Tips to Flies:

Pattern: BWO Emerger/Cripple

Pattern: Midge emerger 7/18/17  *New* 

Pattern: Sulpher emerger. 

Article:  Observation/understanding *New*

Pattern: Apple Caddis adult            

Pattern: Beadhead caddis pupa.    

Pattern: Caddis Larva patterns:  
Pattern: Tan Caddis emerger Pattern:   



Photo right, Beaverkill March brown




         Fiberglass Rods

               Having some fun without breaking the bank!

  2 years ago, I bought a new fiberglass fly rod that a few older Veterans raved about.  Now Fiberglass is not new it was huge back in the 1950’s through the 60’s.  It was about the 1970’s with the development of graphite rods it lost popularity.  I taught myself to fly-fish with Graphite.  So curious to the talk about these new Fiberglass rods I purchased one through my fly-shop a 4 wt, 8’6” rod Echo rod with a lifetime warranty. MSRP cost $199.00, cheap for a fly-rod.  Whereas my graphite rods are about $400 to $750 dollars.  Now I have used Bamboo, I have a 5 wt, given to me from a deceased friend.  I like it, I like the feel of the fight from  a trout.  The Bamboo and the new fiberglass have the same soft action, they both move like a willow branch.  But the Fiberglass with the new technology or materials  is so much lighter to hold.  I must say fishing the Fiberglass on small to medium streams is a lot of fun.  The streams that I have used Fiberglass on are the Willowemoc, Beaverkill and Farmington river.  On these river’s I have caught small to good size trout and enjoyed the feel of the fight.  I also feel it’s easy to throw 30-40 feet of line. Fiberglass does have limitations, Distance and wind.  For me wind is difficult to cast the rod, also I don’t want to work the rod beyond its casting capabilities.  Whereas Graphite can cut through the wind as it has more back bone, and with back bone you can cast further. 

  Not long ago I dedicated myself to the fiberglass on the Farmington river for the day, I took it to the upper sections near the dam and enjoyed it immensely fishing for the brookies, the rod was quick to the hook set as the brookies zipped on the fly.  Also, the Fiberglass easily laid the line on the water for short distance. I moved to the lower section of the Farmington just above Church pool and hooked some good fish on 7X.  The Fiberglass rod was forgiving to 7X as the rod absorb the shock of the hook set, whereas on Graphite using 7X I have had fish snap off during the hook set.

  Now I’m not suggesting you go out and buy a Fiberglass rod for your first rod, I do believe your first fly-rod should be a 9’ ft. 5 wt, graphite rod, why? not all rivers and streams are small to medium in size.  The West branch and Mainstem are big rivers and here you need distance plus the ability to cut through the winds of the West branch. Graphite should be your first rod for every type stream.  But overtime you might want to try something different, maybe you can’t afford bamboo, or if you’re like me afraid to break your bamboo rod, then try Fiberglass its affordable and most come with a lifetime warranty.

  My wife Jeannie doesn’t handle graphite well when casting, Jean’s casting personality is slower than mine, when I placed the Fiberglass rod in her hands it was like night and day, she could cast the fiberglass with ease, she also used it on the East branch of the Delaware where she caught her first wild brown trout.  When it comes to fiberglass and have been fishing graphite for some time, you will have to change your Casting personality “rhythm” to make the rod work effectively for you. 

  In all give it some thought, want to have more fun feel the fight of a fish more, maybe become a little more traditional in fly-fishing while not breaking the bank, try a fiberglass rod!

 Below Photo:   My Echo fiberglass 4 wt. 8'6", a joy to fish!
   Photo below:  My wife Jeannie using the Echo 4 wt. fiberglass, she handled it very well as it is a good fit for her casting personality!
Midges, The smallest of flies, the "no-see-ums" is a very important food to the trout when there is no food and when a midge hatch is prolific.  In the Catskill the East branch of the Delaware is a very good Midge river, this time of the year and over the winter.  I like the Zebra midge for sub-surface fishing using a dropper method I will use a black Zebra midge #20 or smaller off an Iso or a attractor fly.  But fishing it as a dry I like the pattern shown.  It's a emerger and it works!  It works on the willowemoc, Beaverkill, the East branch of the Delaware and the Farmington River.  I like the colors of Black, Olive and Cream.
 A simple tie:  The midge emerger,

Hook: LT, scud, 20-26
Thread:  12/0  color of your choice
Shuck:  Amber
Thorax:  Peacock herl
Hackle:  Grizzly
Body:  Thread, slightly tapered

 Sulpher Emerger:  Summertime is Sulpher time!  Sometimes a pickey trout can key on a certain aspect of a nymphs emergence.  I tie a variety of cripples or  emergers  before they become a dun.  I use dry fly hooks to curved hooks.  Here is one of my favorites that works well on all rivers!

Hook:  Dry fly #16-18.
Shuck:  Brown Z-lon
Body:  One or two turkey tail fibers
Thorax:  Tie a variety of colors, Orange, yellow, pale yellow.
Legs:   Partridge or dyed mallard
Wing case:  I use white poly.

Blue Wing Olive emergers:
Blue wing Olives are pretty much found all year long on Rivers or streams.  They come in all sizes and colors, from Brown Olive, Olive Gray, Olive to chocolate.  I Always carry a box of Olives to the water all year long, unlike other Mayflies  that I may only see for a few weeks. I carry Olives in all patterns, but more so in emergers.  Why "vulnerability"  Trout like the easiest of meals, for me a emerger is that fly.  A fly that is determined to get to the surface to sprout wings.  So I tie a lot of BWO's with trailing shucks.  But I want to be different than a lot of store bought flies. I want a fly that the trout doesn't see to often.  Here below are two photo's of patterns I use that are easy to tie and effective.
 Blue wing Olive emerger:  Top photo, Here I twist the Z-lon to segment the body.

Hook: Lt. Scud #20
Thread: 8/0 Olive
Shuck: Olive Z-lon
Body:  Continuation of the Olive Z-lon, twisting it as you wrap.
Wing:  2/3 Dun CDC
Thorax:  Olive dubbing 

Bottom Photo:  BWO cripple

Hook: Dry fly #20
Thread:  8/0 Olive
Shuck:  Brown Z-lon
Body:  Thread
Wing:  Dark to medium Dun Z-lon
Hackle: Medium Dun
Thorax: Olive super fine

Note on all flies, I tie each of these patterns in different shades of color to match the Olives, In bottom photo I also tie them in Adams gray to dark brown, just using the thread to match.

Remember you can tie these patterns to match any type Olive in Hook size #14-22. Just dress the fly properly in proportions.

   Observation & Understanding

  On Sunday mornings in Roscoe my favorite breakfast place is closed.  I usually then stop at the local supermarket and buy a cup of coffee and a healthy breakfast of Vanilla Zingers!  I travel over to Dette pool sit on the rocks and gaze at the Willowemoc to put me in the frame of mind of trout fishing before entering the fly shop.  I sit sip my coffee while searching for a trout to rise or to see what bugs maybe returning or hatching on the water.

  When I come to the water’s edge I usually spend a few minutes to a half an hour observing, looking for rising trout, it’s all about what the trout is doing, what he is eating.  I spend some time looking for these signs which are important. 

  But how much time do you spend observing the bugs?  How much information do you know about the habitat they like.  Frank Sawyer in his book “Nymphs and the trout” mentions the more you know about the bugs and their behavior the stronger you will be as a fly-fisherman.  I agree with this whole heartedly. 

  That morning sitting there on the rock sipping my coffee while   gazing upon the water, I turned my attention to the Japanese knotweed next to me, on a dew wet leaf I saw a tiny Trico.  I said to myself this could be a Trico morning for the trout later.  I grabbed my cell phone to take a photo of the male Trico dun as I do with a lot of other bugs for fly tying reasons.  I took the photo and allowed my eyes back to the water, a few minutes later l searched back to the Trico Dun, when I noticed a white glaze over the abdomen, I thought this was not a male, it must be a female, so I took a photo.  Then I witnessed something amazing the Dun was a male and was going through the transformation of becoming a spinner.  I watched as he wiggled free from his Dun body to become the last segment of his life a spinner, now I have witness a thousand times a nymph becoming a dun, but I have never seen a Dun mayfly become a spinner.  The Trico was now free of his body and was now drying off his wings, he was now larger than when he was a Dun.

  My eyes then left the Trico spinner and went searching through the Japanese knotweed for more Trico’s and there they were.  Hanging upside down on leaves and right-side up. All the Trico’s in the bushes were all going through the same change from Dun to spinner.  My eyes went back to the original Trico and as my eyes found him, he leaves for the water, this was approximately 10 – 15 minutes after he became a spinner, then the rest of the Trico’s started to follow him, one by one they started for the riffles in hopes of mating with a female.  Now Trico’s emerge the day before and flock to the vegetation so this transformation happens very fast. 

  Now I have educated myself one step further in my fly-fishing knowledge, knowing more about the Trico’s. All this by sitting and observing beyond the water.  This makes me think how much more do I need to know about the bugs.  Ask yourself how do Stoneflies emerge?   What type of home does a specific Caddis specie builds?  How much movement does a small olive mayfly nymph make under the water while emerging?  All these questions have answers and by finding the answer will make you a stronger fly-fisherman.  Example, I mentioned to you about the Trico turning white, well it wasn’t that it was a female, and no it wasn’t a gas bubble at the start of transformation, it was caused by the expanding appendages of his bigger body, stretching out his outer layer of skin. 

  In closing the more, you know about insect behavior the better edge you will have as a fly-fisherman!


 Photo below:  Trico Dun
 Photo below:  Trico expanding his appendages to emerge
 Photo below:  Trico emerging
 Photo below:  The finished product, a Trico Spinner. 
Adult Apple Caddis:  One of my favorite hatches of the year!  When the Apple Caddis emerges on the heavy side it's like being in a snow storm. The Apple caddis has white wings and a Bright green body almost Chartreuse in color, the Thorax area is Ginger in color.  Most times I fish the pupa, but towards the end of the hatch the adult pattern works very well. The Apple caddis hatch can occur around the time of the Hendricksons, maybe the first or second week of May.

Hook:  16 or 14 dry fly hook
Thread:  Light brown
Body:  Chartreuse super fine
Wings:  Cream CDC 3/4 feathers curved down
Hackle: Lt. Ginger

 Caddis Larva patterns:


  The end of June beginning of July I start thinking small flies, Sulphers and Olives and Caddis.  The Beaverkill is in my opinion more of a caddis river than mayfly. When it comes to nymphing I go no bigger than a size #16 nymph I want small stuff, small pheasant tails, small hares ear and small Caddis Larva nymphs.  I do really well with this caddis larva pattern as seen below. A  simple tie, takes two minutes.  I tie them in different colors with different color beadheads.  I use them in tandem rigs as two nymphs or I use them as a dropper off of a Stimulator or a bigger Mayfly such as a Iso or Cahill.  They Produce in the Catskills as well as the Farmington!  

 Caddis Larva Pattern:

      "Peacock"                                        "Caddis Green"                                      "Olive"


Hook #16 2 X heavy scud                          Same                                                  Same


Bead-head:  3/32 or 5/64  copper            Black                                                  Black


Thread:  8/0 brown                             8/0 Chartreuses                                 8/0 Chartreuses


Rib:    X small copper wire                  X small silver wire                             X small silver wire


Body:  Peacock Ice dub                     Caddis Green Ice dub                          Olive Ice Dub


Thorax:  Peacock Ice  dub                 Black peacock Ice dub                      Black peacock Ice dub


Note:   You can make these patterns in sizes #12 & 14's, just compensate for weight and ribbing.


Beadhead Caddis Pupa:
When it comes to nymphing for caddis Hatches I like a lot of motion, so I use soft hackles in different colors, I use ostrich or Peacock herl, and a buggy dubbing.  For my bodies I like segmentation. Lately I have been twisting my bodies with Z-lon, Antron or Floss. I like to use ribbing such as Pearl crystal  flash for effect.  I have done well with this pattern as the trailer of a tandem rig when nymphing two nymph's.  This pattern is used when I think or see caddis emerging and the trout are not yet on top.

Hook:  Heavy scud, #16-12, photo is a #14
Bead:  Match the hook size, here it's 3/32 gold
Thread:  Match your dubbing, here it's Uni brown 8/0
Shuck: Amber Z-lon
Body:  Green floss,  Build a tapered body with floss, then twist it with hackle pliers.
Ribbing:  Pearl crystal flash
Thorax:  Brown or black Ostrich herl.
Wing:  Soft Hackle, Hen or Partridge, Photo is Cream Hen hackle
Head:  Life cycle brown

Tan Caddis Emerger:
I finally found a Tan Caddis emerger that works very well on the West Branch of the Delaware.  Through some time and testing I came up with this pattern.  It also works very well everywhere else.  I basically no longer use a adult pattern, or a Caddis X when the hatch is on.  I like this pattern for it offers a different look, plus with legs, shuck, bubble, and the CDC thorax there is a lot of realism and motion to fool the most educated trout. I like the bleached young elk hair as my indicator, which in turn can represent the wing. This is very similar to my Apple caddis.
Hook: #16 light scud or emerger
Thread: Tan 8/0 uni
Shuck:  Sparkle emerger yarn Amber
Body:  tan caddis fine dubbing
Bubble: White or Tan Zelon, note, I tye in the bubble leaving excess of about an inch over the eye of the hook, before placing the elk in as a wing . I split the excess bubble and bring them along the sides of the body, as if the bubble is coming off and or gives some sort of impression of wings. 
Wing: bleached yearling elk
Legs: Partridge
Thorax:  Trouthunter- CDC dubbing light brown.

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