News and Updates

Simple Dragonfly Nymph – Greg Sautter

Dragonfly Nymph

 (Click on photo for a full size photo)



      Hook :  TMC 200R  Size 6 or 8

      Eyes : Large mono eyes

      Lead : .020 lead wire

      Body : Dark brown fur

      Tail :  Dark brown hackle fibers

      Hackle : Dark brown hackle of choice


1.   Lay down a thread base on the hook back to slightly past the point where the hook bends.

2.   Tie in large mono nymph eyes about ¼ of the way back from the hook eye

3.   Tie in 1 piece of lead wire along each side of the hook.  Each piece should be tied in behind the eyes and extend back to the point where the tail is tied in slightly past the hook bend.

4.  Wrap thread back slightly past the hook bend and tie in a tail of brown hackle fibers.

5.  Dub a body of dark brown fur of your choice.  Dubbing should cover the back 2/3rds of the hook shank.  I like to mix a little sparkle in with the dubbing.

6.  Tie in and wrap hackle.  The hackle can be your choice of  dark brown hackle, brown dyed grizzly hackle, large grouse hackle, or brown pheasant feather (shown in picture of fly).

7.  Dub the remaining 1/3rd of the hook shank, figure 8 dubbing around the mono eyes to cover the thread tie in point.

8.  This fly can also be tied in Olive or a light brown/cream color (which simulates a recently molted nymph).


I have found this fly to be very effective for bass and panfish.  It will also work well for trout in lakes and rivers.  I will often add a small micro split shot if I need to sink it a little deeper than what the fly would sink with the weight tied in on the fly underbody.  This fly can also be tied in as a dropper with a small bass or a panfish popper.  I usually retrieve this fly with two shorts strips followed by a short pause.  Most hits are on the pause when the nymph sinks a little.

PMD Cripple – Tim Scott

PMD Cripple

The PMD Cripple By Tim Scott
I think one of the most under rated fly fished in the late spring and early summer is the Pale Morning Dun or the Pale Evening Dun. But for argument’s sake let’s call it a Cream colored mayfly. Fly fishers sometimes don’t notice these bugs coming off the water, but boy the fish do!  

They dribble off the water sporadically throughout the day and into the evening and don’t make a great show, unlike other mayflies such as a Blue Wing Olive or Brown Drake. Most fly fishers notice the tons of Caddis when in the midst of them, a cream-colored sailboat floats by. You will be surprised if you ignore the Caddis and tie on a PMD Cripple. This fly has produced some very large fish in the middle of great Caddis hatches. My experience is Trout and even Smallmouth will key on these bigger bugs with an explosive reaction. I have pulled large fish from the banks of very small creeks in our area to check out this fly and eat.

This cripple pattern was developed by Kelly Galloup. This pattern is great to fish for both the dun hatch and during the spinner fall, because cripples happen at both ends of the life cycle. You will notice two parts of this fly. First, the side-bend hook shank makes the bug look as if it is crippled. The second is the wing is on tied to one side of the fly; this represents the look of a crippled mayfly where the wings lay on the water to one side of the body. The crippled look means easy pickings and an easy source of protein to any fish.

Try this fly in the next Caddis storm and you will be surprised that the larger fish could care less for Caddis and more for your protein cripple!
PS. Yes you can tie this for any mayfly species.

(Click on photo to see a full size photo)



Hook: 12-14 TMC 100 Standard
Dry fly (hook bent to the side slightly to get a crippled fly look)
Tail: Micro Fibbets or plastic tailing material
Body: Cream Thread
Hackle: Hi-Vis tied on the side – posted – with cream hackle palmered behind the wing and to the eye – clipped on the bottom for a spinner The PMD Cripple

Tim Scott – Bio

Tim Scott

I caught the bug for tying bugs (flies) about 16 years ago and I have not stopped. I tie almost every night out of sheer paranoia of not having the right fly at the right time on the right water. I have learned a ton and have improved my skills from watching and learning from other members of SJRVFF. You cannot find a better club with so many accomplished fly tyers than SJRVFF. I have a few “original” variations of flies that I am proud to call my own. From my tying bench and with the help of Terry Wittorp, the KVCTU / SJRVFF Tie-a-thon has taken off; donating over 33,000 hand-tied flies to various causes.

Fall Caddis – Tim Scott

Fall Caddis

Fall Caddis By Tim Scott
If you live – well anywhere and fish – you need a good caddis pattern, or patterns. If I had only one fly to fish it would be a caddis. Everything eats them and they represent the majority of food source for trout in our waters and everywhere else. Trout will eat almost 20 caddis to one mayfly, so you better have some in your box….Elk Hair adults, emergers and of course nymphs. Here is one that works quite well.

While this pattern is designed for steelhead, this can be scaled down for trout and other fish. This is a great fly to fish during the spawning seasons. The big fish, salmon and steelhead, work the gravel throughout the river systems. When they make their redds, they kick up a lot of rock. In the mix, insects of all kinds are kicked up. Other fish behind the redds sit there and eat all the insects and eggs that float down. Hold on, you might get a 20 plus inch brown!

(Click on photo for a full size photo)



Hook #6 -#12 2457 or equivalent
Thread 140 Denier – olive
Wire Fine gold, copper wire
Shell Back 1/8 inch scud back – light olive
Body Ice Dub – caddis / insect green
Legs black wet hackle undersized
Head Black Tungsten Bead


1. Put the bead on the hook.

2. Wrap the thread back beyond the barb and down the bend. By starting your material on the bend it give the fly a curved profile.

3. Tie in the wire first then the shell back. You will fold over the shell back all the way up to the bead. The last move is to wrap the wire up to hold down the shell back.

4. Make a dubbing loop and add your ice dub into the loop. The trick to a good dubbing loop body is to distribute the ice dub evenly throughout the loop.

5. Spin up the loop and wrap the body forward to the bead. Leave a small amount of room for the wet hackle, shell back, wire and to finish the fly.

6. Take the wet hackle and tie in by the tips, make to or three wraps. The black hackle represents the legs of a caddis.

7. Split the hackle fibers away from the top of the fly; just pull them off to the sides. Then bring the shell back up over the top of the fly.

8. Tie the shell back down, between the hackle fibers and behind the bead.

9. Evenly space the wire as you wrap it forward. Watch out not to wrap down the hackle as you move forward to the bead.

10. Tie down behind the bead.

11. Whip finish

12. Go Fish!

Eric Wroblewski – Bio

Eric Wroblewski

I have been fly fishing since 1973 but did not become a “hard core” fly fisher until joining the SJRVFF in 1984. I took the club sponsored fly tying class that year and that was all she wrote. I have been an avid fly tier ever since and enjoy fishing for trout, steelhead, salmon, and smallmouth bass in our area streams and rivers. I also enjoy fishing in Yellowstone Park and hope to get back out there to fish real soon!

Sparrow Nymph – Eric Wroblewski

Sparrow Nymph

 This is one of my favorite steelhead patterns, the Sparrow Nymph, which was originated by Jack Gartside many years ago. I think that the reason it works so well for me is that Wroblewski in Polish means Sparrow, but hopefully it will work wonders for you as well. It is an easy fly to tie, and uses very few materials.

(Click on photo to see a full size photo)



Hook: Tiemco 3761 Size 8
Thread: 6/0 or 70 Den. color to match body of fly
Tail: Marabou fibers from the base of a Pheasant rump  feather
Weight: About 20 wraps of .015 lead wire or substitute
Body: Ice Dubbing
Hackle: Pheasant rump hackle
Collar: Pheasant after shaft feather


Step 1 : Tie in thread just behind eye of hook. Lay a 4 inch piece of .015 lead wire on top of the hook shank, wrap thread over wire back to the hook barb, and then back to the tie in point. Wrap wire up to tie in point , cut wire, and wrap thread over wire back to the hook barb.
Step 2 : Cut a clump of marabou fibers from the base of Pheasant rump feather and tie in at the bend of hook. Tail should be about 1/3 length of hook shank.
Step 3 : Apply dubbing to thread and wrap forward to cover lead wire while building a tapered body at the front
Step 4 : Tie in the already used Pheasant rump feather by the tip, make 2 wraps, tie off and cut stem. The hackle fibers should extend at least to base of tail, but no longer than the tip of the tail.
Step 5 : Tie in a  pheasant after shaft feather, and wrap as a collar in front of the hackle. Clip feather, build the head, and whip finish.


I prefer Ice Dubbing for the body. Favorite colors for steelhead in order are Chartreuse, Caddis Green, Peacock Black, Orange, Purple, Olive, Black, Hot Yellow, Brown, and Rust. Use dyed Pheasant rumps to match or contrast body color.


Next Meeting on the Sixth Floor – March 16, 2011

Featured Speaker: This month’s speaker will be Kevin Thomason of KVCTU.

The March meeting will be held on the 6th floor of the Chase Bank building (Same as the February Meeting). We will also have the April meeting on the sixth floor, which is the auction, to take advantage of the open area.


Due to a temporary technicality with its liquor license, The Cellar Door can no longer serve alcoholic beverages until further notice. Members of SJRVFF may bring in their own alcohol to consume. The Cellar Door regrets this and will inform us when the license is reinstated. As always, please drink responsibly.

Chris Helm – Tying with Deer Hair

Date: April 2nd, 2011
Guest Tier: Chris Helm
Location: Elkhart Conservation Club Main Building (Map)
Cost: $50.00
Chris will be instructing us on tying with deer hair. Chris is renowned for his deer hair bugs (poppers, mice, bass bugs, etc.).  Students will be required to bring their own tying vise, tools and thread. Materials will be supplied. Lunch will also be included in the cost. Chris’s class is also limited to 10 tiers so reserve a spot early. Contact Event Coordinator Todd Ezzell to register.

Julie Nielsen – Better and More Durable Flies

Date: March 19th, 2011
Guest Tier: Julie Nielsen
Location: Elkhart Conservation Club Main Building (Map)
Cost: $50.00
Julie will be instructing us on technique focusing on tying better and more
durable flies. This class will definitly improve your fly tying and take it to
the next level. Students will be required to bring their own tying vise, tools and thread.

Materials will be supplied. Lunch will also be included in the cost. Julie’s class is limited to 10 tiers so reserve a spot early. Contact Event Coordinator Todd Ezzell to register.

Tie-a-thon a huge sucess – a new record for flies

I was introduced to John Woodling of Downey CA in an email that read;

Thanks go out to John Woodling

“Dear Tim, while reading the TU magazine, I came across an article about your club being involved in a program that made and distributed flies to various organizations. I am very aware of the Healing Waters Program and when I saw that it would be the receiver of this year’s (Tie) Fly-A-Thon effort I felt the need to help. If you would send me your address I would like to send you 200 flies (100Pheasant tail nymphs – size 14 and 100 Griffith’s Gnats – size 20) in the name of the Downey Fly Fishers of Downey CA. I congratulate you and you club on such a worthy program.”

John did not stop at 200 flies; he stopped at 1,500 flies. John tied the most flies out of the 13,030 turned in during the 5th Annual Tie-a-thon. This blows away the last total record of 7,000 flies. Thanks John, I am glad we gave you inspiration.

Next to top the 1,000 fly mark was Bob Stoynoff, going 100 flies over the mark. What was truly amazing about Bob’s flies were the 500 or so with hand painted eyes on the buck tail streamer. For those who don’t know, Bob turns in 500 to 1000 flies almost every Tie-a-thon.

Thank you Bob.

We will display the flies at the SJRVFF March 16th meeting. They will also be on display at the March 26th KVCTU banquet. Then we will ship them off to Project Healing Waters.

Thanks to the rest of the 71 fly tyers that donated to this cause. It is truly outstanding and we surpassed all expectations. In five years you all have joined together to donates over 33,000 flies. If you put a monetary value to that, it would be near the $90,000.

Thanks also go to the seven fly fishing clubs that promotes and supports the Tie-a-thon each year. Those clubs are: St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers, Kalamazoo Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Duneland Fly Fishers, Grand River Fly Tyers, Fly Girls and of course Downey Fly Fishers.

A special thanks to Elkhart Conservation Club for the use of their building and grounds for this event every year.

Tie-A-Thon 2011

Thanks to Terry Wittorp, my partner in crime on the Tie-a-thon, and his kitchen crew, Bill Vail, Steve Birman and Doug Gerow for their outstanding lunch. Also thanks to Terry for the T-Shirts and to Andy Kitson for the nice logo and the printing.

Also thanks to Eric Graham for promoting the event on the west side of the state, Dick Koch for supplying boxes for the flies, Todd Ezell for helping with setup and beverages, Johnny Law for opening up the ECC hatchery. Thanks to anyone else I might have forgotten to mention.

It was truly amazing, grass roots, effort again. I am always impressed that we are the only group doing this for Project Healing Waters and other causes. You all should be very proud.

In September we will kick off the next Tie-a-thon.

Thanks to the following tyers: Barney Naylor, Bart Roberts, Basil McCreary, Bill Defayette, Bill Furkis, Bill Kaufman, Bob Brissey, Bob Dykman, Bob Stoyoff, Bob White, Brandon Rasler, Carl Sternberg, Christine Hauville, Dale Kesler, Dave Chimmel, David Clunk, David Hilton, Dean Crowell, Dick Koch, Don Squires, Doug Moore, Dustin New, Ed Burns, Ed Wisinski, Eric Graham, Eric Wroblewski, Erik Gilbert, Frank Kolozar, Gene Henderson, Geoff Fleanor, George Batch, Greg Potter, Greg Sautter, Greg Wittig, Ingrid Schrey, Ira Hanan, Jeff Stanifer, Jennifer Nelson, Jim Gibson, John Mangona, John Mixis, John Ribberbos, John Woodling, Johnny Law, Kevin Thomason, Kristina Handzlik, Larry Roberts, Lee Troyer, Jeff Loosmore, Mark Bardusk, Mark Matus, Matt Rocco, Michael Payne, Mike Beachy , Mike Lagoski, Nate Kaufman, Pat Moskalik, Paul Arwine, Paul Blanch, Ralph Rucinski, Ray Ward, Rodney Davis, Steve Birman, Steve Gilbert, Tim Pote, Tom Rondo, Tim Scott, Tim Wilson, Todd Ezzell, Tom Carson, Walt Byington , Windy Ray, Wolf Schrey