Flies for John Day River


Active Member
I have friends in Oregon who had a successful elk hunt and they're sending me a piece of hide. In exchange I want to tie them some flies. They have a cabin on the John Day and fish it for smallmouths and rainbows. What are some of the flies I can send them in exchange for their kindness?


Steelhead Junkie
Oh my, I haven't thought about the tequeely in a number of years. Such a successful streamer that has been buried under several other flies in my box. I'm going to have to break it back out next season. Thanks for the reminder!

Yard Sale

Huge Member
This is my got to JD smaller fly. I like it in big sizes to the small fish can’t eat it and the big fish get a chance.

I like to spin the hair in a loop and trim the bottom half of the loop to just base hairs. Makes the face of the fly much stiffer and gives it a pop when stripped dry.

Great streamer from the boat on a tip as it stays shallow near shore but then gets wet and follows the tip down as it goes out.



Soap Lake Posse
WFF Moderator
My favorite is a Tequeely streamer. Toss it to the bank, and anyone waiting for a hopper will nail it on the surface. Strip it back and the other bass go for it. Even as it sinks, you can see the takes because of the yellow legs. Have had 100 bass days on the John Day with this one.

View attachment 158569

That gave me some ideas. Thanks!

Mark Moore

Conservative Member
WFF Supporter
There are some great flies listed in this thread, I especially like Yard’s streamer but in all truth the Smallies in the John Day will hit almost anything that gives a little action. Any kind of popper will consistently provoke strikes.

It has turned into my favorite fishery with the state of Steelhead being what it is.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


WFF Supporter
Muddler Minnow works great on both of those fish species and it is an Elk hair classic!
My experience there for the smallies was pretty much that they would hit almost anything. at least the smaller ones...of which there are millions of. I would tie something fairly large and with decent weight to maybe keep it out of the little guys mouth long enough for a bigger one to take a look at it.

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