CJ’s flies mixing styles

I have grown to live with things as they are. I’m the type who doesn’t deviate from the standard. I used to mix it up a lot as a younger man, always tinkering with things to change them, most of the time with subpar results. My father told me, “They make it like that because it works.” When I took up fly tying, I went with my adult philosophy on the patterns I tie: read the dressing, tie the fly. No need to alter them much—maybe a different shade of hackle or body color, but for the most part, when you look at one of my flies, there is no argument as to what it is. In a nutshell, I guess that I am not a pattern designer.

However, I am happy that others are, and I never tire of reading about or seeing the “new” patterns that people think up and, better yet, use with success. Let’s face it, there are thousands of “new” patterns tied every year. Some are variations on a standard and some are totally different. And sometimes someone takes two standard patterns and morphs them together to make something different, yet familiar.

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“Dry-Fly Hackle: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been” by John Merola

My odyssey through the land of dry-fly hackle started around 1970. I had become a member of the Southern New York Sportsmen’s Association and entered their essay contest for youth members. I guess I was a better writer back then, since I found myself headed to Camp DeBruce Environmental Education Camp in the Catskills on…

CJ’s flies caddis flies the other trout food

“I never paid much attention to caddisflies in my fledgling years of fishing and tying flies. All my efforts were focused on mayflies, Art Flick’s Streamside Guide, and tying with wood duck flank feathers.

I was aware of caddises, even saw them often enough while fishing, but never considered them a viable source of trout food.

All this changed one afternoon when I was heading back to Pennsylvania after a morning in the Catskills opening up our summer house.

Messing with a Classic: The Rough Gordon

Taken from the October 2011 Catskill Fly Tyers Gazette Messing with a Classic: The Rough Gordon by Niklas Dahlin “Theodore Gordon’s Gordon Quill, probably better known as the Quill Gordon, is one of my absolute favorites, both to tie and to fish, and both are equally important to me. I especially use it during our…