Choosing a Crayfish – Part 1

Guest Blogger: Mary S. Kuss, Life-long avid angler, licensed PA fishing guide, founder of the Delaware Valley Women’s Fly Fishing Association

I’ve been looking for a few good crayfish fly patterns for many years. I’ve rejected the vast majority of the ones I’ve come across. Many of them have a very realistic appearance, but are overly complex for my taste. They tend to be both time and labor-intensive to tie. These are not good traits in a fly that will be put at risk in the hazardous environment of a stream bed. The other problem with these elaborate ties is that, despite looking as though they could crawl away on their own, most of them simply do not fish well. A good imitative fly pattern not only has to resemble the natural food item in question, it also has to behave like it once in the water.

When I discovered the Clouser Crayfish, in the mid-1980’s, I felt that I finally had a keeper. This excellent design proved very effective when fished dead-drift in riffle and run areas of my favorite warmwater streams. However, it did not track and behave well when actively retrieved. I began to understand that it might be necessary to have two go-to crayfish patterns—one for drifting and one for retrieving actively. I had my dead-drift pattern, now I needed to find a good swimming crayfish pattern.

Continue reading → Choosing a Crayfish – Part 1

Angel Hair – Not Just for Streamers

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, MT

I don’t know when I bought my first package of Angel Hair (or why). It looked pretty Cline angel 2cool and I probably thought I could add it to some clousers for bass and in the salt. Whatever I thought I bought it for, I never really adopted it as a regular material until I moved up to Montana and adapted it to two of my favorite patterns—Woolly buggers and crayfish. One day at a fly tying demo, I watched Gardiner, Montana fly tier Walter Wiese demonstrate how he tied the Beaded Little Mayfly (or BLM Nymph) using nothing but thread, angel hair and fine wire. It opened my eyes to how something as simple (and colorful) as Angel Hair could be adapted to different uses.

Continue reading → Angel Hair – Not Just for Streamers