In Our Backyard – The “Wild and Scenic” Housy

Ten Mile River entering the Housatonic in our home town, Kent, CT

The Housatonic River, a top fly fishing destination that runs right through our hometown of Kent, CT, was recently designated as “Wild and Scenic.” The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is a federal law that protects rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational value in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Being named a “Wild and Scenic” river is a significant distinction, and it provides additional protection for the river and its resources. The Housatonic joins another great CT fly tying destination – the Farmington River – which also carries the distinction.

The “Housy” is a popular destination for fly fishers. The river is home to rainbows, brown trout, bass and Atlantic salmon. Its diverse habitats provide a range of fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. Known for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities – in addition to fly fishing it is a major destination for world-class kayakers – the river is also important for its role in the history of the area. It was a major source of power for early industrial development. In Litchfield County where we live, the river runs through picturesque towns and scenic countryside, offering opportunities for outdoor recreation and enjoyment of the natural beauty of the area.

Congratulations to the Housatonic River Commission who spearheaded the effort to get the “Wild and Scenic” designation. Visit the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System to learn more and find other fly fishing destinatoins that carry the “Wild and Scenic” designation.

Fly of the Month – Royal Trude

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Paul Shurtleff, Springville UT, You can find Paul @:,

2023 JSFF Catalog Cover squareWhen J. Stockard approached me about creating a fly for the cover of their 2023 Catalog, I was both excited and a bit nervous. It’s one thing to post one of my creations to Instagram, it’s another to think about a picture of my fly sitting on thousands of tying benches across the country.

After considering a few options, I settled on the “trude”, a style of fly patterns with hair wings. First introduced in 1901, the pattern is 121 years old and has many variants.  The Royal Trude fly (the one I submitted for the cover) is in fact a hair wing version of the Royal Coachman. It is an effective fly and I personally use this pattern for high mountain trout. This particular pattern shines on small streams and it punishes the native cutthroat trout in my area waters! There’s just something about the peacock and red band that trout love and the white wing makes it super easy to see too!

You can read more about the history of the trude here and see the recipe and instructions for my version below.

Continue reading → Fly of the Month – Royal Trude

Fly of the Month – Hughes All-fur Wet Fly

by Matt O’Neal of Savage Flies: Find him on his YouTube channel at Savage Flies

hughes allfur wet flyDave Hughes didn’t originate the All-Fur Wet Fly, but he did make it a very popular fly among fly fishers. This fly is kind of a mix between a nymph and a wet fly. Hughes is an angler that studied insects, wet flies and read many books. He put all of this to use and taught many wet fly classes and wrote his own books. The wet fly is certainly one of Dave’s go-to style of flies that we all know by now, catch a lot of trout. So watch Matt’s video below to see how to tie this awesome fish catcher, the Hughes All-Fur Wet Fly.

Matt O’Neal of Savage Flies, who has a terrific YouTube channel where he shows how to tie many different flies, including Hughes All-Fur Wet FLy. Be sure to check it out and give him a follow! Watch his video below to see how to tie this interesting dry fly pattern.

Hook: #12-16 standard wet or 1x heavy
Thread: Orange
Tail: Hare’s ear (guard hairs from Hare’s Mask)
Body: Hare’s ear dubbing (underfur with a few guard hairs from Hare’s Mask)
Hackle: Squirrel body fur (in split thread or a dubbing loop)

Stonfo Dubbing Loop Clips
Stonfo Thread Splitter