Marbou leech March 23 2015, 1 Comment

Quick, easy, and stupidly effective, this is a stillwater staple.  Make sure you have a bunch of these in black, brown, olive, maroon, and even red before hitting your favourite lake this year!


Back to the future - steelhead nymphing! December 01 2014, 1 Comment


fishing on the swing isn't always the answer..."



Frankenfly. The egg-sucking sculpin. November 27 2014, 0 Comments

Ever been fishing a fly in a hatch and wonder why a fish will take your fly over all the naturals?  It still makes even the most seasoned angler wonder sometimes.  Your silly fly that looks only vaguely like what the fish is feeding on, but will cause the fish to ignore everything else. Welcome to fly fishing!

The trick is often to suggest one or multiple things that will trigger a fish's interest, and trigger it to take your fly.

At the moment in many of the coastal rivers in North America, resident and searun trout are keyed in to a few food sources. Right now, that's salmon eggs if they are on offer.  But "on offer" is subject to conditions, and when the water spikes with rain, eggs wash down and the trout feed on them.  When the rain stops or temperatures plummet, the water drops and clears, and with that, eggs are no longer washed downstream to feeding trout. At these times, trout can then turn to their regular food sources, and at such time will turn to the larger food sources like sculpins.  Sculpins, unlike trout for the most part, will take eggs directly from salmon redds.  It doesn't take a genius to work out that a little sculpin struggling to swim with an egg sticking out of its mouth might make an attractive meal for trout.  Without further ado, here's our take on the egg-sucking sculpin!


Fish the fly on the swing during low water conditions, or tie it with heavy dumbell eyes and strip it just downstream of salmon redds and watch the trout follow.  


If you'd like to see a tying video of how we put this little beastie together, please comment on this blogpost.

When flashing pays off! September 26 2014, 0 Comments

When coho or silver salmon return to their native rivers to spawn, they become a good target for fly fishermen.  Deep pools of almost still water connected to the main river flow should see the salmon stacking up.  Typically the fish will sit near the bottom, so you need to get your presentation down.  Short strips in the right zone, and a fly that attracts their attention is all you need to bring one of these beauties in.  There isn't much written about flies for coho in rivers, and to be honest, most of the flies written about have simply not worked for me.  Small bead head flash flies work time and time again.  In the deep pools, I'll use these 90% of the time.


Here's a proven fly.  Quick, simple to tie, cheap, and drives the coho mad.

  Tie up a few yourself and flash those coho.  With your waders on of course!



Autumn Fishing Tactics September 02 2014, 1 Comment

As the seasons start to slide by and we head into Autumn, the trout start to change their feeding behaviour.  With winter looming, it's a race to pack on as much fat as possible.  It's at this exciting time of the year that trout can become less picky, and can often be taken in shallow water.


Often the ticket to success here is having a near enough is good enough type pattern.  Enter the woolly bugger.  Arguably the most famous pattern of all time, and for good reason.


Here we tie our version of the pattern, specially for fall fishing.  While not representing anything in particular, in the colours we've chosen, it could represent any of the following:

- Baitfish

- Leech

- Crayfish/shrimp

- Scud

- Damsel

- Dragon

- Chironomid Larva

- Boatman


So tie a few up, either weighted or un-weighted, and fish them around the weed beds on your favourite lake.  A floating line should suffice, and make sure to vary the retrieve until you figure out what works.


As always, we love to hear any feedback you may have on using flies or tips we post.  Please share your success (or failure) stories either at or on our Facebook page.

Coho driving you nuts? August 13 2014, 0 Comments

Try the Coho Coconut fly!  As we wind down on summer, the loss of the sun is  made bearable with the exciting fishing that accompanies the change of seasons.  Coho that have been staging for some months now begin to enter the rivers, and with that comes the joy and frustration of trying to catch them.  Aggressive biters one day, totally shut down the next.  Sometimes it takes something different to stimulate them to bite.  


Try tying this fly up.  It's quick to tie, cheap, and very effective at producing during shut down fishing.  Fish it on a full sinking lines through deep pools, and hold on!



Ants in your pants? May 02 2014, 0 Comments

At some time during the spring, many lakes will see a hatch of ants.  This can make for amazing fishing as we get to use a dry fly to concentrated, surface feeding trout.  It can also be miserable if you forgot your ants.  We offer a short video on a basic ant pattern.



Remember on the black ants to add a sighter post or you'll miss every take that comes your way.  Tie some in black and some in light brown in sizes  8-16 and you should cover most eventualities.


It should be obvious when and how to fish the ants, but some things to look for include overhanging vegetation or thick vegetation near the lake edge.  Wind will often concentrate the little critters, so look for where the wind is blowing to and you'll be in the money, either towards the shore or in concentrated wind lanes.  Oh, and all the trout rising should be a dead giveaway.  


Enjoy, and make sure to send us your feedback on how this pattern worked for you!



Thoughts on a killer patter February 21 2014, 0 Comments

Anyone ever fished in a lake full of scuds and the trout are keyed in on them?  I have, and it can be tough to stand out from the millions swimming about in the water.  With that in mind, here's a pattern I've come up with to accomplish three things:

- Create a largely imitative pattern

- Stand out from the naturals

- Provide numerous feeding triggers


Most prominently, we've got an orange glass bead to indicate an egg sack, something that trout often choose over scuds without eggs. We've included rubber "legs" at the front and back of the fly for extra movement and because I have a thing for rubber legs...  The dubbing is a blend of three of the most common colours we see scuds in locally (choose your own as appropriate) and some added UV ice dubbing for extra visibility.  Note that scuds will adapt their colour to that of their environment.  An exact match makes it much harder for the trout to find your pattern, so don't drive yourself crazy with colour - near enough is good enough.  

The final two points are a pearl strip for a little flash, and a strip of orange stretch floss running the length of the body.  This extra orange strip probably isn't necessary, but probably doesn't hurt either.  Scuds often carry parasites that cause the digestive track to appear orange. This gives the scud away to the trout (the parasite's definitive host), and in turn the trout look for this orange when searching out scuds. Here's the "final" product.


We haven't had the chance to take this for a test drive, but we're already looking forward to lake season!  We'd love to hear your thoughts on this pattern, or if you have any questions on how to make it yourself.  If so, please leave a comment, visit us at Facebook or email us at


Down Time December 06 2013, 0 Comments

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, temperatures are dropping and many fisheries are coming to a close.  Work is often busy, and Christmas keeps us occupied, but when you do get a moment to spare on those cold wet days, how will you spend your downtime?  When you can't go fishing, but would like to.  Why not try tying up some new flies for a season to come?  


Sometimes the most effective flies are those that are just a little bit different.  Why not take some of your old patterns and try to tweak them a bit?  More than likely you'll have some failures, but sometimes you improve upon a fly and make it stand out from other flies, and hopefully the food.  


At the essence of a fly, for the most part, are the characteristics of whatever it is you're trying to imitate.  Stray too far from that food source and you'll likely have something that isn't too successful.  But if you get the basics down and tart it up, often you'll be quite successful.  When trying new things, consider the following:


- Can you take a drab colour and make it brighter?

- Can you adjust weight of the fly to make it sink faster or slower to increase it's time in a feeding zone? 

- Can you add a highlight, such as some flash, a bead, or a hot spot?  

- Can you change materials from an existing pattern to make the fly look better in the water?  Or faster to tie?

- Can you make certain features more or less prominent?  Better segmentation?  Bigger eyes?


I'll often start by changing just one variable and going from there.  Here are a few examples tied for next year's lake fishing.  


They're by no means pretty, but they represent a starting point for experimenting, because there's nothing quite as satisfying as fooling a fish on a fly that you've created!  


If you have any new flies you'd like to share, we'd love to see you post them to our Facebook page.

Tie your own custom flies November 20 2013, 1 Comment

Tie your own custom flies