This versatile fly has proven itself on rivers worldwide as a fish magnet. Designed to be fished on the river bottom, the Skulpin Bunny can be dead-drifted or slowly stripped to imitate a sculpin and swims in the hook-up position to avoid snagging.
The Skulpin Bunny swims hook up to avoid snagging on the bottom, shown here swimming in the NEW Fly Tester.
The Skulpin Bunny Fly Tying Kit contains everything you need to tie 6 Skulpin Bunny flies, including step-by-step tying instructions, to make it easy for you to get your hands on the various needed fly tying materials all in one place.
In this episode of The Articulate Fly Podcast with Marvin Cash, Blane Chocklett shares how he developed the Game Changer fly platform and the journey of writing his new book, Game Changer: Tying Flies that Look & Swim Like the Real Thing.
Through his over twenty years in the fly fishing world, Blane has continuously pushed to innovate and improve his fly designs, resulting in the Game Changer style of fly design, which has gained a major following among fly anglers for its lifelike realism and productivity in the water.
This is his story.
If you'd like to listen on an app such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify, you can do so through The Articulate Fly.
Learn more about Blane's new book and reserve your copy.
I like Caddis Pupae that are easy to tie, have vibrant colors, and are super quick to drop to the bottom. Tradd Little's Neon Caddis covers all of these bases, and then some.
Tied with a Nymph-Head Evolution tungsten beadhead and the perfectly shaped Kona USP Scud/Pupa hook, this little Caddis Pupa will be all you need.
This simple yet very fishy fly has everything that fast-water fly anglers are looking for... An endless choice of colors, instant sinkability, and 1000% bulletproof.
Fish the Heavy Metal Perdigon on its own, under a dry fly, or with a team of other nymphs – just fish it!
Hot spots on nymphs are a great way to not only get the attention of the fish, but in certain fishing circumstances they can help you track the fly easier by sight. Most hot spots are made with dubbing that is a different color than the body of the fly, but this fly sets itself apart by using brightly colored deer hair tied on top of the hook as the hot spot.
This technique helps the fly stay upright in the water while the fly gets deep in the water column from the weight of the Nymph-Head Evolution tungsten beadhead.
Dead drifting this fly into a swing works flawlessly as the Nymph-Head Evolution tungsten beadhead will get the fly deep quick, and as the fly swings, the Wiggle-Tail Shank offers tons of extra movement.
The weight of the bead isn't a compromise for realism as the Evolution Mayfly Swimmer & Burrower tungsten beadhead is molded after the common mayfly swimmer and burrower head profile – oval, elongated, and gracefully curved at the front but flattened at the back near the thorax with prominent, egg-shaped eyes.
We hope you enjoy tying and fishing this fly!
What makes a pocket water fishery are the boulders that block the general flow of the river, forming hydro-breaks where fish lie in wait in the darkness, ready to dart at a moment's notice for food.
As a trout guide, I can’t see myself guiding or fishing anywhere else during the peak season but on my home river in the Adirondacks, the West Branch of the Ausable. Here are some tactics I've picked up from guiding and fishing these waters that may help you next time you're on the water.
Aside from the lack of crowds, the gorgeous surroundings, and the all-too-eager trout, small streams offer endless learning opportunities. The lessons garnered from creeks, streams, and brooks can be applied to all aspects of trout fishing.
The following are a few of the tactics I have learned from my experience on smaller waters that I fish frequently both on my own and when guiding clients as well.
Your fly boxes are crammed full after hours watching videos while tying at the vise — heck, you probably know more about Brian Wise’s hands at this stage than his wife does.
Flies, lines, and water are all essential tools, but it's not going to work out if you can’t make those bugs swim.
When the Flymen crew asked me to work up another streamer piece for the blog I went back to my 2016 article, “Beyond Banging The Banks”. What we didn’t cover was how to make that fly swim when it hits the water. Consider this Chapter 2.
With each client I try to place an emphasis on proving yourself wrong, and by that I mean, take some rule/tactic/method and try to disprove it. After all, how many times have you done what was considered to be wrong and yet still caught a fish?
Habits on the other hand, are another story. Unlike mistakes, habits — especially a certain few — can be detrimental to catching trout. I'm going to address three of the worst habits I see on the water and how you can go about improving your habits to catch more trout.
One such method, two-handed casting (better known as spey casting), has exploded in popularity in the last five years, though some would say ten years or so. For those who don’t know, spey casting is generally done to target anadromous fish with a much less-tiring casting stroke, capable of handling larger flies and sinking tips with relative ease.
The dictionary defines the phrase, “One trick pony” as “a person or thing with only one special feature, talent, or area of expertise."
I see fly anglers all the time who are one trick ponies — for example, only fishing with dry flies or dry and dropper rigs no matter what the stream conditions are. Even guys who nymph fish can get caught up in only euro nymphing or only indicator nymphing.
We've all been guilty, myself included, of sticking to a favorite technique or fly for too long when it’s not producing.
Generally speaking, due to the rise of social media and the seemingly insatiable need to snap that “epic fish pic,” there are not too many streams or locations that are secret fishing spots anymore.
There are probably many anglers who have stepped foot in the same run you fish regularly. If you are fortunate enough to fish a river system that doesn’t have much pressure, well, congratulations and please take me there.
The local waters where I live in Pennsylvania can be inundated with anglers just about every other day.
In cases like that, as an angler you have three choices you can make:
In my personal experience, finding open water and fishing usually works and is good for a fish here and there. To maximize your success, try altering your fishing tactics with an unconventional approach that most anglers wouldn’t use.
Believe it or not, this is actually extremely easy to do because most guys are using a Woolly Bugger/standard streamer, or tandem nymph rig. Fly fishing is entirely centralized on observation. Reading water, insect identification, flow rates/visibility, the list is endless. Take a minute, observe other anglers, and BE DIFFERENT.
Walking up to a big body of water, so big that your cast doesn’t even cover a fraction of the water, can be daunting and even downright discouraging.
You almost feel nervous to make your first cast. Where do I start? How do I tackle this water without a boat?
But when everything comes together and you hook into that fish, you feel like you won the lottery!
Here are a few things to help make swinging your fly rod feel a little more like fishing and a little less like… flailing.
Those of us who choose to pick up a fly rod also have our little own niches in which we choose to stick with.
Unfortunately, we tend to put our streamer boxes aside during this time of year and stick to more traditional approaches.
Yes, it’s exhilarating to watch that giant brown trout come to the surface and take your size 18 dry fly as you fish a tail out of a pool or a nice steady run, but what is more heart pumping than watching that same giant fish chase your 4” to 8” streamer from bank to bank and demolish your fly on the strip or the end of your swing?
It doesn’t matter if you’re throwing it on your new $500 rod, or fish scale print reel, or in the newest wading shoes.
If your fly doesn’t fish, the fish won’t eat it.
That being said, a fly is only as good as its presentation. Your fly might be the best-looking, most lifelike imitation ever tied. It might perfectly match the hatch, down to the exact shade and color; however, it's only as good as the angler throwing it.
My aim is to give you some perspective on how I fish a streamer and why, hopefully increasing the effectiveness of the flies already in your box.
We've all heard it!
"Orange is the new black," or "purple is the new black," or even that olive would be the new black.
Don't get me wrong – I know there are a lot of colors that are really effective in different types of flies. I love throwing white deceivers to snappers and other saltwater species, and big olive flies to pike, not to mention fishing a banana-colored zonker for salmon or a big gray articulated streamer for trout.
There are so many colors that are important when it comes to flies and fly tying, but none more important than black. Continue reading
by Ben Rogers
Winter can put a damper on even the most avid angler’s day. As a Caribbean guy, I know this better than anyone.
However, if you put in the little extra effort to get out of your cozy bed and head to your nearest trout stream, you could quite possibly have one of your best days on the water.
True, fish get sluggish with cold temperatures. The slowing of their metabolisms causes them to feed less than in the warmer months.
There's one exception to this rule: post-spawn trout expended a lot of calories when they were spawning, and, once rested, they put back on the feed bag they had in pre-spawn.
This time can vary based on your geographic area, so scout and keep notes of the spawn times. Usually within a few weeks these fish are well-rested and start to feed to retain a healthy weight through the rest of winter.
by Steve Dally
Big streamer fly fishing often gets labelled as a young person’s game – all brawn and no subtlety, just “banging the banks.”
Real streamer fishing is visual – from the dance of the fly to the buttery flash of a drive-by – and intellectual – requiring analysis of the flow of current around and over structure to find the honeypots.
Streamer fishing, particularly when the flies are 6” and bigger, is mentally and physically challenging, requiring fast-twitch decision-making and slow-twitch endurance.
Knowing your game, as well as the fish's, is way more important than a booming cast and no brains.
If you want to streamer fish longer and better, here's how.
by Brandon Bailes
I often struggle with deciding on which type of water I want to fish, whether it's big water with big flies and sinking lines, or small streams with downsized offerings. Both can be very rewarding but there’s something special about small streams and exploring where smaller predatory fish can live.
My definition of a small stream, warmwater or coldwater, is a watershed that is at the max 25 feet wide and a deep pool from 4 to 5 feet deep. Where I live this even includes a few tailwaters, which when generating are not navigable by boat.
These types of waters contain more than just bugs for fish to feed on. After many years of exploring these little gems and talking with other small stream fanatics, I've come up with my own way to target the meat-eaters in these waters with downsized streamers.
by Andrew Loffredo
Streamer fishing is one of the most visual and exciting ways to fish for trout!
As a former member of the U.S. Youth Fly Fishing Team, I picked up some streamer tricks that are useful for both new and experienced anglers.
Here are 3 tips to consider when you’re “hucking meat” this fall.
by Tim Savarese
Imagine being out on the water consistently catching a ton of fish and having a blast doing it. That's the best way I can describe Czech nymphing.
It's not just an exciting way to fish – it's also extremely productive. Subaquatic bugs make up around 90% of the trout's diet. Most of those bugs are near or on the bottom, so that's where your flies need to be to catch fish.
Here are the main things I keep in mind when Czech nymphing.