The Skitter Caddis

By Nick Simonson While fishing in the mountains of Norway, everything felt so basic.  From the small matchbox of flies my buddy Einar packed for me, to the wood cup used to scoop water from the hillside springs, simplicity equaled success.  Aside from a handful of synthetic winged silver flies for grayling, everything we threw…

50 Pheasant Flies: Matukabou

By Nick Simonson Remember the early days of American Idol?  No?  Still trying to forget I guess.  One Season Six competitor was tough to push out of most viewers’ minds, not for his voice, but more so for his hair – and his name was Sanjaya.  Sanjaya popularized what came to be known as the…

Tying In-Line Flashabou Muskie Spinners (Part 1)

By Nick Simonson The heat of August means active fish, and muskies are on the move as summer transitions to fall.  One of the most popular baits to be flung after the fish of 10,000 casts is a large in-line flashabou spinner of 10 to 12 inches in length with big double blades in size…

50 Pheasant Flies: The Carey Special

By Nick Simonson Here’s a cure for the summertime blues, tie up a dozen Carey Specials for a great all-around fly that is perfect for bluegills, crappies, rock bass and more, and because it is made with those cool-looking church window pheasant feathers from up around the shoulders of a rooster, you get a simple…

The Mini Cricket

By Nick Simonson The season of large grasshoppers and crickets truly doesn’t kick off for another month or so and those big juicy jumpers of two inches or more are just starting off as little bitty bugs right now.  That doesn’t mean a fast bite can’t happen for panfish and trout as smaller hoppers and…

The Marabou Burner

By Nick Simonson With the muskie opener at hand just to the east in Minnesota and established lakes like New Johns already going strong for the fish of 10,000 casts in North Dakota, anglers are all set for a summer of big fish action.  In just a short time, as angling pressure has risen for…

The Woolly Bugger

By Nick Simonson No matter where, no matter what is being fished for, no matter the season, the woolly bugger is a pattern no fly angler should be without in a variety of sizes, colors and variations.  From a simple forward-and-back of chenille, hackle and wire to a more intricate model adorned with beads, legs,…

Bunny Leech

By Nick Simonson Looking for another beefy pattern to throw to those hungry springtime pike or a succulent streamer to slap in front of a prespawn bass?  Look no further than this week’s fly.  The bunny leech is so easy to tie and so effective to fish that Minnesota has outlawed it.  Just kidding, but…

The Seaducer

By Nick Simonson Springtime is pike time.  When the first ice begins to crack and recede, and the waters start flowing in just a few short weeks, pike will be there to meet any lure flung in their direction. Bulky plastic bodies on pink jig heads, the flash of a Daredevle spoon, and this week’s…

50 Pheasant Flies: Cone Head Marabou Streamer

By Nick Simonson Alright, it’s time for some meat; big honkin’ flies for big honkin’ fish, right?  Hungry nighttime brown trout, aggressive prespawn smallmouth, anything with an appetite for destruction this spring will be looking for something more than the diminutive nymphs and dries tied up so far this winter. Now’s the time to bulk…

50 Pheasant Flies: The Lightning Bug

By Nick Simonson Are you looking to electrify the fish in your waters?  Well the second-best way, after an electroshock survey (and certainly the best legal way for an angler), is the Lightning Bug.  While the name might make you think of fireflies dancing in the air on a humid summer evening, this little gem…

The Stimulator

By Nick Simonson For a fun, and somewhat ornate fly that’s still easy to tie and exciting to fish, it’s tough to beat the Stimulator.  Designed to float high and dry in the fastest of Montana’s streams, this pattern was originally fashioned to simulate an adult stonefly, but in yellows and greens it can do…