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

Joe Humphreys | Nymphing Techniques

The spring can be a challenging time for Trout fishing in Michigan. Temperatures are variable, and the spring rains add to the difficulty,  causing a significant variation in water depths. This time of year can also vary in what you need to use to catch the trout. On warm days you may find an exceptional hatch of Bluewing Olives or another early hatch. Then on another day, you may need to fish deep. These are the colder days or when the water levels are high as the trout often hugging the bottom of the river during these times.

When water levels are variable, I have learned to master the skill of Nymphing and have found this a very successful technique. In this video, Joe Humphery, often called a legend in the flyfishing world, demonstrates the art of nymphing. So sit back, grab your favorite beverage, and learn from a professional!


Brown Trout Caught Nymphing

Rigging for Chuck & Duck

The day was cold, and the wind was a fierce howl moving down the river, chilling my boat mate and me. It was becoming frustrating as I swung my fly and it landed only inches from the boat, blowing closer to me each time. I watched my friend pull her line in and begin to change the rig on her line. Curiously, I asked her what she was doing – this was my introduction to “Chuck and Duck.”
In this article, I am going to go through the basics of Chuck and Duck, line set up and share when this method works best.

So what is Chuck and Duck you may be asking? It was first introduced in the early 1970s by a Fly Fisherman – Ray Smidt – a well know guide in the state of Michigan. It can be called bottom bouncing, dead drift, or the name that I learned Chuck and Duck. 

This method is very effective for catching steelhead – especially on the cold, windy day, as I had experienced. This type of day will be when the steelhead are often lying in the deeper holes or along the edges of drop-offs. The rig used for this method is set up different than traditional fly fishing. It involves a heavyweight that will allow the line to sink rapidly to the bottom – the video by Brain from The Northern Angler Fly Shop shows how to set your line up – so I will not explain this now. 
To cast this line, start by striping as much line as you think you will need. It is easiest if you coil the extra line loosely into your hand. This will lessen the tangling of the line. Then with the rig dangling at the tip of your rod, “Chuck it ” toward the target. It is lobbed as if you were attempting to land the weight into a basket. After the cast, it is then fished as usual. You will feel the weight bouncing off the bottom of the river. Be alert if you feel any tug, a stop, or anything different set the hook – remember hook sets are free. I have landed several trophy fish with this method – so give it a try and let me know if it is an effective way for you too.