Back in 2004 I came up with this flying ant pattern while sitting at the vice in my house outside West Yellowstone. Back then, I lived on Denny Creek and my tying bench overlooked a meadow filled of three foot tall sage and high priced breeder bulls, and the southern end Gallatin Range in Yellowstone was the backdrop. The vista alone was inspiring, and at times I found myself not tying flies at all, but staring out the picture window loosing myself to ideas I can’t remember. Back then, I tied most of the flies in my boxes; tying in the morning before guide trips or in the evening to alter a fly from the day’s testing. This fly came out of those days living on Denny Creek.
Yesterday we featured a bunch of great dries and discussed how fishing it dry can happen seven months a year here in West Yellowstone. While that is true, trout aren’t always eating dry flies. Angling subsurface is super important and we believe whole heartedly that a well rounded angler should understand nymphing. Getting the fly down to the fish quickly is the name of the game and tungsten beads do make a difference. We often refer to flies as “get there” nymphs when discussing different patterns in the shop. The selection below gets there for sure.
For the Holiday Season we are kicking things off with a 12 Days of Christmas run here on the blog, Instagram, FB and on our online fly shop. If you’re looking for that hard to find gift for that angler in your family, look no further. We will be featuring a new product every day or two from December 4th until December 19th, 2019. These aren’t just any old items; while Justin was down in Argentina hosting anglers, Jonathan and Joe combed through the shop and packaged up some super dope products that we believe in and use throughout the season while guiding, traveling and fishing ourselves. Each item will come with it’s own little surprise, like Cracker Jacks from days of old! We will be pushing these items out via Social Media as well, but feel free to visit the blog for more information if you steer away from Social Media.
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me….51 flies and the box is FREE!
After years of fishing and guiding in Patagonia, J3 (Jonathan, Justin and Joe) went through the fly bins here at the shop and hand picked their favorite flies for the rivers between San Martin and Esquel in Argentina and Region X in Chile. Time after time we have seen anglers show up in Patagonia with the wrong flies. Why travel 6000 miles and show up with a subpar box of bugs? This selection works throughout the entire season down south and is full of dry flies, tungsten bead heads and a solid selection of streamers including Jonathan’s tried and true Pancora Crab. For the past few years we have been putting together custom boxes for our travel customers, generally we send them along with a few more but this selection is a fantastic start. If you’re headed down to Patagonia this winter, or any winter for that matter, give us a shout and we will out line the gear you will need. Our selection comes with a total of 20 dry flies, 14 nymphs and 17 streamers for $150 including the box. Click here to buy the Patagonia Essentials fly selection on the online fly shop – It will not disappoint!
Flies – Left side of the box: (2) #4 Royal Water Walkers, (3) #8 Black & Tan Chubby Chernobyl, (2) #12 Fathead Cicadas, (1) #12 Swisher’s PMX, (2) #12 & #14 Jojo’s Chubbinator, (2) #14 & #16 Arrick’s Ant, (2) #14 & #16 Harrop’s PMD Paraspinner, (2) #14 Red Missing Link, (2) #16 Purple Haze, (1) #12 Red SJW, (1) #12 Tan SJW, (2) #14 AZ Hare’s Ear Dark, (2) #14 AZ Hare’s Ear Light, (2) #16 AZ Hare’s Ear Dark, (2) #16 AZ Hare’s Ear Light, (2) #16 R/L Tactical PT, (2) #16 BH Pheasant Tail. Right side of the box: (1) #4 Olive and White Barely Legal, (2) #6 Olive BSA Bouface leeches, (2) #6 Black BSA Bouface leeches, (2) #6 BH Olive Crystal Bugger, (2) Olive #4 BSA Best Fly Ever, (2) Black #4 BSA Best Fly Ever, (2) #4 Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow Sculpins, (2) #4 The Professor’s Pancora Crab, (2) #8 The Professor’s Pancora Crab
Since the wind won’t let up today, spoiling my angling efforts, I decided to finally sift through all the fly cups which accumulated last season. 39 cups total. Most guides will work out of these cups all season long, as its too much of a pain in arse to organize these during the season. I love the look on a customer’s face when I pull about 15 of these out and look through them for scuds, beatis or whatever I tied last night, only to find what I needed in another fly cup which was in my waders. Fly cups are great for a number of different uses. Split shot, bobbers, coins, etc all fit inside these little containers quite well. When I used to work in a fly shop, we would duct tape a flycup together, (which was filled with corkies for a little extra weight) and then play hockey on the floor at Madison River Outfitters. Brodin Nets work well for the goalie and I preferred a long handled Guide net accompanied by a wading net. For the shooter’s stick, we would take a plastic display, which has a perfect angle on it, cut it to shape and duct tape that to the long dowel we used to get hats down from the log beams……these games were always played after the work was finished ofcourse.