Category Archives: Favorite Patterns

The Moose Knuckle routinely attends fly tying courses with commercial tiers. The patters we learn will be featured from time to time on this blog along with links to the original pattern creators. If the team is traveling around and notices a previously unknown to us pattern we will feature it. Here you will see updates of new patterns, hot flys and all the info you need to land a hog.

Mother’s Day Shad

Those of you who have followed this blog for a few years will recall that hooking a Shad on the fly has been one of my goals for a few years. Rewinding to 2014, I missed some Hickory Shad on the fly but was unable to land one. I did not attempt to shad fish in 2015 or 2016 due to time constraints and/or work commitments along with the low water levels that made for a poor season. Early 2017 has progressed and the drought has lifted from the Delaware River watershed. This weekend after having Mother’s Day events with the family, I found some time to check the Shad Reports. It was clear to me based on the reports that I should go out and try for some shad on the fly.

My first American Shad and first Shad Fly Fishing!

Fly Gear

I had previously acquired the proper gear for Shad Fly Fishing prior to my earlier Fly Fishing adventures therefore, I had all the necessary equipment and some flies tied up on deck ready to go. I used my St. Croix 7WT Bankrobber Streamer Rod strung up with Rio Sink Tip line and a 8LB test Bass tippet material. As for a fly, I used something called Al’s Shad Fly #4. This consists of a size four or six hook, dumbbell eyes, yellow hackle, yellow hackle tail, yellow yarn and silver tinsel. I also tried out some others but this seemed to get the most attention.

My version of Al’s Shad Fly #4

Where to Look

Using the Fly Rod puts you at a slight disadvantage to a spin fisherman when seeking Shad. On the Delaware, through Warren County, where I typically fish for Smallmouth in the summer there are no major dams for the Shad to “stack up” like they do in Deer Creek, Maryland. Therefore, you must seek out pools downstream of major runs or those created by tributaries. Swinging the fly into slower water pools on the side of fast water or before a major obstacle in the river should yield results.

With some luck, they will still be in the river next weekend an I’ll find some time to target the Shad in between the guide trips I will be running.

Simple Stone

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I like to fish pretty aggressively.  I have little regard for the safety of my flies while I am casting them into some tight spots.  With this in mind, I don’t want to worry about losing a fly that took ten minutes to tie up.  I need flies that are quick and easy, but will also catch fish.  I came up with this pattern two years ago while I was in Telluride, CO for the winter.  I was walking a stretch of the San Miguel River and noticed a strong presence of small black winter stoneflies crawling through the snow.  After I tied up some up simple stones, it was my most productive fly for the rest of the time I was in Telluride.  It worked great in Steamboat Springs, CO this year.  The simple stone uses minimal materials and takes no time to tie up.  I tied up a weighted version below; however, I also use un-weighted simple stones as well.  Give it a go, and mix and match colors to satisfy your local stonefly hatch.

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Recipe:

Hook: 12-16 1x Long Nymph

Weight: .025 Round Lead Wire

Thread: Black

Legs:  Black Goose Biots

Body: Black Superfine Dubbing

Step 1:

Take around 10 wraps of lead wire around the front third of the fly.  Secure the lead wire with thread wraps.

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Step 2:

Work your thread to the back of the hook shank, and tie in your first set of goose biots.  Make sure the goose biots cup away from each other.

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Step 3:

Apply dubbing and work your thread to just behind the lead wire base.

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Step 4:

Tie in your next set of goose biots, cupped away from each other.

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Step 5:

Apply dubbing to the thorax portion of the fly.  I use a little more dubbing to build up the body.

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Step 6:

Tie in your final set of goose biots, trim the excess, and whip finish.  That’s it!

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He wanted the stone
Simple Stone on the nose

Vladi Worm

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I am big believer of throwing flies that are different from what everyone else is throwing. Fish are wise and will educate themselves to a size 14 Adams quickly. Well, the Vladi Worm is a completely different and unique fly. It was founded in Poland by Vladi Trzebunia, who 20 years ago compiled more points in the World Fly Fishing Championships then three national teams combined. Vladi has tutored many famous American fly fishermen, such as Jackson Hole’s Jack Dennis, as well as many American national fly-fishing teams.

About three years ago, anytime I would fish, I would rig this fly up. As I have gotten away from tight line nymphing, this fly has taken a back seat in my fly box. I don’t think I even tied the Vladi Worm onto the end of my line all of last year. That all changed about a two weeks ago when Zach and I hit up the West Branch of the Ausable during very high water. My first choice was for streamers but the high water and tight pockets kept leading to missed swipes from the trout. I needed to get down the water column very quickly. The correct choice was for tight line nymphing. I re-rigged, tied on Vladi Worm as my anchor fly, and crushed it while many other anglers watched in frustration. The Vladi Worm will catch trout anywhere, period. If you fly fish for pure numbers, then this fly should be your go to fly. The Vladi Worm is heavily weighted and designed for short casts with little to no false casting. The fly rides hook point up, bounces of any rock or obstruction, and will rarely get caught up. This is one of my confidence flies that I know will catch trout anywhere, and I will always have a few in my fly box.

Recipe

Hook: Daichi 1870 Swimming Larva Size 6

Weight: .025 Round Lead Wire

Thread: Pink 210 Danville

Ribbing: 4x Monofilament

Flash: Pearl Magic Shrimp Foil

Body: Pink Crown Latex Condom

Step 1:

Place hook into your vice and wrap two layers of lead wire at the back hook bend.

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Step 2:

Start your thread at the front of the hook and continue to wrap over all the lead wire so that there is a nice thread layer down.

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Step 3:

Tie in your monofilament, shrimp foil, and latex material.  When working with the condom, start with one condom and then cut it in half.  Take one of those halves and cut it in half again.  You can use one condom to make four Vladi Worms.

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Step 4:

Take you tying thread to the front of the hook.  Begin wrapping your latex up to the front of the hook.  When you get there, take two thread wraps around the latex.  Then wrap the latex all the way to the back of the hook again.

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Step 5:

Pull your shrimp foil forward and secure at the the fron of the hook.

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Step 6:

Wrap the latex material back to the front of the hook one last time, covering the shrimp foil.  Secure latex at the front of the hook.  Cut off excess, latex and shrimp foil.

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Step 7:

Take your monofilament and begin wrapping the ribbing all the way to the front of the hook.  Try and pull pretty tight on the mono to create the ribbing effect.  Secure at front, clip excess, and take a few whip finishes to finish!

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Jess's first trout from about 3 years ago off of a Vladi Worm
Jess’s first trout from about 3 years ago off of a Vladi Worm