Stonefly exoskeletons  (order: Plecoptera) found near a french Pyrenean river. it’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly but i believe them to be of the Leuctra ariega species even if they seem to be a bit too big for that particular bug.
whatever they are they’re beautiful and i know the trouts like them too…


the Quigley Cripple

photo and video by Hans Weilenmann

here’s an ingenious pattern designed by just recently passed away Bob Quigley.
it’s a half-in half out-out imitation of a crippled mayfly dun trapped in the surface with it’s two halves definitely secured in their position on the water’s surface due to each part’s respective materials.
tail and abdomen are made of the same marabou feather, soaking up water and as such, the tail will wiggle freely with the current further enhancing the ‘struggling’ aspect of the trapped mayfly. on the front end we have two high floating materials: cock hackle and deer hair. the hackle will vibrate slightly with the current and once again give this imitation a strong impression of life.

this fly has served me well throughout the years although i prefer the Tiemco 200R or Hayabusa ‘Living Larva’ hooks of the same form. i haven’t tried the Umpqua U204 but it’s open gape doesn’t install confidence, specially with a crushed barb.
a little tip for fishing it is to wet the tail/abdomen feather with water before the first cast so it settles underwater right away. also, depending on the current’s speed i’ll apply floatant differently. with fast water the whole hackle/hair part gets a good amount of floatant, on calmer waters just the top and i’ll rub the lower hackle with water or even a little tippet degreaser to help sink the ‘legs’.
as always, tie them up in different sizes and colors to match what’s coming off where you’re fishing.

another great tutorial from Hans i hope you’ll enjoy !

Hextic ?

Hexagenia (Hex) (i think…)
Drowned (i know)

interestingly enough, Hex’s and other mayflies we commonly consider to have only two tails, actually have three.
the third is a little stub as seen on no. 5.

two, three or fifteen tails, alive or dead, it’s still an amazingly freaky, beautiful and complex creature.

not imitations

photos by Mårten Lindhé

what i’m noticing more and more are fly tiers focussing on imitating other fly tier’s imitations rather than the naturals. true, very effective fishing flies don’t necessarily have to have a lot of detail and many, many of these effective flies don’t really look at all like their model… but i kind of see this situation similar to when a story gets passed on from word of mouth: it always gets transformed at each telling and often to the point where the end has little to do with the beginning. anyhow, here’s not only some eye candy but hopefully a little food for thought.

Baetidae from above and below –

Rhyacophila larva from the top –

and from the side –

Hydropsyche-larva side view and from above –

Leptophlebia marginata –

Leptophlebia marginata spent –

be sure to visit Mårten’s site for more awesome images. enjoy !


well, they’re small enough to be really hard to see and easily trip over…

anyway, whatever they are, there’s more and more of them in a lot of trout waters around the globe as the typical caddis, mayflies and stoneflies are having a hard time with mankind and what we’re doing to the aquatic systems. midges thrive just about everywhere at just about anytime of the year and in some areas, become the primary food source for salmonids and other bug eating species.

today’s film is chapter five of the seminal documentary ‘Bugs of the Underworld’ by Lisa and Ralph Cutter. yes, a lot of you have heard about it for years but it’s still a reference and an amazing film every freshwater fisher should own and study because we get to see how the bugs we try so hard to imitate look and behave in real life and not how some fly tier steeped in someone else’s tradition decided they should look.
we’ll also notice that the highly sought after ‘dead-drift’ might not always be in sync with what the real bugs are doing. in short, most bugs are a lot more alive than our stuffy imitations.

there are trillions of nice midge imitations out and about but here are a few recent ties that caught my eye.

Tim Barker
KG’s Fullback/Foamback Midge…Glissmeyer/Variant…Chocolate, #18-#22

Andy Baird

(Andy gets bonus points for the name !)

Al’s Rat midge pupae by Tightline Productions

and just in case you’re one of those flat-earther, keds wearing, climate change denying, bamboo shwooshing mayfly dryfly-only  purist types, here’s proof that trout are already drastically changing their feeding habits…