Steelhead Nymph-Hotspot Rubber Leg Stonefly

Two years ago while nymphing for steelhead on the Salmon River in Idaho I found myself struggling to catch fish. Like most anglers that day, luck was not in my favor. However, turned out that luck was not the contributing factor to my limited success. Fly selection on my part was probably more responsible for the lack of hookups than anything. This was made evident to me by my friend Chris Cutler who was the only one on the river that day not struggling to catch fish. The guy was killing it while the rest of us wore out our shoulders and pondered what he was doing different to aid in his success. I’m confident it was two things, one, he is a great angler with awesome skills, and two, he was throwing a Hot Spot Rubber Leg Stonefly which was found hanging from the mouth of many of his catches (check out Chris’ blog at Living Fly Legacy). The rest of us continued to pound the river with our own stonefly nymphs, and egg patterns, but the tide never changed in our favor. Needless to say I’ve since tied up dozens of these nymphs and will not be found on a steelhead river without plenty of them.
Hotspot Rubber Leg Stonefly

Traditional Rubber Leg Stonefly patterns have been catching trout like crazy for many years now. By adapting colors that are appealing to steelhead this fly becomes deadly while still being one of the easiest flies to tie around. My preferred method of nymphing is Euro Nymphing for steelhead. This tightline technique has done very well for me, and this fly pattern works very well in this setup.

Wild Idaho Steelhead

I caught this large wild male steelhead last year on none other than the fly mentioned above. It has quickly proven to be a go-to nymph, and I now started most of my days steelhead nymphing by tying one on. Simple to tie, and effective on the stream. Perfect combination!

Prince Kohler Revival

I don’t mean to sound surprised, but this last year the Prince Kohler has flat out kicked butt. You might have the inclination to say, well yeah, it’s a knock off variation of a classic, why wouldn’t it produce fish? You’d be right by saying so, and certainly not disappointed by this particular variant. The flashy olive ice dub collar is probably the ticket most days, and I also love the silver rib and silver bead combination on this fly. I’ve found myself fishing this nymph more and more, especially when my other go-to patterns are not quite producing fish like I expect them too.

Prince Kohler- Prince Nymph Variation

Last Saturday I only had a couple hours to hit up one of my local rivers. Due to my time constraint I stuck in town and fished a stretch close to home. Every time I’ve fished this stretch of water I’ve found that Prince Nymphs, and Prince Nymph variations out fish most other patterns. Such was the case during my short trip to the river that day. With water temps in the upper thirty’s, and no other fishermen around I was able to surprise myself by the number of fish I was able to catch in such a short amount of time. Needless to say I owe a lot of my success to the Prince Kohler.

Prince Kohler-Utah Fly Fishing

Prince Kohler-Provo River

Derek and I often joke/debate as to which Prince Nymph variation is number one. I’m still holding strong to my Black Jack (as do most who have actually given it a shot, unlike Derek:-), but the Prince Kohler, much like its shinny tungsten bead has now taken the silver in this category, which truly is a compliment due to the vast variations which do exist. Of course that is only my opinion, but one fact is I wont be hitting the water anytime soon without at least a few Prince Kohler’s in my box. Good tying everyone, and tight lines!

Winter Elements Video- Successful Winter Flies Proven

In our Cold Weather Fly Fishing post I gave a few ideas on how to catch more trout during winter conditions. To validate these ideas Derek and I hit up one of our favorite stretches of the Provo River. As many people know fly fishing the Provo River can be very rewarding. I put together this video which show how a typical snowy winter day can be full of fish and enjoyment. Check it out above.
Pink Beaded Hare's Ear

Turns out that the flies that produced the most fish for us were a pink anodized beaded Hare’s Ear, and not surprisingly a Pink Rainbow Warrior as suggested by Devin at The Tactical Fly Fisherman. The Hare’s Ear we fished is as simple as a small CDC tail, squirrel dubbing for the body, pink wire (I would  confidently substitute this with silver wire as well), and a pink anodized bead. It was also tied on a jig hook which we are finding more and more success with these days.

I hope that everyone is finding ways to spend this winter both at the tying table, and on the river. However, if you are still not convinced about wading in a cold river while it’s snowing, at least enjoy our video while you think about the warmer days of spring which are sure to coming.


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