Merton Parks' original catalog, circa 1949.
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Merton Parks' original catalog, circa 1949.
A few fake caddisflies ready for the bins...
Living in Bozeman, and having a cabin near Cooke City since the late 1960s, I've grown up fishing the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, but Parks' Fly Shop's amazing selection of foam terrestrials has made it virtually a new experience in the last couple of years. The cutthroats can't resist them.
B. Derek Strahn
Parks' Fly Shop began as Merton Parks' custom fly tying business, based out of Cloquet, Minnesota in the late 1940s, so it's no surprise we stock a lot of custom and locally-produced flies, around 40% of our entire fly stock. Some of these are merely subtle variations on standard patterns, but many are local designs that are either available nowhere else or originated in the Yellowstone region. Sometimes having one of these patterns makes all the difference between fooling a fish and having it refuse your fly, because trout in our region see a lot of fake bugs and they get suspicious of those they see the most.
Two of our tyers, Matt Minch and Walter Wiese, are contract fly designers for Montana Fly Company, one of the more innovative wholesale companies, while Matt, Walter, Richard Parks, and Doug Korn have all had patterns featured in books and magazines. This page includes photos and descriptions of many of our custom flies, but we're experimenting all the time and these pages usually lag behind. For the most recent updates to the website (but not our flyboxes), check our New Flies page.
While most of our tying is to stock the shop shelves, we are willing to take on custom orders if time permits. Generally, we'll have more time for custom work in late spring or early autumn. Most of our custom flies are priced at $2.25 each, though some are more and a few are less. Shipping is free on orders of $50 or more. For instructions on how to tie some of our custom patterns, and for general tying tips, please check our Youtube Channel.
To view photos and descriptions of our custom flies, use the tabs below. Click the tab for the category of flies you wish to view.
Ben's Bicolor ant has been a top producer in the Lamar drainage since 2007. It difers from most bicolor ants in that it is tied with red thread and a brown hackle, which have proven more effective than the standard black thread and black hackle. #16-20. See the sinking version in the Wet Flies section. Also available in all black, #16-20.
Ants work great, but they don't float well and they're hard to see. There are also those pesky flying ants that sure drive the fish nuts. Why not add a white wing to standard fur ant patterns to aid floatation and visibility and match flying ants? Why not indeed? Availabe in #16 cinnamon and bicolor. These have been our best-producing flies overall during the month of August for the past two seasons.
Ben's Midges can be critical in late summer and early fall in the Lamar drainage. When you see the trout sipping something invisible towards the tails of pools, especially in the morning, try this fly. Also a good bet in late fall, winter, and early spring on the Yellowstone and spring creeks. Available in black (pictured) and cream, #20-22.
This pattern has more or less overtaken the Coachman Trude as our favorite dry on the Yellowstone. Similar colors as the Trude, but floats low but visible and buoyant due to the synthetic wing and tail. Available to your local shop through wholesaler Montana Fly Company. Available in #12-16 Coachman (pictured, and the most consistent color), #12-16 pink, #14-16 tan, #14 olive, #16 lime, #16 amber, #16 White Miller, #16 gingersnap, #20 black, and #12 2xl chocolate. Check our Youtube Channel to learn to tie this great bug.
Cripple caddis have proven highly effective over the past few seasons, especially as droppers behind hoppers. Available in Coachman Trude, pink, tan, olive, and White Miller color combinations, all #16.
Original recipe by Blue Ribbon Flies, though the color combinations are our own.
This series of foam loopwing drake emergers have been favorites in the Lamar drainage since Doug started tying them for us. Please note that our color combinations are quite different from similar flies available elsewhere. Available in Green Drake (pictured) #12-14, Gray Drake #12-14, and Brown Drake, #10, and #12 Hecuba/Tan Drake.
Our version of the ever-popular foam beetle is somewhat rounder in profile than most foam beetles, which helps if float correctly and allows for a bigger indicator. #14-18. Also check out the ladybug version. Custom colors/sizes/etc. available.
This big peacock-bodied stonefly/attractor has worked well for us the past several seasons as a changeup fly when the fish are looking up for Salmonflies and Golden Stones. It's big enough to be noticeable, but small enough that when the fish have been stung by too many fake stoneflies, they'll eat this one. #10.
These foam hopper/caddis/attractor/ stonefly/whatever the trout want it to be patterns have been among our best-producing hoppers since 2006. Low floating but easy to see due to the indicator and hair wing, the much larger expanse of bare hook hanging down at the rear of the fly helps it keep from flipping over on its back, the bane of most foam hoppers. Available in #10-12 cinnamon, #10-12 olive, #10 cinnamon with yellow legs, #10-12 light pink, #10-12 dark pink, #12 peach, #12 yellow, and #10-12 black sparkle cricket. Limited quantities of #10 gold and #10-12 wood grain remain available, though since we can't find the foam for these, they won't be restocked. Some are "Improved" configuration, while others are still in their unmodified state. Check our Youtube Channel to learn to tie the original version of this bug.
We're really getting into cripples lately, and this version, with a super-durable spandex body, is our favorite. Purple might not seem like a "match the hatch" color, but we just kill them during Baetis hatches on this version, which resembles the super-popular Purple Haze Parachute. Haze Cripples are our most consistently productive fall dries. Available in #14-20 purple and new for 2015, #16-18 copper, #16 amber, and #16 lime. Check our Youtube Channel to learn to tie this great bug.
Also availabe in "Hold Cripple" configuration, #16-18 purple and PMD.
Our version of the popular Chernobyl Ant. Not as popular with customers as it was from 2004-2008, but still a hit with the trout, especially in its namesake drainage. Available in a variety of colors between sizes #8 and 12.
Still probably the go-to hopper on its namesake stream in Pennsylvania, out here in the West Letorts benefit from the fact that so few anglers carry them and so few shops sell them. As far as we know, we're the only shop around that stocks them. Our version features a durable synthetic underwing and is available in four colors, #12-14 green (pictured, and a GREAT bug on Soda Butte and Slough), #10-12 natural deerhair, #10-12 golden brown, and #10-12 cicada.
This fly, based on Hans Weilenmann's CDC & Elk, suggests emerging caddis as well as egglayers. We stock it in the White Miller version above in #14, #16 tan, and #16 pink. Check our Youtube Channel for how to tie this great bug.
There are many Salmonflies out there that look like this one, but this is the original "Improved" Sofa Pillow. It differs from most similar patterns primarily in that it has a bucktail wing and a much fatter, brighter orange body, both of which more closely resemble the natural insect than most traditional "fur and feather" stoneflies. Highly durable and highly effective whether fished dry or drowned, the Parks' Salmonfly has been catching trout on the Yellowstone since 1954. #4-8. Check our Youtube Channel to watch Richard Parks tie this fly, which his father invented. .
The Prom Queen is our primary foam Salmonfly. It features a body of the same yarn used to make the Parks' Salmonfly, which floats in or under the surface film as do the bodies of the naturals when they're egglaying or drowning. Low-floating but highly visible, this is our top Salmonfly on Yellowstone River float trips, though the Parks' Salmonfly is better on the Gardner. #4-6.
The secret on purple cripples is out of the bag. Because of the number of other guides using our formerly-secret pattern, Walter designed this slightly "techier" version to regain the edge in September. It was his top bug on September floats in 2013. Available in #16-18 (tied on emerger hooks), odds are you'll be using these if you float with us in the fall, though there probably won't be any left in the bins then...
This one works great in September, especially during heavy Fall Gray Baetis hatches, since this one has a more Fall BWO-like gray hackle. Floats forever with the loop. Production flies are easy to see due to the addition of the indicator tuft. #14-18. This fly may be available in your local shop, since it's now being distributed wholesale by Montana Fly Company. Tying instructions on our Youtube Channel.
Ever had a hard time seeing an ant in fast water? Ever had a hard time keeping one afloat? This hairwing ant with a heavy hackle and flashy body is just the ticket. It's a great choice in August and September on river floats and any rough water streams, and can actually be a secret weapon on lakes when you're seeing a lot of Carpenter Ants... #12.
Originated by former PFS guide and Lamar district ranger Dave Keltner, this biot-bodied parachute pattern is a great imitation of a wide range of mayflies found in the Lamar drainage, ranging from the big Gray and Green Drakes on down to tiny BWO. Particularly important on Soda Butte in July and August for the summer Green Drakes (#10-12) and August and early September in #14-16 for the smaller Heptagenia and Flavs. #10-20.
This is THE ticket when imitating both crippled or spent egglaying caddis. We have no idea how many times this fly has brought the most delicate big fish rises you can imagine on the Yellowstone for us. You can even swing it as a wet fly. Best fished as a dropper behind a Clacka Caddis or another visible dry. Available in #14-18 tan, #14-16 olive, #16 peacock, and #16 opal.
Over the past few seasons Spruce Moth imitations have been the most important terrestrials to have on sections of stream in or near evergreens. Falls of these terrestrial moths, whose populations have skyrocketed due largely to global warming and are at a cyclical peak now anyway, can get so dense that the fish become selective. Most commercial patterns float high, like large caddisflies, but spruce moths typically get waterlogged and sink or at best float low in the surface film, especially in the fast water that predominates in most wooded areas in our part of the world. Doug's version imitates this behavior perfectly. Fish and clients both love it. This would have been our top-selling terrestrial last season if we hadn't run out. #14. Fish it behind a visible dry like a Clacka Caddis, Soda Fountain Parachute, or hopper.
Walter developed this fly from Gary Lafontaine's original Double Wing. This version rides lower but is more buoyant, more durable, and easier to see due to the synthetic wings. Think of it as the big brother to the Trude, Coachman Clacka, and the baby, the Coachman Trude Cripple. $2.50. Tying instructions on our Youtube page. This is a great choice during the heavier flows of mid-late July, either trailing a Salmonfly during the big bug emergence or supporting a dropper nymph later in the month. #10.
This is Doug's take on the popular "hot butt caddis" genre. The tan version pictured here (available in #12-16) is a great imitation of egglaying summer Hydropsyche as well as an attractor, while the olive version (#12-16) matches the spring Bracycentrus or Mother's Day caddis. Also available in #16 Yellow Sally, which is notable for bringing up the largest rainbow we saw during the 2009 season, a fish estimated at 27 inches that unfortunately straightened the hook.
A lower-profile "dry" spruce moth that uses a synthetic wing that floats well with a clipped hackle and a dubbed body you should leave undressed so it goes into the surface film. This fly covers the gap between Doug's wet Spent Spruce Moth and high-floating traditional patterns. #14. Tying instructions on our Youtube Channel.
Designed to include the segmented appearance of the GFA with the two-toned body and tons of legs of a Chernobyl Ant, this hopper debuted only in July 2010, to resounding success both on the river and at the cash register. We basically sold out of them, especially the tan over pink version pictured here, which was the original. Over the past couple seasons the trout have just gone crazy for pink- and peach-colored hoppers, so make sure you get a few of these for next year. Available in #8-10 tan over pink, #8-10 cinnamon over yellow, #10 cinnamon over peach, #10 gold over cinnamon, and #8 tan over brown.
Our version of Craig Mathews' standby X-Caddis is tied on a shorter-shank hook and with a fuzzier body than most commercially available X-Caddis, features we believe make it a better imitation of emerging caddis than those we can buy elsewhere. Available in #14-16 tan (pictured) and #14-16 olive. Check our Youtube Channel for how to tie our version of this classic caddis imitation.
Sometimes a dead-drifted soft hackle just under the surface is the solution for picky risers, especially on pounded rivers like those in the Lamar and Madison drainages, where the fish learn to avoid high-floating dry flies. Available in #16 PMD (pictured) and #18 BWO.
This revision of Ben's sinking bicolor ants, which had already accounted for some great fish on the Yellowstone, has made the original pattern much more effective, especially on flat water. Ants don't float well, so a pattern that sinks slowly and on an even keel, as this one does, can get spooky fish or those unwilling to rise to feed. Fish it behind a dry and hang on. #16.
This simple little caddis pupa is both easier to tie and more effective than many more complicated patterns. It works great as a dropper during and just before caddis hatches, and also works when fished on the swing in riffles. The olive version (pictured), in #14-16, is a great Brachycentrus or Mother's Day caddis pattern, while the tan version, also #14-16, imitates the summer Hydropsyche. Learn how to tie it on our Youtube Channel.
This was the first fly Walter Wiese came up with after coming west. It is our most productive pattern on the Firehole, and we'll fish it during any hatch situation, mayfly or caddis, either dead-drift or on the swing. We don't use it enough during dry fly season in the Yellowstone and Lamar drainages, but it's a great choice as a dropper then, especially when the trout are looking for caddis emergers. Available in natural #14-16 (pictured) and #16 olive. Learn how to tie it on our Youtube Channel.
This pattern (and the next) are tied with a super-buggy sparkly dubbing blend. This one, with its orange head and tan/gold body, worked great last summer trailing a streamer and as a searching fly. #14. Check the "Tying Soft Hackles with Larger Feathers" vid on our Youtube page.
This is one of the most classic soft hackles around. We don't mess with success, we just tie them in-house. #12-16.
This dirty olive wet fly with a bicolor hackle primarily imitates egglaying or crippled Baetis. It's tied on a light wire hook so you can dead drift it just under the film. A good choice on selective risers.
Combinations of a partridge feather, a slim thread or floss body, and a bit of dubbing are about as classic as you can get for wet flies. Effective everwhere, fished any way you like. #14 orange, yellow, pink, and lime.
Another classic combo, this one particularly important in lakes and as a caddis larva in rivers. A great bet as a dropper behind a dry in summer, not least because any fly tied with peacock is automatically magic. #12-16.
This fly is an import from the Midwest, where it's wildly popular in tailwaters. People can be quite particular about which version they consider the "real" Red A**, so don't blame us if this one is a bit different. A great lake fly around here, and the brookies treat it like candy. #16.
After a customer came in in 2011 raving about how this simple caddis pupa series (which originated in Scandinavia) was just killer on Slough Creek, we had to try some ourselves. Lo and behold, he was right. Strip it aggressively through the film when the fish are making splashy emerger-type rises, or fish it as a dropper behind a dry, with or without floatant. If this sounds like how you'd fish a Crackleback, you're right. #14 White Miller (pictured), #16 tan/Hydropsyche, and #14 yellow.
The pupa version of the White Miller/ Nectopsyche caddis. This fly is vital on the Firehole in June and September. Fish it in tandem with another wet (usually the Glasshead PT) early in the morning, then fish it behind a Palmered CDC White Miller during the core of the White Miller hatch. Explosive action, often as it hits the water. #14. Learn how to tie it on our Youtube Channel.
Small beadhead peacock Woolly Worms palmered with brown-dyed grizzly hackle have long been among Walter's favorite lake flies, especially early in the season. With the increasing importance of area lake fishing with the high early summer streamflows over the past few years, and the increasing interest in stillwater fly fishing in general, we decided to start stocking them. Twitch them slowly under an indicator when the fish are lethargic or strip them, either alone or behind a streamer or leech, when the fish are more active. Also a good changeup dropper on the Yellowstone in the summer. #14-16.
We cannot overstate how effective this simple New Zealand-style nymph is. It has been our most-productive fall brown fly for five seasons, works for trout from coast to coast and as far away as NZ and Patagonia, and has also taken steelhead and even carp. Lately we've been using it more and more out of the drift boats. Fish it deep, fish it under a dry, swing it, stick it behind a streamer. This fly is also distributed by Montana Fly Company; you should lobby your local shop to carry it. #10-18. Learn how to tie the "BHC" on Youtube.
Just our version of a standard emerging lake midge, important on private lake trips in May and June and on hike-ins to Grebe or Cascade Lake in June or July. Available in red or black, #12.
Another BHC variation, this one with a peacock thorax and an extra turn of copper wire. Think of it as the BHC and the Copper John's kid. This version is better than the original in dirty water, due to the increased flash from the wire and the contrast between the peacock and the hare's ear dubbing. #12-14.
A customer gave us a dozen Disco Midges in this bead and color combination and told us they were his favorite nymph. We won't go that far, but in limited testing with the originals we sure did put some solid fish in the boat, including the biggest whitefish (24") we've ever seen, which had the misfortune to be on at same time Richard was fighting a 21" rainbow on the same fly. #20 and a good bet on October float trips.
Constructed of four of the best feathers in fly tying: lemon wood duck (okay, mallard dyed wood duck in the production versions by MFC), ostrich herl, pheasant tail, and peacock, along with gold wire, gold bead, and a bit of midge flash. We primarily use this one in the same roles as a beadhead Prince, as a sort of changeup. Particularly good just after runoff. #12-18.
This one's never the first fly we tie on out in the Lamar drainage, but on the tough days it is often the fly that pulls out three or four fish to save the day. Dredge it in the deepest pools with lots of weight. This is a fly we almost never fish as a dropper beneath a dry. #14.
Doug's Holiday Stones (#6 black, pictured, and #10 gold) offer a more realistic profile than Matt's Minch Stones. Doug likes these better. The rest of us prefer Matt's. We all carry both, and think you should too, especially at the tail end of runoff.
When Walter set out to create a "Coachman Trude Nymph," he came up with a bulky, Serendipity-type pupa pattern. This one is popular for fishing deep during high flows in #12-14 and as a dropper in July and August in #16. Some Missouri River guides have reported good action on it up there.
This series of flashy, micro chenille-bodied Prince Nymph variations has been critical for us over the past two seasons. Now available in your local shop that stocks MFC fly patterns. Available in #14-16 amber (pictured, and more critical) and #14-16 purple.
At first glance this fly looks just like any other Bomber or Snow Cone-style chironomid larva pattern, but the pearl Krystal Flash "rope" used for a rib makes a huge difference in low-visibility situations; the flash glows with a greenish light and is easily visible to the fish. This version of the Bomber outfishes all others combined 2-1 on private lake trips from mid-June onward, after the lakes start to take on a greenish hue from all the algae and weeds. #12-16 black.
Tied in the round, this series of stoneflies (#4-8 black, #8-12 golden, pictured) combines modern flash materials with a traditional tying aesthetic and natural feathers with lots of fine motion and natural mottling. Along with the BHC, Minch Stones are the bugs you need if you're fishing the Gardner River at any point in the season or the Yellowstone at the tail end of high water just as the Salmonflies and Golden Stones are thinking about moving to shore. These flies have caught trout from coast to coast, including some of the giant ocean going variety, so they also make good attractors.
Matt isn't good at coming up with new fly names. This one doubles as both a peaking caddis, in larger sizes, and a small mayfly nymph with a bright attractor at its head. We fish it primarily in late April and early May in sizes #12-14, then in September and October in #16-18. Larger sizes are effective fished on the swing as well as dead-drift.
Scuds constructed almost entirely of natural materials are rare these days. Maybe that's why this one works so well. It's a good choice on Trout Lake, Joffe Lake, and any other lake with high scud populations, as well as spring creeks and tailwaters. Many fish over five pounds have come to this fly. #12-16.
The RAM Caddis used to be the default caddis nymph on area rivers, especially the Madison. Various Serendipities have largely pushed it to the wayside. That means the fish see less of them now... This color combo is particularly effective during the Mother's Day Caddis hatch in early May. #14. Tying instructions at our Youtube Channel.
You really ought to tie your own San Juan Worms, but if you want to buy them we'll sell them to you. Pick a size, any size. Pick a color, any color. $18/dozen or $2 each. Walter's White River Worms are $2.25. Learn about them at our Youtube Channel.
We don't really know what the name means, either. Doug developed this fly from the similar SCHWAPF. It's an excellent caddis pupa-type nymph. We fish the tan (pictured, #14-16) primarily as a summer dropper, while the olive (#14-16) is best in the spring, when it imitates the Brachycentrus caddis. The bright green Green Lantern (#14) is similar to the Schwarp, but has a glass bead and fishes well on the swing.
Shimmer Nymphs are Walter's entry in the "bright little nymph" sweepstakes. They feature the body profile of a Pheasant Tail, the brightness of the Lightning Bug, and the abdomen segmentation of the Copper John. The rust/PMD version here (#14-18) is particularly good on the Firehole fished deep and as a dropper in the Lamar drainage, while the brown/BWO version (#16-20) is a great choice in the fall on the Yellowstone and on the lower Madison. Also available in #16 chartreuse and #18-20 black.
Minch's Skinny Bugger is our go-to damsel nymph pattern. It has taken many good fish for us out of Trout Lake and other area lakes with high damsel populations. A good choice on Merrell Lake. Of particular note about this fly is its impressionistic character, which means it doubles as a leech. Available in olive (pictured) in #10-12.
In the fall, especially on heavily-pressured water like the Lamar drainage, very slim-bodied mayfly nymphs can often interest fish that will refuse more-traditional patterns. Available in #16 PMD (pictured) and #18 BWO, but note that they appear smaller because the hook model used is very short.
Thread midges come with many names and colors, but really one overall "look." Let us know what you need and we can whip some up for you. We normally stock black and copper Zebra Midges in #18 and tan/copper/black Miracle Nymphs (pictured) in #20, of which the Zebra Midge is particularly important.
With the burgeoning interest in winter fishing, we felt it was high time to add a wider selection of midges. These feature a similar profile to most other midges and we're sure they are dead-straight copies of SOMEBODY'S flies, but they do work wonders when the fish are on small bugs. Available in the following abdomen/rib/ head colors: #22 black/silver/tan, #20 gray/ blue/gray (pictured), #22 olive/copper/brown, #18 light brown/gold/tan, and #20 red/silver/ rainbow.
This one began life as a modification of the Shop Vac, but no longer really closely resembles the older pattern. It's a great choice as a dropper during caddis time, and has gotten some play on various blogs and web forums as such. #16.
This nifty little midge/BWO is one of the best flies you can have when you fish the Yellowstone in January, February, and early March. Yeah, we fish then, and do well. It's also prime on the spring creeks and tailwaters all spring. We've caught some very big rainbows (as in the size of many newborn babies) on the Missouri below Hauser Dam on this fly. #18.
Designed to imitate the small sculpin-like fish native to the South Island of New Zealand, this small, heavily mottled and speckled bugger has found a place here, as well. A great "second chance" fly behind a much larger streamer. Available in tan (pictured) and chocolate, #10-12. Try the chocolate on area lakes. A little bird told me you can catch some big fish on it, because it looks just like a leech.
Sometimes a Woolly Bugger is just a Woolly Bugger, but sometimes it's a PFS Fat-tail. The name is as it suggests. We tie them with twice the marabou of many commercial patterns, so they hold their shape better and displace more water, which makes them great choices in high, dirty water or when big fish hunting. #2-10 in olive and black (pictured), #4-10 in black, olive, and white/pearl, and #4-6 in olive & yellow and olive & pearl.
This flashy Woolly Bugger differs from most flashy buggers in that it is tied very sparse, which makes it a good leech imitation. As such, we fish it mostly on lakes. If you fish the private lakes with us, especially in the fall, there's a good chance you'll catch some fish on this fly. #6-12.
This flashy Clouser variation has blown up hugely over the past few years. We tie our own. The main difference is that we use realistic eyes rather than the plain eyes of the original pattern. We also tie them in a color combo that isn't often available. Try these on the Yellowstone some spring. You'll be happy you did... #4-6 copper/gold and #6 bronze/black/pearl.
You need this one if you're going brook trout fishing, either in the Yellowstone region or anywhere else. Tied very sparse so it fishes much smaller than it looks. We usually get at least half our yearly dinner brookies out of various lakes on this fly, and some "take pictures and laugh like a monkey because it's 14-20 inches long" brookies as well. #10-12.
You won't catch many fish on this beast, but they'll be big. Fish it on a fast sink tip on the Yellowstone or other big rivers, preferably with a 7-weight, and don't even think about using less than 10lb tippet. Fish a Minch's Bead, Hare, and Copper as a dropper to keep the pot boiling, then hope you connect when Mongo takes a swipe at this one. Available in black and tan, both available at your local shop if they stock MFC flies. #2 and #4 hooks, articulated for about 4-5 inches in length. Please note that this fly is not legal in YNP due to the dual hooks. $3.50
This is the only purpose-made warmwater fly Parks' Fly Shop stocks, and it does do wonders on the local perch lakes (Cutler and Dailey), as well as warmwater fisheries out in the lowlands of Montana. Everything from crappie to small pike love this fly in its normal sizes (#8-10), but tied larger it wil get bigger pike and bass. There's also the dirty secret that rainbows love chartreuse streamers at certain times: Matt took a 27-inch rainbow from Dailey Lake on the Perch Candy a few years back. Learn how to tie it.
The "PT" stands for "Pheasant Two," because this is the second bugger pattern Walter tied with pheasant church window feathers. This one features the church window as a collar, which pushes a lot of water. These, along with the overall coloration of the fly and the barbell eyes which make it ride hook-up, make the PT-Bugger a great sculpin pattern. Big browns and cutts love it, as do smallmoth bass in the Ozarks. Available at finer Montana Fly Company retailers near you. #4-8, and we also carry a similar olive bugger in the same sizes. $2.50
Sculpins can get too complicated. They should have a fat head, a prominent dorsal, a flashy belly, and maybe some red to suggest gills and blood, and they should move well. This series of synthetic-headed sculpins fits the bill. They're much easier to cast than your average Woolhead Sculpin because the heads are spun from synthetic fibers that repel water, so you're not casting an ounce of water along with the fly every time you pick it up. Available in brown/tan (pictured), mottled olive, and cree, all #2. Hint: try the olive on Slough Creek some July morning. $2.75
This selection of articulated Sculpin-types has been working well for us over the past few seasons. T The stinger hook gets those annoying tail-nippers, while the front hook will stick bigger fish, which typically attack the head of their prey. The rabbit wing and free-swinging bead body provide tons of movement. Available in #4 olive, black, and orange/yellow. Now available retail because MFC has picked up the pattern -these suckers are too time-consuming for us to do in-house. $3.00
This Clouser Minnow variation features an additional marabou belly too give it more movement, especially when fished slow, and a deeper profile, which trout prefer. The red throat suggests gills or blood. This is an excellent lake trout fly, fishes well under an indicator nearly dead-drift (like a jig), and can bring the big boys when fished aggressively. #2-4 Bighorn (pictured), #2-4 gray/white, and #4-6 Blacknosed Dace. Available from shops that stock MFC flies. $2.75
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