Fly Fishing Entomology, Fly Fishing In Oregon, Alaska Flies, LiteSpeed Reels, FREE Spey Clave T-Shirt

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Entomology at its most elemental....and useful.
By: Dave Hughes

My wife and I were fiddling around on a local lake recently, getting in some last-minute casting exercise while the sun was busy setting. Trout weren’t very high on our list of expectations, but I accidentally caught a small one on my usual size 12 Beadheaded Black Woolly Bugger, the fly with which I explore stillwaters most of the time, and therefore the pattern on which I catch an outsized abundance of lake and pond trout.

As I unhooked the trout to release it, I noticed a fairly large caddis pupa in its mouth. It was so recently ingested that it was still alive and kicking, though feebly. I always carry an empty film canister to collect unfortunate insects, so I plucked this one away from the trout--robbed it of its dinner!--and put the pupa away. Before I did, however, I noted its size--about #12--and its color--a brownish-orange that might be called amber. It’s a common color for lake caddis pupae, and for fall caddis pupae as well, though the latter are much larger. This one was a bit tangled up from its mauling by the trout.

I looked in my fly boxes, but had no suitable caddis pupa patterns--if I’d been carrying my stream boxes, rather than those for lakes, I’d have had plenty, because I use them on the Deschutes. I poked around and found a mayfly nymph imitation for the speckle-wing (Callibaetis). The body was tannish-brown, close to amber if you used your imagination, and the fly was size 12. Its shape was surprisingly close to the caddis pupa I had stolen from the trout. I tied that fly as a trailer, a couple of feet behind the Woolly Bugger.
It wasn’t long before my wife was whining:  “What are you catching them all on?” In the interests of marital harmony, and because by then I’d already caught half a dozen trout on the small trailer, and also because it was getting too close to dark to fish much longer, I just traded rods with her. She had on the same Black Woolly Bugger, which continued to catch nothing. By the time we had to quit, she’d caught almost half a dozen herself. The same luck, on the same fly, kept right on going when we fished the same water the next day.
A lot of folks are put off by the thought of looking at aquatic insects, matching the hatch as we call it, but this was an example of putting entomology to use at the most elemental level, and catching a few extra trout because of it. All I did was take a look at an insect, find the nearest pattern I had to it, tie it on, show it to trout. They took it. If they hadn’t ignored the Black Woolly Bugger right in front of it, I’d have made little of it, considered it an accident. But the only trout that took the bigger fly was the one that provided the caddis pupa for a sample.

This is the Amber Caddis Pupa pattern that I’d rather have had when I found that natural in a trout’s mouth. But I didn’t, and by relying on the simplest of formulas, I was able to find a fly that worked just fine. The formula:  1. capture an insect and get a close look at it; 2. select the closest fly you own that looks even remotely like it; 3. present it the way that natural might move. 4. set the hook when something thumps it.

Dave Hughes has authored over 20 fly fishing books and is the editor of the popular Flyfishing & Tying Journal. Some of his books include Nymphs for Streams and Stillwaters, Handbook of Hatches, Western Hatches (with Rick Hafele), Tactics for Trout, Dry Fly Fishing, Nymph Fishing, Strategies for Stillwater, Fly Fishing Basics, Wet Flies, the massive Trout Flies, Essential Trout Flies, Taking Trout, Trout From Small Streams, and my favorites, Reading the Water, and Western Mayfly Hatches (with Rick Hafele)

His newest book, Pocketguide to Western Hatches, has the solution to this lake caddis, and just about any other insect you’ll find important in your Western trout fishing.


Pocketguide to Western Hatches
Dave Hughes
Publisher: Stackpole/Headwater (July 11, 2011)
Subject Category: Fly Fishing Enomology
Binding Type: Softcover, 264 pages, 8 1/2" X 11" format.
Retail Price: $39.95
ISBN: 978-0811707367
  • 90 hatches including mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, midges, and terrestrials
  • Both stillwater and creek, stream, and river hatches
  • Color photos, key features, habitat, hatch times, and fishing hints for each insect
  • 169 fly patterns
  • Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, British Columbia, and Alberta
  • Item Title Price To Top


    Book, Pocketguide to Western Hatches, By: Dave Hughes $21.95 Sale Ended

    Fly Fishing in Oregon
    By: Matt Sherman

    Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Columba River, Snake River and laced with a vast network of rivers and lakes, Oregon is a fly fishers' Paradise.
    Summer steelhead, rising trout, bass crashing poppers on the surface, tailing carp, bug hatches so thick you hold your breath for fear of choking on a mouth full of caddis, it’s fantastic! From the Owyhee on the Eastern border, to the jetties on the coast, the fishing opportunities run state wide. OK, I know I left a few out but there are more fishing opportunities in Oregon than hours in a day, or even days in a year for that matter.

    Native Redband Trout, a cousin to the better known Rainbow Trout inhabit most of the streams east of the Cascade Mountain Range.
    As the sun rises on the basalt canyons and sagebrush filled the draws illuminating the landscape of one of the most spectacular bed rock canyons on earth, our summer really begins. The back eddies are streaked with foam lines and colorful trout sip cripples in the quiet water. It is time for stealth, fine tippets, tiny flies, patience and the scientific approach of matching hatches. The "Oh dark thirty" caddis fly hatches on Oregon’s Deschutes River is a spectacle, that should be experienced by every serious trout angler at some point in their life. The river comes alive as the air cools and bright light shifts to evening shade.

    Carp will never be endangered. Most waterways in Oregon have populations of these hard fighting fish.
    In the midst of some of the greatest bug hatches on the planet it is hard to draw yourself away for a day or two, but you must. The reason you may ask? A fish that has been given a bad rap for years and years for more reasons than I can count, has slowly found its way into the limelight. Red tails flash against a beautiful, backlit sunset. Nervous water signals that the fish are there. Shots present themselves quickly, the fish are there, and then they are gone. Delicate, accurate presentations are required and when done correctly, it’s fish on. No, I am not talking about fishing for redfish. From the sloughs of the Columbia to the flooded ponds of Suavie’s Island, carp have made their way into the game fish category, and I can tell you from experience, they aren’t going anywhere! They pull hard when hooked, but are much harder to actually hook. These fish will make you a hero one day, and bring you near tears the next. I can’t think of anything I would rather do on a hot, sunny, Oregon afternoon than sight cast to golden bones with some good friends.

    Bass are not native, but large populations of both Large Mouth and Small Mouth Black Bass abound in many rivers and lakes in Oregon, & they love to eat flies.
    The small gob of foam and fur lashed onto a piece of sharpened steel weaves and wobbles, gurgling and spitting water as it chugs across the surface. Suddenly, a large dark shape appears beneath the fly and before you know it, the fly disappears from the surface much the same way that your running line is now disappearing from you reel.  The fish surfaces far down river and you realize that you had better follow for fear of losing not only the fish but all of your running line and backing as well. Several minutes later, which for the angler with the rod in his hand, seems like a matter of seconds, a beautiful chrome hen slides into the shallows. Her gills flare as she is held in the shallows, revived, and released. Whether it be your first steelhead of the day, of your life, first on a dry, or just one of many, watching one of nature’s true evolutionary miracles slide back into the depths is something that will captivate you forever.  Of all the opportunities in our lovely state, for me anyways, swinging flies for summer steelhead is surpassed by none.

    Steelhead are reveared throughout their range. Oregon has true year around steelhead fly fishing opportunities second to none.
    Whether you choose to chase ten inch trout on a small mountain stream on Mount Hood, throw bass poppers under a hot summer sun on the John Day, or travel the state in pursuit of steelhead or Chinooks on a swung fly, it is hard to beat a sunny summer day in Oregon. I can’t think of many other states where you have the variety of species to chase, under an array of backdrops including a sunset over Mt. Hood from Lost Lake, or the golden rays of light that illuminate the walls of the Deschutes canyon in the morning. Simply put, fly fishing in Oregon is pure bliss and something to be celebrated and enjoyed by all. Have a great summer on the water!

    Fly Fishing In Alaska
    Picture By Charles St. Pierre at Alaska West Lodge
    First come the Kings, then the Reds, then the Humpies, then the Chums, then the Silvers, and all the while there are giant Rainbows, Char, Pike, Grayling and Dolly Vardens, just to name a few of Alaskas most sought after sport fish. The Fly fishing Shop in Welches, OR has flies for all of them.
    Map of Alaska  Alaska has 47,000 miles of ocean coastline, more than all the other states combined. The interior abounds with as many miles of shoreline on lakes and streams. Alaska is a coldwater fly angler's dream. Many anglers migrate to Alaska during the summer months to partake in the bounty of the "last frontier". On this page is the most complete selection of proven Alaska flies to be found anywhere. They are made from the finest materials available.
    Alaska River Flows
    Alaska Weather
    Alaska Maps
    Click any of the flies below to purchase, or to get more information. Good luck on your Alaska  fishing trip.

    Alaskabou, Blue Moon

    Alaskabou, Popsicle

    Alaskabou, Volcano

    Agitator, Black/Red

    Agitator, Purple/Flame

    Agitator, Sandy Candy

    Cotton Candy

    Deep Eyed Wog

    Egg Leech, Black

    Egg Leech, Purple

    Flesh Fly  

    B.L. Flesh, Peach Pink

    B.L . Flesh, Cotton Candy

    B.L.Flesh, W.Out

    Lady Flesh Fly

    Lady Flesh, Articulated

    Lady Flesh, Articulated, Tan & Orange

    Bead Head Egg

    Natural Salmon

    Light Orange

     Bead Head Hot Egg

    Egg Sherbet

    Glo Bug, Alaska Roe

    Glo Bug, Baby Pink

    Glo Bug, Golden Nugget

    Glo Bug, Oregon Cheese

    G. Bug, Peachy King

    Glo Bug, St. Orange

    Krystal Bugger, Chartreuse

    Krystal Bugger, Red
    Krystal Bugger, White

    Morrish Mouse

    Pink Polywog

    Pink Polly Popper

    Sculpin, Big Gulp, Black

    Sculpin, Big Gulp, Olive

    Sculpin, Big Gulp, Tan

    Sculpin, Shiela

    Sculpzilla, Black & White

    Sculpzilla, Natural Brown

    Sculpzilla, Olive & White

    Sculpzilla, Natural Tan

    Sculpzilla, White

    Guide Intruder, Black

    Guide Intruder, Chartreuse

    Guide Intruder, Pink

    Lady GaGa, Blue

    Lady GaGa, Pink

    Jumbo Critter, Black& Blue

    Jumbo Critter, Blue and Chartreuse

    Jumbo Critter, Pink & Orange 

    Jumbo Critter, Purple

    Stinger Prawn, Black & Blue

    Stinger Prawn, Chartreuse

    Stinger Prawn, Purple    
    Good Reasons
    For Building Fly Fishing Systems Around LiteSpeed Reels
    By Mark Bachmann
    The Waterworks/Lamson LiteSpeed Reels incorporate aircraft metals, cutting edge anodizing and conical drag in a very strong, but lightweight, ultra large-arbor design, which adapts easily to many different types of fisheries, and fly fishing methods. Even better, this perfect design provides continuity, by having only made incremental improvements since its introduction more than 10-years ago. Until 2014 all the old parts fit the newest reels and visa-versa, the perfect reels to build systems around. In 2014 Waterworks/Lamson up-dated the reels and old parts don't fit new reels. That only matters if you never built a system out of the old reels. the new reels are even better, and in many ways the LiteSpeed may be the most adaptable reel ever built to fit a wide variety of rod sizes and weights with the same size reel. The following is just to let you know what may be possible with the new LiteSpeed reels.
    Over the years, I have built two travel and fishing systems around LiteSpeed Reels. The first was a 6-weight system incorporating LiteSpeed-3 reels. This system took years to put together. It started as a heavy-duty lake fishing system, but then were added spools and reels to serve also as a bass fishing system, then finally were added spools and lines for Belize Bonefish. There are now 5-generations of LiteSpeed -3 spools and frames and they all interchange effortlessly. This system now incorporates three reels and seven extra spools to cover most applications involving 2-6 pound fish.
    In 2012 I put together a new system for 8-9-10 weight rods for fishing saltwater flats. I wanted to be able to use a full range of floating, intermediate, and fast sinking lines for fish from 3-30 pounds. I wanted reels that would fit a relatively small space and be extremely light-weight in my luggage. After about a year of research, I chose the LiteSpeed-3.5 Series. Lamson had just introduced its extra-capacity XS spools for this reel, which enabled 250-yards of #50 TUF LINE XP backing with a 10-weight floating line. This was deemed plenty of backing for any fish that might be encountered. (The newest LiteSpeeds all come with high capacity spools).
    We took this assembly of #3.5 reels on an extended trip to Belize during November of 2012. Bonefish, snook and baby tarpon were our main targets. Many fish were landed during the first 12days, including a tarpon of over 50-pounds. The set of reels proved to be perfect for the job. They were lightweight enough to balance with 8-weight rods and held enough line for 10-ewights.
    It wasn't until the 14th day of our trip that we realized how strong these reels were, when Mark landed a tarpon, that by the measurements went 103-pounds. Eventually the 10 weight rod broke in the butt section and the fish was landed directly off the reel. That's a lot of fish for a reel that weighs less than 6-ounces. The tarpon was landed with straight 40-pound fluorocarbon for a leader. Even with the extreme pressures involved, there was no deflection to deform this very lightweight reel
    The next week this same reel was attached to a 13' Spey rod on my home water, the Sandy River, 2,000 miles north of Belize, and was used to land winter steelhead.
    Then recently (July 2014) these same LiteSpeed reels landed some pretty healthy size bonefish.
    Now that is a very adaptable piece of equipment. The newest reels are called Lamson LiteSpeed Series IV Fly Reels Hard Alox™ Model 3.5. You may be confident to build your 7-10 single hand & 5/6 Spey systems around them. LiteSpeed Series IV Fly ReelsHard Alox™

    Sandy River Spey Clave Commemorative Tee-Shirts
    Own A Kirk Werner Original... get yours now!
    For a limited time, receive a FREE Sandy River Spey Clave 2014 Tee Shirt when you purchace any spey rod and reel combination. This is on top of the free fly line you receive with most Spey Rods in our online store. Here is the link to our Fly Rod Selection. Here is the link to our Reel Selection

    Artwork by Kirk Werner created during Sandy River Spey Clave Logo Contest 2013.

    This is certainly one of the most striking looking angling tee shirts ever created.
    Order Your Sandy River Spey Clave 2014 Tee Shirt Now while all sizes are in stock.

    Item Description Size Price To Top
    SPEY-TEE-L 2014 Sandy River Spey Clave Commemorative Tee Shirt Large $19.95 Sale Ended
    SPEY-TEE-XL 2014 Sandy River Spey Clave Commemorative Tee Shirt X-Large $19.95 Sale Ended

    Fish long & prosper,
    Mark, Patty & Crew

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

    1(800) 266-3971

    P.O. Box 368 - 67296 East Hwy 26
    Welches, Oregon 97067, USA
    Voice: (503) 622-4607 or 1(800) 266-3971 FAX: (503) 622-5490

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    We have been in business since April 21, 1981.

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