Stillwater Flies

Fly Tying Night with Boy Scouts

The First fly I ever tied was a black Wooly Bugger. Is there a better fly out there to demonstrate the basics of fly tying? Its large size facilitates tying, it follows the basic steps used in most of todays flies, and lets be honest it catches fish like crazy. It is for these reasons that I choose to start my new friends, the riverside scouts, off tying with the Wooly Bugger. I have to be honest, they did a great job and I’m sure their creations will one day catch fish if they venture out to try. For tying instructions click Wooly Bugger Tutorial

Fly Fishing a Striper Boil/Blitz

(My timing is off a little since striper boils occur in the summer and fall months, but by reading this you can be prepared for next year)

Here in Utah we have a gem of a striper fishery in Lake Powell. It is a huge lake that is part of the Colorado River system. The stripers thrive there dependent on the health of the threadfin shad. Harvest is highly encouraged and stripers are delicious!

The funnest way to fish for stripers on the fly is during a boil (see video above). When stripers are jumping and flailing all around you it can get so exciting that technique goes out the window. The first few boils of every trip get me so excited I can’t hardly make a decent cast.

A bubble head popper is the most exciting fly as the fish will chase, swipe, and inhale it all right at the surface. Any color of Clouser minnow is super effective as well. Below are my favorite flies for fishing striper boils.

 Clouser Minnow

Bubble Head Popper

Colors on these flies can vary and still do very well. Stripers in a boil are so voracious that fly selection and color aren’t as important as presentation. The most effective method of presentation is to cast into , or slightly on the edge, of the boil and strip as fast as you can. If you slow down your retrieve the fish will follow your fly back to you, but they get too good of a look and realize somethings not right which results in a refusal. Shad in a boils are zipping as fast as they can and so must your fly.

Lake Powell is a great place for a family vacation. Striper fishing from a boat is very family friendly, and if your kids are anything like mine its a memory they won’t soon forget.

Wooly Bugger Tutorial- Tie them up now!

Yesterday a few of my friends and I decided to fish some local private ponds that are know to nurture giant trout. Ten minutes into it we were catching an occasional huge trout between five and ten pounds. After some time things slowed down and I decided to switch from nymphs to streamers. I opened my box and quickly realized I had neglected tying streamers, particularly wooly buggers, this winter.
I only had one leftover from last fall, a dark purple wooly bugger. I tied it on and realized I had found the golden ticket. I started sight fishing to a few large trout loitering in a corner of the pond. Some turned, others ignored, but soon I found a 6+ pound rainbow that couldn’t live without that purple wooly bugger. I pricked him on a voracious take, but he spit the fly as fast as he had inhaled it. A few minutes later as a nice rainbow was tailing the same fly, an even larger rainbow appeared out of the dark and hammered my bugger… I didn’t miss him and I landed one of the largest trout of my life.

The sad part of this story happened about a half hour later when I hooked into what would have been my largest fish of the day, and after an immediate 3 foot aerial he unaffectedly swam my dark purple wooly bugger to the depths of the pond, leaving me stunned and out of wooly buggers. Not surprisingly after I got home last night I couldn’t go to bed until I had a dozen wooly buggers tied up. I also put together a¬†Wooly Bugger Tutorial you can find on our tutorial page. That way if anyone is like me and doesn’t have stash of buggers ready to go, here are some tips on tying them up. The ice is off a lot of reservoirs here in the west, and the rest will be icing off here shortly. Do yourself a favor and don’t get caught unprepared or you might end up sitting at home very late tying wooly buggers after what could have been an even better day fishing.

You can see even more pictures of giant fish from yesterday’s trip at Gilwire and The River Warrior. Enjoy!

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