Tips to Flies:

Pattern: Midge emerger 7/18/17  

Pattern: Sulpher emerger. 

Article:  Observation/understanding *New*

Pattern: October Caddis   8/29/17  *New*

Pattern: Orange Cahill     8/29/17  *New*  

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.

   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. 
  October Caddis, Adult
   One of the flies I carry in my Fall box is the October Caddis, aka Great Autumn sedge, the Rainbows love this fly in the riffles, and it works for the Browns too!  I can use this fly in a dropper rig, as the indicator fly.  It's a must in ones fly box.

Hook:  Dry #10
Thread:  8/0 orange
Body:  Orange supher
Hackle:  Ginger barred
Wing:  Brown humpy deer or yearling elk

   Orange Cahill: Adult parachute

  Another Fall fly that I carry in my box from now to October is the Orange Cahill, a summer steno, I like the parachute for the riffles as it provides a great silhouette to the trout's eyes.  

Hook:  Dry 12-14
Thread:  Cream 8/0
body:  Pale yellow
Tails:  Ginger  microfibbets
Post:  white antron
Wing: Barred ginger

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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