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Fly Tying Vid – Delektable Bug Stonefly

Fly Tying Vid – Delektable Bug Stonefly

The Delektable Bug by Dan Delekta of Beartooth Fly Fishing is a large, aggressive stonefly nymph pattern with “a lot going on.” This version has the chenille body and abundant legs of a Pat’s Rubber Legs (aka Girdle Bug aka Turd), but also a marabou tail and a collar hackle. It has risen to become my best or second-best style of stonefly nymph over the past couple seasons, now certainly eclipsing the basic Pat’s. This variant is tied on a jig hook and has a couple small material additions in an experiment to cross over to appealing to fish who like my OTHER favorite stonefly lately, the Bomb Series nymphs, in this case the brown Stone Bomb. Otherwise it’s identical except in color to the basic Bug.

The basic Bug is the least-complicated version of a whole family of Delektable stonefly nymphs including the Braided Stone, the Hurless, the Mega Prince, the Mr. Rubber Legs, and the Stoner. Most are available in standard or flashback variants. These other variants add, subtract, or change a few materials, but otherwise use a similar tying process. For example the Mega Prince has a peacock herl body instead of chenille and adds biot wings, while the Hurless simply has a body of ostrich herl.

In most respects I use “Delektables” of one breed or another in the same situations where I would use other rubberleg stoneflies. I find the chenille-bodied version given here generally more effective when the water is high and/or off-color, as well as for ornery fall-run brown trout, while during the summer when the water is lower and clearer I prefer the similar Mega Prince or Mr. Rubberlegs.

The 2020 Delektable Flies catalog can be viewed here if you’d like to the stock color combinations and tying procedures: https://www.beartoothflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Delektable-Fly-Catalog-2020-WebPDF.pdf

Note that I have no business relationship with Delektable or Beartooth. I just use some of the flies.

NOTE ON FISHING DATES MENTIONED IN THIS VIDEO: The streamflow predictions for the Boulder have changed and it is now forecast to remain above 2000cfs through at least June 17, alas. I now expect it to drop into shape around June 20, 2020.

Recipe

Note that the following recipe is a “generic” recipe for the pattern. For specifics on the variant given here, watch the video. Note that the pattern given in the video is actually an experiment, not a standard color variant. The video is intended to introduce the style of fly, not a specific recipe.

Hook: 3xl curved shank nymph such as a Dai-Riki #185

Bead: Brass or tungsten to match hook size.

Thread: To match or contrast body chenille.

Antennae: Silicone legs.

Head: Ball of Ice Dub over thread wraps securing the antennae.

Weight: .010 to .035 lead or lead-free wire, depending on hook size.

Tail #1: Marabou or chickabou tied short or clipped short.

Tails #2: Same as antennae.

Body: Speckled crystal chenille such as Nature’s Spirit New Age Chenille.

Legs: Same as antennae.

Hackle: Full, webby saddle or hen hackle to match the body color.

Fly Tying Vid: Clouser Swimming Nymph

Fly Tying Vid: Clouser Swimming Nymph

This variation of the Clouser Swimming Nymph includes bead chain eyes to make it ride upside-down. This is an excellent stillwater pattern in both cold water (trout) and warmwater (bass, crappie, and panfish) settings. It is especially evocative of damselfly nymphs, though it possesses crossover appeal as a leech, small crayfish, or large mayfly.  You can fish it deep on a sink-tip or twitched shallow over the weed-tops on a floating line.

Hook: Dai-Riki #285 or other curved-shank 3xl nymph hook, #8-14, particularly #12.

Weight: A few turns of .010 to .25 lead or lead-free wire at the center of the hook shank.

Thread: 8/0 to match the fly body color. Here, olive-dun. Other good color variants are black, rust, and tan.

Eyes: Black or gold bead-chain. Adjust eye size to change the sink rate.

Tail: Olive-dyed grizzly chickabou or standard marabou.

Rib: Copper wire, color to match or contrast body. Here, brassie copper Ultra-Wire is used.

Abdomen: Olive Hare’s Ear Dubbing, thin.

Wing Case: Several strands of peacock herl.

Thorax: Same as abdomen, full.

Legs: Olive-dyed or natural brown India Hen back or similar buggy, webby feather, tied in vee-style.

Sources for Streamflow Data

Sources for Streamflow Data

Virtually all fly fishing guides and outfitters in Montana watch streamflow data and streamflow forecasts like hawks, especially during runoff season (that is to say: right now) and when summer thunderstorms are rolling around. This is no different than farmers watching the weather forecasts. Here are the important sites to allow YOU to check streamflows, both right now and expected flows for the days ahead.

Montana Streamflow Data: This site returns data from all USGS gauging stations in Montana. The site is organized by river drainage, then from upstream gauging stations to downstream stations. In my area, the Yellowstone Basin graphs from the Lamar River in Yellowstone Park down to the graph at Springdale are the graphs I use most often, with the Stillwater graph secondary. By far the most important graphs for general streamflow are the Corwin Springs and Livingston graphs on the Yellowstone, while the Lamar and Gardner graphs are important for telling me about sudden rises in water level (which are almost always accompanied by mud) due to storms.

Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service – Billings: Here’s the streamflow prediction site for eastern Montana. This site shows flow graphs noted in the previous link, but also shows predicted flows for the next few days for most gauging stations. The basic graph pictured below is most useful during the spring runoff season when we are trying to plan for future trips based on weather forecast. If you’re looking at a big predicted bump coming up, it’s best to get fishing beforehand, because that bump means mud.

This site also includes an option to view “Probability Information.” This is a longer-range forecast of predicted flows, but it isn’t updated very often and I often find it inaccurate. Here’s a sample graph of probability information:

Select the above graph by clicking the dropdown menu off the lower right corner of the graph, then selecting “Flow – Weekly Chance of Exceeding Levels.” This is most useful to anglers, as flow rather than gauge height determines fishability. Too much water and things are too rough, and probably muddy to boot.

Fly Tying Vid: Barry Reynolds’ Pike Bunny

Fly Tying Vid: Barry Reynolds’ Pike Bunny

Barry Reynolds’ Pike Bunny is a straightforward, simple pike (and bass) bunny streamer that derives its durability from strategically finishing the fly well behind the hook eye and from lots of adhesives. This is a small one, but they can be tied with magnum rabbit strips as large as 3/0 or 4/0.

Fish the pattern on a floating line in shallow water or on a sink-tip deep.

Hook: Standard bass/pike, #4/0 to 4.

Thread: 3/0 or 6/0 to match the front rabbit strip.

Eyes: Clear Cure Eyes or similar weightless dumbbells, or use doll-style eyes secured at the end of the tying process.

Flash: Sea green Polarflash, but any flash to match or contrast the rear rabbit strip will do.

Tail: Standard rabbit strip on sizes #1-6, magnum rabbit strip on larger sizes. Good colors are yellow, chartreuse, white, black, or barred combinations of the above. Here I’ve used barred chartreuse over yellow.

Body: Standard rabbit strip wrapped forward. Use the same color strip as the rear, or contrast. Red is a good alternate front color.

Gills/Blood: Red flash, here Kreinik Flash, but again any flash will do.

Head: Several coats of Thin or Thick UV resin topped with head cement to remove any tackiness.

Fly Tying Vid – Murdich Minnow Variation

Fly Tying Vid – Murdich Minnow Variation

The Murdich Minnow is one of the most popular smallmouth bass flies these days. The variation I tie using a synthetic hair/flash blend for the tail and one of several “body wrap” materials in place of the original flash chenille body is my favorite swimming baitfish imitation for all moderate-sized warmwater predator fish: smallmouth & largemouth bass, small pike, large crappie, white bass, hybrid stripers, etc.

Other good color combos run the gamut of popular warmwater fly and lure colors: chartreuse/white, “fire tiger,” brown over gold, or really any of the color combos that you’ll find Rapalas and similar long, slender plugs made in.

Tie on the fly using a non-slip mono loop to allow it to swim, using either a floating line or a sink-tip depending on the depth you want to reach. As tied, the fly has a very neutral buoyancy and will sink quite slowly, giving it a “near topwater” action when fished without added weight.

Hook: #2/- to #4 long-shank ring eye such as MFC 7050, Gamakatsu SP11-3l3H, etc.

Thread: 3/0 or heavier to match desired body color.

Tail: SF Flash Blend in white, yellow, chartreuse, or other baitfish color.

Cheeks: Ice Fur to match tail.

Body: Lion Go For Faux or similar “faux bunny” yarn twisted together with UV Polar Chenille, wrapped forward, and trimmed to shape.

Markings: Use Prismacolor or Pantone or Sharpie Markers to color the fly as desired. All colors should have a red hotspot.

Eyes: 1/4″ to 5/16″ stick-on eyes secured with gel super glue and UV resins.

Fly Tying Vid: Jig-Style Sculp Snack Streamer

Fly Tying Vid: Jig-Style Sculp Snack Streamer

This jig-style version of the Sculp Snack streamer is representative of drab, impressionistic streamers (often Woolly Buggers tied to ride upside-down) Walter uses on Yellowstone River float trips in the summer. This take on the Sculp Snack uses an exciting new hook, the Firehole Sticks #523, which as far as we know is the first “tactical” or “jig-style” 3xl long nymph or streamer hook on the market. This hook will make tying stonefly nymphs, streamer, leeches, and similar patterns that ride upside-down MUCH less time-consuming.

Hook: Firehole #523, sizes 4-10.

Bead: 3/16 to 5/32 slotted tungsten, here gold.

Weight (optional): .035 to .020 lead or non-toxic wire.

Thread: 6/0 sculpin-tone, here olive-dun Uni.

Tail: Two plumes of marabou or chickabou, here olive chickabou.

Flash: Any crinkled flash to match bead color, here gold Kreinik, two strands.

Body: Polar Chenille or similar “eyelash yarn.” Here, medium UV Olive Polar Chenille.

Legs: Two strands of silicone to either side. Here, metallic green pumpkin Sili Legs.

Head: Two colors of Senyo’s Lazer Yarn, here light olive and olive.

CDC Emerging Dun – Fly Tying Video

CDC Emerging Dun – Fly Tying Video

The Gray CDC Emerging Dun is a biot-bodied CDC and synthetic-winged mayfly emerger originally developed as a spring creek fly to imitate Blue-winged Olives. Parks’ Fly Shop ordered it in much larger sizes than standard as an emerger for the various species of Green Drakes present in the Lamar drainage. It is most useful in this purpose in sizes 12-16.

Hook: #12-20 1xl or standard-length dry fly or light nymph hook (nymph hook used here).

Thread: 8/0 olive-dun.

Shuck: Gray crinkled synthetic yarn (Sparkle Emerger Yarn, Zelon, etc.).

Abdomen: Gray-olive turkey biot wrapped over a thread underbody.

Wing: Natural gray CDC (medium dun if natural unavailable) and same material as tail.

Head: Gray dubbing.

Fly Tying Vid: Floss Worm

Fly Tying Vid: Floss Worm

This is my version of the Floss San Juan Worm (Sexi Worm, Flexi Worm, Flexi Floss Worm, etc.). This is an excellent pattern for low, clear water. In my neck of the woods, it works well on the Paradise Valley spring creeks in late winter and early spring.

Hook: #14-18 scud.

Bead: Gold brass to match hook size.

Thread: 8/0 red or to match body color. Other good colors are pink, worm brown, and red/black/brown.

Head: Red Flexi-Floss or similar spandex “leg” material, tied in front of the bead.

Tail: Same as head, tied in behind the bead and wrapped down the shank.

Body: Micro Tubing to match body color. Use “midge” tubing on #14.

Body Coating: Head cement, optional.

Fly Tying Vid: Pink Trout Crack

Fly Tying Vid: Pink Trout Crack

It’s pink season here in Montana. We tend to fish pink/rainbow scud and sowbug patterns in late winter and spring, not least because such patterns have a lot of crossover with eggs and in any case are a big mouthful for trout putting the feedbags on after a long winter. This one is a variation on the popular Arkansas sowbug pattern, the Trout Crack.

Hook: #14-18 scud.

Thread #1: Fluorescent fire orange 8/0.

Thread #2 (Rib): Fine mono thread (or old 5X-6X tippet).

Body: Dubbing blend of a couple colors of pink Ice Dub, perhaps some pink acrylic, and rainbow Wapsi Sow-Scud. The precise material isn’t important. Simply make a blend of rainbow Sow-Scud with some reflective/flashy pink dubbing.

Wing Case: Pink Midge Tubing or D-Rib.