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Filtering by Tag: featured

Featured Fly: The Haystack

leah kirk

Haystack flies were developed over 50 years ago by Fran Betters when he was still in high school. These flies are genuine classics that consistently take trout in streams all over the world under all conditions, for all types of hatches, and when other fancy-tied flies fail. The Haystack is an all-purpose pattern that imitates a majority of insects that trout feed on. This pattern does not require expensive neck hackle, and tying can be learned quickly and easily. The Haystack is the perfect fly-tiers fly.


   The original Haystack was tied on a size 10, Mustad 9671 hook and incorporated Key deer hair for the tail and wing and the body was dubbed with cream Australian opossum fur. Key deer are now a protected species so coastal deer hair is now used. After the development of the first Haystack, which imitated the green drake spinner, Fran developed a series of five patterns to imitate all of the important mayfly hatches. Twenty years later these patterns were copied and called Compara-duns.


Hook:                    Standard dry fly - size to match natural.

Thread:                3/0 or 6/0 to match body.

Tail:                        Small clump of deer hair to match natural.

Wing:                     Larger clump of deer hair of the same color.

Body:                    Dubbing to match color of deer hair

Featured Fly: The Burlap Nymph

leah kirk

The Burlap Nymph has been around over twenty years and originated in the Northwest to imitate large golden stonefly nymphs. It has proven effective on Ozark and Appalachian streams and tailwater rivers. While birthed as a stonefly nymph pattern, the Burlap Nymph is a naturally buggy, simple pattern that works on both trout and bass.

Hook:                                     #10-14 Orvis Beadhead

Thread:                                Dark brown Uni-thread

Bead:                                     Gold Tungsten

Tail:                                        Red Fox Squirrel Tail Fibers

Abdomen                          Burlap

Featured Fly: Adult Crane Fly

leah kirk

This time of year the crane fly often is overlooked by southern fly fishers. In many streams it a key source of food for trout.  Crane flies, both in their larval form and their adult form, can be very abundant. On southern freestone and tailwater rivers, crane fly larvae and adults are relished by trout, especially larger meat conscious trout.

Hook:                    Daiichi 1260 size 6-10

Thread:                UTC 140

Amdomen:         Tan Antron

Foam Body:        2mm Tan Foam

Underwing:        White FluoroFiber

Overwing:           Deer Hair

Legs:                      Pheasant Tail Fibers, Brown Rubber

Hackle:                 Whiting Grizzly Saddle Hackle

Featured Fly: Josh’s Reaper Midge

leah kirk

Josh’s Reaper Midge.jpg

Josh Williams developed Josh’s Reaper Midge for use on tailwater rivers when trout seem to only want to take the smallest of fly patterns.  Josh’s Reaper Midge has flashy wings offer a great visual aid for the angler, as well as a nice wing silhouette for the trout. The hackle thorax holds the front of the fly on the surface tension.

Hook:                       Orvis Tactical Wide Gap Hook or dry-fly hook, sizes 16-22.

Thread:                  Black, Veevus 8/0 or 10/0.

Abdomen:            Veevus Iris Thread in color of choice.

Wing:                       Pearl Krystal Flash.

Hackle:                                     Grizzly.

Thorax:                   UV Ice Dub in pink, purple, or orange.