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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

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Sarrell Wells holding wild steelhead, photo by Larry Ellis
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis 
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Green rivers on the horizon
Haleigh Skillman with steelhead caught on Smith river, Photo courtesy of John Klar's guide Service
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest 
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Abalone Advisory Comm seeks nominees
Red Abalone, Photo courtesy of CDFW
02/04/16 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is requesting nominations to fill two vacant representative positions on the Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee (RAAC). The purpose of the RAAC is... Full Story
Dwindling smelt numbers mount up
Delta Smelt, Phto courtesy of FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO  
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Jeff Goodwin with spotted Bass, photo courtesy of Jeff Goodwin
By Jeff Goodwin
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Trinity River Fishing Report By E.B. Duggan, “D” Fishing Guide
02/01/16 -- And the rains keep coming, Januarys rainfall was over 12 inches. When you combine December and Januarys rainfall together it amounts to almost twice the normal rainfall for this time of year. December and January... Full Story
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Storms likely to blow out Smith, Chetco
Richard Burrow with winter steelhead, photo by Scott Grant
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest
01/28/16 -- Mother Nature provided just enough time in between big storms to drop the Smith and Chetco rivers back into pristine shape. The break, however, was short-lived. Another wet storm is on the way, which is forecasted to...  Full Story
To Migrate or Not to Migrate?
O_mykiss, by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
01/26/16 -- The fish species Oncorhynchus mykiss possesses the ability to express two different life histories (migrating to the ocean or remaining in freshwater), making it one of the most interesting yet difficult species of fish to manage...Full Story
Twin Tunnels project legislation 01/26/16 -- Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman announced today that she is introducing legislation to block the Governor’s controversial Twin Tunnels project unless it is approved by the voters of California on a statewide...Full Story
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chad Frie, Travis Bounds, Greg Gutierrez with award
By Jason Haley 
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2016 sport fishing licenses now online
Father and daughter fishing along lake's edge, photo courtesy of CDFW
01/07/16 -- January is the perfect month to purchase a 2016 sport fishing license. Purchasing a license now allows anglers to take advantage of a full year of access to great fishing found up and down the state. In addition, sport fishing...Full Story
​‘Get Paid for Fishing’ at Topaz Lake By Mike Mogler
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Hiking the great outdoors, photo by Phil Akers
12/13/15 -- Northwestern Yosemite is rarely visited in contrast to the nearly four million people who enter the park each year. And, of all these visitors, only a fraction of one percent, are anglers who venture off the beaten path... Full Story
PFMC looks at salmon management requests
Beyond the Breakers by tom Marking, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
11/30/15 -- The PFMC had a few proposals brought to them in the November meeting that should be of interest to us in the Klamath Management Zone Area (KMZ). The first request is from the Salmon Commercial Sector and the second... Full Story
Groundfish – A look forward to 2016
Beyond the Breakers by Tom Marking, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
11/26/15 -- The 2015 season has come to a close and now begins the task of constructing the groundfish regulations not only for 2016, but for the 2017/18 next biennial spex process. The 2016 season should be essentially the same... Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Recreational Spiny Lobster season opens
Spiny lobster, photo courtesy of CDFW
10/02/15 -- Thousands of lobster fishermen are eagerly awaiting the start of the sport season for California’s spiny lobster, which opens Saturday, Oct. 3 and continues through March 16, 2016.There is currently a strong El Niño event occurring... Full Story
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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Bluegill, photo by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury
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Agencies halt commercial sardine fishing
Commercial fishing boats dragging their fishing nets, CADFW
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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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Jim Broshears, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
By Jim Broshears
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Trailhead Tales by Jim Broshears
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German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Lea Huetteman
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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
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California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
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By Phil “Flip” Akers
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