Gilligan Swap - Swap closed, flies mailed


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Camillus, NY
Thanks for the great pictures Dave! Love to know how you photo shopped mine to make them look good! ;) I'll have to get to Simm's Store and try these out.

Thanks again everyone for making this such a fine swap!


Oh, and BTW, the NBC Swap is now on the books. I got Ard's permission to run this swap using feathers/quills from peacock/peahen. Oh, and if you haven't figured it out - NBC = the NBC TV logo, the peacock!


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Sandy, UT
Just returned from MINExpo in Las Vegas (yes, a live in-person trade show) and found an envelope waiting for me with all these fabulous flies inside – along with a few surprises! Ties look great… some interesting ideas… and thank you Kim for (once again) going above and beyond in hosting this swap.

I wanted to talk about the Stillwater Bug that I contributed… as the name suggests, this is a stillwater trout pattern developed by the legendary NW angler Denny Rickards. Not to say that it won’t be effective in flowing waters, or on other species… just some insight on where/who/how it was conceived. Denny suggests using this fly when trout are most active (water temps in the 50s – 60s) and early mornings when the biggun’s are on the prowl. I have found this pattern to be incredibly effective on our local reservoirs here in Utah and it is almost always the first fly to see action as the light comes up.
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I fish it on a floating line with 12ft leader (2X – 3X tippet) targeting shoreline cover and drop-offs. Don’t overlook the shallows… I have stung numerous big Cutt’s and Rainbows from 1-2 feet of water when they are corralling minnows or fish fry against the shoreline. A lot of the lakes and reservoirs in the west have Red-sided Shiners and I really like this pattern for imitating them. Changing up your retrieve until you hit the “combo of the day” is always a good idea, but more often than not a standard (10–20-inch) strip > pause (2-3-4) > repeat will get the job done. The fly has 10 wraps of weight behind the head which imparts a dipsy-darting action on the retrieve (very “leech-like”). Fish tend to smash it just as you start the next strip.
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Denny Rickards is a generalist when it comes to pattern design. His philosophy is that trout – especially BIG trout – are opportunists and will take a well-presented fly when feeding, even if not matching the hatch. His flies incorporate multiple triggers and tend to look like a little bit of everything, and not specifically like anything. I have found this to be quite accurate and carry many of Denny’s patterns in my fly boxes. In the case of the Stillwater Bug, in my experience this fly dupe’s trout from first light and throughout the morning, even as the trout switch onto emerging insects and larger nymphs (dragons and damsels).

Give it try and let me know how it works out.

Tight lines!
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