Classic Flies

Do you like to fish classic fly patterns with your classic rods & reels?

Honestly, within certain boundaries, I don't think patterns make much difference to the half-starved little Cutthroats we have in the Cascade foothill streams. Keep it around #14-18 and present the fly well and you'll probably catch fish. If I can, anybody can...

...however, I'm just bored silly with EHC's and Stimulators. I like to tie when I can't fish so I've been concentrating on traditional patterns and/or my interpretation of them with modern, readily available materials. This Summer, when fishing upstream in rough water, I'm planning on Catskill styled dries. For downstream fishing, it'll be North Country spiders & soft hackles. The 11'9" troutspey will get paired with updates of old British wetfly patterns.

Here's an odd assortment of the old & new that'll get use this Summer along with the extra-bushy #10 Stimulator included for scale. I think my favorite is the Delaware Adams by Walt Dette (green-bodied dry, back left) but I haven't quite mastered it yet. Also planning on the "Henryville Special" for a Caddis pattern as it'll give me some practice on quill wings.

What classic patterns do you fish?

Carrot Nymph, Gray Hackle Yellow, Letort Hopper, Renegade, Kolzer Orange (although this is a pre-Stimulator/Wulff cross). This year, I'm thinking of Cow Dung as a possible extension of the line as well as some of the Ray Bergman patterns and some classic streamers.

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
Honestly, I believe the Catskill flies are most beautifull style yet devised. As elegant as they are they were designed for lower gradient streams than we have in the Cascades. The Henryville Special is a good example of a deadly fly that does not stay on top well in our water. I used to live in Henryville and am intimate with certain sections of the local streams. So either pick your drifts carefully or expect a lot of drowned flies.

In spite of all that they are well worth tying. If you really love these flies and thier history do yourself a big favor and get Tying Catskill-Style Dry Flies by Mike Valla. He will be coming out with a Catskill-Style wet fly book later this year.

I actually have both of Mike's books. The photo's and materials lists are great.

100% agree on the floating. I fished Catskills much of last season. Even with heavy hackling, fly changes were much more frequent. Late in the day I usually submitted and tied on one of my small foam-bodied stimulators...

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Actually, I do alot when I'm grabbing out my old rods. Funny you brought this up, I was planning on going total old school at this years Hoh Down (sorry, I'm relating to steelhead on this one). I still have all my old fenwick/pflueger combos I grew up fishing for steel with. I was going to tie up all the patterns I used back then (GBS, polar shrimp, purple peril, and a few of my own hairwing creations) and exclusively fish them on my old glass rods at the Hoh Down. Even tied my polar shrimps up in the more standard orange chenille (only chenille I had access to back then) that I caught my first steelhead on the fly on.

But yeah, I still get the gumption to tie up some of the old steelhead flies and fish them on my old glass rods. Doesn't happen alot, but it does happen.