Fly Patterns

Purple BeaverPurple Beaver  This pattern was derived from variegated black and tan chenille after the arangement produced excellent results in Parkland Lakes. There is something about the mottled underbody that acts as a trigger when emulating a leech. The fly was called the Beaver and Tan. Some editions saw the addition of a gold bead which led to the belief that the fly was even more effective. Probably the most effective addition …

Beadhead Beaver LeechBeadhead Beaver Leech  This is one pattern that you do not always want to tie in the smooth textbook style that professionals can render into any fly. When using the pattern to emulate cased caddis, one would do well to leave guard hairs intact, sticking out at all angles and the body as cobbly as some naturals. On the other hand, when emulating crane flies, which the pattern does well, pick out the guard hairs and introduce…

California LeechCalifornia Leech  This is another hot pattern for the Parkland. It worked particularly well in Tokaryk Lake in the fall of 2009. It originated on Henry’s Lake in Idaho from the skilled hands of Bill Schiess but found it’s way to the Parkland through Mike Andreasen who found it worked well in northern climes. Perhaps the pulsating strands of Krystal Flash make it more than just another Mohair…

Crystal P–QuadCrystal P-Quad   Over the years I have peeked into many fly boxes and fly shop bins, and I have been given just about every combination of damselfly nymph tied to date. All were verified infallible. Most, with the exception of John Newbury’s hinged version, were so stiff that I wondered if any of these people had ever seen a real damselfly nymph…

Pumpkin HeadPumpkin Head  Anyone tackling Patterson Lake for the first time should have a number of Punkinheads in their fly box. From the earliest surveys by the FLIPPR field crews the presence of large brown leeches was noted in the lake. Any brown mohair pattern will work but the spectrumized versions that Mike Andreasen developed appear to work best. On this version, that little patch of bright orange SLF on the head appears…

CBS Mohair LeechCBS Mohair Leech  CBS stands for Canadian Brown Seal, which was used in the original. However the new pattern calls for chopped up Canadian Brown Mohair Yarn, core removed and chopped into suitable lengths, (usually 1/2 inch for size 8 or 6). Mike Andreasen had no idea how effective this fl y would become but he and his club have caught and released thousands of fi sh since it’s inception. The mohair has no brown…

Canadian Mohair LeechCanadian Mohair Leech  Jack Shaw and Mike Andreasen originated/reworked this fly when they and Noah used to fish it off the back of the Ark on sunny summer afternoons. Canadian Brown Mohair yarn swept backwards with a Velcro dubbing comb forms the crux of the pattern. Friends start, stop and continually fish this pattern and nothing else–and look askance at anyone who begs to differ. Other…

Bob’s Wee Mohair LeechBob’s Wee Mohair Leech  This is another simple mohair leech pattern. It does however have several subtle changes that other arrangements do not possess and that makes it extremely effective. Years ago a number of leeches were observed suspended vertically in a catatonic position at various levels of the water column. We also observed that many of the minnows that stack along spring and early morning weed…

Harder ScudHarder Scud  I first met Ty Harder at William Lake, back in the early eighties. Ty and his wife Nancy often took time out between major construction jobs to spend some time wetting feathers in different locales, but our paths crossed often. He always referred to Travis Parker and myself as “that riffraff from Lake William.” I think he meant…

MacSheedy BloodwormMacSheedy Bloodworm  I have my pet peeves. For one thing, I don’t like ketchup on my fries. The younger generation has entrenched this practice so thoroughly that it’s hard to get the salt and vinegar that old man Flavelle used to anoint the hand-peeled fare that made him famous every summer in the town where I grew up. If old Tony was still alive, I’d gladly endure those lineups in the scorching heat of my boyhood…

Midnight FireMidnightfire  The Midnight Fire leech pattern is a woolly bugger built around a variegated red and blue chenille. It has been and will continue to be a favorite for Parkland stillwater fishers but has also proven effective in rivers throughout Canada and at least one European country. This version has a thickly wound “head” — a pusher to provide plenty of lateral line appeal at depth — which is where it continues…

Psychedelic P–QuadPsychedelic P–Quad  I had flogged the weed bed at the west end of Silver Beach Lake for some time before hooking a horse that took me into the weeds. My Egg-sucking Tokaryk’s Special had scored for most of the day, but this was the largest fish so far. For one tantalizing moment I thought that I might turn it, so hadn’t hurried to lower my rod tip. I now know that the ferrule had surpassed its maximum load limit, for…

Shamu ScudShamu Scud  A phenomenon occurs every fall in the fertile waters of the midwest, when we enter the “frozen water” period and trout begin to feed heavily on Hyalella scuds. For some reason, the little creatures expose themselves by the millions and trout ingest them freely, as do all life forms capable of catching them. Large trout – the 27”+…

Squirrel P–QuadSquirrel P-Quad  I was first introduced to the effectiveness of the squirrel bodied P-Quad by its designer, Mark Olinger. We’d been fishing Tokaryk’s Lake after one of the worst heat waves of the summer and the fishing had been hovering slightly above sewer level. Yet the sonar told us that fish — large fish — were feeding all around us. But feeding upon what? Later, we would discover that the trout were predating…

Tom ThumbTom Thumb  This is one of the most popular dry flies in western Alberta and throughout British Columbia. Generally, we use it on stillwaters only when large “brown sedge” caddis are hatching. It can be effective when the adults are on the surface, drying their wings prior to their initial flight. It’s not my first choice, but at times it becomes the “only fly.” Admittedly, tying a Tom Thumb in size 16 can be a challenge for those…

Trueblood Otter ShrimpTrueblood Otter Shrimp  In the late autumn, in the short window before freeze up, hyallella scuds leave their secretive dwellings and offer themselves to patrolling trout by the thousands. It is not unusual to land a large rainbow or brown with gobs of these tiny crustaceans spit onto our tube aprons as though our quarry was showing its disdain for our interruption of such gross gluttony. Many fly fishers…

Twisted Mohair LeechTwisted Mohair Leech  The Twisted Leech provides a large leech pattern which can be fished just below the surface. (A Bob Morenski Photo) I was fishing on Childs Lake in Manitoba in 2008 when I saw the biggest leech that I have ever seen in the water. The leech was not stretched out and was at least 10 inches long and no less than ¾ of an inch wide. It made me rethink about the size leeches that I fish. While goofing off…

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