The big story for 2017 isn't new flies, it's how much better our inventory of continuing flies will be. We've FINALLY gotten Montana Fly Company to add quite a few of Walter and Matt's patterns to their stock, so several of our in-house patterns that we've had trouble keeping in the bins are now going to be available in commercially-tied (though locally-designed) form in large numbers.
We will be adding SOME new patterns, of course. We'll try to get descriptions and photos of these flies up by the end of February.
A note on how we name flies: if it has someone's name ahead of it, it's a fly designed by one of our in-house or local tyers. If it has "PFS" ahead of the name, it's a fly that's recognizable as some sort of standard pattern, but one we tie with several tweaks not available elsewhere. If the fly just has a name, it's a standard pattern we happen to tie in-house rather than buying from some wholesaler.
What's the story? These flashy damsel/dragonfly/attractor nymphs work great in June and July on the Story Ranch Lakes as well as other small, fertile lakes where damselflies are common.
This is a great changeup to our standard small-medium nymphs when we're fishing for fall-run browns, particularly after the middle of September. These are far fuzzier than your average October Caddis, almost like a combination caddis and Girdle Bug.
Why haven't we stocked these before?? Matt's small, mottled Woolly Buggers have been our mainstay lake streamers for years, and also work as double-secret "second chance" flies on rivers when trailed behind other streamers. Previously we've only carried them in sculpin gold and chocolate brown. This olive version can serve as a sculpin, a leech, or even a dragonfly nymph. #10-12.
Doug's Holiday Stones have been mainstays in our stonefly nymph department for several years. These smaller versions, tied on curved-shank hooks, slot in as large attractor nymphs. Great choices on the Yellowstone just after runoff or the Gardner anytime. Available in black, gold, and tan, all #12.
These small streamers aren't designed to be fished like streamers. Instead, fish them on a dead-drift or a gentle drag, almost always under an indicator. Hit the foamy, turbulent slots on the Yellowstone or other float rivers to incite reaction bites from browns who might not slap at a bigger streamer but see too many Girdle Bugs. Early testing in fall 2016 resulted in numerous browns over 18 inches, including a 22-incher for a client who'd only caught three fish before. Available in olive and tan, both #8.
In 2016, we got into the habit of fishing tiny Woolly Buggers under large dry flies, using streamers as droppers instead of nymphs. These leeches give an alternate look compared to the 'Buggers, in particular roughly resembling sculpins. They're also hits on small lakes and when fished as second chance flies behind larger streamers. Black, brown, and olive, all #12.
This is a killer and dirt-simple Missouri River pattern that deserves to be fished in our neck of the woods. It imitates larger caddis larvae. Available in #14 gold, and sure to be on the end of your line if you float with Walter on the Missouri in June, or as a changeup fly on the Yellowstone in July or the Gardner in September-October.
This peacock-bodied wet fly is murder on small lakes, particularly in late May and June when it suggests an emerging chironomid or possible a water boatman. #16.
This flashy midge pupa was originally developed back east to be fished in tiny sizes, as a traditional midge pupa in the vein of the Zebra Midge. We use it in dramatically larger sizes as a chironomid imitation in area lakes, particularly when they're a bit off-color. A great choice on Merrell in particular. #14 in holo-black and bloody red.
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