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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

Learn to ice fish at Lake of the Woods
Participant’s in the 2013 ice fishing workshop get some pointers on different lures and how to rig them up. ODFW photo
12/17/14 -- The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will show anglers how to make the best of snowy, icy conditions at a Jan. 24, 2015 Family Ice Fishing Workshop on Lake of the Woods near Klamath Falls. According to Mark Newell...Full Story
Trinity and Smith Rivers take center stage
John Pearl with a North Coast steelhead, Dave Jacobs
In-River Fishing News by Dave Jacobs
12/17/14 -- There are a few river fishing options for you to choose from here in the North State with the Trinity and Smith Rivers taking center stage. If you find yourself looking for some fishable water definitely give these two rivers...Full Story
Invasive Loach on the Loose in CV
Invasive 'Loach', photo by USFWS
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO 
12/16/14 -- While invasive species are now commonplace in California, each new introduction of a non-native species can pose unknown threats to an already fragile ecosystem. Wildlife officials are now on alert... Full Story
'Get paid to fish' derby returns to Topaz
Topaz Lodge 2015 Trout Fishing Derby
By Mike Mogler
12/13/14 -- Dave Rossman, manager of Topaz Lake Store, reports the annual “get paid for fishing derby” starts as usual on January 1, 2015, New Year's Day, and will end on April 12, 2015 with a fantastic drawing... Full Story
Yes Virgina, fish bite in the rain
Mark Gasich of Harbor holds a 22-inch rainbow trout that weighed precisely 3-pounds 10 ounces, caught on a tube jig/PowerBait trout worm combo., Photo by Larry Ellis
On the Water in Oregon with Larris Ellis
12/13/14 -- With all of these windy and rainy conditions, it would highly behoove fishermen to take advantage of some of the great trout fishing that local-area lakes have to offer. For instance, in November I spoke about fishing...Full Story
North State fishing takes a break
 Jason Vallotton of Redding. with a chunky Sacramento River rainbow trout. Photo courtesy of Mike Gadberry
By Jeff Goodwin
12/12/14 -- This week’s winter storms have left our local Rivers and lakes virtually un-fishable. The much needed rains have caused a rise in water levels unlike we've seen here in the Sacramento River valley for several years...Full Story
Sacramento River next option: Sturgeon
John Rinaldi of Mountain View with a Sacramento River white sturgeon. Photo courtesy of Dave Jacobs Professional Guide Service
In-River Fishing News by Dave Jacobs
12/11/14 -- One of the strongest storms in many years is bearing down on Northern California at the time of this report. With the strong winds and heavy soaking rains, many rivers and lakes are going to be unfishable for a... Full Story
Deluge predicted to blow out rivers
Alan Borges of Eureka landed this nice winter steelhead on Thanksgiving day while drifting the main stem of the Eel River. Photo courtesy of Kenny Priest/Fishing the North Coast
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest
12/11/14 -- If these lofty rainfall predictions come true, it’s quite possible the Eel River could see the highest water level since the 1964 flood. Wow! On the other hand, if the forecasts come up... Full Story
Fishing/hunting licenses make great gifts
2014 Western Oregon elk raffle tag winner.  ODFW photo.
12/10/14 -- Hunting and fishing licenses and tags, parking permits, 2014 Habitat Conservation stamps and more are on sale just in time for holiday gift giving. They are on sale on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wild... Full Story
American River trout hatchery reopens
Youngsters get to feed trout at the American River Hatchery. CDFW photo
12/10/14 -- The American River Trout Hatchery operated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reopened this week after warm water temperatures forced the closure of the facility in early summer... Full Story
Congressional reps get it wrong 12/10/14 -- The California drought was the primary cause behind low Delta exports this year, not Delta fisheries protections and fish are get blame as cover for a water grab in H.R. 5781, according to Restore the Delta (RTD)... Full Story
River restoration highlights on video
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
12/08/14 -- Sometimes river habitats need a helping hand to alleviate critical bottlenecks that reduce fish survival and limit the size of fish populations. Well-designed habitat restoration projects that draw on research to address the needs... Full Story
Collins Lake: Simply awesome trophy trout
Mike Bone and Friend hold up trout caught at Collins Lake, photo by Kathy Hess
By Kathy Hess, Lake Reporter
12/05/14 -- The recent rains have finally saturated the ground. This is bringing us some runoff. Today we are 52 feet from spill and the main boat launch is back in operation. Last winter we didn't have any rain to speak of until...Full Story
RTD: Bechtel-funded study half-baked 12/04/14 -- Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today released their critical responses to...Full Story
San Diego Jam Knot: My Fishing Buddy!
By Frank Galusha
12/04/14 -- It’s frustrating when the fish are biting furiously, time is short and you are in a hurry to tie a hook, swivel or lure to monofilament. I found this to be particularly true when I was fishing on a party boat for albacore. It was not...Full Story
Sportsman’s University offers tech classes By Vince Harris
12/03/14 -- The technology available to today's outdoors enthusiast is truly amazing. Ol' school anglers and outdoorsmen often express their dismay at the fact that much in the way of high-tech equipment didn't exist in their day, and at... Full Story
Hyacinth Woes: From a gift to a curse
Invasive weed, Hyacinth, photo courtesy of FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
12/01/14 -- In 1884, the visiting Japanese delegation to the World's Fair in New Orleans handed out a seemingly innocuous gift to fair attendees. This gift, a beautiful flowering aquatic plant native to South America, was brought... Full Story
All Fired Up
Wild trout, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
11/30/14 -- August 17, 2013 the Rim Fire was sparked by a thoughtful bow-hunter using an illegal campfire, which got out of hand, and eventually grew to 257,314 acres, the largest wildfire in the recorded history of the Sierra Nevada...Full Story
Comparing PC’s Commercial Fisheries
Salmon fising boats, photo by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
11/24/14 -- Earlier this year, we reported on the economic contribution of California's salmon fishery in a two-part Fish Report (Putting A Price Tag On Nature, Part 1 and Part 2). Our findings came as a surprise to many of our readers... Full Story
Steelhead at Thermalito Afterbay
Theremolito Afterbay, Bobby Larson, FFF Sporting Goods, Paradise
By Chuck Giles
11/22/14 – I received several reports this week at Fins, Fur and Feather Sports (FFF) of landlocked steelhead being caught on the Wilbur Road section of the Thermalito Afterbay. Shore anglers were drifting nightcrawlers...Full Story
DeSabla Reservoir a viable option By Chuck Giles
11/22/14 – Prior to this welcome rain, several patrons at Fins, Fur and Feather Sports (FFF) in Paradise reported that DeSabla Reservoir was kicking out some brown trout. Right now, with Lake Oroville virtually inaccessible... Full Story
Bottomfish anglers get knuckles rapped
pacific Halibut
Tom Marking GAP Sport Representative
11/20/14 -- We North Coast rockfish anglers are a victim of our own success! 2014 has been an eventful year for many reasons, but there are definitely winners and losers on the horizon. In a nutshell, halibut is a win/lose... Full Story
Ocean primed for more El Niño, experts say
Dr. Jess Carilli samples a Porites coral in Kiribati. Photo by Jess Carilli
11/20/14 -- The ocean is warming steadily and setting up the conditions for stronger El Niño weather events, a new study has shown, according to an article posted at Science Daily. A team of US, Australian, and Canadian researchers... Full Story
Trout still on tap
Mt. Shasta taken from Wagon Creek Arm of Lake Siskiyou. Photo by Scott Caldwell
By Gary Heffley
11/18/14 -- Just because the general trout season for rivers and streams closed a few days ago, it does not mean the North State trout angling is done. To the contrary some of the best fishing of the year is still on tap... Full Story
One thousand bass on Lake Oroville
Howard with one of 1000+ bass taken at Lake Oroville.
By Chuck Giles
11/17/14 – “It was just something to do so I could say I did it.” This is how my friend, Howard, summarized reaching his goal of catching 1,000 bass this year at Lake Oroville. He is not a guide, not a fanatic nor a...Full Story
Another broken fishing rod
Fishing with a broken fishing rod, photo by Sharon Waranius
By Gary Heffley
11/17/14 -- I don’t understand the propensity for the volume of “broken” fishing rods being returned to retailers these days. This issue has become a very popular topic of discussion within the industry, including a great piece in a... Full Story
Shasta Lake spots: You might be surprised
Pictured  is Jared Gadberry of Fortuna, Ca. with a 4+ lb Shasta Lake Spotted Bass.
By Jeff Goodwin
11/15/14 -- Fall is in full swing here in Shasta County, and that means there are many fishing opportunities here on local waters. Now we all know that we are in the midst of severe water shortages, and it shows in our local lakes, rivers, and... Full Story
Congressional action threatens CV fishery By Frank Galusha
11/12/14 -- There has never been a time when our fish have been more threatened than now, according to Water4Fish, organized several years ago to oppose Central Valley water policies that damage the highly valuable Bay...Full Story
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
Fish and Fukushima
Erin Loury, FISHBIO, radiation counts on Tuna fish
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
10/27/14 -- The largest-ever discharge of radionuclides into the ocean from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown in 2011 prompted many health concerns. However, as we described in our previous...Full Story
What is a weir? When were they first used?
Willow Creek Weir, October, 2008, Frank Galusha
10/25/14 -- Did you know fishing weirs in several locations are used to capture and monitor adult salmon runs as they migrate upriver in the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. Placed across all or part of a river, weirs direct upstream swimming...Full Story
Swimming in a radioactive sea
Photo courtesy of FISHBIO, radiated seas, Erin Laury
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
10/21/14 -- More than three and a half years have passed since a tsunami severely damaged Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors in March 2011, but some concern and confusion still persist... Full Story
Best bets for Southern Oregon fishing
Man holding fish, Upper Rogue , Jason Halep
By Jason Haley
10/16/14 -- After a long, dry summer, drought has taken its toll on Southern Oregon fishing destinations. Popular spots like Hyatt Lake, Howard Prairie and Emigrant are essentially puddles. I exaggerate, of course,...Full Story
Lewiston Lake on fire for trout anglers By Gary Heffley
10/15/14 -- While most North State anglers are enjoying the very good salmon fishing on the Sacramento River, one of Northern California’s gems is getting little attention. Lewiston Lake, which is one of my...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
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
The Myths and Realities of El Niño
Ocean Nino Index - ONI
By Jan Null, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
06/01/14 -- [Posted with permission of the author and Golden Gate Weather Services] The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) continues their El Niño Watch for the possible return of El Niño later this summer or fall...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
First Light
Boats in the harbor alight at night with a soft wake from a departing boat
Article by Matt Goldsworthy
03/04/14 -- Reprinted with permission of HASA (Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers) – Light is one of the most important factors to consider when fishing deep water. Over the years while fishing for Pacific halibut, we have always... Full Story
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
Oregon’s Lost Creek Lake is open all winter
By Cindy Broadwater
01/11/14 – Many outdoor enthusiasts may not be aware that Lost Creek Lake, Marina & Café near Trail, Oregon is open year ‘round. Not only is it the best bet for winter fishing and boating, but it may be the only game in town at times...Full Story
Sturgeon tagging requirements changed
DFW photo Harry Morse
01/01/14 -- California sturgeon anglers will see a small change to sturgeon tags issued beginning today. Sturgeon anglers have been required to tag all retained legal sized sturgeon for many years. In the past, the date, location and length... Full Story
A primer on fishing Lake Shasta By Gary Heffley
01/01/12 -- Shasta Lake draws more visitors to Shasta County than any other single attraction. While it is often a challenge to fish, it is more likely to produce stringers of fat trout or spotted bass. Trout to four and five pounds are caught here routinely...Full Story
Lake Oroville; 'tis the season By Chuck Giles
01/11/12 – Lake Oroville is probably one of the best lakes for sheer numbers of Spotted Bass in Northern California. This is not just on a seasonal basis, but year round. To start, I have a list of baits that produce decent results... Full Story

 

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