Flies for stillwater


Sculpin Enterprises
Don't forget the mayflies. Callibaetis dries (Quigley cripples, comparaduns, parachutes, spinner in size 14 & 16, lighter colors for the east side lakes, darker colors for the mountain and west-side lakes). Hexagenia mayflies (emergers and extended bodied flies, size 8 and 6) for some lakes, like Merrill Lake. Don't forget caddis flies: elk hair caddis and diving caddis in tan and black, size 12 - 16. And there are days when you wish you had ants: black and red, in various sizes. [Now you know why I carry about a dozen fly boxes in my pontoon, but I generally use just five or six patterns in a typical day.]


Geez, I forgot the beetles. A few black or peacock body bugs with black foam tops.
What do you mean, "most flies will be larger than real life"?
Am I living in an altered existence?
Well, I took it to mean that the flies that are offered are actually one or two sizes larger than the actual insect. That may not be gospel, but it might be true in cases of BWO in a size 16 or 18 whereas the real McCoy might actually be a size 22 or 24. Some folks, myself included, might have a problem trying to tie a size 20 or 22 hook. I never tie under a size 18 and seldom that small. Mostly 12 and 14 for my clumsy fingers.
I understand what you're saying now.
Thanks for the clarification.
We do fish flies larger than the naturals on occasion. Such was the case for me this past spring during a tiny chironomid hatch. Bugs were too small to match. Smallest I had was a size 20, it was small enough for the fish, caught quite a few that day.
I never was the best at the bench, and since my eyes are going south and my fingers don't work, I still tie but not so much and it takes a lot longer. I guess as long as the fish don't mind, it really doesn't matter. I have to admit that in lakes, I usually fish a full sinking line and a bigger bug. It is just hard to beat a bugger under those circumstances. Hence the name, Olive Bugger. Black and brown work well for me. But one fly that I came up with on my own that has caught my fancy is an all white with a black wrap, to look like a maggot. Might tie a black nose on it. No feather or legs. Just white body/black wrap in a size 10 or 12. What do you think?
When I was a youngster growing up in the midwest we would fish a Mickey Finn under a bobber for trout and bass. My grandpa taught me to fish and he had the weirdest assortment of tackle in his tackle box in those days. We didn't know what the heck we were doing as kids so we chose whatever caught our eye in his box. At times the big bass would go nuts over that fly. In those days, flies (larger ones) would come packaged individually in small cellophane sleeves. Our small town's only sporting goods was available at the local hardware store, the owner always knew what the hot ticket was cause fisherman would come in and order whatever was working for them.


Active Member
I wouldn't be without some Callibaetis mayfly imitations. They are available over a long period, hatching daily from spring through fall and are present in most lakes. The earliest to hatch in the spring may be as large as size 12, diminishing to 16 in the fall; I usually use a size 14 throughout the season. I tie nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners; nymphs and emergers are probably the most important.

Sorry, they're out of order: dun,emerger,nymph and spinner.
Chironimids are one of my best producers in early spring. Scuds are are also a great pattern in olive for lakes that have them. most lakes I fish have scuds. My buddy caught his largest rainbow to date 24" on a size 18 olive scud.
One of my favored lakes was Dry Falls. I use the past tense because I have not been able to fish it for a few years. I remember some beautiful mornings fishing out of my float tube in that lake.
Fish were numerous and fun to catch, and the catch word was anything green would work.
Well, I caught fish on olive and blackwoolies, black leaches, dramselfly nymphs and a few on Carey's. I doubt that it fishes the same today.
Doc Spratley slayed em at my favorite local lake this year. Sometimes it was all they wanted.

If you're thinking of which of all these flies to tie for lakes right now, I'd go for big flies that you can fish slow and deep. Winter fish want an easy, filling meal.

Gregg Lundgren

Now fishing on weekdays too!
The Doc Spratley, now that brings back some old memories. I still carry some in my box, but haven't used them in years. I learned how to tie that pattern from Roy Patrick when I was around 12 years old. Just a couple years later, I introduced my father to fly fishing on Pinantan Lake near Kamloops BC. He was a dedicated gear fisherman at the time, but the Doc Spratley was the ticket, and made him a believer! The Doc Spratley and Nyerges Nymph were always my 'go to' lake flies years ago. I am going to give them a fair shot again next year.

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