Tying “Junk” Flies for High Water Conditions: Four Simple Nymph Patterns

Waist deep in water that was pulling and tiring my legs, I began to wonder if fishing today was a good idea. The water was high, and the bite was terrible as I changed my fly for the sixth time that day. Peering into my box, I thought what is radical in my box – in my mind; I figured this was my last shot for the day. After a minute, I pulled out a Wet Skunk, a fly designed by Earl Masen of Grayling, Michigan. I threw my line up toward a log allowing it to sink in the water. Bam – my first hit struck immediately. Within a short time, I had landed four trout – another successful day. This video shows you how to tie three flies – The squirmy Worm, An Egg Pattern, and The Mop Fly – all good Flies for higher water conditions and overcast days. I have also included instructions on the Wet Skunk, my personal favorite for these water conditions. So when the fish are not biting, water is high, and the day is overcast try one of these flies – you may find a successful day on the water.


                                                           ➥➥    Wet Skunk Pattern

Steelhead 101- Fly’s You Must have in Your Box

Steelhead travel from the Great Lakes into the streams and rivers from late October until early May. The fish that arrive in October will overwinter in the rivers until spring when they spawn before returning to the Great Likes. The October steelhead is the first to spawn on beds of fine gravel often in March. The spring run steelhead will follow in April before making their journey back to the Great Lakes – this pattern will continue many times until the steelhead dies.

So what are they eating during these times? The October steelhead is on fire as they arrive into the rivers. This can make for some exciting fishing with burning drags and jumping as you work to land this fantastic fish. They are eating voraciously, getting ready to winter in the river. The fish feed heavily on the Chinook and King Salmon eggs that are spawning in the fall. They also feed on the aquatic life in the river and will even turn onto a shrimp looking pattern – something they were familiar in the depths of the Great Lakes.

Spring Steelhead, while focused on spawning, will gobble up an egg pattern of the right color, or a stonefly floating past them. This is an exciting time to fish, and many steelhead fishers look forward to the spring steelhead.

Conditions during both times of year play a huge role in what will be effective. In higher, cloudy water, your selection should be large, bright, contrasting, and can be unnatural – you are just catching the attention of the fish. Whereas the opposite is true in clear, low waters – the color selection must be as close to natural as possible. This varies from river to river.


                                           The top five flies that I always keep in my box are :

                                                   Hex Nymphs
                                                Steelhead wooly bugger in various colors
                                                Egg Patterns in various colors
                                                Stonefly in various sizes



                                                                              Clown Egg Pattern

An interesting list of:
Spring Steelhead Flies

It’s Cold Out There – Fly Tying the Gurgler

   Michigan remains cold, freezing temps, snow, ice storms we have had it all!  Rivers are running high – the Rogue River is at stage six, and with snow melts will probably enter into flood stages. So,  it is still in the dreaming stage for fly fishing – it is an excellent time for educational events or tying flies.  I spent the last few days doing just that.  “52 Months on the Muskegon River” presented by Kevin Feenstra was one of the events I attended. It turned out to be an impressive presentation – I highly recommend it. This presentation included Kevin’s photography of life on the river, along with great information on flies to use for the various seasons.  My time is also spent at my vise – Long days have been spent filling my fly box – streamers for spring, summer and fall, wet skunks, stoneflies and several of my favorite Bass or warm water gurgler flies.
One of several Bass caught on a White Gurgler
My Favorite Warm Water Fly

How to Make a Gurgler

Some Gurgler Action