Golden Stoneflies, Bead Head Attractors, Dorado Flies

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Golden Stoneflies
Bead Head Attractors
Dorado Flies

Golden Opportunities
Text by: Mark Bachmann     Pictures by: Mark Bachmann & Josh Linn
Dry Flies Norm Wood Special Nymphs
Chubby Chernobyl Rogue Golden Stone Double Bead Golden Stone
Clark's Golden Stone Stimulator, Yellow FFS Stone Golden
Improved Golden Stone X-Stone, Golden Kaufmann Stone, Golden

A Golden Stonefly Calineuria Pacifica perches on an alder leaf bordering Oregon's Deschutes River.
This 2-inch long insect is a juicy meal for a hungry trout.
Golden stoneflies Calineuria Pacifica are slightly smaller than, but not necessarily less important than Salmonflies as trout food. They begin to hatch about two weeks after the Salmonflies hatch. Actually the hatches overlap, and both species of insects are out and about in mixed populations at the same time. As the Salmonflies taper off, the Golden Stones continue to be in the stream side vegetation for another week or more. In the Pacific Northwest, these hatches usually start in May and continue into June. In Idaho and Montana these same hatches are a June/July event. In the higher elevation of the Rocky Mountain States, hatches can continue into July. Some cold Pacific Northwest spring creeks have prolific hatches of golden stones as late as September.

Mating takes place in the streamside vegetation. Golden Stones are indiscriminant lovers.
According to Dave Hughes, in his pocket book, Western Streamside Guide, Golden Stones usually have three year life cycles. They spend all but two to three weeks of this time crawling over and through the gravel of the stream bottom. Here they are active hunters of smaller stream dwelling insects, which they over-power and dispatch with their large curved mandibles. During their life as a water breathing insect they continue to grow by periodically shedding their exoskeleton and growing new ones. These periods are called instars. Golden Stones go through many instars before they crawl out of the water to change into a winged adult. These instars happen while the nymphs are secluded under rocks in the streambed. While the new exoskeleton is fresh and pliable it is bright yellow. During period of high water when there is bed-load shift some of the bright yellow nymphs become available to trout. Fishing a brighter colored yellow nymph such as the FFS Golden Stone during spring run-off can be very productive. Fishing a nymph such as the Double Bead Golden Stone just prior to the hatch can be even more productive. Larger size Gold Rib Hare's Ears and smaller Kauffmann Golden Stones can be productive all year.

Golden Stones bring larger trout to the surface.
It is hard to tell the reasons why, but when Salmonflies and Golden Stones are in mixed populations on the Deschutes River, trout often prefer Goldens. This happens often enough to make the Chubby Chernobyl and Norm Wood special the two most popular dry flies during this time of year. If there is an egg laying flight (usually mid-afternoon) trout will make explosive  rises in all parts of the river. Flies such as the Rogue Stone are deadly during these periods. Bring your fly down on the water hard to get the fish's attention amid the egg layers. During period of inactivity, fish close to the banks and under low hanging trees. Trout will be there to engulf clumsy crawlers that fall into the river. These are good places to try the Chubby and Norm flies. If you get refusals from spooky fish, throw a Clark's Golden at them. The lighter weight, smaller fly will often do the trick. You will also want to carry a few Stimulators and Improved Golden Stones with you for change-up flies. Also use the small pair of scissors in your Abel Perfect Tool to customize any of your flies to meet changing needs. Flare the wings of your flies during egg laying periods. Trim your flies to have a streamlined appearance when the bugs are dying off.

Chubby Chernobyl Dry Fly
The Chubby Chernobyl as was designed to be fished as an attractor pattern, which means it might appear to the trout as any number of different food organisms, such as a grass hopper, a stonefly, a cricket, a large beetle, bee, or your neighbor's favorite kitten. To me it looks like a tiny skate board with legs. It does appear that trout on the Deschutes think that it looks very much like a golden stonefly, so much so that the Chubby has replaced the Norm Wood Special as the go-to "searching-fly" with many anglers. There are several reasons for this fly's popularity. It floats low, like a real stonefly, and this makes it very hard to tell from the real live critter. It floats forever, with or without dressing. It is extremely easy to see in all light conditions therefore it is easy to control all aspects of your presentation. The origin of this pattern is claimed by several tiers.
Cubbies on a foam patch...

Chubby Chernobyl

Item Description Size Price To Top
THP0071 Chubby Chernobyl Dry Fly 8 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED
THP0071 Chubby Chernobyl Dry Fly 10 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

Clark's Stone, Golden
Even though Salmon Flies and Golden Stone Flies may be along the river in mixed populations, they may not be on the water at the same time. You should carry flies that look like both species.
Item Description Size Price To Top
12027 Yarn Body Stonefly,
8 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

Improved Golden Stone
This is a very bushy, impressionistic fly that is designed to float in fast water. It is especially productive when the Golden Stones are actively fluttering around on top the water. When fish are picky these flies can also be trimmed with a small pair of scissors to serve many situations.
Item Description Size Price To Top
11910 Improved Golden Stone 6 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED
11911 Improved Golden Stone 8 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

The Norm Wood Special
This golden stonefly imitation may be the most popular fly during the "Salmonfly Hatch"
Tied by Norm Wood
Norm Wood Special tied by Norm Wood. It's rough looking, but deadly.
It works
Norm Wood Special by an unidentified tier.
This fly caught several Redsides.
Tied by Mark Bachmann
Untrimmed Norm Wood special tied by Mark Bachmann.
We're not telling...
Copy of Norm Wood special with a wing that sticks up too high.
Norm Wood Special, Golden Stone
Norm Wood was a very popular fishing guide on the Deschutes River for 30 years. His Golden Stonefly pattern is tied with a wing & tail made from tan dyed calf tail hair. Calf tail traps air between the hairs fibers and floats very well. Some anglers believe that these flies will often out produce patterns tied with the more conventional elk hair wings and tails. The lower fly at right was trimmed to the most popular configuration. There are a number of Norm Wood Specials out there.
At The Fly Fishing ShopNorm Wood Special as stocked by The Fly Fishing Shop.
We have examined this pattern as tied by the originator, and copies of the original flies as sanctioned by Norm, and flies that are so called Norm Wood Specials done by tiers who had no knowledge of the original concept. The flies we sell are meant to be trimmed. (A picture of this fly pattern is second from the bottom at right.) This pattern imitates a golden stonefly, which is a very low floater. In our experience the Norm Wood special fishes best if it is trimmed to lie very flat on the water. If we sold them trimmed to how they work the best, they Killer fly...    A trimmed Norm Wood Special that has caught twenty trout.
would be so ugly that you wouldn't buy them. Besides trimming much of the bulk from the fly, many knowledgeable anglers treat the wing with a high viscosity floatant such as Cortland Dab or Mucilin Paste. This slicks the wing down and makes the fly ride even lower. We learned a great trick many years ago from our friend Bill Howland, who rubbed Mucilin on his Salmonfly patterns and then baked them in the oven so the floatant would penetrate all parts of the fly making them nearly unsinkable. This Redside Trout fell for a low floating Norm Wood SpecialThe above Norm Wood special in action.
Item Description Size Price To Top
11035 Norm Wood Special, Golden Stone 6 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

Rogue Foam Stone, Golden
This un-sinkable fly is very productive in many situations. The segmented body is made from sealed cell foam plastic. It will float in fast, turbulent water.
Rogue Foam Stone, Golden
Item Description Size Price To Top
10858-06 Rogue Foam Stone, Golden 6 3 for $6.95 SALE ENDED

Stimulator, Yellow
This seems to be the most popular of the Stimulator patterns. It is used as a golden or yellow stone or hopper imitator. It may rank with the Royal Wulff as one of the all time most popular searching flies.
Item Description Size Price To Top
11988 Stimulator, Yellow 6 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED
11989 Stimulator, Yellow 8 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED
11990 Stimulator, Yellow 10 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED
11991 Stimulator, Yellow 12 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED
11992 Stimulator, Yellow 14 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED
11993 Stimulator, Yellow 16 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

X-Stone, Golden
This egg laying pattern has a lot of motion. It  is especially effective in riffle water.
Item Description Size Price To Top
01116-06 X-Stone, Golden 6 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

Double Bead Golden Stonefly Nymph, Golden
In most rivers, golden stoneflies are even more common than the better known Salmonflies. They are highly predacious as nymphs, feeding on midge larva, mayfly nymphs and smaller stoneflies and caddis larva. Golden stones stay in the nymph stage for about three years. They can not swim so if thy become dislodged from the current they are often easy prey for trout.
Item Description Size Price To Top
06410-04 Double Bead Golden Stonefly Nymph, Golden 4 3 for $7.50 SALE ENDED
06410-06 Double Bead Golden Stonefly Nymph, Golden 6 3 for $7.50 SALE ENDED

FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Golden
Like all other insects, stoneflies must shed their exoskeletons in order to grow. Some species of stoneflies turn from dappled brown shades to gold color for a period after this process. This brightly colored nymph pattern is very effective during high water periods when newly transformed nymphs are being washed from the gravel. These flies are heavily weighted.
FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Golden
Item Description Size Price To Top
11500-06 FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Golden 6 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
11500-08 FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Golden 8 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
11500-10 FFS Stone Fly Nymph, Golden 10 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Kaufmann Stone, Golden
This dirty gold colored fly is deadly during spring run-off periods. It is very heavy weighted. Golden stonefly nymphs have a 3 to 4 year life cycle, so they are available to trout in all sizes, year around.
Kaufmann Stone, Golden
Item Description Size Price To Top
14270 Kaufmann Stone, Golden 8 3 for $7.00 SALE ENDED
14271 Kaufmann Stone, Golden 10 3 for $7.00 SALE ENDED
14272 Kaufmann Stone, Golden 12 3 for $7.00 SALE ENDED

Deadly Attraction
Text by: Mark Bachmann & Travis Johnson     Photos by Mark Bachmann & Josh Linn
Bead Head Copper Bead Head Lightning Bug, Black
Bead Head Copper/Black Bead Head Lightning Bug, Red
Bead Head Bird's Nest, Natural Bead Head Lightning Bug, Silver
Bead Head Bird's Nest, Olive Berry Nymph, Raspberry Red
Bead Head Batman Nymph Bead Head Shaggy Hares Ear
Bead Head Chubby Cousin Tungsten Bead Hare's Ear
Bead Head Prince Nymph Bead Head Rubber Leg Hare's Ear
Bead Head Rubber Leg Prince Bead Head Lightning Stone, Purple
In their purest form, fishing flies are supposed to fool fish into believing that they are eating something that they normally feed on. Most avid fly tiers put a lot of study into what game fish eat in their natural environment so that they can replicate those organisms with tying materials to exacting detail. One would suppose that the tier who can construct the most believable counterfeit has advantages in fooling his/her prey. It's called "Matching The Hatch".
"Attractors" are fly patterns that don't really fit into any of the hatch-matching game. In fact many "Attractor" flies aren't reminiscent of anything that ever lived, or anything that fish would eat, or even anything that trout would regularly encounter in their natural environment. There are "Attractor" flies in nearly every category of flies. Dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers, and bucktails all have their "Attractor" contingent. "Attractor" flies are regularly used in both freshwater and saltwater environments. Apparently there are "Attractor Patterns" designed for nearly every specie of fish that is pursued with fly rods. Some species, such as steelhead and tarpon are often more interested in "Attractors" than they are in flies that look like real food.
Many of us trout fishers grew up reading the works of Skues, Marinaro, Scwieber, Hafele and Hughes. All these renowned trout anglers have done a great deal of study into what trout eat, and then shared their ideas with the rest of us. Anglers who understand trout, and the environment that they live in have many advantages over anglers who don't.
So one wonders why a trout would eat a stonefly nymph made almost entirely out of purple Mylar. After collecting hundreds of insect samples from dozens of streams and lakes, I have never encountered any living critter which was purple and blindingly reflective. Yet, trout will often eat flies that are purple, or bright red, for no apparent reasons. Maybe they are the same reasons that trout will take spinners with whirling blades, or lures that are fluorescent chartreuse or fluorescent orange.
Fact is that many trout have been caught on oddball colored flies as well. One of the most popular dry flies, the Royal Wulff would be hard to fit into any insect family.
The plot continues to thicken. Why would a trout eat anything with a brightly polished brass bead on its head? For that matter nothing lives in or along the bottom of our rivers that have bright white wings, yet thousands of trout have fallen for Bead Head Prince Nymphs which have both bright beads and white wings. It is evident that trout see their environment different than we do. Their eyes see spectrums that we don't.
Many anglers fish to gain this knowledge. It is fairly easy to study aquatic trout foods and attempt to replicate them with flies. As this game is played we often find that our senses have much in common with our quarry. "Matching The Hatch" is a reliable approach.
But, there are apparently many senses we don't have in common with trout. Organ array is different between us and them. For instance our brains are bigger, but we don't have lateral lines. It would be hard to believe that any of us would eat anything which had a brass bead for a head. But, then how many of us have been seduced by a gold watch or a pair of diamond earrings.
Fact of the matter is, bead head flies work. (And so do diamond earrings).

Bead Head Copper Nymph
Utilizing an incredibly fast sink rate for such a tiny fly it gets near the bottom where trout would expect to find it. With a forked tail, neutral colored body and striped legs, this nymph approximates many things that trout feed. It has been proven with many great
catches. Copper nymphs are especially good in winter for trout, whitefish and even steelhead.
Item Description Size Price To Top
010046-16 Bead Head Copper Nymph 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
010046-18 Bead Head Copper Nymph 18 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Bead Head Copper/Black Nymph
There are many tiny mayfly and stonefly nymphs that have banded bodies. This is a more subdued colored copper nymph. The local on-stream tests lead us to believe that this will become one of the most popular nymphs. Trout and whitefish love them.
Item Description Size Price To Top
010047-16 Bead Head Copper/Black Nymph 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
010047-18 Bead Head Copper/Black Nymph 18 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Bead Head Bird's Nest, Natural
This pattern was designed by the late Cal Bird in 1959, who owned a small fly shop in San Francisco in the 40's and 50's. The Bird's Nest was first tied for the Truckee River as a caddis pupa pattern. It is doubtful that the first Bird's Nests were tied with bead-heads as this was not the fashion until the mid-1980's.
Item Description Size Price To Top
13841 Bead Head Bird's Nest, Natural 12 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
13842 Bead Head Bird's Nest, Natural 14 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Bead Head Bird's Nest, Olive
Original Bird's Nests were tied in various shades. Olive was one of the original colors, which has remained popular to the present time. we recently read an article by California's popular trout school instructor, Ralph Cutter, where he describes coating his Bird's Nest with Shimazaki Dry Shake floatant, so the fly collects bubbles and looks like a diving, egg laying caddis.
Item Description Size Price To Top
13122 Bead Head Bird's Nest, Olive 14 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
13123 Bead Head Bird's Nest, Olive 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Bead Head Batman Nymph
This fly is designed as a Purple searching nymph that is styled after the ever popular Prince Nymph. Searching nymphs are flies like Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tails etc. Basically, they are flies that don’t necessarily represent a specific bug but are close enough in proportion to various nymphs and can often  be more successful getting trout to hand than more natural looking flies. We are not sure
exactly why this fly appeas to trout.? It just seems that our local trout started eating Purple and Blue nymphs a few years ago…Or…Maybe that is just when people started fishing them?
Item Description Size Price To Top
01004214 Bead Head Batman Nymph, Purple 14 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
01004216 Bead Head Batman Nymph, Purple 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Chubby Cousin
All the same colors as the old reliable gray Hackle Peacock, but rearranged and rejuvenated. This fly was first tied by Hogan Brown for the Yuba river in California. Top ranked fishing guide, Travis Johnson says this is a must have fly for fishing the Deschutes River. Enough said.
Item Description Size Price To Top
SIG1074 Chubby Cousin 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Bead Head Prince Nymph
This is one of the most popular trout flies in the world. It was originated by FFF Buszek Award winner Doug Prince in the 1970's. The first prince nymphs were unweighted. During the same period adding gold colored beads to fly patterns became popular in Europe. When someone added a gold bead to the head of the Prince Nymph it became even more popular.
Item Description Size Price To Top
9055-08 Bead Head Prince Nymph 8 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
9055-10 Bead Head Prince Nymph 10 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
9055-12 Bead Head Prince Nymph 12 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
9055-14 Bead Head Prince Nymph 14 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
9055-16 Bead Head Prince Nymph 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Bead Head Rubber Leg Prince
If you are not familiar with this fly get to know it! We all know how good Peacock Prince nymphs/B.H. Prince nymphs are all season in rivers and lakes. There is really no plausible explanation why Peacock and Red Ice Dubbing tied on a hook Prince style w/ speckled rubber legs is so good…it just is!
Item Description Size Price To Top
01011614 Bead Head Rubber Leg Prince Nymph 14 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
01011616 Bead Head Rubber Leg Prince Nymph 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Bead Head Psycho Prince, Purple
That trout see ultraviolet colors that humans don't see is pretty much proven by the fact that in some light conditions they choose these flies above all others.
Item Description Size Price To Top
13852 Bead Head Psycho Prince, Purple 12 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
13853 Bead Head Psycho Prince, Purple 14 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
13854 Bead Head Psycho Prince, Purple 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Bead Head Lightning Bug, Black
I like to refer to these as STD’s…Yes, Save The Day flies. When all else fails reach into the box for a Lightning Bug and it is kind of like turning the bite switch to “ON”. Black Lightning Bugs fish great in low light morning and evenings and off color water making a great mayfly nymph silhouette.
Item Description Size Price To Top
01028218 Bead Head Lightning Bug, Black 18 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Bead Head Lightning Bug, Red
These flies have proven themselves for Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brook, Brown and Bull trout.
Fish with Red Lightning Bugs especially hard fall through winter and early spring in smaller sizes.
Item Description Size Price To Top
01028116 Bead Head Lightning Bug, Red 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
01028118 Bead Head Lightning Bug, Red 18 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Bead Head Lightning Bug, Silver
Lightning Bugs are not necessarily new; they are just great nymphs that command attention on all rivers. Silver Lightning bugs in various sizes are good all year long and belong right next to your Hare’s Ear and Pheasant Tails. This can also be a very good fly when tiny fry are emerging. Enough of the smoochy stuff, you animal !!!
Andy Jensen lays a big smacker on a pretty Deschutes redside...
Item Description Size Price To Top
01028016 Bead Head Lightning Bug, Silver 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Berry Nymph, Raspberry Red
The berry nymph was invented to keep up with the popular demand of wire bodied nymphs. The raspberry is the star of the berry nymph line. Being used best on tail water fisheries, it could be a PMD, or a Pink Cahill, or in high water even a San Juan worn style fly. What ever the fish see in it, we know it works. Thanks to Rob Rooks of Atlanta, GA. for this oddly wonderful fly.

Item Description Size Price To Top
17372 Berry Nymph, Raspberry Red 14 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
17373 Berry Nymph, Raspberry Red 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Bead Head Shaggy Hare's Ear
This Soft Hackle Hare's Ear pattern incorporates a brass bead for flash and extra weight. It is effective when fished under a strike indicator or cast quartering down stream as a wet fly. The Bead Head Shaggy Hare's Ear is especially productive when cast upstream, allowed to sink and then tight-lined to the surface and allowed to rise like an emerging insect.
Item Description Size Price To Top
9060-14 Bead Head Shaggy Hare's Ear Nymph 14 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Tungsten Bead Hares Ear
If heavy is good, then heavier might be better. Tungsten is much heavier than brass. The gold colored tungsten bead on the head of this fly makes it sink very quickly. These flies are very effective in rivers with fast currents.
Item Description Size Price To Top
17949 Tungsten Bead Hares Ear 12 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
17950 Tungsten Bead Hares Ear 14 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
17951 Tungsten Bead Hares Ear 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Rubber Leg Hares Ear
This is a very good fly pattern where large populations of small yellowish stonefly nymphs abound.
Item Description Size Price To Top
9008-12 Rubber Leg Hares Ear 12 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
9008-14 Rubber Leg Hares Ear 14 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED
9008*16 Rubber Leg Hares Ear 16 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Dave's Lightning Stone, Purple
More evidence that trout and steelhead see ultraviolet colors.

Item Description Size Price To Top
02025108 Dave's Lightning Stone, Purple 8 3 for $5.85 SALE ENDED

Dorado Flies
for fish called Dorado, Mahi Mahi or Dolphin Fish, Coryphaena hippurus
This large dorado was hooked on a Mark's Sardina.
Dorado are one of the finest fly rod game fish species in the world. They are beautiful to look at, aggressive toward well presented flies and are extremely athletic when hooked. Below are listed the top six fly patterns for the Sea of Cortez, which offers very strong dorado fishing from June through October. The single most productive fly pattern during our nine trips to Loreto, Mexico has been the 2/0 Mark's Sardina. This fly is usually used in combination with a slow sinking line and is presented to fish, which have been chummed with live sardinas. The next most productive fly is a size two olive and white Deep Eyed Minnow. This fly has an erratic, wounded minnow action, and is a good bet when fish are working smaller baitfish. Poppers are great fun when dorado are feeding right at the surface. The Witchcraft Popper has also been effective when presented with a fast sinking line below the surface of the water. Fast strips impart a swimming action.
Mark's Sardina
Mark's Sardina
Witchcraft Popper
Witchcraft Popper
Deep Eyed Minnow
Deep Eyed Minnow
Bright Painted Popper
Bright Painted Popper
Crease Fly
Crease Fly
Master Jack Popper
Master Jack Popper
Dorado means gold in Spanish. It's a reasonable name for a fish that can turn bright gold along the sides, but they are usually bright greenish blue along the back and have liberal amounts of blue spots and the pectoral fins are very bright electric blue. Dorado are one of the most successful fishes and are found in tropical waters, world wide. In Australia and most of the Atlantic Ocean the specie is call Dolphin (not to
Patty Barnes landed this large dorado on a Mark's Sardina
be confused with a family of sea mammals of the same name). In Hawaii they are called Mahi Mahi. Dorados are prime fly rod sport fish for a number of reasons. They are very strong and acrobatic. They spend a lot of time around the surface of the water where they are comparatively easy to reach while fly fishing. Dorado grow incredibly fast. At one year old, most Dorado exceed 6 pounds and may be over twenty pounds at age two. Three year old Dorado usually exceed thirty pounds. Few Dorado live beyond the forth year. The world record is 87 pounds. Once the fish reach maturity they spawn every six weeks and broadcast about 400,000 eggs. The eggs which are about the size of the head of a pin hatch in about 60 hours. The little fish start growing immediately. This fast growth rate keeps them eating constantly and they are very aggressive biters most of the time. They feed on bait fish
This Dorado ate a Crease Fly
of many sizes and are fond of sardines, flying fish, mackerel and squid. On a recent trip to the sea of Cortez several fish were vomiting up squid as they were being played. This attracted more Dorado which quickly consumed the free meal. Some of the squid were more than a foot long. When hooked a Dorado runs hard and often jumps spectacularly, then slugs it out all the way to the boat. They can exceed 50 miles per hour for short bursts. Ordinarily they save a bit of energy to thrash about madly as the angler tries to either release, or land the fish.

Dorado have multiple groups of wicked little teeth that can chew your leader and flies.  Patty Barnes photo.

Dorado have multiple groups of wicked little teeth that can chew your leader and flies. It is advised that when large fish are expected that a shock tippet of 50-60 pound test is used. A simple leader formula is as follows: 12" or less #50 shock tippet, 16'" or more of #16 or #20 class tippet, 3' of #50 butt section. Sections of leader can be assembled with surgeon's knots. Smaller fish can be landed on straight twenty pound test tippets. Our favorite rods for Dorado are #10 to #12 weight.

Or favorite line for most fishing conditions is Rio's Outbound Short Head with a slow sinking intermediate tip. Fast sinking shooting head fly lines such as Rio's DeepSea lines are a good bet for fishing bait fish and squid patterns when weather/water conditions keep dorado from feeding right at the surface. Intermediate or floating lines with intermediate tips, are best for fishing poppers. Dorados like to hang around anything that is floating on the water. Floating weed mats, debris, rays or turtles will often have Dorados under them. I once hooked a 20 pound Dorado from under a single floating Styrofoam cup. Many Dorados that are caught with flies, have been chummed up to the boat with live or cut bait. Most Dorado caught from the sea of Cortez are chummed with live Sardinas, which are stored in well aerated live-wells.
Mark Bachmann with a Mexican dorado
Another way to attract Dorado to the boat is to simply troll a fly and when a Dorado is hooked the commotion will attract others that can be cast to. This method is hard on fly lines, as trolled flies often revolve and twist the line. Using conventional gear to troll with is easier on your fly gear.
Dorados can be picky. Often they will be keyed on one type of food. It pays to have a range of sizes and kinds of flies that imitate the range of food organism that dorado eat. On several trips to the Pacific Coast of Mexico, very large flies that saved our trip. We found that trolling 12" Marlin flies was the easiest way to pull deep feeding Dorado to the surface where we could get at them. Once a school was around the boat, we could chum them with Sardinas and then get them to eat flies that looked and behaved like the bait, but it was the big flies that got the game started. Ordinarily the bigger fish like to feed on larger flies.

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty