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Top Ten flies for stillwater

Stillwater fishing, anglers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Jon Baiocchi, fly fishing

By Jon Baiocchi
05/24/13 -- Stillwater fishing has progressed at a rapid pace in the last decade. Techniques, rods, lines, and even the players on the field have gone in different directions to hone their craft. It has almost become personal now, the way we want to present our offering to the fish in our own special style.

Stillwater anglers should have many individual skills in their approach to the fertile waters at hand. Think of these skills like tools in a carpenter’s belt, each tool with a specific purpose in mind. Indicators, sinking lines, floaters, drop lining, and the dry game all rely on one key element; flies.

I’ve compiled an essential list of flies that every Stillwater technician should not be without. These flies are for trout, some are old, and others are standards. Then there are the ones that cross the line and take it too far like my “Baiocchi” ties with a special twist. Welcome to the staircase of progression in stillwater fly tying.

1) The Sheep Creek Special

Stillwater fishing, anglers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Jon Baiocchi, fly fishing,Sheep Creek Special

George Biggs of Jerome, Idaho developed this fly for Sheep Creek Reservoir in northern Nevada. It’s an all-rounder type of pattern that suggests it could be many different things. For Lake Davis and Frenchman’s Reservoir, it’s a must have. I tie my version on a heavy scud hook instead of the long shank; it has better hooking power with a more defined silhouette of a snail.

2) The Jay Fair Wiggle Tail

Stillwater fishing, anglers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Jon Baiocchi, fly fishing, Jay Fair Wiggle Tail

I love Jay’s simple approach to creating this fly, the marabou tail tied sparse with the right length makes this pattern come alive! This fly would not be complete unless it is tied with Jay’s proven materials; his colors glow and give the wiggle tail a three dimensional look. This fly has given me great success on many different lakes across the west.

3) The Swimming Rabbit Hair Leech

Stillwater fishing, anglers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Jon Baiocchi, fly fishing, Swimming Rabbit Hair Leech

This fly does exactly what the name suggests; it moves and provides the perfect silhouette of a natural leech. Klamath Lake and Eagle Lake have abundant populations of leeches and this pattern has shined with flying colors in these waters. It offers more bang for your buck than a Wooly Bugger, and its durability is bombproof. Rust is my first choice of color, followed by black.

4) The Callibaetis nymph

Stillwater fishing, anglers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Jon Baiocchi, fly fishing, Callibaetis nymph

This is a top producer when the mayflies of a lake are brewing up a hatch under partly cloudy skies. The old standard has been the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear, a great fly on its own but I’ve been doing extremely well with my Z-Lon Callibaetis. Add a copper flashback and you’ll have even more fish attracting qualities. When it comes to this pattern, size, shape, and movement is more important than color.

5) The Damsel Nymph

Stillwater fishing, anglers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Jon Baiocchi, fly fishing, Damsel Nymph

The damselfly hatch in spring is one that many fly anglers have a special passion for. It offers them a chance to hook large trout just under the surface or stalk them off the bank. When tying these patterns keep them sparse with lots of moving parts. I like to fish two types; one leaded for deeper water before the hatch, and the other tied for shallow water that will “hover” in the strike zone. Keep in mind that damsels change color to match their surroundings. As the weeds change in color, so do the nymphs.

6) The Blood Midge

Stillwater fishing, anglers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Jon Baiocchi, fly fishing, The Blood Midge

Much has been written about this famous chironomid. Its abundant hemoglobin lends it the red coloration that suggests its common name and enables it to live in the oxygen poor muddy substrate called the ‘death zone’. I can remember hatches at Lake Davis back in the day when your boat would be spotted red with the blood of these midges from the ride back at dusk. This simple blood midge tied on a heavy pupa hook with red thread, gold wire, a white bead, and coated in nail polish is all you need. It shines in both Indicator fishing and the traditional strip.

7) The Blood Midge Emerger

Stillwater fishing, anglers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Jon Baiocchi, fly fishing, Blood Midge Emerger

Many innovative tiers have their own special blood midge emerger, including myself. The key elements that make a winning model is one that keeps the butt of the fly in the water, and the head and wings above the surface where it is visible to the angler’s eye. My pattern incorporates a mohair shuck, a foam body, followed by a white foam post with a burnt orange hackle wrapped parachute style. Refusals are rare with this fly.

8) The Floating Snail

Stillwater fishing, anglers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Jon Baiocchi, fly fishing, Floating Snail

When snails are out dancing on the surface like buoys in the wind, trout line up for an easy high calorie meal. The use of foam in our flies has brought our fishing to a whole new level as they float like a cork, and wobble about. What’s killer about this fly is that it also doubles as a camouflage indicator for spooky trout.

9) The Parachute Midge Emerger

Stillwater fishing, anglers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Jon Baiocchi, fly fishing, Parachute Midge Emerger

Scott Sanchez of Jackson Hole, WY developed this fly for fussy trout on the Snake River. Though it was never intended to be used as a specifically stillwater fly, its performance is unmatched. The way it sits in the film is identical to a real midge emerging into its new world of the wild blue yonder. The key ingredient is the ribbing of pearl crystal flash that shimmers and shines, attracting many trout from just below the surface.

10) The Scud

Stillwater fishing, anglers, MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Jon Baiocchi, fly fishing, Scud

The freshwater shrimp populates most of our lakes in high desert areas stretching well up into Oregon. Scuds supply trout with a super high protein meal that makes them grow large and fast. Picking out the dubbing from under the body gives it a translucency that trout key in on. Effective colors are brown, olive, and gray. Trout will have no trouble seeing pregnant females; they’re bright orange!

Jon Baiocchi has been fly fishing and tying flies since 1972 and is a California licensed fly fishing guide, published author, educator, innovative tier, and public speaker giving fly fishing presentations to clubs and expos around the state. Jon operates Baiocchi’s Troutfitters guide service in Northeastern California where he has a reputation as a hard working guide who has been trained by some of fly fishing’s best known master anglers.


Fishing Reports

Chetco Ocean Bubble Season Opens
lingcod, by Larry Ellis
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis
09/24/16 -- The second to the last ocean salmon season, what ODFW calls the “2016 Chetco River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Area Season” will open exactly one week from today on Saturday, October 1. This year’s season will...Full Story
CDFW Recognizes Original Conservationists
Youth pheasant hunt, courtesy of CDFW
09/23/16 -- National Hunting and Fishing Day is Saturday, Sept. 24. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds Californians of the plentiful opportunities to enjoy hunting and fishing in the state and commends them for...Full Story
CDFW Reintroduces Rare Trout to McCloud
McCloud River Red-band trout, courtesy of CDFE
09/22/16 --The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Northern Region Inland Fisheries Program and Heritage and Wild Trout Program staff will soon reintroduce a small population of rare rescued trout to their native...Full Story
Recreational Pacific Halibut Fishery Closes
Measuring halibut on deck, photo courtesy of CDFW
09/22/16 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces the recreational Pacific halibut fishery will close Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12:01 a.m. for the remainder of 2016. Based on the latest catch projections...Full Story
Pacific Halibut Closes Friday
Man with 65 lb halibut, courtesy of Tim Klassen/Reel Steel Sport Fishing
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest
09/22/16 -- North Coast offshore adventures will be limited to just rockfish come Saturday morning as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced on Wednesday the closing of the recreational Pacific halibut fishery on Saturday...Full Story
​Hike For Fall Trout
fish with hook in mouth, by John Higley
Article and photos by John Higley
09/21/16 -- Last Sunday morning I hiked into the Thousand Lakes Wilderness, which is located off Highway 89 in the Lassen National Forest roughly between Old Station and Burney. Along for the adventure was my buddy...Full Story
Sacramento River salmon run appears!
Bill Matsen from Redding, Ca. with his 17 lb. King salmon, Jeff Goodwin Guide Service
By Jeff Goodwin
09/21/16 -- I've been on again, off again on our 2016 Sacramento River salmon season, but it appears as though the fish I've been waiting on since mid-August have finally arrived in descent numbers. Salmon fishing from Hamilton City to...Full Story
GGSA Red Bluff Salmon Derby Winner
Dan Hofbauer with his 16.88lb winning salmon, by GGSA
09/20/16 -- Fisherman Dan Hofbauer won the $1000 first prize for the biggest salmon in last Saturday’s annual Golden Gate Salmon Association Red Bluff Salmon Derby held at the Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff. Hofbauer’s king weighed...Full Story
Hat Creek Post Labor Day
colorful trout, by Mike Mogler
Article and photo by Michael Mogler
09/20/16 -- Hat Creek after Labor Day continues to receive CDFW plantings. This is great news for those anglers looking for uncrowded conditions with plenty of fish to go around. I stopped by Rim Rock Ranch for information on the...Full Story
Feather River Hatchery Fish Ladder Opens
Feather River Hatchery, photo courtesy of CDFW
09/19/16 -- The fish ladder at Feather River Hatchery in Oroville opened today, Monday, Sept. 19, signaling the start of the spawning season on the Feather River. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) hatchery...Full Story
Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee still biting!
Natalie Richardson and her family with fish, by Jeff Goodwin
Article and photos by Jeff Goodwin 
09/18/16 -- Whiskeytown Lake in Redding, Ca. has undoubtedly been the premier Kokanee salmon fishing destination in California this year. It has produced limits for me and many other guides and anglers every trip since early...Full Story
Great Day on the Sac
man with bright rainbow trout, by John Larsen
By Gary Heffley
09/17/16 -- There is something special about sharing fishing experiences with friends and I am lucky to have an opportunity to meet and make friends with many people in and around the fishing industry. I had the opportunity to enjoy a...Full Story
First Chetco River Chinook Arrive
Man and woman with dungeness crab, by Larry Ellis
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis
09/17/16 -- Incredible fishing awaits for anglers who dare deploy the old-school techniques that were used in days of yesteryear. But first things first. Anglers who trolled Rogue Bait Rigs (spinnerbait/anchovy setups) or those who just...Full Story
All-depth groundfish fishery reopens Oct. 1
Rockfish, CDFW
09/15/16 -- The increased use of descending devices by halibut anglers was a key factor in contributing to the decision by fish managers to reopen the all-depth groundfish fishery on Oct. 1. The recreational groundfish season on the Oregon...Full Story
​Getting out of the North Valley heat By Gary Heffley 
9/13/16 -- The Redding area has been hot both in temperature and the fishing. Nothing can beat the outstanding trout fishing on the Sacramento River in Redding, the Kokanee fishing of Whiskeytown or the trout trolling successes enjoyed by...Full Story
Poachers fined for illegal abalone
CDFW patrol boat Thresher, courtesy of CDFW
09/13/16 -- Two Southern California men have been convicted and fined for abalone poaching and other resource crimes, stemming from a September 2015 California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) enforcement case...Full Story
Run4Salmon traces salmon's journey
Photo of Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe (Dan Bacher
09/07/16 -- The Run4Salmon event is a 300-mile trek that will follow the historical journey of the salmon from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the Winnemem (McCloud River) to raise awareness about the policies threatening...Full Story
CDFW Makes Buying a License Easier
Location map, by CDFW
09/03/16 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is making life easier for anglers when it comes to purchasing a license and checking your local fishing regulations. CDFW has made the online license...Full Story
Military Vets Fish Salmon Out the Gate
Pictured above are 12 military vets that fished with Captain Roger Thomas and crew of the Salty Lady and GGSA officials on Monday, August 29. From left to right: Terry Kid, Richard Porter, David Porter, Alfred Carrasco, Ben Santos, Dave Emory, Christian Valenti, Levi Andrews, Dustin Bergen, Shawn James, Dennis James, and Buck Anderson
09/01/16 -- Twelve military veterans experienced a day of salmon fishing aboard the charter boat Salty Lady Monday, September 26 on a trip out of Sausalito. Nine salmon decided to go for the ultimate boat ride and made...Full Story
Buoy 10 Chinook season goes to Sept. 14 09/01/16 -- Recreational anglers will get an additional nine days to harvest Chinook salmon at the mouth of the Columbia River under a season extension approved today by fishery managers from Oregon and Washington...Full Story
Sea Otter Shootings in Santa Cruz County
caltip logo
08/29/16 -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are looking for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of...Full Story
A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
07/25/16 -- I’ve been exploring Northern California’s streams -- above and below the surface -- for most of my life. One of my most memorable adventures took place on a hot summer’s day in 1964, not long after my sixteenth...Full Story
Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
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Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
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How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
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Fishing the Klamath below JC Boyle Dam
 Brian Buckingham with one of the larger fish from this section. This trout, estimated at 2 lbs., was caught near the BLM campground on the west shore six miles down the JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon. Photo by author
By Trouteagle
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The Mystery of the Middle Fork, Part IV
Jim Broshears, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
By Jim Broshears
11/10/14 -- This trip was to be the final chapter in the saga that began three years ago but is actually over 20 years in the making. As Bruce, Tuck and I journeyed back to the Middle Fork of the Feather River we made...Full Story
Climbing Terms for the Fisherman
Trailhead Tales by Jim Broshears
10/14/14 -- For those of us who prefer to fish the rugged and remote streams and rivers for the elusive wild trout, rock climbing is a skill that is required to reach the special places where catching the big one is a “sure thing.” The skills...Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Article and photos by Phil Akers
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Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
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Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story
Fishing with Phideaux
By Phil “Flip” Akers
01/26/14 -- Meet Phideaux, a 110-pound neurotic chocolate Lab. His name is pronounced “Fido” but it is spelled “Phideaux” because he is a Cajun dog. Anyway, last summer Phideaux took his human (that’s me) on a trout hunt up into...Full Story

 

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