I just got six free 1/4 ” Unibobbers from Caddis Fly Shop so that I could enter a fly pattern for their contest. If anyone out there has an idea for a fly that is in dire need of a small bobber being attached to it for extra float drop me a line or leave a comment.

By the way, Hareline (maker of the unibobber), you really should market these as a UniFloats. I think lots of fly fisherman are just turned off of them because they have bobber in the name. Just like fly fishers don’t want to use a San Juan Worm because it has the name worm in it.

McKenzie Solo

I dropped off my wife and child at the airport Saturday morning so they could go see the Grandparents in Virgina and I was going to have to work on Sunday, and again several times at the start of the week, so I thought it best to make a mad dash down to the McKenzie. After a 2.5 hour drive that I probably did to fast due to excitement I got to my favorite spot and saw Ed fishing there already. Ed is either 82 or 84 years old (depending on which story he his telling) and is the happiest fly fisherman I have met. I have met with him several times in the same area and he is always super excited when anyone gets a fish. He loves to carry on with stories and encouragement and this last time he walked 200 feet up the river just to show me the fly that he caught a fish on.

So Ed was fishing upstream a way and I ran down to the river trying to run line through the ferrules. I put on one of the #12 Parachute Adams that I had tied the night before and had a fish strike hard on the third cast.

A few cast later I had another one on. And then it was dead for an hour and a half. Even Ed was starting to wonder what in the world the rising fish were taking. All around you would hear hard takes and I was fishing my Parachute Adams as hard as I could. Then I put on a #10 Orange Stimulator and that did the trick. Ed was super excited and was dying to see what fly I had caught the fish on. He promptly switched over to a Stimulator and got two in a half hour. While I was standing talking to Ed I noticed several large fish rising farther up the river in the rapids. I snuck up towards the area and crept out into the river and cast from behind a rock to the fish. On my third cast I got another 14″ like the one I got earlier and then a few casts later another. Then the fish lost all interest in my Stimulator. I cycled through a few other dries and then did something I rarely do on the McKenzie, I put on nymphs. The top was a #8 Ice Dub Prince and the bottom a #16 Flashback Pheasant Tail. Both I had tied that morning (and I am tying more now they were that great).

I found a nice little deep run and started working from the closest out. About half way out I found a really nice fish. A few casts later, and a few feet farther out, I caught a really hard fighting 15″ on the Flashback Pheasant Tail.

I let that fish off and threw my line out to get ready to cast and got slammed on the Ice Dub Prince.

(I love how that fish looks like he just told a great joke.)

The fish were getting larger and larger through the day . How perfect. Then I saw the salmon starting to move around. The monsters were easily 24″ and made my little rainbows look like fingerlings. I thought about going up to get my 5 weight rod because I wasn’t sure what I would do if I got into one of those fish on a 3 weight but there is just no time to worry about such things, so I fished on. A few fish later I got into my favorite fish.

I had been noticing a really nice area on the other side of the river and so I waded, probably to far, into the river and cast over to it.

You really can’t tell from the photos but the thing was shaped like a football and really gave my 3 weight a work out. I fished on after that but the day was getting late and the fishing had slowed.

On one of my last cast I threw the line straight up the riffles in front of me and to my surprise there was a huge salmon chasing my flies back out of the riffles. The fish was headed straight towards me and I got a great look at him but unfortunately I think it got a great look at me and headed back up to the safety of the riffles. I want to head back down there soon with the Ice Dub Prince and Pheasant Tails I am tying now—and I think I will use my 5 weight this time—just in case.

Mini Leech

I found a video for this great little Mini Leech pattern on the same Daichi 1150 hook that I used for the Chrionomid Pupa in my other post. It was fun to have all the pieces laying around to make a random fly and not have to go buy anything. In the Caddis Fly Shop tying video he recommends fishing with the leech on the top and the Chironomid on the bottom. Sounds like a plan. This looks like it might work well in Texas also—you know who you are.

Hook: Daichi 1150 size 10
Bead:1/8″ Gold
Thread: Black Uni 6/0
Tail: Black Marabou
Body: Synthetic Peacock Dubbing, Black
Rib: Silver Wire

Chironomid Pupa

I just got done with this little guy and hoping to get out this weekend and give it a try in some still water. These little Chironomid fish well in the lakes around Oregon. Now to tie it smaller. I know I have some size 14 around somewhere.

Hook: Size 10-16 Daichi 1150
Thread: Uni-thread black 6/0
Bead: 1/8″ silver
Body: Ultra Tube or Midge-bodi Burgundy
Rib: Silver wire
Tail: Olive Sparkle Emerger Yarn or Z-lon
Wing: Cream Sparkle Emergr Yarn or Z-lon
Collar: Synthetic peacock dubbing

Check out this video for tying it from Caddis Fly Shop.

New flies

I had to fill out some of the basics in my fly boxes in a hurry so I placed an order with Big Y Fly Company. While I really like to support small fly shops I just cringe at the thought of the basic Adams and BWO’s being $1.95 a piece. Big Y has many of the basic patterns at about $.57 a piece, And hey the company is located in Oregon (I’m sure the flies are tied somewhere else but that is typical these days). Tying your own flies is definitely cheaper once you pony up to get started (or use a friends gear who stopped tying, thanks Alex) but sometime you just don’t want to sit around making 36 of the same BWO pattern. Also we don’t have a fly shop in Portland that is very good so the only time I get flies is in Eugene (Caddis Fly Shop) or when I head to the Maupin (Deschutes Angler).

So here they are (remember I am just filling holes):
8 Bead Head Copper John, Green, 14
12 BH Flashback Hare’s Ear, 14
12 Adams, 10
32 BWO, 12, 14, and 16
4 Spinner Adams, 14
4 Epoxy Brass, 12

That should tide me over for awhile. While, that and I tied about 40 Elk Hair Caddis in the last two weeks. Sigh… I need more fly boxes.


If you end up using a strike indicator my favorite for ease of casting and mednding is the Thingamabobber in the small or medium size depending on your setup. The guys down south from me in Eugene (Here is their blog) did a great video on how they set their line up for maximum depth when nymphing, check it out.

BTW-The guys that make the Thingamabobber also make the “Butt” fly. Just thought you might want to know that for some strange reason.