Here are some of our favorite flies
New Tying Video
Recently I had a chance to work on some videos of my favorite flies with Tight Lines fly shop. Here are the first couple, The Superior X-legs and the Borger Leech. These are my go to patterns for Steelhead! I hope you find these helpful!
Dave Pinczkowski’s “Eat a Peach Leech
The “Eat a Peach Leech” was introduced to me by its creator Dave Pinczkowski. One of the things I love about it is its simplicity. Couple that with the fact that Dave is one of the top Steelheaders anywhere, and I immediately made room in my box for this fly.
Hook: Daiichi 2461 size 1/0
Body: 3 clumps of Craft Fur Reverse tied, starting about 1/2 down the hook shank
add Flashabou or wing flash between the 2nd and 3rd layers of Craft Fur
Head: your choice of “Glow Bug” yarn color.
One of the great things about this fly (beside the fact that it works really good) is that even for a large fly, it casts very easily and lands extraordinarily gently. Tie it in a variety of colors and you’ll be happy you added this fly to your arsenal!
The “Burnt” Wulff
The Burnt Wulff is an old Brule River variation of Lee Wulff’s classic Royal Wulff. This pattern is a reliable producer all season long on the Upper Brule. I have absolutely no idea what the Brule’s trout think it is, other than delicious!! I tie it in sizes 8 through 16 and always have a few in my box!
Hook: TMC 101 (size 8 – 16)
Tail: Moose mane
Body: Peacock Herl with a Burnt Orange floss or thread band
Wings: Burnt Orange Calf Body Hair
Hackle: Brown died Grizzly
Fish this Fly tight to over hanging cover. cast it, let it set several seconds, give it an ever so slight “twitch”, let it set, repeat. #Bruleriver #brooktrout #flybynightguideservice
The Pass Lake
When most people think of the Brule River, the Pass Lake usually come to mind soon afterwards. There are countless variations of this fly, but I’ll give you the one I tie. I’m not claiming any originality on this variation, as I am sure I’m not the 1st to tie it this way. If I had one pattern to fish during the summer trout fishing on the Brule, this would be it!
Tail: Golden Pheasant Crest
Body: Peacock herl
Rib: Gold wire
Wing: White calf tail (substitute with Polar Bear to really make this fly shine)
Hackle: Brown hen
Another one of my favorites from the Upper Brule. This fly imitates the large caddis larva found clinging to the large boulders between Stone’s Bridge and Big Lake. I do not know what species it is, or when it hatches as I have never seen the adults. I suspect it may be after the season closes that the adults show up. None the less, the Brule’s trout love this fly!
Hook: Size 10 TMC 200R
Body: Pink floss with clear vinyl “D” rib over the top. Palmered with white Ostrich herl. To add durability to the fly, use a dubbing loop on the ostrich.
Hackle: Hungarian partridge.
Head: Peacock herl.
This fly works best for me in the slow water, cast up against the bank and retrieved back in a short jerky motion, but has also been effective swung in the riffles and dead drifted in some of the deeper holes.
The Flashabou Leech
The Flashabou leech is one of my very favorite Brook Trout flies. when all else fails this is often my choice. This pattern is deadly on the Upper Brule, and is a must have for the spring ponds in northern Wisconsin!
Hook: TMC 5262 Size 10 or 12
Tail: Black Marabou
Body: 2 to 3 strands of Peacock herl
Rib: single strand of pearlescent Flashabou
Hackle: 2 to 3 strands of ostrich herl (twist into a dubbing loop to make more durable)
I generally wrap about 20 wraps of .015 lead wire along the hook shank to help get the fly down a bit. I will also mix some natural turkey or pheasant marabou in with the black for the tail and occasionally add a couple of wraps of Hungarian partridge as a collar.
The Hopper Buck
In keeping with the theme of “Classic” Brule River Flies, this weeks offering in a pattern called the “Hopper Buck”. Although I’m not entirely sure about its origins, I believe it was offered by the Webber Fly Company out of Stevens Point WI. Regardless of where it first came from, this fly is a “must have” in my fly box, especially in June.
Hook: Tiemco 200r size 8
Tail: Brown hen hackle
Body: Cream or yellow dubbing
Rib: Gold wire
Wing: Mallard Flank
Hackle: Brown hen
I believe this fly is most likely taken as a hex nymph. I tie them in both weighted and unweighted versions. I guess it doesn’t matter what the the trout take them as, as long as they take them!
With all the history and tradition of the Brule River, learning, tying and fishing “traditional” Brule flies have become an important part of the experience for me. This fly is mentioned many times in A.T. Holbrook’s book, “From the Log of a Trout Fisherman”. This fly really just made it into my box this past season, but it didn’t take me long to figure out why this was one of A.T.’s favorite Brule flies!
Hook: size 8 to 14 wet fly
Tail: Red hackle fibers
Body: yellow floss
Rib: Flat silver tinsel
Wing: Mallard flank
Hackle: Brown Hen
The Dry Fly Version:
The Borger Leech
The Borger Leech has been a long time favorite, and the inspiration for the “Furburger”. I first started fishing this pattern on the Nipigon River and other Ontario Tributaries for Coaster Brook Trout. More recently, this pattern has become one of my “go to” flies for swinging Steelhead on the Bois Brule River. For this application, I tie it un-weighted and use the Rio MOW tips coupled with a Rio Skagit Short, to get the fly down. I feel the lack of weight allows the fly to swim better. This pattern can be tied in just about any combination of colors you like, though natural tans and grays have produced my best results on the Brule.
Hook: 4XL 2XH Streamer Hook
Wing: Magnum Rabbit Strip tied Matuka style
Tail: Contrasting marabou
Body: Dubbing or chenille
Collar: Pheasant Rump feather.
The Superior X-legs and it many variations have been one of the most popular flies for Steelhead on the Brule and surrounding rivers over the past several years, and for good reason. THEY WORK!!! I have caught fish on this fly on just about all of our local rivers and quite a few non- local waters, including the Yellowstone, Madison, Snake, Deschutes and others. It’ an easy pattern to tie, and probably one of the most effective all around nymphs I have used. Originally developed by Duluth fly tier Jim Pollock it has morphed into countless varieties including but not limited to: The Copper-X, Magnum-X, Royal-X, Latex-X and many, many more.
Hook: Mustad 9671 #8
Tail: Grizzly Brown Marabou
Abdomen: Kaufman’s Brown Stone Fly Dubbing
Thorax: Kaufman’s Brown Stone Fly Dubbing
Rib: Medium Copper Ultra-wire
Legs: Medium Brown w/Orange Flake Sili-legs
The Furburger is a streamer I started tying about five years ago for the big rivers of Montana. Since, it has been used by me and friends everywhere from the Arctic Circle to Patagonia with pretty good success! The original was tied in yellow and brown and is still the color combo I use most, but other combinations certainly have their place in my fly box.
Hook: #4 Tiemco 5263
Tail: Brown Marabou
Body: Yellow Furry Foam—Split and cut into a ¼” strip and palmered
Rib: Medium Copper Ultra Wire—used to hold down the wing
Wing: Natural Mink strip tied Matuka Style
Collar: Natural Mink Strip—Palmered
Hackle: Yellow Died Guinea Fowl
Try some different color combos, but it’s the Mink that makes it a Furburger!