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Justified
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Years ago, I tied up a few bee patterns, but have yet to tie one on. Mine look more like a bumblebee, but that's neither here nor there...

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone here has ever fished one of these with success?

Thanks
 

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Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
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I've caught a few on bee patterns, but like you haven't put much effort into fishing them.
I tied some up after a trip to the Yakima that took place many years ago.
It was fall and I noticed some bees floating downstream earlier in the day. They looked like Yellowjackets to me, with yellow and black barred bodies. Perhaps they were dying due to the first freezing of the season.
Late in the afternoon, I fished a slow moving section. I saw a nice fish rise right in front of me. It rose again and I was able to see it take a bee. Another nice fish was rising upstream from the first fish. There were no other visible hatches so I assume it was rising to bees as well.
Of course I had no bee patterns with me.....
SF
 

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While in Jr. High School one hot dry summer it seemed that nearly every major log jam on the South Fork Snoqualmie had a hornet nest hang from a limb. My imagination was captured by a McGinity fly and I consistently tied it on for a cast or two below each nest and was rewarded far more frequently than my fledging fly skills would suggest. Don't know whether the cutthroat were "bee eaters" or not but the Mc Ginity was my first serious effort to match the hatch.

Of course that success lead me to an every increasing fly collect just to cover potential "hatches". As a result not sure that the McGinity was good thing or not but I do look back on that summer as a time that my fly fishing took a major step forward.

Curt
 

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A bee pattern isn't something I think about - but then I mostly (mostly) fish still waters. But Curt's story does take me back to my high school days; I'd helped my dad "log the crick bottom" on our property for the families winter wood supply and was rewarded with a cane rod (combo spin/fly) Perrine automatic and a fly tying kit and half dozen flies. One was a bee and I don't remember any paper nests hanging over McDonald Creek so can't say I had the epiphany that Curt relates. I spent most of my time with a fly in the alders, cedars, nettles, well, pretty much anywhere except on the water till I got to the mouth.
 

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Just an Old Man
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The Bee is a good fly. I used to use it a lot on small skinny waters. I actually caught fish with it. And now I don't even have one in my fly box. I should remedy that soon.
 

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Now hanging at the other, better new place
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This has been a favorite searching fly for me for a long time at my favorite cutthroat lake. I knew the pattern as a Hari Kari, also their is a variation called the Hari Kari bucktail with the addition of a brown hair wing.
I've used it for sea runs in rivers with success. I just spelled it as I found it in my 197? Edition of Les Johnson's book.
 

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Bees, crickets, ant patterns, hoppers....any terrestrial pattern can wake up a sluggish day, even during a hatch of tiny bugs impossible to match. I've done well using yellowjacket/bumblebee dries and wets. Hungry trout will attack any good meal if presented decently. Carpenter ant patterns are also very good at times.
 

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Coast to Coast
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Just after college I spent some time in the Forest Service fighting wildfires. One of my bunkmates was from West Virginia and enjoyed to fish so we headed up to a local mountain lake after work one day to soak some bait and drink beer. We caught several trout that evening including one very nice rainbow that when cut open was absolutely stuffed with yellow jackets. I'm talking dozens in its stomach. I don't know where or how it ate so many, but I took it as proof that trout will eat bees. I've done absolutely nothing with this knowledge and have never tried a bee pattern. I have done well on other terrestrial patterns and third the ant pattern. I've caught many Yakima bows on the humble ant on hot summer days when nothing much else was happening.
 

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While this thread started about bee patterns terrestrials in general are great change of pace patterns.

While not exactly a beetle pattern I have had great luck with cricket pattern that I developed years ago for Driftless Creek spring creeks. Black spun deer hair body clipped to shape with living rubber legs and deer hair wing. The cricket pattern was great for those wild browns that were taking terrestrials and generally out fished hoppers but a wide margin. The cricket pattern also appears to readily accepted as a beetle. Speaking of hoppers on heavy pressure fish that looking for hoopers have had excellent luck with micro hoppers. Size 12 adnd 14s tied with clipped spun deer hair. Until late in the summer there always are some younger/smaller hoppers in the mix and for fish that bombarded by standard hoppers those micro hoppers can be magical.

There always are few ants stuck in the corner of my terrestrial box. They are in variety of sizes (mostly small) and colors.

Curt
 

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Harry Lemire created the Harry Kari Nymph for trout in 1957 and tied it on a 3x long, size 6 hook. Later he shortened the hook to a standard length, in sizes 1-8, with a black bear wing for steelhead and renamed it the Harry Kari Bucktail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I always found it interesting, that fish could swallow a bee, like a yellow jacket, and not be bothered by the constant stinging in their stomach's, until the bee dies.

I mean, a Yellow Jacket just stings repeatedly, until it's dead.

How do I know this? Ever had one fly into your armpit, while your elbow is resting on your door, while driving down the freeway? Uh... I have. Not cool...

I guess the fish don't have any nerve endings in their bellies...?
 
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