and find some piece of equipment isn't up to snuff like you thought, it can ruin your day. I have had a couple bad moments of equipment or brain malfunction that have threatened to ruin a day on the water. And in each case it seems that duct tape was at least a part of the solution.

A couple years ago on the water it was waders that sprung a large leak. It was not really a warm spring day when this happened so wet wading was not an option. I dried the waders off, taped them up with a heavy dose of the silver stuff, and waded for several hours without feeling a drop of water. Eventually the duct tape dam broke, and I was driven in a hypothermic fit back to the truck to blast the heater, but hey I got in some fishing, and caught some fish that may not have been possible without the wonders of Duct Tape.

I mentioned brain malfunctions. I am vaguely remembering another time I tried so long to forget, where I made it to the river for an evening of fishing. The plan was to fish a couple hours before dark. I got out of the truck and put on my waders, boots, got out my flies, tippets, all that misc stuff. Then took my reel out of it's case, and went to put it on my fly rod and start rigging up. But I somehow had forgotten the fly rod at home. There are a few things I can do without on the river, but it just so happens that the fly rod is an important ingredient to fly fishing. So I did the next best thing. I cut a perfectly good willow from the stream side, then proceeded to spend the next half hour rigging something up with duct tape. Let's just say that duct tape had a hand in allowing me to actually put a fly on the water that day, but it may not have completely saved the day. I got skunked. But I fished.   So I feel like I won that one. 

Now this past weekend. It was my wading boots turn to malfunction. First on one sole, then just a few minutes later, the other. The felt just came off. Starting at the toes, peeling back to the heel. They are old boots so I guess it was bound to happen.  Wading up stream with two hunks of felt flopping in the current and trying to find traction on the hard smooth plastic that now was on the balls of my feet, was what I would imagine it to be like to wade in roller skates. I made it back to the truck and grabbed the handy dandy duct tape and made a few wraps.

Duct Tape Wading boots
 The first run it all worked fine.  Then things fell apart again.  Literally.  It was nearly impossible to dry the boots out in a reasonable amount of time, so the duct tape had to be put on the wet boots.  Soon it came loose and up bobbed a glob of duct tape to the surface of the river.  I snagged it and headed back to the truck for round two.  This time I not only duct taped around the toe of the boot, but did a figure 8 up and around my ankle to hold everything in place and to keep my self from inadvertantly littering the river with another glob of duct tape, if it slipped off the toe again and I failed to catch it as it headed down river.  This time the tape didn't hold for a minute.  After entering the water the toe portion slipped off and began flapping in the current, still held to my leg by the loop around my ankle.  Well I had a fish I was working in front of me so there was no time to stop and get this wading boot thing solved.  I just was going to have to go after this fish and hope I didn't fall in the river. 

Yeah, I slipped, and as the fresh cold water trickled up over my waders the gasping and flailing began.  At first it seem important to me to keep from snapping the $300 dollar stick of graphite in my right hand while trying to somehow regain my footing.  Did I mention the wading in roller skates analogy?  It may have been that one of the loops of duct tape got caught on a rock or stick but I was finding it very hard to move one of my feet to get it back under me so I could stand up.  As I continued to flail and take on the steady trickle of 40 degree water down the waders for what seemed like 5 minutes that $300 stick of graphite started to lose value in my mind.  Finally I put both hands down and pushed off to get myself righted.  Finally standing I took inventory of the situation again.  Fly rod had survived.  That is good.  I was surviving.  That was better.  But soaking, cold, and my foot was still caught on something.  Finally though in a standing position it was easier to free myself from whatever it was the duct tape had looped around.  I pulled free, and headed directly to the truck. 

Calling it a day.  I must have been a sorry sight.  Dripping wet but wearing waders.  Two duct tape loops flopping around my ankles, and some half torn off felt soles flip flopping back and forth with every step.  I guess there is only so much duct tape can do and saving ones dignity is not on the list.

When Your Water is Crowded

My local tailwater is no secret.  It's a 10 mile stretch of water that gets hit hard by fishermen all year.  Twenty inch Brown Trout, that rise to a dry fly within an hour of the Northwests third largest metro area will do that.  But I find ways to deal with that.  I am fortunate enough to live a little closer to the river than most.  It's a 25 minute drive at most for me.  So I am able to pick and choose the times I head out there.  But there are still times when a standard Saturday afternoon (the absolute worst time for crowds on the river) works best for me.  Why stay home just because of the threat of a few people on the river right?  Well I got the opportunity, and I made the trip this past weekend. 

Sure enough just as expected every conceivable run was occupied as I drove up the river.  At least all the runs I was used to fishing were busy.  There were the odd sections of river, that for one reason or other I always drive past, and a couple of these little stretches happened to be the only river unoccuppied on that day.  So I settled into some unfamiliar water on a very familiar river.  This brings me to the bright side of fishing on these busy days.  Finding new water on a river I thought I knew like the back of my hand. 

It turns out it payed off this day.  I did as well in the new spot as I had done in any other stretch of river, ever, and have added another favorite run to a grown list.  So don't let crowds scare you away from the water.  Once in a while it's good to get out there and be forced out of our comfort zone a bit.  We learn and discover new things that make us better fishermen in the long run. 

The FT Skwala after being used and abused by nearly a dozen fish.  Still going strong.

In the net

New (Temporary) Tying Station

Where I will be spending a lot of time this summer.  As you can see right now the big push is PMD's.
 Our new house is being built.  Our old house sold sooner than we expected.  Net result, we are homeless.  Thankfully it works out that my in laws are working on a job in Hawaii, so we are house sitting for a while.  That means my mother in law's old craft desk is now being occupied, and is my new tying desk for the next 6 months or so.  It's odd getting used to a new tying area.  This one is working out well so far though.  Cranking out PMD's now, and moving on to Brown Drakes later this month.  Flav's, Pink Alberts, and BWO's are on deck.  Back to work. 

Lessons from Hank

The Hank Paterson phenomenon has swept through fly fishing's social network circles.  Some of the stuff is pretty funny.  Here Hank tells us just what it takes to make a fly fishing video.  Seems the key is a large crew, and lots of snacks! 

A new addition to my Bucket list in the category of "Fly Fishing Destinations"

If you read this blog, I assume you must have some interest in fly fishing.  So if you have some interest in fly fishing, I can make a definitive recommendation for you to check out Catch Magazine.  Many of you will have heard of it, and have seen it already.  It is a very popular e-zine in the fly fishing circles, but if you have not subscribed and wondered if it would be worth it, I can say, without hesitation, yes.

Yesterday a new issue (#28 if you are keeping count) hit the web and as always it was an outstanding collection of work.  One regular feature in each issue is a video (T-Motion Theatre) by Todd Moen.  Todd is an amazing film maker.  For myself, a guy that can quickly tire and lose interest in some of the repetitive stuff we often seem to get in the fly fishing film genre, these features are reason enough to subscribe.

This issues video featured the River Avon and River Esk in England.  The fly fishing history on some of these rivers looks incredible.  My bucket list just got a bit longer.  I have long desired to take trips to Patagonia, New Zealand's South Island, or Kamchatka for my dream trout trips but something about the thought of fishing these English Chalk Streams where dry fly fishing was literally invented caused a reshuffling of my dream destination deck.  I love the art of the dry fly.  And the River Avon seems to hold that to some regard.  When I see that a river's regulation not only dictates what type of fishing may take place there (fly fishing only), but the method of fly fishing (Dry Fly only), and finally even the direction of the cast (upstream dry fly fishing only), it's a place after my own heart.  It's not about excluding, it's about tradition and history.  And fishing in it's purest form.  OK that sounds a bit high and mighty, but I can't help it.  I just want to go.

Dry or Die

Good stuff from the creative guys at Happy Friday. Enjoy the weekend.