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tbiii 10-29-2011 09:17 PM

Trying to find a few resources...
Hey folks,

Every now and again I get seized with some curiosity. Right now it's classic western flies. Anyone know any good resources- books, websites, whatever...that cover the traditional patterns of the western US?


peregrines 10-31-2011 10:24 AM

Re: Trying to find a few resources...

I'm not aware of a book that lists just traditional Western flies-- I have one called Trout Flies of the West by Jim Schollmeyer and Ted Leeson
that has a variety of patterns, including some traditional patterns but a lot of newer patterns as well, some "new patterns" that are listed seem mostly to be relatively minor tweaks of existing patterns.

There's a website called Western Trout Flies
that may be closer to what you're looking for, with examples of flies tied by some of the legends like Jack Boehme (Pickett Pin) Franz Pott ( flies tied with Potts weave) , Al Troth (Elk Hair Caddis) and others.

What you may want to do is start a separate thread asking folks here to list traditional western flies (but you may want to define "traditional" if you're looking to exclude new patterns past a certain date).

For example, when I think of traditional Western Patterns I think of stuff that might be old patterns but still widely available in shops like:
Elk Hair Caddis
Sofa Pillow
Clark's Stone
Goofus Bug/Humpy
Kaufmann's Stonefly Nymph
Girdle Bug
Dark and Light Spruce

But that might exclude more contemporary patterns like Rene Harrop's Hairwing Dun, or Craig Mathew's X Caddis and Sparkle Dun, and older patterns that are not widely available, so to some extent "traditional" is in the eye of the beholder.

We have a lot of very knowledgeable Western tyers on the forum so I bet you could get a pretty decent list of patterns from folks here.

stimmy7 10-31-2011 10:34 AM

Re: Trying to find a few resources...
Dave Hughes has a variety of great books on Western Flies, especially "The Complete Book of Western Hatches: An Angler's Entomology and Fly Pattern Field Guide" to learn the insects and "Trout Flies: The Tier's Reference" for patterns and instructions.

If you want Western classics (from the Pacific Northwest) look for a copy of Roy A. Patrick's "Pacific Northwest flies" published in 1966 this was the first book I owned- it's a little light on instruction but the materials are listed in order of application.

Another old but VERY CHEAP book I'll recommend is the "Noll Guide to Tying Flies" published in 1970 another one I cut my teeth on.

And if you're looking for TRUE classic old-time Western Flies, you can't beat Polly Rosborough's "Tying and Fishing the Fuzzy Nymphs", published in 1969. I was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon and evening tying with Polly.

Kaufmann's "Tying Dry Flies" and "Fly Tyer's Nymph Manual" are excellent sources

tbiii 10-31-2011 11:24 AM

Re: Trying to find a few resources...
Thanks guys, this ought to help quite a bit!

kglissmeyer1 10-31-2011 11:53 AM

Re: Trying to find a few resources...
My good friend, mentor and fly tyer, Bruce Staples has authored several books on western flies which contain numerous wets and such. Here is a link to Amazon where they are currently available: bruce staples: Books


oarfish 10-31-2011 01:04 PM

Re: Trying to find a few resources...
Jack Dennisís Western Trout Fly Tying Manual. Itís still in print and over all a good manual.


stimmy7 10-31-2011 01:32 PM

Re: Trying to find a few resources...
Can't believe I left Jack's book/videos out of my list! I guess in part it depends on how "West" you're talking about... A lot of Jack's patterns are more Wyoming/Montana-ish, big water West stuff.

When I think West, I think Sierra Nevadas and Siskyous, Oregon Flats and Crater Lake area, Idaho Couer d'Alene areas... more plunge pools and freestone fishing. Granted, there's Steelhead and Salmon water in CA, OR and WA too... and there is big water like the Upper Sac, Smith and Klamath, but that wasn't where I was aiming when I put out my list.

oarfish 10-31-2011 03:07 PM

Re: Trying to find a few resources...
Your list is a great one and thanks, I just bought Pacific Northwest flies due to your post, Jack does cover all the basics of the classic western fly patterns that could be adapted to most anywhere they call western. Could never understand why parts of California are not included in Pacific Northwest.


Ard 10-31-2011 06:00 PM

Re: Trying to find a few resources...
If you have a hankering for some old streamer and wet fly patterns see if your local library has a copy of 'Streamers & Bucktails the Big Fish Flies' by Joseph D. Bates. I say check the library so that if they have it you can determine whether this would suffice for some unique stuff. There is a Western Section and this is where I first found pattern info for flies like The Rail Bird, Dr. Mummy, Canadian Killer and The Western Doctor. All are effective streamer patterns and they are different than the more popular contemporary / modern ties that many fisherman are carrying. I am a subscriber to the idea of showing a fish something it has never seen before as being a major contributor to my own success.


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